Olodumare created all things in the visible and invisible world, from what is under the earth to what is above the heavens, thus he knows everything, and nothing moves without Olodumare noticing it. Hence the Babalawo says the following to describe this characteristic of Olodumare:


Be in the darkness and steal
If the ruler of the world do not see you
The divine king in heaven is watching you

To Olodumare, the universal God the Yoruba give countless epitaphs and praise names to remember and celebrate his divine attributes. As O. Lucas points out in his study on the Egyptian relations of Yoruba migration, ‘God, Olorun, Olodumare excel all other deities of divinities in power, honor and majesty’;. He is a divine king of unique character, possessing attributes more noble and more abstract and refined to have originated from the thoughts of humans. He is omnipresent, omnipotent and all powerful. He is a just and impartial judge that will judge us either in this life or at the threshold of orun, our heavenly home. This judgment should not be understood as simply punishment for wicked deeds – but a natural consequence arising by an avoidance of making the right choices and thus failure to embrace your happy lot.

Some of the many attributes and praisenames of Olodumare are:

OLORUN/OLU ORUN – ‘The king of the heaven’
OLODUMARE – ‘Almighty, Supreme, Expansive One’
ATOBIJU – ‘The Greatest Lord’
OBA AIKU – ‘The Undying God’
AJIKE AYE -‘The One who shapes and take care of the World’
ASAKE ORUN – ‘The Designer and the Care Taker of Heaven’
OLOWO GBOGBORO TI YOMO, RE LOFIN – ‘The Owner Of the Mysterious Hand
Who delivers those who are Honest
And Faithful to Him’
OYIGIYIGI – ‘The Greatest’
ASEEYI OWU – ‘He does what he wants and no one will question his authority’
AJI POJO IKU DA – ‘He who alters the day of death’
OBA AIRI – The king who is shrouded in secrecy’
ATEERE KAYE – ‘Omnipresent’
OMIMIYAMI – ‘The Absolute and greatest’
AWAMARIDI – ‘The Mysterious Lord’
ALAGBALA IMOLE – ‘God, The owner of the house of light’
ELEDA – ‘The creator of destiny’
ALAGBARA LAYE ATI LORUN – ‘The Powerful one of world and the heaven above’
OLUDANDE – ‘The king that free us from bondage’
OLUBORI – ‘The Victorious one’
AJABORI -‘He that gives victory’
OKITIBIRI – ‘The Great Changer’
ATEREREKAYE – ‘He who is Spreading over the whole extent of the earth’
OBA AIRI – ‘The invisible king’
OLOJO ONI – ‘The owner of the day’
OLUAYE – ‘The owner of the world’
OLUSEGUN – ‘The conqueror’
ADEGUN – ‘The molder’
ADIGUN – ‘The molder and the smoother’
ELEBURUKE – ‘The shower of blessings’
ONIGBOWOAYE – ‘The holder of the pillar of the world’
ALAWURABI – ‘The ultimate’
ADAKEDAJO – ‘The silent but active judge’
ELERIODODO -‘The advocate of good destiny’
OLURAPADA – ‘The changer of evil to good, the reformer’
OLUDARIJI – ‘Forgiver of failure’
OLUPESE – ‘The giver of fortune’
ASEKAMAKU – ‘Doers of all things, the one who makes perfect all things’
ADANIMAGBAGBE – ‘The creator who does not forget anybody’
OLUGBOHUN – The hearer of all voice’
ALEWILESE – ‘He who can speak and accomplish his words’
ALESELEWI – ‘He who can accomplish and can speak of it’
AWIMAYEHUN – ‘He establishes and brings into manifestation all deeds’
ELETI-GBAROYE – ‘Hearer of all prayer and supplication from all people’
ASOROMAYE – ‘He that has the capacity to establish all his deed without change or
Alter the date of its manifestation
OLUBUKUN – ‘The blessed and The prospered one’
OLURANLOWO – ‘The helper of the needy and the blessed’
OLUGBEJA – ‘The helper of the helpless’
OSIN – ‘The mysterious GOD’
OBA MIMO – ‘The pure king’
OLUGBEBIFO – ‘The changer of evil and misfortune’
ARINURODE – ‘The knower of all secret things’
OLUMO-OKAN – ‘He who knows the mind of all livings’
OLUGBALA – ‘The deliverer, the savior’
ASONIMATOOGBE – ‘The guardian’
ALAGBO-OFE – ‘The free-giver of all things’
ALASE ABIYE – ‘The mysterious giver of life’
ATOOSADI-LOJO-BUBURU – ‘He that provide shelter in the day of trouble’
AABO-FUN-ENI-ERU-NBA – ‘The safe house for those who fear’
OLORE – ‘The benefactor’
ALAANU – ‘The merciful’
ALAYE – ‘The ever merciful’
ELEMI – ‘The owner of the spirit’
OGA-OGO – ‘The LORD of glory’
OLOGOJULO – ‘The highest one’
ORISE – ‘The source of destiny, the source of the head, the source of the soul.

