Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Golden Age

Earlier, the concept of "suns" emerging from mountains, including symbolic pyramids, at the start of new cycles was examined. Of particular interest is that of the Aztec concept of the present age as the "Fifth Sun."

The explanation I have proposed for the image of the Sun rising from the top of a mountain on a pillar composed of fire, light and/or smoke, is that of a volcanic eruption.

The idea of a new Golden Age heralded by such an eruption is found in the Javanese prophecy of Sabdapalon, the priest of Majapahit ruler Brawijaya V. When the king converted to Islam, Sabdapalon predicted a decline that would last for five centuries until the eruption of fabled Mt. Meru (Sumeru). At that time, Sabdapalon himself would return to help usher in the new age.

The idea of multiple suns is rather widespread throughout the world. They are found scattered also throughout insular Southeast Asia. The element of different ages is not always apparent, but the tales of many suns are placed at the start of the present era or creation. Usually they include the death of one of these suns at the founding of our epoch.

In the dualistic world of the Nusantao, the lesser and greater cycles of fortune would have almost surely formed part of their worldview. This cyclic vision I believe can be found in various prophetic traditions of the world pointing to the rise of a new messianic leader of the Dragon and Bird Clan. Indeed, this was the basis, I proposed, for the messianic legends of the Rigden of Shambhala and Prester John.

In the "Old World," this leader was often known as the "King of the East" since he came from the "farthest East" as known at that time.

Among the Nusantao, the great hero is repeatedly linked symbolically with the descent of a planet or star. Thus, like the heavenly body it eventually departs only to rise again. Some traditions have been preserved stories of the returning hero of the Golden Age as with Lumauig in the Philippines, Lono in Hawai`i and Ratu Adil in Java.

As in the beginning, everything starts at the cosmic axis, and so is the case with the ending of the old cycle and the starting of the new.

Paul Kekai Manansala