The function of ORUNMILA,
The world was established by differences, different languages, different cultures and different knowledge and wisdom. These differences might seem to divide the world and its wisdom. But the existence of the chief linguist, Orunmila will reduce the gap and bring together the differences and make world complete. As the world moves from generation to generation the differences are getting smaller and the more people speak and understand the same languages and share the same values toward themselves and others the more mankind is able to solve their problem with accurate spiritual precision, the more the work of Orunmila is achieved, to bring differences together in his harmonious wisdom as the divine linguist. But who is this divine dignitary, Orunmila Baba Ifa?
The following orin (praise song) tell us of the grace of Orunmila and how his presences brought forth the possibility of good things to take place on the earth. This is Orunmila’s desire for the world;
IFA AJI GINNI -IN
IFA ARIN GINNI-IN
ORUNMILA BABA IFA
IFA LA O BO
ORUNMILA LA O BO,
IFA LA O BO,
ORUNMILA LA O BO
This orin emphasizes the importance of Orunmila in the life of mankind and his existence in this physical world. Traditional Ifá tells us that the role of Orunmila in relation to man’s destiny can not be emphasized enough. The reason for this is that Orunmila was present when man’s destiny was created and as a consequence he possesses intimate knowledge of all matters affecting man and his destiny. Orunmila together with other principal deities, such as Obatala, Ela, Osanyin and many other Irunmole witnessed creation of man. Therefore they can reveal man’s destiny and rectify all misfortune man is subject for on his path towards his destiny. Orunmila possess the knowledge of the solutions for any misfortune that affect man’s destiny in negative ways.
Since Orunmila knows every solution and all necessary ebo (sacrifice) and ritual to change man’s misfortune into fortune Orunmila is described as;
Eleri Ipin, meaning, ‘The witness of destiny or lot’;
Obirikiti Aji Poju Iku da, meaning, ‘The Great One who alters the date of death’.
Olodumare is the supreme deity and Obatala is his deputy on earth. But our tradition tells that Orunmila is the second most important deity in the hierarchy of spiritual order. The name Orunmila, means ‘heaven knows who will be saved’ or ‘only heaven can effect deliverance’. Orunmila is the deity of wisdom and knowledge. His appearance in the Aye Akamara, or ‘world of mysteries’ was ordained by Olodumare who assigned him to be the advisor of Obatala in all matters concerning the earth and find solutions on complicated situations by resorting to the wisdom resting in Aye Akamara. Orunmila, given his primordial creation, had the special privilege to know the beginning of most things. He knows and understands the origin of man as well as the deities in heaven (ara orun). His mission in the world of mysteries was to reorganize the world and supervise matters of mystery and wisdom concerning human existence.
However, tradition reveals that Orunmila established many cities and towns and established his way of worship so that the human organization could conform to the divine order. Tradition teaches that Orunmila was recognized as a universal king wherever he went, thus people recognized this constitution and had solid faith in his wisdom. Orunmila was blessed with a special wisdom and foreknowledge of all things, including man’s destiny. Because of this men and women turned to Orunmila for counsel and guidance when things went wrong to seek explanation and solution. He also play an important role in shaping man’s destiny, so man can rediscover his spiritual constitution, as something more than just a mortal being, but as someone with a place in the kingdom of Olodumare.
Orunmila both changed and sealed the pattern of man’s destiny to conform to the divine plan. He pleaded and appealed to Olodumare on behalf of man so that the unhappy lot may be changed into a happy lot. Hence it is wise to take on Orunmila as your guardian deity. Orunmila’s infinite wisdom is expressed through the geomantic divination oracle known as Ifá. Before any important step or decision is taken in life Ifá must be consulted as a guardian angel to ensure that life path and mission will be accomplished.
Since he is a linguists Orunmila give counsel by the use of Ifá to all humanity and guards its destiny. He promotes success and happiness amongst his followers and Ifá is regularly consulted to give assurance and to guard that man’s destiny is prosperous. As an Ifá proverb reveals;
Oni Lari Ao Rola, On Ni Babalawo Se Ndifa Ororun
‘It is today we see, we do not see tomorrow. Therefore the Babalawo consult the oracle every five day’.