What is the truth of the Sazuke, or the Divine Grant?
The truth of the Sazuke, or the Divine Grant, is the "truth of effectiveness" that is bestowed in response to the true sincerity of those who have settled God the Parent's teachings in their mind and resolved to work for the salvation of others in accordance with the everliving Oyasama's intention.
It is invisible and formless. However, when we administer it to those who are suffering from illness, God the Parent will accept our true sincerity in praying for their salvation and show us its wondrous effectiveness by revealing free and unlimited blessings.
When people are miraculously saved from the sufferings of illness through the Sazuke, they can come to know God the Parent's intention and replace their minds so they can proceed toward the Joyous Life. Thus, the truth of the Sazuke is an important means to spread true salvation from one person to another. It is also described as being bestowed on us for our "traveling expenses" since it supports our journey to the Joyous Life.
Where and by whom is the truth of the Sazuke bestowed?
The truth of the Sazuke can be bestowed on anyone who has pledged to work for single-hearted salvation, regardless of occupation or social status. The only prerequisite is that you attend nine Besseki lectures.*
As a rule, you may attend one Besseki lecture a month and, on each occasion, you should strive to settle God the Parent's teachings in your mind and make your mind firmly single-hearted with God. When your mind is thus transformed into the mind that desires to help others be saved, the truth of the Sazuke can be bestowed on your renewed mind.
After making a request to receive the truth of the Sazuke, you are to wear a formal garment called the "service kimono" and proceed to the Foundress' Sanctuary, where the truth of the Sazuke will be granted by the everliving Oyasama, who is working for world salvation by virtue of Her eternal life. Though you will receive the truth of the Sazuke through the Shinbashira, it is actually Oyasama who will grant it to you. The Shinbashira is acting on Her behalf.
The truth of the Sazuke, which is bestowed through the above procedure, is a lifetime treasure for those of us engaged in salvation work. By using the Sazuke, we are able to savor the supreme joy of helping others be saved from suffering.
How does the truth of the Sazuke differ from magical healing rituals?
Generally speaking, so-called magical healing rituals and incantations are thought to depend on the special powers of their practitioners and magical procedures, and they aim primarily to provide solutions to such problems as illnesses. On the other hand, the effectiveness of the Sazuke does not depend on the abilities or natural gifts of those who administer it. Rather, the effectiveness comes from God the Parent and Oyasama and is shown in accordance with the true sincerity of the administrants and recipients. The blessings shown may vary, depending on the degree of their sincerity, yet it is God the Parent and the everliving Oyasama who save, not the administrants themselves. The Sazuke is administered by saying some prayer words while performing the hand movements used in Tenrikyo's daily services and then by stroking the afflicted part of the recipient's body three times while intoning God the Parent's name with each stroke. This entire procedure is then repeated two more times. The aim of the Sazuke is not merely to cure illnesses but to help the recipient renew the mind and grow spiritually.
Above all, the Sazuke is intended as a means of guiding people to the Joyous Life, and God the Parent manifests its "effectiveness" in response to one's true sincerity in desiring the salvation of others. Thus, it is fundamentally different from magical rituals and incantations. Consider this Divine Direction:
I have spoken of the Sazuke, the Sazuke. The Sazu-ke, no one can know how great its value or how precious it is. The Sazuke, the Sazuke. There are some kinds which I have bestowed on a few and others which I have bestowed on many. However, I have bestowed the same truth. They are all the same. There is no light or heavy with the truth of the Sazu-ke. After you have attended the order of Besseki step by step, finally, I say to you, sah, receive it. No one can know how precious it is. Even with an expensive instrument, if there is no truth in your mind, it is of no use. Understand the Sazuke, the Sazuke, well. You attend the lecture of each day. After you have completed the lectures, I bestow the Sazuke on you. I bestow it on the mind at the time, the mind to receive it, the truth of the mind determined to carry on into the future.
Osashizu, July 7, 1890
Can you administer the truth of the Sazuke to animals and plants?
The truth of the Sazuke cannot be used for animals or plants; it is to be administered to people who are suffering from illness and injury.
It is not just a special way of curing illness. Rather, it is a means to administer the "truth of effectiveness," which God the Parent will manifest in response to the transformation of the mind. Thus, those who are suffering from illness should allow their difficult condition of being ill to help them connect their minds with God the Parent and replace their self-centered thinking with the perspective that wishes to respond to the needs of others and promotes mutual help. It is this spiritual transformation that is accepted by God. Thus, the truth of the Sazuke is bestowed by God the Parent not merely to cure illness but to save the mind.
It is true that all animals and plants are sustained by God the Parent's providence. What is most important, however, is our way of using the mind, for we humans are allowed to use the mind freely.
Therefore, in the case of ill conditions that appear in animals and crops, nothing is more important than having the keepers or growers understand the Truth of Heaven and renew their minds.