Orunmila/Orunla, deity of knowledge, wisdom and divination always wishes to help humanity achieve balance and harmony in life. He witnesses the destinies of all and reminds us of our purpose and roles on earth, this is for us to elevate and one day be honored as an Orisa.
Orunmila means heaven knows our salvation, he witnessed the creation of everything in the universe, thereby making him aware of all destinies on earth. According to the system of ifa, humans become Orisa, it is Orunmila who is the narrator of life that stores the events of the past and present into a file we call Odu Ifa. In this file, thousands of stories including that of ancient ancestors’ trials, tribulations and victories are codified for future references. His goal is to take the wisdom of the past, combine it with that of the present to help humans live a better life in the future.
Through the sheer power of wisdom, sacrifice and patience he became the commander and prosper of all Orisa (Irete-Wori). Orunmila was said to travel back and forth from heaven (beyond the stars and other star constellations) to earth counselling humans and deities, helping them to solve their issues. Orunmila is known as Eleri Ipin (witness to fate) Ibikeji Olodumare (Second in command to God).
While other orishas have different "paths," or aspects to them, Orunmila has only one. He is also the only orisha to not manifest through possession in the New World. Instead, he is consulted through various divination methods. Orunmila the Orisa is said to be the physical manifestation of Ifa. Humans needed a physical voice and a character who will represent all that Olodumare wants for humanity. Ifa is the voice of Olodumare (god amongst the Yoruba people of South West Africa Nigeria), Ifa was given to Orunmila so that humans can live according to Olodumare will.
Ifa is the system that was given to Orunmila from Olodumare the God of the universe. IFA is the voice of God and a major part or connection with destiny. Orunmila the Orisa of destiny is the link to unlocking the destiny of humans. Orunmila was given the position as counsellor amongst the gods and humans, so he shuttles between heaven and earth doing the works of Olodumare.
Like the other Deities, Orunmila existed before man and is the only Orisa to witness creation. Orunmila therefore has the knowledge concerning the fate of every man, woman, and child. Orunmila is the youngest Deity out of all the Deities created by God before the creation of the earth. This circumvents the position for Orunmila to be the final manifestation of virtue for man to follow.
Orunmila sojourned to earth on various occasions to assist man at the crossroads. The crossroads are moments we come to in life that require major decisions or points that will affect the rest of our lives. Esu, the Deity that sits at the crossroad, is forever indebted to Orunmila and has vowed to serve and assist Orunmila like non other (Ogbe-Di).
The expansion of man all over the earth and the frequent needs for Orunmila to sojourn to earth for the benefit of mankind became cumbersome and frustrating for even Orunmila, this great God of Wisdom. So Olodumare (God) endowed upon Orunmila a means for mankind to communicate with Orunmila to reveal one’s individual fate. This means is called Ifa. Ifa is the embodiment of Orunmila and is also another name for Orunmila. Ifa is a literary corpus that entails the fate of man and all of his accomplishments and transgressions. Only priests of Orunmila have the authority to sound the voice of Ifa. These priests are called Babalawo. Orunmila vowed to serve man in spirit with his infinite wisdom and the Babalawo hold the same secrets to creation and the fate of man that Orunmila held through the medium of Ifa.
Orunmila the Deity represents the power of wisdom to overcome misfortune. Orunmila the Deity represents the power of Divination to analyze our past, reveal our present and forecast our future. Orunmila the Deity represents the power of sacrifice to achieve what would otherwise be impossible.
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