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January 2023 National Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amatsu Norito (Prayer of Heaven)

 

Taka-amahara ni kamzumari masu

Kamurogi Kamuromi no Mikoto mochite

Sume-mioya kamu Izanagi no mikoto

Tsukushi no Himuka no Tachihana no

Odo no Ahagi-hara ni

Misogi harai tamou toki ni nari maseru

 Haraido no okami-tachi

Moro-moro no magagoto tsumi kegare o

Harai tama-e kiyome tama-e to

  maosu koto no yoshi o

Amatsu-kami kunitsu-kami

  ya-o yorozu no kami-tachi tomo ni

Ame no fuchi-koma no mimi furitate-te

  kikoshi-mese to

Kashikomi kashikomi mo maosu

Miroku Omikami

  mamori tama-e sakiha-e tama-e

Miroku Omikami

  mamori tama-e sakiha-e tama-e

Oshi-e-mioya nushino-kami

  mamori tama-e sakiha-e tama-e

Oshi-e-mioya nushino-kami

  mamori tama-e sakiha-e tama-e

 (pause for silent prayer)

 Kan-nagara tamachi ha-e mase

   Kan-nagara tamachi ha-e mase


         The Lord’s Prayer

 

Our Father, Who art in heaven,

Hallowed by Thy name,

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done on earth,

  as it is in heaven.

 

Give us this day our daily bread.

 

And forgive us our debts,

  as we forgive our debtors.

 

And lead us not into temptation,

  but deliver us from evil:

 

For Thine is the kingdom,

  and the power, and the glory, forever.

 

(Amen)

 

 

Prayer for Paradise on Earth

 

Great God of Light,

We behold Your plan unfolding

Whereby all spiritual clouds are dispelled,

Impurity and error cleansed

From the realms of spirit and matter.

 

The age of light and joy is being born;

Through Your infinite compassion

Misguided forces waken unto truth,

And negative practices cease,

While forces of light unhindered

Restore the world to peace.

 

All of nature receives

Your loving influence

And finds its rightful place.

Peaceful clouds move across

Brilliant skies,

And the fragrance of countless flowers

Floats upon the air.

 

Abundant harvests glorify the earth,

Every corner filled with happy voices.

 

Boundaries between countries vanish

And ancient conflicts disappear as if dreams.

 

All people are united,

Encircled by Your Light

And guided by Your Wisdom.

Through service to humanity,

All are blessed

With health, peace and prosperity.

 

Great God of Light,

Strengthen us with courage and wisdom

To follow Your will

And realize Paradise on Earth.

Poems

As the new jewel of a

Year is welcomed,

I ponder, compared

To last year, how

Bright, cheerful is today.

 

The great plan of

God, day by day,

Month by month, although

Not visible to the eyes,

Advances ever more.

 

The trunk grows with

The profound blessings

Of the sun, moon, earth;

The branch flourishes

With my divine program.

 

From a set of poems by Meishu-sama.

Composed for and recited at the Service for the New Year, 1954.

Teaching

(Service reading)

Preaching and Sermons

 

Through the ages, all religions, without exception, have placed primary importance on their precepts and attempted to impart them, primarily through preaching.

 

In our organization, there is very little preaching. Some members may harbor doubts about the wisdom of this course, wonder why this is so, and wish to understand the meaning of this better so they can explain it to nonmembers if questioned. So, I will write a few words on the subject.

 

As the purpose of religion lies in reformation and betterment, it is necessary to remove the clouds that cover the soul. Once souls become purer, human beings cannot perform evil deeds because they become outstanding individuals who perform good acts to help their fellow human beings and the world.

 

One method religion used to approach man for this purpose is preaching, which purifies the spirit through the ears. Another is offering sacred books, such as the Bible, the sutras of Buddhism, and other prophetic writings, for study. This purifies the spirit by way of the eyes through well-chosen written words.

 

The purpose of Johrei is not to affect physical healing. Johrei is an action that brings about spiritual fulfillment and true happiness on earth. I say this because, as many of you already know, sickness is a form of purification and the real cause of sickness is clouds on the spiritual body, which are dispelled through that purification. Johrei is a way by which all of the negative experiences of man can be eliminated. For these reasons, I declare that ours is a religion that transcends religion.

