IDINRETE: Can you tell me more about Ifa ?
Well thanx for the contributions, as a seeker i keep seeking for answers and i strive to learn more but the more i learn the more questions that emerge and the more complicated it gets. The website on my signature as a lot to say on the physical nature of God and the gods, even though very controversial i must admit the site shed a lot of light on a number of things i suggest you check it out.
Hi Kunle. I do not believe that the gods were physical. I also do not believe that the gods and goddesses have sexual intercourse with men. But my view is based on my personal experience of these gods and goddesses. Thus I can not say much about what you cited in Genesis. Suffice to say that some of these gods and goddesses are giants while others are very small. Their will be no nature without these gods. These gods are involved in giagantic processes like the formation of the universe as well as in simple things like a herb for thyphoid fever. They are the workhouse of the will of God. When people lost the ability to communicate with these gods, they invented their own gods and goddesses and it is these human inventions that clouds the reality. Stay blessed.
But some of this ancient traditions make it clear that these gods were physically with them, fosinstance the yoruba god sango was the alaafin of Oyo. That apart a number of ancient monuments that could not have been built by man were also attributed to the gods these are all physical evidences of the physical nature of the gods. That apart in genesis 6:1-4, these gods were popurted to have lived on earth and inter married with our women and had children. this provides futher insight to their physical nature and similarity in our DNA structure since we are able to interbreed with them.
1 Then the people began to multiply on the earth, and daughters were born to them. 2 The sons of God saw the beautiful women and took any they wanted as their wives. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal life span will be no more than 120 years.”
4 In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the [b]sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children [/b]who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.
PS: Going thru the above passage i think the highlighted part in red might explain why these gods are no longer with us, but then again it mighht not suffice.
The reason why we lost contact with them is because of sin and the indoctrination that such things are fairly tales. Both sin and the belief in their non-existence clog the faculties to percieve these creatures. Nature is the feild of activity of these gods and goddesss and so called modern civilzation have taken us far away from nature. Thus, the closer we are to nature, the easier it is for us to regain the ability to interact with these gods and goddesses. Many cultures see them as being with them physically because they are always in contact with them in all spheres of activities. That gives them the impression that these gods and goddesses are physical. But they are not physical beings. For instance you only realise that you are dreaming when you wake up. In the dream state, you do apparently physical things like run, laugh, eat etc and in the dream you see it as physical. It is only when you wake up that it dawns on you that you are dreaming. Ancient people are in constant experience of the invincible world and for them, their is no separation between this world and the invincible world. That is why they reproduce their experience of the invincible world as if to say it is the physical world. Stay blessed.
Thanx for your response, you said majority of human beings have lost their ability to see/ communicate with these gods, what do you suppose is accountable for this. That apart, accounts from most belief sysmtems give the impression that these gods were physically with us here on earth (like jesus walked the earth). If they were actually physical beings like us, then how is it possible we have lost the ability to see and communicate with them.
PASTOR AIO, you are very correct and your knowledge about IFA surprises me.
Now let me add a little more to your contribution about IPIN (human allotment or destiny). The general believe of Ifa adherents is that Orunmila was there when different destinies or IPIN were been given to individualsfrom above. It was this IPIN that Orunmila normally made attempt to reveal to the people that contacted him during his divinations. because of this, Orunmila was given the appellate "ELERI IPIN" i.e ONE WHO WITNESSED HUMAN DESTINIES, and "ONIPIN ERI" i.e ONE WHOSE OWN DESTINY WAS TO WITNESS. That was why people normally conducted him for divination during his sojourn on earth whenever they wanted to take very important steps in their lives to know what destinies had for them about such steps.
I do not know anything about IFA. But I have experience with herbs. Based on my inner guidance, I have used herbs to threat various illness in sick people. The herbs are very effective as long as I prepare them in the crude way directed by spiritual guidance. Yet, when the active ingredients of some of the herbs are isolated and purified, they loose their potency. My point is that herbs are a tremendous gift of God and it seems, at least from my experience that the isolation and purification of the active ingredients especially from those "miraculous" herbs do destroy their potency. Stay blessed.
The obvious reason that it has been presented as evil is to facilitate the dominance of foreign cultures on the yoruba psyche. This started with contact with Islam.
However that is not to say that Yoruba religion itself has not been subject to obvious corruptions. There is no doubt in my mind that it has been manipulated by yoruba social engineers in the past to help control society.
I've heard Ifa verses that actually equate Truth to the very substance of Olodumare. Olodumare is beyond human conceptualisations. He cannot be manipulated via rituals etc like the orishas.
