On April 22, Dr. Kazuo Murakami, biochemist and professor emeritus at Tsukuba University, gave a lecture at Yoki Hall, located in the Oyasato-yakata’s South Right Wing 2. Dr. Murakami is well known for successfully decoding the genes of renin, an enzyme which is crucial in blood pressure regulation.
The lecture had a strong turnout, as all of the seats at Yoki Hall were occupied and standing room was very crowded. Among those who listened to the lecture were followers from overseas who had returned to Jiba in order to attend the Oyasama Birth Celebration Service. Simultaneous interpretation was provided in six languages: English, Chinese, Korean, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Dr. Murakami started out his speech by saying: “In my lectures and books, I have been using the term ‘Something Great.’ I came up with this term with the intention of making the workings of God the Parent and Oyasama known to the general public.”
After sharing his experiences in decoding the genes of renin and rice plants, he said: “Being at the forefront of genetic research, I saw the workings of God the Parent unfolding in front of my own eyes. In my own case, that was how science and the teachings of the path slowly merged and began to resonate with each other. ”
He concluded his lecture by sharing his conviction: “My experiences in the field of science have convinced me that the teachings of this path can be universally accepted. I want to share my conviction with people in the Tenrikyo community as well as with those who have never heard about God the Parent or Oyasama before. In this seasonable time of Oyasama’s anniversary, I feel truly blessed for having my book published in the United States and having public speaking opportunities to reach out to larger audiences. I want to say louder than ever before that ‘Something Great’ actually refers to God the Parent. That is my resolution as a Yoboku for this decade leading up to the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama.”
After giving his lecture, Dr. Murakami said: “It was very exciting to give a lecture at the Home of the Parent and receive the truth of the Jiba before my lecture tour in the United States and Canada, where I will be sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings. These days, English has become the lingua franca of the world. I hope that my latest book will serve as a catalyst in making the providence of God the Parent known to many people.”
Last month, the English translation of Dr. Murakami’s book was published in the United States under the title The Divine Code of Life: Awaken Your Genes and Discover Hidden Talents. The book has already been published in Chinese and Korean, and the contract for the book to be published in French was signed in January 2006.
The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 1989, wrote the following recommendation for the book: “Humankind in the twenty-first century is faced with challenges that cannot be solved by science or religion alone. We need to blend our spiritual understanding with modern scientific knowledge in order to overcome suffering. Kazuo Murakami’s important research brings us closer to that goal.”
Dr. Murakami toured six cities in the United States and Canada to promote his new book between May 9 and 23. His public speaking engagements included meetings sponsored by corporations, foundations, and science associations as well as events at bookstores and schools. On May 18, he visited Tenrikyo Mission Headquarters in America, where he gave a special lecture.