 

As the meanings of the ideograms used to write the word “religion” in Japanese show, religion is the “founder’s teachings,” so what is seen as religion’s purpose is to save human beings and their souls through teachings. Still, as I previously explained, human improvement is primarily affected by Johrei. Johrei does not take that much trouble or time, and its effect is complete. It should be no exaggeration to state that such results go indeed above religion.

 

Such wonderful salvation has not existed until now, so there is simply no word for it. For that reason, I haven't found an appropriate name for our work. If pressed, the only other words I could use to describe our work are “light of salvation.”

 

From: Chijôtengoku, Issue 39, page 5, August 25, 1952

This Teaching was titled “Osekkyô” and has previously appeared in translation in the following:

 “Preaching Versus Johrei and Happiness,” Foundation of Paradise, page 282. In this version, the first five paragraphs comprise the essay “Ossekyô.”

 

“How Religion Is Taught,” Teachings of Meishu-sama, Volume One, Revised Edition, page 18.

Additional Teachings

 

The Exquisite Flavor of Faith

 

There is nothing in this world without a flavor of some kind.  All objects, individuals, our very lives as well, have and impart certain flavors of their own.  If any of this flavor or individual zest were taken from our lives, the world would be so colorless, so inane, we would lose all desire to live.  It is not an exaggeration to say that one of the principal sources of our attachment to life is the enjoyment by our sense perceptions of its many different flavors or aspects.

 

Even different religions have individual piquancy.  There are some which are full of special flavors of their own, and some others which have weak individual flavors.  Strange as it seems, there are some that generate fear of God.  Those who follow such beliefs live according to rigid regulations and are severely restricted by commandments.  There is little freedom and they live in a constant state of apprehension and trepidation.  Such faiths could be called "religious hells."

 

An ideal state of faith is one which allows us to live with perfect peace of mind so we can enjoy life to the fullest.  When we attain this state we perceive the love of God in the beauty of Nature, in the songs of birds and in the perfection of flowers.  We recognize God's beneficence in all the things to fill our needs - food, clothes and shelter - and we give thanks to God.  We come to sense our oneness with all life, not only people but with Nature, with birds, beasts, even insects and fish, trees and grass.  This is the state of bliss of those who have reached a high spiritual awareness.  Upon having done our best in any situation, we should be able to leave everything in God's Hands with perfect trust.

 

When I am faced with a difficult problem which seems to defy solution in spite of my best efforts, I entrust the entire matter to God and wait for the right time.  I can say from experience that the result is always better than anticipated.  I can also say without reservation that I have never experienced anything that I have feared might happen.  There are times when I have had different hopes, but interestingly enough God has blessed me with results which have always been beyond my imagining.

 

Once in a while I encounter something whose prospect is so disheartening it weighs heavily on my mind.  When that happens I say to myself, "This must be a prelude to something good."  I wait for God to solve the problem, and later I find that without exception it has turned into a wonderful blessing indeed; what seemed to be an adverse condition proves to have been a necessary process in order to make a major blessing possible.  Then I am filled with gratitude and wonder why I was concerned, even temporarily.

 

I believe my life has been one of miracles.  This is what I mean by the exquisite flavor of faith.

 

January 25, 1949

Inaugural day of Kannon Society

Start of worldwide Johrei activities. 


(Excerpted from Light from the East, Vol. I)

 

With a sense of mission to bring this about and full of confidence and joy that he would bring light to the world, Okada (Meishu-sama) proclaimed the start of his work at the inauguration of the Japan Kannon Society in Kojimachi, in Tokyo, on January 1, 1935.

 

New Year's Day 1935 marked the start of activities to help the world and bring relief to people.  The inauguration of the Japan Kannon Society was set for six o'clock in the evening at the temporary headquarters in Kojimachi Ward, less than ten minutes' walk from the Hirakawa‑cho treatment center.  The black forms of the groves of trees in the grounds of the Imperial Palace could be seen through the rain shimmering in the light of the street lamps on the avenue Uchiboridori.

