The true meanings, esoteric truths and sublime teachings that we derive from the pastime of Obàtálá when Obàtálá unintentionally got drunk and began creating mis-shaped humans.
The reason we love and cherish Oba Òrìsà Obàtálá [Eèpàà Òrìsà, Òrìsà Eèpàà] is because he is a model of true and realistic perfection. The perfection of Obàtálá [Eèpàà Òrìsà, Òrìsà Eèpàà] is not a fantasy or fairy tale perfection where no-one ever makes any errors or mistakes. The perfection and excellence of Obàtálá is of a different order and quality. Obàtálá made some mistakes, errors and incorrect decisions in his life. This is a fact but he accepted his mistakes. Obàtálá took responsibility for them and he did not seek to excuse or justify his error. He displayed humility, true strength of character and dignity. He did not give up on himself. He did not subject himself to self-pity, complaining, blaming others and a life of indolence because he made a mistake. He learned from it, he got up and pressed forward. He took ownership of his erroneous decision and he corrected himself. He also formulated teachings and injunctions for his children and followers based on his many experiences so that we would learn from his experiences and not repeat what was not wise. Obàtálá also vowed to become the special guardian and protector of all people born with limitations and/or disabilities.
Obàtálá made some mistakes but he also made many good, wise and extraordinary decisions. Through it all Obàtálá was humble, guileless and pure. So he made a mistake. So what? If Obàtálá ibikeji Olódùmarè displayed humility, willingness to accept correction and purity of heart, then how much more so should we ordinary human beings do so. This is the meaning, value and lesson that we derive from the life and teachings of Obàtálá. These events in the lives of the irunmole-orisa must be understood and interpreted with true insight and an elevated understanding. Even the errors of the irunmole-orisa are not like our own. There is a lesson, purpose and meaning intended in all of their activities and pastimes.
Ifá teaches us that we should not dwell on the honest errors or mistakes of others. We should dwell on the positive, uplifting and sterling qualities of others. When we focus on the negative aspects of others we are pulling that person down, making them more negative, hurting them and we are staining our own heart. When we focus and zoom in on the positive qualities in others we strengthen them and we strengthen ourselves. When we focus and zoom in on the positive qualities of others we strengthen them and give life to them as well as strengthen ourselves with vital energy.
A person who only looks for the flaws and shortcomings in others is really demonstrating and reflecting only what he or she thinks and feels about himself or herself. A person who only sees the negative aspect in others while ignoring the sterling and good qualities that also are in others is only expressing how he or she sees themselves. No flaw or shortcoming is permanent. All flaws and shortcomings are temporary by nature.
Olódùmarè created us with strengths and weaknesses side-by-side so that we can exercise our wills to rise above our temporary flaws and sublimate them. Olódùmarè created us with strengths and weaknesses side-by-side so that we might learn patience, sympathetic-understanding and forgiveness. Olódùmarè created us with strengths and weaknesses side-by-side so that a space can appear within us where love, consideration and compassion can dwell.
I hope that this short consideration helps to shed some light on matters that are not as simple as they appear. I hope it helps to give one-and-all a new perspective or angle on things. My dear readers and friends let me ask you: Are your father, mother, relatives and friends perfect or flawless? Are you perfect or flawless? Do you love your parents, family and friends any less because they are not perfect or flawless? Should your parents, family and friends love you less because you are not perfect? Just because your parents are not perfect or flawless does that mean that you do not have to listen to them, respect them and consider them?
We understand and account a person to be perfect not when they no longer make mistakes but when they are mature in love, in kindness, in respect, in consideration and good-faith notwithstanding their human flaws and limitations. Our weaknesses and strengths exists so that we learn humility, gratitude and cooperation. Strength and weakness exist in us so that we can see that we have no reason to be full of ego, pride, arrogance and conceit. We cannot perfect ourselves all by ourselves. Where you are strong you help others. Where you are weak you receive the help of others. And in this way we develop, mature and grow into perfection in association and service towards one another. These are some of the divine lessons, spiritual mysteries and esoteric secrets that we learn from Obàtálá.
Eèpàà Òrìsà! Òrìsà Eèpàà!
Treat yourself and others with kindness, forgiveness, tenderness, sympathetic-understanding and compassion. Have faith in your potential and power [ability] to change and improve yourself. Have faith in the potential of others and in their power [ability] to change and improve themselves. Never give up on yourself and never lose hope for others. Never forget that you as well as others are perfectly imperfect.
~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas