Konko Missions in Hawaii
Offerings to Kami-Sama in Appreciation
An offering forwarded at the time of Toritsugi-Mediation is strictly an offering made in appreciation for the work of Kami, not for the work of the Toritsugi-Mediator in accordance to the Konko faith tradition.
There is not a set established rule for the tradition of making an offering in the Konko faith, but we follow the traditional form of enclosing a monetary offering in an envelope with the writing, “奉” (“hou” meaning an offering to Kami”) or “御初穂”(pronounced as “ohatsuho” meaning the first harvest in blessedness) along with your name on it. At our church we provide an envelope with the wording “御初穂” placed in a box at the entrance of the church for your convenience. You may forward any offerings in place of monetary offering, such as food, your skills, and even your time to help out at church.
The minister may forward to you a “Goshinmai Sacred Rice” when you make an offering at the Toritsugi-Mediation Desk. But you may request “Goshinmai Sacred Rice” even if you may not make any offerings. In regard to making an offering, the Founder related in this manner. “What do you think offerings to Kami are? Kami does not take offerings with disregard. He returns ten thousand times as much. You must not give offerings to Kami thinking that it is wasteful. (II Fukushima Gihe’e 16, 3). The Founder also stated, “If it were possible to give thanks to Kami-Sama for your divine blessings by offering things, you would never be able to offer enough. Offering such things won’t make Kami-Sama happy, and He doesn’t ask for them. Tell about the divine blessings you have received to those who are unaware of Kami-Sama’s blessedness. Then those people will be saved. Giving thanks this way will make Kami-Sama most happy” (II Senda Shima 3-2,3). Another teaching reads, “If you receive blessings by practicing faith and then sincerely give teachings to others with the same heart as Kami’s, you too can walk the true way of faith. Passing on Konko Daijin’s words without changing their meaning and helping others to practice true faith will please Kami. This will make you a kami. You should not consider yourself above Kami, even if you become one” (III Konko Kyoso Gorikai 61-2, 3).
“Tenchi Kakitsuke” - The Divine Reminder
The message reads in Japanese:
Ikigami Konko Daijin,
Tenchi Kane no Kami,
Isshin ni negae.
Waga kokoro ni ari.
Kongetsu Konnichi de tanomei.
The generally accepted English translation of the message is:
Through Ikigami Konko Daijin,
To Tenchi Kane no Kami,
Pray with a single heart.
The divine favor depends
Upon one’s own heart.
On this very day pray
The Japanese calligraphic message installed in the center of the Kami altar is called “Tenchi Kakitsuke” or “The Divine Reminder.” On March 15, 1873, Tenchi Kane no Kami instructed the Founder Konko Daijin to make copies of the message and gave away a copy to some believers upon their visitation to the church. Kami instructed, “As a means of introducing the divine name to the world, stock up copies of the message and pass them out to the believers who made a visit.”
The main message is to remind ourselves that whether we can manifest blessed lives can solely be depended upon how we exercise the heart of “Waga-kokoro” which represents our heart of tranquility and joy with single heartedness.
It is believed that all Konkokyo teachings are derived from this single core message of The Divine Reminder.
Goshinmai Sacred Rice
When you make a visit to church and make an offering at the Toritsugi-Mediation Desk, your minister will forward to you a packet of “Goshinmai Sacred Rice.”
Inside envelope, you will find a dozen or so grains of processed rice in a triangular shaped wrapping paper. The rice represents the blessing of Kami for the sustenance of all living things. The interior wrapping paper is made from traditional Japanese rice paper.
In the Konko faith tradition, we do not have the tradition of “Omamori” or amulet nor “Goshintai” or the sacred staff. So we do not regard the Goshinmai Sacred Rice as an amulet or charm, but regard it as a symbolic presentation of Kami’s blessings. We have witnessed many miraculous episodes that can hardly be rationalized through our conventional perception. Many people have experienced healing of illnesses and savings from dangerous consequences and so forth. At our church, the minister recommend the church members to place a packet of Goshinmai Sacred Rice in their car visor as a reminder that whenever they drive, they need to driving with the heart of thanks, and safety of others and their own. Some people partake one grain of sacred rice as they go out to school or to report to work daily. Some people place it on an alcove in their house as a reminder for them to direct their hearts to Kami. Some believers keep it in their possession in their conviction that Kami accompanies them at all times.
It is recommended that sacred rice is eaten before you take any medicine. Some believers place the sacred rice in the rice cooker as they cook rice daily. You can also put the entire inner rice packet into a water kettle with several cups of water and boil it until the rice and the rice paper are nearly dissolved. They drink the softened blessed water with Goshinmai Sacred Rice along with taking medication or in place of regular tap water. When we get hurt, we dip the interior wrapping paper with “Omiki” sacred rice wine and place over our wound.
If you think you have accumulated too many “Goshinmai Sacred Rice” and do not know what to do with them, simply bring them back to church. One must never thoughtlessly discard sacred items into the trash, or treat with neglect (I.e.: trample, crumple, use as memo paper).
Bring them to church or burn them and return them to the earth. Some believers ask their family members to place all the accumulated Goshinmai Sacred Rice in the coffin as they departed from this world.
Omiki Sacred Rice Wine
The rice wine once offered to Kami is called “Omiki” sacred rice wine. “Omiki” made with rice and heat also means a symbolic presentation of Kami’s blessings. Handling of “Omiki” may be relevant to the handling of “Goshinmai Sacred Rice.” We usually apply “Omiki” when we get injured and for scrapes and burns. We sip omiki after the regular church service as a blessed rice wine. It is very important that we treat these sacred items with utmost respect.
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