Hindu Mythology In Pre-Columbian Art

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The drawing by Daniela Epstein-Koontz, is of a ball court relief panel from the archaeological site of El Tajin, in Veracruz Mexico.  My study would strongly argue that this ballcourt relief panel represents a pre-Columbian version of a Hindu creation scene, known as, The Churning of the Milk’s Ocean, often depicted in Hindu art.

 

The prevailing anthropological view of ancient New World history is that its indigenous peoples developed their own complex cultures independent of outside influence or inspiration.  Any suggestions to the contrary have been generally dismissed as either fanciful, racist, or demeaning. The peoples of the New World, scholars have argued,  were fully capable of developing their own civilizations as sophisticated as any found in Asia or the West. Today trans-oceanic contact between the hemispheres is still considered highly unlikely despite the exception of the Viking outpost discovered in Newfoundland in the 1960’s, and the recent awareness that early humans reached far distant Australia by boat as many as 50,000 years ago. After viewing the visual evidence presented below, readers of this study may wish to challenge this view of New World history with a more open-minded acknowledgement of the capability of ancient peoples to explore their environment and disperse their intellectual heritage to its far corners. 

The Churning of the Milk Ocean myth is told in several ancient Hindu texts, in which the  Vedic god Vishnu is the sea tortoise depicted as the pivot point for Mt. Mantara acting as the churning stick. At the suggestion of Vishnu, the gods, and demons churn the primeval ocean with the help of a serpent, in order to obtain Amrita, (which is the Amanita muscaria mushroom I would argue) which will guarantee them immortality.  Among the ancient Maya the Turtle has been identified with rebirth, and the shell with divinity. In the creation mythology of the ancient Maya the first created image was the turtle constellation Ac, identified as the three stars (hearthstones of creation?) of the belt of Orion (Brennan,1998 p.93).  

 

In the drawing above note the dual headed serpent at the bottom of the scene on the right and left, emerging from the ocean’s depth. The turtle at the bottom of the scene, an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu acts as the central pivot point, below the churning mechanism which is composed of an intertwined serpent being pulled at both ends by sky deities (four cardinal directions) who create the new born sun (Vishnu ?), the arrows in the scene representing what will be the sun’s rays of light. If this ballcourt scene does represent Hindu mythology, and I am certain that it does, than the two deities behind the central characters hold jars of Soma in their hands. 

For more evidence and visual study of Trans-Pacific Contacts read SOMA IN THE AMERICAS: by Carl de Borhegyi

http://www.mushroomstone.com/somaintheamericas.htm

 

 

 

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