May the blessings of Ifá-Olodumare be with you. Express gratitude and love to Olodumare for all you have. Count your blessings and remember the One who confers upon you life, health, clothing, family, medicine and all of your wonderful senses. The awo who devotes himself to Olodumare will in turn be served, prospered and protected by all Irunmole. Honor, love, respect and devotion is the way to receive all the mysteries, powers and blessings from Olodumare. Be strong and follow Ifá-Olodumare and you will triumph and gain great attainments.
Olodumare is always giving us so many wonderful things. Olodumare gives freely out of His kindness. He never sends you a bill for the light and heat you receive from the sun. Olodumare never sends you a bill for the water that falls from the sky or the air you breath. Olodumare has given you life, intelligence, feelings and senses. He has not sent you a bill for any of these things. He has not charged you for any of it. He has given abundantly without expectation simply out of His kind and loving nature. He has provided you with mother, father, friends and family to make your life sweet, meaningful and satisfying. He has given you His guidance to direct your path and to show you how to live with dignity, honor and satisfaction. He has blessed you with a health constitution and a good mind. Even when you are not mindful of Olodumare and are not thinking of Him, Olodumare is always mindful of you and He always has you in His thoughts. Olodumare has cared for you and has loved you through the care, concern, guidance and protection of your father, mother, elders, teachers and community. Olodumare has assigned special divine guardians, the Irunmole-Orisa to look over you, to assist you, to encourage you and guide your steps. All of these things are the voice and expressions of Olodumare’s fondness, respect, care and consideration towards you. Not only has Olodumare already given but, He still ceaselessly giving to you and supplying your day to day needs. Olodumare lives to bring delight, goodness and satisfaction to your life. He delights in the success of your efforts and disciplined actions. All of these things and much more is Olodumare engaged in doing for you. At some point we have to reflect and think, “What am I doing for Olodumare?”, “I am always taking and talking but what do I offer to Olodumare in gratitude and appreciation that He will truly receive and accept?”, “Do I live for Olodumare or do I live for myself?”, “Do I cultivate a genuine friendship and devotion towards Olodumare or do I remember Him only in my time of need, struggles or problems?”, “When I do attempt to do something for Olodumare do I do it from a heart of thankfulness or love or do I do it because I feel indebted and I just want to “pay” Him back so I don’t feel in debt to Him anymore?” “What am I doing with the health, resources, intelligence, life and time that Olodumare has allotted to me which demonstrates my deep gratitude, continual commitment and unswerving devotion to Olodumare?”, “When will I begin to inquire about Olodumare and to follow wholeheartedly His divine path like Obatala, Òrúnmìlà and Ela?”
Life is a gift from Olodumare. If you have the basic needs to sustain and uphold your life and if beyond this you have more then consider yourself rich and blessed with abundance. This is the definition of richness and abundance according to Ifá and not the ogberi who is never satisfied and content with what he has, neither is he appreciative of what he has been given beyond the essentials. So you must think: “What can I do for my Eleda?”, “What will I do for my Oluwo Olodumare to honor Him and bring Him continual pleasure and delight?” “What can I do to bring something fresh and original from the divine treasury of Olodumare that will add to goodness, blessing, safety, beauty and happiness of the world?”
We ask and ask Ifá-Olodumare for so many things. But are we truly appreciate for what we already have, for what He has already given us? Are we cognizant of the fact that we are constantly receiving benefit upon benefit from Olodumare? Do we value and treasure the gifts and blessings we have, or do we simply take Olodumare and His benefits for granted? We ask and ask from Ifá-Olodumare, but are we asking for the purpose of bringing blessing, benefit, relief and succor to others or are we asking selfishly only for ourselves? Reflect upon these things in your heart. Make it your aim to know Olodumare and to revere, honor and obey His principles wholeheartedly. Make it your aim to assimilate the divine nature and character of Olodumare more and more into your life, through personal and daily iwure, Ifá reflection, unselfish works and association with noble, sincere and godly people. Fellowship and worship in a reputable Ijo brings delight and joy to Olodumare and immeasurable benefits to our lives, family and community. Think about these things and be moved by the light and power of Ifá-Olodumare to do what is pleasing and acceptable to Ifá-Olodumare on your own initiative. Seek to please Ifá-Olodumare and not people and you will be a true winner and champion in life.
Ela ‘boru. Ela ‘boye. Ela ‘bosise.
READ ALSO: IFÁ: THE PATH OF INTEGRITY AND WISDOM
Guiding, assisting and leading others to happiness, success, wellbeing and health is a very serious and delicate matter. Guiding, assisting and leading others in things divine, spiritual, psychological and physiological must be a sacred vocation in our lives, for us to be able to succeed in this field of divine service. The foundation of happiness is training, experience, understanding and knowledge, and not just any kind of knowledge. Only accurate knowledge, factual knowledge, impartial knowledge, realistic knowledge and truthful knowledge can be a vehicle for imparting unshakable certainty, benefit, confidence, stability, health, prosperity and happiness to others. Truth is that which is dependable, real, stable, constant and reliable. Truth, experience, understanding and knowledge, ——— bound together with kindness and concern are the requisites to enable us to be good and efficient guides, educators and illuminators. Today we live in a world where many people lacking all kinds of basic qualifications are propping themselves up as spiritual guides, healers and life counselors. This is a dangerous, disheartening and unfortunate trend. There are many people lacking true understanding of the true causes of diverse problems, lacking in honesty, lacking in bonafide training, lacking in extensive life experiences and lacking in deep wisdom who are offering their fruitless, inefficient and useless ‘services’ as spiritual guides, healers, seers, counselors and interpreters of the divine will. If people would just take a little time and care to examine, study and observe the way and lives of these so-called ‘counselors’, pseudo healers and so-called ‘spiritual guides’ they would easily safeguard themselves from much sorrow, deception, danger, disenchantment, dissatisfaction and disillusion. A true spiritual guide must first know how to guide, educate and order his own life.
