Good morning. I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the November Monthly Service here at Tenrikyo Pearl Church and thank you for your kind and sincere offerings. I am sure God the Parent and Oyasama is really happy to see you all here today and to have performed the service with joy and in high spirits!
IZANAGI NO MIKOTO and IZANAMI NO MIKOTO
In the ten aspects of God’s providence they are respectively described as the model of man the seed and the model woman the seed plot. This explanation doesn’t say much except that the model of man is the seed and that the model of woman is the seed plot. To get further explanation we need to look at the Truth of Origin.
In the Truth of Origin, we read:
“In the beginning, the world was a muddy ocean. Tsukihi, God the Parent, finding this chaos unbearable tasteless, thought of creating human beings in order to see the Joyous Life and thus share in that joy.
Looking carefully through the muddy ocean, God saw a fish and a serpent amid many loaches. Planning to make them into husband and wife, God summoned them. Discerning their single-heartedness, God optained their consent and received them…”
Moving on to the third paragraph, we read:
“Continuing, God summoned an orc from the northeast and a turtle from the southeast. Again, after obtaining their consent, God received them and, after consuming them to test the flavor of their minds, determined their natures. Then God decided to use the orc as the instrument of the male organ, of bones and support; and the turtle as the instrument of the female organ, of skin and joining. Then God put the orc into the fish and the turtle into the serpent and established them as models of man and woman. God gave the sacred names of Izanagi-no-Mikoto to the model of man, the seed and Izanami-no-Mikoto to the model of woman. To the divine principles of these instruments, God gave the names Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto and Kunisazuchi-no-Mikoto, respectively.”
The Truth of Creation starts with, “In the beginning, the world was a muddy ocean.” Although it sounds like a myth, it teaches us how to change our minds so that this “muddy world” and be changed to a joyous world. This story is an important message for us to apply in the present situation.
In applying our faith to daily life, we need figure out each person’s characteristic and personality to utilize them in the best way possible that will benefit everyone as a whole. Conversely, those who are being utilized should take the initiative in understanding, complying and in contributing to the best of their abilities and talents.
Izanagi-no-Mikoto is the sacred name given to the truth of the model of man, the seed – the fish into which God put the orc. Izanami-no-Mikoto is the sacred name given to the truth of the model of woman, the seedplot – serpent into which God put the turtle. Although Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto is also mentioned in Japanese Myth have no relation with Tenrikyo, except that they both mean “husband and wife.”
The fish and the serpent found by God the Parent did not immediately become Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto. Only after God the Parent took them up and consumed them to test the flavor of their minds, put into them the orc and turtle, and gave them the truth as the model of man and woman, did they become Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto. In other words, Izanagi and Izanami-no-Mikoto has the characteristics of Tsukiyomi and Kunisazuchi-no-Mikoto.
Later on in the Truth of Origin we read:
“Thus, the models and instruments having been determined, the creation of human beings was begun. First God consumed all the loaches in the muddy ocean, tested the flavors of their nature, and made them the seeds for human beings. Then God the Parent, as Tsuki-sama (the Moon), entered the body of Izanagi-no-Mikoto and, as Hi-sama (the Sun), entered the body of Izanami-no-Mikoto and taught them the providence of creating human beings. Then nine hundred million, ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine seeds were put into the body of Izanami-no-Mikoto in three days and three nights. Izanami-no-Mikoto remained there for three years and three months and gave birth in seventy-five days to as many children as there were seeds.”
“The first children thus born were all half an inch (5 bu) tall. Growing taller gradually, they reached a height of three inches (3 sun) in ninety-nine years. Then they all passed away for rebirth and their father, Izanagi-no-Mikoto, withdrew from physical life. However, Izanami-no-Mikoto again conceived the original number of children by the divine providence already taught her and, after ten months, gave birth to them again. The children, then too, were half an inch tall at birth and, after growing to three and a half inches (3 sun, 5 bu) in ninety-nine years, all passed away for rebirth once more.
Then the children were conceived for the third time. They again born half an inch tall and, this time, grew to four inches (4 sun) in ninety-nine years. At that time, their mother, Izanami-no-Mikoto, said, ‘Now that they have grown so tall, in time they will reach the height of human beings five feet tall,’ and with a smile, withdrew from physical life. Then all her children, too, passed away for rebirth, deeply yearning for their mother.”
