Many of us believe that because we have accepted God or have faith in a religion that God will protect us and save us. But God tells us we must put much effort ourselves to obtain salvation. The following is from the Ofudesaki:
Over steep mountains, through tangles of thorns, along narrow ledges and
through brandished swords, if you come. 1-47
Yet a head a sea of flames, and a deep abyss if you crossover,
you will arrive at a narrow path. 1-48
Both verses refer to obstacles, sufferings, and temptations that our souls deliver to purify our minds of evil thoughts. When these obstacles occur in our lives, we must ponder over and not act upon our evil thoughts. When this happen, our evil thoughts are eliminated, and the soul becomes more pure. For some of us, more suffering and temptations occur due to the amount of evil surrounding our souls as described in the second verse; but with continual pondering and not acting upon our evil thoughts when the soul delivers inconveniences in our lives, we will all obtain a pure mind and soul.
God tells us that this is a difficult path to complete, because many of us have many evil thoughts in our minds with it’s associated negative energy (fate) surrounding our souls. Evil thoughts are greed, arrogance, covetousness, miserliness, and self-love. Negative energies are our negative fates of sufferings, inconveniences and temptations. It is the purification of our minds that will bring upon joy in our lives. It is the purified mind that restores our pure souls/hearts so only joy will emanate from them.
Upon completion of this broad path to purify our minds, God tells us to take the narrow path to spread the truth of the soul and the teachings to the world. The narrow path to be continued………..