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Observations placeholder

Mayan - Popol Vuh - 10 The Twins and their Garden



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Popol Vuh – translated by Dennis Tedlock

AND NOW THEY BEGAN TO ACT OUT THEIR SELF-REVELATION before their grandmother and mother. First they made a garden:

"We'll just do some gardening, our dear grandmother and mother," they said. "Don't worry. We're here, we're your grandchildren, we're the successors of our elder brothers," said Hunahpu and Xbalanque.

And then they took up their axe, their mattock, their hoe; each of them went off with a blowgun on his shoulder. They left the house having instructed their grandmother to give them their food:

"At midday bring our food, dear grandmother," they said.

"Very well, my dear grandchildren," said their grandmother.

After that, they went to their gardening. They simply stuck their mattock in the ground, and the mattock simply cultivated the ground.

And it wasn't only the mattock that cultivated, but also the axe. In the same way, they stuck it in the trunk of a tree; in the same way, it cut into the tree by itself, felling, scattering, felling all the trees and bushes, now levelling, mowing down the trees.

Just the one axe did it, and the mattock, breaking up thick masses, countless stalks and brambles. Just one mattock was doing it, breaking up countless things, just clearing off whole mountains, small and great.

And then they gave instructions to that creature named the mourning dove. They sat up on a big stump, and Hunahpu and Xbalanque said:

"Just watch for our grandmother, bringing our food. Cry out right away when she comes, and then we'll grab the mattock and axe."

"Very well," said the mourning dove.

This is because all they're doing is shooting; they're not really doing any gardening.

And as soon as the dove cries out they come running, one of them grabbing the mattock and the other grabbing the hoe, and they're tying up their hair.

One of them deliberately rubs dirt on his hands; he dirties his face as well, so he's just like a real gardener.

And as for the other one, he deliberately dumps wood chips on his head, so he's like a real woodcutter.

Once their grandmother has seen them they eat, but they aren't really doing their gardening; she brings their food for nothing. And when they get home:

"We're really ready for bed, our dear grandmother," they say when they arrive. Deliberately they massage, they stretch their legs, their arms in front of their grandmother.

And when they went on the second day and arrived at the garden, it had all grown up high again. Every tree and bush, every stalk and bramble had put itself back together again when they arrived.

"Who's been picking us clean?" they said.

And these are the ones who are doing it, all the animals, small and great: puma, jaguar, deer, rabbit, fox, coyote, peccary, coati, small birds, great birds. They are the ones who did it; they did it in just one night. -

After that, they started the garden all over again. just as before, the ground worked itself, along with the woodcutting.

And then they shared their thoughts, there on the cleared and broken ground:

"We'll simply have to keep watch over our garden. Then, whatever may be happening here, we'll find out about it," they said when they shared their thoughts. And when they arrived at the house:

"How could we get picked clean, our dear grandmother? Our garden was tall thickets and groves all over again when we got there a while ago, our dear grandmother," they said to their grandmother and mother. "So we'll go keep watch, because what's happening to us is no good," they said.

After that, they wound everything up, and then they went back to the clearing.

And there they took cover, and when they were well hidden there, all the animals gathered together, each one sat on its haunches, all the animals, small and great.

And this was the middle of the night when they came. They all spoke when they came. This is what they said:

"Arise, conjoin, you trees!
Arise, conjoin, you bushes!"

they said. Then they made a great stir beneath the trees and bushes, then they came nearer, and then they showed their faces.

The first of these were the puma and jaguar. The boys tried to grab them, but they did not give themselves up. When the deer and rabbit came near they only got them by the tail, which just broke off: the deer left its tail in their hands. When they grabbed the tail of the deer, along with the tail of the rabbit, the tails were shortened. But the fox, coyote, and peccary, coati did not give themselves up. All the animals went by in front of Hunahpu and Xbalanque.

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items





Science Items

Activities and commonsteps