Questions and Answers about Tenrikyo

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Questions and Answers About Tenrikyo is a 2006 translated publication by the Overseas Department, which is originally published in Japanese titled: Shinko mondo shu by the Young Men's Association. This was the 32nd volume in a Young Men's Association series called Tenri seinen kyotei or "Textbooks for the Young Followers of Tenrikyo."

Quote found on the back cover of this book:

[I]t is a common experience that we sometimes find ourselves unsure about our understanding of the teachings when we are asked questions about Tenrikyo given an opportunity to explain Tenrikyo to others... We have selected various questions on the cornerstones of the Tenrikyo teachings and tried to answer them one by one as plainly as possible.

—from the editor's preface

There are 24 chapters which cover various topics concerning the teachings.

Link to Contents: Excerpts from Questions and Answers about Tenrikyo


Below are the questions found in this book for indexing purposes. The ability to view all questions on a single page will aid readers to finding the answers they are looking for. Please purchase or borrow this book from your local church or mission headquarters to see the full contents.

Note: The links lead to, what appears to be, an old draft of this publication so the chapters and its contents will appear the same or differently from the final publication.

Ch. 1: The Founding of the Teaching

Pages 1 to 10

  1. When and how did the path commence?
  2. Why did God the Parent become openly revealed through Oyasama? Why at the Residence? And why on October 26, 1938?
  3. What does it mean that "God the Parent became openly revealed"? How do we know that God really became revealed?
  4. Why is Tenrikyo called "the ultimate teaching"?
  5. Were the revelations completed with the Divine Directions through the Honseki? Or will they continue?
  6. What is the difference between the revelations through the Honseki and those through Oyasama?
  7. How do the teachings of other Japanese religions founded around that time differ from Oyasama's teachings?
  8. Is God the Parent's manifestation of the same kind as spirit possession and revelatory experiences some people seem to undergo? If not, what is the difference?
  9. How does spirit possession practiced by shamans and spiritualists differ from the revelations of Oyasama?
  10. Why did the incantation become the catalyst for the founding of the Teaching?
  11. What was God the Parent doing to save humanity before the founding of the Teaching?

See also: Three Causalities

Ch. 2: God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto

Pages 11 to 20

Link: all questions

  1. What kind of God is God the Parent?
  2. What does "God of Origin, God in Truth" mean?
  3. Why do you refer to God as "God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto"?
  4. Why is God the Parent variously referred to as God, Tsukihi (Moon-Sun), and Parent in the Ofudesaki, The Tip of the Writing Brush?
  5. What are the "ten aspects of the complete providence of God the Parent"? Why is a sacred name given to each aspect?
  6. What does it mean that "the Truth is God"?
  7. What is meant by saying, "God the Parent is transcendent and personal"?
  8. Is God the Parent paternal or maternal?
  9. If God created humankind, who created God?
  10. How did Oyasama teach people about the reality of God?
  11. What is the difference between God the Parent and idol gods and between God the Parent and anthropomorphic gods?

See also: Tenri-O-no-Mikoto

Ch. 3: Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo

Pages 21 to 36

Link: [1]

  1. Why is the Foundress of Tenrikyo called "Oyasama"?
  2. What is the relationship between God the Parent and Oyasama?
  3. What is the position of Oyasama?
  4. What does "the Shrine of Tsukihi" mean?
  5. Are we right in thinking that Oyasama's position as the Shrine of Tsukihi is part of Her Divine Model for us to emulate?
  6. What does "the truth of the everliving Oyasama" mean?
  7. Is the Causality of Oyasama's Soul different from that of others' souls? (If so, what is the difference?)
  8. Why is Oyasama called "the Parent of humankind"?
  9. Why did Oyasama shorten Her term of life by twenty-five years?
  10. Is it true, as some people say, that Oyasama was born to meet the demands of the times (social upheaval)?
  11. Was Oyasama's teaching affected by pre-existing religions and beliefs?
  12. Can anyone become a shrine of Tsukihi like Oyasama if he or she acquires "the mind of saving all people"?
  13. Is it true, as some say, that Oyasama secluded Herself in the storehouse after becoming the Shrine of Tsukihi in order to evolve from a human into God or to engage in dialogue with God?
  14. It is said that the everliving Oyasama has been providing blessings for us and going ahead of us to save all people throughout the world since She opened the portals of the Shrine. How do we know that this is so?

