Part 2 Practical Living (3/4)
28. If an unfortunate female prays to God with her whole heart, her prayers will even permeate hard rock.
This is a story about Ms.Nui Dogan who visited Founder Konko Daijin after losing her husband to illness. She took over her late husband's business, but couldn't manage it as well as him.
She told her anguish to Konko Daijin, "I must rely on my own efforts. I can't run the business as well as my late husband."
Konko Daijin told her, "If you pray to God with your whole heart, your prayers will even permeate hard rock."
Then she told him about her business in detail.
He told her, "Everything is in God's hands. All your employees are good because they have been given to you by God, and are children of God. You don't need to worry about choosing good or bad employees. You ought to have a pure mind so that you can accept everything as a gift from God."
Unfortunately she still failed in her business, but she tried hard to deepen her faith in God by throwing out her judgment. As a result of her bankruptcy, she became a missionary.
God leads humans through confusions even if they fall to ruin. God shows them a new way to the sacred world.
29. If you are willing and have faith, you can become a minister or anything that you Want. It all depends on your attitude. The only thing you can't escape is your death. When considering life's problems, you will notice God.
Entering into the Meiji Restoration, the Founder Konko Daijin said that people should take a cheerful view of their lives without discrimination and try to do everything which they wanted.
Humans can do anything in their lives when they pray to God. But,the only thing you can't escape is your death. People should recognize their limited abilities, and thank God for their lives.
30. It is said that a patient is better to avoid a high caloric diet. But, a person will weaken if they have a low caloric diet every day. A high caloric diet will make a feeble person fit.
This teaching is concerned with a patient's food. We must be reasonable in life even when we get ill. The Founder Konko Daijin expounded that humans were born to eat. He recommended patients to eat foods high in oil.
People are apt to choose low caloric foods.
Konko Daijin pointed out the irrationality of common thinking at that time.
31. Not that l slander the Japanese calendar, but l criticize it because it describes things which are contrary to reason. Behave as if everything in life comes from the bounty of God.
According to the old Japanese calendar, there were good days to sow wheat, plant greens and buckwheat.
If a farmer abided by these comments, he must sow seeds of wheat, etc, on a specified day.
As a result, sometimes the seeds were carried away by rain.
Konko Daijin advised people to free themselves from the old Japanese calendar and not to be bound by bad convention. A farmer must judge for himself the best sowing time.
He pointed out the calendar's unreasonableness and recommended more rational actions. By way of other examples, he told people that it was not a problem to eat beef even though it was prohibited by the current religion.
32. God knows the boundary line between buckwheat and vegetable fields, and between harmful insects and useful ones. The power of God is able to separate good fields from bad fields.
The Founder Konko Daijin explained the power of God by showing an example. These words, the boundary line represent the line between believing God or not.
Konko Daijin stressed that a believer is given the great blessing of a good harvest. A believer can easily judge when and where to sow seeds, and is able to have a good harvest. Day by day, a believer will become more abundant than a non-believer.
33. A man visited the Founder Konko Daijin and told him, I have managed a copper mine for four years, but suffered heavy damage. May I ask you whether I will make a profit if l try for another Year?"
The Founder Konko Daijin told him. "I can't tell you the result, but you should continue your business without worrying."
The visitor asked realistic questions concerning his commercial profit, but the Founder answered very simply and plainly. "Just go about your business. "
The reason he advised him in this way is because God gives blessings according to ones endeavors.
The Founder Konko Daijin showed the method by which worshiper's can express their wishes to God. He taught that one should not try to guess the answer but devote one's self through hard work, irrespective of advantage or disadvantage.
Konko Daijin taught that worshipers should have a purified mind and be thankful for everything in their life : humans, animals, plants, even if one's life is going to ruin. But, a life cannot really go to ruin because God blesses everybody in the universe. If humans can notice the blessing of God in an unfortunate life, humans will become peaceful and calm and be able to achieve a sacred mind closer to God's love.
34. A visitor, Mr. Tokunaga told the Founder Konko Daijin, "Today, I will go back, and join your religious association."
Konko Daijin responded to him, "There is no association in my house. You may organize a club of my teaching in your province."
At that time, there was no church, organizatio or religious sect of Konko Daijin. He only used the word "association" in the bible of Konko-kyo
This word suggested that Konko Daijin allowed others to organize the system of churches known as the Konko-kyo religious sect.
35. Worshipers, God's children should believe in God's love and blessings, and release all anxiety.
People are liable to go in the opposite direction, only focusing on their anxieties and doing nothing but wishing, without a purified mind.
It is most important to pray to God and to thank everything around you at all times and in all places.
36. A female, who taught the Founder Konko Daijin's teachings to people, visited him and said, "Some wicked men suddenly broke into my house, and took all the offerings on my household altar. What shall l do?"
Konko Daijin replied to her. "My ritualistic instruments were also taken by force. You shouldn't begrudge it. You can still pray to God in front of the bare wall. God promises to give humans bounty, increasing a grain of rice to ten thousand grains. I'm sure you'll escape blessings eternally if you turn your back on God."
37. Ms. Shika Nishina prayed to God to heal her husband's disease.
The Founder Konko Daijin told her this story. "A few samurai children gathered and were playing. A child noticed that one of the others wore a sword made of bamboo. They laughed at him saying how the bamboo sword was useful for cutting a person.
The child replied that they should try to cut a rock.
The children tried to do as he said, but each time the sword only became nicked. But the insulted child could easily cut the rock into two exact halves."
It is great to devote yourself to God. The Founder stressed often that you should endeavor to pray to God, even if your life is in danger.
You'll be sorry if you neglect to pray to God.
Konko Daijin taught that humans who were intent on achieving a pure mind would have unlimited ability, as in the example of the young samulai's story.
Humans have infinite power above and beyond practical sense. This was the core of Konko Daijin's belief.
38. The Founder Konko Daijin told people that they should try to be enamored of God and set their hearts on God so that God could recognize their pure mind.
Konko Daijin taught that worshipers should set their hearts on God, and strive for purity.
Everybody is able to do well in their business by practicing with their whole heart. A carpenter, a plasterer, and a craftsman can learn their craft by respecting their masters completely.
The masters will notice their enthusiastic attitude and make efforts to give instruction in their technique. In the same way, God blesses your pure mind.
Konko Daijin stressed that people's hopes would only be achieved through setting their whole heart on God.
These words ''Praying to God with your whole heart," are most important in Konko Daijin's teaching.
39. The Founder Konko Daijin told a worshiper, "If you were able to allow someone to slap you and in turn have more concern for the possible pain in his or her hand than the pain in your face, then no more disputes would occur. It is important for a believer to tolerate other's insulting acts."
Konko Daijin's story suggests that a worshiper should become disciplined by praying for others.
Worshipers must prepare themselves for all occurrences in every day life and be sensitive to the suffering of others.
It is very difficult to persevere. But l think that you will be able to through deepening your love for others and seeing them as God's children.
You must repeatedly remind yourself that God loves and blesses all people without discrimination.