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  • Writer's pictureAwo Ifasola Sangobolade

OROGBO ( bitter cola) spiritual significance.

OROGBO AKA: Bitter Kola ( Garcinia Kola)

The importance of orogbo during initiation process , sacrifice , propitiation of head , prayer and other essential spiritual endeavors cannot be quantified , The presence of orogbo depicts longevity for babalawo and all those around him . Just like for those who use orogbo in ritualistic form within IFA and orisas respectively.

Just like any other Yoruba words , the word ‘’orogbo ‘’ is coined and derived from two words – ‘’oro’’ and ‘’gbo’’ . Oro means very small , round , minute, tiny while , ‘’Gbo ‘’ means longevity , eternal , timeless, undying , everlasting , perpetual . When the two words are blended together , it becomes a unified and spiritually blessed word called Orogbo , which consequently means , a round fruits that attract longevity , everlasting blessing , enduring health and perpetual blessing of longevity .

During , initiations or any sacrificial offerings , or ritual or propitiation , orogbo is used to pray for longevity , sound health , peace , harmony , and happiness etc. Indeed , a man with the blessing of long life and sound health , so also his loved ones enjoy the same degree of health and longevity is indeed a blessed man.

it is a spiritual seed that establish the power of divinities with abundant trait of long life and sound health . However during initiations , or sacrifice or ajiki , which is early morning prayer , ifa devotees or seeker of truth through the tradition of ifa , are required to pray and eat part of this fruits , to serve as alignment with the force and natural energies embedded in the nature. IFA is a philosophy based on the use of natural materials in the nature . To render , positive comes in our lives.

The natural force of this blessed fruit aligned with the vibration of the body transmute and trigger or induced abundant spiritual force in the whole body thereby attaining secretly the sound health the body require to attain normal health. Every spiritual consciousness is quiet and invisible, just like the function of orogbo use it as prayer and eating small parts. Can trigger secretly the power of Olodumare in our live and enjoyment of the support of the numerous divinities . The prayer using orogbo and eating a fraction part with iwure –that is prayer , means blessing , prosperity , abundant life , success , longevity and sound health .

While obi is perceived to be a female fruit energy , or female fruits , that give birth to male and female alike , Orogbo is a male fruit energy that fail to have lobes or parts like Obi has within it lobes or halves. Orogbo can be cut into pieces either by ones teeth or a knife , it has no parts. It is whole one singular piece . That is tough to penetrate it body without force. This is very indicative of the natural toughness and ruggedness of the bitter kola or orogbo. While obi is easily breakable with just hand/ or digging into it with your nails . Which splits the connected halves . Obi has more of a vibrational energy which denotes the feminine part of the universal forces or energies. Orogbo represents the dominant energy of Olodumare with unique characteristics of solidity , strength , firmness and oneness many energies as aspects in the universe .

Orogbo symbolizes unilateral force of Olodumare which means life in abundance , wisdom in abundance , strength in abundance , victory in abundance , longevity and sound health in abundance . It also means , blessing prosperity and strength to all race , color , and religion without discrimination . Orogbo also denotes that life in any way cannot be explained or invented except through divine and spiritual understanding and wisdom . Every understanding or wisdom is unique , orogbo represents the uniqueness of spiritual wisdom and divine understanding of how unseen forces of Olodumare work in the life of earthily humanbiengs . Orogbo becomes a divine and spiritual fruits which is connected with life through a divine order of things . Manifesting in the natural fruits and blended in the lives of men through the firmness of Olodumare and his numerous divinities .

Orogbo represents the power of OLODUMARE and his mysterious character with enigmatic attributes of unified power , unilateral force and undiluted vibration . Divine attributes cannot be explained through human understanding. For the mind cant not understand fully things that are beyond mind stuff. So just like Olodumare uniqueness is absolute above human understanding , the presence of orogbo to attract healing , longevity and sound health is beyond human comprehension and explanation . Orogbo represents solidity , undivided , and shrewd manner by which OLODUMARE in his infinite nature contact men in their waking state .

Orogbo represents through foundation , it represents through divine forces and spiritual vibration of the omni-potent , mere having this fruits at home represent eternal force of Olodumare to enrich our lives with longevity , sound health and victory against all evils and evil manipulation of AJOGUN ORUN ( the evil forces of heaven ) that is the reason for a song praise and the below popular adage.

