3. Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja **
4. Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
7. Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja **
8. Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
11. Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja **
12. Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
15. Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja **
16. Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
19. Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja **
20. Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
23. Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja ***
24. Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
27. Ifa/Esu/Osun/Aje/Yemoja **
28. Ogun/Osoosi/Orisa Oko
** = Ose Ifa (Ororun-un)
*** = Itadogun
Being a master of iwa: The true and spiritual meaning of being an oluwo – a master, expert practitioner and owner of iwa.
Everyone can be a superior person, a moral person, a person of good character, but a great many are unwilling to be. Most people are seemingly ‘good’ for convenience purposes, to maintain appearances, to comply with social pressure or due to fear of loss due to public disapproval. There are few authentic men or women of iwa in today’s world. Iwa is the spirit and power that sustains, nourishes and governs the creation and iwa is the power that connects us to and gives us entrance to the divine spiritual world. Iwa is a divine, progressive, eternal energy, primordial intelligence and power that has no beginning and no end. When we are connected to this eternal power, energy and intelligence, we express this reality by good thoughts, good words, good actions, lofty demeanor and trustworthy behavior. These are the signs and symptoms of the presence of iwa in the life of a human being. The morality of a great many today is like the rise and fall of the mercury in the thermometer, it is like the changing colors of skin of the chameleon. Instead of being actually good, sincere, genuine and honest; people today feel virtuous and great pride in themselves by merely acting and pretending to be good, sincere, genuine and honest! Few people today know what real honor, divine knowledge, iwa and integrity are. No one needs to be a petty person, a self-seeking person, a fake-person, but that is what many are and want to be. To be sincere, faithful and respectful, to be amiable, harmonious and upright, to promote the worthy and praise the good, to benefit beings according to what is appropriate: all such things are the deeds of a superior person, a moral person, of a person of iwa. Such deeds are not hard to do. But people are unwilling to pursue this noble path from the heart — why?
To be devious, tricky and arrogant; to be coarse, rough, violent, lustful and deceptive; to speak of the shortcomings of others, to speak of the flaws of others while not acknowledging the excellent qualities in others. To elevate oneself at the expense of others. To hide ones own many flaws and shortcomings and to praise ones few virtues before others; are not such things the deeds of a petty person, of a hypocritical person, of an arrogant person, of a fake-person and of a self-seeking person. What is the benefit in practicing such a petty, hollow, superficial and meaningless life? Yet people are determined to live in this useless and meaningless way — why?
If you are a superior person, a person of genuine iwa, compassion and humility, the people will irresistibly be pleased with you, the irunmole-orisa will help and support you, and misfortune will not occur. You will seek and secure spiritual fulfillment, prosperity, fortune, and riches and you will gain much, because the spirit of honesty, kindness, iwa and good-will will support you and will cause your honest efforts to yield satisfying results.
But if you are a petty person, a manipulating and controlling person, an unfeeling person, a zig-zagging person, a person lacking iwa, integrity and honor, the people will mistrust you, the people will hate you, the people will see right through you and will not trust you and support you. The irunmole-orisa will be angry with you and will detest you, the irunmole-orisa will not take you seriously and will not listen to anything you have to say, your name will stink to the irunmole-orisa, the irunmole-orisa will withdraw themselves and their benefits from you, your person will be a taboo to them; and disaster, shame, dishonor and calamity will come to you. Your good fortune and your life span will be cut short, and you will suffer many losses.
