50. Remembering Modesty and Refusing to Succumb to Extravagance
Oyasama once told Izo not to worry over the future, that there would come a time when he could not endure hardships even if he wished to. This truly was the case when Izo became the Honseki. This was possibly because God the Parent accepted the sincerity he dedicated to the path. However, it is also possible to say that this was so because followers who did not have the opportunity to meet Oyasama firsthand when She was physically present made sincere efforts to serve and please the Honseki in Her stead.
In any event, many valuable and rare items from all over the world made their way to the Honseki.
There is a story from circa 1871 or 1872 when one day, Oyasama said to Izo:
“Have a vase displayed in your home and place a lid on it. If you do, when you open the lid, there will be all types of things inside.”
Izo promptly did as he was told.
A person who overheard this sneaked a peak in the vase but found nothing. Thinking to himself, “Maybe I was too hasty,” he checked again many days later but again found nothing. He checked a third time but the result was the same. The person became extremely upset, thinking he had been taken for a fool.
However, when one considers the time after Izo became the Honseki, Oyasama’s words came true.
In the mountains east of the Residence, near Hari where the roads connecting Mukoji and Ichinomoto intersect, Izo’s old friends and acquaintances from his carpenter days all began to talk about how he gained prominence through “Tenryu-san” (Tenrikyo) now that he wore a formal crested kimono while riding a rickshaw. However, despite the fact that he had all the opportunity to indulge in luxury, the Honseki never succumbed to extravagance and constantly remembered the day when he was saved by Oyasama, reminiscing of the past while eating rice gruel flavored with pickled plum.
(From Ten no jogi, pp. 85–86, 89)
- Next installment in this series: 51. Rin Masui Becomes the Honseki’s Personal Attendant
*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.