Hey guys, today, let us explore the ancient statues in Colombia. There are statues here which are more than a thousand years old and they have a strange connection with Indian culture. For example, take a look at the mysterious SpaceMan at San Agustin Archeological Park in Colombia. This is a remote site in South America, and there are hundreds of statues here, but this one is the eye catcher. Who is he?
The very first impression is that, he is some kind of an ancient astronaut because it is clear that he is wearing a helmet or a visor, he has 2 rectangular eyes, a rectangular mouth, and has no nose. Look at the size of his head and the body, it is very disproportionate, his body is too small for that giant head, and he is definitely wearing shoes.
But the most important detail is that he is holding a cylinder, a long tool which goes into the earth, look how it goes even below his feet. This is a very interesting detail and archeologists and historians have no explanation for it. The tour guides here, also have no idea and claim this is just a flute, a musical instrument. What kind of a flute goes into the ground, how would it even be able to produce music like that?
Tell me what this is. So what is this all about?
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While there is no explanation for this mysterious Spaceman in Colombia, in Hinduism, there are 2 Gods which are portrayed remarkably similar to this. The first one is called SwarnaAkarshana Bhairava. He is the god of Gold and it is said the he could extract gold from earth directly using his tools.
But there is another important deity known as Vaisravana, he is the half-brother of the demon king Ravana. Who is this Vaisravana, what does he do?. He is the God of wealth, especially gold. He is always shown with a tool that goes into the ground. But remember India and Colombia are about 10,000 miles apart, so how could a Hindu god be carved in Colombia? This is a very valid question, and we need to take a look at this logically.
In India, Vaisravana is portrayed like this. This statue is about 1600 years old, He is shown with a pot belly, a symbol of wealth. The most important detail is this rod in his hand, which usually goes into the ground.
Now, look at the evolution of Vaisravana in Thailand. As Hinduism spread to Thailand in ancient times, Vaisravana was portrayed as a lean, much more aggressive deity. But look at the same detail, that tool going into the ground. You may be pleasantly surprised that he is the emblem of a region called Udon Thani in Thailand, this is the official emblem of that region. Not only did the motif evolve, his name also evolved in Thailand. Vaisravana is known as Vessavana in Thailand, but the story is the same, so we know it is the same deity.
Now, Hinduism started to spread even farther, so when it reached China, this is how Vaisravana was sculpted. These are ancient pillars known as Dharani pillars in Yunnan province in China, these are more than a thousand years old, and you can see the motif is slowly changing here also, but the key detail is that cylindrical tool going into the ground. Here is another statue of Vaisravana in China, at Miyin Temple in the same Yunnan province.
Now, when Hinduism reaches even farther, in Japan, look what happens to him. Archeologists and historians accept that yes, This is Vaisravana, with the same Hindu story, and his name already evolved to Vessavana in Thailand, and in Japan, his name further evolves into Bishamon. Again, the key detail is that long cylinder going into the ground, probably to probe for gold. But now, Vaisravana wears a suit like an armor that covers his whole body, A helmet and shoes.
So, starting from India and all the way to Japan, we are able to see the evolution of Vaishravana and it is well documented. If you go to wikipedia and search for Vaishravana, you can see most of these details, how his name has evolved from Vaishravana to Vessavana to Bishamon and then Bishamonten. Mainstream historians accept this a fact.
Now, experts think that this culture, the Hindu megalithic culture stopped in Japan. But did it really stop there? Or did it go all the way from Japan to Colombia? This is a perfect case of evolution in iconography. Here in Colombia, he is shown with a full body suit, a helmet and shoes. And, yes he has that same, long cylindrical tool, going into the ground. If a culture could migrate all the way from India to Japan, they would have also reached Colombia.
The San Agustin archeological park has many many different statues in various sizes, and many of them are eerily similar to Hindu carvings. Here is an ape like figure standing and his hands are in a folded position. In India, sculptures of Ape like deities with folded hands are quite common. Now, the statue in Colombia is not just a regular statue, if you go around it, you realize that there is a face on the other side as well. On one side he looks young and happy and on the other side he looks older and sad. This is what I call Cycle of Life, and it is shown many times in Hinduism, specifically using monkeys. In Srirangam temple for example, it was used to show the cycle of life. See how the Younger monkey is shown hanging upside down with a lot of energy while the older monkey is shown slouching and sad. There are so many similarities like this between statues in ancient Hindu temples and the statues at San Agustin Archeological Park in Colombia.
Going back to Vaisravana, why is the God of Gold such an important figure in Colombia as well as many Asian countries? Why has he gained such prominence in many countries?