There are many leaders in the church that wonder why God’s promise of the Joyous world does not come. Why are we as a religion not growing in numbers? What information about the religion would you give to a person who you wanted to share the religion with? What are the hurdles that stand in the way of our religion? What is this Service that we believe would save the world?
All the answers to these questions are in the Ofudesaki, the most sacred scripture in our religion. God tells us that this world is constructed on reason, and will instruct us by reasoning in verse. There is no initial requirement of having blind faith in a God we cannot see. Faith in our religion comes after reasoning. Unfortunately like in many religions, there are leaders that instruct us to have faith in rituals, procedures or ceremonies that may not be supported by what is in the Ofudesaki.
This is why we must begin to clear our minds and become receptive to what is actually written in the Ofudesaki. We must respect our leaders, but at the same time question their teachings based on what is written in the Ofudesaki. Why is our religion so infinitesimally small compared to the major religions (kara) in the world? In the Ofudesaki, God tells us that eventually we (nihon) will take over kara (the world), and paradise will occur on the earth. But we are not even close to this prediction. No, I am not talking about the population of the world dancing in Japanese, dressed in our black service kimonos, with the accompanying Japanese instruments. This is not the paradise I am talking about. Yet many of our leaders believe that this must happen before the Kanrodai is erected. We all in our minds know that the Yorozuyo and the 12 songs will not be performed by the entire world, especially in Japanese.
Some of you have told me that the Ofudesaki is difficult to translate and understand telling me that the Japanese language is complex, and has many meanings for a single word. Some have even told me that the Ofudesaki is not to be taken literally, but has obscure and hidden meanings that cannot be understood by our present mindset. These arguments go contrary to what is written in the Ofudesaki. God tells us that this is a world based on reasoning. The writings in the Ofudesaki are basic hiragana, written in waka form of poetry, which made it easy for the early followers to understand.
The answers to all the questions in the first paragraph are all in the Ofudesaki. This is why I had initiated the Tenrikyo Ofudesaki Study Group on Facebook. If we believe that the Ofudesaki are the words of God, then we must put much effort into finding the truths that it contains. The ingredients to save the world are in the 1.700 verses.