Truth of effectiveness / Sincere efforts
(Kono no ri)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

The Japanese word "kono" (effectiveness) seems to have been recently pushed into the background in everyday conversation. In commonplace usage it only remains in the kono-gaki or statement of potency that comes with over-the-counter medicine. However, kono was often previously used to mean benefit or advantage, as in the phrase "describing the benefits of a new policy."

According to the dictionary, the "ko" of kono can be written with either one of two different Chinese characters that give us two major categories of meaning:

(1) an effect, proof, efficacy; or (2) efforts, performance, deed and capability

In the path, the word kono and kono no ri ("truth of effectiveness") immediately brings to mind the truth of the Sazuke. In the Besseki lecture, we are told, "The Sazuke, the Divine Grant, refers to the truth of effectiveness in single-hearted salvation, granted by God the Parent in response to sincerity alone, which we contribute and dedicate day after day." The "truth of effectiveness" that is mentioned here refers to the effectiveness that allows us to save others as we advance our efforts for the sake of single-hearted salvation and serves as the foundation through which we receive God the Parent's miraculous protection. It also indicates the merit God the Parent provides for us that allows us to be of service as we engage in efforts toward salvation work.

The Besseki lecture also goes on to say: "But especially acceptable in the eyes of God is to exert layer upon layer of sincere effort (kono no ri) in the cause of the path day by day, month by month, year by year, always maintaining a joyous perception of all things, and remaining untroubled by any hardship. God the Parent will then respond to our sincere effort by granting us merit." "Kono no ri" here has been rendered as "sincere effort" instead of "truth of effectiveness," as it refers to the efforts we exert layer upon layer. We are taught here that God the Parent grants us the merit that brings about God's workings according to the sincerity that we have dedicated.

In the first quote from the Besseki lecture, "kono no ri" can be said to have the first meaning of effect, proof and efficacy--referring to the efficacy that God the Parent provides for us that serves as the foundation through which we receive God's miraculous protection--and is thus rendered "truth of effectiveness" in English. On the other hand, it can be said that in the second quote from the Besseki, kono no ri has the second meaning of efforts or deeds and thus is rendered as "sincere effort" in translation. The first use of "kono no ri" refers to the "effectiveness" God the Parent provides for us and the latter use refers to the "sincere effort" we dedicate layer upon layer.

Furthermore, the "truth of effectiveness" with which we are provided for the sake of single-hearted salvation is not only limited to our efforts of taking full advantage of the truth of the Sazuke by administering to others in our efforts to help them be saved through God's miraculous protection. God the Parent accepts the "truth of effectiveness" that we utilize in administering the Sazuke itself as the "sincere effort" that becomes the basis of the merit given to us in accordance to our sincerity we have accumulated layer upon layer day after day. This "sincere effort" in turn becomes the source of even greater joy through increased "truth of effectiveness." The sincerity we contribute toward making the fullest use of the merit that we are provided with becomes the source of God the Parent's great protection. This in itself becomes the merit of each person and leads to being blessed with an even greater amount of protection. Here we cannot refrain from praising God the Parent's profound parental love. It is truly something to be thankful for.