Wednesday 30 March 2022

Ifá-orisa: Why call upon Èlà omo osin asiwaju?

What does it mean to believe in Olódùmarè (God)? Belief in Olódùmarè (God) implies that we have a real, personal and direct conviction of His presence. Belief in Olodumare (God) implies that we also have a living, vibrant and conscious awareness of His Omnipotence i.e. that He is our personal protector, guide, friend, helper and deliverer. Our belief in Olódùmarè (God) is demonstrated by our display of a behavior that is in conformity with our knowledge and awareness of the nature and character of Olodumare (God). 

When we have a genuine personal awareness of the reality, greatness, wonder and existence of Olódùmarè (God), our consciousness of that presence of Olódùmarè (God) becomes demonstrated by our conduct. Our conduct, behavior, attitude and demeanor reveals to one and all our personal knowledge of Olódùmarè (God) or our lack of knowledge (personal experience) of Olódùmarè. 

Ifá teaches us that a deed is moral when it aids the doer to advance towards Olódùmarè. This is how Ifá defines morality: A deed is moral only when it is imbued with the character and truth of Olódùmarè. Only when we have the  divine experience of Olódùmarè can we partake of a transformation of the mind and heart that is beyond change. The spiritual life consists in living in the vivid conscious awareness, asé and presence of Olódùmarè. The very first step of the spiritual life is and must be the acquiring of the experiential, living and constant awareness of Enitolodun (The Supreme Absolute Truth). Out of this personal awareness flows ethical conduct, love towards all beings and the desire to help and assist needy, suffering and misguided people.

But how do we get this awareness? How can we obtain it? Can we obtain it through our own human contrivance, feelings, efforts and thoughts? If there is a way to attain this awareness surely Olódùmarè must reveal it to us because we cannot reach Him by our own contrivance, methods or means. We can only reach Olódùmarè by discovering the means that He has already established for us. There are many ways instituted by Olódùmarè whereby we can reach Him, attain and obtain the living witness of His reality, character, love, wisdom, nature and truth. According to the diverse affinities, temperaments, capacities and outlooks of humanity Olódùmarè has instituted many ways for men to know Him. For every human being there are sure paths to witnessing and experiencing the divine. Well in Ifá there is a an unfailing, direct and universal way to finding satisfaction to our inner spiritual longings, desires and aspirations. Hidden in the depths of Ifá there is a secret doctrine which Ifá reveals only to the sincere seeker and aspirant. If one does not have that true yearning, longing and inner-thirst for Divine Experience then one will never see or discern the greatness, wonder, power and efficacy of this means which Ifá has concealed from all except for those who are ready for it. The secret is so simple yet so powerful and sacred that it only allows itself to be found by those who have matured and have come out of spiritual ignorance and immaturity. This secret, this divine power and incomparable blessing has been present in Ifá all along, many have even come across it and yet by the mystical veiling power of Ifá they have not seen its primary importance, prominence and glory. This is the power of Ifá. This method is in full view yet only the prepared, only the chosen and sincere can see it and apprehend it for what it is! The great mystery and gift of Olódùmarè to the true seeker is:

“Èlà takun wa gureh. Èlà extend to us the rope of life.”

Yes! Calling upon the holy name of Èlà and asking him to descend into our lives, hearts and minds is the secret treasure-store of Ifá. It seems so simple yet this door can only be opened and entered into by the power of faith. Not your own faith. Not your own willingness to want to believe. Not your own feeling or opinions about it. This faith is not the ordinary faith we have and use in our day to day life. This faith is not the preliminary kind of faith that many spiritual seekers and devotees have. This faith is of a different kind and order. This is a faith that comes out of the heart, mind and power of Èlà himself and it surrounds us and fills us with its light, power, sweetness and wisdom! This divinely bestowed faith one can never lose and one can never doubt it.

There is much that can be said about faith. In brief I want to say that faith is a spiritual power inherent in the spirit of humanity. All human beings are essentially spirit beings. There is a faith that we have and develop as a result of our spiritual growth, experience,efforts, seeking, inquiry and other spiritual practices. This faith is the one that arises as a result of cultivating our inner life. It is born out of our own efforts, discipline and exercise. 

