This may be the only religion where one may not be required to believe in God. Some of you may believe I am be joking, and that you believe that we are all required to believe in God, make a pilgrimage to Ojiba, donate, and pray daily in Japanese. You may be right and I will explain later, but there are passages in the Ofudesaki that may differ. The following is from verse 7-23 and 7-24 of the Ofudesaki:
(Yogi demo) (chotto no koto dewa) (nai karani)
(Goju rokuju no) (ninkazu ga hoshi) 7-23
Timbers, a small amount, it is not.
50 to 60 in number I want.
(Kono nin mo) (itsuitsu made mo) (heran yo)
(Matsudai tsuzuki) (kireme naki yo) 7-24
These numbers, forever not to decrease.
Forever to continue, without an end.
From these passages, I am assuming that there will be only a certain amount of people responsible for propagating God’s teachings in the Ofudesaki. The number 50 to 60 members to continue for eternity are what are required to spread the teachings. These are the leaders of the teachings, including all the instruments at the creation of human beings. These are the people that are dependent on God to propagate the teachings. These are the people that God is teaching in the Ofudesaki. What teaching are they to be spread to the world?
In the first verse of the Ofudesaki, God is telling the early followers that we do not understand the mune or heart. Why is the understanding of the heart so important? This information about the heart is what will save the world! You may wonder what you have been told may not be true. Do we really have to pray daily, go to Jiba, or make monthly donations? I believe these are good intentions, but it may not bring upon the salvation of the world.
What is the mune? The simplest explanation may be that there is a “little God” in each of us that rewards good behavior, and punishes bad behavior. We reap what we have sowed is a common phrase for those who believe in reincarnation and karma. There is always justice in the world because of our own hearts. From a nonreligious perspective, the heart is the soul, or it is contained in the soul. It is this soul that continues our journey, when our physical body ceases to function. By itself, the heart carries our dusts like greed, arrogance, regret, covetousness, and self-love. It also carries our fates that were created by acting on these thoughts. But when the heart is in or attached to the body, it programs our minds with these thoughts (dusts), and releases these fates when opportunities or situations arise. When we die, it is the heart that leaves the body, with our dusts and fates, to continue our next incarnation.
So some of you may wonder, we are hopeless to rid of our dusts or fate if our souls just continue to travel from one body to another with this baggage of fates and evil thoughts. But God is telling us that if we have the ability to purify our minds of these dust if we understand the heart or mune. God tells us to understand what comes from our hearts. We must understand the fate that comes from our hearts. This may be suffering or illness. When fate appears, God tells us not to blame others, but to ponder our own minds, and not act on our dusts in our minds. This is how we gradually remove the dust in our minds, and remove the fate associated with these thoughts. We must not act on our evil thoughts. We can improve our own future by understanding the heart, so it only brings upon positive fate. God tells us that when the world understands the heart, there will be the Joyous life.
Can you imagine a world, where everyone has a pure mind void of the dusts of greed, arrogance, self-love, covetousness and regret? We can spend our resources on helping people. We can put the money we spend now on the prevention of crime, the military, and legal procedures to good causes. The belief in God will not do this, but the belief in the heart will do this.
Some of you may wonder, where does God come into place? In the Ofudesaki, God tells us that God descended from heaven to save mankind (everyone). God descended from heaven to teach everyone about the heart. We know how difficult it is to teach people about a new concept, especially to the western world about reincarnation, karma, and the heart. This is why God has given us the Joyous Service, a prayer that will help us spread the teachings to the world. For those who God has selected (early followers), and who are active now in the propagation of the heart, this Service helps in the distribution of the truth of the heart. So in conclusion, we cannot expect the world to all participate in our Services, but we can expect them to understand the heart. This does not require the belief in God.
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