Tenrikyo Pearl Church May 2004 Monthly Service Sermon
by Taeko Nakao
Good morning and thank you for coming to the Pearl church May Monthly Service. I’m sure God the Parent and Oyasama are very happy to see you here today.
I would also like to thank you for your sincere contribution and dedication.
Please allow me to share a short story to you about’
About two months ago, in early March, while a missionary from Dendocho and I were walking the McCully area house to house, we met a man who was suffering from a serious illness called Hepatitis C. We administered the Sazuke (the Divine Grant) on him. One week later, Reverend Owen visited him for the prayer and came home saying that he said that he is totally free from Hepatitis C now. His doctor also couldn’t believe, so another blood test was scheduled to make sure if he is negative or not. The results were to be reported on March 30th so he is waiting for this, he said. I couldn’t believe my ears and said, ‘That must be a different person!’
His symptom is the worst case and he was experiencing short breath, swollen legs and had a hard time walking. After the first time we administered the Sazuke his breathing came back to normal, and after the 2nd and 3rd times, his swollen feet had come down and he was able to ride a bicycle for quite a long distance. His health came back miraculously.
In some degree, some people are serious and some are slight, but most of us are experiencing some kind of illness. God is not giving us pain or making us suffer intentionally. This is nothing but a guidance from God the Parent.
We read in the OFUDESAKI (Part 14: 20, 21) that’
Whatever is done, is done by Tsukihi.
Whatever happens, know that it is nit an illness.
Whatever I do to the body,
It is not an illness but the care of Tsukihi.
I believe that there are no such parents who make their children experience pain and suffering. God is just like our Parent and we are all children of God. Because God the Parent wants us to lead a happy and joyous life, God the Parent guides us through illness and problems.
In the MIKAGURAUTA Song 10 it is said,
Though illness is so trying,
No one has ever known its origin
Until this time all of you equally
Have been ignorant of the origin of illness.
This time, it has been revealed.
The origin of illness lies in your own mind
Then what kind of mind should we use in our daily lives?
In the OSASHIZU (THE DIVINE DIRECTION) it is said,
The seeds that are sown which are of the seeds of joy and gratitude will return ten thousand fold (times). The basis for the joyous life is to have a joyous and appreciative attitude.
On the contrary to the joyous mind, you may feel unsatisfied, and complain about everything. There are many things in our lives that are difficult to find joy in. However, finding the joy in these situations will return as blessings to us ten thousand times.
In the OSASHIZU (The Divine Direction) it is said,
God is advising us with the Eight Mental Dusts, Eight Mental Dusts. It is not only to hear and acknowledge the Eight Mental Dusts, but you should understand and nourish yourself with these teachings. Through the daily service, you will come to understand and nourish yourself, and can ‘sweep’ away the wrong thoughts. It is just like a beautiful picture on the wall. We can only see the beauty from afar. However, we can experience the beauty in the picture if we can cleanse our minds. If we are dissatisfied and not happy, we should reflect on our daily thoughts and actions and cleanse our mind. This is how we are able to get closer to the Joyous life.
When I encounter a sick person, I always try to pray, to administer the Sazuke. Why do we administer the Sazuke? Through the Sazuke, we would be able to bring about the salvation of the soul. If we are merely aiming to cure illnesses, there would probably be times when doctors and medicines were more effective. Or, sometimes the body may heal itself without any help.
Accordingly, it is true that people turn to the Sazuke for help when medical assistance was no longer effective. Medical care provided for the human body and mind might help to cure them, but they still would not able to affect the salvation of the human soul.
I may have mentioned before that the existence of human beings consist from three sides. One is the physical body, second is the mind which is the mental side, and third, a spiritual side. I would think this spiritual side is the connection to the soul.
I believe that through the administering the Sazuke prayer, our soul will be cleansed and become purified. On the other hand, there are people whose physical bodies were cured by medicine, but their souls remain ill. Their minds are still full of complaints not even after they have been cured of their disease. I believe that those people are not living a joyous life. Therefore, we must administer the Sazuke for the salvation of their soul.
Every prayer cleans one’s soul and there is a deep meaning behind it. God the Parent is urging us to cleanse our minds daily.
Here is a story from the Anecdotes of Oyasama titled ‘True Salvation.’
In 1882, wife of Yohei Yamamoto who was then 40 years old received such marvelous salvation that she was completely healed of a leg ailment of long duration. At the moment of her healing, as she rose to her feet, her leg and hip joints gave out cracking sounds from the long disease. Yet the trembling of her hands did not cease.
She worried about it very much, even though it did not seem serious. She returned to Jiba in the summer of 1884. When she was received by Oyasama, she begged, holding out her trembling hands, ‘May I ask you to breath upon these?’ Then Oyasama instructed Isa:
‘It would be very easy to breath upon them. But your trembling hands seem of little inconvenience since you have already been saved from your serious leg ailment. Rather than being cured completely, it is better that you have some trouble left to be healed; then you will understand the INNEN (The mind how you used until then) of your previous lives and be continually reminded of it. This will lead you true salvation.
People tend to wish nothing but to be completely cured. But what is most important is to gain virtue that will lead to true salvation. So I lend you this book instead of breathing upon your hands. Have this book copied and read it every day.’ Oyasama lent her a complete set of the 17 parts of the OFUDESAKI.
From that time on, her trembling hands no longer bothered her. For the rest of her life, she read the OFUDESAKI which had been copied for her by her own father, and she spread the teachings to whomever she met. She was so blessed that she lived to be 89 years old.
Thank you very much for your kind attention!
Tenrikyo Pearl Church May 2004 Monthly Service Sermon