Oyasama’s Birth Celebration Service was conducted at Tenrikyo Church Headquarters on April 18 to commemorate the 202nd birthday of the everliving Oyasama, our beloved Parent, who eternally guides us toward the Joyous Life for all humankind. Great numbers of followers returned to the Home of the Parent to celebrate this festive occasion, including many who made journeys from their homes overseas.
At ten o’clock in the morning, the Shinbashira, accompanied by the other Service performers, arrived in the South Worship Hall after having paid respects to Oyasama in the Foundress’ Sanctuary. Ascending the dais, the Shinbashira delivered the prayer, in which he said: “Together with all present, I pray that You use us in the task of world salvation and provide us with Your blessings so that all people in the world may have their heart swept clean of dust, their sincerity heightened, and thus spend their days in joyousness, protected by Your loving care.”
Following the performance of the Kagura Service around the model Kanrodai in the Inner Sanctuary, the Shinbashira and the former Shinbashira proceeded to the Foundress’ Sanctuary to serve Oyasama Her meal, whereafter they returned to the South Worship Hall. In the meantime, the Teodori, the Dance with Hand Movements, was performed on the dais in the Main Sanctuary.
The sermon was delivered by Honbu-in Hirakazu Ueda, who emphasized the need for us to settle the point of Oyasama’s Divine Model in our minds and to implement it in our lives. He explained: “The path of the Divine Model is the path of single-hearted salvation, the path of single-heartedness with God, and the path of sincerity alone. Oyasama not only conveyed God the Parent’s intention to us but also She implemented the teaching in Her own life, thus providing an exemplary model to show us how to follow the path.
“Oyasama opened this path, basing it on the truth of the Parent. In addition, She clearly taught that God the Parent is our true Parent and that, to follow the path of the Parent, we cannot rely on human thought. She also warned us that, while following this path, we must avoid sowing useless seeds of complaint. The worldly common way of going through life, relying entirely on human thought, may seem to be a tangible and trustworthy path, but Oyasama, nonetheless, asks us to understand the true path of the Parent and to settle the One Truth of the Parent in our mind. She says that if only we would understand the truth of the 50-year path of the Divine Model and settle it in our minds, we would have nothing to fear, for the path would then open before us in all directions. If only we would settle the mind of true sincerity, we would be shown free and unlimited workings.”
The Shinbashira then returned to the Foundress’ Sanctuary, where he read a prayer to Oyasama. In the prayer, he said: “We are committed to increasing our awareness of being instruments of Oyasama and to heightening the joy that derives from that awareness. And we are resolved to follow Your Divine Model, which will enable us to be high spirited in serving as Your instruments.”
Following the Service, a musical event called “Joyous Chorus” was conducted in the Inner Courtyard, where thousands of followers joined in singing a number of songs in celebration of Oyasama’s birthday.