KING PACAL AND THE DATE 4772 AD
Poor Pacal. Thanks to the fabulous artwork on his sarcophagus lid, he is easily the most famous, or at least the most recognizable, of all Mayan monarchs.
But everyone gets his name wrong. When the early Spanish explorers reached Palenque, the local Maya told them legends of a mysterious wise man called Pacal Votan. Even though the legend seems to have little to do with the actual king, the name stuck, and now the poor guy – under the name Pacal Votan -- gets channeled as often as Nostradamus or Cleopatra.
Also, thanks to some of the extraordinary symbolism on his sarcophagus, he has frequently been mistaken for an alien cosmonaut piloting a flying saucer.
Some guys have all the luck.
His real name was K’inich Janaab Pakal. The word k’inich is common among Mayan kings; it means “sun-faced” or “radiant,” and it has a lot to do with the Mayan idea that the eyes, far from being simply passive receptors of light, have power like the sun. The meaning of the word janaab is a bit unclear, but pakal means shield. He was born on the highly auspicious day 8 Ahau in the year we call 603 CE. If it seems a bit odd that the most famous of all kings should be born on such an extraordinary day, take a look at my blog called “The Birthing of Kings.” It is entirely possible that Mayan midwives knew how to manipulate a pregnancy in order to arrive at a specific birth date.
After a long and spectacular reign distinguished by many military victories, he died in 683 and was buried in one of the most stunning of all Mayan pyramids, the Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque. The arcane symbolism on his sarcophagus lid has led some folks to perceive him as an ancient astronaut. In fact, he is shown climbing the World Tree, preparing to enter the Otherworld by way of the Dark Rift in the Milky Way, commonly known as the Galactic Center. He may very well be bound for the planet Jupiter, which was a planet symbolizing kingship to the ancient Maya just as it is in Western astrology.
After he was buried, the top of the pyramid was sealed with a small temple containing one of the longest hieroglyphic inscriptions in the Mayan world. Since our friend Pakal was safely buried by the time the final temple was added to the top, it is likely that many of the inscriptions are in fact the work of his son, Kan Bahlam II (Serpent Jaguar). This monarch, whose short reign (684-702) left us with most of Palenque’s most stunning buildings, was also highly esoteric in his knowledge of the Calendar; perhaps it was he who left us with this great mystery.
Among the many passages of hieroglyphics carved into the walls of the temple, the inscription with which we concerned actually reads: “12 years, 3 months and 8 days after K’inich Janaab Pakal was born on 8 Ahau, 13 Pop, he was crowned on 5 Lamat, 1 Mol.... 4,172 years and 128 days later it will happen [again], 5 Lamat 1 Mol. One p’iktun later: the day 5 Lamat 1 Mol with occur 8 days after the 10 Ahau 13 Yaxkin period ending.”
Initially, this would appear to be quite normal. Pakal was crowned on 5 Lamat, 1 Mol, in fact in the year 615 CE. The real shocker lies in the seemingly innocuous statement that after the completion of a cycle called the p’iktun, the day 5 Lamat, 1 Mol will come around again, 4,172 years and 8 days after Pakal’s initial, historical crowning. One gathers the impression that this is to be imagined as some sort of return – Pakal, now divine, re-incarnates on his special day.
The “shocker” is that the ending of the p’iktun works out to October 13, 4772 CE, with 5 Lamat 1 Mol arriving eight days later on October 21, 4772.
This date is 2,760 years after the supposed end date of December 21, 2012!
The Maya did not believe that December 21, 2012 was an “end date.” They have told us so themselves, in the Palenque inscription.
As exotic as the date may sound, it is based upon extremely normal, even fundamental principles of Mayan mathematics. If there is enough interest, I will be more than happy to explain the math in a later post.
The reason that Pakal can have himself a nice time re-incarnating in the distant future implies that the Maya were convinced that human beings would still be alive at that time.
And indeed, the Mayan Creation Epic itself provides the rationale as to why successive world ages will not end in destruction, as did the previous ages. The Creation Epic provides us with a rather solid basis for assuming that life would go on.
Again, if there is any interest, I will be more than happy to explain it in a future post.