Ogbo Ato, Asure Iwori-Wofun
Blessings of longevity and prosperity to one and all.
According to a verse in Ifa (Irosun Iwori) there was a period in the earliest history of man when there was great disharmony in the world. At that time the population of the world was small compared to today and no one had migrated beyond the legendary Ife-Ooye which many wise people believe must have been very near the present Ile-Ife in Osun State of Nigeria.
During this period of severe disharmony: stealing, lying, murder, conspiracy, rape and other forms of wicked behavior reigned supreme on earth.
Orunmila, who was already on the earth at this time was also at his wits end trying to find some solution to the chaotic situation which prevailed at the time. The holy elders on earth were all approaching Orunmila and urging him to find an effective solution to the state of lawlessness, rapine and corruption which was swallowing up the inhabitants of the earth.
Orunmila consulted Olodumare through the sacred Ifa Oracle. The verses that descended and were revealed upon the Oracular Tray were from the Odu-Ifa chapter called Irosun-Iwori. The following was the revelation of Ifa Irosun-Iwori:
‘Ha! Mo hee mo won lara consulted Ifa for Orunmila when Orunmila was going to ascend to the divine upper worlds (heaven) to call upon Orisa Edan. It it Orisa Edan who is to put life back to normal in Ife (upon the earth). The people of the earth tried again and again on their own through painstaking effort to attempt repair the earth like one repairs a broken calabash. All their efforts at amends were to no avail. The situation was beyond their power to correct and heal. In fact the people fragmented (broke) the world like one breaks the sacrificial calabash.
Orunmila was then urged to go to the divine world of the Irunmole (heaven) to call on Imole (Edan) to help repair the damage done on earth and bring restoration and order.
Orunmila was urged to call Imole (Edan) who was his close friend in the realm of divine personalities (heaven). Orunmila ordered the people of Ife to offer sacrifice. It is sacrifice that saves. Lack of sacrifice does not save. The people of Ife offered sacrifice with bush rat, fish, pigeons etc. Before long there was prosperity at Ife (upon the earth). People who obey Ifa’s instructions must surely prosper.’
After the sacrifice Orunmila ascended to divine abode to invite his lady friend Edan to help rectify the chaotic situation on earth. Edan agreed to accompany Orunmila back to earth to curb and eliminate the sinful activities of mankind. Before descending to earth Ifa was consulted and Iwori Owonrin manifested and gave the blessing and guidance to ensure a safe and succesful journey to Ife-Ooye. After performing the prescibed sacrifices and sacred rituals, Orunmila and Edan had a smooth journey to Ife-Ooye.
On their arrival at Ife the people were grateful to Orunmila and gave Edan an enthusiastic, eager and appreciative warm reception. Armed with patience, intelligence, authority and power, without wasting any time, Edan immediately embarked on fulfilling her divine mission. Systematically with sound planning and organization she instructed and ordered all the people of the earth to PROMISE on oath before her to return to good behavior and orderliness by which healing, blessings, peace, harmony and prosperity would be restored. Failure to comply with Edans’ authoritative command would cause the defaulter to pay the highest penalty of death.
After everyone had sworn before Edan to maintain peace, fairness, justice and harmony on earth, the tranquility and concord returned to Ife (the earth). The spirit of loving-kindness, rectitude, integrity and order was prevailing in the hearts and minds of all. Edan then settled down some extended time period on earth to supervise, promote and firmly establish her good work (mission).
After a long sojourn on earth after establishing order, law, peace and stability Edan was to return to her original abode, the abode of Irunmole but not before establishing her sacred order and entrusting the authority of supervision and the extension of her mission, authority and teachings to a most trusted, truthful and disciplined fellowship bound together by the Sacred Oath, which she called OGBONI. In this manner the Ogboni fellowship/society/order was born. Ogboni therefore is a fraternity of mature, empowered, wise and holy people of exemplary and impeccable behavior who are wholeheartedly dedicated to making the world a comfortable abode for mankind by ensuring a high standard of morals amongst its members and promoting peace on earth based on sincerity, truth and discipline. In this way Ogboni has attracted the respect and admiration from the citizens of the world by standing resolutely for peace, uprightness and truth in all human activities upon this earth. The Ogboni fraternity/society is founded on truth, justice and peace and these principals are strictly maintained by the initiated faithful in Ogboni temples. The following Ogboni songs not only remind us of a part of our obligations to ourselves as brothers and sisters but also keeps us conscious that we should not lose the courage and fortitude required to maintain truth, justice and peace on earth.
