By Adeyinka Olaiya / Brazil

ODÙ-IFÁ , most complex reasonings in the practice of Yoruba traditional religion , the mathematics of wisdom. The Odù-Ifá in the real sense of it , contains the physical, symbolic and spiritual meanings of life . It is the mathematical diagrams of human existence, a total sum of 256 complex explanations of wisdom, the A to Z of the living and non living characters

In the Yoruba traditional religion , the physicians , or rather the mathematicians , are the Bábaláwos, the initiates , the ones having the spiritual wisdom , the wise ones , translators of Baami Agbomiregun, the colleagues of Bàbá Akere finu se Ogbon, abo’Olodumare se lo’gbogba.

The mathematical formulas and calculations of existence are in sixteen diagrams , the sixteen answers to nature , the Odus , the book of life . It is the Odù Ifá mathematics , the literary corpus , all results in a total of 256 odus . These Odus are the spiritual , scientific and social solutions to all situations, circumstances, actions and consequences in life. They form the basis of spiritual knowledge, it is the Yoruba divination mathematics

Odus, the scientific mathematics of the ancestors , the formulas used in the Yoruba religion , interpreted also in merindilogun . The word Odu itself, originated from the Yoruba language and it means destiny. Each person has his or her own destiny , it could be similar to others but always with some particularity and spiritual identity.

A lot of divination methods are used in the study of Ifa , such as Merindinlogun, Opele -ifá, Ikin and many more The Ifá cult is customarily done by men, called Babalawo . When someone wants to take care of their Orisha , they look for a Bàbálórìsà or Iyalorisa, but when it is to deal with their balance as a Being, they look for a Babalawo who will do it in the ways of Odu, the mathematics of life . The consultation through the Odus can be interpreted by the Oracle of Ifá, with the Odu Meji (double destinies or repeated twice) numbering 16 and known as Original or Main Odu.

In the Ifá Oracular system, which is the Yoruba divination system, the 16 odus are the paths of life. Each person is having paths revealed by Ifá through Odu. The geomantic system uses 16 shells, or grains, or coconuts, depending on the region. The way to launch the cowrie shells allows 256 combinations or figures, and for each one of them , there are verses that are decorated by the Mathematicians , the Babalawos are the mathematicians . The system, at time hereditary, requires long learning and tests.

The learning is essential , it is all about knowing IFA , the Odus are consequences of understandings of the voices of Olodumare, the Orisa Orunmila is also called Ifá and abomiregum (Agbonmiregun; “He who is more effective than any medicine”). In case of doubt, the Ifá is consulted by people who need decisions , people who want to put their lives in order. The mathematics behind these mysteries involves the functions of Physicians , they are the Babalawos , the mathematicians , they represent the voices of their ancestors

In the Yoruba divinity , and for the Yoruba people of West Africa , the priest , or the mathematician is the babalawo , and among the Fons and Jejes , the mathematician is called Bokonon . However, the system of divination is the same. The , Bokonon or the babalawo (father of the secret) receives the indications for the answers through the Formula , the signs called ( Odu ) of Ifá . There is no exact table for making it: there is no list of things for Odus to be revealed, it all depends on the person. Each person has his or her own destiny, just like the Etutu (ebó) that is defined in the divination .

However, in Merindilogun , derived from Erindinlogun, the divinatory system used by the Yoruba people. It is one of the many divinatory methods used by Bàbálórìsàs and Iyalorisas that has 16 cowries. In it occurs the interpretation of Odus . Each odu indicates different passages according to Yoruba mythology.

The mathematicians , In the merindilogun , are not just the Babalawos , they are also Bàbálórìsàs , Iyalorisas . The Orisas are the intermediaries between Olodumarê and human beings. The drops are given according to the number of open and closed whelks resulting from each shot. The answer for each number of open and closed whelks corresponds to an Odu , and must be convincingly interpreted, conveying to the person involved , both the meaning of the Odus and what must be done to solve the problem . The physician in this case , is the Bàbálórìsà , Iyanifa etc.

Odus are similar to some mathematical formulas , the Physicians are the Babalawos , Iyanifa and the Bàbálórìsàs , they are bound to intérprete what proceeds from the divination. In most cases , examples are taken both from the ancient Yoruba tradition and the present daily activities . The Odus represents level of understandings , The Bàbálórìsàs / Babalawos are the brains behind the interpretation.

