tradition - ancestral pride_temple


As human beings we are one. We might call ourselves followers of Isese, Ifa, Orisa, Ogboni, Egungun, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Candomble, Vodun etc. but all of these are superficial designations because our constitutional position in relation to Olodumare is identical. Our essential nature is identical, irrespective of our own venerable and peculiar beliefs and religious practices. We all spring from the One Singular Supreme Source. If we understood this all kinds of conflicts, contentions and misunderstandings would cease to be. Ultimately we are all seeking for one thing only: fullness of happiness. There is a right way to seek happiness and there is a wrong way to seek happiness. Be aware that happiness and pleasure are not always the same thing. True happiness is pleasurable. All things pleasurable do not lead to happiness. True happiness uplifts, strengthens and fortifies our lives, intelligence and health. We are all seeking to honestly express ourselves and to realize our humanity.

The path of truth is founded on simplicity, honesty, respect for others and oneself and personal integrity in ones duties. Good character, good behavior, honest living  and love are not ‘christian’, ‘muslim’, ‘hindu’, ‘traditionalist’, ‘indigenous’, etc. etc. These are essential and permanent qualities of our being no matter what we call ourselves, but our essential nature remains the same. Just like the air and water we take in is universal and common to all. There is no Muslim air, Christian air or Traditionalist air. Air is air no matter what you call yourself or what you profess. If you breathe it in you live. If you don’t you die, irrespective on your professed religious convictions. True religion and divine spirituality is universal and common to all. With determination and practice we can know and understand what is unknown to the majority. We do not need external ostentation to please Edumare. The Divine Secret is not in the pocket of others for us to be running after people trying to foolishly get from them what is already hidden within ourselves. The secret, treasure, sacred power, mystic knowledge and mystery you seek is buried beneath your feet in your own home! No need to go searching and excavating elsewhere! There is no need to complicate ourselves or others. The divine way is direct, simple and unencumbered by difficulties. To the courageous, sincere and honest the true path for oneself is not difficult to find.  We can worship Olodumare directly through any of his manifestations that are agreeable to our need, affinity, spiritual taste, capacity and sensitivity. When we worship our chosen Orisa we are worshiping Olodumare. Olodumare manifests in diversity to meet our needs, affinity, temperament, inclinations, capacticies, longings and inner predilection. The One Olodumare is the one who manifests in limitless beauty, variety, forms and glorious personalities/characters. Olodumare is limitless and his potencies are inconceivable. It is only reasonable and logical that he would manifest himself in countless ways to reach us and to inspire confidence and love in us. No matter if we worship the Supreme as Obatala, or Òrúnmìlà, or Oshun, Osoosi, Orisa Oko or Ela, or Ogun etc. etc. What is important is that this particular manifestation inspires us, comforts us, empower us and brings out the best in us. What is important is that this manifestation is meeting our need and is fulfilling our legitimate aspirations! What is important is that this manifestation is making us better people and more peaceful, assured and happy.

There is no reason or need for us to be alike or identical. We are different as human beings from one another, so should it surprise us that we our different in how we comprehend, perceive, experience and respond to the divine? What Olodumare is hungry for is the feeling of devotion, love, reverence and gratitude in your soul! So to inspire you and bring this out he manifests as Obatala, Ogun, Onile Ogboduora, Oshun, Òrúnmìlà, Elegbara, Ela etc. etc. He speaks to you in the unique language of your heart, level, need, mind, capacity, affinity and peculiar need. According to what Olodumare knows you are receptive and responsive to, in like manner he appears and manifests to you in friendship, love, power and wonder! According to your devotional need, temperament, affinity, personality and spiritual tastes so does he reveal and manifest to you so as draw you closer to himself, to nuture and develop you; and to reveal your inner splendor. Respect his manifestation to others but follow, love and serve your own! Olodumare only desires the flowering of your heart. By worshiping Olodumare in the beautiful, inspiring and peculiar form that is appealing and attractive to YOU, you will awaken the divinity within yourself and experience true happiness, peace and satisfaction. Do not compare your unique faith to that of another. Do not imitate the faith of others. Follow what really inspires you, empowers you and is truly meaningful to you. The other persons way is not better than yours, neither is your way better than another’s. Your unique faith is simply right, adequate and perfect for you. That is all! This is how we must see and understand things. Empowered, motivated and enthused by your worship, peculiar spiritual interests, spiritual practices and devotion, you will be in an ideal state to work for the greater good of all. Allow your inner realizations, grace, knowledge and power to manifest in your behavior, demeanor and conduct. If you talk to much, arrogantly or needlessly about your inner experiences and knowledge then, your built up and accumulated powers will become dissipated and lost, but if we express them through the quality and manner of our lives it will grow and grow, bringing blessing to all and transforming the lives of others. It is only by contact with this divine energy in our unique and personal way that we develop supernatural character, supernatural intelligence and supernatural powers. Never express anything without a specific purpose and thereby conserve your spiritual powers and energies. Always meet with your Divine Friend and worship according to your sincere, noble and honest natural affinity, taste, vision and inclination, and you will grow and develop smoothly yet at an astounding rate. Don’t imitate others. Follow your own authentic and original path. If you follow the above instructions you will never have to receive another instruction in your life. By practicing the above words of guidance everything you really need and want will gravitate to you and find you, or you will gravitate to it and find it.