The above in a nutshell is their goal. To discover Ipin, their allotment in life and live in accordance with it. This is done in spite of various influences in society and circumstance and the fact that our 'choice contract' or Ayanmo is forgotten by the time that we are born. So we have to grope around in the dark looking for our essential truth.
And it is this intercessor that Orunmila claims to be. In his role as Alukoso Aye he is in direct communication with Aludundun Orun the Drummer of heaven which is another epithet for Ajalamopin, he who moulded the destinies. He communicates directly with Ori and communicates what Ori has to say to the divinee.
No babalawo knows all the verses, but they know an amazing amount and that is partly done through the help of specially prepared herbs. These herbs apparently are the reason why the children of babalawos always do so much better than other kids in school (when the babalawos bother to give their children a western education).
The thing that has always puzzled me is that if we have knowledge of such herbs shouldn't that be our greatest contribution and export to the world. Can you imagine if we extracted the active ingredients and sold it as memory enhancing pills? I don't think there is anywhere in the whole world where there won't be a market for it.
I must confess that it was only Orunmila whom the message was revealed through that was able to keep the volumes of messages intact. The messages contained 256 chapters with each chapter containing great number of verses. at the time of revelation, the act of documentation in ancient yoruba was barely non-existent, so documentation was not possible. What adherents did was to make sure they learned by art a good no of different verses in each of the 256 verses and pass it from one generation to another until documentation became possible. But no single person was able to get everything until documentation.
You will agree with me that most religious books were not able to capture 100% messages that was brought by the religion. some of the messages may have been deliberately expunged by some people or some may have been lost in transit or some may have been edited or revised with exception to the Moslems who lay claim that their book was documented 100% as it was revealed.
the main doctrines are:
1. OLODUMARE with his heavenly powers is the Creator/ the Greatest/ the all powerful and only HIM Knows whom shall be saved or only HIM can save/. this is witnessed by Orunmila's name and that .
2. Human relationships should be based on truth and devoid of hypocrisy.
3. there is destiny and that a person can be a better human- being if he works in alignment with his destiny. this is the basis of the message of divination of Orunmila.
4. Human being needs an intercessor to connect to the creator.
One of the reasons it has been reffered to as fetish is because most foreign religions have to paint the indigenous religions black to sell their owns.
Ifa is not a god, OLODUMARE is the God. But Ifa is a aggregation of messages revaeled by Olodumare help mankind with divination and problem solving. the totality of the message, Ifa, combined with the teachings of Orunmila about OLODUMARE make up a religion and that is the religion the Ifa adherents practise.
Aboru aboye o
firstly, i am not an authority on Ifa
i am still learning to understand it
secondly, where about are you based?
Akosalusa Awo ile Alara
Odimodimo Awo oke ijero
Fafe ni sawo ode Isabe
Asagede ni sawo Ataoja
Adifa fun Orunmila
baab nlo saja eremi
Oni bi won ko won ni Ifa nibe won agbagbe
Bi won ko won niIye won asun
E ma je ngbagbe
Atare so simi ninu
Iyere osun je kinnlokan bere Iyere osun.e.t.c
Ifa mako mi niye lo
Ela boru Ela boye Ela bosise
wisdom, knowledge and understanding for you in your quest for Ifa,
truly, there is humongous knowledge in the messages of the Ifa as was revealed through Orunmila by Olodumare. The messages if compiled together is greater in volume when compared to most other religious books and all these were revealed through Orunmila offhand without any prior formal education. that was why Orunmila was given the appellate " akere finu sogbon" (small in stature but mighty in wisdom) by his first set of adherents to show their respect for the overwhelming knowledge revealed through Orunmila.
The true meaning of Orunmila is "ORUN MO ENI TO MA A LA" (HEAVEN KNOWS WHOM SHALL BE SAVED).
What I know about Ifa is that they believe that every human being has what they call Ayanmo, or Akunleyan. That is a chosen destiny. This determines many of the qualities that a person has, ie what his virtues are. What occurs during divination is to find out where the divinee is in relation to that which has been appropriated for him. How in tune is he to his true path in life? When he is in tune then he will reach his ultimate goal which is called Iwa Pele. That is a state of Being (Iwa) which is harmonious (pele).
At the basis of this belief is the belief that things are not just random in the world but that there is a Form, or a format and that happiness is best achieved by adhering to this format. I believe that it is the same thing that the Taoist's in China call Te.
I believe it is also what the Buddhists and Hindus call Dharma.
I believe it is what muslims try to articulate by Al-Fitra:
But I think that it gets twisted by organised religion and codification of mores and virtue. That is why I started this thread in the Muslim section:
. . . called Al-fitra, so what more do you need?