Mo ti je orogbo , ki ohun mi le gbo kekeke ni isalu aye

Orogbo lo wa mu ni gbo saye

Sebi odundun lari orogbo

Odundun lari obi Lori ate

Odundun bayi ni ki a ma wa titi

Mo ti jorogbo lode isalaye

E jeki gbo gbo gbo

E jeki dagba , dagba

E jeki ferigi jobi

Ki fopa tile gereje-gereje

Ki to ló si iwala orisa


Translation of above verse

I have tasted and eaten orogbo in the physical state of existence

Let my voice and my life attract longevity and sound health in the universe

The force behind Orogbo gives us the power to enjoy longevity in the universe

Yearly , we set our eyes on orogbo

Yearly , we set our eyes on obi at the market place

I have eaten orogbo in the physical existence

Let me live long , live old and live well in the world

Let me live a life dignifies of an ifa devotees

Before joining my ancestors


The above song praise is supported with the below verse of ifa . It indeed reinforces the existence and the power of orogbo as an embodiment of longevity and sound health which the ancient ifa priest and priestess and their various devotees had been used to prolong lives in the physical plain of existence .

according to the holy verse of

irosun owonrin:

Okun sun are nare

Osa su legbe legbe

Onibu nrebu

Alas an ni rasan

Asan naa paapaa

Awo ori ota

Awon agbaagba imole lo wo gbeyin

Won rip e ko suwon

Won subu yege

Won fi rungbo diya

Won firun dinu peepee pee

Won mu ogun orogbo

Won mu ogun obi

Won fi difa fun isese

Eyi tii se olori oro ni ife

Won tun um otalenigba din lerin

A difa fun isese

Eyi ti se olori oro ni isalu orun

A difa fun sango arabambi

Orisa ti bologbo leru

Ajisaye gbege loko iya olorogbo

Sango ooo , orisa to loju orogbo

Ma ba mi já , da eko iya mi nu

Jeki PE laye , bi orogbo se npe

Jeki ferigi jobi

Ki wa fi opa tile gejegeje

Ifa o gbo o

Orunmila o gbo

Ela osin o gbo

Edumare tire lemi o ma se


Translation of the above verse

The ocean is expansive and extensive with infinite characteristics

The sea is mysterious and nebulous

The deep ocean is unclear , un-explorable and fill with mystery

The deep sea share the same character

Inexplicable belongs to the realm of divinities

Thus divine ifa oracle for the mysterious head stone of ages

The elder look aback

They discovered the mystery embedded in life were inexplicable

They bowed their head in prayer and respect

Shave their beads as an obeisance to the divinity

Open their mouth in awe , calling the mysterious name of the Almighty

Using first twenty sets of orogbo

Gathering twenty sets of obi

Using them to cast ifa oracle for custodian of tradition

The mysterious head chief of ifa oracle at the ancient city of Ife

The elder also gather another set of two hundred fifty six orogbo

To cast ifa oracle for custodian of tradition

The chief priest of tradition at the spiritual place of existence

Thus divine ifa oracle for sango arabambi

The divinity that intimidate death and her cohort

The lord strong in battle , blessed with long life

The formidable husband of orogbo seller

Oh yee sango

The divinity that have the unique eyes of orogbo

Never attack me and never destroy the wares of my mother

Let me live long , like orogbo , in the physical state of existence

Let me use my molar teeth to eat kolanuts

Let me reach old age with sound health and walk with stick

Ifa , let your blessing radiate my life

Ela let your success be my lot

Oh God , bless my path , I shall serve you and adore you forever


The above verse shows the importance of orogbo , not just a special fruits of life , but an embodiment of longevity , prosperity , sound health and success are given by OLODUMARE and his numerous divinity from the beginning of creation .

IFA also states in various verses that Orunmila went back to search for the fruits of orogbo , in an attempt to ensure eternal life in the physical state of existence . But Esu which always liked to be disturbing Orunmila . Stated that if , people started to feel like eternal life was a real reachable thing. What would stop everyone form feeling will feel like God .

If they never , grow and ripen then wither away like all of nature and other fruits, seeds, plants ? Death according to esu is one of the way , men look up to God for salvation and delivery from fear of death. Indeed , life of every man should follow the natural law of birth , growth , maturation old age and then crossing to the land of ancestors . The explanation of Esu was established on the premise of one fact, that life implies death . For all the is created must one day go back to it source.

