Song Four, verses 7–8

Verse 7

七ツ      なにかよろづのたすけあい むねのうちよりしあんせよ

七つ 何か万の扶け合い 胸の内より思案 せよ

Nanatsu / Nanika / yorozu no / tasuke-ai / msune no uchi yori / shian seyo

Seven / All / in manifold forms / mutual help / from the “innermost heart” / ponder

Nanika yorozu no tasuke-ai

“Mutual help in every situation and in all shapes and forms.”

The word “tasuke-ai” (mutual help/helping one another) implies there at least two people involved, evoking verse 2. There is also the implication here that this tasuke-ai ought to be directed even to people who may have been talking about us (verse 1) and complaining that the Service is noisy and bothersome (verse 4).

One commentator writes that all matters concerning people’s livelihood are possible due to the principle of mutual help and respect.1 The principle of mutual help should not lead us to merely work to make a profit and feed ourselves but to make a profit and feed ourselves for the sake of the entire human race.2 Before launching into how the importance of mutual help is a natural outcome of how everyone is a child of Cosmic Space-Time as well as being are brothers and sisters3, he asserts that “tasuke-ai” is not only the focus of verse 7 and lifeblood of Song Four as a whole but the essence of human livelihood and main principle of Tenrikyo faith.4

Another commentator writes: “Faith in Tenrikyo begins with settling one’s own heart-mind, which spreads as the practice of mutual help with one’s spouse and must further expand to include one’s neighbors, society, and humanity as a whole. Salvation in Tenrikyo means Oyagami’s free and unlimited protection to build the world of the Joyous Life are granted when people practice mutual help.”5

Yet another commentator expands tasuke-ai as a principle that allows everything in the world to be and elaborates by describing how the various functions of the body work together.6

Although there is no instance of “yorozu tasuke-ai” in the Ofudesaki, there is the phrase “(yorozu) tagai ni tasuke” that virtually has the same meaning. To paraphrase the sets of verses containing this phrase:

“From this point on, if one and all in the entire world help one another in manifold matters, know that Cosmic Space-Time will accept those heart-minds and provide any form of relief there is” (12:93–4).7

“What do you think this path is? It is solely providing mutual help in all shapes and forms. If the entire world helps one another Cosmic Space-Time will accept all those heart-minds. Because Cosmic Space-Time accepts your heart-minds, Cosmic Space-Time will provide any form of working there is” (13:37–9).8

Mune no uchi

It is presumed that “mune no uchi” (innermost heart/heart within), a phrase also appearing in many instances in the Ofudesaki, is interchangeable with the word “kokoro.” In his discussion of this phrase, one commentator writes: “If you ask people now where the kokoro is, most will answer in the head. Yet in the past, there was a time when people thought the kokoro was located in the mune (literally, “chest”). They thought the heartbeat was the voice of the kokoro and allegedly it came to be called kokoro because of the korokoro sound it makes.”9

See also:

  • Song Four, verse 10
  • Song Six, verse 3
  • Song Eight, verse 6

Shian seyo

The command “shian seyo” (contemplate/ponder) can be found in several verses in the Ofudesaki.10 One commentator, in the context of examining the corresponding dance motions, presents his interpretation that this command to contemplate/ponder is not one that is to lead to a resolution (kokoro sadame) but to repentance.11

See also:

  • Song Nine, verse 5


Verse 8

八ツ      やまひのすつきりねはぬける こゝろハだん/\いさみくる

八つ 病のすっきり根は抜ける 心は段々勇み来る

Yattsu / Yamai no / sukkiri / ne wa / nukeru / kokoro wa / dandan / isami kuru

Eight / Illness’ / completely / root(s) / removed / Heart-mind / step by step / become uplifted

The folding fans are placed down for the remainder of Song Four. It is more than possible the use of the folding fans cease after verse 7 because the dance motions for verse 8’s “yamai” would be awkward to pull off while still holding the open fans.

Yamai no sukkiri ne wa nukeru

“Yamai no ne wa sukkiri nukeru” is a more natural-sounding phrase, but I presume the first half of verse 8 goes “yamai no sukkiri ne wa nukeru” because this allows the accompanying hand motions to flow much easier.

Although most commentators interpret “yamai” as illness, one particular commentator expands it to include troubling circumstances, accidents, disasters, and unhappiness.12 The same commentator writes that there is a cause for all phenomena like how a bud sprouts from a seed. Sowing bad seeds sprout bad buds, bear bad flowers, and produce bad fruit. Further, bad roots from a bad seed grow deeper in the earth with the passage of time. When this happens, bad buds will continue to sprout so long as the root remains.13

Combining the first half of verses 7 and 8 gives us “(Practice) mutual help in every situation and in all shapes and forms, (then) the root of illness will be completely removed,” which parallels and reinforces verses 7 and 8 from Song Two — “If you rescue those in need, the root of illness will be cut off.” Commentators equate the removal of the root of illness with the cancelation of bad causality in the same way they equated it with cutting the root of illness in Song Two, verse 8.14 The imagery evoked by “cutting” and “removing” the root of illness do not merely indicate there will be an improvement in our physical condition but symbolizes the elimination of the underlying cause of illness by switching negative causality into positive causality.15

In addition to practicing mutual help and rescuing those in need, commentators have also identified the following actions to allow the root of illness to be removed:

  • Acknowledge that the body is a thing lent, a thing borrowed16
  • Acknowledge that all people are brothers and sisters17
  • Eliminate the eight dusts from the mind, the dust of greed in particular18

Kokoro wa dandan isami kuru

Regaining our health will allow us to become spiritually uplifted. One commentator equates “isami kuru” (become uplifted) with the purification of the heart-mind and body as well as the attainment of yōki (joyousness).19

In the Ofudesaki, there is a set of verses that can be paraphrased: “Listen closely to all that Cosmic Space-Time says. If you have reached a resolution in your heart-mind, then there will be no such thing as the body being afflicted. Your heart-minds will solely become uplifted step by step” (12:18–9).


  1. Ueda A 356.
  2. Ueda A 362.
  3. Ueda A 359–61.
  4. Ueda A 358.
  5. Fukaya 110–1 E74.
  6. Ono 120.
  7. Cited Ono 122; Ueda C 53.
  8. Cited in Ueda A 362. Verses 13:37–8 cited in MST 179; Ueda C 53.
  9. Ueda A 364.
  10. Romanized as “shiyan seyo,” in the Ofudesaki, the phrase appears in verses 1:54, 1:61, 2:23, 3:47, 3:65, 3:79, 3:138, 4:118, 4:132, 5:7, 10:28, 10:35, 10:73, 10:92, 11:45, 12:76, 15:53. “Shiyan se” (2:15, 3:148, 5:10, 10:104) is a variant of the same phrase that lends a greater sense of urgency.
  11. Keiichiro Moroi, cited in MST 179.
  12. Ono 122.
  13. Ono 123.
  14. Fukaya 113 E76; Ono 123.
  15. Ueda C 53.
  16. Ueda A 369.
  17. Fukaya 113 E76; Ueda A 369.
  18. Fukaya 112–3 E75–6; Ueda A 369–70.
  19. Ueda A 371.