Everything that matters in life is free. For example, the air we breathe, and the water we drink are free; unless we drink bottle water at an outrageous price. You don’t have to pay someone to love you, although people continue to search for true love at all cost. Happiness is said to be free also; people try to buy happiness, but usually fail. But if happiness is free, where and how do we order it? What are the ingredients of happiness and joy? First of all, we don’t need money, fame, or power to obtain it.
In the Heaven’s Truth Religion (Tenrikyo), we do not need to obtain any material belongings to gain happiness. On the contrary, we need to lose some things to gain happiness. What are these things that God advises us eliminate to obtain joy? In the Book of Prophecy (Ofudesaki), God warns us to remove evil from our hearts. These evils are the negative thoughts in our minds. They are covetousness, miserliness, greed, arrogance, and self love. When we remove these evils (dusts) from our minds, our hearts become light and pure; and God promises us everlasting joy.
From this perspective, even the most evil people in the world like the terrorist are intrinsically good. It is only the dust of evil (greed, arrogance, and self love) have clouded their minds, and have surrounded their once pure heart. We usually cannot reason with these people since the dust that cover their hearts are thick, as their minds continue to produce negative and erroneous thoughts. Some believe that eliminating them physically will eliminate the evil; but what happens to their soul?
We all know that it is extremely difficult for anyone to change the thoughts and behavior of evil people. It is only God that can change the behavior and thoughts of these people. In the Heaven’s Truth Church, we have a special prayer that God has given us that will bring these people to our churches, so that we can help them lessen their burden from their troubled and hardened hearts. It is the purification of their hearts that will bring upon joy.
When I was young, someone asked me what is so special about our religion? I answered her with the basic tenets of our church at that time; but now I can confidently say it is our special prayer (Joyous Service) that God has given us to save mankind. We are the only religion that has this special prayer. In the Book of Prophecy, God asks us to share this prayer with the world.
Happy Fourth of July!