I am wondering how many of you consider yourself religious. If so, have your read your sacred book or books completely word for word. I am betting that many of you have not, and depend on your religious leaders to interpret it. I would bet that many of you would be surprised by the contents of these sacred books if you were to actually read all the contents. Is it from God, or is it man made?
Many religious leaders pick and choose contents from their sacred books that they believe would make sense and motivate their congregation into believing, and will not disclose or hide contents that may not make sense or turn off their congregation.
In my case, I was born into a religion that many consider to be a Japanese religion. I remember the congregation dressed in Japanese attire and dancing and singing in Japanese for about an hour and a half. Because of my lack of comprehension of the Japanese language, my mind would often wonder during these services. Church members were told to perform these Japanese prayers, contribute with donations and to make pilgrimages to Ojiba at Tenri, Japan.
As I grew older, I was told that I needed to perform our services without error in Japanese and make pilgrimages to our holy city in Japan in order to save ourselves. Internally I questioned these practices in performing the services in Japanese, but often succumbed to peer pressure from the congregation. Eventually I was told that I did not understand the religion, because I did not agree to pilgrimage to Japan and fully participate in the monthly service.
It is from these situations that I committed to fully study our sacred book, the Ofudesaki. To my surprise, this book of over one thousand verses made complete sense to me. Verses that the reverends of our church often quoted to the congregation were completely wrong in translation and interpretation!
The Ofudesaki gives us instructions on how to purify our minds, by explaining about our souls. It also gives instructions on how to spread God’s truth to the world. Yes, the prayer (Joyous Service) that I once thoughts as senseless chanting, has a vital role in saving all mankind. This simple prayer of the hands can be performed in any language. I challenge the members of my religion to completely read the Ofudesaki to find out what this prayer does.
For those who are religious in other religions, I encourage you to read your sacred books word for word, and find out if it makes sense to you. You may be surprised at what you may find!