Re: Spiritial Aikido: the purpose
The article below was written by Yamamoto Yukitaka Sendai Guji (previous high priest) who was the 96th High Priest of Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Mie, Japan and the man who enshrined the Kami in the Founder’s Aiki Jinja in Iwama. The gist of this thinking relate directly to an esoteric understanding of the OHARAHI-NO-KOTOBA (most important Shinto Prayer; lit: Great Words of Purification) and has to do with raising spirituality to the point where human beings can aid the Kunitsu (Earthly) in correcting errors of the past……
Written by the honorable Rev. Dr. Yukitaka Yamamoto
Master Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, visited Tsubaki grand shrine in spring of 1958, guided by master Michio Hikitsuchi of Kumano Aikido dojo. As soon as master Ueshiba arrived at the shrine, he told me he would practice the misogi (a waterfall purification) at Konryu-Myojin's waterfall of Tsubaki Grand Shrine, and he practiced misogi with me.
Then he participated in a purification ceremony at Haraiden (the Shrine purification hall), and prayed at Honden (the main sanctuary). After I finished reciting the Norito (prayer) he chanted, "Su-U-Ah-Oh-Uh-Eh-Ih" then took the wooden sword and offered several Aikido moves to OhKami. At that time he said, "these are the basics of Aikido. Moves which unite the being with the great nature, all of them given by Sarutahiko no OhKami." He continued, "Aikido is misogi. Misogi of ourselves. Aikido is the way of misogi itself, the way to become Sarutahiko no OhKami and stand on the Ame no Ukihashi (the bridge between heaven and earth). In other words, the skills of misogi are Aiki, the way of uniting heaven and earth, the way of world peace, the way of trying to perfect humanity, the way of the Kami, the way of the universe.
He rested at my house and he told me and my father, "I have been given many teachings by Sarutahiko no OhKami. OhKami told me, 'By the work of Takehaya Susanowo no Mikoto, you will worship the Ame no Murakumo Kukamisamuhara Ryu O (Kami of Takemusu) and build an Aiki shrine and dojo.' Then I built the Aiki shrine and dojo in Iwama, Ibaragi prefecture in 1940. Since then I have been searching for the main shrine of Sarutahiko no OhKami. I heard Tsubaki Grand Shrine is the main shrine of Sarutahiko no OhKami, so I visited here today."
After that day master Ueshiba visited the shrine many times a year. When he came to the shrine in 1959, he said he would like to enshrine Sarutahiko no OhKami at the Aiki shrine. In July 1960 I, instead of my father, took the Goshintai of Sarutahiko no OhKami (statue of Sarutahiko no OhKami) to the Aiki shrine in Iwama and performed the enshrinement ceremony. I went there with Mr. Shoji Gomi, who made the Goshintai, Mr. Akihide Isokai, and Mr. Masanori Fukuchi, shrine supporters. I remember that day: Master Ueshiba had great joy. It was a big ceremony with many participants, including master Kisshomaru Ueshiba of the Tokyo dojo.
After that he came to the shrine often. He planted a tree by the waterfall of the shrine. That tree remains there today.
I think master Ueshiba's words, "Aikido is misogi" are true. Human beings are born as children of the Kami and can become Kami. Misogi is the practice of uniting with the great nature and uniting with the universe. Of course humans have flesh and blood, but by practicing misogi we can elevate our spirits. At the same time, Aikido misogi is a way of harmonizing heaven and earth, a way of producing harmony and a way of uniting everything with the Kami. In other words, Aikido and misogi erase the mind that fights and and create a heart of harmony, a way of having a heart of Kami and a way of becoming the Kami of Takemusu.
Later, he had a trip to Hawaii. He went to attend the opening of an Aiki dojo. When he returned from Hawaii, he came to the shrine and reported his trip to Sarutahiko no OhKami. He told me that he finished the misogi of Hawaii and showed me the key he had received as an honorary citizen of Honolulu.
In 1967 Mr. Akihide Isokai came to the shrine. At that time master Ueshiba said, "I can't go by myself already. At last the time has come. I would like to give Sarutahiko no OhKami my address." So he sent mr. Isogai instead of himself.
Now I remember these things. These things remain with me, the faith of master Ueshiba and the Ueshiba who became Kami.
I would like to pray that the spirit of master Ueshiba shines on.