Previously we briefly considered the distinction between Irunmole and Orisa. Today we will consider it a little further and we will also learn about the sacred mystery of Odu.
Irunmole are divine personalities that entered the world of men and took up a human identity, that is, they lived like ordinary human beings in the physical world. Orisa are a different class of divine beings who became deified or divinized through the power transformation after their departure from the physical state. Irunmole were divine beings of great wisdom and power as the moment of their creation whereas Orisa were beings who became divinized as the result of the lives that they lived. The Orisa became divine by a process of spiritual growth and evolution.
Irunmole have their origin in the divine realm and were chosen in heaven before coming to the world. They descended from the divine upper worlds and dwelled among men, teaching the word of God, science, agriculture, hunting, farming and other essential skills needed by humanity. The Irunmole also instituted the spiritual sciences and introduced them to humanity. The identity of irunmole are shrouded in divine mystery whereas the identity of the Orisa are readily known and recorded since they were born upon the earth.
To clarify things let me reiterate that Irunmole are divine personalities who were born from Olodumare and have the upper divine realms as their original place of residence whereas Orisa were born on earth and achieved their divine status through the laws of spiritual progress, training and effort. Now will proceed to consider the wondrous source of all powers, intelligences, life and harmony: Odu.
The POWER that created all these entities are from the one source called Odu. Odu is like the womb or matrix of creation. Odu is the primordial and eternal ‘mother’. Odu is power and the source of all powers, energies, intelligences and life. This one energy produced and created all things in the world including Irunmole and Orisa. The word Odu is the centre piece and overall energy that pervades, directs and controls all things in the universe. Odu is the greatest and the most powerful vibration in the cosmos. All things emanate from Odu and are nourished and maintained by Odu. Odu oversees the progress, development and evolution of the physical-spiritual-divine creations.
The word Odu comes from the sacred name of the supreme being Olodumare. When you break down the word Olodumare into three syllabic word sequences you get OLO, ODU, MARE.
OLO means owner and proprietor.
ODU means energy, power, force and vibration.
MARE or MARERE means knowing and doing was is good or absolute goodness. The power that only and always does what is good, right and beneficial.
You will realize that the word Odu is in the middle of the sacred name of the supreme being. Olodumare means the owner of the energy or power or force that knows what is good, does good and thinks good. The name of Olodumare and its meaning reveals to us and reminds us the things God wants us to do.
Odu is the energy that created all goodness and such energy must take the form of Olodumare. Out of this unique energy comes all creatures including Irunmole and Orisa.
Something you might find interesting about the Irunmole and Orisa is that they have form or divine bodies with features which we can discern, with which they live among us when they choose to descend. Odu on the other hand is a formless entity that does not take up any form of image but is a concrete energy that creates all thing. Odu created you, me and all things.
This energy is the power behind all living and non-living things. Odu is the power that directs all forces at all level of existence.
Olodumare categorizes this energy and break it down into two hundred fifty six sub-energies which is where all living and non-living things derive their lives and their existence. All things exist and flourish within these energy patterns. Nothing can operate outside these energies but all things fall within the regulating power and oversight of these 256 divine intelligences.
Remember that the greatest forces are invisible forces. This means that no one can have absolute control over the all power in creation. But we can make use of the forces of creation for the benefit of one’s life and the lives of ones progeny. Ifa teaches us through much learning, effort, patience and practice how to access these divine energies and how to integrate them in our lives upon making contact with Odu. This is why a person of lazy disposition cannot practice Ifa because of constant and learning and practice that Ifa demands of its students. What is learned from Ifa is utilized to remold, reshape and correct the errors of in ones life path i.e. destiny.
Some even see Odu (patterns of potential) as a destiny in entirety. Such perspective is correct. God passed these energy onto Orunmila Ifa bara Agbonniregun and from Orunmila to all men in the world.
Some traditions also believe that Odu came to the world and married Ifa Orunmila.
We can see and appreciate then that Odu is the entity that produces all things. Through marriage to Orunmila the feminine nature of Odu was revealed. Odu assumes a motherly role in relation to all seen and unseen entities. The most important point to remember is that Odu is the energy that produced all things while Orisa orIrunmole are entities created by Odu.
Through the instrumentality of the Orisa and Irunmole the knowledge of Odu was passed on to all humanity. Those who learn or initiate into Odu are called Awo or Omo Ifa. And those who have not initiated are called ogberi because the Odu or spiritual DNA in them has not yet been activated. Hence renew your power or reactivate the indwelling power within you through initiation into Ifa and you will get your Odu. Then you can pray with your Odu always.
The practice and science of praying everyday with your Odu gives you the power to overcome all life’s challenges. Please pray everyday for yourself and others. When you pray for others you join them to the divine energies. When you pray for others the divine light and power of Odu enters their hearts, minds and life in a very subtle but powerful way. Pray with your Ikins or Opele. Please, always try to learn something daily about Odu so as to become a true disciple of God.
Also remember that we can learn together how to pray with Odu and open opele which is called ‘Sise Opele’ with our members who might live near us. I will always try to teach Odu once a week. If you want to learn more and go deeper into Odu you can contact me or one of our knowledgeable members.
Alafia, Olayinka Babatunde Ogunshina Adewuyi