Life of Oyasama Chapter 7-1
|The Life of Oyasama|
|The Shrine of Tsukihi (1837–1838)|
|The Early History of Oyasama (1798–1837)|
|On the Way |
(1838–1852), (1853–1854), (1862–1864)
|The Place for the Service (1864), (1865–1866)|
|The Salvation Service (1866–1882)|
|The Identification of the Jiba |
(1869–1873), (Jan–Nov 1874), (Dec 1874), (1875), (1876–1877)
| Buds Sprout from Knots |
| Parental Love |
(pp. 121–124), (pp. 124–131), (pp. 132–137), (pp. 137–146), (pp. 146–157), (pp. 157–165), (pp. 165–168)
| The Hardships of Oyasama |
(Jan–Jun 1883), (Jul–Dec 1883), (1884), (1885), (Jan–Apr 1886),(May–Dec 1886)
|The Portals Opened |
(Jan 1–11, 1887),
(Jan 12–13, 1887),
(Jan 18–Feb 18, 1887)
Life of Oyasama Chapter 7-1 presents a portion of the contents of Chapter Seven of The Life of Oyasama as published by Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. The title of the chapter is "Buds Sprout from Knots." The content below is equivalent to pages 105 to 112 of the print edition.
Note: The print edition of Chapter Seven has been split into two sections on this wiki due to length of text. The chapter is split as follows:
- Life of Oyasama Chapter 7-1 (1878–1880)
- Life of Oyasama Chapter 7-2 (1881)
After having reached the age of eighty, Oyasama often underwent the hardship of being taken to police stations and jails, despite the fact that She had committed no crime. Oyasama continued to teach the path of world salvation, and instances of miraculous salvation occurred one after another. In response, the opposition of the public intensified and control by the authorities became more severe. Nevertheless, the intention of God the Parent steadily spread far and wide, not only to the nearby provinces of Kawachi, Osaka, and Yamashiro, but also to the most remote corners of the country. The vigor with which the faith spread invited envy and jealousy ever more strongly. At the occurrence of each miraculous salvation, the raised voices of opposition and attack converged on the Nara Police Station and, subsequently, on the Residence and Oyasama.
Oyasama used the word "regret" to express Her extreme impatience with the inability of the human mind to understand the will of God the Parent. Yet, She was not offended in the least and considered the conduct of such antagonists to be that of Her innocent children. Thus, She went to the police station in high spirits, regarding the situation as an opportunity to connect the road of salvation from the high places of authority to the world at large, and even regarded those who opposed Her and those who came to arrest Her as Her own beloved children.
Oyasama always said:
Though the fires of persecution raged in full force, each detention was turned into an opportunity to spread the teachings, and the intention of God spread even farther.
From the early 1860s, Oyasama began to urge the followers to form organizations of followers, saying:
There are some early indications of such organizations. The Shinmei Fellowship, headed by Shuji, was formed about April 1878. Though small in scale, it was a society to unite the joy of the followers as God the Parent had been urging. This fellowship was managed by Gisaburo Nakata, Chusaku Tsuji, Ichibei Matsuo, and Kyujiro Nakao and drew its membership from the inhabitants of all the neighboring villages.
It was also about this same year, 1878, that Oyasama began to bestow sugar candy called konpeito, as a sacred gift, in addition to the roasted barley powder called hattaiko that had been bestowed since the early days.
In part fourteen of the Ofudesaki, begun in June of 1879, it is written:
These verses express God the Parent's deep regret that, although God hastens for world salvation, the minds of those close to Oyasama remain depressed, fearing the authorities, who do not understand the heart of God the Parent. Never abandoning even those who cannot understand in words, God the Parent hastens to impart the fragrance of the teaching to them, even if it be through their dreams. The impending season and the impatience of the parental heart, with boundless love for the children, can clearly be seen in these verses.
Further, in part fourteen of the Ofudesaki, God changed the word that expresses the truth of God the Parent from Tsukihi (Moon-Sun) to Oya (Parent).
Thereafter, using the word Parent, God clarified the divine nature: God the Parent is the Parent of all humankind, inseparable from us; God is not only the Parent who created us but also the Parent through whose being flows the warmth of parental love; and the heart of God the Parent is the single-hearted parental love to save all the children.
In this same year, 1879, cholera was epidemic throughout the country. Then God the Parent said:
Here, God strongly urges human beings to reflect deeply, explaining that, although people are alarmed by the cholera, it is in fact none other than the care of God the Parent to hasten the thorough cleansing of the hearts of all humankind.