Olodumare in his ineffable wisdom created all the divinities and invisible spirits, spirits lesser than himself that work as his intermediaries. Tradition teaches that Olodumare created these divinities to carry our certain responsibilities as parts of this wholeness that is Olodumare. Amongst these spiritual beings created by Olodumare are those called Irunmole, ‘the divinities, Orisa, ‘deities’ and Akanda, ‘beings created for a special purpose’

Since Olodumare is shrouded in mystery and omnipotence there is an absence of shrines or temples dedicated to him. There is neither a particular feast day for Olodumare. The reason for this is that the universal God can not be restricted to a building, place or date as he owns everything. We cannot create any image of Olodumare as no representation will justify is greatness. Rather Ifá advices that if we want to speak with Olodumare, ‘speak with the wind or speak to your soul or spirit’. This recommendation is referring to the use of prayer known as adura. By the use of adura Olodumare will hear all your prayers at anytime in anyplace.

According to Yoruba tradition every soul has access to Olodumare by using adura, iwa (character), isera (fasting), ibewe (petitions/requests), igbekele ninu olodumare (unshakable trust in God), ebo riru (sacrifice to Irunmoles that will be taken to Olodumare by the intervention of Esu), etutu sise (ritual acts directed to God by the intervention of his lesser spirits). Customarily sacrifices to God are mediated through his Orisas and Irunmoles. The immortal divinities serve as the intermediary between the finite beings, eniyan (mankind) and the infinite being, Elemi or Aseda – Olodumare. Sacrifices and rituals directed to Olodumare him self is rare to happen, rather sacrifice to the divinities and of those particularly Esu acts as intermediaries between eniyan and Olodumare. This function is enabled through the power in the Odu osetura that manifested the powers of Esu. Even if many sacrifices are given to Esu Yoruba belief says that Esu will bring what is given to him to Olodumare.

Man is a creature of God and therefore he depends on Gods power, on something superior to himself. This dependency on God is demonstrated through spiritual and action directed towards Olodumare. Such acts are those that originate from love, reverence, faithfulness, honesty, prayers, ritual, sacrifices, initiations and fasting. These are all actions that facilitate harmony, not only between man and God but amongst making in general. O, we see from this that it is through prayer and fasting we approach God directly. We need to develop holiness (i.e. cultivating iwa pele) so we through prayer and meditation can lift our mind and soul to connect with his supreme energy. Only in this way can our supplications, petitions and prayers be accomplished without hindrance or human made obstacles. God himself speak to us, through dreams, visions, signs and many other spiritual means. We have said that prayer and fasting is important tools for connecting with God and this recommendation is from the odu iretekanran that says:


The meaning of this Odu is:

Irete Okanran made divination for Orunmila, Baba Agbonniregun on the day when all the sons of the secret (Babalawos) were gathering in the house of the chief diviner. Irete Okanran advised Orunmila to make a fast and engage in prayer the whole day, to not eat or drink anything at the gathering. He would do this in order to gain victory over his enemies and those adversaries conspiring against him. He heard the advice and did as prescribed. He fasted and prayed until the day dawned and as a consequence he conquered adversities and gained victory over his enemies.

