11. The relations between Ryuhjins and Humans

 You should revere Ryuhjins since they are appointed to many kinds of posts having an immediate connection with the affairs of human world. They come both to protect and to punish you. They are the kinds of gods who are in process of Gyohs to gain higher spirit ranks. Though their bodies look like ordinary snakes, they are usually invisible to the naked eyes because of difference of the construction and the Heavenly power between Ryuhjins and snakes. There are frequent occasions when they bare their material bodies to you when they fail in their Gyohs in the course of their missions, or when they are going to give notice to you, for instance, a notice of your being near the time when they begin to give some trial to you. Yet, they will not lose their Heavenly power even if they are seen in their own residential sections, and in the holy precincts,though the disciplinarians in the highest rank of Ryuh-Oh class will not lose their Heavenly power even if they are seen in their material bodies in any place. Provided that the same shall not apply if looked at when they fail in their Gyohs. Everything will go wrong with you if you see their substantial bodies in any case. When you see a living thing like this, you must not throw a stone at it, nor do it an injury, but you should chant (Namu Chuh Koh Miyoh Hoh Ten (Ref. gloss.)' and say beforehand "Honorable Ryuhjin, please conceal yourself for fear you may be hurt.", and after that, you should apologize through the Kuyoh-Hoh for Saijin, or do the Kuyoh to save it.

 To distinguish a Ryuhjin from a snake, it may be well to check its head and tail, first. The body is as thick as a small finger of human, its skin is silky smooth and glossy. I want you to be careful lest you should mistake a Ryuhjin for an asp which has a stout and short body, while a Ryuhjin is longer and narrower. As for the larger type of Ryuhjin, the shape of its head is puffy like a heart of a trump, and its body is covered with large scales which are not smooth like a snake but rough, and its tail is stumpy, which looks snapped off and rounded at the end, and sometimes divides into two or three. If you see a Ryuhjin's body, you will meet with some disaster within three years. A man who has some personal relation with this kind of gods dreams of Ryuhjins about the time of either their protection or judgement.

  The dreams in which snakes chase after you, the dreams in which they coil around you,and you feel sick, or the dreams in which they are around you, and you feel sick or terrible-Such dreams like these are, in general, warnings or advices from Dream-gods that the Ryuhjins have come to punish you because of your sins. The dreams in which one Ryuhjin gives you a ride on its back, comes to your body or in your bosom, or comes rushing into your house, or ascend to heaven, are the notices of Ryuhjins coming, or having come, to protect you. On the other hand, a dream in which one Ryuhjin gets away from you means that it quits its duty of protecting you.

But you must take the contrary sense in case of the plural Ryuhjins, and of a peculiar or strange type.

 When you are visited with punishment, it is very important for you to check on the causes of your sins, and to offer sincere apology for them saying: "Namu Chuh Koh Miyoh Hoh Ten. I am sorry I have done you wrong. It did not come to my notice until now. I beg your pardon, because I'1l change and have faith in and cling to the gods hereafter."

  If you regard dreams as being caused by the debility of the vital organs, and if you neglect them and say only that you had funny dreams without any inquiry about them, you will be tried in future, and will fall into such straits that many troubles will be inflicted on you periodically and no repentance will mend matters. In case you happen to hurt a Ryuhjin, you will often be attacked in the same part you injured. You will be attacked with diseases, hurt yourselves, or fail in your business in the oddly periodical manner of the lapse of the full one, three, five, seven4days,onths, years (containing a half year, ten years, thirty years, fifty years, seventy years...) from the day you did it injury, or saw its figure. When there is very little healing in medicines, you need to look back upon your past and to check up on what you remember of the aspects in those days when you saw Ryuhjins' bodies, whether or not you have inflicted injury on them, and whether or not you have had some bad dreams of snakes.

  Ryuhjins preside over various actions and phenomena under upper gods' orders. They must protect, punish, and also carry out the duty of guiding you within the range of their duties without being seen by you with their Heavenly power. Therefore, in accordance with their positions in all matters in the human world, whether you believe in gods or not, they protect you when they ought to, and punish you when they should. When they finish their duties and go back, they gain a higher rank. It is also they who, ordered by upper ranking gods, carry various Shohs necessary for the creation of substance, and receive from Creators embryos-shaped organism made of Shoh, and carry them in the human world.

 So long as you are under Ryuhjins' protection (personal protection), everything will turn out as you desire, so that you will have a rapid success in life. Once they are free from their duties of protecting you, everything will begin to go bad with you and in the end you will be ruined. When you are under their protection, even if you are not capable of succeeding by yourselves, other persons give you their help: they even give you a chance to make money. At this time, if you are so self-conceited that you believe you have risen to your present positions by yourselves, the protection will be withdrawn and you will be punished.

 In this case, they do not fail to make it known to you by showing their own substantial bodies in your houses or within your grounds, or through dreams. I want you to be persons who recognize many gods' protection and are thankful for it, and who make efforts to correct your shortcomings, and who are so lucky that Ryuhjins are permitted by gods of higher rank to undertake special protection for you on their own responsibilities through all generations.

