A Convincing Person (Naruhodo-no-hito)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

The second Shinbashira often trained followers by telling them: "We explain to people that the Tenrikyo teachings were revealed by God the Parent to show humankind how to lead the Joyous Life. If someone asks you, 'Well, then, what exactly is the way of living that God expects from us human beings?' I hope you will be able to say, 'Look at me!'"

Oyasama spent fifty years serving as the Shrine of God. Not only did She teach us God the Parent's intention but She also implemented the teachings in Her daily life to provide us with an exemplary model of how we can live joyously. As followers of Oyasama, we are dedicated to patterning our lives on the Divine Model that She demonstrated for our benefit.

This is a path that can only be fully appreciated by putting it into practice. While it may be relatively simple to grasp the concept behind it, a genuine understanding of what the path is all about and a true appreciation of its value can only be attained by actually living it out in our daily lives. This practical implementation of the path will allow us to savor something deeper than words or concepts can describe.

The Besseki lecture advises us to settle God the Parent's intention in our mind and go through every situation accepting all things joyously. It assures us that, by doing so, we will become model people who can convince others of the truth of the path. That, above all else, accords with the mind of God the Parent and Oyasama. The Besseki lecture goes on to say: "Only when we make the truth of the path self-apparent through our daily lives, can we receive all the free and unlimited workings of God the Parent, and only then will others listen to us and settle the truth of the teachings in their own minds."

Living out the teachings in our daily lives is, therefore, the only way we can make the truth of the teachings self-apparent to others and convince them to base their own lives on that truth. Such is God the Parent's expectation for us.

In the Divine Directions, there is a passage that says: "So long as you follow the path in single-heartedness with God, always using your mind in a manner that convinces others and makes the truth self-apparent to them, you will be shown My vivid workings in any and every matter" [Osashizu, May 6, 1890].

Another passage explains: "The truth that convinces others will spread in all directions" [Osashizu, February 14, 1894]. In other words, if we succeed in presenting others with a convincing example through the way we lead our own lives, the path will spontaneously spread throughout the world.

Yet another passage puts it this way: "The truth of the mind of sincerity is the real truth that convinces others" [Osashizu, November 11, 1888]. When we embrace the mind of sincerity in every situation that comes our way, we will make a deep impression on others. Living with the mind of sincerity is not a flamboyant lifestyle and it certainly does not involve an aggressive stance in convincing others. Nonetheless, we are taught that, although it may appear weak at first glance, nothing is firmer or more enduring than the mind of true sincerity. The conviction that wells up from the depths of people's minds is indeed the fruit of our own sincere efforts to implement the teachings in our daily lives.