Kashmir, Tamilnadu, Panini, Abhinavagupta, etc.

Thu Feb 18 19:12:40 UTC 1999

At 05:53 AM 2/18/99 PST, you wrote:

>Regarding Potalaka, Sarma first said,  "All the writers say that it is
>abode of Tara and Avalokitesvara and not of Siva or Dakshinamurty. Any
>place which is not primarily a buddhist center is UNFIT to be
>considered as a candidate of Potala."  Later, he also said, "I do not
>think the Buddhist authors concealed
>any Saivaite connections because most of the quotations that are being
>mentioned in support of the  equivalence of Siva and Avalokitesvara are
>from them." I do not think he is capable of realizing that he is
>contradicting himself.
>Sarma further says, "A place which the most sacred to the Buddhists and
>which is the abode of the
>Mahayanic dieties Tara and Avalokitesvara must be primarily and
>originally a Buddhist center." He further
>expands on why Potiyil cannot be Potalaka by saying, "First of all it
>has to be a Buddhist center. Or else
>generations of Buddhists cannot be expected to consider it to be place
>of pilgrimage."

Yes. I stand by the words I have written. The operative word in my
argument is "primarily". You cannot take a place which is not
originally a buddhist center and declare it to be Potala on the basis of
a Siva temple because of the requirement that it should be an abode of Tara
and Avalokitesvara. I do not think Buddhists visited Siva temples
in India equating them to temples of Avalokitesvara.

> But in his response
>to G. Samuel's post, "Re: Potalaka", on 11/28/97, he is not averse to
>saying that Tirupati in southern
>Andhra Pradesh, which generations of vaiSNavites have considered to be a
>place of pilgrimage was a
>zaivite place originally.

I have simply stated the various aspects of the problem of Lord Venkatesvara
of Tirupati and I said it represents many an enigma.

> The striking iconographic similarity between
>dakSiNAmUrti and avalokitezvara is a valid concern with respect to
>Potalaka and that has been already  discussed by N. Ganesan and S.

Avalokitesvara is Sunyavadin. Daskshinamurty is Brahamavadin.
Avalokitesvara is with Tara. Dakshinamurty is single.
Avalokitesvara speaks. Dakshinamurty is of maunavyakhya (these are differences).
I am not an expert in Iconography therefore I cannot say any thing about
that aspect.

> If it falls outside the Tamil
>region, one can use  the flimsiest and
>non-existent associations to identify it as Potalaka. For instance, if a
>person is described as going from
>origin A (Dhanyakataka)  to destination B (Potala), and if no other
>geographical places (like towns)
>between the two are mentioned, then according to Sarma, A and B must be
>close to each other. This is utter

In spite of your not liking it, it is a possibility and a strong one. That
is what I said.

> Another instance of his illogical position is that if
>Potalaka is Nagarjunakonda, one does not
>have to worry much about explaining the submerging of the path under the
>sea. If it is in Potiyil, this same
>Sarma turns around and demands that unless Potiyil can satisfactorily
>explain the submerged path, he
>cannot accept the location. This double standard is prejudice at its
>worst and is not the mark of a true scholar.

There are no double standards. In case of Nagarjunakonda there is
no chance of submergence of the path by sea because it is landlocked
on all sides. In case Potala is taken to be Nagarjunakonda that possibility
does not arise. But in case of Malaya the possibility is there and
it has to be considered which will defeat the thesis and place Potala
out of Malaya. In order avoid it you have to ignore a possible thing
whereas what I ignored is an impossible thing.

Talking about double standards, firstly the contention was that there is
only one Potalaka. Then when it became clear that there were others
in Tibet and China, we now accept that there are others but still stick to
the idea that there is only one in India. Is there not a possibility that
Huan Tsang (assuming that his hearsay is correct) and Tarantha are talking
about different Potalas?

> To an impartial
>outsider, however, I think Ganesan has
>presented enough evidence to convincingly locate Potalaka in the Potiyil
>mountain. If  Sarma wants to have
>his head in the sand, that is his problem.

All this vehemence is not necessary in case your case is convincingly
presented. I can assure you that this vehemence will not force me to
accept what I think is not convincing.

I will very much appreciate if you can cease to attack people personally
and confine yourself to the topic under discussion. In case of Prof.Krisnamurti
also you attacked him for the things you thought he would have said. Do you
think that all this is necessary?



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

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list