We are taught that God the Parent created human beings and the world with the intention of seeing us live the Joyous Life and sharing in that joy. We are therefore all supposed to be able to live happily; however, we all face obstacles in our lives. In the Tenrikyo teachings, such obstacles are often referred to as illnesses and troubles.
Most people consider illnesses and other troubles as hardships and thus something to avoid, but God the Parent explains them as guidance for our lives. If we take illnesses and other troubles as opportunities to ponder and awaken to God’s intention, we will be able to receive the blessings we seek and to see a path that leads to further spiritual growth. There is thus no need for us to be pessimistic. We only have to change our mindset.
We are taught, “The origin of illness lies in your own mind.” The teachings say that the human body is a thing lent by God, a thing borrowed, and that the mind alone is ours. Everything in our lives—including our health or illness and our happiness or lack thereof—is the reflection of how we use the mind. In other words, we are given opportunities to reflect on our use of the mind through illnesses and other troubles.
God the Parent desires to save everyone in the world, and people suffering from illnesses and other troubles are at the top of the list of those needing salvation in God’s view. Those who bear this parental desire in mind and engage in salvation work are called “Yoboku,” a term that means “useful timber” for the construction of the Joyous Life World.
Salvation work may involve two main areas: helping those suffering from illnesses and helping those suffering from some other troubles. Yet the root of both illnesses and other problems is essentially the same.
Although some people regard salvation from illness as something that belongs to the past, Tenrikyo’s efforts to save people—whether from illnesses or from other troubles—are ultimately aimed at addressing the root cause of whatever people suffer from. This point must be understood.
Tenrikyo began to spread as a result of miraculous salvation shown by Oyasama, and such salvation remains available today.
From Tenrikyo no kangaekata kurashikata published by Doyusha Publishing Company