This article is a part of a series of articles on individuals described in the Vedas, Epics and Puranas, with the name 'Maya' and related concepts like 'Maaya'. Their connection with the Meso American Mayans too is explored in detail. Read the main article:- Danava Maya and Mayans of America
Indian Maayans and the Meso American Maayans
It is impossible to ignore the etymological similarity of Maya with the Maayans of Meso America. The Mayan civilization is known for their astronomical systems (like the Mayan calender) and predictions based on them.
There are also many direct and indirect evidence showing the interaction of ancient Indians with Meso America through ancient sea-trade networks in huge Indian ships capable of carrying 500 or more people. Besides this, Human Genome Project shows a north-eastern migration starting from India, through Tibet, Mongolia, Russia, North America, Meso America and South America.Analyzing the ancient Indian literature, this migration could be identified with the Naga-Suparna, Danava-Deva migration from ancient India in the north-eastern direction mentioned in the Indian scriptures.
Factors favoring Indian origin of Meso American Maayans
Ancient Indian culture is the only culture containing extensive reference to Maya (skt.), Maaya (skt.) and Mayan (tamil). Reference of Maya is found in Sanskrit and Tamil literature. The total number of individual references to Maya and Maaya numbers more than 200. The total number of passages describing Maya in these texts would be equal or greater than those found in the literature of Meso American Mayans themselves. Ancient India is the place of origin of decimal system and the number zero allowing astronomical calculations for which both ancient Indians and Meso American Mayans are famous for. Their calanders are better than Gregorian calender in accuracy and in antiquity (starting since around 3100 BCE, around 5100 years old).
Indian ships were capable of navigating long distances in Indian ocean, which could easily take them to Meso America, creating settlements there. Plenty of architectural and cultural similarities exist in Meso American and Indian culture, such as similarities in temple architecture, Naga (serpent) worship, cyclic concept of time, calenders starting precisely around 3100 BCE and many more.
Ancient Indian's skill in Sea Navigation
Baron Alexander von Humbolt an eminent European scholar and anthropologist, was one of the first to postulate the Asiatic origin of the Indian civilizations of the Americas.
Ancient Indian ships in Pacific ocean
Dr. Robert Heine Geldern anthropologist, has written that: "Those who believe the ancient peoples of Asia were incapable of crossing the ocean have completely lost sight of what the literary sources tell us concerning their ships and their navigation. Many of the peoples of Southeastern Asia had adopted Indian Hindu-Buddhist civilizations. The influences of the Hindu-Buddhist culture of southeast Asia in Mexico and particularly, among the Maya, are incredibly strong, and they have already disturbed some Americanists who don't like to see them but cannot deny them."
"Ships that could cross the Indian Ocean were able to cross the Pacific too. Moreover, these ships were really larger and probably more sea-worthy than those of Columbus and Magellan."
Ships from India to China
Dr Baron Robert Freiherr von Heine Geldern (1885 - 1968) and Gordon F. Ekholm (1909 - 1987):- "Ships of size that carried Fahien from India to China (through stormy China water) were certainly capable of proceeding all the way to Mexico and Peru by crossing the Pacific. One thousand years before the birth of Columbus Indian ships were far superior to any made in Europe up to the 18th century."
Ships, world maps and geographic surveys
Buddhist Jataka stories wrote about large Indian ships carrying seven hundred people. In the Artha Sastra, Kautilya wrote about the Board of Shipping and the Commissioner of Port who supervised sea traffic. The Harivamsa informs that the first geographical survey of the world was performed during the period of Vaivasvata. The towns, villages and demarcation of agricultural land of that time were charted on maps. Brahmanda Purana provides the best and most detailed description of world map drawn on a flat surface using an accurate scale. Padma Purana says that world maps were prepared and maintained in book form and kept with care and safety in chests.
Ancient Indian presence in other parts of the world
Edward Pococke (1604–1691) English Orientalist has asserted that Greek civilization, is a local variation of an Indian culture taken to Greece by early colonists from India. This inference can also be derived by making a comparison of Iliad and Odyssey with Mahabharat and Ramayana, where we find continuation of the Danava tribe mentioned in Mahabharata, migrated to Turkey and Greece as the Danaans mentioned extensively in the Greek texts. See my analysis here
Edward Pococke has also written that the:"The Peruvians and their ancestors, the Indians, are in this point of view at once seen to be the same people.". Sir William Jones (1746-1794) opined:- "Rama is represented as a descendant from the sun, as the husband of Sita, and the son of a princess named Causelya. It is very remarkable that Peruvians, whose Incas boasted of the same descent, styled their greatest festival Rama-Sitva; whence we may take it that South America was peopled by the same race who imported into the farthest of parts of Asia the rites and the fabulous history of Rama."
Ephraim George Squier (1821-1888) comparing the temples of India, Java and Mexico, wrote nearly a hundred years ago: "a proper examination of these monuments would disclose the fact that in their interior as well as their exterior form and obvious purposes, these buildings (temples in Palanque, Mexico) correspond with great exactness to those of Hindustan…" Squier further wrote: "The Buddhist temples of Southern India, and of the islands of the Indian Archipelago, as described to us by the learned members of the Asiatic Society and the numerous writers on the religious and antiquities of the Hindus, correspond with great exactness in all their essential and in many of their minor features with those of Central America."
Sir Stamford Raffles (1781-1826):- "the great temple of Borobudur in Java might readily be mistaken for a Central American temple."
Alaska and Mexico
Professor Fredrick W Putnam (1839 - 1915):- He found in the jungles of Honduras a sculpture which greatly resembles Buddha. According to the July, 1901 issue of American Harper's Magazine, it has been proved with evidence that five Buddhist monks had reached Mexico in ancient times, via Alaska.
Similarity in calenders
B.G. Sidharth:- "It is also interesting to note that the Mayan calendar began with a date around 3112 B.C., very close to the Hindu traditional beginning of the Kali Yuga/Age viz., 3102 B.C."
Mayan calendar depend on planet Venus (Sukra, the Asura Guru) while Indian calender depend on planet Jupiter (Brihaspati, the Deva Guru). This is the reason why in India the festival Kumbhamela is celebrated once in 12 years when Jupiter enters the sign of Kumbha (Aquarius).
In the “Brahma-Vaivarta Purana”, Krishna tells Ganga that a Rta Yuga will come after the Kali Yuga 5,000 years after the beginning of the Kali Yuga. It is interesting that this prediction of the emergence of a new world is prophesied to appear about the same time that the Mayans predicted it to come! The Mayan calendar began with the Fifth Great Cycle in 3114 BC and will end on 21 December 2012 AD. The Hindu Kali Yuga calendar began on 18 February 3102 B.C. There is only a difference of 12 years between the Hindu's beginning of the Kali Yuga and the Mayan's beginning of the Fifth Great Cycle.
The ancient Indians used both lunar calendars solar calendars. An average lunar year equals 354.36 days. This would be about 5270 lunar years from the time when the Kali Yuga started until 21 Dec 2012. This is the same year that the Mayans predict rebirth of our planet. It is also about 5113 solar years of 365.24 days per year, and is day number 1,867,817 into the Kali Yuga. By either solar or lunar years, we are over 5,000 years into the Kali Yuga and it is time for Krishna's prophecy to happen according to the ancient Hindu scriptures. It is amazing that both calendars began at about the same time over 5,000 years ago and both calendars predict a totally new world and/or golden age after about 5,000 years into their calendars!
This could mark a new awakening of India (Bharata) which will once again start to recollect its ancient glory as if waking up from a dream and start the foundations for a new age of knowledge and scientific temper.