Those who fail to grow either in stature , knowledge and understanding and wisdom remain like immovable object in the universe, such as mountain and hills . Esu says , those who faithfully follow Olodumare and His numerous divinity with sound discipline during their life time will be guided and blessed with long life and good health. They will be called the disciples of Olodumare , Eni Orisa , the follower of wisdom – onimo ifa . While those who fail to recognize their own existence and lack discipline in the ways stated above would . Attract the early penalty of death , suffering , losses, and generation curse. The beginning of life starts from OLODUMARE and the end is with Him , hence start your day and end your day with OLODUMARE , that is God , start your life and end your life with God . Esu says , just like earthly life is filled with happiness and joy , remember that destruction and woos are present and in surplus in the same fashion .

Ignorance brings self destruction , knowledge of universal order of things through the tradition of ifa brings longevity , sound health and victory . Just like the weeds and the plant are available for the foolish and the wise , likewise the way to self destruction and victory are available to Ogbeeri – the fool , and The wise –awo . The physical level and the spiritual level need a constant maintenance , that is , there must be flow of energy , lives and soul between the two level of existence The two levels or planes being that of the living and that of the dead or heavenly realms.

Orunmila although annoyed by esu statement on the matter . Also agreed with esu that live should concluded with the ending of death i.e consist of the two planes. But advised esu that to minimize suffering , people must live to old age , to be able to take care of their loved ones , to be able to serve others, serve Irunmole and serve the Omni-Potent OLODUMARE , hence How then can we achieve this ? Through , initiations, propitiation , sacrifices, rituals , prayer , discipline , effort , spiritual and physical educations , and sustenance of tradition of IFA , all these combined are well articulated and analyzed through the use of Orogbo , the fruits of life and longevity .

According to IFA verse under ogbe ofun

Ifa jebo naa o fin

Ela jebo naa o rode orun gbure gbure

Isu dape jale

O npo apa

Akere dapa tele

O pojo

Omo kekeke ni soro fun agbalagba

Ki won o le baa rohun muje

Owo ni siwaju ijo

Opolopo oro ibanuje ni siwaju ija

Orogbo asiwaju ebo

Orogbo a siwaju ebo emi gigun

Mo ti wa jorogbo , ko hun mi legbo

Egbe mi lorun , e wa gborogbo jê

Ki egbe aye , ki o le pe lori ilê isalaye

Mo ti forogbo Fe gbe , ki le pe laye

Ifa , mo ti se etutu , forisa , ki le fowo pawun

Ela oba bami tamori se

Ela o pitan

Bi oko ba da , alegbede ni ntun se

Ela o pitan ,o ba ba mi tamori se ,

Ela opita

Bi Ada ba da , alegbede ni ntun se

Ela o pitan , o ba ba mi tamori se

Ela o pitan

Translation of the above verse

Ifa let my sacrifice be accepted

Ela let my ritual goes up to the heaven above

The yam grows into tuber during planting

The toad toil and stand on the ground

And call for heavy rain to moist the ground

The little children after propitiation and sound spiritual and physical education grow

And offer ritual and gratitude to the elders

Such that the elders would not suffer with old age

The young supports the elder and fend for them at old age

Stretching forward of the hand precede dancing

Evil utterance and nagging precede dispute and chaos

The fruits of orogbo precedes all sacrifice

Eating of orogbo precedes longevity

I have eaten orogbo , let me have a strong voice , sound health and long life

The heavenly mates have accepted my sacrifice of orogbo

Let the earthily companion be blessed with longevity and sound health

I have given sacrifice to my heavenly or spiritual mates

Let me live long in the plain of existence

I have given orogbo to divinity

Let all divinities support my cause

Ela the greatest historian and the sage

Repair and remold my destiny

Whenever the hoe breaks , we give it to blacksmith for repairing

Oh ye , Ela , the illuminated ones, attract greatness , success and blessing to me

Whenever the cutlass breaks

We give it to the blacksmith to repair

Oh , ye Ela , the historian of humanity , bless me with abundant success , progress and wealth

Ela opitan repair and remold my destiny

Let my destiny fulfill his mission at all level of existence


Orogbo according to above explanation is an object that represents the uniqueness and unified energy and vibration of Olodumare in our lives . If all necessary spiritual , physical , mental , moral and emotional obligation are followed , a happy lot of , success , longevity and sound health will be our lot , that is the meaning spiritual significance of Orogbo within in our tradition .

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