58 Selected Writings 7: Surrendering Yourself Allows Life to Go Smoothly

The following is a translation of “Jinsei umaku iku tame no hosoku” by Katsuzo Nishimura from Ohanashi goju hassen, published in 2004 in Japanese by the Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association. Translation originally posted at Tenrikyo Forum on March 12, 2007.

Surrendering Yourself Allows Life to Go Smoothly

by Katsuzo Nishimura

I am sure there are people who dislike the idea of bowing since it can represent an admission of a temporary defeat. But to bow and admit defeat (makeru) has a beneficial side. A shopkeeper who bows and surrenders when a customer says: “This product is overpriced. Give me a discount (maketoke),” will draw more customers and sell his products without much difficulty. The store of a shopkeeper who refuses to give discounts will not become popular and its products will remain on the shelves. It is difficult for a store to prosper in such a condition. There is merit in surrendering profit in this way. The more a shopkeeper is willing to surrender his profits, the more customers he can draw to his store.

It is the same between married couples. When an argument develops, when either the husband or wife decides to surrender to the other, the merit of this act helps settle the situation. I also believe it is better for us to surrender to God’s will as well. Someone who prays for blessings with profound greed, saying, “I want this, I want that,” is a perfect example of the Kansai proverb, “One is hesitant to give to a begging bonze.” In the Mikagura-uta, God says, “If you have greed, cast it away!” (Song Nine, verse 4). Instead, it is for our benefit to become a person with a pure mind who wholly surrenders to the will of God.

On the author

Katsuzo Nishimura 西村勝造 (1904–1987): Served as third head minister of Hitosuji Bunkyokai (1947–1976). Promoted to Honbu-in (senior official of Church Headquarters) in 1966.

*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.