Kashmir, Tamilnadu, Panini, Abhinavagupta, etc.

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 16 16:24:08 UTC 1999

DVN Sarma writes:
>This shows that there is a strong probability that Taranatha's
>Potala is somewhere in the vicinity of Dhanyakataka. (The
>submerging of the path under the sea cannot be explained.) ...

  Taranatha is very late. Seventeenth century AD.
  Even though earlier Chinese texts put Mt. Potalaka
  in the Malaya mountains, post tenth-century tradition
  puts the Mountain Potalaka in an island. Hence the
  sea voyage.

  BTW, you were identifying Potala as Tirupati(tiruvEngaDam)
  in Indology  before I started my Potalaka posts.
  What happened to that id.?

DVN Sarma writes:
>The basic requrement for Potala is that it should be primarily
>a Buddhist center and for its bonafides it should not
>invoke proxies like Siva and Daksinamurti.

  Thanks for the summary of your views.

  But, it cannot be supported with available evidence
  from pre-10th century material in Tamil, Sanskrit
  and Chinese.

  Few points:

  1) Pl. look at the Avalokitezvara sitting cross-legged
  in the Mt. Potalaka in BorobudUr GaNDavyUha panels
  (800 AD). He resembles 'Siva very much. He wears
  matted hair like 'Siva, holds rosary beads and a
  kamaNdalam. Exactly like a great yogin. ('Siva mahadeva).

  2) Xuan Zang (or, may be his disciple (cf. Petr Mares'
  posts)) in 640 AD and Chih-Sheng, Buddhist monk
  (688-740 AD) who lived in the T'ang dynasty give
  descriptions of Mt Potalaka in Malaya mountains
  where the Bodhisattva appears as
  Avalokitezvara or 'Siva depending on the religious
  affliation of the devotees.

  3) There is a very long tradition in Tamil telling that
  'Siva taught Tamil grammar to Agastya, the Malayamuni.
  In Sanskrit, there is a long traditon that 'Siva taught
  grammar to Panini (Who inspired Panini, JAOS, 1997).
  Note that the Sanskrit texts narrating this myth are from
  South India (eg., Haradatta's padamaJjari, Nandikezvara
  kArikA, ..) Tamil tradition also has Avalikitezvara teaching
  Tamil to Agastya. Southern Sanskrit tradition talks of
  Avalokitezvara inspiring Panini also. These Saivaite
  and Buddhist claims point to DakSiNAmUrti, the teacher
  par excellence, under the banyan tree. Classical Tamil texts
  have this motif. MahabhArata XII talking of "Siva as the
  Supreme teacher is ONLY from Southern recension (cf. de Jong).
  Note also that dakSiNAmUrti sculpture is only
  found in Tamilakam (Of course, there are Nolamba
  dakSiNAmUrtis in Dharmapuri situated in Tamil Nadu).

  4)Why would the following authorities say the following
  if there is no connection between 'Siva and Avalokitezvara:

A. C. Soper writes 'Siva has a Buddhist alter ego Avalokitzevara.
Alexander C. Soper, Literary evidence for early Buddhist art in China,
Artibus Asiae publishers, 1959
"; not, I think, by abrupt transition to a rival cult, but because
'Siva had probably been accepted for the time being in the
Cambodian Buddhist pantheon as a Bodhisattva, with attributes similar
in many ways to those of his Buddhist *alter ego* Avalokitezvara."

 A. L. Basham (The Wonder That was India, p. 308) says, " A further
 form in which the god is worshipped is known as the "South-facing"
 (DakSiNAmUrti) (pl. LXVIII); in this aspect he is the universal
 teacher, depicted in an informal pose, with one foot on the ground
 and the other on the throne on which he sits, and with one hand
 raised in a gesture of explanation. This form of ziva
 perhaps owes something to Buddhist inspiration."

N. Ganesan

Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list