When I first started reading the Ofudesaki, I would skip over these few verses because I did not understand them. The following is from the Ofudesaki:
Yamasaka ya ibara guro mo gakemichi mo
tsurugi no naka mo torinuke tara 1-47
Over steep mountains, through tangles of thorns, along narrow ledges and
through brandished swords, if you come
Mada mieru hi no naka mo ari fuchinaka mo
Sore o koshitara hosoi michi ari 1-48
Yet a head a sea of flames, and a deep abyss if you crossover
you will arrive at a narrow path
Hosomichi o dandan koseba omichi ya
Kore ga tashikana honmichi de aru 1-49
After following the narrow path step by step, you will come to a path.
This is the trustworthy main path.
This is my interpretation of the first two verses. God is telling us that when we decide to take the path of the heart, we will continue to have sufferings or temptations placed in front of us by our souls. If we ponder, and do not act on the evil thoughts that are energized by these obstacles, we can gradually purify our minds of these evil thoughts. God is telling us that some of us will suffer more due to the amount of fate (dusts or negative energies) around our souls. It is the soul that manifests these sufferings that help us eliminate evil thoughts from our minds. This part of purifying the mind is called the broad path. We must understand the soul first to accomplish this. God tells us that this is a difficult path to complete because our ideas to follow this path may not be enough to get us through it due to the amount of obstacle that the soul may have accumulated. We must remember that the actions of our evil thoughts created these negative dusts that the soul collects and eventually manifest as suffering back to us. We reap what we have sowed.
God tells us in the 3rd verse (1-49) to take the narrow path after our minds and souls have been purified by the broad path. This is the stage of spreading God’s truth of the soul, and telling people that God will begin to help us understand why we suffer or have joy. This occurs by planting the seeds or visiting others to convey the truth of the soul (hinokishin). When this is done, God has given us a special prayer (Joyous Service) asking God to help sweep evil thoughts from those who we have spread the truth of the soul. When God accepts our prayers, God guides these people we have conveyed God’s truth to our places of worship. God tell us that the harvest (church members) will be full if we follow both the broad and narrow path.