We call God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto. God the Parent created human beings and everything else from where there was no form. God the Parent provided us with the Cosmos, the Earth, and the natural environment that makes life possible. God the Parent oversees the laws of nature and is also its source. God is also our Parent who relieves human beings of our troubles and guides us to the Joyous Life.
In order for us to better understand God the Parent’s providence, each particular working of God was assigned a sacred name and explained. This is the “ten aspects of God’s complete providence.”
We learn this exposition of the providence in order to build genuine faith to the teaching of God the Parent, appreciate the providence by chanting the sacred names, and learn the intention of God the Parent shown through illness and calamities.
Taishokuten-no-Mikoto: the providence of cutting off the ties of the child to its mother at birth, and also in cutting off the breath of life when one passes away for rebirth; in the world, the providence of cutting in general.
This aspect of the complete providence is female and represented in the heavens as the stars in the northeast; its direction is northeast. At human creation, its symbolic form in the muddy ocean was a globe-fish. Its counterparts in the Buddhist tradition are Kokuzo Bodhisattva (Akasagarbha), Myoken (Sudrsti/Northern Pole Star), Kishimojin (Hariti), the divinity of demon’s gate (the northeast), as well as the Tendai and Nichiren sects.
In addition to overseeing the cutting of our ties at birth and death, in the human body, this aspect of the complete providence is in charge of the functions of our teeth, nails, immune system, and metabolic functions such as our urinary organs and endocrine secretion. In the world, it oversees plate convergence and earthquakes.
We become part of this world when our physical ties to our mother are severed at birth. We pass away and depart from the world when our breath of life is cut off. We can tear and chew apart food with our nails and teeth, changing the food we eat into the nutrients that nourishes us. The health of the body is maintained because wastes are excreted and metabolized. Further, the immune system protects the body by attacking invasive and impure substances. Lastly, the workings of scissors, knives, saws, and all other cutting instruments as well as the tectonic movements of the Earth that create mountains and plains are all provided by the protection of Taishokuten-no-Mikoto.
The quality of the mind that is associated with the workings of Taishokuten-no-Mikoto scrupulously prepares for all tasks that entail cutting in addition to cutting and dividing things only when necessary. It is a mind that cuts away lingering attachments, obsessive fixations, and self-centered greed.
To conform to this aspect of God’s providence, we must completely uphold God’s teachings and contribute our utmost. We must also not be late in making decisions and instead act on the proper day and time.
Failing to uphold God’s teachings, rebelling against the truth of our Parent (parents), and claiming that one can give birth without God’s help can result in a difficult labor. When we fail to judge between right and wrong, only choosing to bite into things that taste sweet, and forget to adapt to the needs of others, we will risk afflictions of the teeth. When we attempt to grasp onto things that are beyond our means, we will risk afflictions of the nails. When we are indecisive and cannot distinguish between public and private matters, we risk contracting uremia or disorders of the kidneys.
It is important to decisively give out what needs to be given in the course of daily life; to offer compassion, support, and charity when it is needed so that, even if we may encounter some disaster, we may receive the blessings of being able to make split decisions that can turn a large misfortune into a smaller one and a small misfortune into nothing at all. Employers must not fire their employees and workers must not abuse valued customers. Further, we must not initiate anything that cuts off our relationships with our family, relatives, friends, and neighbors. Rather, we are taught to clearly cut away our obsession with money and material objects which may have built on the sacrifices of others and lead a life so that God the Parent smiles upon us, a life that is truly meant for us.
*This exposition was written by Rev. Chuichi Fukaya, the second head minister of Yamatoyoki Branch Church, and translated by Roy Forbes.