Life of Oyasama Chapter 10-3

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The Life of Oyasama
Chapter One
The Shrine of Tsukihi (1837–1838)
Chapter Two
The Early History of Oyasama (1798–1837)
Chapter Three
On the Way
(1838–1852), (1853–1854), (1862–1864)
Chapter Four
The Place for the Service (1864), (1865–1866)
Chapter Five
The Salvation Service (1866–1882)
Chapter Six
The Identification of the Jiba
(1869–1873), (Jan–Nov 1874), (Dec 1874), (1875), (1876–1877)
Chapter Seven
Buds Sprout from Knots
(1878–1880), (1881)
Chapter Eight
Parental Love
(pp. 121–124), (pp. 124–131), (pp. 132–137), (pp. 137–146), (pp. 146–157), (pp. 157–165), (pp. 165–168)
Chapter Nine
The Hardships of Oyasama
(Jan–Sep 1882),
(Oct–Dec 1882),
(Jan–Jun 1883), (Jul–Dec 1883), (1884), (1885), (Jan–Apr 1886),(May–Dec 1886)
Chapter Ten
The Portals Opened
(Jan 1–11, 1887),
(Jan 12–13, 1887),
(Jan 18–Feb 18, 1887)
Life of Oyasama Chapter 10-3 presents a portion of the contents of Chapter Ten from The Life of Oyasama as published by Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. The title of the chapter is "Portals Opened."

The content below is equivalent to pages 233–242 of the print edition.

Note: The print edition of has been split into three sections on this wiki due to length of text. The chapter is split as follows:

  1. Life of Oyasama Chapter 10-1 (January 1–11, 1887)
  2. Life of Oyasama Chapter 10-2 (January 12–13, 1887)
  3. Life of Oyasama Chapter 10-3 (January 18–February 18, 1887)


From the night of January 18, the Service was performed every day. And on January 24, New Year's Day by the lunar calendar, Oyasama felt very well. She got up from bed, faced everyone, and said:

Sah, sah, you have discussed thoroughly, thoroughly. For the first time since this Residence began, you have discussed thoroughly. It has been accepted fully.

Her satisfaction and Her overflowing parental love are clearly evident in Her words. It can also be assumed that Her words were addressed to the followers who gathered to give Her their New Year's greetings. Due to Her recent condition, the followers were able to advance the development of their minds by various approaches, and thus, Oyasama gave greetings of satisfaction on New Year's Day.

Import: For the first time since the Residence began, you have discussed thoroughly. I have accepted all of your minds fully.

The daily performance of the Kagura and the Teodori which had begun on the night of January 18 was continued until the night of February 17. Despite the cold of midwinter, the performers doused themselves with cold water in rites of purification as they prayed sincerely for Oyasama's recovery.

Oyasama continued to feel better, and about February 13, She put on Her clogs, went into the garden, and walked about, seemingly fit.

However, on the night of February 17, in retrospect, the last night Oyasama was to be physically manifest in this world, Her condition worsened. An inquiry was made through Izo Iburi. Then:

Opening the portals

Sah, sah, I shall begin to level the ground completely. Sah, sah, with the portals opened, opened, I shall level the ground all over the world. Sah, I shall step out to level the ground. Sah, sah, shall I open the portals and level the ground? Shall I close the portals and level the ground?

Import: In the eyes of God the Parent, all human beings are brothers and sisters. From the standpoint of the soul, there is not the least bit of difference between the high and the low. If all people in the world meet with one another on the level of equality, as true brothers and sisters, the world of the Joyous Life will begin. In other words, God wishes to bring the minds of all people to the same level. Should this be done with the portals opened or closed?

At this, all who were present replied, "Please open the portals and level the ground." At that moment, the fan used for the invocation flew open. Then:

The approaching confrontation. . . . You may not know what confrontation it is. I draw everyone, everyone, everyone to Me. I draw anything and everything to Me. Drawing everything to Me, I shall open the portals to the whole world, open, open, open. Everything will be entirely changed.

Import: The truth of God and the truths of the world have finally come to a confrontation. To open a path to world salvation, God has drawn all kinds of people and all kinds of affairs to the Residence of Origin. While drawing forth all kinds of people and affairs, I shall open the portals and step out to save the world. Then the state of the Path will change completely.

