the word "potiyil" inside MaNimEkalai (Was Re: Chih Sheng (688-740 AD))

Wed Feb 24 11:09:46 UTC 1999

At 21:58 23/02/99 +0100, I wrote :

> ...... I believe it is not out of place
>to examine precisely how the word "potiyil" is used inside
>the buddhist epic maNimEkalai, where it appears 12 times
>and seems to have two different meanings:
> (A) in 9 occasions it designates a public place (or a public hall?)
> (B) in 3 occasions it refers to Mount Potiyil
>the 9 (A) occurences are:
> ................

>the 3 (B) occurrences are:
> 15-82: ten2 ticaip potiyil Or ciRRiyARu aTaikarai
> 17-24: ten2 ticaip potiyil kANiya vantEn2
> 20-22: mazhai cUzh kuTumip potiyil kun2Rattu

I have found another reference to Mount Potiyil inside maNimEkalai,
but in that case the word "malayam" is used. It is:

1-3: OGku uyar malayattu arun tavan2 ...
"the great sage Agastya, who dwells on Potikai" (p.1)

The translation for this line comes from the book already referred to
[Manimekhalaï, New Direction Book, 1989]:
 it is not a precise one, but it is readable to some extent.
 For example, the 3 above mentionned (B) occurrences
 are translated as:
15-82: "[she halted one day] on Mount Podiyil
  on the bank of a stream [in order to rest a little]" (p.61)
17-24: "[My husband and] I came to visit the Southern lands
  and to admire [the fertile slopes of] Mount Podiyil" (p.68)
20-22: "[In his distant country, Kanchana, Kayashandikaïs' husband,
  was reflecting. ``Twelve years have now passed since, as a result
  of the errors committed in some other life, my spouse was the victim
  of a curse pronounced by the famous ascetic Vrishchika
 near a stream bordered with rushes] on the slopes of Mount Podiyil,
 whose crest is lost in the clouds'' (p.83-84)

These 3 passages belong to the same story inside the story
(involving non-human characters). They are not realistic descriptions.

To me, it does not look like one could draw any conclusion
from the text of maNimEkalai
regarding a buddhist claim on Mount Potiyil

Others may differ

Best wishes

-- Jean-Luc CHEVILLARD (Paris)

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