Thursday, 2 August 2012

THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION - YAXACHILAN, MEXICO

The ancient city of Yaxchilan is located on the banks of the Usumacinta River in Chiapas, lying between the borders of Mexico and Guatemala. Each of these names have a Sanskritic ring to them.

Yaxachilan, also called Pa'Chan, was an important center of power in the Usumacinta River region of Mexico.The well known lintels of Yaxchilan Temples are decorated with, if we were to use Vedic terminology of India, what can only be described as carvings of  'Yakshas'. 


In the ancient Indian tradition, Yakshas (यक्ष) are a class of benevolent spirits or super-natural guards who are the custodians of treasures that are hidden in the earth and in the roots of trees.

If we apply Sanskrit to Yaxachilan, we find it to be close cognate of Yaksha-shila (यक्षशिला), shila (शिला) meaning stone or stone-sculpture or stone plate. The name Yaksha-Shila (यक्षशिला) very aptly describe the Yaksha-stone-lintels of Mexico.



Yax Carving on a lintel, Yaxachilan
Mexico
The ancient name of Yaxachilan is Pa'Chan. In Sanskrit PaShan (पाषण) also means stone.

The Yaksha stone carvings are very common in the ancient temples of India.

Yaksha Carving from Madhya Pradesh, India. 
We also see the female counterpart,. 
Yakshini in the carving.
The Yaksha tradition is to this day a part of the Indian culture. The popularity of Yakshagana (Song of the Yakshas), the musical presentation of the Yaksha folklore, is equivalent to the popularity of the Opera in the West. 

A "Yaksha" from a "Yakshagana" presentation.
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