Being an oluwo in the truest and highest sense is a rare and extraordinary attainment. It is a rare attainment and achievements reserved for the dedicated few. A true oluwo does not become an oluwo by mere socio-religio exercise. A true oluwo does not become an oluwo by the power of the purchasing power of money or due to the connection with worldly friends. A true oluwo is formed not only due to divine steps and activities in this life, but is formed due to the momentum and continuity of spiritual progress and efforts carried over from past existences. The true oluwo is one who is able to successfully guide and heal others. The true oluwo is able to win people over with his simplicity, love, honesty, wisdom and straightforwardness. The genuine oluwo does not lord it over people. The legitimate oluwo is not moved by the praises, flattery or verbal abuses of anyone because an oluwo is not conceited or self-absorbed. The destiny of an authentic oluwo is to selflessly serve others without arrogance, conceit, corrosive pride and airs of superiority. Oluwo is not a superficial title but is an earned state of being. Oluwo is the spirit of divine wisdom, grace, kindness and intelligence manifested in our world in a human form. Oluwo is more than human, the true oluwo is a divine being who hides his divine identity and glory and is only interested in illuminating others and in delivering people from their doubts, confusions, sorrows, sufferings and afflictions. The bonafide master, practitioner and owner of iwa is permeated with divine ase, gracefulness, serenity, contagious enthusiasm and the sentiment of the divine irunmole-orisa. A divine oluwo knows how to install and activate the spirit of wholesome self-esteem, confidence, kindness, hope, gentleness, and clarity in people. An oluwo abides in imperturbable peace, serenity and clarity. An oluwo sees things from the root and is not taken in by appearances. An oluwo is empowered to inspire trust, confidence and love in people. Oluwo or master, expert practitioner and owner of iwa is the embodiment of wisdom, power and compassion. Oluwo is a state of being, consciousness and manner of life. This divine state and condition of life is what gives elegance and attractiveness to ones knowledge of Ifá. This divine state and condition of life is what gives effectivness, power and authenticity to ones spiritual activities, rites and rituals. This divine state and condition of life is what attracts the irunmole-orisa and their blessings, guidance and power into ones life. The state and condition of oluwo is what makes makes a babalawo a babalawo, a babalorisa a babalorisa, an iyalorisa an iyalorisa and a genuine human being into a true divine human being. The status and condition of oluwo is not only related to Ifá practices, methodology, chants, priestly services and oracular practices. A person can know much Ifá, can know how to conduct and officiate all the mysteries, rites and rituals of Ifá and yet not have the oluwo state and condition of divine spirituality. There is many oluwo in name only but not in the actual reality and power of what oluwo means and stands for. Oluwo state and condition is what gives these practices meaning, power, credibility and efficacy. The oluwo state of being and inner condition of life transcends all religious practices, religions, sects, mysteries, names and titles; and is the heart and core of true saving knowledge. An oluwo does not have to go out to seek of anyone, nor does an oluwo need to promote himself, because his mastery and accomplishments in iwa ase will go out far and wide and will speak for him and will attract all good and auspicious things to him. Oluwo is not a temporary title that one earns or purchases from other human beings, but it is a spiritual attainment, condition and state of being that one has earned and that one discovers; and that others discern that one is firmly established in. Everything that such an oluwo blesses, oversees, institutes and approves will unfailingly prosper. Aspire to be such a master, expert practitioner and owner of iwa. Aspire to be a master of yourself and not others. Learn how to discipline, master and control your own life and you will be well on your way to true mastery, advancement and divine attainment. An oluwo exists to serve and not to be served. An oluwo does not praise himself to himself or before others. An oluwo delights in and glories only in displaying and exhibiting the eternal spirit and power of iwa in extraordinary, original, beneficial, practical and wonderful ways. An oluwo loves humility, meekness, moral courage, truthfulness and holy living. An oluwo is a being of few words but of great, meaningful and magnificent actions; and when an oluwo does speak, he speaks according to the truth of things, he speaks with depth and gracefulness, the oluwo speaks to benefit, uplift, encourage, admonish and empower others. An oluwo does not deliberately draw attention to himself. An oluwo does not speak about himself but about the ways of truth, kindness, harmony and holy wisdom. The words of such an oluwo penetrates to the depths of the hearts and minds of his listeners and brings about a great change and transformation in their attitudes, perceptions and manner of living. This is the true, confidential, spiritual and transcendent meaning of oluwo, a master practitioner of iwa and a true lineage holder and child of the primordial and all embracing iwa.
Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun.
Today’s message is a timely and special one. May the tenderness and love of Ifá-Olodumare and all the positive loving thoughts of all sincere devotees permeate this message with power, comfort and strength. In today’s world there is so much stress, strain, pain, sorrow, and pressure of all sorts. Some of us are in sorrow, strain and excessive states of stress due to the pressures of the environment which surrounds us. Others are suffering mentally and emotionally due to unhealthy conditions in the home and dysfunctional relationships. Others suffer due to inherited congenital defects. Some of us are suffering from physical, psychological and emotional illness and disorders. Others suffer from loneliness, melancholy, depression and from the sensation of feeling out of place or misunderstood. Many suffer from many things that are not their fault and which they did not cause. Life can be difficult. Life can be hard. Even though we know that there is supreme person, Olodumare, who loves us and cares for us, it is hard to accept certain situations in which we find ourselves in. During times of great pain and suffering, speeches about Olodumare somehow are not sufficient to heal the pain and wounds in our hearts and lives. We need to see Olodumare manifested in and through flesh-and-blood people to derive comfort, hope and confidence. We cannot always fathom the plan and purposes of Olodumare in our lives, especially when we are are the ones who are personally being overwhelmed with suffering, pain and anguish, which seems in all honesty senseless, meaningless and purposeless in our lives. It is easy to speak about the love of Olodumare and His wonderful plans for us, the love of Ifá and the love Irunmole/Orisa when we are enjoying health, opportunities and a success sustaining environment. But when pain, mishap, great suffering, anxiety and fear comes in person knocking at our personal doorstep, it can be hard, difficult and even impossible, to see, feel and acknowledge the reality of Olodumare, His love and His glorious plans for us. How can we accept, feel, see and find love in suffering, in worry, in anxiety and in fearful times?! It is hard if not impossible to convince ourselves of the existence, goodness, wisdom and perfection of Ifá-Olodumare, when we are personally and individually undergoing a great crisis and a prolonged period of worry, anxiety and depression due to illness or other upsetting events. Human beings of all faiths, traditions and no traditions, including many Ifá-Orisa devotees are suffering from diverse illnesses and ailments because they are simply human beings who are susceptible to sicknesses and ailments like all other human beings.
Whether we are at present healthy or not, the fact of the matter is that we are all subject to mortality. Not a single one of us will live forever in our present bodies. We will all in one way or another succumb to sickness, old-age and then death. Even when we are healthy and life seems to be smiling upon us, our lives can be taken from us, due to time and unforeseen circumstances. Our bodies and lives as far as the human body is concerned are limited, transient and impermanent. We are all dying…with every breath we take we are getting closer to the grave. This is a sobering but strangely comforting fact if we understand that we are all undergoing and experiencing this process TOGETHER. There is a reason and good purpose for everything that Olodumare institutes, even if we cannot at present comprehend or accept this fact. What often makes our pain and suffering unbearable is not necessarily the fact that we as human beings are mortal and that we will die someday from one thing or another, but what injures our minds and feelings is when we have to endure these things alone. There are hard and difficult things to accept or comprehend in regard to the divine arrangements of Olodumare that we cannot at present understand, and to be quite honest there are things that are hard, difficult or impossible for us to accept. The only comfort that we have is in knowing that somehow or other everything is tending towards our ultimate good and happiness, and that we are not alone and that we have friends, companions and family who loves us, who will be with us and there for us. Our friends, companions and family might not be able to do anything about our illness or ailment but it is surely easier to enjoy life, to cope and to live with hope and gratitude when we have friends and family who are with us from moment-to-moment and day-to-day, who are able to impart strength, comfort, love and hope to us, by which we can live one-day-at-a-time. The fact of the matter is that there are things for which a solution will not be found in this world at the present time. Only trust in Olodumare, resignation to His will and the comfort and company of beloved friends, companions and family members will be able to give us strength to live and courage to press forward. Ifá is about community, this means to come together in unity with care, affection, sympathy and concern. Ifá means family, friends and associates bound together by mutual love, respect, care and concern. How wonderful it is when we are not well, when we are fearful, worried or sick and a true friend, brother, sister or family members arrives to comfort us, to laugh with us and to cry with us! How wonderful to have someone or many people to come around you and they throw their arms around to tell you they care about you and that they are going to be with you come