Tag Archives: Enomoto Eijiro

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 42

42. By Saving Others

Early in April 1875, Eijiro Enomoto of Sugahama, Sando Village in Fukui Prefecture, visited the goddess of mercy of Hase, the eighth temple on the pilgrimage route through the western provinces. His purpose was to pray that his daughter Kiyo be cured of insanity. From the old woman of a teahouse he happened to hear that a living god resided in Shoyashiki Village. He then hurried to Shoyashiki through Miwa and visited the Residence. He asked an intermediary for an audience with Oyasama, who told him:

“You need not worry. Never! Go home quickly, as something wrong has happened in your home. Visit houses in your village one by one and save forty-two persons. Pray to God earnestly at each house, chanting, ‘Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto,’ and pressing your hands together in prayer. By saving others you yourself will be saved.”

Eijiro left Shoyashiki lightheartedly and, going through Kizu, Kyoto and Shiozu, arrived at Sugahama on April 23rd.

His daughter was hopelessly insane, but while he was praying, “Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto,” pressing his hands together in prayer, incredibly, she became calm by degrees. Then as Oyasama had instructed him, he visited every house in his village, spreading the fragrance of the teachings of God. He visited the homes of the sick repeatedly, praying for the healing of forty-two people.

Wonderfully, his daughter was completely cured. Also, people came from many homes to express their gratitude. Restored to sanity, his daughter married a man adopted into her family. Eijiro and the young couple returned to Jiba to offer their thanks and were granted an audience with Oyasama.

Later, they expressed their impression that Oyasama, wearing pure red garments and with Her snow-white hair plaited in the shape of a tea whisk, was a beautiful and noble figure.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 36–37

Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 42

The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 21

The following is a translation of Part 21 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the September 2004 (No. 429) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further polishing and revision.

Part 21: “By Saving Others, You Yourself Shall Be Saved”

In early April 1875, Eijiro Enomoto of Sugahama, Sandoson, in Fukui Prefecture (currently known as Sugahama, Migata-cho in Mihama-gun, Fukui Prefecture) embarked on a temple pilgrimage in the western provinces (saigoku junrei)1 in hopes to have his daughter Kiyo be saved from madness. Continue reading The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 21

  1. The saigoku junrei is a well-known pilgrimage of 33 sites dedicated to the Buddhist goddess of mercy, Kannon. There is actually ink-brush art accompanying this article that shows a man bowing (presumably Eijiro) dressed in Buddhist pilgrimage garb with the words “Namu Kanze Bosatsu” (variant of Kannon/Kanze’on) inscribed on his back. It would be really great if I could get permission to post this art with these translations (which I have been posting sans permission or notification, since, I would argue, these stories belong in the public domain). Maybe some day it will happen.

Saved By the Truth of Saving Others

The following is an excerpt from Omichi no joshiki [Tenrikyo Fundamentals] (pp. 39–43) by Koji Sato (佐藤浩司), assistant professor at Tenri University and instructor at Tenri Seminary. Note: This translation is tentative and may require further revision.

Saved By the Truth of Saving Others

We have the following expression in Tenrikyo, “Through saving others, you yourself shall be saved.”

Yet I must note that this does not mean, “Through saving others, you become saved in exchange” or “If you want to be saved, you must first save others.” These words contain a more profound meaning.

There are two stories in the Anecdotes of Oyasama where this teaching of “saving others” appears.

*         *         *

In April 1875, Eijiro Enomoto of Sugahama, Sandoson, in Fukui Prefecture visited the Residence to ask that his daughter Kiyo be saved from a psychological illness. Oyasama said to him:

You need not worry, you need not worry. Go home quickly, as a great misfortune has happened in your home. Visit houses in your village one by one and save 42 persons. Pray to God earnestly at each house, chanting, ‘Namu Tenri-O-no-Mikoto,’ while pressing your hands together in prayer. By saving others, you yourself shall be saved.

Anecdotes of Oyasama 42 “By Saving Others”

Eijiro thereby returned home. He found that his daughter was severely ill and that his village was in a terrible situation. There were people sick from various illnesses everywhere. He visited each house and after helping 42 people recover through his prayers, his daughter also experienced a complete recovery. The other story is as follows:

In 1885, Hyoshiro Kami and his daughter Kimi suddenly lost their eyesight. When Hyoshiro’s wife Tsune visited the Residence on their behalf, Oyasama said:

God is testing him and guiding him. It is best for your husband to return himself. He will then be thoroughly instructed in the Teaching.

Hyoshiro then returned to the Residence, traveling 16 kilometers while being guided by his wife. Oyasama directly instructed him in the “Story of Creation.”

After Oyasama’s instruction ended, Hyoshiro found that his vision had returned without him realizing when or how it exactly happened. When he returned home, his daughter also was blessed with her vision.

Yet after that, Hyoshiro’s vision was blurry and he was unable to see distant objects until 8 a.m. every morning. He did not know what to make of this. So when he returned in the first month of 1886, he asked Oyasama and She said:

God has finished guiding you, but not has finished testing you. Testing means that you yourself shall be saved through saving others. You must not think of yourself. If you single-heartedly turn yourself to the thought, ‘I must at any cost save others and have others be saved,’ then your illness will be completely cured.

Anecdotes of Oyasama 167 “Through Saving Others”

It is crucial that Oyasama said, “You must not think of yourself.” Oyasama is instructing us that in order for us or someone dear to us to be saved from illness or misfortune, we must forget all about everything that has to do with ourselves. We must instead direct our attention outward, praying and working for the sake of others.

In the first story, although Eijiro Enomoto went to ask for his daughter to be saved, he was instructed to save others. In reality, it is by no means an easy matter to pray to have 42 people be saved.

If we were to set about in accomplishing this, we will find that we have no time to think about our own situation. This story teaches us the importance of becoming of the mind that wishes for others to be saved.

In the second story Oyasama tells Hyoshiro Kami:

God has finished guiding you, but not has finished testing you. Testing means that you yourself shall be saved through saving others.

A person who is confronted by a misfortune or trouble finds that it is more important than anything else to be saved from this situation. Yet the misfortune or trouble is but a catalyst for a person to be guided to the teachings. I feel that Oyasama is teaching us that we are not to stop at that step but to place ourselves at “the locus of mutual salvation” where we find the key to having faith in this path.

To place ourselves on this stage of mutual salvation is to perceive the troubles, misfortunes, difficulties, and privation of others as our own responsibility and thus refuse to cast them aside. By praying for the salvation of others, we are able to purify our minds and advance on the path of “spiritual growth” that God the Parent so ardently desires.

Hyoshiro did as he was taught and single-heartedly dedicated himself to saving others and received the blessings that allowed him to completely recover from his disability.

*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.


I have taken the liberties here of revising and making what I see as small improvements to the some of the quotes from Anecdotes.