Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue May 12 20:17:04 UTC 1998

>...... based on the evidence presented by Deshpa=
>nde, the
>Tamil grammatical and literary traditions, and Chinese accounts of  T=
>region, a case could be  made that the zaivite and Buddhist claims or=
>not in the northwest of Indian subcontinent but in the southern porti=
>on of
> ancient Tamil region which includes present Tamilnadu and Kerala.

I think the identification of the same local divinity as Siva and as a
bodhisattva is widespread, and it may be difficult to pinpoint its
geographical origin. Even today, there is Siva as manjunAtha in southern
Karnataka, evoking immediate comparison with manjuSrI, who occurs in
close association with avalokiteSvara in Buddhist legends. And note that
this Siva temple has close associations with Jains, and its legend also
refers to fierce local divinities, while the Siva temple was
established, interestingly enough, by a Vaishnava (Madhva) saint.

Note also that there are southeast Asian inscriptions which say "Siva is
Buddha and Buddha is Siva." All this may simply be a sign of how a
"little" tradition divinity is assimilated into one of the two (or
should one say three, to include Jainism?) "great" traditions, and at a
different time and/or place, how one "great" tradition is  absorbed by
the other. Also note that the description of the word "parvata" (in the
vAkyapadIya) mentions a tilingaika-deSa, which is hardly the southern
portion of the old drAviDa-deSa. Perhaps Prof. Aklujkar can share his
research here.


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