A Blog on Mythology and occasionally on Reality.

This is a Blog on Mythology, both Indian and World and especially the analysis of the myths.

In effect, the interpretation of the inherent Symbolism.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy Dooms-year!

If you have been hearing Happy New year since the last one week, then the heading of this article might sound erroneous or even offensive. Well the objective was not to offend, but to bring the most controversial aspect of the year 2012, which has been making headlines even before 2012 actually, arrived. The year 2012 is supposed to be the dooms-year as the world is supposed to come to an end, at least that’s what is made out of a certain prophesy of the Mayan’s. A recent Hollywood movie, titled 2012, also showed how the world would come to an end in the year 2012 after a series of unstoppable disasters and catastrophes.

So let’s start at the very beginning…..

Just who are/were the Mayans? The Mayans were the natives of the present day Mexico and Central America. They had a rich cultural and mythological heritage which was better known as the Mesoamerican civilization till the arrival of the colonial Spanish army. Some of them can still be found in the region of Gautemala, though much modernized and with a change of religion. According a certain prophesy of the Mayan’s, the world would come to an end in 2012, with the specific dates ranging from 21st Dec to 24th Dec 2012. How true is this?
So what happens to the civilization as it stands today? What happens to you and me? The only good thing that can happen to many of us is that we can stop paying our EMI’s, as what can anybody do in case of a default! But what if the prophecy is incorrect? In that case it is worth understanding the prophecy of the apocalypse.
The Mayan’s followed a complex calendar which was in existence before the world woke up to the present day Gregorian calendar. Like all ancient systems, this was based on certain local and mythological events which were of cyclical nature and the end of the calendar ushered in a new era. The calendar followed by the ancient Mayans was a combination of Tzolk’in implying count of days’ which gave 260 days. There are different versions of this system. The most accepted version being that the Mayans had followed a combination of 20 and 13, both of which were auspicious for the Mayans and if you multiply the two you get 260. Some even say that this period was derived by the Mayan midwives to predict the exact date of the birth of a baby, as the number coincides with the number of days of human pregnancy.
The Haab was the solar calendar followed by the Mayans, which was made up of 18 months of 20 days each, followed by five days of no name, which corresponded to the then similar calendar of the Egyptians leading to 365 days. But this was considered a bit inaccurate as the prediction of the seasons (and thus the harvest) was never accurate for the Mayans.
The calendar system gets slightly more complex and we will not delve in the same beyond this. It is important to understand that a combination of the above two concepts along with some more gave a count of a cycle. End of a cycle brought in the new cycle.
As per the Mayans, on the winter equinox on 21/12/2012, the present cycle ends. This does not imply the end of the world. Time is cyclical and the next cycle begins at the end of the previous one. However, for the Mayans an end of a cycle is auspicious and not many get to see the end of a cycle during one’s lifetime and the this is probably the first time many might be a part of the change of a calendar cycle from the modern times. This has made the subject all the more relevant.
What has been witnessed in the movie 2012, is a modern interpretation of the Biblical Noah’s Ark, which occurs in the year 2012 along with a dash of message of how humans were responsible for bringing an end to the world, but ends with an optimism, that some good souls will stay alive to see the new world emerge out of the man-made chaos! Except for the date 2012, it had nothing in common with the Mayan understanding, rather mis-understanding.
Before we conclude, I would like to leave my readers with one more aspect of the comparative nature of the subject. The Hindu scriptures also follows a concept of cycle of eras and one such prediction made by Lord Krishna in “Brahma-Vaivarta Purana” was that a Golden Period would start 5000 years after the beginning of the Kali Yuga and would last for about 10,000 years. According to the Hindu calendar, the Kali Yuga began on 18 February, 3102 BC. The Mayans are in their Fifth Great Cycle which began in 3114 BC and is to end on 21/12/2012. The difference of the beginning is just 12 years!
The slight difference in the usage of the calendars which were a combination of the lunar and solar calendars and given the difference of the number of days in the usage of the two different calendar systems, the difference could end up being quite minimal and who knows we could just be close to Lord Krishna’s prediction of the end of the Kali Yuga and the beginning of the Golden Period! What is interesting and amazing is the similarity of concepts and the following of similar calendars of historically two different cultures, which did not have any contact!
With this, let me assure each one of you, that we are surely not closed to the dooms day, but could just be on the threshold of a new era.
Here’s wishing all of you a very Happy New Year!!

No comments:

Post a Comment