Confucius in his Confucian
Analects explains different stages of mental and spiritual growth
at various stages:
At the age of fifteen I inspired to study.
I came independent at thirty. At forty I was certain what I ought
to do. I succeeded in the mission given to me from heaven by
fifty. I could begin to listen to others at sixty and did not
break the natural law (did not go far) even though I did everything
as I wanted to do at the age of seventy.
The words of Miyamoto Musashi, To
become independent at the age of thirty means
that he established himself. This is the beginning stage of Satori
(spiritual awakening), when he does not fall back (from the top
of the allegoric pole) in the Buddhist Law. Miyamoto at 29 reached
this beginning stage by establishing himself and by saying, My
Hyoho is not the utmost.
From then on he trained himself night and
day to seek the truth, and by the age of fifty he finally realised
the way of Hyoho. This is what Confucius meant when he said that
he had learned heavens decree by the age of fifty. At the beginning
of the Earth Book Hyoho no michi
to iu koto (Words about the Hyodo
Path), Miyamoto explains the principle that swordsmen should
study as follows: In recent times there are men, living and styling
themselves as swordsmen.
However they only teach the standard techniques
of fencing. Recently the Kashima and Katori priests have established
their respective schools of sword techniques as, Tutelage's
of the Gods and tour the land teaching
people. These are events of recent years. Since ancient times
Hyoho has been included among the Juno (ten
skills) and Hachigei (Seven Arts)
as Rikata (profitable measures).
Truly, rikata is one of the arts. Although it is not just limited
to standard sword techniques. It is difficult to know the art
of the sword solely by means of techniques. Needless to say such
swordsmanship can never rival the principles of Hyoho. What does
Miyamoto mean by rikata? He means divine favour in Buddhist Law,
in other words the way benefiting oneself and others.
Sign at the entrance to the old HNIR Hombu Dojo