The Grant of Safe Childbirth

The Grant of Safe Childbirth is bestowed from the place where God the Parent created human beings--that is, the Jiba of Origin, the place of the original conception of humankind. Any woman who receives the Grant of Safe Childbirth and leans on God the Parent will assuredly be blessed with a safe childbirth.

In the old days, giving birth was often life-threatening for women, and it was even said that childbirth was a woman's heaviest task. There were many taboos and customs surrounding childbearing, such as the use of an abdominal band and the restrictions on certain foods.

However, Oyasama taught that, once a woman received the Grant of Safe Childbirth, all she had to do was follow the instructions exactly as given without entertaining any doubt at all. Further, She taught that "a woman might live quite normally after having given birth, with no need of observing the old customs such as the use of an abdominal band, the taboo on certain foods, the use of something to lean against, to say nothing of any fear of her being physically polluted for seventy-five days as was popularly believed by the people of that time."* The Grant of Safe Childbirth opened the path to all miracles of salvation, and the teachings spread in all directions.

Any woman who is at least six months pregnant is eligible to receive the Grant of Safe Childbirth. Application procedures are started through the church to which the applicant belongs. Then, after her application form is completed by her directly supervised church, she should return to Jiba and submit it. If she is unable to return to Jiba to receive the Grant personally, her husband or one of his or her parents may do so on her behalf.

What is bestowed as the Grant of Safe Childbirth are three packets of sacred rice which have been blessed by the performance of the Service for Safe Childbirth at the Jiba.

After the applicant arrives home, she should take any one of the three. The first packet is called "sacred rice for safe carrying." She should consume the contents after praying to God the Parent that the position of the developing fetus remain normal and that the child be carried safely to full term.

The second packet is called "sacred rice for quickness," which is to be taken after the onset of labor pains. She should make a prayer, specifying the length of labor desired and asking that a safe delivery be made, and then consume the contents of this packet. This will allow her a safe and quick delivery. Further, the afterbirth will pass easily.

The third packet is called "sacred rice for purification and settling." It is to be taken after the delivery is completed and the woman has returned to her bed. She should offer a prayer to God the Parent, expressing her gratitude for the safe delivery and asking for a smooth recovery from the physical changes that occurred during pregnancy and childbirth.

* The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, p. 59.

Receiving the Grant of Safe Childbirth