Read, meditate upon and apply these thoughts often because they are coming to you from the Source Supreme and this is why you feel great peace, energy, power, joy, assurance, security and serenity when you read them. These teachings and the divine energy which revealed them will purify, empower and uplift your life.
Ela ‘boru. Ela ‘boye. Ela ‘bosise.
Your friend and well-wisher Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas.


The personal thoughts of an Ifa devotee:

My worship and religion is to call white, white and black, black. My worship and religion is to be truthful, straightforward and honest. My worship and religion is to not intentionally injure anyone with my thoughts, words or actions. My worship and religion is to be true to my conscience. My worship and religion is to be true to myself and to not pretend to be other than who I am. My worship and religion is to stay far away from flattery, pretentiousness and haughtiness. My worship and religion is to exalt and promote true esin ibile.

My worship and religion is to point others to Olodumare and not myself. My worship and religion is to make disciples and students for Ifa-Olodumare and not myself.

My worship and religion is to inspire others to follow Olodumare and not to make them my followers. I honor Ifa-Olodumare by having and expressing gratitude for the many, good and wonderful things that life brings to me unsought for (OTURA OFUN) .

I honor Ifa-Olodumare by having and expressing gratitude to all that have helped, comforted and supported me. I thank and honor Ifa-Olodumare by exercising the privilege to live a progressive life of self-responsibility, initiative, honor, discreetness and self-restraint.

My worship and religion is to extend and render practical help, relief, support and encouragement to the best of my means and ability to all who solicit my help. My worship and religion is to have pure love and good will, to all without exception. If anyone directs envy, jealousy or ill feelings towards me I will not be moved, I refuse to respond in the same manner because it is I alone who chooses and decides the attitude, principle and disposition that rules my life and not others. My good will and sincere love is like an expansive ocean that is able to absorb and dissolve the salts of envy, jealousy or ill feelings.

The currents of my spirit, thoughts and feelings will remain clean, unperturbed and pure. When the malice and animosity of others towards me increases, my compassion, good will and sympathy for them will increase all the more because I understand that they are ailing and sick at heart. My worship and religion is not based on reciprocity. Reciprocity says, ‘If you do good to me then I will do good to you. If you do evil to me then be prepared to receive the unleashing of my anger, hate and ill will’. That is not my way, because eye for an eye will make all blind.

    • To conquer animosity with patience.
    • To conquer disillusionment with renewed hope.
    • To conquer untruth with gentle but firm truth, this is my religion and worship (IKAGBEMI) , this is how I honor Olodumare, this is how I pay homage to my guardian and companion Orisa.
    • To give honor and credit where honor and credit are due this my my worship and religion.
    • To remain free from extremes of all kinds and to be free of fanaticism is my worship and religion.
    • To be true to my root and origins but yet be open to new insights and unfoldment of truth this is my worship and religion (EJIOGBE) .

  • To never stand by idle but to press forward making continual progress and advancement this is my worship and religion.
  • To acknowledge and accept counsel offered in good faith by qualified elders and to have a teachable, meek and courageous attitude is my worship and religion My worship and my religion is to impartially and dispassionately unmask hypocrisy, abuse and deceit wherever it is found and by whoever these vices are practiced.
  • To promote the genuine good, peace and happiness of all, that is my religion, the only religion of Eledumare and of his noble representatives the divine Irunmole and Orisa. My worship and religion is to patiently cultivate and impeccably exhibit iwa in all I do, with love and gentleness, and to offer the prescribed sacrifice in good faith and at the proper time with love and reverence this is my worship and religion.
  • To exercise my intelligence, divine vision and spiritual powers (faculties) for the purpose of promoting the genuine good, and to obstruct, dissolve and hinder what is not good, that is my worship and religion.
  • To correct myself and develop my inner life and relationships this is my worship and religion.
  • To be a loyal, encouraging, truthful, responsible and appreciative friend, son, spouse and father this is my worship and religion.

My worship and religion is to extend respect and dignity to all, but to especially honor and respect reputable elders, genuine awo and all sincere and caring leaders who are living a useful and altruistic life of disinterested service to humanity. I have chosen truth and rectitude over convenience and transient pleasure. This is my path, the path that I have chosen, and the path that I will always walk on, today and always. This is the path of Olodumare. There is no other. Ase’ntedumare

Elaboru! Elaboye!! Elabosise!!!