In the Ofudesaki, there are verses that go:
Although I look across everywhere in the world over manifold ages, I find that there is no one who is evil (1:52).
Throughout the world, Cosmic Space-Time is the broom for the sweeping of the innermost heart. Be sure to watch carefully (3:52).
If only the dusts are cleanly swept away, then all that remains is extraordinary salvation (3:98).
A list and explanation of the eight dusts are as follows:
(1) Miserliness: Although it is good to be frugal or to ensure our belongings do not fall into disuse, we harbor the dust of miserliness when we hold on to something that should be returned, fail to pay what is required, or to begrudge fulfilling our share of social responsibilities. Miserliness means to be stingy with our efforts in addition to being stingy with our money and possessions.
We would do best to cultivate generosity and willingness instead and strive to work (hataraku) to put the people around us (hata) at ease (raku).
(2) Covetousness: Although it is good to make the effort to earn things we want, we harbor the dust of covetousness when we desire clothes or food beyond our current means or desire more things even though what we have is enough.
We would do best to cultivate a sense of fulfillment and gratitude instead, settling the mind so that the feeling of insufficiency does not arise in the first place.
(3) Hatred: Although it is good to condemn an offense but not its perpetrators, we harbor the dust of hatred when we hate another person, whether it be our in-laws or people outside our family circle.
We would do best to cultivate loving-kindness and affection instead.
(4) Self-love: Although it is good to love ourselves or those close to us, we harbor the dust of self-love when we love ourselves or our loved ones at the expense of others or spoil our children. Self-love has been singled out by one minister as the worst of the dusts.1
We would do best to cultivate impartiality and compassion instead.
(5) Grudge-Bearing: Although it is good to reproach ourselves when we suffer any injustice at the hands of others, we harbor the dust of grudge-bearing when we bear ill will against another. It is important to reflect critically on ourselves and our shortcomings before getting caught up in the feeling of ill will toward others.
In the Ofudesaki, we read:
Hereafter, on whatever path you may find yourself, never bear a grudge against others. Reproach yourself.
(6) Anger: Although it is good to uphold reason and not become upset, we harbor the dust of anger when we lose our temper or cause others to become upset.
We would do best to seek to purify the mind and cultivate a calm demeanor and joyous acceptance instead.
(7) Greed: Although it is good to devote ourselves in our occupations, we harbor the dust of greed when we seek to be paid more than average, make profits by cheating or giving someone short measure, steal or misappropriate what belongs to others, or succumb to lust.
We would do best to cultivate selflessness and consideration instead.
(8) Arrogance: Although it is good to believe our present situation is possible because of heaven’s blessings and the virtue of our parents and ancestors, we harbor the dust of arrogance when we talk about nothing but ourselves, look down on others, abuse our wealth or power, boast of our knowledge, find fault with others, or pretend to know what we really don’t.
We would do best to cultivate humility and respect instead.
Although they are not precisely dusts per se, God the Parent detests falsehood and flattery (Ofudesaki 12:113). We would do best to cultivate honesty and authenticity as well as sincerity and offer praise instead.
Finally, we must be mindful that the eight dusts in addition to falsehood and flattery were taught to us not to find fault with others but as a means for our constant self-reflection on our own shortcomings so that we make constant progress toward spiritual maturity and the purification of our minds so that we may achieve the Joyous Life.
*This list was most recently revised on August 5, 2015.
- “Dusts of the mind” from Yoboku’s Guide to Tenrikyo
- Sawai, Yuichi. Taimo (March and April 1998).
- Ando, Masayoshi. Mikagura-uta kowa, 17. ↩