Miki Nakayama, the foundress of Tenrikyo, was a simple, sincere, humble, pure and generous Japanese woman. Compared to most religions the Tenrikyo religion has a very recent origin. Only about one hundred and forty years ago it was born. Miki Nakayama received inner illumination when she was forty-one years old. After that, for half a century she offered her illumination as a devoted service to humanity. Material wealth she had in abundant measure. But she gave it away and embraced poverty, for she discovered the true truth that in order to be a real servant to poor humanity she must herself be poor. In that state she would be able to communicate much better with the poverty-stricken humanity than she could while wallowing in the pleasures of her own wealth.

She was misunderstood. She was prosecuted. She was thrown into prison quite a few times. Even after she became an octogenerian she suffered imprisonment. The civil authorities were of the opinion that she was misleading humanity and that her illumination was nothing short of a mental hallucination. These hostile authorities were considerably instigated by the votaries of the then well-established religions of Japan.

Miki Nakayama’s philosophy is: accept life. Be not complacent, but be satisfied with what you have and are; then try to improve your outer life and inner life so that you can achieve greater and more fulfilling satisfaction. Remember, you are not the real owner of your possessions. You have borrowed them from God. By yourself you have nothing and you are nothing. It is God alone who does everything in and through you and makes you everything in His divine and supreme way. God plays His role unconditionally. You play your role devotedly, at least. Try to see the Face of God in the heart of man. Try to serve God in man, for He alone has Reality’s Light and He alone is Immortality’s Life. Offer Him what you have. Become what He is. The little infinitesimal will which you proudly claim to be yours is not really yours. It is His. From Him you have borrowed. Return it to Him. He will give you this time something else. He will give you His transcendental Will. Also His universal Vision.

[to be continued]