Day of Origin (Moto ichinichi)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

The phrase "day of origin" refers to the first and original day when something came about. In Tenrikyo this would most likely bring to mind the day of origin when the Teaching was founded. The fact that we were guided to this wonderful faith and thus enabled to live each day with gratitude was made possible because of this day.

The details of that day are written in Chapter One of The Life of Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo. To briefly summarize the main flow of events leading up to that day, three members of the Nakayama family were suffering from physical disorders--Miki (Oyasama) suffered from severe pain in Her back; Her husband, Zenbei, from an ailment of the eyes; and their son, Shuji, from a pain in his leg. The family had an incantation performed to pray for their recovery. The response they received was utterly unexpected. Among the first words from God the Parent were: "At this time I have descended here to save all humankind. I wish to receive Miki as the Shrine of God."

It surely must have been an impossible prospect to comply with God's wish to allow Miki, who was indispensable as the lady of the house, to become the Shrine of God. Yet after three days of dialogue with God, Zenbei finally acceded to God's intention, saying with firm resolve, "I offer Miki to You." The path thus began from the resolution to follow the divine intention single-heartedly. The date and time was October 26, 1838, at approximately 8:00 a.m. Thus, the Autumn Grand Service is conducted starting from 8:00 A.M. on October 26 every year to commemorate this important day.

On top of the day of origin when the Teaching was founded, the phrase "day of origin" also refers to the day when each of us first learned about the existence of the path. Although the times and circumstances in which each of us were drawn to the path may have been different--whether it was because of a physical disorder, a personal problem, or a seemingly unexpected turn of events--there was that day of origin when we rejoiced at first hearing the intention of God the Parent and at the miraculous blessings we received when we resolved to completely entrust ourselves to the divine intention.

It is important for each and every one of us to remember the day of origin when we were guided to the path--whether through our own personal experience or the experience of one of our family members--and, above all, the day of origin when the Teaching was founded. We must constantly look back upon the day of origin and live each day with the resolve made on the day of origin, maintaining constancy in single-heartedness with God the Parent and a firm commitment to follow the divine intention.