Sunday, 8 November 2020

Eji-Ogbe: The Significance of Ifa in Human Development

Prologue:

Iba o,                                            Obeisance and homage

Awa juba o,                                 to the elders,

Omode e lo se'ba agba o!         Because a child must pay

                                                      homege to the elders.

Refrain:  Iba o, Iba agba o!

Opening Glee:

Iba Akoda aye;                           Homage to the first man 

                                                      of creation;

Iba Aseda aye:                            Also homage to the first

                                                      woman of creation;

Iba Araba awo ode Oyo;          Homage to the Araba of

                                                      Oyo;

Megba awo Remo;                    Courtesy to Megba of 

                                                      Remo;

Tedimole awo Ilare;                 Homage to Tedimole

                                                      courtesy of Ilare;

Kinrindin  awo ode Idesa;      Homage to Kinrindin 

                                                     courtesy of Idesa;

Obakin awo Orisa;                   Also to Obakin of all 

                                                     deities;

Awo ode Imodu de;                  courtesy of Imodude de;

Orinsesese awo Elegbudu;     Homage to Orinsesese of

                                                     Elegbudu;

Agamurara awo ile                  Homage to Agamurara 

Olodumare;                               courtesy of Olodumare;

Iba Alaja 'toun ogboro;           Homage to the hunters 

                                                    and their dog;

Ajogede 'toun agbagba;          Also to the eaters of 

                                                    bananas and plantains;

Alogidigbo to nfidi kodi;        Homage to the 

                                                    drummers in the shrines;

Eegun aye e seba Orun;          Homage to masquerades 

                                                     alive and beyond;

Iba atiyo ojo, iba atiwo             Homage to the sunrise

Oorun;                                            and the sunset;

Ikorita neta oseere magbo;        Homage to the cross 

                                                         roads;

Igba imole won o ju kotun;         Homage to the 

                                                          200 spirits;

Orisa imole won o ju kosi;           Homage to the

                                                          spirits and deities;

Olu igbo inu igbo, Olugbohun    Homage to the genies

ile odan;                                           of the jungles.

Iba Oko to dorikodo ti o somi;     Homage to the 

                                                            manhood;

Iba obo to dorikodo to o seje;      Homage to the 

                                                           womanhood;

Omode e lo seba agba o!

Refrain: Iba o, iba agba o!

Chants: Oodua ni mi (3ce)

It is a great opportunity to be in your midst to celebrate the Ifa festival 2011. I equally thank the Chief Promoter of the Festival, Otunba (Dr.) Gani Adams for the interest he has in uplifting the Yoruba breaths --- our deities. The spirits of our forebears will lift you up too.

Introduction

I like to begin this lecture with a question. And the question is ---- "What Is Ifa? The question to so many people, has no answer because they do not believe in it ---- not that they do not know what it is. Ifa, in a simple sentence, is a way of life. Even some people refer to it as a myth, but factually speaking, Ifa is relevant to all the creatures of Olodumare ---- be it the mother earth (Ile Ogere afoko yeri, alapo ika), the water (Iya arin masun), the air (Afefe) which is believed to be controlled by Iya and the fire (Ina), which of course, is also believed to be controlled by Sango who is also in charge of Thunder and Lighting. Those four elements make up the entity called human being ---- and some other kinds of creatures. That is why Eji-Ogbe says:

Odan in nsawo ninu ile;

Iki ni nsawo ode;

Kekere in won to npile awon;

To ba done tan;

A gba odo;

A gba olo;

A gba Odu baba ikoko.

Looking at this corpus of Ifa, the fishermen's nets you see everyday started with a knot. And when you cast it in the sea, it catches many fish. This is the way Ifa started our life. Eji Ogbe divines for mother-earth when the whole world was empty ---- when there was no one to live in it. From this corpus of Ifa, you will see how Ifa verses are the right words from Olodumare, the creator of all things.

Eji-Ogbe difa fun aye

Nigbati aye nsunkun alailenikan

Ifa ni ki aye wa a san.

That is, if the empty world ---- called AYE ----- wanted to enjoy usage, that it should pay homage and obeisance to Olodumare. That time, like I said earlier on, there were only four elements created alongside life: "mother-earth" gave birth to "water", water spurred "the air" and the air inspired "the fire". All these elements were present in life then.

Ifa ni ki aye san eku meji oluwere

Ko san eja meji abiru gbede

Ko san obidiye meji abedolukeluke

Kaye to ma a jaye

Aye san an

O san eku meji Oluwere

Eja meji abiru gbede

O san obidiye meji abedolukeluke

Atijo naa wa nile aye to nbe

In this verse, you can see how Olodumare made existence possible through Eji-Ogbe. That, the mother-earth was asked to sacrifice to Olodumare ---- two rats, two hens and two fish before the world could be what it is today. And of course, the mother-earth did it. 

After all these sacrifices, the mother-earth was given the sand (Erupe) on which we all stand today. Aye (the mother-earth) is part of the verses of Ifa. " She san! Tani aye san fun? To whom did mother-earth pay? Olodumare. That is why the verse says ---- Aye san f"Olodumare"---- that is, the mother-earth paid (homage, honours, sacrifices, praises etc) to Olodumare. Ever since, the mother-earth started existing. That is why we say Ifa has the knowledge of the birth of the world. As a matter of Ifa gave birth to the world. And it does not stop there.

-----------To be continued

Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2020




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