I would like to discuss the word shirizoku, which is utilized in the Ofudesaki. The English translation is withdraw. I lhave always wondered why God will withdraw from a person. God in a few passages tell us God has been on the sidelines watching since the creation of human beings. It is only in 1838 that God was revealed, descending from heaven to save everyone. God tells us that God will begin to enter bodies to save people. I guess it is possible that God may also withdraw from the body for some reason. By withdrawing from someone, is God giving up on the person? I think not.
In the Ofudesaki, verse 6-21 tells us that fire, water and wind will be withdrawn from three member of the Service. The removal of fire and water, represents illness given by God to the body. In verse 2-40, God asks people if they cannot see fire and water in the high mountains. God is asking the early followers if they cannot see illness in the people living in the high mountains. This is an important verse because God tells us in verse 2-4 that it is the people in the high mountains that will come spirited by the performance of our Service. By the performance of our prayer, God places illness (fire and water withdrawn) as guidance to the people we have spread the truth of the heart to. God truly wants people to understand the heart, mind and the body so they can purify their own minds. By God entering the body and withdrawing fire and water, God is placing illness as a reflection of their minds, showing people what their future lives may entail in terms of suffering or inconveniences if their mind is not purified. These are God’s blessings to help people.
In summary, God will never withdraw from anybody. The withdrawal of fire and water (placing illness), is God’s blessing to help everyone understand the relationship between the heart, mind, and body. By understanding this relationship, we can purify the mind, which will also lead to the purification of the heart, and the blessings to our bodies.