This fifth, Central Pillar
is indeed Mt. Atlas or Meru, so often identified with the Cosmic Linga,
the Phallus of the Earth. Its absence here can easily be explained when
we recall what we said above concerning "the fall of the skies". As the
very name of Atlas explains (a-tla
= "the one who did not stand"),
the Titan was unable to bear the excessive weight of the former earth (Atlantis),
which thus sunk underground, turning into Hell.
At the rear pylons the ones corresponding
to the Oriental Gateway of Paradise are posted the gigantic statues of
the Twin Guardians. These often change into lions, sphinxes or some other
terrifying creatures. They correspond to the Cherubins that guard the Gates
of Paradise in just about all mythologies. In Greece they are Cerberus
and Orthrus; in Babylon, the Karibus, in China the Twin Lions; in Angkor
and Indonesia, the Nagas. In India, they are the Lokapalas or Dvarapalas
("Guardians"). In reality they are the Twins we encounter everywhere and
who are indeed Atlas and Hercules in Greece or Krishna and Balarama in
The twin flagpoles and their banners were
another invariable feature of Egyptian temples. In Egypt, the banner on
a flagpole represented the deity (neter). The use of banners and
standards in temples is common in the Orient and, particularly, in Tibet.
It seems that, originally, banners and pennants consisted of impaling staffs
over which were hung the flayed skins of the sacrificed prisoners of war
in order to scare away the enemy.
Their connection with the Pillars of Hercules
and, hence, with the pylons that symbolized them in Egyptian temples, seems
to be akin to that symbolism. Indeed, it seems the Phoenicians had the
habit of posting impaling poles at the entrance of forbidden straits such
as the Pillars of Hercules. These straits were forbidden to all but their
ships, and anyone caught while attempting to cross the passage was automatically
impaled, as a warning to all.
The Trident of Shiva
In the Egyptian temples, then, the flagstaffs
symbolized the impaling poles that were associated with the Pillars of
Hercules, whereas the loose pennants that hung down from them stood for
the flayed skins of the unfortunate victims caught trespassing the forbidden
gateway to Paradise. The same ritual function was also served by the twin
obelisks which, apparently, originally served as impaling poles, to judge
from their name (obeliskos, in Greek, means "skewer").5
The pylons of the Egyptian temples suggest
yet another Atlantean feature of great importance. It concerns Trikuta,
the Triple Mountain upon which Lanka, the true archetype of Atlantis, was
originally built. The central peak of Trikuta was Mt. Atlas or, indeed,
the Central Pillar of Heaven that was identified to Shiva's
When Atlas, the Pillar of Heaven collapsed,
it became the huge submarine caldera of the Krakatoa volcano which nowadays
forms the Strait of Sunda, separating Java from Sumatra. The two remaining
peaks are, in Hindu myths, the Sumeru and the Kumeru, that is, the two
Merus, one in the north, the other in the south. In Egyptian myths, these
two peaks are known as the Mountain of Manu or, yet, the Mountain of the
Orient and the one of the Occident. These names are clearly taken from
Hindu traditions, for even their names are the same as in India.
These twin mountains are variously allegorized.
But in geographical reality, they correspond to the two peaks that flank
the Strait of Sunda, named respectively the Kalianda and the Gunnung Karang.
This Triple Mountain was precisely the one the ancients equated with the
Trident of Shiva (Trikuta) and, later, with the one of Poseidon, his Greek
counterpart. Indeed, this triple mountain is the one that the
Odyssey called by the name of Thrinacia (thrinax
= "trident"), and which was later exoterically identified with Sicily,
allegedly because of its triangular shape.
The shape of the pylons of the Egyptian
temples roughly recall the one of certain churches and cathedrals such
as Notre Dame and Reims, which have two blunted towers flanking the central
gateway, which is far lower than the other two side towers.