See also: Miki Nakayama, Divine Model

Ch. 4: Jiba

Pages 37 to 44

Link: [2]

  1. What kind of place is Jiba?
  2. How and when was Jiba identified?
  3. What is meant by saying, "The divine name of God the Parent was given to Jiba"?
  4. What is the relationship between the Residence of Origin and Jiba?
  5. What does "returning to Jiba" mean?
  6. What does "Four-fronted Mirror Residence" mean?
  7. What is the relationship of God the Parent, Oyasama, and Jiba?

See also: Jiba

Ch. 5: The Kanrodai

Pages 45 to 50

Link: [3]

  1. What is the Kanrodai?
  2. What is the shape and size of the Kanrodai?
  3. How does the Kanrodai relate to our spiritual maturity?
  4. Is the Kanrodai the object of worship?
  5. What does the Kanrodai represent?
  6. Can the Kanrodai be set up somewhere else besides at Jiba?

See also: Kanrodai

Ch. 6: The Service

Pages 51 to 60

Link: [4]

  1. What is the Service?
  2. When did the Service (the Service of the Kanrodai) start to be performed?
  3. What is the significance of the Service? Why is the Service so important?
  4. What kinds of services are there in Tenrikyo?
  5. Why is the Service called the "Kagura Service" and the "Service of the Kanrodai"?
  6. What is the difference between the Kagura and the Teodori, the Dance with Hand Movements?
  7. How does the Service of the Kanrodai differ from the service performed at local churches?
  8. Some people say that wars and misfortunes do not seem to be disappearing even though the Service is performed. Can we really bring peace and happiness to the world through performing the Service?
  9. How does the Service differ from other religious rituals or ceremonies?

See also: Service, Kagura Service, Teodori, Mikagura-uta

Ch. 7: The Sazuke

Pages 61 to 67

Link: [5]

  1. What is the truth of the Sazuke, or the Divine Grant?
  2. Where and by whom is the truth of the Sazuke bestowed?
  3. How does the truth of the Sazuke differ from magical healing rituals?
  4. Can you administer the truth of the Sazuke to animals and plants?

See also: Sazuke, Besseki lecture

Ch. 8: The Truth of Origin

Pages 69 to 77

Link: [6]

  1. Why did God the Parent create humankind?
  2. How did God the Parent create humankind and the world? And how has God been nurturing us?
  3. Why did Oyasama teach the story of the Truth of Origin?
  4. Why is the story of the Truth of Origin called "the story of the truth of salvation"?
  5. How and when did Oyasama start teaching the story of the Truth of Origin?
  6. How does the story of the Truth of Origin differ from the Old Testament account of creation given in Genesis or from the myth of the creation of the Japanese islands?
  7. How does the story of the Truth of Origin differ from the evolutionary theories?

See also: Truth of Origin, Story of Creation

Ch. 9: The Mind & the Body

Pages 79 to 85

Link: [7]

  1. What does "a thing lent, a thing borrowed" mean?
  2. Are there other things borrowed from God, besides the body?
  3. What is meant by the teaching that "the mind alone is the truth of oneself"?
  4. Why is it important to understand the truth of "a thing lent, a thing borrowed"?
  5. Which is more important, the mind or the body?

See also: A thing lent, a thing borrowed

Ch. 10: The Dust of the Mind

Pages 87 to 93

Link: [8]

  1. What is the dust of the mind?
  2. What kind of use of the mind is dust?
  3. How do you sweep away the dusts?
  4. Are there only eight dusts of the mind?
  5. What kind of use of the mind will bring satisfaction to God the Parent?
  6. Do you need God the Parent's help—expressed metaphorically as the "broom"—to sweep away the dusts of the mind? Is it not possible to do so by yourself?
  7. Why does God the Parent allow human beings to use the mind freely, which may result in the accumulation of the dusts?

