Sazuke bestowal / Church procedure

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

While "hakobi"--rendered as "dedication" in most cases--is treated in other entries (See "Contribution and Dedication" [5.47-5.49]), this entry deals with the term "o-hakobi." Although the two terms seem very similar, "o-hakobi" deals with a completely different and special matter altogether.

Generally, the verb "hakobu" means "carry" or "visit" (as in "ashi o hakobu," literally, "carry one's feet"). It is also utilized to describe the process of advancing a matter or procedure (i.e., "koto/giji o hakobu"). The term "o-hakobi," as it is used in Tenrikyo, takes this sense of "advancing a matter" a step further, describing the process where something is advanced according to God the Parent's intention with either the Honseki or the Shinbashira acting in Oyasama's place.

There are two types of o-hakobi procedures: "Sazuke bestowals" (Sazuke no o-hakobi) and "church procedures" (jijo no o-hakobi).

A "Sazuke bestowal" (Sazuke no o-hakobi) refers to when the Shinbashira bestows the truth of the Sazuke in place of Oyasama on a person who has settled the truth of the teachings in the mind after having taken the Besseki lectures in sequence step by step until the ninth and final lecture.

When we set about to do anything, we are only able to advance forward smoothly if we have settled God the Parent's intention in the mind, repeat our efforts to be in step with this intention, and receive God the Parent's spirited protection. Consequently, in the past, it was a convention to make a request to hear God the Parent's intention and gain God the Parent's permission before implementing a matter--whether it was personal or church-related.

To give an example of this, our predecessors requested Divine Directions through the Honseki concerning many personal matters in their daily life, such as travel, moving, and marriage. Also, requests to hear God the Parent's intention were made and permission was granted through the Divine Directions before proceeding with any matter concerning churches, the Women's Association, schools, and the management of the Tenrikyo organization as a whole. Our predecessors made requests to hear the divine intention and gain God the Parent's permission when it came to matters such as performing monthly services, establishing churches, installing a new head minister, making construction plans, and even when repairing a church fence or digging a well on church property.

Currently, various matters that concern a church--including its establishment, changing the service day, installing a new head minister, relocation, building, and making additions or renovations--can come about only after making an application and gaining permission from Church Headquarters in Jiba. This is called a "church procedure" (jijo no o-hakobi) whereby the Shinbashira acts in place of Oyasama so that church-related matters such as these can receive permission from Oyasama and the truth of Jiba.

As for our personal matters, today we are able to fully ponder on God the Parent's intention with the Scriptures as the basis and advance ahead in a manner that we are taught through the Divine Model of Oyasama while being guided by our spiritual parents. It is important that we maintain the mind-set to relate our situation to God the Parent in each instance and firmly settle our minds so that we can proceed with matters while being wrapped in God the Parent's spirited protection.

Finally, I would like to add that it is possible at present to apply at the Foundress' Sanctuary of Church Headquarters and receive the truth of Oyasama as permission for marriage and permission for moving or building a new family home, the latter being called a "ho-yurushi."