Following this, another request was made for church establishment, "May we proceed with worldly matters?" Then:

It will not do, will not do, will not do.

Import: Do not mistake the issue. There are more pressing matters at hand.

Dawn broke on that fateful day, February 18, which was January 26 by the lunar calendar, the day of the Service. This day, on which the Service performance had taken place each month, was especially significant because now, through Oyasama's condition, God the Parent was urging the performance of the Service. A great number of worshipers from neighboring villages and districts had assembled. Moreover, the police were keeping strict watch. A single mistake would result in the arrest of the ailing Oyasama. Caught in this dilemma, the disciples could not decide what to do. They made an inquiry as to the will of God. Then:

Sah, sah, on any matter whatever, you must listen and understand well, understand well, understand well. Sah, sah, each and every matter. . . . Sah, I have instructed you night after night, night after night, night after night. On this one matter, I told you to do it now, to do it at once. I instructed you to do it immediately. Sah, now, at this time, I am in haste. Some of you say, "Respond to God's will at once." Others say, "Be prudent." Still others say, "Wait awhile." Sah, sah, concerning the one thing, do you fear the law, the law? Do you fear God or do you fear the law? It is useless to hesitate. The Service must be performed at any cost. I have told you this many times before. I am not instructing you in something new at this time. Which path will you take? Do not ask Me such a question. You should understand by this one instruction.

Import: The answer to the problem is no different from what I have been telling you over and over again. I told you long ago. Listen! When I say, "Now," begin immediately. Listen! When I say, "Now," begin immediately. Now hurry and begin. You ask Me to wait while you make petitions to the authorities. This is not the time for such leisure! Are you afraid of the law? Are not the words of the Parent precious? Where are you putting the emphasis in your faith? You must think carefully. I have instructed you thoroughly from long ago where the thought of God the Parent lies. It has already been explained. The present, appointed time is not the time to be making inquiries. This much said, you can surely understand.

Having received these words, all followers were reaching a firm resolve when, at about noon, Oyasama's condition grew extremely critical. Now their resolve was firm. Shinnosuke said to them, "Only those should perform who are willing to risk their lives no matter what measures the police use to stop the Service." Thus prepared, those who were to perform the Service put on two sets of underclothing and two pairs of tabi, in preparation for their arrest. Then at about one o'clock in the afternoon, the Service with the musical instruments included was begun boldly. The performers were: Singers—Tokichi Izumita, Narazo Hirano; Kagura—Shinnosuke, Kikutaro Maegawa, Masajin Iburi, Risaburo Yamamoto, Naokichi Takai, Isaburo Masui, Chusaku Tsuji, Chuzaburo Koda, Iso Ueda, Yonosuke Okada; Teodori—Yonosuke Shimizu, Risaburo Yamamoto, Naokichi Takai, Isaburo Masui, Chusaku Tsuji, Yonosuke Okada; musical instrumentskoto, Tamae Nakayama; shamisen, Yoshie Iburi; tsuzumi, Kiyoshi Hashimoto.

Tamae, just a child then, who had been told by Shinnosuke to take part in the Service that day, also performed. Those assigned to the management of the Residence were Shirobei Umetani, Shobei Masuno, and Matsujiro Kajimoto. There was a total of nineteen people.

The Service was performed with the Kanrodai at center. A great number of worshipers had assembled at the time of the Service that day. It is said that their number swelled to several thousand and the bamboo placed as a fence on the south and east sides of the Place for the Service to keep the worshipers back was finally smashed to bits. The Service was begun at about one o'clock that day but not a single police officer came. Thus, the Service was performed without mishap, which to the followers was a miracle indeed.

However, just when the last line of Song Twelve, "all the members of carpenters have assembled," was ending, Oyasama, who had been listening to the cheerful sounds of the musical instruments contentedly, showed a slight change. Hisa, who was close by, asked, "Do You wish some water?" Oyasama gave a faint reply:


When the water was offered to Her, She took three sips. Then, to the query, "Grandmother?" there was no reply. Not having changed Her position, Her head was to the north and Her face to the west; Oyasama lay quietly, with one hand resting against Hisa's breast and the other upon Her own, as if peacefully asleep. Hisa, greatly alarmed, called out loudly: "Is there anyone around? Please go call Shinnosuke quickly." Informed, Shinnosuke came running immediately. Tamae and Omasa followed, running.

