The sword of truth
Pakal was a Maya king:
Kʼinich Janaab Pakal or simply “Pakal” was buried in a colossal sarcophagus in the largest of Palenque’s stepped pyramids. The building was called Bʼolon Yej Teʼ Naah “House of the Nine Sharpened Spears” in classical Maya. Though Palenque had been examined by archaeologists before, the secret to opening his tomb—closed off by a stone slab with plugs in the holes—was discovered by a Mexican archaeologist in 1948. It took four years to clear the rubble from the stairway leading down to Pakal’s crypt.
Once the tomb was opened, Pakal’s skeletal remains were still lying in his coffin, wearing a jade mask and bead necklaces, surrounded by sculptures and stucco reliefs depicting the ruler’s transition to divinity. Traces of pigment show that these were once colourfully painted, common to much Maya sculpture at the time.
Pakal’s sarcophagus lid was made of a single stone. Rectangular in shape, it weighed several tons. There were carvings on the top and sides which narrated events from his life and those of his royal forebears. The southern side recorded the date of his birth and the date of his death. The massive lid could not even fit down the stairways—Pakal’s tomb was sealed first and the temple was built upon it later.
Kʼinich Janaab Pakal means “Great Sun Shield” in classical Maya. Here we are reminded of Psalm 84:11 “the Lord God is a sun and a shield” which is really a reference to the Reuleaux triangle and its emergence from the triquetra. Pakal expanded Palenque’s power in the Maya states and initiated a building program that produced some of Maya civilisation’s finest art and architecture. One of the most enduring and enigmatic relics from this great ruler was the lid of his sarcophagus:
Above: Pakal being reborn into eternal life
Indeed, in the centre of the artwork sits Pakal, who is depicted realistically. Even his attire is recognisable and can be identified from Maya culture. Pakal himself is balanced at the navel with his body arranged in the “V” shape of the sacrum. His hands are twisted with his left facing downwards and the right facing upwards—a reference to how spirituality and sexuality are celebrated in the body.
Above Pakal, we find the Sword of Truth thrusting downwards into his belly. Here we shift to the metaphysical world. As an alchemical symbol the dagger refers to purification. Here we experience the spiritual sword cleanly piercing the soul of man. This symbolic action sacrifices physical bondage to release a path to enlightened freedom.
If we refer back to the sarcophagus above, we find atop the sword is a bird wearing a jewelled pectoral and bearing sacred mirror markings on its forehead and tail. The cut shell on his head and other deity markers identify him as Itzam Ye, the avian form of Itzamna, a sky god who participated in the creation of the world.
Pakal’s ecstatic pose shows the death of the ego and the rebirth of truth. Here he is being flooded with the divine light of God—every cell is saturated with love. In Sanskrit this Buddhic Body is often called the Anandamaya-kosa or “the sheath of bliss.” The sheath is considered the feminine principle representing the passive force, the protective feature and the supportive element of existence.
Above: the House of the Nine Sharpened Spears still protects its secrets
What does all this mean on a historical level? It infers that Pacal himself had at least one enlightenment experience BEFORE he physically died. The man in the mural appears young and vital—far from an aged king on his death bed. Indeed, the artwork confirms what many adepts already know—that substances capable of delivering enlightenment were readily available to the Maya in 603 AD.
So you, dear reader, must invite the sword of truth. You manifest the higher with the lower, life with death and darkness with light. You are akin to the Buddha before the Bodhi Tree or Pakal beneath the Ceiba tree. You are royalty who only now is waking up. The balance you find will be your birthright—enlightenment!