Tuesday, November 14, 2023

The roles of IRUNMOLE as Role Models for Human beings

The Irunmole act as role models for Omo Eniyan (human beings) in many ways. 

Their exemplary characters and ways of life became what we now emulate today for us to live in accordance with the design of Olodumare. 

As role models, they made us understand certain situations of life and how to react or adjust to such situations.

 When Olodumare was about to settle living beings on earth, He sent for Ogun (deity in charge of metals and creativity) first and foremost to come and plan the earth so as to make it habitable for beings. 

When Ogun came with his entourage, he brought woods with which to feed his entourage. 

Before long, those eating woods became powerless and could not accomplish anything. 

When Ogun realized that those he brought along to help in performing the task of making the earth habitable had become powerless for his mission, he returned with them to Olodumare.

However Olodumare later sent Obatala to go and complete what ogun could not finish.

 When Obatala was descending from Ikole-orun, he traced the mystical path already cleared by ogun.

 In his own case, he brought water for himself and his entourage.

Unfortunately, water was insufficient for them to feed on. They also became powerless within a short while and they returned to Olodumare to report their failure.

Olodumare finally sent Orunmila. Before Orunmila set for his journey to Ikole-Aye, he went to Agbadudu-Orimo for advice and consultation. 

He was advised to offer ebo and to take all edible items along in his journey to Ikole-Aye. When descending from Ikole-orun to Ikole-Aye, Orunmila followed the same path Ogun had earlier cleared.

 He brought all edible items considered necessary for his journey like yam, banana, grains, vegetable and so on.

On getting to the earth, he immediately proceeded with farming with his own entourage. They planted some of what they brought from Ikole-orun. 

The first vegetable to germinate on earth is known till today as Tete-Abalaye (Amaranthus spp). The yam did not mature as quickly as others.

 This is one of the reasons why people usually celebrate the first day to taste the yam on a yearly basis.

After completing his mission, Orunmila returned to Olodumare with his entourage and reported his success on earth.

Olodumare later summoned Ogun and Obatala and asked them what they used wood to feed their entourage. Olodumare then labeled Ogun as Baba Jegijegi (the wood eater).

 And Obatala replied that he used water to feed his entourage and Olodumare labeled Obatala Baba mumimumi (the water drinker), when Orunmila was asked the same question, Orunmila replied that he used food to feed his entourage and Olodumare labeled Orunmila as Baba jeunjeun (the food eater).

The significance of the scenario is that the roles played by these three Irunmole are so important to the survival of human beings till date.

 It also shows the essence of continuity in our life. We can see that the path charted by Ogun when he first came (even though he did not accomplish his mission) was the same path that Obatala and Orunmila also passed through without condemning what their predecessor had done.

 We really need to acknowledge the past, follow it and build on it. According to that stanza, it is expected that whenever we wake up, we use chewing stick to brush our teeth, water to rinse our mouth and clean our body before we eat.

Also in Ogbe-Ofun, Obatala, Esu, Ogun and Orunmila performed different roles with a view to achieving the same goal. In that stanza, we can see the importance of cooperation and collaboration which makes us to understand that no man is an island. 

For us to achieve in life, we need at one time or the other the cooperation or collaboration of other people.

The Irunmole also made us to understand why we must not underestimate anybody irrespective of age, sex or physical abilities. In a stanza of Ose-Otura, Osun acted as a role model for women folks on the need to rise up to defend themselves whenever they are being marginalized, segregated against or when their rights are being violated. 

In the stanza, all the 400 Irunmole discriminated against Osun for being the only female among them. 

As a result, they refused to include her in all their deliberations. Unknowingly to them, Osun was surreptitiously thwarting all their efforts to accomplish their mission on earth. 

All their efforts came to naught, but when they approached Olodumare to report their failure to Him.

Olodumare directed them to always include the only female among them (Osun) in all their deliberations. They complied and all their missions were accomplished.

Obatala also played a role model in a stanza of Otura Gasa (Otura-Osa) for Omo eniyan on the importance of never to be too rigid in principle and even when it comes to the issue of taboo. 

In this stanza, Obatala who was known to abhor eating of dog and drinking of palm wine had to break his taboo just to save his life at that point in time. He showed us to be flexible and develop the ability to adapt to any given situation.

Lastly, Orunmila made us to understand how to react to certain domestic issues especially with one’s wife. He put himself in the position so that we can follow him and possibly employ the same solution as he did when such situation occurred to him. 

For example, in a stanza of Ogbe Yonu, Ifa told us how Orunmila went through series of tribulations in respect of his wife, Iya, the princess of the king of Iwo land. In the end, Orunmila was able to surmount the tribulations with patience, which Ifa decribes as the father of all good characters.

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