The Rev. Yasumi Hirose, president of Oomoto, gave the keynote address at the World Religious Forum on Nov. 4. Hirose, who is honorary president of Jinrui Aizenkai (Universal Love and Brotherhood Association), also gave the keynote at the Jinrui Aizenkai Asian Delegate Conference on Nov. 5. Here are brief excerpts from those speeches.
World Religious Forum
“All Religious Leaders Have the Same Goal”
However different our rituals, doctrines and interpretations, I believe all religions have the same ideal. The ultimate goal us is to create paradise on earth. That is, a world full of love and mercy, a place where people find comfort, safety and peace.
This was Onisaburo Deguchi’s ideal in 1924 when he traveled to Mongolia, where he hoped to create a utopian society. And it was his ideal in 1925 when he traveled to Beijing where he created the World Religious Federation, the precursor to Jinrui Aizenkai. I am impressed with what Onisaburo had to say on the founding of the World Religious Federation.
Onisaburo said: “To bring forth peace and happiness in the world people need harmony of mind. But there are two types of barriers, intangible and tangible. We have religious and ritual differences, which are intangible barriers we must cross with the help of a spiritual structure in our lives. If we don’t overcome these barriers then there will be no hope for overcoming the many tangible barriers we face. The tangible barriers will only continue to be solved through power and force, one government after another, each simply taking over and creating new tangible barriers. Without a spiritual basis first we cannot solve any of the barriers to peace.”
I am impressed with Prof. Muramaki’s view about the dignity of life. And that we need to understand that all living things on earth have the same spirit, the same link to God that people have. This has long been the viewpoint of some religions and it is now important that it is becoming the scientific viewpoint, based on research. As a result of their study of the genetic code scientists now are beginning to see that all living things have the same mysterious power of life. All living things have DNA in common.
At the same time we are beginning to understand that all living creatures, although diverse, are also interdependent in the same environment. So we have the following contrast: We all have DNA and yet there is much diversity. And still, we remain interdependent. This is really amazing. But the 20th Century was hard on all living things, with the destruction of nature and the deterioration of the global environment. As a result, we face the potential extinction of many species of life.
So again, we need to go back to the notion that we must live on earth with all of nature. The way to solve the problem created by the 20th Century is to live in harmony with Mother Nature in gratitude and awe.
Jinrui Aizenkai Asian Delegate Conference
“An Asian Century”
A united Asia is important for the 21st Century. I am reminded of what Onisaburo Deguchi talked about at the first World Religious Federation in Beijing. Onisaburo said solidarity among Asians was important to world peace. To unify the world spiritually and bring about peace, we must first unify Asia spiritually, he said. “First Asia, then the world,” Onisaburo said.
Onisaburo prophesized that eventually the world would be comprised of 12 united regional blocs, one of which would be an Asian bloc. We now see the success of the European Union. I believe it is the beginning of the process that Onisaburo foresaw. Eventually there will be united blocs in Africa, North America, South America and Asia. In spite of the problems the world now faces, we are beginning to progress toward the realization of Onisaburo’s prophecy.
As I already pointed out, Onisaburo also said if Asia could be united spiritually then the world could be united spiritually, and that would bring peace on earth. I believe this is true.
Through the activities of the Universal Love and Brotherhood Association (ULBA) in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka we spread our belief in the dignity of life and our hope for the realization of a world with peaceful coexistence in politics, education, science and other fields. We should invigorate these ULBA activities to further spread the Aizen spirit.
We must also use ULBA to continue to work for solidarity in Asia. This was our pledge when we founded ULBA and we must renew this pledge of the Aizen movement in the new century. I want to repeat that I believe world peace will come from Asia. This should be our goal: To use Jinrui Aizenkai to take a big step towards the united Asian bloc.
The 20th Century was the century of Western civilization. We would like to make the 21st Century a brilliant Asian century based on a foundation of the principles expounded by the great Asian spiritual leaders, including Shakamuni, Jesus, Muhammad, Confucius and Mencius.