Sunday, July 16, 2023

Characteristic of IFA

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These characteristics include the following:


i) IFA IS SYSTEMATIC


In Ifa, there are 256 chapters. In each chapter, there are at least 1,680 stanzas. In all, there are at least 430,080 stanzas in Ifa. This means that there are four hundred and thirty thousand and eighty messages, together with their concomitant ebo, rituals and taboos in Ifa.



All these had been compartmentalized into Oju-Odu or Olodu (Major Odu) and Afeka-leka or Amulu-mala (combinations) for easy storage of these vital information and body of knowledge. 



There are 16 major Odu and 240 combinations.



In each Odu, be it major or combination, all the information are divided into different sub-heads, such as longevity, wealth, health, spouse, children, professional choice, success, death, affliction, litigation, loss, trouble and so on. 


Depending on what the client has come for, there is, at least a message concerning the client in the Odu. Not only this, solutions to problems, enabling environment for achievement of success and assistance to the client for accomplishment of goals are all embedded in the Odu.



For this reason, it is imperative for the Babalawo or Iyanifa to be very versatile in each Odu so as to be able to satisfy his/her clients as extensively as possible.


The more the Awo knows in each Odu, the better for his/her reputation as a professional



ii) IFA IS SCIENTIFIC

Besides the fact that Ifa is arranged in an orderly and systematic manner as explained above, Ifa can also be subjected to scientific verification even though it is essentially an Art.


 There are two ways Ifa has scientific features. 


These ways are:

a) There is no part of Ifa that cannot be given scientific hypothesis and prediction of results. If any event is about to unfold, as long as the variable are right and done as prescribed, the result can easily be predicted. 


For example, if a person is having problems with child-bearings or financial success and he/she went for consultation, as long as he/she offered the prescribed ebo, preformed the prescribed ritual and abstained from taboo, then his/her wishes will have a very high degree of coming to pass.


Conversely, if the person concerned failed to offer the prescribed ebo, failed to perform the prescribed ritual or/and failed to abstain from the prescribed taboo, then it is certain that his/her wishes will have a very low chance of coming to pass.



b) There is also no Ifa stanza that cannot be given thorough analysis in order to ascertain which particular Odu-Ifa it actually belongs to. There are some Babalawo or Iyanifa whose specialty is in this area.
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iii) IFA IS UNIVERSAL


Ifa is a universal religion. There is no part of the world where one form of Ifa or the other is not being practiced either as a religion or as a ritual form of practice.



 In Otura-Alaraba (Otura-Obara) Ifa says:



Adaba Kekeluke
Dia fun Aje
Aje n torun bo waye
Adaba Kekeluke
Dia fun Ifa
Ifa n torun bo waye
Nje mo na Eko
Mo na Ajase
Ada Kelkeluke
Ko sile to wa
To ko mo Aje o
Mo na ile yii
Mo na Oke-Okun
Ada Kekeluke
Ko sile to wa
Ti ko mo Ifa mo


Translation

The gentle dove
Was the one who cast Ifa for money
When coming from heaven to earth
The gentle dove
Was the one who cast Ifa for Ifa
When traveling from heaven to the earth
I have transacted business in Eko
I have also transacted business in Ajase
The gentle dove
There is no land which exists
Where Money is not known
I have ben to this vicinity
I have been to oversea countries
There is no land which exist
Where Ifa is not known
In this Odu, Ifa is compared with money. This Odu says that there is no place on earth where Ifa and money are not known. This shows the universality of Ifa.
Not only is Ifa known universally, it is also universally represented by way of groves, shrines and so on.



iv) IFA IS EDUCATIONAL

There is no aspect of life that Ifa does not touch and discuss extensively. For this reason, it is of no need to go into these aspect here. 

The more we go into Ifa, the more we discover these teachings.
Not only this, Ifa ensures that whatever is learnt is retained and not forgotten. This is because Ifa is the data-bank where all the wisdom of old were stored. 


