On the banks of River Usumacinta in South Mexico is a river on lie many great cities of the Mayan civilization. This grand river is said to have been named after the Sacred Howler Monkey God. The name simply means ‘Sacred Monkey’, Usuma meaning ‘monkey’, and ‘cinta’ sacred in Mayan language. However, it seems that this name was given to the river at a time when the name of the Monkey God was already forgotten. Surely the monkey god must have had a name.

Native stories and legends do not shed any light on what that name might have been. But descriptions of Patala Loka, identified as Central America, more specifically the Peten Basin of Mexico, do exist in the scriptures of India.

The Mahabharata describes a tribe by the name ‘Yaksha’, which inhabited India and Sri Lanka in the ancient times.  However,  it is believed that the Yakshas later traveled from Sri Lanka, then called Lanka, to many parts of the world and finally settled in Patala loka, that is South America. The Vishnu Purana states that the Yakshas may have in fact originated from Patala-Loka though they were well known in India and travelled between the two parts of the world. The Vishnu Purana also states that the Yakshas built magnificent temples and palaces in Patala Loka.

The Yaksha tribe had kinship to the Rakshasa tribe. Ravana, the demonic Rakshasa King who ruled Lanka, mentioned in the Indian epic ‘Ramayana’, was the brother of Kubera, king of the Yakshas. Ravana and Kubera were brothers born to two different mothers. 

Gene Matlock, a scholar of Mayan studies, says that, “One of the largest tribes in South America, the Guaraní, derive their collective name from Kuvarani, that is, they were ‘Kubera’s People’. 

When Sita, the wife of the God-King Sri Rama, was abducted by Ravana, it was suspected that Sita might have been taken away to Patala Loka, the kingdom of Ravana’s brother, Kubera. Sugreeva, the vanara-chief, directs his vanara-commander Vinata to scour for Sita in the realm of Udaya Giri, which was to be reached by crossing five oceans travelling from the eastern coast of India. Udaya Giri has been identified as being located in the Mountain Ranges of Central and South America here.

However, Sita is ultimately traced to the Ashoka Vatika in Lanka by another vanara or monkey-chief by the name Hanuman. It is at this point that Hanuman rises in stature as it is he who leads the mission that finally succeeds in tracing and carry out the release of Sita from captivity.

Sita was said to have been the daughter of Mother Earth, produced as a result of the holy union between the king and the land. This has been equated with her having been born on the other side of the earth from India, which was South America. In the closing chapters of the Ramayana, Sita returns to Earth, though the description of her boarding a vehicle which spews fire as she returns to her birthplace travelling through the earth seems to indicate that she may have been returning to Patala Loka.

If Sita was the daughter of the Kingdom of Patala Loka, and Hanuman, a vanara or monkey-commando had facilitated her release from the clutches of Ravana, that must have resulted in establishing Hanuman as a hero in her maternal home and given rise to the legend of the Sacred Monkey God. However, that story is forgotten in Patala Loka, the centre of the Mayan Civilization. Yet, that legend is hidden in the name Usumacinta.

River Usumacinta passes along numerous Mayan ruins, including the partially restored city of Yaxchilán, (pronounced Yaksha-shilan). It is evident from the information contained in the Vishnu Purana that the city was built by Yakshas.

Another city that the Yakshas perhaps built was Oxwitik, popularly known as Copan. It is here that you see the sculpture of the Sacred Monkey God, who carries a mace in his hand like Hanuman!

The Howler Monkey God of Copan or Oxwitik
is the Hanuman of Ramayana.

The Yakshas and the Vanaras share a kinship. According to the Ramayana, the Vanaras were created by taking genetic material from the Kinnaras, Gandharvas, Rakshasas and Yakshas, all of whom were human like but non-human celestial tribes.

More readings:
New Zealand and the Paracas Trident of Peru-The Ramayana Connection.


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