Olodumare is everywhere

THE GREATNESS, GLORY AND MAGNIFICENCE OF OLÓDÙMARÈ

The Spiritual Meaning of Oruko Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun

Olódùmarè is the best, holiest, sacred and highest name of God worthy of being meditated upon. Olódùmarè means the source, origin, owner and reservoir of all energies, powers and wondrous abilities. Olódùmarè also means the one who is vested with ALL POWERS. Olódùmarè also implies the supreme one who has deep affection for us as a mother towards her child.

Olódùmarè is worthy of our admiration, reverence and adoration because Olódùmarè is just, impartial, present everywhere, of the essence of happiness, and Olódùmarè is the supreme master of the entire creation. This is why the name of Olódùmarè is the name worth praising and relying upon.

The path of Olódùmarè means adherence to Iwa. The moment that the divine word, name and sound Olódùmarè enters our hearing our hearts should immediately experience, perceive, feel and think about the exalted spiritual value of Iwa. Iwa is the highest divine value. Iwa is supreme sanctity, benevolence, rectitude and grace. Iwa is the the highest merit.

Iwa means divine, godly and/or god-like qualities, personality, character, manners and comportment. Iwa has the combined meaning of right conduct, virtuous attitude-behavior, integrity, rectitude and good conduct. Iwa also refers to that quality, value and manner of life that gives rise to a good, clean, happy and healthy conscience.

The human being who adheres to Iwa lives on the highest spiritual level and is unaffected by the censure or praise of people.

The heart and essence of Olódùmarè is Iwa. Just like salt gives flavor to food in like manner Iwa gives pleasantness, happiness, success, flavor, satisfaction and delight to human life. Iwa is the power of Olódùmarè which inspires righteousness, integrity, courage, self-discipline, personal responsibility, wisdom, good manners and virtuous comportment in us.

All of our problems are solved if we are, individually and collectively, endowed with divine wisdom, rectitude, personal responsibility, dutifulness, gentleness, kindness, understanding and honesty: This is what it means to have Iwa. Iwa is the supreme virtue of Olódùmarè which inspires us, protects us, comforts us, strengthens us and guides us. Iwa is the cord which connects us to Olódùmarè. Iwa connects us [gives us access] to Olódùmarè’s storehouse of limitless treasures, powers, secrets and wisdoms.

Without Iwa we will always find ourselves entangled in problems, conflicts, needless drama, setbacks, shame, pessimism, loss, self-defeatism and suffering. Without Iwa we will find ourselves being pursued by problems, dissatisfaction, despondency, anxiety, despair and conflict.

This is why it is important to be mindful of Olódùmarè because Olódùmarè is the embodiment and bestower of Iwa. Mindfulness of Olódùmarè is how Ifá defines praise. We must know that Olódùmarè dwells with us and within us as Ori. Ori the the immediate personal presence of Olódùmarè who dwells within our human mind who guides us, leads and encouraged us from within. When we are mindful of Olódùmarè from a heart of sincerity, the virtues, powers, wisdoms, secrets, mysteries and graces of Olódùmarè flow into our inner-selves bringing harmony, integrity, health, strength, intelligence, divine ability, enthusiasm, confidence and peace to our lives.

Iwa is not only a principle, Iwa is a divine energy and power which emanates and springs forth from Olódùmarè that lifts us up and sets us on the straight path of peace, health, success, prosperity, power and happiness.

We should always feel the presence of Father Olódùmarè and Mother Iwa within ourselves, because this awareness will enlighten us, guide us, purify us, protect us and save us from shame, sorrow, conflict, loss and calamity. This awareness will unfailingly lead us to prosperity, success, wholesome self-esteem, harmony and freedom from suffering.

Olódùmarè is a being of supreme positivity, optimism, radiance, vitality and contagious inspiration. Contact with Olódùmarè fills us with faith in ourselves and confidence towards Olódùmarè.

The words Oruko Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun mean that only the Name of Olódùmarè is dependable, reliable, exalted, adorable and worthy of supreme reverence, trust, awe and love. By Name we mean the essential experiential value [our direct personal experience of the supreme values and energy] of the divine name [living energy, vitality and power of] Olódùmarè within our own hearts. By Name we mean the supreme qualities, character and personality that are inherent in and communicated by the divine name Olódùmarè.

