'Siva and Avalokitezvara

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 15 20:37:09 UTC 1998

Prof. G. v. Simson wrote:
 Lokesh Chandra's point of departure are the two companions
of Buddha in early Buddhist mythology
(in which rudra-ziva does not yet play any part): zakra
(indra) as lord of the sky, and brahmA sahAMpati as lord
of the earth (sahA). Later, when the buddha was seen as amitAbha,
 the two companions became the bodhisattvas mahAsthAmaprApta and
 avalokitasvara, "He by whom the Sound (svara, word,
logos) is perceived".

I read that "avalokita" is to gaze, to look down, to perceive.
I do not understand why Mahayanists would coin a name
"to look down at the Sounds (svara)". Rather,
"One who hears sounds of the world" sounds natural.
avalokita+svara is little strange. A scholar wrote in
 a publication that avalokitaSvara sounds very odd to Indian ears.
(Trying to recollect the paper or book. I will
give it soon.)

Before Hsuan Tsang's times, are there any
Buddhist sanskrit texts where avalokitezvara
is linked to Brahma but not 'Siva in the same text?
It will be good for the theory of avaolokita-svara
originating from Brahma if there is an earlier strata of texts
where avalokitezvara is linked to Brahma
and  not 'Siva.

Thanks for your time.

N. Ganesan

I think Dr. Marie-Therese Mallmann makes some errors
on the origins of avalokitezvara. I will try to
explain that soon.

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