Great Construction

Religion of Actual Benefits
The Ideal Is a World of Eternal Peace
Questions and Answers with Master Jikan

Recently, on a day with a gentle and refreshing early summer breeze cleansing the gardens, Master Jikan responded to our request for an interview to ennoble the extra edition of Hikari as commemoration of its tenth issue. Definitive opinions are published here for the first time for the benefit of the public on specific explanations for dealing with serious problems in ways not yet attempted. Below is a record of that interview (dictated but not read).

QUESTION: Can faith really save individuals from their distress and suffering?
MASTER JIKAN: If individuals think they are not going to be saved, they will not be saved, and if individuals think they are going to be saved, they will be saved. The issue is the individual’s motivation toward faith. Individuals who think they may want to put their belief in a certain faith should first have contact with that faith. After contact, if they think they can be saved by that faith, one could say that they have entered the world of faith. However, it could be said that until now for the most part religions have not saved human beings from their suffering. That is because religions have relied mostly on logic and reasoning and did not possess actual power.

QUESTION: What is a religion with power?
MASTER JIKAN: A religion with power is one in which there are actual benefits. In religions to date, there were actual benefits to some degree, but they were not so evident. Because actual benefits were so few, religions that provided actual benefits were held, on the contrary, to be of a low level. Until now, most religious scholars have put religion into a framework of logic and reasoning, and actual benefits were ignored. In other words, actual benefits were taken to be merely miracles. Not believing in miracles has a lot in common with not believing in religion.

QUESTION: Is it permissible to believe in miracles?
MASTER JIKAN: It is permissible to believe in miracles. Even without faith, one can absolutely come to believe in miracles. What we call miracles are actual benefits. That there are many actual benefits means that there are many miracles. This kind of religion is labeled evil and superstitious. The persistent way of thinking of existing religious scholars that depends mainly on logic and reasoning must be fundamentally destroyed, otherwise it is absolutely impossible to save human beings from their sufferings and from social evils. If something tasty can be put into the mouth that desires it, and that tasty thing can be supplied, there should not be anything so joyous. All human beings possess desire. It is sufficient that that desire is fulfilled. Anyone who wants to have their desires fulfilled will take money and go buy what they want. Even when money is paid, if the goods are not produced, it is a serious matter. Actual benefits apply to this situation. A religion in which faith is put that has no actual benefits is akin to being meaningless. If it is such a religion, it is better not to have faith in it.

QUESTION: In what way do blessings from Kannon appear?
MASTER JIKAN: Miracles become real and appear. That actual benefits truly exist is due to the great power of Kannon.

QUESTION: So, can one believe in the actuality of Kannon power?
MASTER JIKAN: It actually exists. I can explain in more scientific terms, but the time to do so has not yet come. The power of Kannon that I wield is greatly above the level of current religions, so the general public is not able to sufficiently understand. Thus, those who hear what I have to say will impugn it as superstitious. The path of religions in their infancy are of thorns. The persecution of the Christian padres was the same. When individuals finally understand, they will on their own come to believe its value.

QUESTION: Should religions engage in some kind of social activities?
MASTER JIKAN: Religions should certainly undertake social activities. There may be those persons such as philosophers and religious scholars studying by themselves or else individuals who think only they will be saved, but with such an attitude, all society, the general public will not be saved. The very religions in which one section of intellectuals or a specific class of people can be happy is not the way of true religion. Unless all peoples are happy and all peoples can be saved, it cannot be called a true blessing from God. The blessings of Kannon power extend not only to human society, they extend to the social worlds of all birds and beasts.

QUESTION: What is the concept of your ideal of paradise on earth?
MASTER JIKAN: It is nothing other than a world free of disease, poverty, and conflict. The work of creating flower gardens and healing tuberculosis is also one part of the paradise on earth movement. But these are not our only goals, and our building a paradise on earth in this material world is only one sample. These goals are part and parcel of concepts such as the concord of spirit and body, and the oneness of the Buddha (merciful) mind.

QUESTION: About the relationship of the Tathagata of Divine Light and Kannon.
MASTER JIKAN: They are coincident but the timing of their activity differs. The Tathagata of Divine Light, however, is active on a higher level.

QUESTION: Do the teachings of Kannon gainsay science?
MASTER JIKAN: To say that the teachings of Kannon do not gainsay but rather precede science may be easier to understand. If the progress of science is the science of the twentieth century, it could also be said that the teachings of Kannon is the science of the twenty-first century. Therefore, it could also be said that the culture and medical science of today are a century behind.

QUESTION: Does or does not Johrei impugn medical science?
MASTER JIKAN: Johrei does not impugn medical science. However, the level of medical science today does not heal. Johrei has the benefit of healing, so medicines and drugs naturally become unnecessary.

QUESTION: What is your opinion of socialism?
MASTER JIKAN: Socialism is already behind the times. It was necessary of course during the feudal era when the disparity between the privileged classes and the common classes was terrible, but I think that to say that all classes have to become one is an unsavory thought. Rather, it is unfair to lump those who work together with those who idle their time away. Capitalism is necessary and socialism is necessary and communism is necessary, but they should be adroitly allocated, which is what I think democracy is. Even with pictures, you can’t have a picture only in red. When various colors are combined is when you have a beautiful picture. It is the same with foods. After something sweet, something spicy is needed. If everything is the same, it all becomes one color and what is attractive, advantageous disappears.

QUESTION: Through your spiritual sense, how do you see the future of Japan?
MASTER JIKAN: I believe Japan will certainly become better. Those signs are now apparent. The long period of the chaos of war has completely destroyed the body of Japan. Japan is indeed a severely ill patient. The shortage of money is constipation. Evil thought is a tubercular germ. No doctor has appeared in Japan who can cure this disease. In particular, the harm of materialistic thought to the reconstruction of Japan is inconceivable. Japan will absolutely not be made healthy and saved unless materialistic thought is fundamentally removed and replaced by spiritual thought. Materialistic thought denies and ignores invisible God. Matters and affairs will not proceed smoothly when religion is denied.

QUESTION: What is your opinion of religions involved in peace movements?
MASTER JIKAN: There is no point in doing something if only Japan gets better. The whole world must get better. For that to happen, the hearts of the people of the world must be joined by religion through spiritual means. What I am earnestly seeking is nothing other than the great ideal of world peace. It could be said that the religious activities of the Kannon Church are one part of the movement for world peace. The first step in that action is Johrei, the great cleansing of Japan. Evil spirits must be eliminated and a fresh, energetic sincerity must be stimulated. For that purpose, I throw myself into salvation day and night.

REPORTER: Immeasurable will be the divine light received by members as well as by those who will join in the future from this beneficial discussion for which you were able to make time amidst your busy schedule. Thank you very much.

Hikari, extra edition, page 3, May 30, 1949 
translated by cynndd

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“Gentō Riyaku no Shūkyō, Risō wa Sekai no Eikyū Heiwa, Jikan Daisensei to no Taidan,” originally published on page 3 of the extra edition of the newspaper Hikari, May 30, 1949, and while Meishu-sama still alive, reprinted in the anthology for ministers Goshinsho: Shūkyō-hen (Divine Writings: Volume on Religion), March 25, 1954, page 278, titled “Hikarishi Kisha to no Gotaidan” (Questions and Answers with a Hikari Newspaper Reporter) has, as far as is known, not appeared in translation.