There is a complementary and higher faith power that comes into our lives when it decides to take hold of us, to enter us, to surround and to never abandon us. This aspect of faith is one bestowed upon as a gift of benevolence, love and consideration to us by a divine master. That is why we call this kind of faith grace. It is not something we have earned or can deserve, but we have been prepared to receive it and then it descends into our lives and guides us. This type of faith we have no right to it because it is not our own faith but a divinely bestowed endowment given at the right moment, at the right time and to the right person. 

Those who are bound by arrogance, self-adulation, conceit and pretentiousness cannot see or enter into this faith by any means or effort they make. But this divine power is so graceful, wonderful and impartial that it often sets it sight on the arrogant, bound, conceited and lost to save them from their sorrow causing defilement and to cleanse their lives and conscience. This power is Èlà. Ifá reveals that when we take to calling upon Èlà and entrusting ourselves to Èlà this is due solely to the personal decision, action and compassion of Èlà towards us. When Èlà sets his sight on someone they begin to feel a desire to change their lives. They begin to see and accept that the kind of life that they have been living is meaningless, unsatisfactory, hollow and unfulfilling. The light of spirituality, sincerity and truth awakens in them as if by a miracle and the life of such a person begins to undergo a progressive, qualitative and wonderful transformation. The divine being, intelligence, energy and power which makes this come about and oversees this transformation which leads Godward is called Èlà.

Now is the time for the knowledge of Èlà to be made known to all Ifá-orisa devotees and to all sincere spiritual seekers. Ela invites us to call upon his power filled holy name. The sound and vibration of the divine name Èlà is inseparable from Èlà. This calling upon Èlà is the cure-all for our moral-spiritual, emotional-intellectual maladies. It doesn’t matter who you are. It does not matter whether you consider yourself spiritual (religious) or not. It doesn’t matter if your life is in order or not, now is the time to call upon Èlà. It doesn’t matter if you believe in Èlà or not, call upon Èlà, recite his name with the measure of faith you have or even without faith! Whether you are feeling hopeful or hopeless call upon Èlà. It is not about you. It is about Èlà and what he will do. The divine master (asiwaju) has set his sights upon you! His interest, mystery, wonder and enthusiasm is welling up in your spirit. Say it with feeling or without feeling:

‘Èlà takun wa gureh. Ela extend to me the rope of life’

There is nothing more wonderful than the name of Èlà. Èlà is the primary God-manifestation to bring healing, harmony, upliftment and correction to this present age of anxiety, worry, disarray, inner-turmoil and loneliness.

“Èlà, Èlà, Èlà, Èlà...”

How sweet, smooth and easy is the pronunciation of the divine name of Èlà omo osin asiwaju. With the same sweetness, smoothness and ease will Ela reveal his grace, power and efficacy in your life. 

“Èlà rowa, Èlà rowa, Èlà rowa, Èlà rowa.” Èlà descend (manifest in my life, situation and circumstances), Èlà descend (manifest in my life, situation and circumstances), Èlà descend (manifest in my life, situation and circumstances), Èlà descend (manifest in my life, situation and circumstances).

The name, sound and personality of Èlà is of the substance of pure happiness, delight and joy. Ela is the power that can never become tainted, soiled, contaminated or ruined. Where Èlà enters all becomes clean, peaceful and harmonious. The name of Èlà (the Supreme God-manifestation) is the holiest thing in creation. Before there was light, material creation, manifested existence and diversity of beings there was Èlà. Èlà is pure wisdom, power and delight. When Èlà takes hold of us through our recitation of his holy name we become convinced with intense faith that Ela is in fact the Supreme Reality. The name, sound, vibration, presence and power Èlà is the connecting link between the human soul and the Supreme Soul. The name, sound, personality and power Èlà is beyond creation and therefore is beyond change. Èlà is not subject to change. When we call upon Èlà, his sacred name with all of its powers and virtues penetrates deep into the hidden layers of the mind and begins to work like a medicine and purifying agent. The name of Èlà is to be practiced and cultivated for the purification, healing, correction and transformation of the unconscious layers of the mind and the conscience of humanity. The name, sound and vibration of the Èlà strengthens, cleanses and fortifies the human mind, soul and spirit. The holy name, sound and vibration Èlà is not a human creation. The holy name of Èlà is inseparable from Èlà. Èlà and his holy name are eternally established in the uncreated divine realm and comes from there. When the name of Èlà penetrates the deep layers of the mind, cleansing the inner life at the root of the unconscious we experience a sublime, divine and supramundane peace with fills us with a quality of happiness that cannot be explained or compared to anything. The awareness of the Divine becomes a living reality and we want nothing more except to live in this reality, to convey it to others and to express it in all we think, say and do.

