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Tenrikyo’s Way of Thinking and Living: Jiba’s Openness

At the entrance to a Japanese Shinto shrine, there is usually a gateway and a path leading to the shrine; there is a certain route for worshipers. In addition, the boundaries of the shrine precincts are easy to recognize in most cases.

How about Jiba? A black gate stands about 150 meters (492 ft.) south of the Main Sanctuary. The gate is called the South Gate. This gate can be regarded as an entrance.

However, Tenrikyo followers do not always walk through the gate when they come to worship, and there is no rule saying that they have to. People can just as freely come to worship from the west, east, or north; the Main Sanctuary can be approached from all directions.

Moreover, there are no clear boundary markers, such as walls or signs, which mark the confines of the Sanctuary precincts. This openness can be seen as one of the characteristics of Jiba.

The same applies to the Main Sanctuary. There is no closing time. It is open twenty-four hours a day so that anyone can come in to offer prayers to God anytime, even at midnight.

God the Parent is the true Parent of humankind, and Jiba is the place where the Parent resides. Therefore, anyone can come to see the Parent anytime. This complete openness is symbolized by the Main Sanctuary and its precincts, which have no boundaries.

In the Ofudesaki, a Tenrikyo Scripture, we read:

People come to Me from whatever places. It is because they all are of the original causality.

Ofudesaki IV:54

All people are children of God the Parent, regardless of where they live in the world. God draws them to Jiba because of their causality.

From Tenrikyo no kangaekata kurashikata published by Doyusha Publishing Company

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