Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven


This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.

Ofudesaki I, 45-50 a different view. John Lewis 3/11/00

Since the 3rd Shinbashira had used these verses in his Sermon on January 26, 1986 CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF OYASAMA, I thought that it would be nice to add my interpretation of that part of his sermon to show another point of view. Recall that I have often quoted the 3rd Shinbashira in support of my understanding of his "three interpretations". The first view that I presented for these verses I might characterize as being a part of the interpretation of a parent. This additional view could also be characterized as an interpretation of the parent but in this case there is a very high expectation that the outcome of sincerely pondering it will lead, directly, today, in just a few moments, to the interpretation of single-heartedness with God. I find this to be a very "yoki" exercise and I sincerely hope that you all will too.

From the 3rd Shinbashira concerning I, 45-50.

"These verses guide and support us as we follow the path of faith, for the 'steep mountains' and 'tangles of thorns' were shown through Oyasama's own example to be the very ways to advance along the path…

It was because of us human being that the path of single-hearted salvation did not proceed smoothly, and that, consequently, Oyasama Herself had to go through the 'steep mountains' and 'tangles of thorns.' Indeed the words, thoughts, and actions of those who sought Her teachings, at whatever time and place, were not in complete accord with the mind of Oyasama….

The hardships of Oyasama were boundless and, thus, far beyond our imagination…Of course, there could not possibly have been any hardship or strain in the mind of Oyasama. Instead, there were only radiance, joy, and elation."

This is a contradiction isn't it? On the one hand we speak of Oyasama's hardships and indeed of Oyasama's regret and anger but on the other hand there seems to be no room for such things in a mind of radiance and joy? In fact there is no contradiction, only the appearance of one, dependent upon one's point of view. Recall that from the beginning of this Book I have been saying that the purpose of these poems is to help us to distinguish the relationship between God's mind, our mind and the world. Well, I think that I can safely say that we all know or have known, hardship, regret and anger in our own minds and indeed also in the world, but do we also know the mind of radiance and joy? Let's find out.

There are already a way to many words on this page. So let's change our stance away from reading and towards experimentation. We intend to carry out an exercise that will resolve the apparent contradiction of hardship, anger and regret with radiance and joy.

To complete this experiment we will need to gather some instruments and refine them for our use.

First, so that we won't get buried in words and speculations we need a simple and powerful metaphor.

Let's use a mirror. Just an ordinary mirror gives us the properties of reflection, purity and accuracy.

By reflection we mean that an image can be seen in the mirror. By purity we mean that the mirror is not affected by what is reflected in it. It remains clear though there are images reflected in it. By accuracy we mean that the image in the mirror is a true and undistorted reflection of its cause.

We still need to make some further refinements to our mirror and its environment. First, lets assume that our mirror and its environment have the following rather remarkable properties:

  1. Our mirror is radiant. It shines by its own light. It is also surrounded by darkness. The light itself is also remarkable. It illuminates the mirror but not the surrounding darkness.
  2. The darkness is total, as nothing can be seen in it. However, there are two truly remarkable properties of the darkness. It has rules and when the darkness is reflected in our mirror the rules are perfectly and accurately reflected within the mirror as true images according to the rules of the darkness.

So we have our instrument, it is a metaphor of a mirror. Please take a moment to imagine this mirror and become comfortable with the properties of, the mirror, and its light and the darkness and its rules.



Having constructed our metaphor let us now move on to the experiment. I assume that some or all of us closed our eyes while we were assembling our metaphor. I mention this because the experiment is best carried out from this point on with the eyes open.

Let's begin. Please internalize your mirror metaphor. This is to say move it to your center. Make it your point of view.

Now with your eyes wide open be aware that the world is now being reflected clearly and truthfully in the mirror which is you or your true heart.

The images of objects are all, sharp, clear and true.

Just shine like that for awhile.

It is not too difficult to see objects reflected in our mirror, such as walls and computers or you name it. It is a little subtler however to be aware of mental objects that are reflected in our mirror or our heart. These mental objects are very subtle and although they also cannot effect the purity of our mirror they also are of the nature of the darkness and are subject to the rules of darkness and they are also shown clearly in the marvelous mirror that is our innermost heart.

By now I think that we can see how such things as hardship, regret and anger are of the nature of darkness reflected, particularly the objects of our thoughts, while radiance, high spirits and joy are of the nature of the original reflective light. Taken together they are the truth of origin, the truth of a human mind and the truth of the world. If we wanted to simplify the above with a powerful universal metaphor we could say that the whole universe and all human beings are the body of MoonSun. The one light reflected.

If we wish to bring the original radiance and joy into our world then we must follow the rules of the darkness from which we come. The radiance and joy are already and always here. We need only sweep away the state of mind that does not see that. The rules of darkness reflected require this and only this to bring joy into our world.

Returning to the 3rd Shinbashira's sermon.

"The Divine Model teaches us that, for each of us on the Path of single-hearted salvation, the important thing is to sweep away the dusts from our heart and purify our mind so as to be worthy of receiving the Gift of Heaven."