When Orunmila was coming from heaven to earth, he went to consult Ifa. The awos told him that he would be a successful businessman but that he needed to sacrifice so that he might benefit from the troubles caused by a certain woman. Orunmila complied with the sacrifice.
Upon his arrival on earth, Orunmila became a jeweler. It was in that capacity that he met a lovely princess, who seemed to make his jewels even more elegant and precious. He wasted no time in marrying the princess and made it a point to give her jewels to adorn herself. However, while Orunmila's bride made great efforts to look beautiful on the outside, she made no such efforts to care for her husband and his home. She neither cooked nor cleaned and so, Orunmila's house was is disarray most of the time. After long journeys to faraway markets, Orunmila would typically have to end the day tidying up the house and cooking his own meals, while his wife sat idly on the front porch, making a public display of her beauty.
Orunmila's wife was the object of affection for many young men in the town. Unknown to him, his wife began flirting and carrying on secret relationships with several men in town. Some of them were romantic interests. Others were priests who coveted Orunmila's success. Eventually, they began to plot on ways to snatch her from Orunmila by making her a lover, or a client or both. One day, Orunmila noticed his fortune starting to wane, as well as unrest in his home, so he went to consult Ifa. This time, the awos admonished Orunmila for having committed a grave error by failing to consult Ifa before taking a wife. "Sometimes, big trouble comes in a beautiful package!" Orunmila, you have married your own demise. Now, you must sacrifice so that you might benefit from the problems caused by your poor decision. Orunmila complied.
Later on, Orunmila planned to go on a journey to a far away market. He told his wife he would be gone for two weeks. She was delighted by the prospect of enjoying her male suitors for two consecutive weeks! Several days into the voyage, however, Esu appeared to Orunmila in the form of a well-wiser. He said that Orunmila should return home early to surprise his wife. And so he did. But before reaching his home, Orunmila was compelled to stop at the home of his neighbor, who was an elderly woman. While they sat and talked, the woman told Orunmila what had been happening right underneath his nose. Orunmila, sometimes big trouble comes in a beautiful package. Your wife is not your wife alone, Orunmila. Many men in this town are enjoying her, one way or another. Some are your colleagues who secretly wish to usurp your authority. Others are lovers, who wish to enjoy the sweetness of your wife's beauty. In fact, there is a prince in your house at this very moment, having his way with your lovely bride! Orunmila rushed home and found his wife and the prince in a very compromising position.
At once, Orunmila summoned Esu and Ogun to redress the issue. Chaos and mayhem consumed the town. Destruction became the order of the day. People started to die in great numbers. The king was made aware of his son's involvement in the pandemonium. They explained, "Sometimes, big trouble comes in a beautiful package." He immediately called for Orunmila. He begged Orunmila on behalf of the kingdom. Orunmila demanded the prince's head. The king asked how he might offer something else to atone for the prince's indiscretion. Orunmila named the offering of atonement, which included 200 men, 200 women, 200 cows, 200 bulls, 200 he-goats, 200 she-goats, 200 rams, 200 sheep, 200 roosters, 200 hens, 200 bags of money and 200 pieces of white cloth. The king tried but failed to raise it all in the allotted time. And so, Orunmila claimed the throne itself.
Ifa says that we should sacrifice to avert trouble caused by something - or somebody - that looks good on the outside, but will cause trouble from the inside that will radiate far and wide. With patience and sacrifice, however, Ifa, Esu and Ogun will enable us to benefit from trouble caused by poor decision-making.
Aboru boye bosise
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | ObafemiO.com
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Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.