The name Olódùmarè was not created by human beings. The name and sound Olódùmarè is not of this world or creation. The name, sound, divine power, holy-sacred energy and spiritual vibration Olódùmarè existed before the creation. It is transcendent and timeless.Continue reading

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THE NATURE OF ÒRÚNMÌLÀ

The Vital Importance of Becoming Acquainted with and Knowing Òrúnmìlà:

Sometimes in life we are too wise for our own good. At times we are ignorant of that which is truly for our highest and best benefit. We neglect and ignore what is truly in our best interest. We unwisely long for and cling to things that do not, and cannot satisfy our hearts, and which do not strengthen and elevate our minds [life]. We often give up quickly on the spiritual path when we are beginning to penetrate into the real and are about to attain genuine understanding, achievement and progress. We impatiently trade in true progress for things which only fatten our ego and cause us to become stuck in repetitive, self-defeating and wearisome patterns of superficiality, pettiness and lack of substance which further makes our lives empty, hollow, unsatisfying and lacking in meaning. We trade our pure gold for valueless glitter. We are moving, but we are not going anywhere, and we are not making genuine progress in any direction because we are walking aimlessly in circles without knowing what our true destination [aim] should be and the way to get there. We want to be able to believe in the divine and in people again but we have been let down so much, disappointed and hurt by others that we have lost our confidence, assurance and willingness to believe and trust, even when we really want to. How do we remedy this and come out of this predicament?

We all need guidance and we all need an attainable and realistic ideal [purpose and aim] to inspire us, guide us and to give our lives meaning. We need to know our purpose for existing and we need to achieve this purpose. As followers of Ifá, we should know and have this guidance and ideal [purpose and aim] to inspire us, guide us and to give our lives a satisfying purpose. Where do we begin in our quest to discover this guidance and ideal? How do we begin to realize our innate desires for satisfaction, fulfillment and meaning in life?

We must begin by coming to know and understand the person and nature of Òrúnmìlà.

The divine irunmole-orisa and holy sage of Ekiti, our divine master Òrúnmìlà, is our guide, exemplar and ideal. He is our inspirer, protector, encourager and guide who reveals the path to us and walks alongside us as we advance in our journey of attainment. Òrúnmìlà Oba Atayese is the sure and reliable guide, because Òrúnmìlà is the embodiment of simple, unpretentious, guileless and honest behavior and thoughts. Òrúnmìlà is profoundly simple. His simplicity is of divine origin. His simplicity is born of wisdom, knowledge, understanding, vast experience and confidence. These qualities in Òrúnmìlà enable him to establish us in certainty, serenity, contentment, assurance, confidence and peace. Òrúnmìlà is the master of consistent good character and consistent noble behavior. Òrúnmìlà is loving and lovable. Òrúnmìlà is tender hearted but of strong will, tactfulness and determination. Òrúnmìlà is not a sentimental personality. His love and compassion are not wishy-washy, weak or soft. His love, sympathetic-understanding and compassion are stronger and harder than a diamond! Òrúnmìlà reveals to us the true meaning, value and greatness of being human beings. He unfolds before our understanding our divine dignity and our extraordinary greatness and potential.

The love of Òrúnmìlà is blended with, and inseparable from divine intelligence, sheer honesty, deep insight and a firm and truthful will. Òrúnmìlà has such an extraordinary, sweet and confidence inspiring personality and character. We never need be afraid of our past mistakes before Òrúnmìlà. Just like when you face the light of the sun and it casts a shadow behind you which cannot come before you, in like manner we can approach Òrúnmìlà and his light, without fear and/or worry. Òrúnmìlà will not allow the shadows of our past to come up before us. He will not allow our past errors or mistakes to hinder and obstruct our present and future progress, success and prosperity. Òrúnmìlà knows how to convert poison into medicine, and he knows how to relate to us as unique and individual persons. He knows our history, our origins and the factors that have made us who we are today. What is good he can make better. What was bad, he can correct, heal and make good.

