Teachings of Tenrikyo
The teachings of Tenrikyo were first revealed on October 26, 1838, in a small village in central Japan. It was by a revelation from God through the mouth of Miki Nakayama, or Oyasama, that these teachings were first introduced to the world. For the next 50 years, Oyasama devoted Herself to spreading these teachings to those around Her in order for people to live a joyous and spirited life as we were created to lead. Through her words writings, and actions, Oyasama whole-heartedly applied Herself towards the spreading of the teachings to all human beings.
Oyasama taught that we were all created by God. God is thus our Parent and we humans are all equally God's beloved children. It is God's divine intent for all humans to live the life of joyousness here on Earth; our Parent sharing in that Joy, God will also become Joyous. We are taught that this is the purpose of our very existence.
Why then is it that people have difficulty living a Joyous Life? Why is there so much conflict, depair, and suffering in this world?
Oyasama taught us that we have free will, which is the liberty to use our minds without restriction. Oyasama also taught that our bodies are borrowed from God the Parent, and with the proper use of our minds, we shall live the Joyous Life.
However, we humans have come to misuse the freedom of our minds. We have strayed from our original purpose by allowing ourselves to think only of our own selfish concerns. We have lost sight of our true purpose, which is living in peace and joyous harmony with others and our environment. Some have even come to the point of hurting others. Due to the misuse of our minds we sometimes suffer and fall into despair and are unable to clearly perceive the Parental love and blessings from God. Oyasama explains to us that it is during these times that we are susceptible to trouble and illness.
Oyasama specifically pointed out eight attitudes of the self-centered mind that we must rid ourselves of. They are: miserliness, covetousness, hatred, self-love, grudge-bearing, anger, greed, and arrogance. Metaphorically, She described these as the eight dusts of the mind. Further, She mentioned falsehood and flattery as being actions to be avoided. Because humans unknowingly accumulate dusts in their daily activities, minds can become “dusty” or “cloudy,” and one can lost sight of the Joyous Life. God only awaits for such a mind to awaken and be freed from self-centered usage.
How, then, can we avoid accumulating dusts? Again, using metaphors to make such concepts understandable, Oyasama simply said to sweep the mind clear of its dusts. As a means of sweeping the mind, She urged us to help one another, think and pray for others, and donate our efforts and capabilities to the surrounding community. As a means to help these who suffer from illness and pain. Followers of these teachings are granted the Sazuke, a gift of prayer from God to administer to those seeking relief from the mental anguish caused by physical problems. Through the sincere administration of the Sazuke, one’s health can often be restored, but more importantly, spiritual salvation can be attained.