Ifa/Orisa devotees who with love, compassion and understanding dedicate themselves to uplifting the downtrodden, misguided and demoralized ones are truly rare and great. Let us draw near to such great men and women and cleanse our lives by giving up our faulty and wicked tendencies. Ifa teaches us that if we practice, cultivate and do what is good we do so for our own benefit. If we practice, cultivate and do what is unjust, wrong and bad we do so to our own detriment, injury and downfall. Character is religion! The words of Ifa are clear and unambiguous! What is needed and required is the dedicated and consistent PRACTICE of the same. It is natural for water to flow downwards, similarly it is also the natural propensity of human life to be wrapped up in bad tendencies. This is why Ifa says that honest people in the world are rare and that truly good people are rarer still! To this end Ifa, like a wise and caring friend counsels us by saying that: Lying is unacceptable within Ifa circles. Treachery is disallowed in the midst of Ifa. If one is secretly practicing treachery a guilty conscience will forever be his tormentor. This was the divine message revealed for Akuko gagara (the big rooster) who was the friend of Eko (the earthworm). How unfortunate and regrettable that cheating has cut a lying friend to pieces [Ofun-Ogunda].
If water has to be raised to a higher level then some special power in the form of a water pump has to be employed. Similarly the human life has to be firmly, enthusiastically and decisively uplifted and turned away from a mundane life (ogberi) towards the true life or divine spiritual life (awo and ogbon). It requieres patience and determination to live a truly divine, honest and spiritual life,especially in today’s world when ones sees deception, superficiality, corruption, insincerity and manipulation of all sorts surrounding one. The entry and attack of faults, unwholesomeness, wickedness, bad thoughts, impure intentions and sinful acts are a common experiential occurrence in a man’s life. When one comes under the attack, grasp and power of the inner defilements and antagonists [elenini] one goes on committing mean acts, sinful acts and shameful acts. Once in the grip of the inner ajogun and elenini, achieving freedom from them is very difficult. The mind itself goes constantly ahead on the path of downfall under the artificial shine and glamorous, intoxicating spell of pride, conceit, vanity, self-devotion, delusion and sinful acts.
Ifa offers us a remedy for this and a sure hope. The truth of the matter is that the divine Ori which we have received from Olodumare is filled with limitless strength, purity and wisdom. The ase and ire of Olodumare thoroughly permeates and fills our Ori. When a person wants to rise, change and truly transform his life he or she can do so practically instantly. We can then rise to the level of our true divine and noble nature and can say together with Ifa revelation: I behave according to the noble nature with which Olodumare created me. I do no evil. Neither do I harbor evil thoughts lest I die in a miserable and shameful state. For whatever we practice and cultivate in our youth will persist throughout our lifetime. This was the revelation and instruction of Ifa to the 401 Irunmole when coming from heaven to earth. Olodumare decreed that they MUST NOT EVER indulge in evil deeds. They MUST be TRUTHFUL at ALL times so that their lives would be prosperous. It was only Orunmila who took these words entirely to heart and practiced them which is why Orunmila triumphed by using truthfulness to overcome wickedness [Eji-Ogbe].
Here in this Ifa verse we can see the true essence, foundation and power Olodumare has placed within us by which we can elevate and change our lives if we so choose and determine to do so. No man becomes permanently fallen by committing a bad deed or a sinful act once. There is no reason for disappointment. Ifa -the all powerful and reliable divine word of truth- assures us that the path to progress cannot be permanently blocked up because if one path closes, many other paths open up! The only requirement is that we change our attitude and disposition (repent) and that we make efforts for uplift with moral forbearance and that we sincerely make practical efforts to uproot and throw out of our lives the faults, unwholesome habits, dishonest practices and wicked tendencies that have somehow or other overwhelmed us. We have to be determined to separate ourselves from unwholesome people, places and things immediately. If we really want to be happy and if we are truly wise we have to remove ourselves and run away from tempting circumstances. Orunmila tells us to not lose hope in our efforts and struggle to renew and refresh our lives. He invites and instructs us to be patient, kind and gentle towards ourselves because he understands our feeling and situation. Often when we have a moral lapse or downfall we lose heart, we become disgusted with ourselves and lose our self-confidence for positive change. We become disappointed and wrongly believe, conclude and assume that our uplift and recovery is impossible. Our Ori becomes confused and/or clouded because of the remembrance of our wrongs which leads us to erroneously conclude and believe that our bad condition or situation will go on until death or can be remedied only by death!! Do you see how strong and disastrous the negative effects of wrongdoing, dishonorable conduct and impure habits can be on our mind and heart can be if we do not immediately turn around, correct ourselves and embrace iwa and otito once and for all!
Wrong doing, deception, hypocrisy, conceit and double dealing contaminates our heart and mind but if we honestly acknowledge our lapses and wrong doing with courage we can rise and completely vanquish all negativity, unwholesome and impurity. We can regain our good conscience and our sense of self respect, honor and dignity! We are the literal children of Olodumare! We are the descendants of the Irunmole/Orisa! This means that no man is ever permanently fallen. The all-powerful Olodumare through Ori has given us power to change, renew, restore and recover our true divine life. Let us take these words to heart and derive strength, confidence and hope from Ifa. Let us honestly look at ourselves alone and make corrections and improvements where needed. Do not compare yourself to others. Do not look at another’s persons manner of life as the basis of what you should or should not be doing? In other words do not take the activities of others as the basis of you justifying your unwholesome, dishonest and unjust actions and practices. Look only to the words of Ifa. Measure your life according to the standard of Ifa. There alone is where you have to look! We should confidently exert ourselves to remove from our lives those faults and unwholesome tendencies and practices which are oppressing, weakening, contaminating and consfusing our minds and life. This effort should be taken up by us without feeling obligated or forced by external pressure or factors. We should embrace this effort on the basis our own self-initiative, life experiences, honest self reflection and intelligence. Let us draw near to sincere and wholesome people to draw strength and encouragement from them. Let us listen to those are who established and known for impeccable character and are partakers of divine gracefulness. Let us live with inner strength and confidence. Let us eschew from our lives and permanently put away those things that cause inner fragmentation, disharmony and which stain our minds with hurtful and injurious things. Ifa is on our side. Ori is on our side. You have to be your own best friend and well wisher. You have to be positively on your side! The divine side. The good side. The peace and joy giving side. Never give up. Do not lose hope and stay encouraged. If we accept and practice these understandings we can be sure that Ifa will give us full support. Ifa in his own wonderful way will draw into our lives the strengths, resources, moral-spiritual strength and people to come alongside us to help us struggle and successfully overcome our unwholesome tendencies and dishonest habits. Once we hace overcome and eliminated unwholesome tendencies and practices and only after we have been established in iwa and otito for a considerable and observable amount of time can we then proceed to help and assist others. Ones actions and actual manner of life speaks and reveals who and what one truly is. Ones actions and manner of life reveals where one presently is in ones moral, ethical and spiritual progress. So, where are you? What honest corrections and improvements can you make in your life? Do not live to impress people with a superficial and conventional piety. Be authentic and real in your adherence to iwa and otito. Actions speak louder than words. Olodumare, Ori and Irunmole/Orisa know and see the reality of things. So why not do and pursue things that have true meaning and everlasting value. The choice is yours alone to make, together with the accompanying repercussions and consequences: good or bad. Do not berate or disparage yourself. Be kind and gentle to yourself by following this timely guidance of Ifa-Orunmila.
Ela ‘boru. Ela ‘boye. Ela’bosise.