See also: Dusts of the Mind

Ch. 11: Causality

Pages 95 to 104

Link: [9]

  1. Why is it important to realize and recognize the "causality of origin"?
  2. Why is it important to recognize our individual "causality"?
  3. How does the dust of the mind relate to causality?
  4. What are "positive causality" and "negative causality"?
  5. What will happen if we neglect to sweep away the dust of the mind?
  6. What is "causality of the present life"?
  7. What is "causality from a previous life"?
  8. What does it mean to make "repentance for your causality"?
  9. How do you make "repentance for the causality from your previous lives"?
  10. What does Tenrikyo teach about "sin" and "punishment"?

See also: Causality

Ch. 12: The Shinbashira

Pages 105 to 110

Link: [10]

  1. What is the Shinbashira?
  2. When did Oyasama decide who should be the Shinbashira?
  3. How does the truth of the Honseki differ from that of the Shinbashira?
  4. What is the relationship between Oyasama and the Shinbashira?

See also: Shinbashira

Ch. 13: The Scriptures & The Doctrine of Tenrikyo

Pages 111 to 118

Link: [11]

  1. What are Tenrikyo's Scriptures? Who wrote them?
  2. What should we be careful about when reading the Scriptures?
  3. How do Tenrikyo's Scriptures differ from those of other religions (Buddhism and Christianity), say in terms of how they were produced?
  4. What is The Doctrine of Tenrikyo?
  5. What is the difference between The Doctrine of Tenrikyo and the Scriptures?
  6. How is the Meiji Kyoten (the Doctrine of Tenrikyo published in the Meiji period) different from the current Doctrine of Tenrikyo?

See also: The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, Scriptures

Ch. 14: The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo

Pages 119 to 123

Link: [12]

  1. When did The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo start to be compiled? And what was the basic policy in compiling it?
  2. Why is The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo a manuscript edition?
  3. In what respects does The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo, compiled by Church Headquarters, differ from the biographies of Oyasama that others wrote?
  4. In what respects does The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo differ from the life of Jesus Christ in the four gospels or the life of the Buddha in the Buddhist canon?

See also: The Life of Oyasama, Anecdotes of Oyasama

Ch. 15: The Joyous Life

Pages 125 to 135

Link: [13]

  1. What is the Joyous Life?
  2. When will the Joyous Life be realized?
  3. Can the Joyous Life be realized through political power or social change movements?
  4. How does the Joyous Life differ from Utopia?
  5. How does the Joyous Life differ from the heavenly Kingdom believed to come at the end of the world?
  6. How does the Joyous Life differ from the Pure Land envisioned in Buddhism?
  7. Does the realization of the Joyous Life depend entirely on our state of mind?
  8. Can the Joyous Life be achieved by human efforts alone?

See also: Joyous Life

Ch. 16: Death & the Soul

Pages 137 to 146

Link: [14]

  1. What does Tenrikyo say about death?
  2. Is it possible for anybody to live for 115 years, the length of time that Tenrikyo says represents the "natural term of life"?
  3. What will happen after we pass away?
  4. What is the difference between the soul and the mind?
  5. What will happen to the soul after we pass away for rebirth?
  6. How does Tenrikyo's teaching of rebirth differ from the traditional teaching of karmic retribution?
  7. What does Tenrikyo say about curses and spirit possession?
  8. What does Tenrikyo say about ancestor spirits?
  9. Can we become like God if we polish our soul?
  10. What is meant by "having virtue" or "not having virtue"?

