Georg von Simson g.v.simson at EAST.UIO.NO
Tue Dec 15 08:56:21 UTC 1998

 Narayan S. Raja wrote:
>On Mon, 14 Dec 1998, N. Ganesan wrote:
>> avalokitezvara (the Hindu 'Siva in a Buddhist garb)
>                      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>I presume this is a theory rather
>than an established fact.  There
>is almost nothing in common between
>the "personalities" of these two deities,
>Siva and Avalokiteshvara.  In fact, they
>are almost exact opposites.
>Siva is often wrathful, Avalokiteshvara never so;
>one is a hunter, the other saves animals; one
>is sometimes cruel, the other is always
>compassionate; one is hot-tempered, the
>other patient; one is associated with destruction,
>the other with protection; etc. etc. etc.  Further,
>Avalokiteshvara is definitely the sidekick or
>subsidiary  of a big shot, i.e., the Buddha Amitabha,
>whereas Siva stands alone.
>Just a few differences...

Indeed, there is much more to connect Avalokiteshvara with Brahman (who in
many respects can be considered an opposite of Shiva!), see Lokesh Chandra,
The Thousand-armed Avalokitezvara, New Delhi, 1988, especially Ch. 2 (pp.
18-28): "The Origin of Avalokita-svara/Avalokit-ezvara."
Or has Lokesh Chandra's theory about the origin of Avalokiteshvara been
refuted? To me it sounded quite convincing.


Georg v. Simson

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