First Installment of “Savoring the Realm of the Mikagura-uta” Lecture Series, part 2

The first installment of part two of the “Savoring the Realm of the Mikagura-uta” lecture series, sponsored by the Oyasato Institute for the Study of Religion, was held at 13:00 on April 25. The lecturer was Koji Sato Koji sensei and he was assigned to discuss Song Five (Itsu Kudari-me) of the Mikagura-uta. The title of the lecture was “Yasashiki kokoro ni narite koi” (“Come to Me with a gentle heart!”).


Here is the present official translation of Song Five:


First, As this world is so wide, There may be various places to save people.

Second, Miraculous salvation at this place, I grant you safe childbirth and freedom from smallpox.

Third, God, the same as water, Washes away the dirts from your minds.

Fourth, Though there is no one who is free from greed, Before God there is no greed.

Fifth, However long you may continue to believe, Your life shall ever be filled with joy.

Sixth, Forgetting away a cruel heart, Come to Me with a gentle heart!

Seventh, Assuredly I shall never leave you in suffering, Because this is the place of single-hearted salvation.

Eighth, Not only in Yamato, I will go also to other countries to save you all.

Ninth, This is the Jiba, the origin of this world. Indeed a remarkable place has been revealed.

Since firmly we are determined to believe, Let us form a brotherhood.

Lecture One: “Yasashiki kokoro ni narite koi” (Song Five) by Koji Sato (translation of Tenri jiho article, May 3, 2009 edition, p. 4)

Oyasama taught the Service [Tsutome] as the means for salvation. The Mikagura-uta is the songs for the Service.


Ueda Yoshinaru sensei has referred to Song Five as “the song that saves this wide world” and “the song that washes and cleanses people’s minds in addition to embracing and saving all of humanity as brothers and sisters.” Thus, in addition to teaching us about how “salvation” is the purpose of the Service and the essence of faith, Song Five also describes how the state of a follower’s mind is related to his or her salvation.


The successive verses of Song Five portray specific examples of salvation in Tenrikyo. For instance, the Song indicates God’s “miraculous salvation” through grants coming in two forms, one of “safe childbirth” — which opened the path to all miracles of salvation [yorozu tasuke no michi-ake][1] — and another granting “freedom from smallpox” (second verse).


The verse which is the theme of my presentation today — “Forgetting away a cruel heart, Come to Me with a gentle heart!” (verse six) — speaks to us about the importance of a “gentle heart” for followers of the path as they make efforts in salvation work.


First of all, the word “kokoro” [note: usually translated as “mind” but translated as “heart” in this particular verse] appears 354 times in the Ofudesaki and 24 times in the Mikagura-uta. However, Song Five is the only place where it appears with the expressions “cruel” [mugoi] and “gentle” [yasashiki].


These two kinds of kokoro are “uses of mind directed at others.” They are different from [the teaching of] “dust” — [which was provided to] encourage our self-examination of our self-centered uses of mind — as well as the “sincere mind [makoto no kokoro] or “mind of sincerity” [shinjitsu no kokoro] that God desires from us.


A “gentle heart” refers to a mindset that prays for the salvation [tasukari] of another while taking the person’s situation into consideration, one appropriately called “a mindset of salvation” [kyūsai no kokoro]. I believe that the “gentle heart” [yasashiki kokoro] in Song Five goes beyond mere thoughtfulness or what is considered a “gentle heart” [yasashii kokoro] by the general public; it instead is on a deeper level altogether and suggests something more fundamentally significant regarding salvation.


In Song Ten, we have, “Though I have spoken such severe [mugoi] words, It is because of My haste to save you.” (verse six). This particular verse hints that strict or severe words that come from a true “gentle heart” that seeks to save a person as quickly as possible may occasionally be necessary. On the contrary, unless they are said with a gentle heart, gentle, formulaic words have no significance and fail to connect a person with true salvation. Finally, a strict but gentle mindset is consistent with the loving parental heart of God the Parent that wishes to save the entire world as quickly as possible, due to the love God’s children.


[1] The phrase “yorozu tasuke no michi-ake” (found on p. 44 of Kohon Tenrikyo Oyasama den or the original Japanese edition of The Life of Oyasama) is commonly attached whenever the Grant of Safe Childbirth happens to be explained or mentioned in Tenrikyo literature. Its English equivalent (“This Grant of Safe Childbirth opened the path to all miracles of salvation”) appears on p. 35 of the latest edition of The Life of Oyasama.