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