Bijoy Misra bmisra at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Wed Nov 10 15:57:58 UTC 1999

Having come from Orissa and read a wholesome
literature on tantrism and buddhism in Orissa,
this new interpretation baffles me.
It seems the new etymologists
tend to be very "creative" in their thoughts
and interpretation.  Over all, many
of the evidences seem circular and
not to the point.  People need to dig
more and find more circumstantial
evidence before drawing a conclusion.

Others may comment.

Bijoy Misra

On Wed, 10 Nov 1999, N. Ganesan wrote:

>   S. Hodge wrote:
>   >Orissa itself was a very important Buddhist region until the
>   >9th cenrury -- possibly the true location of "Oddiyana".
> oDDiyAna: A new interpretation, p. 491-514,
> L. Sternbach felicitation volume, 1979.
> The author, Lokesh Chandra is the well known scholar of Buddhism.
> p. 491
> " oDDiyAna played a pivotol role in the development, redaction and
> dissemination of the Tantras. It was the center whence the Tantras
> originated. According to Bu-ston it was at oDDiyAna that VajrapaNi
> collected "endless revelations of VajrayAna" and gave them to
> IndrabhUti. GuhyasamAja, the culmination of Tantric thought,
> was also revealed to IndhrabhUti in ODDiyAna. [...] The GuhyasamAja
> was commented upon by CandrakIrti who was a  follower of the Tantric
> Nagarjuna who was born at Kanci and whom the texts call Kancannara
> (sic, Tucci 1949: 1.214). The explicit reference to Kanci holds
> the key to the identification of ODDiyAna. It is significant that
> IndrabhUti was an incarnation of VajrapANi, who was the presiding
> deity of MaGgakoSTha situated in ODDiyAna, or modern
> EkAmrezvara at Kanci.
>   It was from oDDiyAna that Padmasambhava went to Tibet and firmly
> laid the foundation of VajrayAna in the Land of Snows.
>   Hence the present multidimensional approach to a fresh consideration
> of the geographic location of oDDiyAna, the heart land of
> VajrayAna."
> p. 492
> "  1.3 When ODDiyAna was identified with UdyAna, South India had
> not come to oocupy a place of relevance in the evolution of Buddhism,
> and as such how could it strike any investigator that ODDiyAna
> could have a South Indian derivation? It was beyond speculation that
> it could be a Tamil word. As it will be clear in sequence, oDDiyAna
> in Tamil means 'girdle' like its Sanskrit counterpart kAJci.
> In fact, ODDiyAna is KAnci. Kanci was one of the seven great cultural
> metropolis of India and the glorious capital of the Pallavas, who
> played a major role in the diffusion of VajrayAna to lands beyond
> the seas. The South Indian places of Sriparvata, DhAnyakaTaka,
> Potalaka and ODDiyAna were some of the foremost creative centers
> of MantrayAna, especially, of systems centring around Vairocana namely
> the (i) Avatamsaka sUtras (ii) caryA tantras and (iii) yoga tantras
> - in all the three the Cosmic Buddha was Vairocana with varying
> iconographic attributes. It is not surprising that the land par
> excellence of VajrayAna in the Tibetan tradition, should be
> ODDiyAna = Kanci."
> p. 495
> "  2.5 Burrow and Emeneau give the following morphological variations
> of the lexeme in different South Indian languages: "810 Ta.
> oTTiyANam gold or silver girdle or belt worn by women. Ma. uTaJJAN
> gold chain round the loins. Ka. oDyANa, oDDyANa,oDDana, oDDavAna,
> oDDivANa, oDvANa belt of gold or silver chiefly worn by women.
> Tu. oDyaNe, oDyANa belt or girdle made of gold and generally worn
> by a devil-dancer. Te. oDDANamu belt of gold or silver worn by women.
>    2.6 All the morphological variations noted above from Indian
> and Tibetan sources, can be traced back to South Indian languages,
> thus proving that oDDiyAna is the Tamil equivalent of KAnci, both
> meaning a 'girdle'.
> [...]
>    3.1 The presence of DraviDa expressions in the dhAraNIs is explicitly
> pointed out by several Buddhist texts, [5] .... "
> [5] F. Bernhard, 1967, ZDMG, 117, p. 148-168
> p. 511
>   The evidence of different Buddhist traditions points to the origin
> of PAramitAyAna and MantrayAna in the South and its spread thence to
> other regions of India. The linguistic evidence of the word
> ODDiyAna itself, the presence of South Indian vocables in dhAraNIs,
> the unanimous traditions about the origination of tantras in various
> places of Southern India, and the fact that Kanci was a cradle of
> Buddhism as well as a centre for the dissemination of VajrayAna
> to East Asia: all converge to the conclusion that ODDiyAna is
> Kanci."
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