The character and personality of Òrúnmìlà is such that when we are with him and before him, Òrúnmìlà makes us feel that we are the most important person to him, and we are! Òrúnmìlà is the one who loves us and counsels us better than our nearest and dearest loved ones. In the presence of Òrúnmìlà one only experiences a boundless love, sympathetic understanding, confidence, certainty, assurance and peace. All fear, worry, insecurity and anxiety melts away when we make real contact with Òrúnmìlà and come to know him. How can we meet and know Òrúnmìlà? Can we really know him and meet him in person? And if we can really know him and meet him how do we go about it?

Òrúnmìlà can be known and loved just like you know and love your nearest and dearest friends and kin. The first step is to make the firm resolve and determination to really know and become intimately acquainted with Òrúnmìlà Amuwagun. Unless there is a true and firm resolve [determination] to know him and walk with him we will not be able to move even a hairs length in the direction of Òrúnmìlà, and Òrúnmìlà will seem to us to be a distant personality and power whose friendship and nearness cannot be attained and enjoyed. If you do not want to really know [meet] Òrúnmìlà and you do not really intend to become his follower then he will always be hidden, unknown and concealed to you. But if you really want to know and see [meet] Òrúnmìlà, and you are intending to be a genuine student then there are many avenues available to you for you to know, see and experience Òrúnmìlà Awinrin in person [directly]. Every sincere human being can achieve this. If there is sincerity, genuine interest, devotion, simplicity and devotion in you, then you have the capacity and ability [all you need] to receive the personal vision [manifestation] of Òrúnmìlà. Then you will find out and know for yourself who and what Òrúnmìlà is. No one else will have to tell you anything because you will be knowing [seeing and experiencing] him yourself directly, continuously and realistically. Personally knowing Òrúnmìlà makes all the difference in the world. We should offer our friendship and loyalty to Òrúnmìlà and make him our best friend. Knowing Òrúnmìlà makes us authentic, fearless and partakers of a freedom which cannot be communicated in words and which must be personally, pragmatically and realistically known each one for himself or herself.

When you feel, hear and see the spirit, presence, power and person of Òrúnmìlà you will be blessed!!! As soon as you hear [experience] the voice of Òrúnmìlà your heart will be flooded with love, hope, gratitude, wonder, awe, courage and peace. You will experience something akin to a divine fire in your heart, which fills you, empowers you and surrounds you. Divine understanding and sympathetic understanding will arise in you. Clear seeing consciousness, divine power [ability] and penetrative insight will be your constant and faithful companions, guides and protectors. Your present character, inner condition-state and behavior will become qualitively [positively] transformed and sublimated. Your character and personality will become divinely sweet, attractive, harmonious, simple, authentic and magnetic. A spirit of loving friendliness, confidence and trust will emanate from you which will disarm others of their worries, fears and doubts and will fill them with renewed hope, inspiration and certainty of success. If you resolve to be true, authentic and real, then Òrúnmìlà will most surely agree to meet with you and reveal himself and share his wisdom, his ways and powers with you.

To meet, see, experience and know Òrúnmìlà there is no particular place, no particular time and no particular ritual required. In the eyes of Òrúnmìlà nobody is intrinsically unworthy because he knows our origins and our true divine personality and eternal identity. Òrúnmìlà knows what we are destined to become, and he sees us and relates to us according to our true divine nature, eternal identity and dignity, and not according to our present lot, circumstance or condition in life. Òrúnmìlà sees all, values all and loves all with the same intensity, hope, value and assurance. It is just a matter of our personal receptivity, desire, eagerness to know Òrúnmìlà, our earnestness, affinity and responsiveness to Òrúnmìlà. Do not be afraid to approach Òrúnmìlà. Whatever he reveals and whatever action he takes in regard to you will always be for your benefit, happiness, uplift and wellbeing. Do not let your mind be tainted, troubled or swayed by the baseless, valueless and unsubstantiated opinions of others. Know Òrúnmìlà for yourself.