  In this case, they are compelled to share their lot with you, but their Gyohs become so easy for them that there may be no need to worry about their failure in the course of Gyohs. They usually make a practice of casting half of their Gyohs upon you, and of giving you half of the Toku, virtuous deeds (achievements or results highly esteemed by upper gods) which they accum1ate, so that you never fail to prosper. Unless they have a great deal of confidence in you, they usually dislike the duty of personal protection for you. However, once you notice that they are Ryuhjins of servant-gods, they will be charged with special protection for you. When they can let you believe in gods, they rise in rank in recognition of their work, but, if they misguide you, they will be visited with Heavenly punishment. when you become conceited, lose your gratitude, or sink in vice in spite of their protection, they must judge you and give you bitter trials to make you see the wrong, and must lead you to the right path under their responsibility as Guardians. If they should regard it as impossible to lead you to reform, they will devote all their energies to punish you, and must apology to upper gods for their failure by atoning for all their relations with you.

As the consequence, it is even possible that all your family will die out. On the occasion of their personal protection for you, as a matter of promise in your previous birth for some reason, even if you are quite impious or ignore their protection, they never fail to protect you personally till the expiration of the promised term. The instant that the term expires, they begin punishing you for your disregard, and when they finish it, their duties are over. At this time, dream-gods frequently show you some dream to warn you of a future difficult situation. All dreams, which are puzzles with meanings concerning your future state of affairs, are revelations of the dream-gods of the lineages to which the gods charged with protection belong. Ryuhjins have been sent to punish you for the sins of having broken the laws of Suijins (water-gods), well-gods, eight Kohjins, and other gods. From this, you may take that there are not any punishments, whatever these may be, which Ryuhjins have nothing to do with. Ryuhjins often make their appearance owing to the failure of their missions, when they always ask you for help who saw their substantial bodies.

At this time, you need to save them with the Saijin Kuyoh-Hoh. If you are not aware that you are being clung to by them, one misfortune after another will fall on you periodically from the day you first saw them, and it will be more and more serious as years go by, and in the end you will be made to follow the same fate as the Ryuhjins. So you must not be careless. In case of having inflicted any injury on them, you will meet with such serious misfortune that you may be deformed or lose your lives. You had better try to escape from these disasters by offering them sincere apology and practising the Kuyoh to save them.

  Ryuhjins usually prefer to reside in damp places such as natural ponds, streams, rivers, the sea, roots of big trees, places from which spring-water mows, and other similar places. Places in the neighborhood of ponds, sandy beaches, places commanding fine prospects, clusters of grass, and other places are most suited as the places of rest. So, when you pass urine down from high places and it happens to splash them, it arouses their anger, and you will experience so serious a disease or disaster that you will sometimes lose your lives in the ninth year or eleventh year, so you must be careful. Some persons once passed urine in the neighborhood of a holy precinct, and developed a high fever. I heard some Ryuhjins who had the entree there complaining in bad temper saying that they were splashed with urine. There was once even an instance where a Ryuhjin's substantial body disappeared suddenly when I saved, at a certain person's request, the Ryuhjin who failed in its duty. The person has been successful since then, for the Ryuhjin is returning his kindness.

Even the Ryuhjins who have already been killed, if only they are saved with the Kuyoh-Hoh, won't fail to return kindness. Upon investigation of persons in a succession of misfortunes, most of them always dream about snakes. A dream, if it is an information of personal protection for you, does not make you feel sick, painful or distressed. While you have such dreams, you rapidly rise in prosperity and everything you do prospers. You should be careful chanting <Namu Chuh Koh Miyoh Hoh Ten' so as not to be deserted by such Ryuhjins. If unaware of their protection, you will be destined to be punished before long. Ryuhjins are often captivated with beautiful mowers, or good smell vapor of various fruit such as persimmons, tangerines, figs, peaches, in the course of their missions, so that they lose their Heavenly power and finally fail in their duties. It has been said in Nippon since old times that a misfortune will come upon you if a tree with fruit is planted within the grounds. However, you may plant it if only you know the Kuyoh-Hoh to save such Ryuhjins. The Ryuhjins who have lost their Heavenly power have naturally lost their positions as gods, and therefore, they are now like usual snakes and can not fly at will in the air as before. In this case, they usually try to let people destroy their own substantial bodies to cast them off, and have a habit of bearing a grudge against the persons who saw or killed their bodies, and of inflicting some disaster on them with no thought of their own faults. This can not be helped because a human is not aware of their asking him for help unless they inflict some disaster on him. As for them, there is no way with which they can be saved unless they are recognized as gods by some human. This is one of the rules of the Gyohs (disciplines) for Ryuhjins which have been laid down in order that gods may let humans believe in them, and it can be, so to speak, one of the methods with which to lead this world to the righteous path, that Ryuhjins fail in their missions and inflict disasters on people.

 Even if the Ryuhjins fail in their duties, they take no account of their own substantial bodies being destroyed because their positions as gods and Heavenly power will be restored to the former state if only they let people recognize them as gods, and are saved with the Kuyoh-Hoh. I once found a Ryuhjin who made its appearance, brought it back, and put it on the Sanboh (a small wooden stand to place offerings on) placed in the center where we were sitting in a circle, and its substantial body vanished suddenly when my believers and I Clapped our hands after chanting our Kyohten (a kind of canonMin which many prayers and gods' names are written). Though we searched the top and bottom side of the Sanboh, we could not find it. On another occasion, in spite of my having put a Ryuhjin into a box with no opening where it could go in and out, we found the box empty on looking into it after chanting our Kyohten. Of course, he was ranked as Ryuh-Oh (Dragon King). You may say that I must not tell such nonsense because it will not be understood by those who do not comprehend what Heavenly power is and who do not know that it has control of electric ions. Some of Ryuhjins are sometimes born as human to have another try of their Gyohs after they fail in their missions. To cite an example:

(1) A princess, Yasu who was degraded to a human, but reinstated as a god.