Introduction to the Inca tradition of the high Andes
The Inca Spirituality
The religion of the Incas, also called “Inca tradition” or “Andean spiritual art,” is ranked – alongside Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity – as one of the major religions of this world. It is also referred to as nature mysticism, because according to its understanding, humans cannot be separated from nature and all its creatures or the universe with its stars and planets. Everything is one and everything is interconnected.
Integration in your daily life
The Inca religion is characterized by the holistic approach that is practiced to this day and its love and tolerance towards all living beings. It is not moral, it does not judge, it knows no laws, and it does not set rules – it knows only one commandment: Ayni. In a figurative sense, this commandment means sharing so that everyone is provided with what he or she needs. This concerns the sharing of knowledge and wisdom so that humanity can evolve and harmony can be promoted (you will find a more precise definition of Ayni in this article).
The Inca tradition is therefore very open-minded and practical; it is inclusive and seeks to harmonize where there is discord. The goal is to allow energy to flow. Even during the time of the Incas, the integrated nations were invited to bring their most important gods to the Qorikancha, the Temple of the Sun, in the heart of the capital, Cusco. There, a copy of the respective deity was forged from pure gold and placed next to the idols of the Incas and the other peoples. Even the priests of the respective people were encouraged to continue their tradition – nobody was forced to convert from their faith and nobody was expected to change their religion.
It is this inclusive and open attitude that the old masters of the Inca religion teach to this day. Although the Spanish conquerors destroyed the empire, this tradition still exists among its descendants, the Andean Indians. Among them, the Q’eros are considered masters of ancient knowledge because they can trace their spiritual roots to the first Inka king, Inkarrí. Furthermore, they have also preserved this tradition in quite a pure form.
The Inca tradition or Inca religion has not much in common with the commonly used term “Inca Shamanism.” To read more about this subject you will find a comprehensive comparison of Andean tradition and shamanism under the heading Inca Shamanism or Inca Religion?
Andean spiritual art
The universe is made of matter, of living energy. All life radiates energy; the universe is filled with living energy and everything is completely surrounded by it. The universe is living energy. Living energy is available in abundance and this abundance of life (and in life) is free for everyone, freely accessible and free of charge. Where others complain of a lack, the Inkas believe in the concept of wealth; where other religions believe in “original sin,” the Inca religion speaks of “original virtue.”
Life was given to us without reservation and is not subject to any conditions – you neither have to be pure nor cleanse yourself, become good or even better. Every human being is good enough just as he or she is.
To live a rich and fulfilling life, one connects with the living energy of the universe. According to the Incas, living energy can have only two states: light or heavy, never negative, offensive or hurtful. People have free will, allowing them to decide for or against something at any time. For example, if the energy is in flux in a certain situation, it feels light; if the flow of energy is blocked or the energy stagnates, the situation feels heavy. Incidentally, all other living things such as animals, stones, plants are always in direct contact with light energy.
Ayni, the only commandment of the Inka tradition, is a principle with many facets and describes in what direction you should move the energy of the universe so as to grow. In Ayni it becomes obvious that the Inka tradition is not a moral tradition but rather an open and very tolerant one that neither judges nor prescribes certain behaviors or actions. Ayni can best be translated as “reciprocity of give and take.” To find out more read AYNI – the force of reciprocity.
From the moment they are born, people carry what is known as an “Inca seed” within themselves that contains all the information they need to grow (spiritually), to live a full life, and to be content. This growth process is promoted and accelerated by connecting the light energy of the cosmos with our own seed and thus following our own path based on our inner strength and calm.
If the Inka seed is the inner map of life, Ayni is the compass that indicates the direction we should take.
The Inca religion is concerned with people becoming aware of their own potential and fully realizing this potential. It provides tools that are easy to learn about, easy to use and yet incredibly powerful. They can help people to resolve difficult experiences and situations and to bring lightness into their life – regardless of spiritual or religious background, regardless of one’s own culture, background or experiences. No one who wants to learn or practice the spiritual art of the Andes needs to convert or change anything in advance.
It is very easy to connect and combine the Inca tradition with other religions or faiths. Even if you have never before tried any kind of energy work, the Inca religion can show you how to harmonize and improve your relationships with other people, your work environment, your job, your financial situation and ultimately your entire life.