It is impossible to know Òrúnmìlà and not love him, trust him and obey him. Do not be afraid of your past. The moment your firmly turn your heart and mind to Òrúnmìlà your negative past will lose its power and influence over you. Òrúnmìlà will neutralize and transform all negative effects and he will turn them into positive effects. This is why Òrúnmìlà is called the one who turns our sorrow into joy!!! Òrúnmìlà turns our problems into victories, triumphs and blessings!!! Òrúnmìlà will strip away the negative imprints, impressions and mental-emotional and spiritual cankers that have had an adverse influence upon your life. If you are determined to know Òrúnmìlà then nothing and no one can stand in your way!! As soon as you make the determination to truly meet, see, experience and know Òrúnmìlà, at that moment Òrúnmìlà is present to you and his asé will work itself into your life, mind, spirit and circumstances. The moment you begin to seriously think about Òrúnmìlà, know that at that moment Òrúnmìlà is seriously thinking about you!! Òrúnmìlà is always thinking about and devising the best and efficacious means to enable us to come out of our troubles and transcend suffering. We only need to give Òrúnmìlà a chance to discover his traceless ways of bringing resolution to our problems and challenges!! Give your willingness to trust to Òrúnmìlà and he will not fail you! Give him what you honestly can and are able to offer him of your heart, sentiment and feeling, and Òrúnmìlà will accept this from you. Direct to Òrúnmìlà what measure of faith you have. What if you don’t have faith but you want to have this faith and confidence? Then offer to Òrúnmìlà your doubts, unclarity, worries, doubts, fear, mixed-feelings and uncertainty, and Òrúnmìlà will even accept this from you and he will purify, cleanse and empower these things and give them back to you in their positive transformative expressions.

Open your heart and mind to Òrúnmìlà. Just be yourself as you are. You do not need to Continue reading

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ÒRÚNMÌLÀ CARES FOR US AND LOVES US.

Òrúnmìlà cares for us and loves us. Òrúnmìlà appreciates and values our care and love for him:

[1] It is our love, awe, gratitude, personal-rectitude and devotion to Òrúnmìlà that gives acceptability, acceptance and sweetness to our offerings and sacrifice. Our personal love, respect, gratitude and devotion is the seasoning that gives flavor to our gifts and sacrifices, and brings delight and satisfaction to Ifá.

[2] Offerings and sacrificial materials presented to Ifá absent of love, respect, gratitude and devotion are not accepted or approved by Ifá. When our love, truthfulness, humility, sincerity and devotion are part of the offering and sacrifice, then will our requests, offerings and sacrifices be ‘ebo fin, ebo da.’ The sacrifices, requests and offerings will be quickly received and approved by Ifá and the quick manifesting [quick acting] power of Ifá will be revealed. Whatever Òrúnmìlà partakes of becomes sacred, asé filled and holy. Whatever remains of what we offer to Òrúnmìlà should be handled with love, awe and respect.

[3] A simple offering of kolanut and cool clean water presented to Òrúnmìlà with love, gratitude and devotion will achieve and secure unprecedented and countless joy giving and astounding blessings for the devotee whereas the presentation of rare, expensive and hard to find materials to Òrúnmìlà without being accompanied by love, respect, personal-integrity and honesty will achieve nothing.

[4] Approach Òrúnmìlà with love, honesty, humility and transparency and you will personally know his great love, care and affection for you. The gate to the mysteries, blessings and powers of Ifá is called: humble-simplicity, gratitude, truthfulness and basic goodness.

[5] Òrúnmìlà does not need or want our money. Òrúnmìlà wants our friendship, our understanding, our respect, our sincerity, our loyal and trusting obedience. Òrúnmìlà wants our devotion, our simplicity and our love.

[6] Òrúnmìlà does not complicate our lives, Òrúnmìlà simplifies our lives and makes things easy, smooth and clear.

[7] If we take the time to know Òrúnmìlà and we build a genuine friendship and relationship with Òrúnmìlà our lives will be flooded with peace, joy, strength, comfort, assurance and true power. To know Òrúnmìlà is to know and have eternal life [the divine quality of life]. This eternal life is the divine and sublime quality of life that is enjoyed by Òrúnmìlà himself.

