To have the same desires as Kami, and to fulfill those desires as Kami’s hands––is what it means to be a living kami.
“Ikigami Konko Daijin” was the title our Founder received from Kami. It was a custom in Japan to respect people who saved many others by calling them Ikigami, “Living Kami” or “Living Buddha.”
Our Founder used this traditional naming to express a new meaning in the following way: “To be an Ikigami is to have Kami born within you” (GIII:Konko Kyoso Gorikai, 18).
We are born from a combination of Kami’s body and Kami’s spirit. Kami is within us. However, forgetting this, our Kami hearts become covered with various layers and barriers: greed, selfishness, stress, worry, doubt,amongst many others. “To have Kami born within you” is to re-discover Kami’s heart within yourself and begin to reclaim it. Conscientiously working to remove these barriers, the radiance of Kami’s heart begins to shine through us until your heart becomes free of barriers and completely reveal Kami’s heart. To have the same desires as Kami, and to fulfill
those desires as Kami’s hands––is what it means to be a living kami.
We now use “Ikigami Konko Daijin” to refer to our Founder’s work of saving others. Very few people have attained the status of “Ikigami” as it implies we are in that state at all times. However, we have all had “Ikigami moments” where we were really in tune with Kami for a split second or few minutes in which we allowed ourselves to reach out to someone. For saving people does not necessarily refer to entirely changing the course of someone’s life for the better, but more to recognize and help a person in their time of need – “saving them” in that one moment in time. The spirit and workings of Ikigami Konko Daijin surround us, guides us toward those in need, and aids us in our efforts to spread joy and peace of mind to all.
“Save one person and you will be a kami to that person. Save ten people and you will become a kami to all ten” (GII: Shirakami Shinichiro, 1).