As a Tenrikyo member, I ask you what information do we have to share to the world, that would make the world better. Is it our Service that we perform monthly? Is it our belief in an everliving Oyasama, or is it our pilgrimage to Ojiba? By perfoming these tasks, can we save the world from suffering? All these tasks appear very similar to other religions, like Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam.
What information that is in the Ofudesaki will save the world? How about the idea of reincarnation and karma? Would this belief make people better? But wait, religions like hinduism, shinto, and Buddhism believe in these concepts. Are these people better off than others in the world? Do they have more joy than others?
It is interesting that the first words in the Ofudesaki, God tells us we do not understand the mune. What is the mune? Tenrikyo Church headquarters interprets mune as God’s heart. But what is God’s heart? Could it be we do not understand God’s mind? This makes sense to us, but is this what God is trying to convey to us? The usage of the word mune in the Ofudesaki, appears to go contrary to this theory or interpretation. I will explan later.
In the regions where reincarnation and karma is accepted, most people believe that it is God that punishes or rewards them for their actions. As human beings, many of us believe that if no one sees our evil actions, we can get away with it. They may also believe that they can hide their evil from God; or that God will forgive them eventually. This sounds comforting, but it may not be the case. Remember, in the Ofudesaki, God tells us that God has been on the sidelines watches us only.
Who or what causes suffering and joy if not God? There is a Christian proverb “ We reap what we have sowed”. What or who makes reincarnation and karma function and appear? God tells us in the first verse of the Ofudesaki. It is the heart that the world does not understand. It is our own hearts that bring upon joy and suffering. Some will say that we do not need God, or to believe in God because of this. One may be correct to think like this now, but may need God’s assistance later on. I will explain later.
What is the mune? In the Ofudesaki, God tells us it is like the sand in the filtration system to remove impurities. God also tells us to calm our minds and ponder what comes from our hearts. God also tells us we can purify our minds, when we understand the mune. God also tells us when the world understands the mune, there will be “ the Joyous life”.
From the above verses, The mune appears to be an entity that collects and stores our merits and demerits, and releases them as fate when opportunities arise in our lives. Many time it may be revealed in our next lives; like a banboo screen that separates our lives. The mune by itself, independent of our physical bodies also carries our evil thoughts (greed, arrogance, regret, self-love, and covetousness). These thoughts are related to our demerits, as they initiated the evil action. So it is not surprising that both are carried in the mune. Some will say that the mune is in our soul, or it is the soul. But neitherless, it carries these informations to our next physical bodies that is loaned to us from God.
So what does this tell us? It tells us why we suffer or have joy on earth. God has no power to change this. Some of you may say you are wrong, and you may be right. I will explain the importance of God later on. It tells us that we have control of our own future, by our behavior of today. It tells us that everything that happen to us is not random, but appears because of our own hearts. It tells us not to blame others for our sufferings, but to ponder our own minds.
So, would the belief in the mune, bring upon a better world? I believe that God believes this to be, for God to emphacize this in the first verse of the most sacred scripture in the world. Some will say that if God has no control of us, what is the purpose of praying to God? In the Ofudesaki, God tells us that God created mankind to live the joyous life. God also tells us that God has been only watching us since the creation. God tells us that God descended from heaven to save mankind from sufferings. God tells us how to save ourselves first by understanding the heart, and then gives us instructions on how to save others. Yes we do not need God to live the Joyous life if we understand the mune, but we need God to help save others. We know how difficult it is convince people about reincarntion, karma, and innen. This is where God comes into play in our religion. God has given us a special prayer (Joyous Service) asking God to help us spread the truth of the heart, reincarntion, and karma (innen). All this information is in the Ofudesaki to save the world from suffering.