Ofudesaki 03:040–1

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Ofudesaki (English).jpg
Author: Miki Nakayama
Date Published: 1998
Pages: 486 (English ed.)

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
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Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14
Part 15
Part 16
Part 17
unnumbered set

Ofudesaki 03:040–1 is a set of verses from the Ofudesaki. The English translation below is the sixth edition translation.
Note: Ofudesaki 03:040 is identical to Ofudesaki 03:135.


This universe is the body of God. dandan to nanigoto nite mokono yō wa たん/\と なに事にても このよふわ
Ponder this in all matters. Kami no karada yashian shite mite yo 神のからだや しやんしてみよ
All human bodies are things lent by God. ningen wa mina mina Kami no kashimono ya にんけんハ みな/\神の かしものや
With what thought are you using them? nanto omōte tsuikote iruyara なんとをもふて つこているやら

Alternate English translations

Third Edition

Any and everything of this universe is all the body of God. Ponder deeply and understand it well!

All human bodies are things lent by God. With what thought are you using them?


Step by step, reflect deeply upon all things: the universe is truly the body of God.

The bodies of all human beings are things lent by God. For what purposes are you using them?


This section contains translated material that has not yet been subjected to peer-review to check for accuracy and clarity. While the translator(s) have given their best effort to render Japanese text into English, we would like readers to keep in mind that the present translation may require further revising and refining. Any input to improve the present translation is greatly welcomed.

Translator(s): Roy Forbes

Ofudesaki chushaku

3:40, 41 *Note: Everything in this world was created by Oyagami and the entire universe is the body of Oyagami. There is nothing that was created by human strength alone. Humans are alive because they are lent something that was created by Oyagami and protected in this world—the bosom of Oyagami which is formed by the embrace of heaven and earth.

『おふでさき註釈』、pp. 35–6

四〇、四一、註 世の中のものは、総て親神様のおつくり下されたもので、全宇宙は親神様のお身体である。従って、人間も自分の力で出来たものではない。親神様のおつくり下されたものを親神様から貸していただいて、この天地抱き合わせの親神様の懐である世界に、親神様の御守護によって生きているのである。

Commentary by Yoshitaro Ueda (2008)

From Michi no Dai: Foundation of the Path 33:37–8


The phrase “in all matters” is a translation of the Japanese expression “dandan to,” which is found fairly frequently in the Ofudesaki. Yesterday, I was looking at the English translation of the Ofudesaki. In the previous edition, “dandan to” was invariably translated as “step by step.” In some verses, however, that translation did not seem to sit well. A large dictionary will tell you that the expression “dandan to” includes the meaning of “various.” For example, we sometimes say things like “Itsumo dandan to arigato gozaimasu” (“Thank you for all the various things you are always doing”)—in which context the meaning of “dandan to” is not “step by step” but “all the various things.” Another thing we should mention is that, in the Ofudesaki, the expression “dandan to” is often followed by phrases like “nani goto” (“whatever they are”), as in verse 40. Interpreting “dandan to nani goto nitemo” as “in all matters whatsoever” seems to sit well with the rest of the verse. Thus, I believe that it is reasonable to interpret this verse as meaning that the entire universe is the body of God–this being the main message of this verse–and that one should ponder over all matters whatsoever from the perspective that the universe is the body of God. Such, roughly speaking, is the interpretation represented by the present English translation. The statement that this universe is the body of God sums up Tenrikyo’s worldview and its view of nature. We are encouraged to ponder everything from the perspective that the entire universe is the body of God.


This is the first time the phrase “things lent” is used in the Ofudesaki. The teaching of “a thing lent, a thing borrowed” is grounded in the worldview that the universe is the body of God. Human bodies are all lent by God. From our point of view as humans, we are borrowing them. The verse asks us with what thought we are using the bodies. We are presumably using them with the thought that they are our own. Yet the entire universe being the body of God, we are borrowing a part of God’s body and are allowed to use it as our body. This, incidentally, means that the providence that governs the universe also governs the human body.

In Greece and elsewhere, the universe came to be known as the macrocosm and the human body the microcosm. The providence that permeates both the macrocosm and the microcosm—the latter being part of the former—is, I think, what we call the truth of heaven. This seems to be related to the fact that Tenrikyo’s explanation of the ten aspects of God’s complete providence describes each aspect in terms of both the universe and the human body, saying, for example that the first aspect appears in the heavens as the Moon and manifests itself as the providence of water in the world and as the providence of the eyes and fluids in the human body. Each aspect is seen as pervading both the universe and the human body.

The body we borrow from God is not something over which we have complete control. This brings us to a teaching that is often paired with the teaching of a thing lent, a thing borrowed—namely, the teaching that the mind alone is the truth of oneself. This teaching says that what we may call our own is the mind alone and that how we can receive God’s blessings depends on the state of our mind.

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