The Concept of Arialusi in Edo Religion

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The Department of Religions, University of Ilorin.


The existential experience of Arialusi to the people of Edo is a priori real and a minute-to-minute phenomenon in their consciousness. To the Edo, metaphysical issues are attempts to understand the universe by means of logical investigation of reality rather than an empirical inquiry based on sensory evidence. Thus, the metaphysical issue as evident in Arialusi is a law of retribution and a hidden force, when activated by human conduct and external stimulus, produces corresponding effects either good or bad, fortune or misfortune, happiness or suffering. It is also a cosmic law of justice, which holds that one’s life is determined by the performance in the previous life. Thus, this paper adopted religio-cosmological and mythicoexegetical methods of investigating Arialusi as having the propensity for religious, philosophical and sociological implications. It is revealed that Arialusi and reincarnation have simultaneous togetherness, and their diverse strength takes full advantage of spiritual association and easily recreates human awareness as the ritual performance is ethno-centric in nature. This paper therefore postulates that Arialusi is a never-ending process of life and lies in the acceptance of the need for a corrective process of experimentation with our own experience, and this presupposes our readiness to admit openly our errors and to also learn from them. To this end, Arialusi is not deterministic as it is binding upon the recalcitrant, but it is an eternal and immutable law of nature. It has its own reward, so also it has its seat in the soul of every human being.



Edo, Religion, Arialusi, Reincarnation, Freewill