*The 256 Odu Ifa*

1. Ejiogbe

2. Oyeku meji

3. Iwori meji

4. Odi meji

5. Irosun meji

6. Owonrin meji

7. Obara meji

8. Okanran meji

9. Ogunda meji

10. Osa meji

11. Ika meji

12. Otuurupon meji

13. Otura meji

14. Irete meji

15. Ose meji

16. Ofun meji

17. Ogbe oyeku

18. Ogbe iwori

19. Ogbe odi

20. Ogbe irosun

21.Ogbe owonrin

22. Ogbe obara

23. Ogbe okanran

24. Ogbe ogunda

25. Ogbe osa

26. Ogbe Ika

27. Ogbe otuurupon

28. Ogbe otura

29. Ogbe irete

30. Ogbe ose

31. Ogbe ofun.

32. Oyeku ogbe

33. Oyeku iwori

34. Oyeku odi

35. Oyeku irosun

36. Oyeku owonrin

37. Oyeku obara

38. Oyeku okanran

39. Oyeku ogunda

40. Oyeku osa

41. Oyeku ika

42. Oyeku otuurupon

43. Oyeku otura

44. Oyeku irete

45. Oyeku ose

46. Oyeku ofun

47. Iwori ogbe

48. Iwori oyeku

49. Iwori odi

50. Iwori irosun

51. Iwori owonrin

52. Iwori obara

53. Iwori okanran

54. Iwori ogunda

55. Iwori osa

56. Iwori ika

57. Iwori otuurupon

58. Iwori otura

59. Iwori irete

60. Iwori ose

61. Iwori ofun

62. Odi ogbe

63. Odi oyeku

64. Odi iwori

65. Odi irosun

66. Odi owonrin

67. Odi obara

68. Odi okanran

69. Odi ogunda

70. Odi osa

71. Odi ika

72. Odi otuurupon

73. Odi otura

74. Odi irete

75. Odi ose

76. Odi ofun

77. Irosun ogbe

78. Irosun oyeku

79. Irosun iwori

80. Irosun odi

81. Irosun owonrin

82. Irosun obara

83. Irosun okanran

84. Irosun ogunda

85. Irosun osa

86. Irosun ika

87. Irosun otuurupon

88. Irosun otura

89. Irosun irete

90. Irosun ose

91. Irosun ofun

92. Owonrin ogbe

93. Owonrin oyeku

94. Owonrin iwori

95. Owonrin odi

96. Owonrin irosun

97. Owonrin obara

98. Owonrin okanran

99. Owonrin ogunda

100. Owonrin osa

101. Owonrin ika

102. Owonrin otuurupon

103. Owonrin otura

104. Owonrin irete

105. Owonrin ose

106. Owonrin ofun

107. Obara ogbe

108. Obara oyeku

109. Obara iwori

110. Obara odi

111. Obara irosun

112. Obara owonrin

113. Obara okanran

114. Obara ogunda

115. Obara osa

116. Obara ika

117. Obara otuurupon

118. Obara otura

119. Obara irete

120. Obara ose

121. Obara ofun

122. Okanran ogbe

123. Okanran oyeku

124. Okanran iwori

125. Okanran odi

126. Okanran irosun

127. Okanran owonrin

128. Okanran obara

129. Okanran ogunda

130. Okanran osa

131. Okanran ika

132. Okanran otuurupon

133. Okanran otura

134. Okanran irete

135. Okanran ose

136. Okanran ofun

137. Ogunda ogbe

138. Ogunda oyeku

139. Ogunda iwori

140. Ogunda odi

141. Ogunda irosun

142. Ogunda owonrin

143. Ogunda obara

144. Ogunda okanran

145. Ogunda osa

146. Ogunda ika

147. Ogunda otuurupon

148. Ogunda otura

149. Ogunda irete

150. Ogunda ose

151. Ogunda ofun

152. Osa ogbe

153. Osa oyeku

154. Osa iwori

155. Osa odi

156. Osa irosun

157. Osa owonrin

158. Osa obara

159. Osa okanran

160. Osa ogunda

161. Osa ika

162. Osa otuurupon

163. Osa otura

164. Osa irete

165. Osa ose

166. Osa ofun

167. Ika ogbe

168. Ika oyeku

169. Ika iwori

170. Ika odi

171. Ika irosun

172. Ika owonrin

173. Ika obara

174. Ika okanran

175. Ika ogunda

176. Ika osa

177. Ika otuurupon

178. Ika otura

179. Ika irete

180. Ika ose

181. Ika ofun

182. Otuurupon ogbe

183. Otuurupon oyeku

184. Otuurupon iwori

185. Otuurupon odi

186. Otuurupon irosun

187. Otuurupon owonrin

188. Otuurupon obara

189. Otuurupon okanran

190. Otuurupon ogunda

191. Otuurupon osa

192. Otuurupon ika

193. Otuurupon otura

194. Otuurupon irete

195. Otuurupon ose

196. Otuurupon ofun

197. Otura ogbe

198. Otura oyeku

199. Otura iwori

200. Otura odi

201. Otura irosun

202. Otura owonrin

203. Otura obara

204. Otura okanran

205. Otura ogunda

206. Otura osa

207. Otura ika

208. Otura otuurupon

209. Otura irete

210. Otura ose

211. Otura ofun.

212. Irete ogbe

213. Irete oyeku

214. Irete iwori

215. Irete odi

216. Irete irosun

217. Irete owonrin

218. Irete obara

219. Irete okanran

220. Irete ogunda

221. Irete osa

222. Irete ika

223. Irete otuurupon

224. Irete otura

225. Irete ose

226. Irete ofun

227. Ose ogbe

228. Ose oyeku

229. Ose iwori

230. Ose odi

231. Ose irosun

232. Ose owonrin

233. Ose obara

234. Ose okanran

235. Ose ogunda

236. Ose osa

237. Ose ika

238. Ose otuurupon

239. Ose otura

240. Ose irete

241. Ose ofun

242. Ofun ogbe

243. Ofun oyeku

244. Ofun iwori

245. Ofun odi

246. Ofun irosun

247. Ofun owonrin

248. Ofun obara

249. Ofun okanran

250. Ofun ogunda

251. Ofun osa

252. Ofun ika

253. Ofun otuurupon

254. Ofun otura

255. Ofun irete

256. Ofun ose.

It is important to know that every Odu functions as omens. By itself, the word means path and is associated with the idea of destiny. Therefore, it is something that will govern a certain person from the world of his birth until the end of his life. Because of this, each one has his or her own Odu of origin. It is with this Odu of Origin that the mathematician solves the mathematics.

There are two problems with this publication:

1. Orunmila priests do not use cowries as an oracle.

2. Opon Ifa is not used for the use of the oracle of the cowries.