Re Potala(ka), etc

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 26 12:59:32 UTC 1999

On S. Palianappan's description of the Venkata deity from
Cilappatikaram (and much else in this discussion) - I wish I
could read Tamil. It is clear
that the identification of the Venkata deity as Visnu goes back
 before Ramanuja, but I don't think this is in contest - the
question is whether there were other interpretations as well.

  SrimAn. V. Iyer is correct in this. CilappatikAram, conservatively
dated in 5th century AD by Western academics, speaks of Tirupati
(ie., VEGkaTam) as belonging to Vishnu. Also, hundreds of poems
by Srivaishnava Alvars as Tirupati belonging to Vishnu.

More important is the fact that no other claim on Tirupati.
 For example,
TirumurukARRuppaTai (5th cent. AD), listing all important
Skanda-Murukan sites does NOT include Tirupati (vEGkaTam).
Also, the Saivaite texts such as Karaikkal ammai and Tevaram
do NOT stake a claim to Tirupati.

Many Buddhist texts are lost (due to time, also Saivaite
and vaishnavaite sectarians destroyed them wantonly) in Tamil.
The available ones do NOT put forth any claim on Tirupati either.

No Sanskrit texts on Tirupati says it is Buddhist either.
So, no evidence to say Tirupati is Potalaka.

N. Ganesan

PS: Can I request Sri. Palaniappan to provide a literal translation
so others can understand? Prof. A. Veluppillai is in Indology.
May be he can tell us his date of CilappatikAram?

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