November 13, 2015 was our 3rd “Friday the 13th” of the year. I heard on the radio that millions of dollars are lost in the economy on such days because people avoid things like traveling, weddings, signing contracts, breaking ground on construction, and making large purchases like buying a house or car on Friday the 13th.
In Tenrikyo, there is no such thing as unlucky days, or even unlucky numbers. By the same token, there is no particular day that is luckier than another. Oyasama, our Foundress, simply taught that “the luckiest day is the day when everybody is spirited in mind.”
That said, the attack in Paris on 11/13/15, was a severe tragedy. Many lives were lost and the president of France said in a statement that it was an act of war, and that France would be merciless against the attackers. To be sure, such unfortunate events often result in the community and the world coming together to aide, assist, comfort, and support those affected by the incident (the same is true when natural disasters claim and disrupt the lives of many). However, waging war against another country will surely result in the loss of more lives.
I have not studied in depth, the doctrines of other religions, but it is shocking to me that a religious organization would instruct its people to hurt others in the name of God. When someone believes that, by taking the lives of their “enemies,” they are sending victims to damnation while raising their own status with God; or if there is a belief that those killed were “meant to die anyway” then you can see how trivial the value of life becomes in their minds. But consider yourself, as a parent, watching your own children fighting and even killing each other – would that bring happiness to you? Remember, everyone on earth originated from the first couple created by God; therefore, in the eyes of God the Parent, we are all brothers and sisters.
Oyasama taught us that there is no afterworld. No heaven and no hell. We borrow our bodies from God the Parent during our lifetime, and when we pass away, we return our bodies while our souls live on eternally. The soul returns to the bosom of God the Parent until such time we are ready to be reborn into this world. If we understand this concept, we realize how important and how special THIS life is.
But what about the attackers that claim the lives of so many? As hard as it is to acknowledge, they, too, are our brothers and sisters. God the Parent, speaking through Oyasama, said that in the world there is no one who is essentially evil. It is only a bit of dust stuck on. The “dust” referred to here is the dust of the mind, or Mental Dust. These are thoughts that are only concerned about the self and not of others. Miserliness, Covetousness, Anger, Hatred, Selfish Love, Grudge-Bearing, Greed, and Arrogance, these are the dusts of the mind.
Imagine a world where everyone understood the Truth that we were created to live joyously by mutually helping each other in order to make our true Parent happy. Could these types of tragedies exist in such a place?
In our daily prayers, let us pray for the victims and their families, but let us also pray for God’s help to purify ALL the minds of the world, equally.