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Do the Edos worship Esu (the Devil)?
How U dae? I troway salut fo Ur sidooOOO. Your posting below on this Segun originated topic is exciting to read and informative. You closed your report by adding: "Let us leave ESU aloneooo". I ask you to please lift that order for another day or two and give more people the opportunity to contribute more to this salssy topic and give all of us a chance to learn more of what our parents and ancestors knew only so well about their Universe. You, no doubt, have a great deal of understanding and knowledge in this area. I am simply appealing to you to give us some more of those NOW largely ignored tales of the Super-natural, the COSMOS and the mix of the Universal forces at work. The more we know and understand of these things, perhaps, the better we can adapt readily with our environments and may even have a clearer understanding of our roles as humans in the COSMIC equation or relations, existance and what it all means. Come to think of it, I am beginning to feel that our modern days' deviation from the norms and natural/logical conformity with Universal/Cosmic relations and forces (Since about the arrival of whites to our homes), that our lives and world have been failing and we are torned asunder and left adrift since. We may be able to reverse this curse if we know more about these things and conform appropriately. I thank all of you contributors and look forward to more insights and revelations on this topic
Ajose is absolutely right. Esu as a divinity is not the devil. But the use to which we as human, put Esu force ,when invoked could be evil. Do not forget that there are much more deadly divinities than Esu. The king of death ,destroy massively. Ogun, Shango, Sakpana (sopono) do not forgive when offended and they destroy ruthlessly. They are all divinities in there own right and not agents to Esu. the penalty of offending them is death. On tne other hand, Esu would create obstacle in one's way to give his victim a chance to recogize him. He has never been known to apply instant death unlike others.
There has been a conscious effort by Christians
and Muslims alike, to approximate Esu to the biblical Lucifer who is said to
have fallen from grace in heaven, this is very wrong. Esu has always existed
The Political & Spiritual Purpose of the
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Folks, EDO people have always believed in the dualism of all things within the Universe long before the advent and concept of civilization as well as the ill-faithed and most undesired arrival of the problematic and massively disruptive Europeans. For every animal, the EDO realized long ago that there exists, a definite dual sexuality. This logical concept of reality pervades all that an EDO knows, including those within the outer realms as well as the realms of simple imagination. He then extended this logical reasoning to the super-naturals...God himself or simply gods. That all environments include desirables and undesirables further validated the duality of all, from an EDO's perspective.
Before the arrival of the perverted and deliberately deceitful white religious converters, it was clear to the EDOs that there is massive intelligence behind the Universe and all of its constituents. What with the miracles of BIRTH! How about the miracles of the logical conforming, growth and adaptive nature of man, all animals and the entire environments. To the EDO of old days, there is a supernatural super being and his subordinates and given the logical marvels that surrounds their every creation, it was relatively easy for the EDO to deductively reach the conclusion that those wonderful creators of all the wonders that abounds them, must be God and gods with powers to create, to endow/bless and at the same time, to punish, hurt, traumatize, destroy and decimate.
The EDO also reasoned that along the lines of specialization for effectiveness and delivery, there must be separate gods for various forms of energy or, the materialization of same in actuality. These include gods of LIGHT, FIRE, IRON, RAIN, SKY, WIND, SUN, MOON, NIGHT and DARKNESS, DAY and DAYLIGHT, ...others and ultimately, GOOD and BAD. Each god is associated with a force of a kind and all things and experiences are respectively associated with each form of force and therefore, an associated god. The EDOs worship the forces of good and therefore, the associated gods with those forces, fervently. This is often done in THANKSGIVING for one thing or the other, but associated with desirables and goodness. They also worship these forces of goodness in prayers for desirable supports, helps of some kind, delivery from illnesses, betrayals, illicit and wrongful accusations and all other forms of desirables.
On the dual side of things, the forces of evils are equality recognized as being present in reality, even when they are within the realms of the unknown. The EDOs do their fervent best to be distant from these forces. They appease these forces to take away their undesirable loads of problems and pains away from them. The EDO does this by providing various forms of unusual food combinations with harsh and uncovetted connotations to them, for sacrifices to these assumed lesser gods. It was originally assumed by the EDOs that these evil gods were lesser gods on the hierarchy of godship and this is the reason for their angers and continued vexation in demented evil dealings. As the lesser gods cannot vent their dissatisfactions and anguish on higher and massively more powerful gods than them, they simply resulted to a focus on defenseless and terribly fragile humans. The believe was that these gods were so dementedly evil that by natural constitutions, they were logical SADISTS that derive joys only from venting horror on humans.
As Hilary rightfully claimed in his response on this subject, the EDO's appease of these lesser evil gods, have dual purposes;
* To appease them to stay clear and keep their loads of troubles away and,
* In ignorant disdain and mockery of the evil nature and disposition of one or more lesser gods.
Alfred, there is no real variance in the implied reference objective when related to in the Whitman's concept of DEVIL or in the EDO or YORUBA's concept of ESU. Each refers to a dogmatically and perpetually evil and be-horrible and merciless super-being/beings with super power to do evils and cause humans to be evil. The only real variance is in the referential application of the names. Whites' concept of the DEVIL refers to a SINGLE all powerfully evil being; while the ESU concept in EDO and YORUBA may refer to many evil super-beings with specialization in their evil orientations.
