Song Eight’s themes are “construction” and using construction as a metaphor for engaging in salvation work. It is a Song that concerns the gathering of human resources used to reconstruct the world into that of the Joyous Life as well as the way we are to handle the mind in order to have this construction proceed.
一ツ ひろいせかいやくになかに いしもたちきもないかいな
一つ 広い世界や国中に 石も立木もないかいな
Hitotsu / Hiroi sekai ya kuni naka ni / ishi mo tachiki mo nai kai na
One / [This] wide world and countries within / are there not any rocks or trees?
Human resources, which are likened here to construction materials such as rocks and trees, are necessary for the reconstruction of the world. One commentator goes as far to say rocks are a metaphor for women missionaries or Yoboku and trees are a metaphor for men missionaries/Yoboku.1
Another commentator goes even further and associates the rock with the principles of Kunisazuchi-no-Mikoto and Omotari-no-Mikoto while associating the (standing) tree with the principles of Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto and Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto.2
In the Ofudesaki there are a set of verses that describes how Cosmic Space-Time will enter trees in the low valleys, finish them, and fashion them into timber for use. Ultimately, Cosmic Space-Time has an intention for all these trees, despite what sex or gender they may be (7:16–18, 21).
It may be noted that the hand motion for “tachiki” (standing tree) is the same as Song Three, verse 7’s “hitosuji ni” (straight line). It may be a message for these human resources to be used for the world’s reconstruction to be single-hearted such as the uo and mi at human creation.
Song Eight, verses 2–3
二ツ ふしぎなふしんをするなれど たれにたのみハかけんでな
二つ 不思議な普請をするなれど 誰に頼みは掛けんでな
Futatsu / Fushigi na fushin o suru naredo / tare ni tanomi wa kakende na
Two / Wondrous construction will be done but / [Kami] will not make a request of anyone
三ツ みなだん／＼とせかいから よりきたことならでけてくる
三つ 皆段々と世界から 寄り来た事なら出来て来る
Mittsu / Mina dandan to sekai kara / yorikita koto nara dekete kuru
Three / Everyone, gradually from the world / if [people] assemble, it will be built
Verses 2 and 3 of Song Eight readily evoke verses 2 and 3 of Song Three that go “Although Oyasama (Oyagami) does not explicitly request anyone to build the Place for the Service, people outside the Residence will gather to initiate and participate so it will come to be built.” However, according to one commentator, the Song Three verses are specifically about the construction of the Place for the Service whereas the Song Eight verses are about the construction of the world.3.
Although no one specific has been designated to take part in the wondrous construction of the world, if everyone will gradually come and gather to take part, the construction will be accomplished. At the singing of “deke” (built/completed) the hands are brought to the chest, possibly meaning the construction that brings the Joyous Life into reality is a matter of the “kokoro” (heart-mind). It may be notable that the following verses 4 to 7 concern how to handle the heart-mind, that is:
四ツ よくのこゝろをうちわすれ とくとこゝろをさだめかけ
四つ 欲の心を打ち忘れ 篤と心を定め掛け
Yottsu / Yoku no kokoro o / uchiwasure / toku to / kokoro o sadame-kake
Four / heart-mind of greed / cast away and forget / firmly / heart-mind resolve and commit
The phrase “kokoro o sadame” appeared earlier in Song One’s verse 3 and Song Two’s verse 9.
五ツ いつまでみあわせゐたるとも うちからするのやないほどに
五つ いつまで見合わせいたるとも 内からするののや無い程に
Itsutsu / Itsumade miawase itaru tomo / uchi kara suru no ya nai hodo ni
Five / However long / hesitate and delay / from within / it will not be done
六ツ むしやうやたらにせきこむな むねのうちよりしあんせよ
六つ 無性やたらに急き込むな 胸の内より思案せよ
Muttsu / Mushō yatara ni / sekikomu na / mune no uchi yori / shian se yo
Six / Thoughtlessly / do not rush / from [your] innermost heart / contemplate
七ツ なにかこゝろがすんだなら はやくふしんにとりかゝれ
七つ 何か心が澄んだなら 早く普請に取り掛かれ
Nanatsu / Nani ka kokoro ga sunda nara / hayaku / fushin ni tori-kakare
Seven / Somewhat / if [your] heart-mind is purified / quickly / begin the construction
The general meaning of verses 4 to 7 are as follows:
- Cast away the self-centered heart-mind and firmly resolve.
- Do not hesitate and delay the construction. Reason being, this construction will not be done merely by the strength of those within. Construction in Tenrikyo are based on the Cosmic Intention and comes to be by drawing and gathering strength from the world.4
- Consequently, do not rush the construction in a thoughtless manner. Be sure to contemplate it from the bottom of your heart.
- If your heart-mind is purified to a certain degree, be sure to initiate the construction quickly.
八ツ やまのなかへといりこんで いしもたちきもみておいた
八つ 山の中へと入り込んで 石も立木も見ておいた
Yattsu / yama no naka e to irikonde / ishi mo tachiki mo mite oita
Eight / In the mountains / [Kami] enters / [Kami] has surveyed that rock and tree
Yama no naka
One scholar notes that the phrase “yama no naka” (in the mountains) is a metaphor for places where the path is yet to spread. He writes: “The mountains represented regions where wilderness existed and such characteristics of unordered form were an attribute of the people who did not understand the teachings of [Oyasama].” They refer to “a geographical area that is far from the center.”5
九ツ このききらうかあのいしと おもへどかみのむねしだい
九つ 此の木切ろうかあの石と 思えど神の胸次第
Kokonotsu / kono ki kirō ka / ano ishi to / omoedo Kami no mune shidai
Nine / Whether this tree shall be cut or not / and that rock / it is all up to Kami
The general gist of verses 8 and 9 is:
- Oyagami will enter “in the mountains,” places where the path is yet to spread to find human resources required to reconstruct the world.
- Whether that tree or rock is used, it is all up to the Cosmic Intention.
十ド このたびいちれつに すみきりましたがむねのうち
到頭 此の度一列に 澄み切りましたが胸の内
Tōdo / Kono tabi / ichiretsu ni / sumikiri mashita ga mune no uchi
Tenth, finally / At this time / one and all / completely purified / innermost hearts
At this time, the heart-minds of everyone who participated in the construction has been completely purified. The hearts of those that were “somewhat purified” in verse 7 become completely purified through the dedication they made in various forms between the start and completion of the construction.
Song Eight’s verse 10 evokes Song Four’s verse 10’s “At this time, my innermost heart has become completely purified. I am thankful for this.” The major difference is the phrase “At this time, one and all,” a phrase that appears only in the second half of the Twelve Songs, which signal a progression from the individual to a collective level between the first half and second half.