Iwa_Lesin (Ancestral_Pride_Temple)

IWA-LESIN (Your personal, peculiar individual character and behavior is [defines and reveals] your religion)

[Iwa-Lesin] Your personal, peculiar individual character and behavior is [defines and reveals] your religion:

What is Religion? What does Ifá have to say about religion? Is religion just a bundle of beliefs that one suscribes to? What did Òrúnmìlà teach us about religion?

Ifá in a very clear-cut way goes straight to the heart of all things. Ifá defines religion as one’s actual, personal and individual inner-state or condition, or in other words, your character and behavior IS religion and IS YOUR religion. It is very convenient and deceptive to say, “Oh my religion is so and so…” And by throwing out a name and/or label to people we feel religious and pious, and other people see us according to the name and label we gave them! But what is the reality? What is behind the name and label? Is there really anything of substance and truth behind it?

Religion according to Ifá does does not consist of a bundle of systematized beliefs that one subscribes to. Òrúnmìlà defined religion as: “What kind of a human being are you in actuality?” “What is your actual character and it’s quality?” “What and how is your behavior and conduct?” “Who are you really?” “Do you live and practice truthfulness?” “Are you a faithful and loyal person?” “Are you established in integrity?” “Are you on the inside what you display on the outside?” “Are you a useful and industrious person or are you a useless and lazy person?” “Are you honest, reliable and trustworthy?”

Your honest answer to the above questions will reveal to your own conscience and intelligence what is really your religion and belief. The approach and understanding of Òrúnmìlà was and is extraordinary! Òrúnmìlà did not ask us what do we believe or say we believe. Instead Òrúnmìlà asks us how do we live, behave, act, speak and conduct ourselves! A person established in integrity or iwa-tito is the religious, holy and saintly person according to Òrúnmìlà. Merely having and professing beliefs in this, that or other has no meaning, value or power according to Òrúnmìlà.

Your character, conduct, behavior and inner-quality of being is who you are, and this character, conduct, behavior and inner-quality is YOUR true religion and not any smug declaration of faith. Òrúnmìlà defines faith as what you actually do, live, speak and practice, because according to what you actually have confidence in, so do you act, speak, live and behave.

Iwa-lesin! Character and integrity is religion. According to your true character and true inner-state that is YOUR true faith, religion and practice. A pure, clean, honest, kind, generous, courageous and truthful inner-state makes your religion that of truth and light [ogbon]. A tainted, defiled, dishonest and deceptive inner-state makes your religion that of delusion, arrogance, ignorance, foolishness and hypocrisy [ogberi].

Call yourself by whatever name or label you want. Profess to believe whatever you want. But according to Òrúnmìlà the taste is in the pudding. Your walk gives meaning, value and credibility to your talk. What you actually practice and do is what is important and not what you say and profess. Òrúnmìlà saw people in two broad categories, inner-state/condition or stages. [1] Ogbon or [2] Ogberi.

Just saying that we are devotees of Òrúnmìlà and Ifá means absolutely nothing according to Òrúnmìlà. If we actually live according to Òrúnmìlà and Ifá, then our genuine belief and conviction will be clearly seen and known by all, by virtue of our noble conduct, attitude, actions, speech and behavior. Making grandiose proclamations and statements of faith and belief is foreign to the way and spirit of Òrúnmìlà and Ifá. Ifá says that your faith and belief is seen and revealed by your manner of living and relating to others. Ifá is 100% a religion of practicality and action. Ifá is a religion of the heart.

However much you are able to share and speak to others about Ifá does not in any way prove that you are actually an acknowledged and true devotee of Òrúnmìlà and Ifá. Talking a lot about Ifá and Òrúnmìlà does not in any way, shape or form prove that you are a devotee, knower and follower of Òrúnmìlà and Ifá. What you display of your Ifá knowledge, and what you display of your devotion to Òrúnmìlà via your conduct, attitude, demeanor, behavior and manners, this alone reveals that you are a true devotee and follower of Òrúnmìlà and Ifá. Òrúnmìlà says you are either a true and honest follower, or you are no follower/devotee at all! It is that simple. Intellectual knowledge is not true and complete knowledge. Practiced knowledge, lived knowledged and integrated knowledge is true and complete knowledge and this alone is what makes Ifá and iwa-tito one’s true religion. Òrúnmìlà defines knowledge as that which arises from your heart and that is inseparable from your actions, words and thoughts. Òrúnmìlà does not accept mere intellectual knowledge as knowledge. If your knowledge does not lead to practice, consistent action and implementation, then this reveals that whatever it is that you are calling knowledge is no knowledge at all!

Òrúnmìlà was and is very practical, he always sees things from the root, and he always addresses the reality of a thing. Òrúnmìlà never asked anyone to convert from this ‘religion’ to that ‘religion’. Òrúnmìlà knows that just calling or labeling yourself by a different name, and intellectually subscribing to a new set of beliefs does not and cannot change your constitutional position before Olodumare. Òrúnmìlà invites us to convert [truly change] from being petty people and to become generous people. Òrúnmìlà invites us to convert [truly change] from being liars and cheats and to become truthful and honest people. Òrúnmìlà invites us to convert [truly change] from ignorance [to abandon ignorance] and to embrace divine knowledge, wisdom, understanding and conduct [Ifáyelele]. Òrúnmìlà asks us to undergo a qualitative change and transformation of our inner-state/condition. Òrúnmìlà invites us to abandon prejudiced, slanted and biased views and to embrace clear-sighted truth and clear-seeing consciousness. Òrúnmìlà invites us to abandon indifference, callousness and insensitivity and to receive, embrace and practice a sympathizing heart of compassion, kindness and understanding.

This my dear friends is what Ifá calls religion. Iwa-lesin [the worship of Olodumare by worshiping Olodumare by practicing and cultivating His divine qualities, virtues and ways in our practical and personal relation to others] is what Òrúnmìlà invites us to, and this ALONE is what reveals what our true religion is, or whether we have any true religion at all.

So, what is YOUR religion? When Òrúnmìlà looks into your heart what does he see? [Ifá sees and knows our heart, what is in our heart and who we really are]. What would Òrúnmìlà say is YOUR religion? Is your religion the same as Òrúnmìlà’s religion? Is there anything peculiar, noteworthy, outstanding and unique about how you live, relate to others and treat others, that reveals your standing as a true and genuine follower of Ifá? Is your life and conscience informed by Ifá and in harmony with the truth of Òrúnmìlà? Think about these things.

May Òrúnmìlà Awinrin confer blessing, benefit, fresh-perspective and uplift to all sincere readers [students] of this teaching. Asé.

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