‘Iya Aye (Edan) MAINTAINED HER WORD at Ake. She also MAINTAINED HER WORK at Oko up to her grand arrival at Orangun the home of Ogboye. EVEN IF OUR EYES DO NOT MEET OUR WORD MUST NOT CHANGE.’
‘Children of Ile (Mother and Guardian of the earth, EDAN) listen! Children of Ile (Mother and Guardian of the earth, Edan) accept the truth that whoever does evil will not prosper. Children of Ile (Mother Earth) accept this truth: Do not do evil so you may prosper.’
Dear brothers and sisters in Ogboni. If you abide by the precept and rules established by Edan your prayers to Olodumare through (Onile) Edan shall be fulfilled to your satisfaction. When you follow Edan YOU MUST HAVE A GOOD HEART so that Edan can grant your wishes. When you are in Ogboni YOU NEED TO BE PATIENT AND APPLY PERSEVERANCE so that EDAN fulfills your needs.
Edan is the Irunmole/Orisa of harmony, peace, law, order, longevity and prosperity. Let us consider and meditate some more upon the divine directives of Edan. Edan teaches us to reflect upon, internalize, assimilate and apply these truths. Let us each each day repeat and meditate upon the words of Edan: May our thoughts always be clean and pure. May we save others from going on the wrong path. May we conduce the uninformed and misguided ones to the good path so that all together we might achieve full longevity of life, peace, satisfaction and prosperity. The Odu we considered above regarding the state of affairs upon the earth in the time of Orunmila was memorized and preserved especially for us living in today’s world which is becoming like the world at the time of Orunmila when he appealed to Edan for support. We can see that the troubles of our present world are because of warped intelligence and wicked activity. That is why we must do just like Edan: After diagnosing the causes of the disease, it should be immediately attacked at its roots. We must apply the ase, wisdom, example and instructions of Edan into our lives as individuals and as members of society. We each have a personal duty and responsibility to uphold and promote the order, stability, peace and moral law of our community, family and personal lives. If we do not do this we will then find ourselves contributing to the chaos, decadence and disorder upon this sacred earth and will bring swift destruction upon our own lives. The best method to heal, restore and order society is to employ the method of Edan while upholding OUR SACRED VOW OR PROMISE before Edan. Edan rescued the people from lowly thinking and unbecoming activities and directed them towards excellence while at the same time empowering them by sharing her ase with those who set their hearts to join her and unite themselves to her mission, spirit and activities. Edan understands the inner workings of the human spirit, our fundamental needs and our longings. Edan understood that if people change their methods (adjust and correct their conduct, behavior and perspective), then on the strengths of their tremendous inner capacities, they themselves can solve their backwardness and difficulties. Together with Edan, we should co-operate in directing their activities on to the good moral path. Looking to Edan as our extraordinary exemplar, impeccable ideal and model, the people should be led with such inspiring, tender, understanding, encouraging and firm qualitative LEADERSHIP that they will give up their destructive activities and themselves start taking personal interest in constructive works. Following Edan teachings, example and authoritative leadership we come to understand that the only way to self development is that we spread our friendliness, rectitude, cheer and peacefulness in a wider area. By considering other people’s happiness as our own and their sorrows as our own, let us think and act to reduce their sorrow and increase their happiness. The activities and goals of Edan and her society did not achieve their goals overnight. It was not an instant change. There was divine power, genius and authority at work within and through the divine ministry of Edan but her mission and success were fulfilled after the elapse of some considerable time, effort, dedication, teaching, disciplining, training and empowering the populace with her divine ase. Her work and it’s power gained momentum as each one experienced the benefits of applying the words of Edan and by upholding their personal vow or promise before Edan. This ensured that the work and power of Edan would be manifest in their lives and that all the unrepentant, stubborn, recalcitrant and belligerent among the community would be destroyed for the sake of the benefit of the pursuers and doers of the instructions of Edan. Each one of us according to the measure of our resources, gifts, talents and abilities should contribute to the overall well being, progress and stability of our world. Praying alone will not do. We must pray, reflect and ACT continuosly. The faith of Edan is a dynamic faith. We should begin by removing known deception, corruption and defilements from our own lives. This is where we must first begin and gain mastery by the strength of our efforts complemented by the empowerment of Edan. Then we should in an orderly and effective way contribute through our own personal involvement in the removal of societal backwardness, difficulties, wants and grief. Edan assures that we can always live in a world permeated by peace, rectitude, harmony and friendliness if we really want it! Just like at the time of the descent of Edan, the world today has discarded the robe of excellence and replaced it with the cloak of meanness, hypocrisy, aggression and roughness. Just like the time period when Orunmila urgently called upon Edan to bring restoration and order to the earth, life today has become frightful and hellish because of the entry of meanness, hypocrisy, aggression, selfishness and roughness in our manner of thinking and working.
