TAWANTINSUYO, THE INCAN EMPIRE – SANSKRIT CONNECTION

In the Incan tradition the cult of the Sun is portrayed as supreme. The chief temple in Cusco region, the Coricancha, (Sanskritized spelling: KoriKancha) is dedicated to the Sun and the Incan rulers prided themselves on being the descendants of the Sun God. In Sanskrit, Korit-Kanchan (कोरित- काञ्चन) means ‘scraped out gold’ or ‘sculpted gold’. ‘Kanch’ (कञ्च्) also means ‘shine’.

Tawantinsuyo is often translated as ‘Four Quarters or Four Regions’ from the native Quenchua language. But, if the fact that the Incans were worshippers of the Sun-God be kept in mind, one may decode the word ‘Tawantinsuyo’ differently, with the aid of Sanskrit.

The first syllable may be ‘Tapan’ and not ‘Tawan’. Tapan, (तपन) which means ‘Sun’, ‘warmth’ or ‘heat’ also has to do with ‘meditation’, ‘penance’ and ‘austerity’. ‘Ati’ (अति) means ‘beyond’, ‘surpass’, ‘extreme’ – ‘One who surpasses the brilliance or warmth’ of the Sun’. ‘Sut’ (सुत) means ‘born of’ or ‘offspring’. ‘Tapan-ati-suta would translate roughly as ‘Born of the Great Sun’ or its equivalent. Interestingly, ‘sUt’ (सूत) also means ‘Sun’. ‘Tawantinsuyo’ could be a distortion of any of these words and still combine to make perfect sense.

In the Vedic tradition, Lord Indra himself is also known as ‘Tapastaksha’ (तपस्तक्ष) . ‘Viracocha’, (वीरकोच) one of the Gods followed by the Incans, is often equated with the Vedic God, Indra. For more details on the Sanskrit Connection to the name ‘Viracocha’ click here.


In India, the name ‘Tapansuta’ (तपनसुता) is another name of the River Yamuna, which is regarded as ‘Daughter of Sun God’.

Suggested Links:

1.  THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION TO THE TEMPLE OF CORICANCHA, PERU 

2.  THE COSMOLOGY OF THE INCANS 

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