These teachings that were not known before, are about the heart and what God will do to save the world. The Joyous Service is the prayer that God has given us to save the world. This is the Service that God wants us to perform with a pure mind.
God is talking about the path of the heart. God is preparing the early followers to perform the Joyous Service, which will help them share the truth of the heart with others, and will eventually save the world.
Everyone wants to know why human beings were created by God. The Ofudesaki gives us the story of creation of human beings, and why human beings were created. God is telling the early followers to look at other religions to see if they do the same.
In the Ofudesaki and the Mikagura-uta, God tells us that illness on our bodies comes from our minds. These dust or evil thoughts in our minds are regret, covetousness, arrogance greed, and self-love. We can probably all agree that these are selfish thoughts in our minds. How do these thoughts cause our disorders in our bodies? We know that fear and stress can have a consequences on our bodies, affecting our immune systems. But how does thoughts of greed and arrogance cause illness on our bodies? Does God place illness on our bodies because of these dusts or evil thoughts in our minds? Many of you will say that God does not place illness on our bodies. If God does not, what or who does place illness on our bodies. Enter the concept of the heart, which in the first verse of the Ofudesaki, God tells us we do not understand. It is our own hearts that collects and stores our demerits caused by acting on our evil thoughts in our minds. Our heart, when opportunity arises, manifest thes demerits as negative fate or illness upon our bodies. We reap what we have sowed because of of own hearts. One can say our hearts monitor our behavior. This concept is difficult to understand because the effect of our actions often are delayed until our next lives, when opportunities may be more appropriate for our hearts to manifest our fate.
Some may wonder when we receive an illness from our hearts, what do we do? Remember these illnesses or suufferings were caused by acting our our evil thoughts. So God tells us to ponder these evil thoughts, and not act upon them. When this happens, we can gradually eliminate these evil thoughts. When our minds are purified, our hearts will bring upon only positive fate. Not acting on our evil thoughts is easier said then done. It take much patience and diligence not to blame others, but to ponder one’s own mind to eliminate our evil thoughts. Some of us, due to our past indiscretions (sins), we may have to confront much inconveniences, but if we continue to ponder and not act on our evil thoughts, we will be able to purify our minds. In the Ofudesaki, God compares this process to digging up a root. It takes much effort to eventualy attain the Original mind, or the pure mind. But again, when we do this, we can attain the Joyous life.
It is the heart that connects the mind to the body. This is why God throughout the Ofuedesak tells the early followers that they do not understand the heart. I will leave you with the following from song 11 of the Mikagura-uta:
The residence ground, Digging it up (the truth of the heart),
you only just carry it to another location (hinokishin).
Until this time, everyone
did not understand the heart. What regret!
This year accompanied* by the fertilizer (Joyous Service),
many people we cultivated and brought in.
How delightful, how grateful.
I believe even today, there are some people that worship at more then one church or religion. People are always trying to understand the purpose of life and why we suffer or have joy.
God is going to tell the early followers about the heart, and how to purify their minds. God will also tell them how to spread this truth to the world.
In the Ofudesaki, God tells us God will begin to work. What will God do? God will begin to place guidance to help others understand the heart. What are these guidances that God will begin to show us? These guidances are illnesses upon our bodies. God I believe does not call these illnesses, because it is usually our own hearts that bring forth illness upon our bodies. So you can say that God is showing us what our hearts will bring upon us (fate) if we do not purify our minds. Our hearts make sure we reap what we have sowed. This is a loving and parental God that is showing us our future by these guidance. The following is from chapter 14 of the Ofudesaki.
(Dona yona) (koto demo Tsukihi) (suru koto ya)
(Ikana koto demo) (yamai dewa nai) 14-20
Whatever kind of thing, it is what God does.
What kind of thing, it is not an illness.
(Minouchi ni) (dono yona koto o) (shita totemo)
(Yamai dewa nai) (Tsukihi teiri ya) 14-21
Within the body, whatever I do,
It is not an illness. It is God guidance.
(Sekai niwa) (korera to yute) (iru keredo)
(Tsukihi zannen) (shirasu koto nari) 14-22
The world is saying that it is cholera,
God’s regret (of having dust), I am informing you.
God is telling us since the creation of human beings, God has been only observing us. It is not until 1838, when God descended from heaven to save everyone Then some of you may say what or who causes suffering or joy if it is not God that does this? God tells us that its is our own hearts.
These illness as guidance are God’s blessings. Some may wonder how illness can considered a blessing. But if one ponders over these illnesses by understanding the heart, one will be able to purify one’s mind. When the mind is purified, the heart only brings upon positive fate. This is why God calls these blessings. God cares about everyone.
Many people in the Tenrikyo religion believe that God helps them sweep their evil thoughts or dusts when they perform the Joyous Service. What are we asking God to do when we perform the Joyous Service? The following verses may help one decide.
Hereafter, the Joyuus Service place your hands together.
Everyone assembled, awaiting what he Service brings forth. 1-10
All assembled quckly the Servce performed, If this is done
those nearby will become spirited. God will also be spirited. 1-11
The harvest (members) for it to appear spirited, if you think.
The Kagura Service and the hand dance begin it. 1-15
This Service, where do they come from you think.
From the high places they will come spirited. 2-4
This Service, what matter is it about, are you thinking.
To settle the world, and for salvation only. 4-93
This path I wll teach quickly. By this Service
the world, everyone the minds will be purified. 7-99
However difficult things may appear,
by the Joyous Service everyone will be saved. 12-61
This Service, it is concerning the high mountains, it is difficult.
God will firmly give assurance.
If you quickly unite your minds and firmly (with pure mind)
the Service performed, the world will settle. 14-92