Sunday, October 18, 2009
御祈祷(go-kitō) or 祈願 (kigan) is a ceremony to offer gratitude to kami (god) in hopes that we receive continuous protection. The shrine offers two types of gokitō, 御饌(mike) and 神楽(kagura). Both the Naigū (Inner Shrine) and Gaigū (Outer Shrine) provide a Kaguraden (a ceremonial hall). And the priests and the maidens will performs in front of kami as the conveyor on behalf of the offerer. (quote from Ise-Jingu official website)
I feel, using these two words, 祈祷 (kitō)・祈願 (kigan) should be reconsidered at this time.
Because these two words or Chinese characters are used, the people misunderstand the way to worship a kami.
These letters were used by the influence of Buddhism, and it has a hidden meaning such as curse, win, battle and request personal desires. They are all self-centered evil attitudes of human and what kami dislikes.
Most people think that kami is there to ask for wishes. That is a misfortune. Why is it a misfortune?
You are asking kami for your personal desires to come true. This is a rude attitude towards a kami, and most people do not know about it. This is happening because the priests of today’s shrines cannot sense the kenzokus (the spirits that protects the kami). They have forgotten the osore - the reverence towards kami.
How would you feel if your child come to you, hand you a small coin and say “I pay you this much so would to make a move to make my wish come true?”
Do you think the kami who has given you life and who is completely in the position of justice would say “yes, I shall make it happen” to every personal desires?
If your wish comes true, there will always be someone in trouble on the other side. That is how the balance is created in this society. Is that what you want?
If my child came to me to ask for a wish, because I love him I would really want to make it happen. But then, I think whether it would be good for him. I might secretly help him make it happen. But I would never say yes to everything he asks for. Sometimes, I would scold him that it’s not going to happen and life is not that easy.
You shouldn’t be asking for small details to the almighty god. Simply send gratitude for what you have at this moment, for being alive. Put your heart to it. The energy of gratitude will reach to kami. And if he thinks you need help, he shall help you. The gratitude prayer would work much stronger than a wishful prayer. Wishful thinking should be left in your daily moments to encourage and bring focus to yourself.
It is the shrine’s responsibility to have led the mass to a wrong way of praying.
When you are asking for a formal prayer (mike or kagura) the priest would ask what the purpose would be? And give you a list. Select 神恩感謝 (shin-on-kansha) gratitude sending to kami. Some shrines don’t even have this on the list. What a shame.
If the shrine does not have this in their listing, ask for 家内安全 (kanai-anzen), safety of family. During the ceremony, think as you are offering this to kami rather than asking for protection and be in gratitude.
The energy of gratitude will create 神気 (shinki), divine energy. The energy you send will always come back to you and change your life in someway.
Thank you for letting us live