God the Parent--God, Tsukihi, Parent (Oyagami-sama--Kami, Tsukihi, Oya)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

We call God "Tenri-O-no-Mikoto" or "God the Parent."

In order to help us understand the nature of God the Parent, Oyasama first utilized the word "Kami" (God)--a word familiar to everyone around Her--and added phrases to it, giving us the expressions "God of Origin" and "God in Truth."

Oyasama taught that God the Parent, who embodies warm parental love and boundless divine providence, is, on the one hand, God of Origin in the sense of having created the world, humankind, and all that exists out of where there was no shape or form. On the other hand, God the Parent is also God in Truth, in the sense of actually sustaining the world and all life for all eternity, constantly providing for our existence from within. Unlike the deities in whom the people around Her believed, God the Parent is related to humanity and all else on the most fundamental and essential level and is also the actual, constant sustainer of all life.

When Oyasama felt that the people around Her began to understand the concept of God of Origin and God in Truth, She started using the word "Tsukihi" (Moon-Sun) as the Moon and Sun are the visible manifestations of God the Parent in the heavens. Whether it is night or day, the Moon and Sun shine upon the world continuously without rest. This reflects the truth that Tsukihi, God the Parent, impartially provides everyone in the world with light and the blessings of divine providence, while seeing and knowing everything. Our existence is sustained by God the Parent's blessings manifested in fire and water, in warmth and moisture, and in the loving embrace of heaven and earth.

Lastly, Oyasama referred to God the Parent simply as "Oya" (Parent). Thus She taught that God the Parent is not only God whom we regard with utmost veneration, but is our Parent whom we can feel intimate with and whom we can freely cling to and confide in. God the Parent is certainly not a fearsome god who rules apart from the world, commanding and punishing humankind from the heavens above.

God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, is the true Parent of humankind. God the Parent's only concern is for humans, God's beloved children, to live joyfully and cheerfully. This universe is the body of God the Parent and overflows with the blessings of the divine providence. We live each day in God the Parent's bosom, embraced by God's warm parental love.