'Siva and Avalokitezvara

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 16 16:31:44 UTC 1998

To solve the problem of the seeming incompatibilty of the cruel Vedic
and the benign South-Indian 'Siva = avalokitezvara, there are probably
than one way to go. What about the following (not very original or
idiosyncratic, I hope) sketch: Let us assume there was a Great (and
God (mahAdeva) in the (linguistically Dravidian?) IVC. And the later
South-Indian god 'Siva would be a direct successor of this ancient god.
When the Aryans arrived (I am stubborn enough to keep to the Aryan
theory), they identified their (rather cruel) god Rudra with this native
mahAdeva, because 1) both were regarded as powerful and 2) the dreaded
Rudra was not a participant of the Vedic sacrifice and could therefore
easily be identified with a god of non-Vedic origin than any other god
brought with them. When Buddhism arrived in South India, the popular
bodhisattva avalokitasvara could without major difficulties be adapted
the benign South-Indian god 'Siva (dakSiNamUrti).

Dear Prof. Thiru. G. v. Smimson,

I love this model. Thanks for explaining avalokitasvara.
I do not know Sanskrit & quoted Har Dayal.
But your explanation convinces me.

I take that Avalokitasvara is the origin.
But Avalokitasvara became Avalokitezvara
mainly from South India from early centuries AD.

Many thanks,
N. Ganesan

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