Similar to the time of the previous descent of Edan, gradually we are proceeding towards collective suicide by being busy in internal squabbles, quarrels in homes, and mutual abuse. In such a situation the human race can only be served in one way, that is, it should be saved from deceptive, indiscreet and immoral thinking. The world must be prepared under the guidance, ase and work of Edan to develop logical discretion and take shelter of pure intelligence (purified and clarified understanding). In today’s society this is the greatest service to humanity. By courageous thinking informed by Ifa wisdom and the guidance of Edan, the current miserable condition can be changed and heaven made to descend on earth. Edan teaches us and empowers though her ase so that we might awaken from our slumber and know that there is unlimited strength in purity of thinking and upright action. Whenever thinking is applied on any subject with purity in view then any situation can be assessed in an impartial and neutral way and any decision taken is also in the interest of ALL. EDAN always had and has the highest interest, happiness and wellbeing of ALL in mind. All can become partakers and prosper or they can disregard and neglect the call and order of Edan at their own peril. Divinity (Iwa Rere) is the natural quality in mankind which they have received right from their childhood. This divinity (iwa rere) gradually gets lost only because of polluted thinking and/or lack of exemplary people to emulate. Therefore refinement and purity in thinking is extremely necessary. We must clean up and throw away all of the bad behavioral and mental garbage we have somehow or other accumulated. Edan is on our side! We must stop complaining about the state of affairs like if it someone else’s responsibility to make our world a peaceful, harmonious, friendly and beautiful place to live. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AND MY RESPONSIBILITY to heal our world. Edan did not do it all by herself. She enlisted the support, encouragement and personal activity (involvement) of people who followed her instructions and benefitted thereby by being empowered by her ase which she shared ONLY with those who VOWED AND PROMISED TO KEEP THEIR WORD TO EDAN AND TO HUMANITY! Edan, with the support of her followes revolutionized the earth and established time tested principles for the moral regeneration of the people of the earth. It is our pious duty, privilege and responsibility to include this excellence in our character. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, MY RESPONSIBILITY AND OUR RESPONSIBILITY to take care of the earth and each other. If you do nothing and involve yourself in nothing and are are demonstrably committed to nothing, then you have no right to complain about the state of affairs in the world today because you would have effectively through indifference and inaction become a part of the problem and not the solution. Where are you leaving your mark today in his world? Is your life contributing to the benefit, maintenance and steady progress of our beatiful world? Are you sharing and giving like Edan, her ogboni children and faithful participants of her mission or are you living a life that is akin to a leech? The leech lives a parasitic existence and does not know how to give, share and impart. It only thinks about itself and is only willing to receive unto itself, with only itself in mind. The words of Edan in ancient times were at the same time hard as a diamond and soft as a parrot feather! Some people need to hardness to be encouraged and motivated to move in the right direction. They only respond to tough love. While others are easily moved and receive the divine words of Edan with the softness, ease and beauty of a parrot feather. Dear friends this message is coming to you by the arrangement of Olodumare. You are really blessed. It is time to revive the true meaning of Ogboni and the genuine worship of Edan. It is time for the scope of our mission to be expanded and elevated. May Edan bless us with her ase so that humility, determination, purity and truthfulness might be developed in us. If Edan were to choose to manifest herself here and now many who call themselves her devotee’s would die on the spot! Edan is kind, understanding and tender as a mother. Remember she is the mother of all but she will tolerate no nonesense from those who pursue deliberate wrongdoing, deception and injustice especially when they have been illuminated by her teachings.
She will not hesitate to train up and discipline her children. She will not hesitate to make short work of recalcitrant and persistent wrong doers. She is not called the bone crusher of the wicked and the one who drinks the blood of criminals, thieves, malicious, abusers, liars and evil minded for nothing! If we do not take the lead we will fall by the wayside. Let us not play around with things sacred and holy. Let us reverence Olodumare and cherish our lives and the lives of our fellow man. Let us be true followers. Let us cultivate iwa but not for the purpose of being seen, praised and approved by people but by Olodumare.
‘Even if our eyes do not meet our word must not change!’
‘Whoever does evil will not prosper.’
‘Do not do evil so you may prosper.’
‘Even if people do not see you, the Oluwo in Heaven (Olodumare) sees you always and He will compensate you impartially and justly by your actions.’
‘You can attempt to run away and hide from people but you cannot hide yourself and your deeds from your Ori.’
‘Those who pursue good character, truthfulness, honesty, kindness and fairness have nothing to fear from any quarter for those who sincerely pursue and do what is right are blessed, protected, especially cherished and prospered by the Irunmole/Orisa.