what may. These people are veritable Orisa to us! They are bearers and emitters of life, strength and hope!!! They are a life-line to us. We see and feel Olodumare in them, thru them and because of them. This compassionate and sympathetic feeling, sentiment and attitude is the all consuming disposition of Òrúnmìlà, of Ifá and of Olodumare, and of all genuine devotees of Ifá-Olodumare. No one here can go at it alone. We all need each other. We are all in part strong and weak. We are all in part resilient and vulnerable. We all experience periods and moments of fear, doubt, worry and insecurity,…oh…but how wonderful it is when during these periods of struggle and challenge, a friend, brother and companion in the faith comes alongside you, to stay and be with you, until all things unfold as they must and as they will! Do you know that there were moments in the life of Òrúnmìlà when he completely felt alone and misunderstood? Do you know that there were periods in the life of Òrúnmìlà that were intense in pain, worry, suffering and anxiety in which he was only able to make it solely through the assistance, comfort, relief, encouragement, nearness and dedication of loyal friends and companions?! We are all subject to suffering, fear, illness, worry and anxiety. We are all subject to impermanence and decay, no matter how our bodies feel at the present time and no matter how our bodies look at the present time. We are all ‘sick’ with mortality. We are all ‘sick’ with aging. We will all succumb to illness, decay or dis-ease of one form or another. We are all in this together.
Olodumare arranged things like this so that we might learn to value our lives, our health, our friends, family and each other. Olodumare arranged things like this so that we might learn to discern and value what it truly important in life. What would we give to have another moment with our father, or mother, or friend or brother or son or daughter who passed!? How would we treat them and speak to them? How much more time would be have dedicated to them? What would we do different if we could go back in time to our youth with the experiences, maturity and knowledge that we now have? Olodumare arranged things like this so that we might learn the highest and greatest values. Olodumare arranged things like this so that compassion, generosity and sympathy might arise in us towards others. It is a fact that those of us who have been through the fire of pain, affliction and suffering are more sensitive, understanding and responsive to the pains, sufferings and ailments of others. When we are in true need we really discover the value, blessing and preciousness of our genuine friends, relatives and companions of faith. Through these unwanted but necessary processes of alternating pain and pleasure in life, we are developed, matured and perfected by Olodumare. His purpose is that we might grow, develop and bond together. His purpose is that we might simultaneously learn how to unpretentiously serve others and that we might learn how to receive humbly the generous service of others. This is what Ifá reveals and teaches to us. Friend you are not alone. Olodumare loves you and is caring for you no matter how things may seem. He is not upset with you or angry with you. Your pain, ailments and/or sufferings are not existing because you have done something wrong. You are not alone. There is a community of faithful devotees who reach out to you with their means, time, resources and strengthening prayers. Our bodies are transient, impermanent and subject to decay and decline. We are spirit beings who inhabit and utilize these physical bodies to connect us with the physical world through which we experience lessons which purify our lives and which causes our spirit to gain intelligence, maturity, knowledge, values and advancement. We are all on our way to the higher states and higher worlds of completion and perfection where all suffering, pain, illness and worry will exist no more because they will have fulfilled their training purpose in our lives. If we consider our lives, this world and our bodies as a divinely established temporary school and as a temporary practice vehicle for training and developing our mind, spirit, will and emotions, it will be more easier for us to resign ourselves to the plans of Olodumare with courage and without fear. Ifá teaches us to achieve clear-seeing consciousness and a sympathizing heart. Let us reach out to one another in a realistic way with compassion, understanding, patience, practical love and steadfastness. Let us help each other as best we can, each one contributing what he can to benefit and comfort his brother or sister who is enduring a difficult and painful time. Our love and sympathy may not instantaneously rid them of their illness or ailment, but it will contribute to their healing, it will relieve their suffering, it will give them hope and strength to endure one day at a time. It will minister to them moral, emotional and psychological health, strength and courage which will surely have an impact in the overall improvement of their health and situation. This is the message and understanding that Ifá would have us understand, appreciate and assimilate. You who are well, remember that a day will come that you will not be. You who are not well, do not lose hope and courage. You will make improvement. Things will get better. And with the activity of the fellowship of devotees near and far, you will gain strength, fortitude and courage to cope, while you receive continual healing, comfort, support and strength.
Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun.
Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun.
Just like Obatala sleeps in white (purity), awakens in white (honesty) and conducts all of his affairs in white (truthfulness) the great Oluwo of all Irunmole-Orisa is eternally established in great glory, sanctity and purity. It is from Olodumare that Obatala, Ela, Òrúnmìlà and all Irunmole-Orisa derive their attractive, endearing and peculiar outstanding qualities. Olodumare is the source of all virtue, lofty personality and graceful character. In knowing Olodumare we fulfill our divine humanity and we realize that we are godlings, that we are divine Orisa in an embryonic phase -spiritually speaking- of course.
What are the symptoms and signs of a knower and devotee of Olodumare Oba Agotun? Beyond appearances what are the true traits and characteristics of a devotee of Ifá-Olodumare?
The person who has been enlightened by the grace of Olodumare experiences and sees all things in life differently from the unawakened person. The person who has been illuminated and empowered by Olodumare understands and interprets the events, experiences and occurrences of his life from a lofty, superior and life-strengthening point of view. The devotee and knower of Olodumare gains benefit, growth and blessing from all he experiences in life especially and including painful, injurious and unjust happenings, because he has learned the secret of converting apparent poison into medicine. Just like the snail who is always consuming sand, dirt and dust which would be harmful to a human being, yet the snail is not injured or made ill by all the soil, dirt and filth that enters its mouth, because the snail is able to extract benefit, nutrients, health and strength from what otherwise would be something unhealthy and even poisonous, and then the snail miraculously keeps what is good and beneficial and ejects from its system all that is unwholesome, unhealthy, toxic and poisonous. In the same manner is the devotee and knower of Olodumare made strong by all he experiences, beholds and is subjected to. The knower and devotee of Olodumare cannot be shaken, neither can he be broken by people, the vicisitudes of life or the unfortunate and undesirable things that sometimes happen in life that cannot be entirely avoided. Just like the sacred leaf called ela which never loses it’s verdor, vitality, freshness, potency and coolness even when it is subjected to the intense heat of the sun and the extremes of adverse climate, in like manner the devotee and knower of Olodumare is resilient and is able to endure and resist the intense ‘heat’ and ‘dryness, of adversity, conflict, blind passions and unwholesome elements. Just like the ela leaf does not wither though it is exposed to a climate and temperature that would wreak havoc on other living organisms, in like manner the devotee and knower of Olodumare has been fitted to endure, persevere and prevail in the most difficult and intense moments of life. The enlightened and matured devotee of Ifá-Olodumare remains uncontaminated from the filth of dishonesty, ungodliness, hypocrisy, envy, lust, greed, double-dealing and strife. Just like the fish that lives in water, is surrounded by water, is filled with water, moves in water and is nourished by the water, so is the devotee and knower of Ifá-Olodumare sustained, permeated by, protected and nourished by Olodumare. Love and devotion to Olodumare is the ‘food, water, air, medicine, unassailable security and rest’ of the knower and devotee of Olodumare. The man of Ifá-Olodumare remains free from and never pursues unwholesome thoughts, words or actions. Dishonest, aggressive, misleading and dirty language are not part of the ways, practice and discipline of a bonafide knower -ologbon-, sage and knower of Olodumare.
