Tuesday, November 20, 2018

India and Ancient America

One of the epics of India, the Ramayana, contains a chapter which tells of a remarkable journey through the centre of the earth.

Ancient Hanuman coin
During the battle against Ravana, the King of Lanka, Lord Rama and his brother Lakshman, two of the main protagonists of the tale, are captured by Mahiravana, the step-brother of the evil king. Guardian of a tunnel to Patala-loka (Patala – below the feet; and loka – abode or kingdom.) 

Mahiravana carried the brothers down into the bowels of the earth for a distance of 90,000 yoganas (a yogana equals approximately 12 kilometers or seven and a half miles.)

According to the legend, the tunnel went in a direct line, starting at the tip of peninsular India, through the center of the earth, and re-emerged at the other side, which would place it somewhere in South or Central America, possibly in the land of the Aztecs or the Inca. Indeed, in the epic, the land where they ended up is described as covered with gold. In the end, Hanuman rescues the brothers, they return to India, and continue their battle against Ravana.

This tale is just one of many that inspires writers to hypothesize about civilizational connections between India and ancient America.

For example, ancient Mexican Aztec doctrine of the World's Ages—the universe being destroyed four consecutive times—is reminiscent of the Indian Yugas. The Yuga system postulates that the time is divided into four repeating ages that differ in terms of spiritual qualities. Even the reputed colors of these mythical four ages, white, yellow, red and black are identical with and in the same order as one of the two versions of the Indian Yugas.
The Decimal system 

Another interesting similarity is the use of zero. The Mayas of Yucatan were the first people, besides the Indians, to use a zero sign and represent number values by the position of basic symbols. The similarity between the Indian zero and the Mayan zero is indeed striking. The decimal system and the use of zero was reputedly invented (and used first) by the Indian mathematician Brahmagupta. In 773, zero reached Baghdad where it became part of the Arabic number system, and later on, introduced to Europe by the Italian mathematician Fibonacci (c. 1170–1250), who grew up in North Africa.

Mayan numerals - 1 to 19
So far as the logical principle is concerned, the Indian and Mayan mathematical system and representation of zero are identical, but its expression is not. While the Indian system of notation is decimal (based on ten), the Mayan is on based on units of twenty. Consequently, their 100 stood for 400, while 1000 stood for 8000. Disputes about the common origin of these two numeric systems continue amongst scholars, in the absence of conclusive evidence. As chronological evidence stands today, the Mayan zero appears to be anterior by several centuries to its Hindu counterpart.
Mayan Numerals 20 to 29
Many other similarities exist, such as mythologies, rituals such as the use of fire, and even in temple architecture. 

Did a connection between India and America exist in the past? No one knows, but it does make for interesting discussion!

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