The fasting and prayer was directed to Olodumare and theLord of Life’. It was Olodumare that came to Orunmilas aid and made it possible for him to gain victory. The tool used for making this possible was Ifá divination. By learning Ifá you will gain access to the ancient and solid way of communicating with Olodumare and all his divinities and gain insight in the solutions for bringing good fortune into your life.

What we have discussed so far lead us to explain more in depth the concept of the creation of the earthy and man from an Ifá perspective.

After the creation of the divinities by the infinite Olodumare he then called all the divinities to create man in his merciful way. He created the mysterious world we know as Aye Akamara. Yoruba tradition tells that in the beginning the earth was without form, it all was just water. Olodumare instructed the Irunmoles to make ebo for making the earth a habitat for the eniyan. 200 bags of sand, 200 chickens with five toes he asked them to sacrifice. The Irunmole accomplished the sacrifice and Olodumare accepted the ebo. Immediatly the chickens started to scatter the sand around in the water and filled the watery earth with solid land. Then God decided to send the divine beings to the world, but before leaving the heaven he instructed them to make ebo. The Irunmole failed to make ebo, only Orunmila made it. He made ebo with 200 (missing) 200 animals, 2.000.000 cowries, 200 hens and 200 pigeons. Upon making the ebo Olodumare accepted his sacrifice.

Olodumare had installed Obatala as his deputy and he was given the task of molding the eyes, nose, ear and other parts of the body that can receive sensorial information. In particular Obatala gave men the voice. Odu Ifa says the following:

Ogun ni a maa gbe ,
Orisaala la , mo lahun,
Esu odara la, mo ta loja ojugboromekun,,

Ogun will lift it,
Orisaala saved and blessed, hence I was given a voice
Esu Odara saves hence I sell at the ojugboromkun market.

When all the Irunmoles came from heaven, Obatala/Orisaala was given the supreme position amongst the divinities. God instructed Esu to lead the deities and Ogun, the pathfinder, to take his cutlass and open the way. Obatala, the leader came after them because he was of old age and could not move as fast as Esu and Ogun. Unlike the other Irunmoles Orunmila decided to help Obatala to carry some of his load. Obatala rewarded Orunmilas kindness by reaching within the Aye Akowas Gunhan Gunhan (the msyteriosu world) and gave to Orunmila a gift. He gave to Orunmila 200 leaves, 200 fetishes and 200 gourds. The leaves given had the power to dissolve disorder. And the leaves he gained was ‘family leaves’, ‘peace leaves’, ‘long life leaves’, ‘free-from-all-problems leaves’ and many other important herbs. By bestowing these gifts Obatala gave to Orunmila the secrets that shaped the destiny of men and divinities. Whenever he would find himself in need to solve problems he now had all necessary means to solve them. He was gifted with the ability to bless people with good life, happiness, prosperity, good health, wealth, riches and long life.

Okanransa says the following about Orunmila when he made himself ready to leave Isalu Orun (the heaven)

I    II
II    I

etutu ni joju oku,
apo eera ni i okinle,
mobamoba n ti alabahun,
oju to ba alabahun ko ni segi,
lodifa fun okanlerinwo irunmole
ti n ti ikole-orun bo wa le aye,
orunmila nikan ninbe lehin,
oun nikan ni nrubo,
riru ebo nii gbe ni,
eru atukesu adaladaju,
ko pe, ko jinna,
a bami ni Jebuture gbogbo,
jebuture, laba mi lese obarisa,

sacrifices eats the eye of the death,
the bag of the ants stand firm,
i will get stuck is for the tortoise,
the eyes of the tortoise will never miss the tree,
This divine for the four hundred and one Divinities,
when they were coming from the heaven to the mysterious earth,
it was only Obatala that be at the back,
it was Orunmila that did the sacrifices,
doing sacifices is a blessing and deliverance,
The load of the Esu is Firm,
Not too long,
they all meet me at jebuture( place of hope and salvation),
the place of hope are under the feet of Obarisa(GOD),