[8] When we have grown in our love for Òrúnmìlà and in our relationship of friendship with Òrúnmìlà we will have this deep realization and inspiring awareness:

Òrúnmìlà you and I are intimately related. We are surely one (having affinity for each other and living in harmony with one another).

[9] Owonrin-Oturupon:

According to the depth, love, sincerity and quality of our devotion to Òrúnmìlà in the same measure will Òrúnmìlà reciprocate. If we fervently and consistently worship, obey and emulate Òrúnmìlà, Òrúnmìlà will reward us with inconceivable and unanticipated benefits, blessings and satisfaction.

This special blessing and promise is not directed to the world in general but only to those who please Olodumare by genuinely following Òrúnmìlà. Òrúnmìlà does not have disobedient and disrespectful children. If they are disobedient and disrespectful then they are not children of Òrúnmìlà. The children of Òrúnmìlà are those who share and live Òrúnmìlà’s thoughts, words and actions.

[10] Ose-Irete:

By following Òrúnmìlà we become true followers of Olodumare. In Ose-Irete, Òrúnmìlà learned that the secret to true peace, happiness and success is to rely on Olodumare as our Divine Parent. We should feel [and know ] in our hearts that we are the literal children of Olodumare and therefore we should acknowledge His existence, supremacy and love. We must follow the example of Òrúnmìlà and make Olodumare our Father and then together with Òrúnmìlà then we can say:

“Olodumare, rescue me! You are the one I depend upon. Olodumare, please grant me your protection, for you are the one I am relying upon. Olodumare lift me out of the rut of confusion, disarray and meaningless living, for I am now acknowledging You and making you my Father. No one who depends on you will be dishonored, embarrassed, shamed or disgraced. Olodumare heal my life. Set my life in order and establish me in a true relationship and friendship with you.”

When we worship Olodumare by following and loving Òrúnmìlà, and by entrusting ourselves to Òrúnmìlà then Òrúnmìlà embraces us and claims us as his own. When we belong to Òrúnmìlà in our hearts, thinking and living, whatever we ask from Òrúnmìlà that is good and beneficial for us and others he will surely grant it at the opportune time!

[11] Owonrin-Ogbe:

Òrúnmìlà! You are the manifestation of Olodumare. You are the sanctuary, safety and refuge. Òrúnmìlà Awimilogbon, masterful and empowered teacher, guide and mentor save me and come to my aid. Òrúnmìlà I have entrusted myself to you and you have promised and vowed to give relief, safety and solutions to all who wholeheartedly rely upon you. Òrúnmìlà! If affliction is pursuing me, True Master Òrúnmìlà, you will surely rescue and save me. Orunmila! If argument, controversy, conflict and hostility are pursuing me, True Master Òrúnmìlà, you will surely rescue me and save me. Òrúnmìlà! If loss, injustice, envy, jealousy, sickness and any other kind of evil or malice is pursuing me, True Master Òrúnmìlà, you will surely rescue me and save me because you are the manifestation of Olodumare, you are the sanctuary, safety and sure refuge of all who entrust themselves to you by living according to your instructions, ways and example.

[12] How wonderful, great, sympathetic and understanding is Òrúnmìlà! My Ifá friends and family, let us get to know Òrúnmìlà better. When we know Òrúnmìlà in truth we will not have to try to force ourselves to trust or believe in him. When we make the effort to know Òrúnmìlà and to walk with him in friendship, love and hospitality, Òrúnmìlà himself will install and activate his asé, awareness, wisdom, power and blessings in our hearts. Then a true confidence and faith that is not artificially contrived will arise in our hearts and minds. No matter how turbulent or unstable things outside of us may be or may become, inwardly we will have peace, stability, joy, confidence and persevering certainty of success. When we become acquainted with Òrúnmìlà and we know him truthfully we become partakers and enjoyers of the true life, of the peaceful life, of the empowered life, of the harmonious and satisfying life. In knowing Òrúnmìlà and in adopting his ways we will be able to achieve all things good, useful and necessary.

