In anticipation of the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama to be observed in 2016 (Tenrikyo 179), I would like to share some of my thoughts in the hope that they will be useful to all Yoboku and followers as they make decisive efforts to grow spiritually and conduct their activities in unity of mind.
Oyasama revealed the ultimate teachings to save all people throughout the world. She devoted Herself to single-hearted salvation with Her heart filled with parental love for all human beings, Her children, and left us with the path of the fifty-year Divine Model.
During those years, Oyasama made all arrangements for the path, such as teaching the Salvation Service and revealing the origin of all things. On the lunar calendar date of January 26, 1887, She withdrew from physical life to hasten people’s spiritual growth and their implementation of the Service, which She had been urging. Since then, true to Her words “[I shall] save the world from now, “She has been taking the lead at the forefront of world salvation while continuing to guide us, as ever before, by virtue of Her eternal life.
The significance of observing the anniversaries of Oyasama is to respond to Her boundless parental love with decisiveness. This is a season when each and every Yoboku should, with a fresh mind, take to heart the true intention in founding the Teaching, enhance his or her awareness of being a Yoboku, a useful timber for building the Joyous Life World, and accomplish genuine work while striving to follow the Divine Model.
The Joyous Life is a state of the world where, first and foremost, all human beings, the children of God the Parent, live together while helping one another. In addition, we read:
Greed is fathomless like muddy water. When your mind is completely purified, Then comes paradise.
If only the mind is purified completely, there will be nothing but delight in everything.
These verses tell us that the Joyous Life is also a way of living that entails purifying the mind.
Greed, which knows no moderation, can lead people astray, give rise to conflict, disrupt the harmony of the world, and even threaten the future. The ever-growing tendency to think that all is well if it is well for oneself is progressively weakening interpersonal ties; indeed, even family bonds seem fragile in today’s societies. This tendency is contrary to the Joyous Life.
It is our duty as people who follow Oyasama’s teachings to work for world salvation by conveying the intention of the true Parent to those who have worries about the uncertainty of the future with no spiritual guide to help them.
Now is the time for all of us followers of the path to stand up and show people a way of living based on purifying the mind and helping one another. We should thus pour our energies into reconstructing the world.
Let those of us who are Yoboku study and internalize the teachings and put them into practice each day to become people who effortlessly make the truth of the teachings self-apparent to the local community. Let us ensure that our own families—including husband and wife, who represent the truth of the embrace of heaven and earth—are living in accord with the teachings and implementing mutual help. In this way, let us expand the circle of the Joyous Life, starting right where we are.
Let us also keep our minds connected to our churches, visit our churches, and participate in the performance of the service, which is the mission of each church. Let us work together with our church head ministers as the core to demonstrate a model of the Joyous Life to our local communities.
Concerned about our future, God the Parent urges us through various knots, or challenging situations, to replace the mind.
Whatever I do, it is solely from Tsukihi’s single desire to save you.
This verse teaches us that everything God does is motivated solely by the parental love that desires to save all human beings.
All misfortunes and difficulties are expressions of the parental love that desires us to cleanse our hearts. We should not only reflect critically on ourselves but also work proactively for the salvation of others by accepting that, through the challenging situations that have arisen, we are being urged to help others be saved. In fact, staying always focused on helping to save others is a prerequisite for being followers of these teachings that are aimed at world salvation and is also the true way to achieve salvation ourselves, as can be seen from Oyasama’s words “Through saving others, you will be saved”
Salvation work begins with paying attention to those around us. If we find people who are suffering from illnesses or other problems, let us first pray for a solution, speak proactively to them, and reach out to them. We can administer the Sazuke with utmost sincerity to those who are ill and listen to what is on the minds of those who have worries. We can give support to those people, convey the voice of the Parent to them, and guide them so that they can change the orientation of their minds. Moreover, let us continue guiding and nurturing them until they join us in working for the salvation of others.
Let us keep working tirelessly toward the realization of the world of joy where God and humankind dwell in perfect union, a world where all people throughout the world are aware of the Parent of Origin and are awakened to the truth that all human beings are brothers and sisters so that they can live harmoniously together while helping one another. Over the “three years, one thousand days” leading up to the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama, I hope with all my heart that all of us Yoboku, who are Oyasama’s instruments, will maintain a full awareness of our mission and strive to carry out our work, thereby bringing joy to the ever-living Oyasama.
October 26, 2012 (Tenrikyo 175)