Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Weight of Kami

There is an episode about the Kami (deity) enshrined in a famous shrine. One day, the shrine had to be rebuilt and the body of the Kami had to be relocated during the construction. A ritual had to take place before the moving of the enshrined Kami. The Mikoshi (mobile small shrine) was placed by four selected priests at the center of the site of celebration. According to the priests, the Mikoshi was fairly light when they were carrying it to the site.

The celebration ritual starts and the Miko dances to the Gagaku music to purify the site and to enable the Kami to enter the Mikoshi. The Norito chant was spoken to celebrate the moment. Once the ritual had completed, the four male priests dressed in white attire started to carry the Mikoshi to relocate the enshrined Kami. Just as they had lifted the Mikoshi, they all seem to have sunk low to their knees. By the time they got to the stairs, one of the priests seemed to be out of breath. He almost lost his balance and a higher priest quickly came to rescue him and took over his place. They later said that the weight of the Mikoshi had gotten so heavy, it felt like as if they were carrying an iron block. They realized that Kami actually had moved into the Mikoshi and was stricken with awe to acknowledge his existence.

Last year, I had an experience similar to this. I was told by a Kami to bring all of the Fuda I had at home to Naigū. And so I did. I brought it to the office of Naigū as I was told and a young man came out to receive the Fuda. All of the Fuda were made out of paper so it should be fairly light. But as he was receiving the Fuda in his hands, his hands fell slightly low. The Fuda at my house had been a place for many Kami to reside for a whole year. They must have been accumulating a lot of energy on the Fuda. The energy of the divine actually carries a sense of weight. It is a very fine magnetic energy and I don't think there is a physical weight to it.

If you had put the Fuda that had been a place for the Kami to reside on a scale, you wont see any difference, but sensing it on your hand, you will feel the weight. However, humans souls are rougher in the magnetic energy frequency. So they do have a weight. In Western science, they made an experiment to weigh the human body right before and after his death.  The statistics tells that the human soul actually weighs few ten grams.
In my senses, I dont think its that heavy. But when I touch the smoke like energy after the soul has left the body I sense some kind of texture, which means there is a slight amount of weight.

So the Tanzaku on your altar must be fairly thick for many of your ancestor might be visiting. It cannot be a thin paper. The regular thickness of a Tanzaku should do just fine. There are meanings to the tools used in the Kuyō.

Ikashite-itadaite arigato-gozaimasu
Thank you for letting us live

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