Mayan calendar predicts end of an eraListen /
December 21, 2012 coincides with the end of the Mayan calendar and many have speculated that that means the end of the world is upon us.
But that vision actually contradicts the beliefs of the indigenous people, said Mayan elders who recently visited the UN in New York.
Gerry Adams reports.
Thousands of years ago, Mayan astronomers predicted that on December 21, 2012, there would be an alignment of the cosmos that happens only once every 64,000 years.
The Maya identified this time as the end of an era and the birth of another.
UN Radio's Rocio Franco spoke to Tomas Calvo Mateo, the highest authority among a group of Mayan elders from Guatemala who recently visited UN headquarters to discuss their cosmic vision.
She asked, "Is this really the end of the world, doomsday or an apocalypse?"
Mr. Mateo responded in the Mayan language.
Manuel Shiloh, another Mayan indigenous member of the community, served as Spanish translator.
Shiloh: It is not a fateful date, it is simply a change of era. We will deliver this present time in order to receive the coming one. But for this we must prepare.
Franco: How does this vision compare with the Scriptures of the Christian Bible about the Apocalypse?
Shiloh: These are two very different things. What happens is that the media tries to find similarities because as you know, sensationalism sells. But what this really is, is a change of era. This happens every 64,000 years and we have the golden opportunity to live this change now. The call is for all of us to stand together, shoulder to shoulder through knowledge and intellect, but most of all with our hearts, and try to make the world a better place.
A Guatemalan elder and Rocio Franco on the Mayan prophecies.