May Òrúnmìlà Awinrin endow you with his blessings of peace, wellbeing, happiness, health, strength, truth[fulness], success, empowered wisdom, prosperity and longevity. Asé.

ioruba,+yoruba,+nago,+lukumi,+orisha+prayer

NEW MONTH IFA PRAYER (APRIL 2019)

Erin ja, erin won loluso
Agbo momo ja, won mu so loja ejigboromekun
Adifa fun orisa nla Oseremagbo
Ni ojo ti iku yio gbodo ti yio si ma pani
Erin ja, erin won loluso
Agbo mo mo ja, won mu so loja ejigboromekun
Adifa fun Orunmila ti yio je oni magba, to yio si ma gba ni Kaye.
Nje ki lo to ni gba nijo ogun
Erigi alo ifa lo to ni gba lojo ogun
Erigi alo

Translation :
The elephant escaped been tie down with rope
The ram was been tied at the market of ejigboromekun
Cast divination for orisa nla oseremagbo
When death will dominate everywhere and taken lives
The elephant escaped been tied with rope.
The ram was been tied at the market of ejigboromokun
Cast divination for orunmila when he will became the messiah on earth and keep saving life
What is it that can safe us during spiritual war.
Erigi alo, it is IFA that can safe us.
Erigi alo…(EJIOGBE)
As we embark on the journey of this new month of April, May Olodumare grant us success in all our endeavors and may our ori, IFA olokun Asorodayo guide our path to success. Ase’ntedumare

From: Ancestral pride temple, Ota
Oluwo Fasola Faniyi

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.

WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN TO BE AN AWO, AN INITIATE, A DEVOTEE OF IFÁ AND THE IRUNMOLE-ORISA:

