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What The Mayan Universe Is Like

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According to the carving, The Mayan Cosmos, the Mayan universe was based on the belief of heaven and hell. The world is represented by a tree, where the roots represent hell; the trunk, the middle world or earth, where humans or people inhabit; and the upper parts of tree reach to the heavens (65). The tree is similar to the cross and Lord Pakal is similar to Jesus. It seems like he is being sacrificed on tree. Lord Pakal must have been someone very important to the Mayan society, to be honored with a sarcophagus. So his journey in the afterlife was just as important as his life in middle earth.

In the carving, a serpent represents the entrance to the underworld (64). The serpent symbolizes evil, much like our universe where we relate the snake or serpent to sinful and immoral. The snake seems to eat up the central figure, Lord Pakal, as he dies and leaves the middle world.

The sky or heavens have cravings that seem to represent the stars and constellations like Milky Way (65). There is a bird, like an angel, helps the gods with the creation of the world.

The Mayans believe that death followed a cycle, where one had to face the challenges of hell before their spirit could enter heaven. They liken this to the sun, where they must face darkness before seeing the light (65). Thus Lord Pakal’s journey came full circle as he goes through the underworld to his eventual resurrection as a god (65).



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