55. “Start All Over Again!”
“Go and start all over again, as there is no [harmony] settled with [your family].”
This man was a stone dealer whose daughter married a man who was adopted into the family as the male heir. His daughter remained selfish and the relationship between her and her parents was particularly bad. However, the man in question was devout in his faith and did not allow himself to become disheartened at the Honseki’s words. He attended the nine Besseki lectures a second time and came again to receive the truth of the Sazuke.
He was told:
“Matters within have not been completely settled. So start again once more!”
The man attended the nine Besseki lectures again from scratch. After attending a total of 27 Besseki lectures, he received the following words:
“You did not become disheartened. You did well. I bestow you the Sazuke!”
(From Ten no jogi, p. 78)
- Next installment in this series: 56. An Example of the Honseki’s Deference to the Shinbashira
*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.
Twenty-seven Besseki lectures! That surely must be a record of some kind. It also must be noted that in those days followers were tested on the eight dusts and the ten aspects of God the Parent’s providence before they could proceed with attending their first Besseki lecture and once again before actually receiving the truth of the Sazuke from the Honseki. This was to weed out plainclothes police who were spying on the Tenrikyo organization when they secretly began attending the lectures in January 1890. There is no way to confirm whether the man above had to do retake the examination or not each time he was told to “start all over.”
Currently, the path to becoming a Yoboku is more or less automatic when compared to the past. Recitation of the Besseki pledge has replaced the examination as a formality that is completed before a person attends his or her first Besseki lecture.