Mount Potalaka in Malaya mountains

Petr Mares erpet at COMP.CZ
Wed Feb 10 22:01:14 UTC 1999

<color><param>7F00,0000,0000</param>> >The whole chapter  in Xi Yu Ji, where Xuan Zang describes the

> >Malaya Mountain is considered later forgery by all Chinese

> >commentators I have seen.


>  In what period, would this have been added? Any idea?

</color>I have no XiYuJi handy but basically it just means the chapter has no relation to
Xuan Zang as a person and his travel and it had to be made out of other
sources. I do not think any of the current Chinese scholars believe XZ went as
far as to South India. When I will have chance I will try to look the references
about the forgery proves.

<color><param>7F00,0000,0000</param>> > >Buddhist texts clearly show that "potala" and

> > >"potalaka" are simply alternate names of the same place in

> > >potiyil/potiyam/potikai.



>  Chinese like to shorten Potalaka (Pu-ta-lo-chia) as

> P'u-t'o. (cf. Chun-fang Yu, Prof. of Religion); Likewise,

> In Tibet, Potala is a short form of Potalaka.

</color>Just for your interest, when I hear the name of this mountain shorten as above,
the first what appear in mind in relation to Chinese Buddhism is the Buddhist
island off the coast near Shanghai in Zhejiang called  Pu Tuo Mountain (Pu3
Tuo2 Shan1)

PU3 means universal - it is read in cantonese POU2 and in Korea it is read PO.
In Bael's transcription it will be p'u.

TUO2 also read DUO4 means rough terrain. It is part of the word Fuo2 Tuo2
(Chinese transcription of Buddha) (or part of the word AMiTuoFuo - Amitabha).
It was used in Chinese Buddhist writing to transliterate the Sanskrit ta, da, and
dha, <color><param>0100,0100,0100</param><FontFamily><param>Times New Roman</param><bigger>sounds. </color><FontFamily><param>Arial</param><smaller>In Bael's transcription it would be written <color><param>0100,0100,0100</param><FontFamily><param>Times New Roman</param><bigger>t'o and tuo resp.

</color><FontFamily><param>Arial</param><smaller>Shan means hill.

I think this island and not the mountain in South India is what will appear in the
mind of any Chinese Buddhist when he will hear the name above.

There are many many other small islands with name ending Shan-mountain
around PuTuo Shan, it would be possible some of them is called Malaya Shan.

By the way you can see how difficoult it is to guess the original word from the
todays Chinese pronounciation of Ancient words, for example Fuo2Ta3 is
mandarin transcription of stupa. TA3 is read in Cantonese TO4 and in Korean


Petr Mares

Petr Mares
Lengqie Research
Hlavacova 1163
182 00, Prague 8
Czech Republic
Tel: 420-2-2422-9755
email: lengqie at
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