Obatala from the elision Oba ita ala meaning King of the crossroads of white light. Ala is frequently translanted to mean white cloth however white cloth is the Ifa symbol for the source of consciousness in Creation. This oriki makes reference to the tradition of installing sons and daughters of Obatala as chiefs of Ogboni. The function of Ogboni is to settle disputes, it is a traditional Yoruba court system that functions under the guidance and protection of the village king of Oba. Sons and daughters of Obatala are chosen for this position because by temperament they are fair, seek justice and have a transcendant sense of community.
(Praising the King of White Cloth)
A dake sirisiri da eni li ejo. Oba bi ojo gbogbo bi odun
Spirit, strong king of Ejigbo. At the trial a silent, tranquil judge.
Commentary: King of ejigbo from the elision eji Igbo meaning the first sacred grove of the initiation place of connection with Spirit. The silent tranquil judge is a reference to the role of sons and daughters of Obatala as arbitrators of communal disputes.
Ala, ala. Niki, niki Oni panpe ode orun
The king whose every day become a feast, Owner of the brilliant white cloth,
Commentary: The daily feast is a reference to the traditions of oriki Obatala which are praise poems used to thank Olodumare for Creation and the blessings of life.
O duro lehin o so tito, Oro oko abuke,
Owner of the chain to the court, He stands behind persons who tell the truth.
Commentary: The Chain to the court is the chain of the Creation story that links human consciousness with divine consciousness.
Osagiyan jagun o fi irungbon se pepe enu, A ji da igba asa
Protector of the handicapped, Osagiyan warrior with a handsome beard.
Commentary: Obatala as the Creator of human life is considered the guardian of those with physical challenges. The beard in Ifa is a symbol of the influence of elevated consciousness on everything around it. It is also a symbol of wisdom.
Ti te opa osoro, Orisa Olu Ifon.
He wakes up to create two hundred civilizing customs, King of Ifon.
Commentary: Obatala is the originator of the protocol that creates healthy life, healthy relationships and healthy community.
Lasiko fun mi li ala mun mi ala mu so ko.
Oshanla grant me a white cloth of my own.
Commentary: This is asking for elevated consciousness.
Ose ohun gbogbo ni funfun ni funfun. Pirlodi aka ti oke.
Spirit who makes things white. Tall as a granary, tall as a hill.
Commentary: Making things white is a reference to spiritual cleansing and standing tall is a reference to spiritual elevation.
Ajaguna wa gba mi, O Ajaguna. Ti nte opa oje. Ase.
Ajaguna deliver me. The king that leans on a white – metal staff. May it be so.
Commentary: Ajaguna is a reference to the warrior aspect of Obatala. Leaning on the white metal staff is a reference to maintaining good character in spite of temptation and turmoil.
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