Those who have access to this data-bank are the Awo. For this reason, the Awo must be very versatile and must be able to have an extensive knowledge of whatever they wish to discuss.




If Awo’s brain is dull or of the average capacity, it will be enhanced by Ifa to sharpen its retentive capability to an unbelievable level. An average Awo is genius of some sort.



No know professor of whatever field has the capacity to memorize as much as an average Awo.


Ifa also encourages everyone to seek knowledge everyday. As a matter of fact, Ifa says that we should not engage in anything which will not enhance our knowledge or understanding of life. Ifa equally says that we must always deliberate on everything happening to us in life. 



But if after a thorough deliberation, we could not arrive at any conclusion or we arrived at more than on line of action, we can then approach Ifa in order to determine the best alternative to choose. 



In Oturupon-Obalufon (Oturupon-Owonrin), Ifa says:
Ifa ni ti a ba ji
Ogbon ni ka maa ko’raa wa
Ka ma jii ni kutukutu pile e were
Oro ti a bar o ti ko ba gun
Ikin eni laa kee si
Dia fun Paraka, alawoo winniwinnin
Nijo to nlo re jo ijo alaranbara labe Odan……



Translation


Ifa says that whenever we wake up
We must be teaching each other wisdom
We must not wake up at dawn and then lay the foundation of foolishness
Whatever the matter which we deliberated upon but could not arrive at a satisfactory solution

Then we are to approach our Ikin
These were the declarations of Ifa to Paraka, the masquerade with brilliantly coloured costume

When going to engage in a complex but marvelous dancing display at the site of the Odan tree shade……




v) IFA IS A SERIOUS UNDERTAKING

For a Babalawo or Iyanifa to claim competence in Ifa, they would have undergone series of intensive training, the duration of which ranges between six and 35 years.

Some times more. Consequently, Ifa is not easy discipline. It entails patience, discipline, perseverance, dedication and intelligence. People do not go to Ifa for the fun of it.

So also, people do not go to an Awo’s house in order to make jest of the Awo. If a client does that, such client is only deceiving himself/herself. 


For example, in Irete-Alao (Irete-Obara), Ifa says:


Agba-Inamu suku wele
Oro o tan nile yii boroboro
Dia fun Alao
To K’Okun borun
To n fenu ke meme bi ewure
Araa yin le tan
E o tan Ifa je o
Alao lo kokun borun
Ni n f’enu ke meme bi ewure
Araa yin le tan je bayen o


Translation

There is nothing in this land that is not protracted unnecessarily
This was the declaration of Ifa to Alao
Who tied a rope around his neck
And was bleating like a goat
You have only deceiving yourself
Certainly, Ifa is not deceived
Look at Alao who tied a rope around his neck
And was bleating like a goat
You have only engaged in self deceit
In this Odu, Alao was advised to offer a goat as sacrifice so as to avoid an impending severe ailment. However, this client had gone to the Awo mentioned above in order to humiliate them. He promised the Awo that he would bring the goat the following day. He secured a rope, tied it around his neck and was bleating like a goat on his way to the Awo’s house. 


When the Awo saw him, they only told him that he had neither deceived nor humiliated Ifa, but himself.
Alao had a good laugh at the expense of the Awo.
Shortly after, Alao went berserk and was howling and bleating in complete nakedness. His people took him to the same Awo.


 They then went to purchase a matured goat, which was used to perform the necessary ebo for him.  

He then became normal. If anyone thinks that he is deceiving Ifa or Awo, such a person is deceiving himself/herself.


There are also some people who are not only ignorant of what Ifa is all about, they are equally deceived as regards what Ifa represents. Some thing that Ifa is just a mere play thing. Others think Ifa is like any other system of divination they come across everyday. But this is not so. Those who are having this notion about Ifa attract nothing but contempt from Ifa.



vi) IFA IS A SINCERE ART

Ifa means sincerity. It is a sincere undertaking. It is also expected of all Ifa practitioners to be sincere. It is by so doing that they can be assured of the support of the Deities. 