An awo, a babalawo, an iyanifa, a babalorisa and an iyalorisa are representatives of Olodumare and of the Irunmole-Orisa. Have you ever thought about what it means to be someone’s representative?
It is and we feel it a great responsibility, privilege and honor to be a representative of an exalted, renown and accomplished human being. If this is true of being a representative of an exalted, renown and accomplished human being, what can be said of a person who is a representative of Olodumare, of Ifá and of the Irunmole-Orisa?! Is it such a simple and easy thing to be a representative of Olodumare, of Ifá and of the Irunmole-Orisa? Can just anyone do this? Can someone without any qualifications, without any training, without diplomatic skill, without personal dignity, without love, without sympathetic understanding and charisma be a representative of Olodumare, of Ifá and of the Irunmole-Orisa? Can someone who does not in good measure share the qualities, heart and mind of Olodumare, Ifá and of the Irunmole-Orisa represent them? Can a liar be a representative of the truth? Can a mean and indifferent person be a representative of kindness and compassion? Can a cheat and exploiter be a representative of honesty and generosity? Can an ignorant and uninformed person be a representative of pure wisdom and divine knowledge? Can a person who delights in filth, dishonesty and vulgarity be a representative of cleanliness, honesty (truthfulness) and purity?
If you had to select someone to represent you and to successfully promote your aims, what kind of person would you choose, and what qualities must this person have? Would you just choose anybody to represent you? Can a person be qualified to represent you by just having ‘good intentions’ or ‘good feelings’?
Shouldn’t they in addition to good intentions and good feelings also have knowledge, training, experience, sympathetic understanding and good social skills? After all they are representing you. Shouldn’t your representative have an honest and credible character, true knowledge-understanding, wisdom, courage, determination, commitment, training, maturity, gracefulness and a highly developed skill-set? Shouldn’t your representative care about you and what you are seeking to accomplish? Shouldn’t your representative have affinity with you and with your way of doing things?
What kind of people do you think Olodumare, Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa are looking for, to represent them and to promote their benefit conferring cause? These are things to carefully think about, to ponder and to consider, especially if we have the personal aspiration to serve and represent Olodumare, Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa before others.
In former times a genuinely developed, trained, qualified and mature awo or initiate, was considered a source of inspiration, strength and blessing to his family, community and nation. These awo or initiates were the spiritual pulse and heart of the community. The essence of their devotion was not merely ritualistic worship but to arouse a genuine and deep faith in Ifá (Olodumare) and in the Irunmole-Orisa. The were able to impart asé, hope, courage, inspiration and strength to others. By promoting the divine standard of Ifá values, they were instrumental in promoting the progress, wellbeing, peace, harmony and safety of their families, their community and their nation. These special awo were gifted with the special asé to create an atmosphere of harmony, peace, understanding, gentleness and love. These dedicated or consecrated awo had the special asé to disarm people of their worries, fears, doubts, anxieties and misunderstandings.
Let me ask you: If the ones who are charged with the privilege, responsibility and duty to draw people close to Ifá-Olodumare and the Irunmole-Orisa become dishonest, corrupt and indifferent, then what will happen to the family life, the community life, the communal spiritual life and the national life?
There is a great need today for awo, initiates and devotees of divine calibre who have true love and compassion for the people. There are so few authentic awo today! Many awo today have made a business of the sacred trust, that in former times was a great honor to discharge with humility, integrity, dignity and simplicity. And this is why we see so little prosperity, peace, harmony and wellbeing in the lives and families of many initiates, for how can they who are living in this sad condition help others. Some awo [initiates] have dedicated themselves to fooling and duping people to achieve their isolated desires and their selfish ends, and sadly many of the sincere but naive public blindly follow these kinds of ‘awo’ who fill their minds with all kinds of lies, make believe and fantasy.
It is a sad but strange wonder: An honest, sincere and true awo, initiate, priest or priestess comes along to freely share and offer the truth and values of Ifá to people and only a small amount of people will respond to this awo. But when a cheating, lying, duping, advantage taking, fantasizing, exploiting, double dealing and false promising ‘awo’ comes along, all come running to place their heads at his feet and to do his bidding and to secure his ‘blessings’?! What kind of ‘blessings’ can this person give when he himself is living an accursed life?! This is where we are today.
The ancient awo were not rich according to today’s standards and conception, and their search was not for money. The ancient awo were rich in peace of mind, good health, respect, wisdom, true spiritual power and divine virtue. The ancient awo sought for divine wisdom, imperishable values, health, spiritual power, penetrative insight, communion with the irunmole-orisa, harmony and longevity so as to be able to enjoy life to the fullest and to benefit others. Good conduct, good character and the earned (merited) respect of their community was their crown of achievement. Even today in Yorubaland there is an exalted title given out to knowledgeable awo of irreproachable conduct, extraordinary competence, deep understanding and sterling character: This sacred title is called Oba Iwa – the king of good conduct, virtue, good behavior and character! How beautiful and wonderful this is! This is the true gold and riches of Ifá!
