On opening the book one will
find a Prologue. Niten Ichiryu believes that this prologue is a
very important teaching, because it explains the process of how
the book was written.
It consists of two parts: Hokki
Jo (Initiation Prologue) and Kikei Jo (Prologue
of total self devotion to Buddhist Law)
In Hokki Jo, Miyamoto explains why he wrote
the book. The Kie in Kikei Jo means to believe in, worship and respect
(the Buddhist Law or a Buddhist saint). It means something spiritual
that one embraces and respects and depends on. It means attitude
(form) as when one bows ones head with ones hands clasped in prayer
showing respect to a spiritual being. Miyamoto regarded himself
as being in spiritual dependency with Tendo (the natural law) and
Kanzeon (the Merciful Goddess) as his mirrors. As he began to write
the book he devoted himself to them with hands clasped in prayer.
The Prologue: It presents Miyamoto as a person who depended
upon Kie, realising Hyoho (the path to enlightenment) as a means,
he stood up in the absolute world and succeeded in developing himself
. Although the Prologue states, The
way to heaven and the Merciful Goddess as a mirror: The
meaning of this phrase refers to not understanding as, Certain as the mind by reflecting on it. Also by uniting with the merciful goddess
through everyday life and believing in heaven and the Merciful Goddess.
The mirror means teaching. When we are given the teaching. It is
like a mirror, and we recognise ourselves for the first time. The
next statement that we must not miss in the Prologue is, I came to the realisation that I had won, not because I had attained
the full secrets of swordsmanship. Miyamoto
had aspired to Hyoho since his youth, overcome various difficulties,
won almost sixty fights at the risk of his life, relentlessly trained
himself by risking death. He won the fight against Koijiro Sasaki
on Ganryu when he was twenty nine years old.
However Miyamoto asked himself, What does winning mean? He realised
that he had won up to that point by chance. There was no absolute
promise of winning whenever, wherever or however he fought. As long
as he lived he would grow older ill and die. If a swordsman became
ill or injured at some time or hurt himself, some one was aware
of swordsmanship could easily strike him down. As he became old
even a woman or a child would be able to beat him. In other words,
one can only win in times of good health. In this case no matter
how hard one practices and studies Kenjutsu and raises oneself to
an masterful standard it will all be a waste of time if one is ill.
What a hopeless situation. All the effort will be in vain.
He came to the conclusion, The previous victories were not due to me
having mastered strategy. My Hyoho was merely the result of earthly
desires. It was coarse of me.. In
this process of thinking he abruptly reached spiritual enlightenment.