As you can see Izanagi and Izanami-no-Mikoto served diligently and willingly in their roles as seed and seed plot. In the same way husband and wife must serve diligently and willingly in fulfilling their respective roles in life. It is an undeniable fact that we must have a husband and a wife to serve as seed and seed plot in the perpetuation of human life and husband and wife serve as the basis for the joyous life. In 2nd verse of the seated service we sing:
Just a word to you, to what God is saying
Listen please, Any wrong things to you I will never say
With this world’s, earth and heaven as a model
Husband and wife were created and thus came to be,
This is this world’s beginning.
The husband takes role of heaven which is to have a heart as large as heaven and as a man take responsibility to protect and support the family. The wife is assigned the role of earth, which is to receive and absorb the waste or trash of human thinking and relations, and use them as fertilizer to nurture the family.
This is fine for married couples, but what about people who are divorced or people who cannot marry. What roles do they have?
God the Parent gathered and used the various instruments to create human beings. In the same way, we has different human beings can take on different roles to create the joyous life world. How can we do this?
By being fully aware of the complete providence of God the Parent, we become aware of the great significance of the teaching of a thing lent, a thing borrowed, which is an essential concept in this faith.
In the Ofudesaki, we read:
So long as you remain unknowing that the body is a thing borrowed,
you can understand nothing at all. III: 137
This means that if we do not really understand the true meaning of this teaching, we cannot lead the true Joyous Life, no matter how much knowledge we have.
Rev. Tadamasa Fukaya writes: Many Yoboku are drawn to Tenrikyo churches, in which each church has received the Truth of the Jiba of Origin, the Residence of Origin. The churches serve as practice halls of single-hearted salvation. A church head minister discerns the character and maturity of each Yoboku and assigns a mission for single-hearted salvation. The Yoboku then devotes himself to aiding ordinary people to be spiritually reborn as children of God.
Everyone who comes to church has causality. It is natural that there are various personalities: some who like talking, some are straight forward; some take responsibility and so on. A church encompasses all these people, each person having a different aptitude for playing different roles in the church. In this respect, it is important to help each other as brothers and sisters, understanding the intention of the church head minister, which for me is to become a model of the joyous life. In this service we have just performed, each of us are assigned a different instrument or position and in performing as one we call on God’s power and blessing, the same as God’s creation of human beings. This unity of mind is the great moving force that will bring about miraculous blessings of healing, good health, good fortune and build the joyous world.
In the eyes of God, we are all equal, but have different roles in attaining the joyous life. Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto exemplified their respective roles as the model of man, the seed and the model of woman, the seedplot.
- I would like to thank everyone for your support of Trick or Treat for UNICEF fund drive. As all of you know people are still recovering from disasters in Samoa, Philippines and Indonesia and UNICEF is taking an active part in helping the survivors. Your donation will help in their recovery efforts.
- Also, the mission headquarters collecting donations for the disaster relief fund from which a $1,000 donation was made to each of the disaster areas of Samoa, Philippines and Indonesia. You can make checks out to Tenrikyo Pearl Church with a note indicating disaster relief fund in which case Pearl Church will make a lump sum donation to the MHQ or you can make your donation direct to THD.
- As we announced last month Sara Saltman won the Tenrikyo Essay Contest, her essay is published in this month’s newsletter, so please do take the time to read it.
- Due to your support I was able take part in the October Pilgrimage last month to attend the Tengen and Church HQ grand services at the same time; I made the purchase of the new taiko and surigane and brought them back to Hawaii with the help of Tenrikyo members Dan Higaki and Maui church head minister Rev. Mark Hisao. At this time I would like to thank everyone for their donations and fundraising efforts with the collection of deposit containers and help with yard work.
- We are still continuing our fundraising efforts with the deposit for our next project which is the repainting of Pearl Church next summer.
- The BGA Leaders Fun Camp will be held on Friday & Saturday, November 27 & 28 after Thanksgiving Day. Please encourage your BGA members 12 and above to participate as we have scheduled fun and educational activities.