Monday, November 29, 2010

The Story of Bathala

Bathala
The Supreme Being and Creator, also addressed as Maykapal (Meicapal-Creator) or Bathalang Maykapal. Some authorities claim that his name was originated from Sanskrit word “bhatarra” which means “noble or great”. During the Spanish Colonization Bathala was identified by the friars to the Christian God while the anitos who served him were demonized and replaced by saints, he was the only ancient Tagalog deity that was never demonized. However according to Isabelo de los Reyes the correct name of the God of the ancient Tagalogs was not Bathala nor he was ever called Bathalang Maykapal, but simply Maykapal also Meygawa or May-ari the lord of the earth. In Noceda-Sanlucar Vocabulary Bathala is given as "the principal of all the anitos or gods" (Bathala- El principal de los anitos o dioses, de quien decian que crio todas las cosas. Noceda-Sanlucar, 1860).

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 (lit. Orphaned Spirit), a huge serpent who lived in the clouds, and Galang Kaluluwa (lit. Wandering spirit), the winged god who loves to travel. 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, seeing another god rivalling him, 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.
Bathala- the Supreme Being and Creator, also addressed as Maykapal (Meicapal-Creator) or Bathalang Maykapal. Some authorities claim that his name was originated from Sanskrit word “bhatarra” which means “noble or great”. During the Spanish Colonization Bathala was identified by the friars to the Christian God while the anitos who served him were demonized and replaced by saints, he was the only ancient Tagalog deity that was never demonized. However according to Isabelo de los Reyes the correct name of the God of the ancient Tagalogs was not Bathala nor he was ever called Bathalang Maykapal, but simply Maykapal also Meygawa or May-ari the lord of the earth. In Noceda-Sanlucar Vocabulary Bathala is given as "the principal of all the anitos or gods" (Bathala- El principal de los anitos o dioses, de quien decian que crio todas las cosas. Noceda-Sanlucar, 1860).

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 (lit. Orphaned Spirit), a huge serpent who lived in the clouds, and Galang Kaluluwa (lit. Wandering spirit), the winged god who loves to travel. 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, seeing another god rivalling him, 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.

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