All People Are Brothers and Sisters
(Ichiretsu Kyodai)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

Oyasama teaches us in the Ofudesaki,

All of you throughout the world are brothers and sisters. There should be no one called an outsider.


This verse is self-explanatory and its meaning should be unmistakably clear to all of us.

These days we often hear people say: "The earth is one. Human beings are brothers and sisters." The world has witnessed large-scale devastation caused by recent wars. Man-made disasters and pollution are now shown to have global effects. In addition, natural resources are expected to be used up in the future. If human beings continue these confrontations and exploitations on this small planet, we will eventually be faced with extinction. Thus, people are now calling for cooperation, describing all human beings as "brothers and sisters in the same boat." However, since this idea of working together is based merely on our fears about the future, it does not seem that it can make a strong and long-lasting impact on others, no matter how good it sounds.

The teaching "All people are brothers and sisters" is based on the truth that God the Parent, the Parent in Truth, is the source of our life and the root of the world. It tells us that all people throughout the world are brothers and sisters as the children of God the Parent. This teaching was not given as an expedient way of thinking to bring about the settlement of all problems. It teaches us the truth about the way things really are.

After creating human beings and the world, God the Parent provided us with a variety of teachings and directions according to the level of our spiritual growth. Then, on October 26, 1838, God revealed the final teaching, or the truth about our Parent, which had never been spoken of before. We thus learned about the source of our life, the Parent in Truth who sustains us every minute of our lives, and about the fact that all people throughout the world are the children of God the Parent.

Therefore, no matter how much we differ from one another in terms of, for instance, nationality or social customs, we are brothers and sisters just the same. This is why we ought to help one another. We must work together to make the Joyous Life available to everyone.

To accomplish this, let us begin with our communities. How could we possibly realize the grand ideal of the Joyous Life unless we are prepared to work with the people in our communities! Since we have learned that all people are brothers and sisters, let us take the initiative to cooperate in accordance with this teaching. This is how we can get more people to savor the joy of living together as brothers and sisters.

(The above is a translation--first published in the October 1995 issue of TENRIKYO--of an article excerpted from Omichi-no-kotoba by Yoshikazu Fukaya, published by Doyusha Publishing Company.)