It was also in this year that Naraito Ueda was adopted by Oyasama, and Naokichi Takai of Kawachi Province, Umejiro Izutsu of Osaka, and Unosuke Tosa of Awa Province, among others, began to follow the path. Thus, the number of people coming to the Residence increased day by day, and the path spread in all directions as the followers, encouraged by the will of God the Parent, became ever more highly spirited.
However, opposition remained strong among the villagers, who complained of the inconveniences caused by their relatives and friends who would come to the village due to their faith in Oyasama. When it rained, umbrellas would have to be lent. At mealtime, food would have to be served. When street stalls were set up, the village children would spend money. The villagers would say, "We are greatly inconvenienced by all this, and we wish you would stop the Tenri faith, or else give us compensation each year." Furthermore, when worshipers came to pray at night, villagers would sometimes throw sand on them or deliberately bump into them, pushing them into a stream.
From the beginning of 1880, God the Parent hastened the performance of the Service with increased urgency. In part fifteen of the Ofudesaki, begun in January, God the Parent teaches that the season to perform the Service has already come and that God is anxious lest the opportunity be missed.
The parental love, which never ceases working for our salvation, is thus expressed, teaching that it is never too late; for even now, if we replace our minds, God will save us without fail.
In this way, God eagerly awaits the spiritual maturity of Yoboku, useful timber, seeing a time when great numbers of people will return to the Jiba from all parts of the world, yearning for their Parent.
The followers wanted to perform the Service in accordance with the wishes of God the Parent. But they felt they could not perform it with the musical instruments, as God was urging, because of the surveillance by the authorities. They thought, "If only we could establish a church of some kind, then we could perform the Service without causing any trouble for Oyasama."
As if in answer to their thoughts, Kichijiro Yamamoto of Otogi Village suggested that they ask Chuzaburo Yamanaka of the same village to use his connection with the Jifuku Temple at the foot of Mt. Kongo to make a request for permission to establish a church. When informed of this plan, Oyasama said:
Shuji knew well that such a plan could not possibly be acceptable to God. But compared with the arrest and imprisonment of Oyasama, his life meant nothing to him. He felt compelled to take whatever measures he could for the safety of Oyasama and those who gathered at the Residence. I will go, he said, determined to set out, his life at stake. No one volunteered to accompany Shuji at first. However, Yonosuke Okada could not bear to see Shuji, crippled as he was, go on such a journey alone, so he volunteered to accompany him.
After crossing Imoga Pass and coming to Yoshino, the two proceeded toward the Jifuku Temple in Kuruno at the foot of Mt. Kongo. Shuji rode in a rickshaw on level roads but got off to walk on mountain paths. The crossing of the pass caused Shuji considerable difficulty. Even the small case which held his writing brushes and ink had to be carried by Okada.
Shuji was successful in his contact with the Jifuku Temple and returned to the Residence three days after his departure. As a result, the Tenrin-O-Kosha was formally inaugurated on September 22 by a Buddhist fire rite in front of the gate and with sermons by Buddhist priests. These measures may have been necessary to comply with the law, but it was a twisted, roundabout course. <Link to Anecdotes of Oyasama 73>
On September 30, August 26 by the lunar calendar, the Joyous Service was performed for the first time with the full set of instruments, including the koto, shamisen, and kokyu. Heedless of the control of the authorities and their subordination to the Jifuku Temple, the followers performed the Service with heartfelt cheer and joy, in accord with the intention of God the Parent, which hastens single-heartedly for the performance of the Service. <Link to Anecdotes of Oyasama 74>
Taking advantage of the inauguration ceremony, a membership list consisting of seventeen parts was compiled. The fellowships in Yamato Province, having a total of 584 members, are recorded in parts one through five. The fellowships in Kawachi Province and Osaka, consisting of a total of 858 members, are recorded in parts six through seventeen. The sum total of members was, therefore, 1,442.
However, compromising the teaching in order to conform with the law was obviously not a path that would accord with the intention of God the Parent, and the followers were frequently admonished by the severe words "regret" and "anger." The single desire of God was to purify the minds of all humankind through the Service of the Kanrodai, the path to salvation. To this end, God the Parent hastened the followers to apply themselves single-heartedly to the performance of the Service, urging them to disregard the pressures of the outside world and to overcome their lack of determination.
That year, 1880, Shuji was held for one day at the Tanbaichi Branch Police Station along with Kajiro Ueda. This was the last time that Shuji was to be held in custody, as he passed away for rebirth in the spring of the following year.
Also in 1880, Shinnosuke, then fifteen, left the Kajimoto home to live at the Nakayama home, the Residence of Origin.