See also: Passing away for rebirth, causality

Ch. 17: The Life of Faith

Pages 147 to 172

Links: questions 1-2, questions 3-4, question 16

  1. What is hinokishin?
  2. What is the difference between hinokishin and volunteer activities?
  3. What do "contribution" and "dedication" mean in concrete terms?
  4. Does "contribution" primarily mean "offering money to God"?
  5. "Offerings" are sometimes said to be ways of "upholding the truth" and "connecting." What does it mean?
  6. Some say that the essence of the Tenrikyo faith cannot be understood without falling to the depths of poverty and experiences hardships. Why is that?
  7. Why do those who have never done anything wrong need to practice faith?
  8. Do those who are happy and in good health have to practice faith?
  9. How does Tenrikyo differ from the sort of faith that focuses on addressing mundane or immediate concerns?
  10. According to Tenrikyo, is salvation to be accomplished by our own efforts or is it a gift of God?
  11. Why have many new religions appeared even after God the Parent taught the "final teaching"?
  12. What is the proper attitude a Tenrikyo follower should have toward other religions?
  13. How would you briefly characterize the teachings of Tenrikyo?
  14. Does "worshiping at a shrine dedicated to God" amount to "worshiping an idol"?
  15. Why do you have God the Parent enshrined in your home? Why do you worship God the Parent at home?
  16. What does the Tenrikyo term "construction" mean?
  17. What does Tenrikyo teach about gender differences?

See also: Hinokishin, contribution and dedication, construction

Ch. 18: Tenrikyo Churches

Pages 173 to 184

Link: [15]

  1. When did Tenrikyo churches start being established?
  2. Why does a church affiliation system exist in Tenrikyo?
  3. What is meant by "spiritual parents" and "spiritual children"?
  4. Why is it important to practice faith through a church?
  5. What is the "truth of a church name"?
  6. What is the mission of a church?
  7. What is the mission of a church head minister?
  8. Some say that Tenrikyo's church system is feudalistic. What do you think?
  9. Is the position of a church head minister hereditary?

See also: Church, church lineage

Ch. 19: Blessings & Salvation

Pages 185 to 192

  1. What do "mijo" and "jijo" mean in Tenrikyo?
  2. What is meant by saying that "illness and other troubles are divine guidance"?
  3. According to Tenrikyo, everything is a manifestation of God the Parent's working and is happening exactly as it should. Can it be said, then, that there is no such thing as a miracle?
  4. Would it be regarded as an elementary religious practice to pray for the blessing of a cure of illness, one's own sccess in business, or one's family's happiness?

See also: Mijo, jijo, guidance

Ch. 20: Tenrikyo's Relation to Other Religions

Pages 193 to 198

  1. What is the difference between Tenrikyo and Shinto?
  2. What is Tenrikyo's relationship to Shinto?
  3. What is the relationship of the ten sacred names used in Tenrikyo to the gods in Shinto?
  4. How does Tenrikyo differ from Buddism?

Ch. 21: Nature

Pages 199 to 204

  1. Why does Tenrikyo say, "This universe is the body of God"?
  2. What is meant by saying, "This world is filled with divine providence"?
  3. Is God the Parent nature itself or its life-force?
  4. How are we to understand environmental destruction, which is increaseingly becoming a serious issue?

See also: Providence

Ch. 22: Scientific Technology

Pages 205 to 214

Link: [16]

  1. What does Tenrikyo say about scientific technology?
  2. How does the Tenrikyo faith relate to scientific technology?
  3. Could religion be behind the times in the present world now that scientific technology is so highly developed?
  4. Do the Tenrikyo teachings conflict with scientific truth?
  5. What does Tenrikyo say about doctors and medications?
  6. Medicine has conquered cholera and smallpox. How are we to understand that fact?
  7. If illness is to be cured by the Service and the Sazuke, do we need medicine at all?

Ch. 23: Tenrikyo's View of Human History

Pages 215 to 218

  1. How does human history relate to God the Parent's providence?
  2. Is human history really progressing?
  3. Will human history come to an end?

Ch. 24: Heresy & Dissent

Pages 219 to 228

  1. Why did heresy and dissent arise in Tenrikyo?
  2. Is it inevitable for heresy or dissent to arise in the history of any religion?
  3. What makes heresies heretical?
  4. Why is heresy or dissent harmful?
  5. What should be done to prevent heresy or dissent?
  6. Does the Divine Model of Oyasama contain something that shows Her attitude toward heresy and dissent?
  7. Are there any Divine Directions dealing with heresy or dissent?
  8. Is it conceivable for the everliving Oyasama to speak to humanity in person again with a human voice?

See also: Divine Directions, Heresy


Page 230

See Also

External Links