When Tamae arrived, Shinnosuke shouted, "Tamae, come quickly."

Tamae had misgivings about his shouting when Grandmother was asleep. Then she was told by Hisa, who was beside Oyasama, "Dear, Grandmother has come to this." Leading Tamae's hand to Oyasama's face, Hisa continued, "Cold, isn't She? Grandmother isn't speaking anymore." After being told this, Tamae understood for the first time and burst into tears. Shinnosuke comforted her, telling her not to cry, and then relayed the news to everyone immediately.

The Service safely completed, the elated performers were returning from the place for the Kanrodai, when they heard the news. They cried out pathetically in a single voice, filled with deep sadness. Utter silence followed; not even a cough was heard.

Oyasama had withdrawn from physical life at the same time the Service had ended, at about two o'clock in the afternoon, as if asleep. She was in Her ninetieth year.

Her followers felt as if the very ground on which they stood had crumbled away, as if the sun and the moon had ceased to shine, as if the world were enveloped in darkness. Separated from their true Parent, whom they had adored and yearned after for so many years and held irreplaceable in their hearts, they cried sorrowfully as if their very bodies and minds would melt away. Furthermore, having always been taught that the life span is one hundred and fifteen years, the followers believed that, while others might not, Oyasama Herself would surely live to be one hundred and fifteen. This, they firmly believed themselves and taught to others as well. Moreover, since the Service was performed that day, they were buoyed in high spirits and confident that divine protection would surely be received. Now, however, they fell into a state of utter shock and despair. Everyone did nothing but cry, their heads bowed, without even the strength to speak. Then, realizing that nothing would come from this, they regained their senses and made an inquiry for divine directions through Izo Iburi on the second floor of the storehouse. The following words came:

The truth of the everliving Oyasama

Sah, sah, I shall level the ground. Has everyone assembled, has everyone assembled? Listen and understand well. All that I have said until now was put into a container of truth. But now God has opened the portals and stepped out. Because of My love for you, My children, the Parent shortened Her life by twenty-five years to step out and save the world from now. Observe well. Observe well what the path has been and what the path will become. When I asked whether I should open the portals or keep them closed to level the ground, you answered, "Please open the portals and level the ground." I have done as you wished. Sah, there was a thing I had intended to give to My children but I was not able. I shall bestow this truth on you step by step hereafter. Remember this well.

Import: Now I shall begin to make the ground of this world level. What I have said thus far was put into a container of truth. But now at last, God the Parent has stepped out through the opened portals of the Shrine. Everything will change. All because the children are so dear, to enhance their spiritual growth, I have cut short the twenty-five years of life that was to be, resulting in the sudden withdrawal. At last, from now on I shall hurry about the world to save humankind. Watch carefully. Observe well how things will change from what they are. Yesterday, when I asked whether I should open the portals and level the ground or close the portals and level the ground, didn't you answer, "Please open the portals and level the ground"? God the Parent has answered precisely in accordance with your request. I had wanted to give gifts to My children, but I was not able to. From now into the future, I shall gradually bestow the Grants.

Upon hearing this explanation, everyone was struck with regret, but what was said yesterday could not be taken back today. When the reply was given to God yesterday, no one had the slightest notion that it meant Oyasama would withdraw. But when it was further explained that even after Oyasama had withdrawn from physical life, She remains alive in spirit and continues to work, the followers finally found solace in the realization: "Of course. That is the way it is. Oyasama will work for the salvation of all humankind just as She did before but without a physical body."

Sah, sah, I am still living here. I have not gone anywhere, not gone anywhere. You must look at the path of daily life and ponder.

Osashizu, March 17, 1890

Oyasama, whose parental heart is dedicated solely to the salvation of all Her children, underwent every kind of difficulty and trial in high spirits to open a path of salvation for all humankind, and, in order to hasten their spiritual growth, cut short Her own physical life by twenty-five years. But the heart of Tsukihi remains alive now and forever at the Residence of Origin, providing for the growth of all humankind to spiritual maturity. Indeed, the miracles of salvation which occur daily stand as proof of the continuing life and work of Oyasama.

To Tsukihi, all of you in the world are My children. Love for you fills Me: this is My single heart.

Ofudesaki 17:16


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External link to Japanese text of Chapter Ten

第十章 扉ひらいて

See also