The Mayan civilization had 166-250 gods and a very complicated pantheon. Their Gods are even subject to change. They had Gods on every aspect of life like for birth, for death, ball game, pregnant woman, travel, trade, age, youth, health, suicide, wild nature, suicide, agriculture, creation and even gambling. They were either male or female or both. They can be aged or youths few times good but sometimes evil depending on the situation. They had deities for every occasion. According to Professor Robert Sharer the ancient civilization of Maya believed everything was sacred. Due to the difficulty of interpretation, Maya civilization was not studied by the previous observers. The important Mayan Gods are as follows:
1. Itzamma- Itzamma is the god of creativity and is the father of Bacabs who held the corners of the world. He is the teacher of medicine and crafts. He is the highest god often called Hunab Ku and the sun god Kinich Ahau. So the Mayan civilization had a close relation to science and creativity. Itzamma can also be called the god of science of creation and innovation.
2. Yum Kaax- He is the nature god and also of the flora and fauna. He is worshipped by hunters and farmers. So again we find a close relation to geographical science where the Mayan people worship the nature god for their survival.
3. Maize God- This God of Mayans was present both in male and female form. The female deity was uncomplicated and vegetative whereas the male deity was strong and powerful. He symbolized maize, cacao, beans and jade. He was the god of scribal arts, dancing and feasting. During festivals of life and death, the Mayans dressed up as the Maize god. So again an indication of agricultural science where the Mayans worship the crops.
4. Kinich Ahau- He is the Mayan sun god. This also meant a royal title given to kings who were thought to be divine. He is present in many Mayan carvings and pyramids also known as Mayan codices as God G. So the Mayans worshipped Sun as they knew the sun was the center of all planets and creation. By this we can well imagine the advancement of science during that age.
5. Ix Chel- She is the goddess of medicine and of creating children. She is portrayed as an old woman. Hence a relation with medical science. The Mayans were developed in terms of medicine and worshipped it.
6. Chaac- He is the rain god. He is shown as goggled-eyed and is a very important diety. He symbolizes cardinal aspect of colors with his four fold features. He was the bringer of rain, thunder and lightning. So the Mayans were aware of the phenomenon of the earth and worshipped rain for their agriculture.
7. Kukulkan- He is the serpentine god and has feathers. He was also worshipped by the Aztecs and other civilizations. He was the god of peaceful trading helped by the priests. He was given human sacrifices. In case we this we see that a number of civilizations worshipped him. This might suggest that both the Aztecs and the Mayan came in contact with these deities and appreciated their supernatural powers thus worshipping them.
Relation between mythology and science:
The above mentioned deities were the most important of the Mayan gods. If we have a close look into this, we can understand that these were somewhat related to science or what we call extraterrestrial beings. One particular deity was worshipped by more than one civilization so it is quite certain that they share a common origin. These probably could be the extraterrestrial beings or the aliens who came in earth during the ancient civilizations. As expected they might be quite well advanced and taught these people technologies. We have the mention of medicine gods and creativity.
The Mayans held the belief that the earth was flat with four powerful Gods holding each corner of the earth who represented the four directions. According to their beliefs, heaven was a 13 layer place above the earth. Each layer had its own god. Below the earth was underworld called Xibalba which was a cold and unhappy place. It was further divided into nine layers represented by death god for each. They believed that when they died in natural cause, their spirits went to underworld and had to toil through all the levels to get to abode. If someone died in childbirth or battle field, then they directly went to heaven. Spirituality: They were pure animists. They thought even non- living things were imbued from a divine force. They thought that all creatures on earth deserved respect even a tree. Each of the Mayan people had a guide called Wayob who would show them the spiritual path. These Wayobs appeared in the dreams of Mayan people in the form of animals to help them. The entire world was a spiritual force to them. These spirits were helpful and required amusements.
The Mayans believed that time is a cycle which rotates. It was quite similar to the modern views of time rap. The cycle of creation and destruction rotates. Even seasons rotate. They believed in life after death. Maize was quite significant to them and their central god is the maize god and the lifespan of the maize plant was the spirit of their religion. This indicates that the Mayans were heavily dependent on the maize crop. Even the life of these people was bound in cycles tied to the middle of Mayan calendar.
Their calendar was similar to ours and they had 365 days in a year. They had two types calendar namely the solar cycle and the long count calendar of 260 days. They tried to find clues of future and motivation related to prophets by the cyclic calendar. The priests played an important role fixing the dates for rituals and festivals. The priests were skilled mathematicians and astronomers who kept a record of calendars and cycles. Patterns of the universe were traced by the cycle of planets.
All the information was then given to their ruler or the king. The priests acted as the foretellers of future by the sense gods imparted to the extraterrestrial patterns. This was the common belief of the Mayans.
Thus we can understand that the ancient civilizations were quite advanced in every aspect and drew the link between science and mythology. Quite attention-grabbing!!! Right? Stay tuned for more such eye catching articles. We will be back soon but till then stay safe. Have a nice day ahead.
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