Thursday, November 9, 2023

Yorùbá view on Ikú (Death)

Yorùbá view on Ikú (Death).

Odù Ifá Ọ̀yẹ̀kú-Ọ̀ṣẹ́ that death is a good thing. It is part of the recycling process. Death is not a problem.

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"May we not die young", the diviner of the house of joy
"What's wrong with dying young?", the diviner of the house of grief, 
"If death comes, let's praise Olódùmarè", the diviner of the house of truth

Cast Ifá for the sages, who invited these babaláwo to consult on the problems of death by asking:

"Why is it that death kills people and nobody has ever overcome death?". 

The babaláwo said: 
"Ifá has indicated that Amúniwáyé - the Creator created death for the good of mankind

A stagnant water becomes a pond – a pond of polluted water, a pond that can cause disease. 

Water takes people away freely and water brings them back freely. 

Let the sick return home for the cure and renewal of the body, and the wicked for renewal of character.

The madman is cared for by his family."

The Babalawo further asked: 
"What is unpleasant about it?". 

The sages bowed for Ifá, saying:
"Ọrunmila! Àbọrú, Àbọyè, Àbọṣíṣẹ". 

They all dispersed and never regarded death as a problem any more.

Death after a happy life is glorious. 
If we live long and die in poverty and disgrace, we achieve nothing but sorrow. 
So if death comes after a long or short good life, we should accept it in good faith and give thanks for a life well spent.

Why, if one may ask, should man suffer death after all?
The Creator bestowed death to human beings as a blessing. 
Life is a stream that flows out and flows back.

When it flows out, we call it death. 
When it flows back, we call it rebirth.

A stream that does not flow out and flow back becomes a stagnant pool full of impurities that threaten good health.

Without death there can be no new birth. 
Death carries us away;
Rebirth brings us back. 
We die as invalids but return in new found health.

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