Kashmir, Tamilnadu, Panini, Abhinavagupta, etc.

Wed Feb 24 07:01:29 UTC 1999

Some people think that the best way to solve a problem is to complicate it
further. Here is an another identification of a Potalaka.

BUDDHIST CHINA by Reginald Fleming Johnston
Published by JohnMurray, Albermarle Street,  London W. 1913.
Pages 270 ff.
Chinese Buddhists acknowledge that the original seat of Kuan-yin
was at a great distance from China. According to one interpretation of
Avalokitesvara, it means the Lord (Isvara) who looks down from a height.
The "height" is the sacred mountain of Potalaka, a place which is always
associated with the worship of this Bodhisat. Where the original Potalaka
is a disputed question. It is usually assumed to have been a rocky hill to
the east of Malaya mountain, southern India near the harbour of Cape
Komorin. If this identification is correct, it seems highly probable that
the deity worshipped there was of non-Buddhist origin and there is evidence
to associate her (or him) with Siva.

In support of placing Potalaka at Cape Komorin we have this note of S.Beal.
Hiuen Tsang travels ( Record of....) Vol.2, Page 233, Note 130.
The symbol used implies "a division of the sea" as though it were at a point
where it is devided into an eastern and western ocean.

Kuan-yin is a child carrying godess and is supposed to be modelled after
a similar Taoist godess. Now the question is whether Chinese first
identified Avalokitesvara with KanyAkumAri and afterwards equated
her to Taoist godess or they first modelled Kuan-yin after Taoist godess
and then identified her with the supposed Avlokitesvara ( or rather
Avalokitesvari) at KanyAkumAri?



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