Greed (Yoku)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

To steal or misappropriate something that belongs to another. Acts of fraud and embezzlement where one deceives others to reap large benefits for oneself. The act of giving one's customers short measure when they are not looking. Both cornering the market and withholding goods have been causing a considerable stir in recent years. All the acts described above arise from a mind of "greed."

Other forms of "greed" include lust--or shiki-yoku, as it is traditionally called in Japanese--and avarice, or go-yoku, referring to trying to make something belonging to another one's own without paying for it or any mindless craving for things that belong to others.

God the Parent warns us that to harbor "greed" in our minds is a use of mind akin to dust. Incidentally, when we think about it, we can say that miserliness and covetousness are both uses of the mind rooted in the mind of "greed." While the use of mind can be determined case-by-case as either miserliness or covetousness depending on the situation, ultimately, we find that behind all these uses of the mind is the underlying mind of "greed." The same can be said even for self-love and hatred.

On top of the eight dusts, Oyasama also specifically warned against falsehood and flattery. Yet we see that the mind of "greed"--besides self-love, miserliness, and covetousness--is at work behind these two dusts of the mind as well. Oyasama occasionally uses the single word "greed" to represent all uses of the mind that happen to be dusts. It may be possible to say that it is this mind of "greed" that is the biggest obstacle to us realizing a life of true happiness as well as being the most deeply rooted and troublesome use of mind. In the Mikagura-uta, The Songs for the Service, we read:

Though there is no one who is free from greed.
Before God there is no greed.

Mikagura-uta V:4

Greed is fathomless like muddy water.
When your mind is completely purified,
Then comes paradise.

Mikagura-uta X:4

As these verses indicate, we ought to throw away the mind of "greed," entrust ourselves to God the Parent, and advance toward a life of true happiness filled with the guidance and protection of God the Parent. We are also taught, "Forgetting greed we work in hinokishin" (Mikagura-uta XI:4). It can be said that when we engage in hinokishin, forgetting our greed and forgetting the self, our minds are free of dust and filled with true sincerity and thus can allow us to can truly be saved.