What is disobedience? There are many definitions for the term disobedience depending on how it applies to an individual. In my own personal opinion disobedience could be an act of proudness (vanity), conceit, arrogance and disrespect. Know that this attitude will have a strong negative impact on the disobedient (arrogant) and negligent ones.
There are various kinds of acts of disobedience. It is a known fact that Ifá disapproves of any form of disobedience to divine instructions and Ifá disapproves of disobedience to the wholesome instructions of our reputable elders. We have learnt about it in many Odu Ifá that all acts of willful disobedience always ends in sorrow and regret. Disobedience can manifest in diverse forms. Disobedience between the children and their parents. Disobedience between junior person to their elders. Disobedience between individuals and Òrúnmìlà. Disobedience can take many expressions.
My main concern and focus today is on the aspect of disobedience between individuals in relation to Ifá and to all Irunmole-Orisa. Many of us don’t seem to believe in the words of Ifá. It is a known fact that the pronouncements of Ifá will always come to pass and will never go unfulfilled as far as it was been prophesized and communicated by a knowledgeable, honest and good babalawo. A good babalawo is not excessively talkative. he simply interprets and relays the clear message of Ifá. This is because Ifá is the voice of Olodumare.
Before we go to consult Ifá we must and should have clear thoughts and a precise idea of what we want to ask Ifá. Before going to ask direction from Ifá we must have a clearly formed and precise idea of what we want and need Ifá to clarify and address for us. This is why Ifá says in Osa Iwori:
“Amoran mo da o tele, ki n to da ikin.”
“I have thought (carefully considered) already before I cast Ifá.”
This is to tell us that we have to be clear about our thoughts and that we don’t want to make a mistake. It is also necessary to know that beyond what we consult Ifá about, Ifá also sees beyond what we are inquiring about, and why we have consulted him. Ifá can see our heart and Ifá knows what is truly good, beneficial and advantageous for us. We must not neglect or disregard the prophecies of Òrúnmìlà that come up as this too will come to pass.
It is obvious that Ifá will speak on why we have consulted him, but at same time Ifá will speak further on future occurrences, or perhaps speak about someone else that is not even aware of our movement. This is just to demonstrate with what complete detail Ifá can see things and prescribe solutions for future occurrences.
Age does not determine our experiences in life but it may determine our ideas towards day-to-day occurrences, and by this I mean that experiences vary from individual to individual.
For instances in the Ifá verse OTURA AMOSUN we see that Òrúnmìlà was learning from his son. My point is that a young one may have a particular experience or outlook that an elder does not have and may never encounter or have in his life time. This does not mean however that the elder does not have an understanding and outlook that is relevant to that of the young ones experience and understanding. This is why I will not disregard a yoruba adage that says:
“Ko si bi omode se le ni aso titi, ko ni akisa ju baba e lo”.
“There is is no way a child will have bundle of clothes and have over (more) used (rags) clothes more than his father.”
And it is same yoruba adage that says
“Bi omode ba n gegi ni igbo, awon agbalagba lo mo bi to ma wosi”.
“If a child is doing something, it is the elders that know where it will end (where it will surely lead the child).
This is more reason why we have to respect the ideas, experiences and wisdom of our elders and we must listen to the words of Ifá, and follow the doctrines of each Orisa, especially the Orisa we are dedicated to.
Let’s hear how Ifá buttresses on this point of disobedience and how we should not be disobedient in the Odu Ifá OBARA OFUN:
“Obara funfun niginnigin adifa fun onile ori oke to n lo re ri afopin eye, won ni o kara n le ebo ni ko se.”
“Obara-is-whitish-in-nature (is the name of the awo who) cast divination for the owner of hilltop house who was going to see the movement of a bird. He was ask to make ebo.”
Commentary: Onile ori oke (the one who built his house on the hilltop/mountain) went to a babalawo (an Ifá seer) and consulted Ifá on how his present wealth and riches could be increased but Ifá only talked about the future and warned him to make sacrifice to prevent eyes problem. He was warned not to stare at the movement of bird while on flying through the atmosphere (air) but he never listened because Ifá didn’t speak to him about what he had originally come to consult Ifá about. He was worried about his wealth and riches and Ifá was worried and concerned about him preserving his health and eyesight! Which one is more important?! Wealth or health? Riches or eyesight?
He eventually left without doing the prescribed ebo and he left wondering and thinking that since he is healthy how could he possibly develop or get an eye defect.
Well one day he was in his house and a bird flew down to the ground and picked up a stone. This behavior of watching a bird picking up stone was something new to him and he found it intriguing. He thought that is was something worth watching since it was his first time he was seeing such a peculiar phenomena.
He could not and did not remember what he had been told by Ifá, to not to monitor the movement of a bird flying and moving through the atmosphere (air). He thereby continued watching the bird pick up the stone from the ground and he traced (observed) the movement (flight) of the bird from the ground level to the atmosphere (air).
Eventually as the word of Ifá will come to pass, the bird mistakingly dropped the stone and as the law of gravity would have it, unknowingly for him while his face was still facing up and his neck rotating around to see the circular movement of the bird in flight in the air, the stone that the bird had dropped suddenly fell on his eyes with such a force (impact) that his eyes were damaged and he went blind!
It was after this occurrence that remembered what Ifá told him through the babalawo a long time ago, thus regretting and saying to himself why did he not listen to and obey the words of Òrúnmìla!
What we can deduce from this Ifá story is that we should not disregard the word of Olodumare which is Ifá.
Ifá ni oro Olodumare. Ifá is the word of Olodumare.
This story also tells us and implies that we should be obedient, truthful and faithful in all ramifications of life.
We should not believe or think that the words, advice and counsel of Ifá are superstitious pronouncements. They are not. Ifá is the truth.
As a child we should respect our elders and their opinions.
As a child we should respect our parents and their opinions.
As followers of the different Orisa, we should respect the laid down established rules and principles attached to each of the Orisa and their peculiar doctrine.
As Ifá priests we should not forget the slogan of Ifá in Ejiogbe that says:
“Ka se otito, ka se ododo, iye eni se otito ni irunmole n gbe”.
“We should be truthful and trustworthy. It is only those who are truthful and trustworthy that Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa will bless (support)”.
We should respect our Ifá taboos (prohibitions). We should fully respect and practice the ethical principles and standards laid down by Ifá.
By doing this we will not regret being followers of Ifá. By doing this we will not offend, hurt, injure or prick our inner-mind or conscience.
Many keep wondering and asking why it is that Ifá and the Irunmole-Orisa are not working for him? The first thing he or she should do is to check himself and herself, to know and find out where it is that he or she has been disobedient to the ancestors, Irunmole-Orisa and Ifá. It we don’t live, cultivate and practice truthful, trustworthy and honest lives, then we cannot count on the support of Ifá and the Irunmole. Until we don’t adopt the principle of practical truthfulness, kindness, faithfulness and honesty, we cannot expect the Irunmole-Orisa and Ifá to take us seriously, to hear us and to respond to our needs and requests. When we listen to and obey Ifá, then will Ifá listen to us and respond favorably and immediately to our requests, needs and wants.
~ Oluwo Fasola Faniyi