The second 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 May 25. The lecturer was Masakazu Tsujii sensei and he was assigned to discuss Song Six (Mutsu Kudari-me) of the Mikagura-uta. The title of the lecture was “Kokoro-e chigai wa denaoshi ya” (“If you entertain wrong thoughts, you are to start anew”).
Here is the current official translation of Song Six:
First, Human minds are so deeply doubtful.
Second, As I work miraculous salvation, I discern any and everything.
Third, The innermost hearts of all in the world, Are reflected to Me as in a mirror.
Fourth, I am pleased that you have followed to join the Service. This Service is the fundamental way for salvation.
Fifth, Always performing the Kagura and Teodori, In the future I will work remarkable salvation.
Sixth, You make prayers thoughtlessly. The ways of My response are also a thousand.
Seventh, However eagerly you may believe, Never entertain wrong thoughts!
Eighth, After all you must continue to believe. If you entertain wrong thoughts, you are to start anew.
Ninth, Having believed thus far until now, You should be shown your merit.
Finally, This time, it has appeared. The invocation of the fan, How marvelous it is!
Lecture Two “Kokoro-e chigai wa denaoshi ya” (Song Six) by Masakazu Tsujii (translation of Tenri jiho article, June 14, 2009 edition, p. 4)
The theme of my lecture today [is the verse,] “Kokoro-e chigai wa denaoshi ya” (verse eight: “If you entertain wrong thoughts, you are to start anew”). Here, the word “denaoshi” (“to start anew”) is crucial [in understanding this verse].
According to the Kojien, the verb “denaosu” generally means (1) to come out again after once turning back; and (2) to start all over again from the beginning. Yet we followers of the faith often conceptually link this term to generally mean “death.”
However, I feel that the “denaoshi” that appears in Song Six does not mean death. It is more appropriate to interpret it here as a common term associated with meaning (2).
Regarding this “denaoshi,” Yamamoto Masayoshi sensei takes the common view associated with (2) while Fukaya Tadamasa sensei interprets it as “in the end, one must return the body” (i.e., death).
Further, Ueda Yoshinaru sensei finds a middle ground in his interpretation when he writes “[This means] to directly go back to the starting point of one’s faith. . . and depending on the situation, one may have to return the body and pass away for rebirth.”
Within the Scriptures, the word is not used in the Ofudesaki whereas it appears once in Song Six of the Mikagura-uta and eight times in the Osashizu, including the supplemental volume. However, there are other straightforward expressions are used in the Osashizu to mean death, such as “shi-suru” [死する], “kureta” [暮れた], and “sugita” [過ぎた]. Even in the numerous manuscripts of the Koki narratives, other expressions are used to refer to death, which include, “hateru” [果てる], “shibo” [死亡], and “kureru” [崩レル].
An examination of old [issues of] Michi no tomo reveals that the use of “denaoshi” to refer to death becomes frequent after the beginning of the Showa period. When we take this into consideration, historically, the meaning of Tenrikyo terms were consolidated in the Showa period. Consequently, during Oyasama’s earthly existence, we can presume that our forebears would not have immediately associated the word “denaoshi” in Song Six with death.
If we interpret [verse eight] in this manner, even though [the two verses] share the phrase “wrong thoughts,” doesn’t verse seven’s “naranzoe” (“Never entertain”) come across as being harsher in tone than verse eight’s “denoshi” (start anew)?
Further, following verse eight’s “Yappari shinjin senya naran” (“After all you must continue to believe”), God the Parent goes on to say “Hitotsu no ko o mo minya naranu” (“You should be shown your merit”) in verse nine. This means that we ought not to lose our faith in mid-course before we see its results (“ko”). [Note: although ko is officially translated as “merit,” Tsujii sensei adds the kanji for kono (効能) after it, which is usually translated as “effectiveness” or “potency.” I have chosen to translate it here as “results.”]
The tenth and last verse goes, “Ogi no ukagai kore fushigi” (“The invocation of the fan, How marvelous it is!”). The “Invocation of the Fan” was [a grant] used to consult God’s intention. Along with teaching the necessity of perceiving God’s intention, this verse also expresses the desire for us to attain the spiritual state that recognizes God the Parent’s wondrous workings.
Song Six teaches us about human nature, how we are “deeply doubtful,” “make prayers thoughtlessly,” and sometimes guilty of “wrong thoughts.” However, God the Parent expresses the desire in this Song for us to gradually cultivate unshakable faith and conviction, even if we have to “start anew” many times over each time we have made a mistake in our mindset. Song Six pervades with warm Parental affection.
(End of translation)
Since I actually attended this lecture, I’ll mention something Tsujii sensei presented that had been left out of the article.
What I found most intriguing in Tsujii sensei’s presentation was the innovative manner in how he subjected Song Six to analysis. Tsujii sensei suggests that it is possible to consider each verse (or cluster of verses) of the Mikagura-uta as independent sections revealing various teachings. These themes are scattered throughout the Scripture and do not necessarily flow sequentially in each Song from verses one to ten in a logical manner. He suggests this mixing of different topics and themes reflecting different levels of faith in each Song give them an “exquisite flavor.”
To elaborate, he organized the ten verses thematically as follows:
Doubt (utagai), making prayers (negai), wrong thoughts (kokoro-e chigai)
(1) Human minds are so deeply doubtful.
(6) You make prayers thoughtlessly. The ways of My response are also a thousand.
(7) However eagerly you may believe, Never entertain wrong thoughts!
(8) After all you must continue to believe. If you entertain wrong thoughts, you are to start anew.
Reflect (utsuru), appear (miru), show (mieru)
(3) The innermost hearts of all in the world, Are reflected to Me as in a mirror.
(9) Having believed thus far until now, You should be shown your merit.
(10) This time, it has appeared. The invocation of the fan, How marvelous it is!
Miraculous (fushigi na), remarkable (mezurashi), salvation (tasuke)
(2) As I work miraculous salvation, I discern any and everything.
(4) I am pleased that you have followed to join the Service. This Service is the fundamental way for salvation.
(5) Always performing the Kagura and Teodori, In the future I will work remarkable salvation.
Contrasting the sequence of the Song and themes as chosen by Tsujii sensei does suggest a “mixing” or going up and down different spiritual levels throughout the Song. This makes me want to conclude that Song Six is saying much about the nature of faith and the human mind. Our mindsets are constantly changing: convictions waver, doubt is overcome. The mind rolls about like a little ball. There is a teaching I’ve heard over the years that is a pun in Japanese: the mind is called “kokoro” because it rolls around (koro koro suru).
While I haven’t used Tsujii sensei’s analytical style yet with other Songs, it would be fruitful to do a Scriptural study by major theological themes instead of the standard manner of going in sequential order. Anybody out there willing to give it a try? I would do it but the Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama series is taking up most of my time at the moment, and I’m only about 10% done with it!