If an Awo is not sincere with his/her clients, it is difficult, it no totally impossible, for the client to know this, especially if the client is not a adept in Ifa. 


The client will only think that the problem is that of Ifa. Such client will only be telling others that he/she approached Babalawo or Iyanifa and he/she was advised to take certain steps only for him/her to discover that he/she had been deceived by Ifa, not knowing that the problem emanated from the lack of sincerity of the Awo that was approached.



In Otura-Rera (Otura-Ogunda), Ifa has this to say:


Eke o kun ‘ni
Ika o kin’mo eniyan
Bi eke ba n yolee da
Ohun werewere abenu o maa yo won ni sise
Dia fun Sagbagiriyan
Tii se Baale Asotito
Nje sotito sododo
Eni to sotito
N’mole n gbe


Translation

Dishonesty does not pay anyone
Wickedness is beneficial to none
When a dishonest person plots his treachery
His conscience pricks him persistently
These were the declarations of Ifa to Sagbagiriyan
Who was the head of the honest people
Pray, be honest, be truthful
Those who are hones
The Deity supports
If an Awo is not sincere, such behaviour will adversely affect his/her calling. The Awo will make people lose respect for Ifa. 

Such an Awo will live and die a curse and wretched person



vii) IFA IS BASED ENTIRELY ON HISTORICAL PRECEDENCE



 Ifa derived all its advices warnings, actions and activities on the simple dictum that “History Repeats Itself”. All the Odu-Ifa were based on historical experiences of human and non-human creatures: 


Whenever something happened or was about to happen or even when there was a premonition (dream, hunch, feeling) that something was about to happen, the subject(s) went to an Awo for Ifa consultation in order to determine what the Deities had to say on the matter:


 The Oracle revealed what the cosmic had in store for the subject(s) over the issue and gave an advice or series of advices.
The moment the advice(s) were carried out, the incident had already gone into the cosmic records and it had also become a source from whose potency and energy others could tap in, to achieve a desired result.




If an incident occurs today and the client or subject approach an Awo, the Awo in turn will consult Ifa. 



Based on the Odu which was revealed, some recommendations will be made to the client-based on what had earlier happened in the past. If these recommendations were complied with, it will be possible to have an enabling condition where the energy which had already been stored inside the cosmic archive can be tapped to the advantage of the client.

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viii) IFA PROTECT AGAINST EVIL


Ifa protects all it’s disciples and followers against all evil.

As long as a person is ready for the protection of Ifa, so long will it be guaranteed. Among the Awo and Ifa followers, Ifa is known as Odudu tii du ori Ilemere, ki Ori Ilemere ma baa fo. (The protector who protects the Ori of Ilemere in order to prevent the Ori from breaking into pieces”).



ix) IFA CHANGES SORROW TO HAPPINESS


Every stanza in Ifa explains how people can take advantage of hidden or open opportunities and how they can avoid open or hidden pitfalls. It also contains how people can change hopeless situations into challenges, how terrible conditions can be changed to interesting ones; how those who had hitherto been written off as never-do-wells can become policy makers and very important personalities. 



Everything however depends on the client involved; whether or not they are ready to take advice of the Awo by offering the appropriate ebo and abstaining from taboos.



In Ose-o-te-Kannkan (Ose-Okanran), Ifa says that no matter how bad the situation may be, as long as the person having problems is ready to approach Ifa for solution, so long will the person find solution to his problem. If can approached as many times as we like on different issues. Ifa does not discriminate. The moment a person approaches Ifa, the person is considered Ifa’s child.

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Ifa will improve a bad situation and make them good. Ifa will turn evil to good, loss to gain, disadvantage to advantage, hopelessness to hopefulness, want to plenty and abundance, untimely death to long life and prosperity.

This Article is written by AJE NLA (whatsapp +2347031178647).For the following:::

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Egbe Orun initiation

Appeasement of Egbe Orun

Yes and No questions

Feeding of Ori (inner head)

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Source: https://www.orisa.com.ng

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