From sun cult to Christianity
At that time there was a nation in South America called Tawantinsuyu (“four nations united”), known today as the Inkan empire. It covered the present areas of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador and parts of Columbia, Chile and Argentina and was the largest contiguous national territory in North and South America until the founding of the United States of America, spanning an area that was larger than the Roman Empire or the Empire of Alexander the Great.
The Inkan empire
It seems that this was made possible by a combination of pragmatism and spirituality that was guided by a moral principle, which to this day is known by the Indians of the Andes as Ayni. This is a kind of cosmic law that is both part of everyday life and part of a supernatural order. Ayni is a concept with many facets, which, simply put, amounts to the following: If you give something, you have the right to receive something. And when you receive something, you have the obligation to give something back. If it is applied in human relationships, groups, or systems, for example, this principle can create an intentional force field that opens up the possibility for positive change, synchronicities or even miracles.
The Inka religion and the sun cult
The Punchau is the creator of fire or solar power, whose consciousness was expanded to a divine presence by the mere radiance of the sun. Accordingly, the Inkas worshiped not only the “visible” sun – its appearance – but also perceived it as a living being, a living spirit. They called this whole living creature Taita Inti, Father Sun. In their records, the Spanish chroniclers describe that the Punchau was a gold statue about the size of a 2-year old child that stood at a central location within the Qorikancha, the sun temple. All the other symbols of the sun cults of the various peoples in the Inkan empire were placed around it.
From sun cult to god
Instead of fighting or abolishing the sun cult, however – knowing full well that the peoples of the Inka empire were followers of this cult, because the sun, unlike the metaphysical god, was visible for everyone in the sky every day – Pachakuti Inka used it to his advantage. As soon as he integrated a new kingdom in the wake of the expansion of his empire, he sealed the covenant by having the sun symbol of this newly integrated culture carried to Cusco in a grand procession. There, a copy of this symbol was made of pure gold, placed in the magnificent Sun Temple and incorporated, together with the priests of the respective cult, into the empire.
The continuation of the sun cult can therefore be seen as a political instrument rather than a practiced spiritual or religious tradition. Instead of being challenged on their spiritual beliefs, the different tribes were united in one place and it was ensured that each individual sun cult could nourish and strengthen its connection to its origin.
The Inka religion today
The Andean belief system or today’s Inka religion includes beings that have a greater connection to the world of the Inkas than to the supernatural world of the Europeans. Christianity has thus been merged with a tradition that has obviously been present in America for much longer than Christianity itself.
Inka shamanism vs. Inka religion
The academic studies and observations of Juan Núñez del Prado at the end of the 1970s brought to light much knowledge of a long-forgotten tradition and revealed a spirituality that can today be referred to as modern Inka religion.
Read here what changes this religion has been exposed to over the last 500 years.