How can an unstable, disorderly, confused and erratic person be qualified to guide you, assist you and direct you in divine, spiritual, psycho-physical and secular matters? A genuine, intelligent, masterful, capable and experienced guide, counselor and gifted spiritualist does not tell a person what they should and should not do. A true teacher lays out the facts, the pro’s and the con’s and allows the other person to decide and make up their own mind as to the best way to proceed. A gifted seer, sympathetic guide and understanding counselor shares with others what he has found and knows that works for him, as well as other divinely bestowed insights and considerations, but he leaves it squarely to the listener to weigh the information and to decide for himself whether he will apply it or not. Many people do not really want a true guide or counselor. What they want is someone to take responsibility for their lives. They want someone to take responsibility for their success and/or failures. A true seer, spiritual practitioner, healer, counselor and sage does not offer himself to become a crutch for people, neither does he make himself appear to be the cause of the success, recovery and wellbeing of the client or patient. A true guide offers insight, knowledge and spiritual energy to enable the other person to make their own conclusion and decision. A true interpreter of divine wisdom empowers others to take sole responsibility for what they decide upon and to take full responsibility for what they choose to do. A genuine guide does not speak down to others and does not force his counsel, guidance, advice and insights on others. A genuine guide speaks with the authority and stamp of truth, clarity, veracity, integrity, genuine concern and clear reason but it is up to the listener alone to ponder and reason out the path that he will follow. A genuine and enlightened spiritual practitioner should only speak about what he knows and should offer relevant counsel, guidance and instruction only if he has actual knowledge and expertise in relation to the problem, condition or issue at hand. A true knower of divine wisdom and a true empowered spiritual practitioner does not stoop down to offer people imaginary solutions to very real problems. Neither does a true spiritual guide, practitioner and healer stoop down to misguide, mislead and convince people to accept imaginary and non-existent causes as the reasons for present actual problems, issues and concerns. A kind, sincere and able counselor, guide and spiritual worker should not promise to his client or patient what he knows is not in his power to fulfill. If you are a spiritual practitioner and counselor then offer and give relevant, practical and efficient spiritual solutions. If you are not a medical doctor or licensed medical practitioner of acknowledged alternative medicines then you should not be offering or recommending medical and/or herbal remedies to anyone because you do not know what very real spiritual, psychological and physiological effects/reactions these are going to have on a person. A wise, trained and expert spiritual practitioner and worker is a professional and knows that he should not overstep his boundaries and should not attempt to go beyond the scope of his actual ability, training and expertise. If a spiritual practitioner lacks the specific kind knowledge and expertise to resolve the situation of a client he should refer the client to someone who does. Beware of the so-called spiritual worker and so-called spiritual guide who attempts to give the impression that he has all the answers, solutions and remedies to your problems, concerns and issues. Run away from such a person for your own sake, wellbeing and benefit. An expert spiritual worker, seer, guide and spiritual practitioner should not substitute real and essential knowledge for imaginary knowledge and untrue remedies. If we abide by these principles both the spiritual worker and the client-patient will benefit and will be safeguarded from undesirable, regrettable and calamitous repercussions.
READ ALSO: THE NATURE OF OLODUMARE
One should investigate wisely and carefully before submitting oneself to someone else’s counsel and advice. Counsel, spiritual work and advice are only worthwhile, beneficial and acceptable if the one offering it is an expert in his field of knowledge. It is a strange phenomenon that we see happening today: When a person is physically ill he makes sure that he seeks and entrusts himself to the care and direction of a duly qualified trained physician who has laboriously studied, trained and practiced for 10-12 years before being certified to be able to begin his practice. Yet when it comes to matters of ones heart, spirit and mind, as well as matters relating to ones destiny, people are willing to submit themselves to any foolish scoundrel and imposter who can put on a good show and knows how to offer vain hopes to people. This is sad but it is something happening the world over. We must be true, honest and knowledgeable spiritual practitioners and workers and if we are not then we should refrain from any practice for the sake of the benefit of clients-patients and ourselves. A spiritual practitioner and worker is responsible for the advice, treatment and counsel he gives and the effects and/or reactions it produces. If you don’t know something just stay quiet but never pretend, assume or suggest that you know, if not for any other reason, because of the fact that you don’t know anything about it. Those who avail themselves of the assistance, guidance and help of spiritual practitioners, spiritual workers and seers should investigate carefully and patiently to whom it is that he will be entrusting his situation and it’s outcome to. Spiritual practitioners and clients-patients have a moral, ethical and professional responsibility towards one another. Each one expects to receive the facts, truth and complete picture from the other. There must be a bond of trust, confidence and confidentiality. A true, knowledgeable, trained and kind spiritual practitioner will consistently produce positive, discernible and tangible benefits, results and effects in the life of the person whom he is serving, counseling and treating. A spiritual worker and practitioner must practice with a an ethical spirit of altruism, honesty and compassion. A genuine spiritual practitioner will never rob a client-patient of his resources, hopes, time and wellbeing. It is imposible for an authentic, trained and experienced practitioner to overstep the boundaries of trust and integrity. If the person whom you consult has a reputation for deception, cheating and for not materializing benefits, healings, corrections and solutions, then why would you go to see such a person. If you discover that the person with whom you are acquainting yourself with has lied to you once or has cheated you once, then you already know what kind of person is before you. So simply never see this person again. It is that simple. Well friends, think these things over, take of it what you find useful and beneficial, and be blessed.
Ela ‘boru. Ela ‘boye. Ela ‘bosise.
READ ALSO: A DOSE OF MEDICINE: AN IFA REFLECTION
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!