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Dusts of the Mind
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Dust is the standard gloss of hokori, a metaphoric term that refer to “uses” of the mind that are not in accord with God’s intention. Although it is a convention to write “hokori” in hiragana in Tenrikyo literature (ほこり), it is sometimes with written with the kanji 埃.

Furthermore, although it is true that “hokori” can be written with the kanji 誇り which means “pride”[1], it is not a common translation in English texts published by Tenrikyo.

The eight dusts

Although only five misuses of the mind are explicitly identified as “dust” in the Ofudesaki[2], the Tenrikyo tradition usually lists the following eight:

  1. miserliness (oshii)
  2. covetousness (hoshii)
  3. hatred (nikui)
  4. self-love (kawai)
  5. grudge-bearing (urami)
  6. anger (haradachi)
  7. greed (yoku)
  8. arrogance (koman)

There exists a variety of compilations (toki-wake) of these eight types of dust with variances in the explanations of each. It is a common practice to read aloud and study one of these compilations of the eight dusts after the daily services. This practice has especially taken greater importance since the Mission Department of Church Headquarters announced a drive in May 2011 to promote learning the eight dusts along with the ten aspects of God’s providence.[3]

Early versions of these compilations, presumably based on Oyasama’s oral teachings, include those attributed to Chusaku Tsuji and Taemon Yamada. The explanation contained at the end of the Book of the Besseki Lecture, is especially considered an authoritative version of the eight dusts.

Here is one version, from Yoboku’s Guide to Tenrikyo:

Miserliness: The dust of miserliness is to begrudge giving our services; to begrudge paying an imposed charge; to begrudge fulfilling our social responsibilities; to begrudge returning things borrowed; and to begrudge doing one's share of work while imposing it on others.
Covetousness: The dust of covetousness is to enviously crave for money without making any effort to earn it; to desire good clothes or good food beyond one's means; and to desire more things, knowing what we have is enough.
Hatred: The dust of hatred is to take offense at someone's advice given in good faith and hate this person; to hate our in-laws; to slander and ridicule others behind their backs; and to condemn not the offense but its perpetrator.
Self-love: The dust of self-love is to care only about ourselves, forgetting others; to be so attached to our children as to allow them to make unreasonable demands about food or clothes and play when they should be doing chores; to dote on our children so much as not to correct their behavior; and to speak badly of others in an effort to defend our egos.
Grudge-bearing: The dust of grudge-bearing is to bear a grudge against others, claiming someone has caused us to lose face or kept us from gaining what we desire; to bear ill will because of something said; and to hold a grudge against someone without looking at our own lack of merit.
Anger: The dust of anger is to become angry when someone has said unpleasant things about us or done something contrary to our expectations; and to feel anger at others' refusal to accept our point of view when we unreasonably insist on our own opinion rather than trying to understand theirs.
Greed: The dust of greed is to want to have more of everything; to make profits by cheating or giving someone short measure; to steal or misappropriate what belongs to others; and to succumb to lust.
Arrogance: The dust of arrogance is to be puffed up with self-importance; to be domineering; to look down on others by abusing our wealth or power; to hold others in contempt by boasting that we are knowledgeable; to find fault with others; and to pretend to know what we really don't.

Falsehood and flattery

Although not referred to as “dust” per se, falsehood and flattery are nonetheless (mis)uses of the mind that several verses in the Ofudesaki warns readers against indulging in.[4] A passage from the Osashizu also describes that falsehood and flattery “become the foundation of great dusts.”[5]

Other misuses of the mind

Other passages from the Osashizu also happen to identify other unproductive states of mind. They include passages noting that:

  • Worrying over human obligations such as reservation and hesitancy (enryo-kigane) amounts to a dust.[6]
  • Jealousy is a source of dust.[7]
  • Failing to uphold what had been instructed becomes the foundation/basis of dust.[5]
  • A request to cast away doubt (utaguri 疑ぐり) and envy (sonemi そねみ) happens to be included in a request to cast away covetousness, miserliness, grudge-bearing.[8]

Appearances/frequency of “hokori/dust(s)” in Scripture

See Also

External links


  1. “Pride” is how hokori is rendered in The Emergence of Meiji Japan, p. 112.
  2. Ofudesaki 3:96 merely identifies miserliness, covetousness, self-love, greed, and arrogance as dusts. Grudge-bearing is warned against but not explicitly identified as a dust. Anger (haradachi or human anger) appears in a variant form (hara no tatsu) in verse Ofudesaki 5:23. Hatred does not appear in the Ofudesaki at all, though it does appear in a few instances in the Osashizu.
  3. Tenrikyo Online: Drive to Further Promote the Ten Aspects of God’s Providence and the Eight Dusts Announced
  4. See Ofudesaki 03:039, Ofudesaki 11:008, and Ofudesaki 12:111–113.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Osashizu 1898-05-09 night.
  6. Osashizu 1891-11-15 night 1 am.
  7. Osashizu 1900-05-17 Matsumura.
  8. Osashizu 1895-10-07
  9. 『おふでさき索引』 Ofudesaki sakuin, p. 209.
  10. 『おさしづ索引』 Osashizu sakuin, pp. 2281–2282 (vol. 2 pp. 311–312).