The Importance of Jiba Pilgrimage

Good morning.  I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the February 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!

THE IMPORTANCE OF JIBA PILGRIMAGE

Every day, we make hundreds of decisions which affect our lives in some way or another; from the time we wake up to the time we fall asleep.  When we hear the alarm clock ring, we make a decision to wake up right away, press the snooze button for the few extra minutes of sleep or just continue sleeping.  We make a decision to fix breakfast for the family or let everyone fend for themselves.  We make a decision to go to work or call in sick.  We make a decision to help someone in need or put it off.  We make a decision to perform the service or we decide not to, thinking that we don’t have any time.  All these decisions we make, will, as a whole, form our character.  It will determine what kind of person we will become and also what kind of world we live in.

Let’s take the example of waking up.  If we’ve set a certain time for the alarm to ring, then that’s the time we have set for our self to wake up and do the things we need to get done.  By snoozing or continuing in our sleep we’re basically not following through on what we set out to do. We’ve all heard the excuses: “I’m sleepy, I’m tired.” Well it’s understandable if it happens just once in a while. But if this becomes a habit, we may end up being a person who doesn’t follow through on our word.  Basically we become an “undependable person.”  Whereas, if we wake up right away even if we feel sleepy, and we make it a habit, we become a person who is dependable and a person who people can trust.

How about the decision to use the copy machine at work for personal copying? It’s against company rules, but we might think that it’s just a small thing that the company won’t miss it so we go ahead and make a couple copies.  Nobody saw us so it’s ok.  Or that’s what we think… But actually it is dishonest. It’s these small and seemingly harmless acts that accumulates and makes us what we are in the inside.  Perhaps not so pure as we should be.

How about the example of praying for someone who is sick?  Most of us here are Yoboku, so we have the Truth of Sazuke to pray for someone who is ill.  But you don’t have to be a Yoboku to pray for someone.  You can perform a special service for that sick person. So if someone tells us that they are sick… of course, we’re not going to say, “Good luck!” and be on our merry way.  Most of us would show some kind of compassion and say a few words of advice to help remedy the illness, like “drink a lot of liquids and get some rest.”  But how many of us would offer to administer the sazuke or perform a special prayer service? For some of us, we might take the easy way out: “I’m too busy”, “he might think I’m trying to convert him” or “now is not a good time.”  The sazuke or prayer is not about being logical, it’s not about our convenience and it’s not about converting people. It’s about true sincerity, the single-hearted desire to have God work through us to help this person. This is where God is watching and waiting for us to make the right decision. It’s the decision that will bring peace to this world.  

This April the Women’s Association will be celebrating their 100th Anniversary since its establishment in 1910.  The Hawaii Chapter has set a goal of 300 members to return to Jiba to attend Oyasama’s Birthday Service on April 18th and the Women’s Association Convention on April 19th.  From Pearl Church we have 5 persons plus 2 infants so far committed to go so naturally, we would like to encourage as many of you as possible to return to Jiba at this time.  For some of us, it’s only natural to return to Jiba as much as we can to pay our respects to God the Parent at the place of origin. However, for some, it’s like, “What’s the big deal? What’s so important about return to Jiba?  And why we gotta now?

For starters, it is the place where we came from, the place of original conception of all human beings
In the Ofudesaki, we read,

    There at the Jiba,

    I began all the human beings in this world.      XVII: 7

    The Jiba in Nihon is the native place

    of all people in the world.           XVII: 8

    Until now, no one has known the Jiba of Origin,

    where I began the human beings of this world.     XVII: 34

These verses explicitly state that God created human beings at Jiba.  The Jiba is the place of creation and there is nowhere anywhere else in the world that anyone can make this claim.

    You are calling this place the Jiba, the Residence of God,

    in Yamato, but you may not know the origin.     I: 4

    When you learn of this origin in full,

    a great yearning will come over you, whoever you may be.  I: 5

“A great yearning will come over you” means that you’re going have a great wanting or a strong desire. That strong desire would be to return to the origin.  It might be similar to going back to our home for Thanksgiving or Christmas where our parents are waiting to see us or perhaps we might have a strong desire or yearning to know about our family roots.

    If you wish to hear and will come to Me,

    I shall teach you the original cause of all things.     I: 6

    As this place is the Jiba of Origin,

    there is nothing unknown about the beginning.     VII: 4

We go there, we return to Jiba to receive the Truth.  What truth am I talking about?  The Truth about the Origin: that God the Parent created humans beings, that we were created at the Jiba, the truth that we were created for a purpose and the truth that Oyasama gave us the Divine Model, which is the way for us to live the Joyous Life.

      When we know where we came from, we will know where we should go.  When we know why and how we came to be, we will know why and how we should live.

    Because the Jiba of Origin and the causality of origin exist,

    Tsukihi works freely and unlimitedly.       VIII: 47

    As proof of My beginning of human beings,

    I shall put the Kanrodai into place.        XVII: 9

In Jiba, the Kanrodai is a sacred stand that marks the exact spot of creation.  This is the center of worship where we pray from all sides.

Why do we need to go at this time of the Women’s Association 100th Anniversary?  It is because of the seasonal time.  As in the planting season, if we do not plant the seeds of sincerity at the right time, it will not sprout properly or not at all. This is the time and this is the Truth that you will receive. Make the right decision and return to Jiba for the Women’s Association 100th Anniversary!

Announcements

  1. I would like to thank everyone for your support for the BGA Leadership Camp and New Year Park Cleanup and BBQ Picnic.  The LC held on 1/30-31, Sat and Sun, had 3 participants from Pearl Church and 3 adult leaders, while the Park Cleanup and BBQ Picnic with over 100 people, had 20 persons from Pearl Church.  Thank you very much for our support!
  2. Also just as a report, we hosted two home stay students from Tenri Kyoko Gakuen High School who stayed for one week learning English at the Mission HQ along with 17 other students of the same school.
  3. Thank you for bringing your deposit cans and bottles for our fundraising drive. We are still continuing our fundraising efforts for our next project which is the repainting of Pearl Church this summer.  Please continue bringing your deposit cans and bottles and any yard work referrals.
  4. The All TCC Hinokishin day will be held tomorrow, President’s Day at the Tenri Cultural Center from 9am to 11am with lunch being served at 11am.
  5. Just a reminder that this year’s BGA camp will be held in May, the Memorial Day weekend, instead of in March due to schedule conflict with MHQ activities.

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