The one who loves Olodumare and whose life is filled with the love of Olodumare Oba Anu treats everyone the same, with impartiality and equal consideration. The man of Olodumare extends a measure of trust, confidence and good-faith in everyone. The man of Olodumare only changes his view and perception of others only when others give him reason to, but initially the man of Olodumare attributes goodness, honesty and good-faith to all. The man of Olodumare does not discriminate. A rich person and a poor person are the same to him. A king or a pauper are the same to him. The devotee of and knower -ologbon- of Olodumare is not attracted to names, titles and high sounding nomenclatures. The quality, bearing, demeanor, actions and attitude of a person is what makes them high or low, worthy or unworthy, trustworthy or not trustworthy. Your rank, level and worthiness before Ifá-Olodumare and Irunmole-Orisa are determined by the quality of your being, your attitude, your actions, your associations and your manner of life. This is the confirmed reality affirmed by Ifá-Olodumare. The devotee and knower of Olodumare is not affected by either the praises or abuses of others. He knows the secret of remaining in peace, happiness, contentment and joy because he has found the limitless joy, perfection and satisfaction of Olodumare who is dwelling in his heart, mind and life. Just like fire cannot be made impure, yet fire itself removes the dross and impurities in the most obdurate metals, in like manner the noble sage, devotee and knower of Ifá-Olodumare cannot be contaminated, tainted or impurified by another, yet such an ologbon has a presence, truth, secret and power from Olodumare which reveals and burns up the impurities and dross of defilements in others. You can pour sand, dirt and all kinds of things in water yet none of them can hold onto the water. In the same way dirty, impure and dishonest people or impure spiritual energies cannot take hold of a devotee and ologbon of Ifá-Olodumare, no matter how close they may be, no matter how much close contact they have. Oil and water can be placed in the same container and no matter how long they are there together they will never mix. Even if you shake the bottle it might appear to the undiscerning intellect that the oil and water have mixed and blended together, but in a moment by the inherent opposing and incompatible qualities and properties of the oil and water they will soon separate from each other. Godliness and ungodliness cannot mix. Truth and deception cannot mix. Generosity and hypocrisy cannot mix. A knower and devotee of Ifá-Olodumare has no enemies and he is not the enemy of anyone. The knower of Olodumare is everyone’s friend because he does all that he can to benefit and uplift others. The knower of Olodumare does not hate people but he does hate the impure qualities of deception, abuse, falsity and injustice wherever they are found. There is no pride, conceit or pretentiousness in a knower and devotee of Ifá-Olodumare, and this is why such a devotee cannot be controlled, intimidated or manipulated by others because he has no need for or desire for anything that belongs to others.
The devotee and knower of Olodumare is fearless and brimming with courage because Ifá-Olodumare and Truth are on his side. The knower and devotee of Olodumare is not gullible, servile, naive or ignorant. The knower -ologbon- and devotee -awo- of Olodumare cannot be defeated by anything or anyone. Only if someone can defeat, bribe, trick, deceive, control, intimidate and manipulate Olodumare can such a person defeat, bribe, trick, deceive, control, intimidate and manipulate a knower and devotee of Olodumare! It is impossible to defeat, trick, defeat, bribe, deceive, control, intimidate and manipulate Olodumare and it is equally impossible to do the same to a devotee and knower of Olodumare. Nothing good can ever come from disrespecting Ifá-Olodumare in this way. Nothing good can ever come disrespecting a devotee and knower of Ifá-Olodumare. Only a insane, crazy, mindless and foolish person would ever think about treating Olodumare or one of his devotees in such a dishonoring way. The knower -ologbon- and devotee -awo- of Olodumare depends on none but Olodumare and this is why the devotee of Ifá-Olodumare will never perish and is always prosperous, peaceful, content and full of joy. The knower and devotee of Ifá-Olodumare is always safeguarded by, permeated with and surrounded by Ifá-Olodumare and he is always being granted the blessings, full support, approval and protection of all Irunmole-Orisa.
Ela ‘boru. Ela ‘boye. Ela ‘bosise.