Tuesday, April 16, 2013



Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Ra

Among ancient Filipinos, a branch of the Malayo-Mu peoples, is the belief in the Supreme Being. The Tagalogs held the belief in Bathala, the Supreme Deity who was also King of the Diwatas. Diwata comes from the Sanskrit devata, meaning deva. The belief in Bathala however goes beyond the Tagalogs, as it goes all the way southwards to the Visayas and Java.

The Trinitarian or 3-aspect deity is traced to Vedic knowledge of the spiritual domains. Vedic knowledge however is traceable to an even earlier set of spiritual discourse, the Lemurian. All such discourses are embedded calcifications of Divine Wisdom, and it takes the sharp eyes of Initiates to extract such wisdom from the later versions (Vedic to Malayan folklore).

The Number 3 is the Upper Triune in the Septenary Law, while the Number 4 is the Lower Quaternary of 4 material domains and elements. There are 3 spiritual planes, a knowledge that would come down unto mankind as 3 aspects of Supreme Deity. In the West that Triune is Father, Son, Spirit/Shekinah (Mother). Among ancient Bharatans (Indians) the Triune comes as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva.

In the Philippine-Malayan version, Bathala birthed Apolaki, Mayari, and Tala. The mythos of Bathala and the Apolaki-Mayari-Tala triune already contains the cosmogony of divinity and humanity, with implications to cosmology or knowledge of the cosmos.

Below is a summary of the mythos.

[Philippines, 17 June 2011]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathala


According to Philippine mythology, Bathalang Maykapal, or Bathala, was the Supreme God of the ancient Tagalog and King of the Diwatas. Derived from the Javanese Batara Guru, an alternate name for the Hindu god Shiva, the concept of Bathala, as with many beliefs in pre-Hispanic Philippines, owe a huge debt to the Hinduism of the Srivijayan Javanese. All of these beliefs were soon changed after the Spaniards set foot on the islands. Spanish missionaries used Bathala as a way for them to convert the Tagalogs into Christianity by associating him with the Christian God. They also did this to the other deities by replacing them with saints. Since then, the name "Bathala" was used to refer to the Christian God and is still used by Filipinos today, and God is even addressed as "Poong (Panginoon, meaning "Lord") Maykapal".
Bathala has counterparts in other parts of the Philippines. In Northern Luzon, Kabunian and Lumawig; in Southern Luzon, Gugurang and Mangindusa; and in the Visayas, Abba, Kan-Laon, and Kaptan.

Apolaki, Mayari, and Tala

Legend has it that Bathala fell in love with a mortal woman when he was visiting the Earth. They got married and had three children: Apolaki, Mayari, and Tala.
Many years had passed and the three younglings grew up to become mighty demigods. The time has finally come for them to take their rightful place in Kalualhatian. There was a big feast in the Sky World and both gods and humans were celebrating. After the feast was done, the ceremony of initiation began. Bathala came out of the crowd and summoned his children to stand in front of him. He then appointed them with a task.
Apolaki was appointed "God of War" and "Guardian of the Sun". Mayari was appointed to be "Goddess of the Moon". Tala was appointed "Goddess of the Stars".
The three offspring of Bathala soon became known to be among the greatest of gods and goddesses.
The Story of Bathala
In the beginning of time there were three powerful gods who lived in the universe. Bathala was the caretaker of the earth, Ulilang Kaluluwa, a huge serpent who lived in the clouds, and Galang Kaluluwa, the winged god who loves to wander. These three gods did not know each other. Bathala often dreamt of creating mortals but the empty earth stops him from doing so. Ulilang Kaluluwa who was equally lonely as Bathala, liked to visit places and the earth was his favorite. One day the two gods met. Ulilang Kaluluwa was not pleased. He challenged Bathala to a fight to decide who would be the ruler of the universe. After three days and three nights, Ulilang Kaluluwa was slain by Bathala. Instead of giving him a proper burial, Bathala burned the snake's remains. A few years later the third god, Galang Kaluluwa, wandered into Bathala's home. He welcomed the winged god with much kindness and even invited him to live in his kingdom. They became true friends and were very happy for many years.
Galang Kaluluwa became very ill. Before he died he instructed Bathala to bury him on the spot where Ulilang Kaluluwa’s body was burned. Bathala did exactly as he was told. Out of the grave of the two dead gods grew a tall tree with a big round nut, which is the coconut tree. Bathala took the nut and husked it. He noticed that the inner skin was hard. The nut itself reminded him of Galang Kaluluwa’s head. It had two eyes, a flat nose, and a round mouth. Its leaves looked so much like the wings of his dear winged friend. But the trunk was hard and ugly, like the body of his enemy, the snake Ulilang Kaluluwa.
Bathala realized that he was ready to create the creatures he wanted with him on earth. He created the vegetation, animals, and the first man and woman. Bathala built a house for them out of the trunk and leaves of the coconut trees. For food, they drank the coconut juice and ate its delicious white meat. Its leaves, they discovered, were great for making mats, hats, and brooms. Its fiber could be used for rope and many other things.

In popular culture / Language

The Filipino philosophical expression "Bahala na!" is usually interpreted as a fatalist remark, comparable to "Whatever will be, will be".[1] According to Paraluman S. Aspillera, a writer from the Philippines, the expression and its meaning might have been altered throughout the ages. It might have originally been "Bathala na!" ("As God wills it!"),[2] but was changed at one point in time. It might also be uttered when the Filipino has exhausted all possible ways to get out of a difficult situation.[3] A modern fuller version of the phrase is "Bahala na ang Diyos!"
Also, the Tagalog word pamahalaan (government) can be traced from the word Bathala. According to linguistic studies, the word is a result of the full assimilation of the prefix pang- with bathala and the suffix -an. So, the Tagalog term for government actually means "to Lord over" or "to be God's vicar."

PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA WEBSITE: http://erleargonza.com



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