Ofudesaki Part 3, verses 1–19

Part 3

From January in the 7th year of Meiji, the year of the Dog

An old woman of 77 years

Part 3: Sweeping the dust away

Cleaning the Residence, how to purify the heart, and gathering the Service performers

(1) At this time, set quickly about to clear away the structure from within the gate.1

(2) When you have completed the sweeping, please rope off the ground plan quickly.2

(3) After you have truly finished the sweeping, your mind will be spirited by being single-hearted with [Kami].3

(4) When the minds of the world are spirited step by step, peace will come to Nihon.4

(5) Until now, you have understood nothing, but from now on you will see wondrous signs.5

(6) I do not force you to come along if you do not wish to, but if you should, you will be blessed forever.6

(7) From now on, I shall speak in the metaphor of water. Be enlightened by the words “clear” and “muddy.”7

(8) Truly, the hastening in the mind of [Kami] is to put in the central pillar quickly.8

(9) Though I desire to put in the pillar quickly, I cannot find where to put it because of the muddy water.9

(10) Arrange to clear this water quickly. Purify it by using a filter and sand.10

(11) Do not wonder where this filter can be found. Your heart and mouth are the sand and filter.11

(12) If you quickly understand this talk, I shall put in the central pillar at once.12

(13) If only the pillar is firmly established, the whole world will truly settle.13

(14) This talk requires only your enlightenment. With enlightenment will come tested proof.14

The providence in the beginnings of origin and Oyasama

(15) I am [original Kami], who began the human beings of this world. Yet there may be no one who knows Me.

(16) I began to teach My providence in the muddy ocean, and you have come to prosper step by step.15

(17) This time, I teach single-hearted salvation, beginning once more that which never existed.

(18) I begin things which have never existed, because I am [Kami], who made the origin.

(19) Day after day, the words of [Kami] pile up mountainously, stuck in My throat. I cannot speak them, though I so desire.


  1. OC 3:1: At this time, remove the building from within the Residence that is obstructing the growth of the path.

    *Note: Oyagami hastened the construction of a building for Oyasama to live in. Thus in this year (1874), construction began on a gate with an adjacent living space and a storehouse. Kami hastened the cleaning of the Residence grounds and the removal a building that was obstructing the planned layout of the Residence.

  2. OC 3:2: Once you promptly clean every corner of the Residence, hurry and rope off the ground plan.

    *Note: Unusual Japanese expression—nawamune (“rope off the ground plan”) refers to a rope marking a construction area. The newly constructed building was finished in 1875 and Oyasama lived and conveyed the teachings there until 1883. Thereafter, for a time it became a place for Sazuke bestowments. This building came to be called the South Gatehouse.

  3. OC 3:3: If the cleaning has been sincerely and nicely done, afterwards you will devote yourself singly to the path and your mind will naturally become spirited of itself.
  4. OC 3:4: Once this path gradually spreads and the minds of the general populace becomes spirited, My true intention will be conveyed to people’s minds and nihon will thereby settle in harmony.
  5. OC 3:5: Until now, although you were not able to realize the mind of the Parent in various matters, from now on, miraculous signs shall begin to appear. It will do to fully understand My intention with the help of these signs.
  6. OC 3:6 *Note: Since faith is up to each individual, Kami is saying that there shall be no effort to force those who do not wish to submit to these teachings to have faith. Those who yearningly come shall be able to attain a path free from worries for all future generations.
  7. OC 3:7: From now on I shall explain the teachings with the metaphor of water. “Purified” or “clean” water means a clean mind free of dust and “muddy” means that dust has piled up in people’s minds. Awaken to the truth of each when either state is mentioned.
  8. OC 3:8: I am wholeheartedly hastening in order to establish the core as soon as possible.

    *Note: Unusual Japanese/Tenrikyo specific expression—shin no hashira (“central pillar”) is originally an architectural term and refers to the core of everything.

    In Tenrikyo, in the context of the Service, it is referring to the Kanrodai. In the context of an individual, it is referring to the person who is to become the central figure of the path. In the context of the mind, it is referring to a central idea or thought. That is, this verse is referring to both the Kanrodai, “the central pillar of nihon” (See Ofudesaki note for 8:85) that marks the central spot for the faith of single-hearted salvation and the person that will be the core of Tenrikyo, “the Shinbashira, who is to settle matters within” (See 3:56).

    This verse is aiming for the completion of the Service of the Kanrodai and hastening the construction of the Kanrodai and the establishment of the office of the Shinbashira.

  9. OC 3:9: Although I am rushing to quickly put in this pillar, I cannot because the minds of everyone is not purified.

    *Note: Although a model Kanrodai was built at this time, the Jiba where it was to be placed was yet to be identified. Also, while Oyagami decided to have Shinnosuke, the third son of the Kajimoto household to become heir of the Nakayama household and the Shinbashira of the path, those close by did not realize the intention of Oyagami to have him quickly live at Jiba. This verse is relating how everyone clung to their selfish thoughts and disagreed about this matter.

  10. OC 3:10 *Note: Unusual Japanese expressions—moyodate (“arrange”) and suino (“filter”).

    Moyodate refers to the act of bringing everyone’s efforts together and hastening a series of preparatory plans.

    Suino refers to a water filter or strainer.

  11. OC 3:11: This filter is not something to be found at some particular place. The heart and mouth of each of you is the filter. That is, share the insight you have attained and follow My intention after fully settling and pondering it in your mind.

    *Note: “Heart and mouth” refers to attaining and sharing insight.

  12. OC 3:12: Once people quickly awaken to My talks and gather their minds toward My intention, you shall immediately put the central pillar into place.

    *Refer to note for 3:8.

  13. OC 3:13: If you place this pillar with certainty at Jiba, the basis of the path will be established, gradually leading to the teachings being spread across the globe and settling peace in the world.
  14. OC 3:14: Because this path is a path of attaining and sharing insight, once you fully realize awaken to this allegorical story, establish the Shinbashira, construct the Kanrodai, and come to conduct the Service of the Kanrodai after the performers have assembled, the world will settle in harmony in accordance with My intention.
  15. OC 3:16 *Note: At the time of human creation, Tsukihi, Oyagami (the two sacred names of Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto and Omotari-no-Mikoto), summoned the instruments that became the basis for the complete providence that led to the creation of human beings and the basis for life. It was through these wondrous workings in which human beings have been able to advance to their current state of growth. (See 6:29–51)