Rationally, the EDO perception of the world and the decomposition of godly roles, with an over-lord, is in conformity with the nature, logics and the constituents of the COSMOS and cosmic tendencies. In lights of this argument, can you now, begin to imagine how distantly removed from the realities, conformity and expectations of cosmological behaviors, and expectations we have become? This is entirely because of the demented adulteration of our lives, our ways of lives and views of our world by the advents of whites' forced incursions into our lives, our world and massive destruction of all that we were and held dear and proper. It has since, remained a sad day for the race of mankind.
In reading about ancient Mythology and other ancient books, you will always find references to GOOD and BAD. One common thing about all the ancient history/mythology is that GOOD is ascribed to GOD while BAD is often ascribed to EVIL machinations of the DEVIL. Everything evil therefore is ascribed to the manipulations of a dubious being who is said to have the power of a god and had been thrown out of the team of good gods giving him reign for further havocs through the acts of those who fall prey to his manipulations. In the western part of Nigeria, the other name for that evil or DEVIL is ESU.
The Yorubas and Edos who both have a common origin refer to him as ESU and he is said to reside at T-junctions where his followers have always paid homage and offer sacrifices. To say that the Europeans introduced the concept of GOOD and BAD as per GOD and DEVIL as explained above is obviously wrong since early records have shown that the DEVIL has been consistently worshipped in different ancient customs all over the world and the EDO reference to the worship of ESU is not out of place. I hope I have been able to provide a little information on this and will be happy to provide a more in-depth response if the question could be reposted.
I found it very necessary to comment on your write-up below on GOOD versus EVIL and GOD versus DEVIL. In the concluding or last section of this particular part of the said writing, you wrote: "Since early records have shown that the DEVIL has been consistently worshipped in different ancient customs all over the world and the EDO reference to the worship of ESU is not out of place." Please note that the notion or idea of WORSHIP (per the dictionary denotations of the word) conveys REVERENCE, HOMMAGE, HONOR, ADMIRATION, and PRAISE for the thing or object that is being worshipped. Praying to the object or thing of worship is also an integral part of the essence of the practice.
My brother, I do not think WORSHIP is the appropriate word for or portrayal of that kind of practice as it relates to the Edos. The Edos, as I know, have never worshipped and will not worship the DEVIL (ESU). We only give or offer to the DEVIL things that are usually bad. During such offering or giving, the object of the practice, which of course is usually the devil, is often cursed or vilified. One would not worship anything of reverence with bad things as the Edo do to the DEVIL. It is only proper and fair to point out that when we, the Edos, give to the DEVIL, we offer things like severely burnt corn, thorns, badly prepared "obobo," (crumbs of smashed yam or plantain mixed with oil, salt, pepper, etc), and the other things we do not want. Such practice does not signify nor does it amount to a WORSHIP of the DEVIL.
The whole idea of giving to the DEVIL is to tell or make it and all the evil things that are associated with it to stay out of our ways. Therefore, such practice on the part of the Edo people is basically a mockery of the DEVIL and not in any way a worship. The Edos worship GOOD and GOD (Gods), not EVIL and DEVIL.
Please allow me as a practicing AFT( African traditional religion) to comment on this very complex topic.The yoruba/Edo position on Esu is very clear..There are 200 divinities created by God for the administration of the entire universe.They are said to be the members of God'.s divine council.Except one that is Esu. Esu he makes the numbers of the divinitie,201. He/she is as timeless as God. All the 200 divinities from the most senior SHANGO to the most Junior ORUNMILA Have followers and those who worship almighty God through them. Just like the Christians worship God through Jesus today.
Esu has no followers he/she is the ever present all powerful all knowing force that every creation of God, will have to cope with in your journey through life Jesus will attest to this. He Jesus was tempted by the Esu with God's approval. If you read the book of Job,God allowed Job's faith to be tested by Esu and God did appeal to Esu not to personally harm Job.
These are two cases, that shows two super forces at play. This is what brother Ben refers to as dualism. Esu does not create, but will mutilate any of God's creation that does not appease him/her,without consequences to ESU. He is that powerful. It appears to me, that, this appeasement, is what is being erroneously refered to as worship.
We Edos/yoruba do not worship Esu. We recognize his/her importance and role in the Divinosphere. For those of us who understand the importance of sacrificial Animals and Divination in mans destiny and existence on earth, with the right incantations and sacrifice,Esu is very helpful. Esu is not all evil if recognized. Esu really does not have an Elaborate shrine. A stone taken from a running river can act as a medium in the appeasement of Esu wit h a smelly he goat. Those of you who have completed your IFA/ORUNMILA initiation will notice that a medium was created to appease Esu. The reason is that IFA divination is more effective when Esu is appeased........ESU GBA.....Let us live ESU alone o o o
Thanks for coming out to shed more lights on this ESU thing. Your write-up on this matter further buttressed that the Edos do not and will never worship ESU or DEVIL. By the way, why is Alfred Ajose trying to say ESU is not DEVIL? Maybe he needs to come out again and clarify himself very well. He has confused me. Benjamin, why do you have to make us get headache trying to read your stuffs that we cannot even comprehend? Those buzeles you threw out were too much? You should have, first of all, given us crash courses in your Cosmological Entities and Cosmic Dynamism classes. I hope you will do that next time. Good job, brothers. Thanks.