The Third Religion

New Philosophy of Life
Written by Okada Jikan Mokichi, 1950

It is inevitable that our religion is equally treated to other established ones. However, ours is incomparably different from others. Firstly, it includes other religions such as Shintoism, Buddhism, Christianity. It also covers philosophy, science and art. It, of course, covers isms such as the left and right wings, capitalism, socialism and communism. You would agree with the above description when reading the books, magazines and newspapers that we publish.

The object of our worship is ‘Komyo-Nyorai’ written in Japanese kanji characters. Although ‘Nyorai’ means Tathagata that is one of the Buddha’s names, we worship it. We chant ‘Zen-gen-san-ji’ when we worship the object. ‘Zen-gen-san-ji’ is a Shinto ritual prayer and also a Buddhist sutra. ‘Zen-gen-san-ji’ is the short version of the Kannon sutra, which I made into a Shinto ritual form. Why did I shorten it? It is because it takes more than half an hour to chant an original sutra. It doesn’t fit the present Japanese lifestyle. The morning ceremony must be done in less than five minutes. Otherwise, people might be in late for work if a train accident or so happens.

My theories cover not only the richness of religions but also a wide range of fields such as astronomy, physical geography, spiritual power of words, Yi Jing, philosophy, literature, politics, economics, art, lectures about the spiritual world and even theatre and films. So, people are surprised at how the wide range of fields I describe. Our religion especially shows the spiritual medicine revealed by God and the spiritual divine power. They are said to be unprecedented in the world. We particularly have quite sick believers. That is the evidence of those. Besides, any questions in any field can be answered in our religion.

We have religious precepts but they seem to be just as good as having nothing. Everyone can be equally saved no matter how they are good or bad. On the other hand, good and evil are completely separated in theory. Our religion is broad-minded. Therefore, we have the idea that capitalism flourishes industry, socialism corrects the inequitable division of wealth, communism improves the welfare of working-class people who are the majority of the people, and democracy prevents the privileged classes from forming. Our main activity is to realize the great ideals; the ranks are naturally made by virtue, everything is formed on the basis of global thought with love for humanity and all human beings grow together. We, of course, preach a profound religious philosophy and also advocate to the public that religion is namely to live. We do our best to make everything in daily life consist of religious faith. In this sense, unlike other religions, our belief is not ridged. We don’t emphasize the style of religion, either. We take the liberal democratic way, which is utterly clear. We certainly hold simple ceremonies, which fits a modern lifestyle. Here, I especially tell you that miracles very much occur in our religion. I think that no other religions have had miracles like us in history.

I described a very rough outline of our religion as above. In short, it cannot be understood from the traditional view of religious history. That’s why we call ours ‘the third religion.’

Translated by N.H.