 

The first day of the New Year was blessed with fine weather and the day was peaceful.  On the gatepost of the temporary headquarters hung a large plaque of fresh cypress, still new and fragrant.  On the one‑hundred‑seventy‑centimeter‑tall plaque, calligraphy by Okada read: "Japan Kannon Society Temporary Headquarters."  That evening about a hundred and fifty followers gathered in the tiny building, filling it to capacity.  At six o'clock in the evening the service began with an accomplished performance of a new koto composition.

After the service Okada delivered an earnest address about the beginning of the society.  He told of the long years he had waited and of all the necessary preparations he had made in anticipation of this day. 

 

His address was full of an uncontainable joy.  Since these remarks were delivered on the first day of the society's existence, they had great significance for the future direction of Okada's work.  Those who came to share Okada's joy listened spellbound.  His talk was titled "The Establishment of the World of Light." The term "world of light" refers to a paradise on earth, an ideal world.

 

Excerpts from his message:

 

"Happy New Year to you all.  With your generous support the Japan Kannon Society has now held its inaugural service, which is a great occasion for celebration.  Although I had imagined that this inaugural service would take place later, Kannon turned out to be in a big hurry....

 

"Tonight I wish to tell you about the objective of the Kannon Society, which is, to establish a world of light.  A world of light, as the term suggests, refers to a world without darkness, a world with the light of Avalokiteshvara.  A world without darkness means a world without suffering and anxiety, a world without crime and vice.  For thousands of years, saints and great religious leaders have expounded their teachings and tried their best to make such a world…The Bud­dha spoke of compassion.  Jesus preached of love.  Various Chinese sages have spoken about the Tao…

 

"Now the time has come at last…In time we may ex­pect many things to happen that lie beyond our imagination...The world is made up of peoples who form countries.  Countries are made up of cities, towns, and villages.  Cities, towns, and villages are made up of families. Families are made up of individuals.  Therefore, if the individuals who constitute the basic unit cannot be helped, there is no way to help the entire world. Hinayana, or 'Small Vehicle,' faiths, which emphasize only the benefit of the individual, and Mahayana, or 'Great Vehicle,' faiths, which sacrifice the individual, are both mistaken.  Both the world and the individual must be helped in order to achieve complete relief.  When the individual is helped and perfected, then by extension the world may be helped and made whole.  Accordingly, the first emphasis must be on helping and perfecting the individual.  For example, if one takes a single family as a model of the world, when the family achieves a paradise like state and is helped, so too may the whole world be helped..."

 

 

Note: In Buddhist scripture, Avalokiteshvara is described as a manifestation of bounteous and limitless compassion who brings salvation in response to the voices of multitudes who call for help. In Sanskrit, Kannon is called Avalokiteshvara, which was rendered into Chinese by the Indian monk Kumarajiva with two sets of ideograms, one meaning "sound that sees the world" and another meaning "sound that lights the world." These phrases can be interpreted as "the Lord whose name gives light to the world" and as "the person who regards the cries of the suffering multitudes," respectively. Thus the compassion and power of this bodhisattva were recognized and transmitted. As an embodiment of salvation, Avalokiteshvara, or Kannon, appears in many Mahayana Buddhist scriptures, in which his name varies according to his manifestation.

Prayer for North American Sacred Grounds

 

Great God of Light,

We who are privileged to serve this Path seek Your blessing, guidance and protection in the creation of our North American Sacred Grounds.

Please guide us all to a deep understanding of the significance of this prototype of paradise in the spreading of Your Light throughout the world.

Enlighten us all with a true and clear vision of its perfect location, design and construction, and of the steps to be taken in its smooth realization.

We ask that our Ancestors, past ministers and members in the spiritual realm continue to help us in fulfilling this vision.

May the needed monetary and other support continue to be readily forthcoming through the joyous appreciation and service of our members and friends.

May the process of this creation bring ever-greater health, prosperity and peace into our own lives and the lives of others.  

May our Centers overflow with Light, members and miracles, and our Fellowship expand in radiance and power to transform the world.

Great God of Light, bless our efforts, and Meishu-sama guide our hearts, as we seek to serve Your will through this joyous construction. 

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