Orunmila comes to the world to work Ifa but cannot make ends meet. He becomes a fowl trader at Oja Ejigbomekun. Records record sale of 198 of 201 birds, thanks to Esu.
Mi o ri sise, Mo o ri iba ti se and Ori ire a se ni bought one fowl each. They had vowed that they would only marry the man who could guess their names. As Orunmila as returning, his remaining three fowls escaped. He began to sing;
Mi o ri sise, I have not seen my three fowls
Mo o ri iba ti se, I do not know what to do
Ori ire a se ni, But my ori will find them for me
Mi o ri sise, Mo o ri iba ti se and Ori ire a se ni heard the strange song and noted that Orunmila was singing their names! They stopped to observe Orunmila, then helped him gather the fowl. Afterward, they promised Orunmila they would all marry him!
Mi o ri sise, Mo o ri iba ti se and Ori ire a se ni returned to Orunmila’s house with him. Unknown to him, they each had a taboo:
Mi o ri sise must return to heaven if rain falls before reaching her destination
Mo o ri iba ti se must return to heaven if a tornado comes before reaching her destination
Ori ire a se ni must return to heaven if rain touches her before reaching her destination
Esu wanted to test Orunmila’s courage by bringing in storm clouds. Because it is forbidden for Orunmila to be beaten by rain, he put his left knee to the ground and began to recite an incantation. Esu sat on the rain and Orunmila reached home with his three wives.
All three became pregnant. None of them were able to return home to receive the blessings from heaven. So, Orunmila never got the wealth that was meant to come from his wives to supplement his own success. It became difficult to raise his large family.
A visiting awo came to Orunmila to divine for him. He told Orunmila to sacririfce one goat for his abundance. Orunmila could not afford it. He pawned his first son. Later, he asked Ifa if the sacrifice would manifest. Ifa said he must offer a second goat. Orunmila pawned his second son. When there was no manifestation, Orunmila went to ask Ifa the status and was told to offer a third goat. He pawned his third son.
Now, his wives were so frustrated they returned to heaven to ask about their blessings. After three days, Orunmila - who now had no wives, no children - went to Ifa once more. What has happened to my great sacrifice? Ifa said, Orunmila, be patient. He was totally dejected.
Meanwhile, his Ori went to Orisanla, Olokun and Aje to inquire into the suffering of their daughters on earth. At that exact moment, the girls arrived, too. At that moment, they were sent back to earth with wealth.
At the same time, Esu went to work. He created chaos in the kingdom of Olofin. Esu then went to Olofin to ask him about how to resolve the problems. Olofin sent for three awos, Orunmila, Aluko and Aluko. Esu then returned to Orisanla to ask why he would let his son-in-law, Orunmila suffer on earth. Orisa sent Esu to earth with a yam for Orunmila.
Esu decided to make Orunmila work for the prize. He did this by hiding the yam behind the door of Olofin’s bedroom. That was the day the awos responded to Olofin’s call. Orunmila however, left late. On the way he met Esu disguised as the visiting awo who originally divined for him. Esu told Orunmila to ask for the yam behind Olofin’s bedroom door.
When the awos arrived they cast Ifa for Olofin. Agbe told Olofin to sacrifice one black goat. Agbe left with the goat. Aluko told Olofin to sacrifice a red gown. Aluko left with the gown. Orunmila told Olofin to sacrifice a rooster for Esu and the yam behind his bedroom door. Olofin brought the rooster. But Orunmila urged him to verify the yam behind his door. The moment the Olofin brought the yam, Esu untied Orunmila’s problems.
By the time Orunmila returned home, he met the daughter of Orisanla. She had seen Agbe and Aluko pass by with the goat and red gown. When she saw Orunmila with a yam she became livid. Where are the children??? She started to pack and leave. Orunmila asked her to boil the yam. She agreed but it was too hard. She berated him even more. In anger, she slammed the yam on the ground. When it split, all variety of wealth poured out!!
She called Orunmila to see. At that moment, the other two wives returned with their bounty. They started to sing:
My children, stop your lamentation
Your suffering has ended
Happiness has removed the tears
From your parents’ eyes
They repaid all debts and the children returned home. What does it take to develop that level of confidence in Ifá? How do you imagine Òrúnmìlà must have felt as he returned to consult Ifá a second and third time with no visible results, yet still be told to sacrifice? And what of Òrúnmìlà's wives - the mothers of his children? What level of confidence must they have had in order to support Òrúnmìlà in such a desperate time?
Òrìsà Lifestyle demands a very mature outlook on life. It is not a practice for the emotionally weak. You must be willing to forfeit your plans in favor of your destiny when Ifá gives directions that contradict what you had expected. Over time, through experience, you discover the proof of Ifá's wisdom. Gradually, your confidence grows. Fear is no more.
May you become totally and absolutely confident in your destiny and Ifá's capacity to guide you along the path of realization. Àse!
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Obafemi Origunwa, MA | ObafemiO.com