Dear reader, my name is Luis Miguel Goitizolo. In this page I present an article inspired in my book The Wheel of Time - A Study in the Doctrine
of Cosmic Cycles
and in other, similar interests.


Sacred Mountains
of the Earth

Regarded as images of the world’s axis, these sacred mountains actually used to convey multiple ideas of the center of the universe, and as such were venerated by all past cultures (and are by some even today). They represent a point of connection between heaven and earth, as do some monumental buildings like the great pyramids in Asia, Africa and America and many derivative locales such as trees, pillars, towers, ladders, totems and the like, both natural and man-made. On these sacred spots where the four cardinal directions meet, communication from lower dimensions may ascend to higher ones, and the blessings from higher dimensions may descend to lower ones and be spread out to all mankind. Such spots work as the omphalos (navel), i.e. the world’s point of beginning.

 

Mount Shasta is one of them; Mount Olympus of the ancient Greeks is the best known example throughout the world; Mount Fuji has long symbolized the axis mundi for the Japanese culture, and Mount Kun-Lun fills a similar role in China. But in old India, Mount Meru (or Sumeru, as it was also known) stands as the most emblematic and influential sacred mountain for the whole Eastern part of the globe.

Not only that, Mount Meru was considered to be the center of all physical and spiritual universes in Hinduism, Buddhist cosmology, and Jain mythology alike. On the other hand, it was especially venerated as the source of the sacred Ganges river. Depicted in Surya–siddhanta as a huge mountain of conical shape located in the North Pole, around which the Sun revolved everyday bringing to Jambudvipa, the central continent of the Earth where it stands, an eternal spring during the Golden Age; and located somewhere beyond the physical plane of reality in a realm of perfection and transcendence, it is a prototype that has survived mainly in the sacred mountains of Central Asia, believed by many to be the cradle of humanity, and even Africa, by such names as Sumer, Sumber or Sumur – all of them clearly identical to the Sanskrit Sumeru.

 


 


 

Mount Meru in Tanzania, of indescribable beauty 
(photo Wikipedia - October 2002)


 

It is obvious that such ideal conditions as to make it possible an “eternal spring”, the season that rules throughout the Golden Age, could only exist in one of the two Poles of our planet. In effect, in Bhagavata Purana, 5, 20:30, the Sun is depicted as revolving over the horizon during the whole year around Mount Meru; and this original center is located at the core of Bhu–mandala, a schematic, most ancient representation of the Earth (and probably of the solar system, the galaxy, and the entire universe) consisting of six concentric rings separated by seas which altogether form, by surrounding the center, the seven dvipas – “islands” or continents – of the Hindu tradition, of which Jambudvipa is but a part. All of this would appear to ultimately take us back to a time when the plane of the ecliptic, the Equator, and the Earth horizon all coincided approximately – probably 50,000 years ago, when the orbit of our planet was more circular and its axis was not as tilted as is today.

 

According to legend, Mount Meru's slopes were studded with glittering gemstones and were thick with trees heavy with delicious fruit. Its peaks were rimmed with gold and a huge lake encircled it. It was additionally thought to support all of the spheres of existence, from Brahma's divine city of gold at its peak, which was an equivalent of the Garden of Eden and other paradises in both the Western and Eastern traditions, to the seven netherworlds at its base.

 

 


Many Hindu and Buddhist temples, like the colossal Temple of Borobudur 
in Indonesia (in the picture) were built as symbolic representations 
of Mount Meru (photo Carlos Zeballos)
 

 

On the other hand, the fact that all these representations gave rise, in different cultures and different times, to beautiful, evocative legends and images only reveals the intention to keep, over the centuries, a remembrance of such supreme center alive.
 

 

 


 

Bhutanese thanka of Mt. Meru and the Buddhist Universe, 
19th century, Trongsa Dzong, Trongsa, Bhutan 
(Wikipedia)

 

This paradisiacal land on the top of an inaccessible mountain surrounded by the sea is a most ancient image that may be found everywhere throughout history, and a representation of the Earth that appears even on the Mercator maps, where the ocean is depicted as a torrent which, through four mouths, precipitates into the North Pole’s Gulf to be absorbed by the Earth’s bowels; and on which the Pole itself, as the supreme center, is represented as a black rock that rises to a prodigious height.

 

 



A nice example of a Mercator's map of the North Polar regions
drawn from an inset on this cartographer’s world map of 1569 
by Barry Lawrence Ruderman

 

“It is said that Meru has its roots in hell, and its summit in heaven. Meru is surrounded by seven rings of golden mountains, each separated from the other by one of seven circular oceans. It is crowned by a golden palace wherein Indra, king of Hindu gods, resides. This entire superstructure rises from an outer ocean, and is flanked by four main continents, each with two subcontinents. 

The southern continent, Jambudvipa, corresponds to the physical earth. Each of the other continents represents a nearby planet upon which transmigrating souls following the yellow light-path may be reborn. However, it is said that all of these worlds are undesirable, for they are non-human worlds inhabited by sheep, cattle, or horses. The teachings of Buddhism clearly state that existence as a human being is the only way to achieve Buddhahood, so rebirth in any other form (including that of a deva or demigod) is a distraction from the path to enlightenment. 

According to legend, somewhere in the northwest region of Jambudvipa lies a land called Shambhala. This is a magical land which is shaped like an eight-petalled lotus flower. It has been ruled by priest-kings for many thousands of years; in fact, the legend of Shambhala predates the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet. In the aboriginal Bon religion, Shambhala is known as Olmolungrung, and is based on the square instead of the circle. 

Shambhala forms a gateway between the physical and spiritual realms. It is endowed with riches, and is ideally suited for the habitat of enlightened souls. They are not attached to the fruits of karma, and are but one step from Buddhahood. This is the realm to be sought for rebirth if one desires the swiftest path to nirvana. 

In the Tibetan Buddhist version of the apocalypse, barbarians will overtake the earth at the end of the Kali Yuga, the present age. It will be necessary for the king of Shambhala to join forces with the gods to wage war on the barbarians. At this time, armies will be sent forth from the city, the location of which has been kept secret for millennia. Order will be restored on earth, and the wisdom which Shambhala has been holding will be dispensed to the peoples of the world.” (From The City on the Edge of Forever by Aaron Ross, Spring 1992.)

And with these thought-provoking words I will pass on to my next article, where I will elaborate a bit further on these notions about the world center and the axis mundi.


 

Thank you,

Luis Miguel Goitizolo



View next:  Sacred Cities

 

 

 

 

A Message from The Author

 


Dear Friend,

Ever since I was
a youth I was fascinated by Oriental wisdom and particularly by the Hindu doctrines. However, it was not until a few years ago that I undertook the task of studying the ancient doctrine of cosmic cycles from different perspectives, though mainly using the most relevant sacred texts from all around the world. In time, I felt the urge to write a book about my studies in that matter in my mother tongue, Spanish, which I titled "La rueda del tiempo" (in English, "The Wheel of Time"). It is excerpts of that book and other original articles dealing with similar topics that I will start publishing as of today through this medium.

More recently, after some years as a networker promoting a variety of programs, I decided to translate my book into English, a task that was successfully completed a few months ago. And over the past few weeks and months I have been publishing excerpts of this translation, as well as other original articles in English that also deal with similar topics, on various online media of the United States and other countries.

 

Thank You,

 

Luis Miguel Goitizolo
Lima - Perú


miguelgoitizolo@gmail.com

 


 
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