Living a good life, trying not to do wrong,and following the rules are not important to the Mayan people (Cartwright). All that mattered to them was worshipping their gods and trying to make them happy. This is a very ancient monotheistic religions. They are a very complex religion with lots of gods. The Mayan mythology is one of the most wild and imaginative mythologies of the ancient worlds due to its interesting theories on creation, afterlife, and their many gods.
First, the Mayan creation story is a very interesting topic. They have multiple myths about creation, but they all have one thing in common, the ceiba tree. The Mayans believed that the earth and the sky were connected. Which left no space for plants, animals, or humans. So a God planted the ceiba tree so there would be space for life to grow and thrive.
The tree’s roots grew down to the bottom of the underworld and the branches grew up into the highest level of the upper world. When the gods were done creating earth they put animals in it. Only, the gods were not satisfied with them because they could not appreciate the gods for what they did. So they created humans to worship them for giving them life. According to the Mayans, the human beings that we are not the original humans. There have been three creations of beings, one of mud, one of wood, and one of maize. The gods created people of mud in hopes that they could worship them, but they were not able to. So the gods destroyed them.
Next, they created people of wood with the same hopes, but they still could not worship them, so they were destroyed. Finally, the gods made people of white and yellow maize combined with the god’s blood. This created the modern humans that we are today (Gomez). Thanks to the Mayan ruins, we know all of these interesting things about their creation beliefs (Foster 171).Next, the Mayan people had very many gods that were very important to them. The main reason the gods put people on earth was to worship them.
The gods were the center of the religion, and religion was the center of Mayan life (Spielvogel 585). The Mayans had a few gods that were their main ones. Itzamno was the god of all creation, he rules the underworld.
The main god. He created all of the people. Ah Kin is the god of the sun, he lives in the sky during the day as the sun and gives people light. But at night he goes down to the underworld to become the night sun. Ix Chel is the goddess of childbirth and is the wife of Itzamno. She is also the goddess of weaving and midwifery.
She was a goddess of destruction, she would flood crops and take the people’s lives. Yum Kaax is the god of corn or maize. He gives people life in the form of corn. He is also the god of all agriculture (“Mayan Gods”). Also if you were a king or queen, you had perform certain rituals to keep the gods happy (“Maya”).Then, the Mayan afterlife is a very complex system that they use to explain what happens when you pass. The Mayan people have three levels of the world, the upper, middle, and lower worlds.
The upper world is thirteen levels, the middle world is one level, and the underworld has nine levels. The ceiba tree grows through all of the levels of the world (Gomez). The whole idea of the Mayan afterlife is that it was a journey to get to paradise, or the highest level of the upper world. But you might not survive the journey to live in paradise.
When you die you go to Xibalba (shee-bal-ba). Xibalba is populated by scary deities. It has rivers of blood, dead trees, and an overall barren landscape. You have to travel across Xibalba to to escape. If you make it across, you have to go through all of the other levels of the underworld and then you travel to the highest level of the upper world to be assigned a level at or above the middle world to live in paradise forever (Mark).In conclusion, the Mayan mythology is one of the most misunderstood and imaginative religions in the world. The Mayan mythology has a very interesting creation story with more than one creation happening. It also involves many gods with various purposes wanting to be worshiped.
The afterlife beliefs are very complicated. Those beliefs include all sorts of levels, challenges, and journeys.