Èlà takun wa gureh. Èlà takun wa gureh. Èlà takun wa gureh. Èlà takun wa gureh. 

Èlà, Èlà, Èlà, Èlà.

Èlà rowa. Èlà rowa. Èlà rowa. Èlà rowa.

Èlà is the one who saves us. His workings are so subtle and powerful that we cannot adequately conceive it or express it, we can only experience it. This is why we say:

Èlà kot’ina ko to ro. Èlà you are to subtle, refined and wondrous in your workings. Your activity transcends our capacity to thoroughly speak of it and do justice to your greatness. Whatever we can speak, think or say about Èlà will always fall short of the glorious reality so it is better to not say anything but we should be established in the presence, mystery and reality of Èlà.

Èlà omo osin mo wari ooo. Èlà divine manifestion of the Supreme Guiding Power you are deserving of our praise and therefore we praise you. You are the one who lifts our burdens. You are the one who takes our sorrow and pain upon yourself and in return you bestow joy and happiness upon us!

Èlà you are the remover of all obstacles, blockages and hindrances. You sweep away impurity, confusion, pain and sorrow from our lives. Nothing can obstruct you and this is why we say:

Atikan sikun ki oni ikere yo ikere! From door to door remove the hinges!

Èlà you are always present and available to us yet we squander our time in what is foolish, useless and petty when we could be walking with you in friendship, strength and clarity.

Èlà panumo panumo. Èlà panuba panuba. Ela - spirit of light resounding. Èlà - spirit of light rebounding.

No matter how far off we may be from Divinity and no matter what problems we may be having, Èlà can and will surely bring us out of our troubles. This is why we say:

Eyin on osusu agbedem ‘nji on egun osusu, awo fa ma je ki’iwaju Èlà gun mori on tolu. I find the front filled with thorns! I find the rear and middle filled with thorns (problems, conflict, anxiety and suffering).

We should have no more fear or worry because Èlà and his name are here with us. Èlà will cleanse the path and remove the thorns. This is why we say:

Èlà descend and remove the thorns from the front, rear and middle!

Èlà ni eyin o di tete. Èlà ni agbedemeji o di worowo. At the rear place of peace Èlà the spirit of peace becomes manifest. At the middle (and front) place of peace Èlà the spirit of peace  becomes manifest!

How does Èlà become manifest in our lives. When we follow his simple instruction and call upon him. It is that simple. 

Èlà takun wa gureh. Èlà extend to me the rope of life.

When you feel and discover your need call upon Èlà. When you feel despair and gloom drawing near call upon Èlà. When you feel hopeless and at wits end call upon Èlà. When you are joyful and happy call upon Èlà. When you come out of your troubles call upon Èlà. In any and all circumstances call upon Èlà.

Calling upon Èlà is the direct path to divine experience. Relying on Èlà sets you free from depending on people, religious communities and arbitrary and confusing ideas. We should call upon Èlà inspite of doubts and distraction. We should not allow the ‘allegedly’ wise and so-called ‘spiritual leaders’ turn us away from the simple and efficacious path of Èlà. Èlà will surely appear in the heart, mind and life of any person without exception who determines that they will always call upon Èlà and entrust themselves to him. Èlà himself will draw you in and establish you in his own way and time in a glorious inner condition of divine faith, certainty, peace and confidence. The name of Èlà is like a spark of fire. If the spark is properly fanned (by recitation of the name of Èlà) it becomes a great and all-consuming and purifying spiritual fire. If we practice calling upon Èlà with faith and love (even if we initially practice calling on Èlà even without faith or love), Èlà will cause his presence and power to grow within us. He will build and communicate to us his faith, sweetness and love. The name of Èlà stands by itself. It is complete in itself and it is independent of any other means or method. Therefore it is perfect.

Èlà takun wa gureh. Èlà takun wa gureh. Èlà takun wa gureh. Èlà takun wa gureh. 

Èlà. Èlà. Èlà. Èlà.

Èlà. Èlà. Èlà. Èlà.

Èlà. Èlà. Èlà. Èlà.

Èlà. Èlà. Èlà. Èlà......

Èlà-Òrúnmìlà mo yin aboru.

Èlà-Òrúnmìlà mo yin aboye.

Èlà-Òrúnmìlà mo yin abosise.

By Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas /!!!\ A.O.M.C. /!!!\

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