Potala(ka) etc

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Wed Feb 24 08:58:27 UTC 1999

In a message dated 2/24/99 2:30:51 AM Central Standard Time,
Palaniappa at AOL.COM writes:

>  We have a very vivid description of the deity at vEGkaTam in cilappatikAram
>  (not later than 5th century AD) as given below. In that text, it was
> a
>  pilgrimage site. The description is very detailed in terms of his conch,
>  discus, etc.

Oops. I forgot to mention that the description is of an adorned deity.

Some other thoughts. As Geoffrey Samuel said, "Major temples and shrines -
particularly, perhaps, major centres of pilgrimage - were objects of multiple
interpretation." In that case, if the southern Tamilnadu/Kerala region had an
important role to play in the development of avalokitezvara cult, there could
not be any site other than potiyil as the basis for a legendary place of his.
Not only Classical Tamil texts pair up Himalaya and Potiyil. Even zaivite
nAyan2mar do that as in the following tEvAram (7th century AD) mentioning
kailAsa and potiyil as ziva's "special" places.

ayil uRu paTaiyin2ar; viTaiyin2ar; muTimEl aravamum matiyamum viraviya azakar;
mayil uRu cAyal van2amulai orupAl makizpavar; vAn2 iTai mukil pulkum miTaRar;
payilvu uRu caritaiyar; erutu ukantu ERip pATiyu ATiyum pali koLvar; vali cEr
*kayilaiyum potiyilum* iTam en2a uTaiyAr kazumalam nin2aiya nam vin2aikaricu
aRumE.                          (tEv. 1.79.1)

Ta. kayilai = Skt. kailAsa

I think the presence of dakSiNAmUrti cult at potiyil was not insignificant

S. Palaniappan

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