December 21st 2012 is the day that the entire world has been waiting for because it is supposed to be the purported ‘Doomsday’ or the day when the world would come to an end. The phenomenon about Doomsday has taken the world by storm, and it is on everybody’s lips thanks to the Internet, the news, movies and even in song lyrics. However, is it truly as catastrophic as all the hype surrounding it claims?
The 2012 Phenomenon
There is a line of thought which says that people misunderstood the Mayan prophesy and predicted that the world would come to a cataclysmic end as December 21st marked the conclusion of the Great Mayan cycle. While it is certainly true that the date is the last day on the Mayan calendar, it does not necessarily denote the end of the world. In fact, coming down to the basics, it is just an indication of an era gone by and a new epoch which is to take over from then on. However, this misconception stuck on and soon acquired viral proportions on the Internet.
Also known as the 2012 phenomenon, this idea arose from the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, also known as the Mayan calendar. The date December 21st was the last day present on the calendar, which has about five long cycles comprising of one hundred and twenty five years each. According to the New Age movement, which is a Western spiritual movement, this is the date that marks the commencement of a new era when everyone on Earth would undergo positive spiritual and physical transformation. 21st December 2012 is an important day for the Mayans as it marks the end of a cycle and the commencement of a new cycle, like the way in which our lunar calendar ends on December 31st and a new one begins on 1st of January.
The Tortuguero Inscription
Amongst the many sources that contain information about this theory, the original is an inscription present in the Mayan temple of Tortuguero. It talks about stones raining from the sky and an all-consuming fire, meaning a volcano, or the Earth assuming a new axis over a period of time implying a shift of poles. According to the Mayan inscriptions, Bolon Yokte, the God associated with the underworld and war would ‘descend from the sky’ on 21st December 2012. However, according to Sven Gronemeyer, a German expert, this entire inscription on the tablet may not necessarily spell Doomsday but rather denotes the transition into a new age. Considering that Bolon Yokte is associated with change as well, this theory does make sense.
Further probing into this finding shows that the inscription on the stone tablet present in the archaeological site of Tortuguero implies the return of Bolon Yokte at Baktuns, which is the end of the thirteenth period of four hundred years. In simple terms this is equivalent to the date December 21st 2012 on the English calendar. Research shows that this date is actually a symbolic date, 13 being a sacred number for the Mayans which means there is nothing apocalyptic about the date.
While the 2012 phenomenon or the Mayan prophecy may seem absurd to some, for others this is something that is extremely serious. This phenomenon burgeoned for the first time in the year 2007. People from Korea, Japan, Turkey, Russia and the United States particularly believed in this prophecy and the sale of underground blast shelters soared courtesy of this. However, all this was just the result of a misconstrued theory that snowballed into huge proportions thanks to the internet and somehow remained to dominate all discussions. It is also believed to have propelled tourism to astronomical proportions as thousands flocked to the Mayan temple to witness the emergence of the feathered serpent and welcome its arrival on Earth.
Mayans on the Hype
In the words of Professor Rusty Barrett from UK who has spent considerable amount of time with the present day Mayans, the roughly six million Mayans living today are very upset about all the hype pertaining to their prophecy. According to them, much of the prophesying indulged into by their ancestors was in context of their race only and had no involvement of the world at large. To justify this logic, they quote examples of prophecies gone by which marked many milestone dates for the Mayans when the race underwent major transformations. As of now it can only be hoped that the new era is the harbinger of spiritual enlightenment for humanity wherein people will improve as human beings mentally, emotionally and physically. Whether this transformation occurs peacefully or is marked by cataclysms and conflicts is something that remains to be seen and will become apparent only as days roll by.