An awo is he who lives a quiet life, not intruding in the affairs of others. Awo is he who has dedicated himself to living a simple, clean and impeccable life. An awo is he whose tendency is to worship Olodumare Agotun constantly. One who is himself knowledgeable and by sharing-spreading that knowledge, is able to take hold of lost, confused and strayed ones and is able to establish them on the right and proper path of goodness, peace and satisfaction such a one is called an awo. Such rare awo come into this world to compassionately help, guide and assist others. An awo is a person whose life is permeated with the asé of Olodumare and whose character and personality exudes confidence, trust, divine warmth, tenderness, courage, friendliness, loyalty and truth. It is the responsibility and mission of divine awo to spread holy knowledge throughout the world. Rite, ceremony and ritual alone cannot produce a single genuine awo. An awo is born from sincerity, respect for and adherence to nature’s laws and purity of intention. There are many ceremonialized or ritualized awo who are morally-spiritually uneducated and who are lacking in love, sympathy and who are thieves, wicked, lechers, parasites, crooked and treacherous. These people are awo in name only, but lack the reality, power and virtue represented in the word awo.
In reality, an awo is one who is increasingly intelligent, god-like in character and personality, knowledgeable, pure, restrained and disciplined. An awo is joyfully served and acknowledged by the Irunmole. In high regard do Irunmole hold a legitimate awo because a legitimate awo is a living Orisa. The duty of the awo is to gather maximum divine knowledge, virtue and power to serve, guide and benefit others. An awo exists to lead a disciplined life and a worshipful life of dedication, love and service. A legitimate awo will never lack anything needful because he will be loved, upheld and supported by his friends, community and fellow awo. An awo is soft-hearted when it comes to sympathizing with the pains, confusions and sufferings of others. An awo is harder than steel when it comes to combating injustice, hypocrisy and deception. A legitimate awo cannot be bribed or blinded by flattery. A legitimate awo cannot be bribed or blinded by suggestive thoughts of monetary compensation. The gold and treasure of an awo is divine knowledge, asé, iwa, holy living and a joy filled good conscience. An awo is privileged to courageously shoulder the task of educating the public about divine matters, spirituality, ethics, morality and devotion. An awo is a living link, bridge, catalyst and channel, who is able to assist and make others able to perceive and experience the divine realm and guide them in ordering their lives accordingly.
A person who has been graciously and gratuitously endowed by Olodumare with asé, understanding and knowledge but who attempts to use those endowments for selfish achievements, sense-gratification, greedy commercialism, and who does not freely, generously impart saving knowledge to others is not fit to be called an awo. An awo’s nature must be gentle, quiet, patient and restrained. His life should be in harmony with nature, common sense, basic goodness, and the character of Olodumare. An awo should be able to calmly endure and diligently persevere in the midst of hardships, setbacks, confrontation and challenges. An awo must be resilient and firm, he must not be trapped in laziness and neglect. By virtue of continual self-reflection, self-correction and development of an Ifá trained conscience, he should enjoy freedom from deceptive thinking, possessiveness, controlling attitude, anger, wicked thinking and unwholesome/bad associations. An educated, developed and expert awo knows how to limit his wants, and knows how to joyfully carry on his life with the basic minimal fundamental requirements. An awo is upheld by his conscience, chiseled character and awareness of self-worth and dignity. The heart, mind and life of a bonafide awo is always permeated with the sentiment to sincerely and wholeheartedly serve and benefit mankind in whatever capacity of service and endeavor he finds himself in. An awo is always ready and prepared to give his all for the welfare, progress and safety of others. Olodumare established the divine spiritual lineage of awo to take on the responsibility for the welfare of the earth, of humanity and creation. There is nothing greater that we can aspire to than in being genuine awo-ologbon (wise, resourceful, kind, industrious and intelligent awakened and empowered ones).
The biggest and most dangerous enemies of the awo are arrogance, haughtiness, conceit, isolative consciousness and stubbornness. Because a genuine awo enjoys great respect, reverence and consideration he is prone to be tempted to think that he is somehow superior, more worthy, more deserving or better than others. If an awo allows himself to succumb to the attitude of conceit, haughtiness and vanity he will then lose his spiritual intelligence, power and discipline which will further open the door for the entrance of lust, anger, rage, attachment/possessiveness, greed and greater arrogance. Arrogance distorts and blinded ones judgment and ability to see and think clearly, dispassionately and impartially. Arrogance opens the door for the elenini of base and low sentiments and shameful practices to enter. This danger of arrogance is something that an awo must always be on guard of. The moment you start thinking that you have some quality, power or wisdom that sets you apart and makes you better than others at that moment know that you are being victimized by the elenini of arrogance and that you are on your way to imbalance/disharmony/confusion, and are on the route leading to be destruction of your intelligence, asé, reputation and virtues. As awo, it is our duty, responsibility and discipline to evolve and grow in our spiritual and honorable stature of awo. We must protect our awo spirituality, state and condition so that we can effectively serve, benefit and guide others.
To be an awo means to be a source of inspiration, comfort and hope for others. We cannot afford to slip into undisciplined and irregular living. With the blessings of Olodumare and with the companionship and guidance of Orunmila and Ela we must be dedicated to go forward, constantly striving for excellence, for progress, to achieve a better spiritual status and higher level of spiritual unfoldment. Awo must encourage themselves and one another in a spirit of kinship and friendly cooperation. Our duty is not restricted to just conducting sacred rites, ceremonies and rituals but we have been called by Olodumare and Irunmole to arouse faith and awareness that Ifá-Olodumare’s authority is present in every particle of the world. By knowing this, understanding it and putting it into practice in personal conduct, we can achieve progress in our own lives, society and in our nation.
Ela ‘boru, Ela ‘boye, Ela ‘Bosise.
Ela takun wa gbure!