The founder of Ogunda Meji Temple, the venerable Awopeju Bogunmbe was such an exalted, revered, holy, wise, hardworking, dedicated, inspiring and tireless servant of Ifá and the people, and this is why he was awarded with the title of Oba Iwa. The venerable Awopeju Bogunmbe was a rare awo. He was rare not because others could not live as he did, but he was rare in that he dedicated himself, by himself, to following Ifá with wholeheartedness and sincerity.
The same can be said of Olorunfunmi Adebanjo Oshiga the founder of Ijo Òrúnmìlà Adulawo and his worthy successor Olori Oluwo Ifajobi Fagbemi. The same can be said for the great high chief, the Oluwo Ifá of Ota, the venerable Fasola Opayemi Ifagbemi and his worthy successor and son, Babalawo and Ogboni Oluwo Fasola Faniyi of Ota. The same can be said of the founders of Indigene Faith of Africa [Ijo Òrúnmìlà Ato] and their present successors. They were and are the true and divine awo upon this earth. The same can be said for the wise and progressive founders of Ose Meji Temple. These great devotees achieved what they did because of their genuine love for and dedication to Ifá and Ifá blessed them beyond their expectation, but these men had to work hard, with patience, perseverance, intelligence and dedication. They cared for, loved and served the people with the wisdom and power of Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa. They left an indelible and uplifting and inspiring impression and made a transformative impact in the lives of all who were privileged to know them. These authentic devotees of Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa had to fight a lot of up-hill battles and had to persevere while being in the midst thankless, arrogant and unappreciative people. These men were men of action, dedication and integrity. These men taught everyone the truths of Ifá and the beauty and power of orisa esin ibile by the way they lived, related to people and treated people. Everything they did was scented with gracefulness, sanctity, authority and truth. This is why they were and are loved and cherished by the people, the irunmole-orisa and Ifá and Ifá. The irunmole-orisa and the people made sure that they never lacked the basic necessities. The people compelled by love and gratitude upheld them and supported them. How beautiful and wonderful. Aboru Aboye!!! When we serve Ifá like this, Ifá feels indebted to us and he begins to serve us!!! When we serve the people like this the people without being asked and without being prompted will uphold us, assist us and bless us.
But many want Ifá to serve them without them first serving Ifá and without them assimilating the spirit, character and manners of Ifá. They don’t really serve the people they serve themselves! They don’t really worship and promote Ifá, they worship and promote themselves! They want Ifá to listen to them and respond to them, but they do not listen to Ifá or do what Ifá expects of them!!
The great and true awo previously mentioned were and are the true embodiments of Ifá and true friends of Òrúnmìlà and the irunmole-orisa. And there are still presently such awo of divine quality in Yorubaland and in the diaspora, but they are few compared to the many who come to Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa for the wrong purposes or aims.
The awo is supposed to be an exemplary teacher, role model and guide, but today many awo do not want to assume these necessary obligations. Many awo are not paying attention to their true duties, mission or responsibilities. Instead of imparting true knowledge, they teach people incorrect things, tainted information, superficial understanding and superstitious foolishness and thereby lure people into incorrect paths and unsatisfying paths. Ifá is a divine science and a path of divine devotion, and not superstitious foolishness. But many ignorant or misinformed pseudo ‘awo’ promote superstitious ideas and fear-mongering in an attempt to manipulate, mislead and control people for their own selfish aims!
It is impossible to take upon oneself the name of awo and then practice such shameful, embarrassing and debasing things. The word awo implies a way-maker, a path-finder, a truth bearer, a genuine and reliable friend, mentor and guide. The word awo implies that one is able to successfully point others in the right direction and to the correct path that will lead them to genuine success, peace and happiness. A genuine awo does not practice fooling people, flattering people, manipulating people and inciting their feelings. There are not few ‘awo’ who shamefully use their ‘authority’ and who shamefully misrepresent the true, kind and loving nature of the irunmole-orisa to threaten people and to fill the hearts and minds of people with fear and imaginary worries. These fraudulent ‘awo’ don’t serve or represent Ifá or the irunmole-orisa. These fraudulent, immature and insensitive ‘awo’ serve their own pride, arrogance and ignorance. If they really believed in Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa they would never even think about pursuing such perilous actions which divine justice will adjudicate, discipline, punish and correct.
The sensitivity, compassion and generosity is disappearing from the hearts, minds and lives of some initiates. Many initiates have made of Ifá or have attempted to make of Ifá a cult of arrogance, self-worship, pride and conceit! Such ‘initiates’ are no longer human beings. They are animals with human faces. They are less than animals, because even animals have care, love, sympathy and concern for their own! When they could have chosen to live god-like or divine lives they have chosen to live impure, dishonest, scheming and unwholesome lives. They have become ajogun and servants of the ajogun!! Instead of promoting the cause of Ifá-Olodumare they are directly and indirectly promoting the cause of the elenini.
Ifá-Olodumare expects more from initiate disciple of Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa. Ifá-Olodumare expects more from any and all human beings whether they are followers of Ifá or not. Those of us who have embraced Ifá and the way of the Irunmole-Orisa let us be true awo, true babalawo, true iyanifa, true babalorisa, true iyalorisa and true devotees. Let us help to spread the knowledge and practical love of Ifá and let us work individually and collectively to eradicate misunderstanding, negative tendencies and ignorance. This is what Olodumare, Ifá and all Irunmole-Orisa expect from all initiates and all genuine devotees. This is what we should expect from ourselves.
BY: AWO ÒRÚNMÌLÀ MARK CASILLAS