Tenrikyo’s Way of Thinking and Living: Three Positions of Oyasama

The Main Sanctuary of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters centers around Jiba, and to the north of it stands the Foundress’ Sanctuary, which is dedicated to Oyasama. The two Sanctuaries are connected by the Corridor.

Tenrikyo followers refer to the Foundress, Miki Nakayama, as “Oyasama,” a word written with two Chinese characters meaning “the Parent of the Teaching.”

To know more about Oyasama, let us consider Her three positions.

First, Oyasama serves as “the Shrine of God.” As a result of God the Parent’s revelation, which occurred in 1838, Oyasama was settled as the Shrine of God. This means that, although Oyasama’s outward appearance was no different from that of ordinary people, Her mind was now that of God the Parent and free from any human thinking. Therefore, Her spoken and written words are direct expressions of God the Parent’s profound intention to save human beings. In this respect, there is no mistake in what She said or wrote—none at all.

Second, Oyasama is called “the Parent of the Divine Model.” She spent fifty years embodying the intention of God the Parent on earth. Her journey along the path is the Divine Model for universal salvation; it provides a model of how to live the Joyous Life. We seek to follow Her example, finding joy in doing so.

Third, although Oyasama withdrew from physical life on the lunar-calendar date of January 26, 1887, She is everliving and continues to work for world salvation with Her soul remaining at the Residence of Origin. We refer to this aspect of Oyasama’s role as “the truth of the everliving Oyasama.” Having an unwavering conviction in this truth is an essential aspect of our faith.

We would do well to bring to mind the three positions of Oyasama when we visit the Foundress’ Sanctuary.

From Tenrikyo no kangaekata kurashikata published by Doyusha Publishing Company

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