[INDOLOGY] A question on a name

Olivelle, Joseph P jpo at austin.utexas.edu
Sat Nov 26 17:27:46 UTC 2022

Dear All:
I got this query from a scholar who is not on our list. I did not know any answer to it, so I turn to all of you to see whether anyone has seen this kind of posthumous name change, especially for kings.

With thanks and best wishes,


I am writing with a question on Sanskrit and relating to the posthumous names of Khmer kings and I apologize for bothering you with it. I was discussing this with two other scholars (mainly Tamil, some Sanskrit) last night.
Are there many examples of people (thinking of kings, primarily) who were known by posthumous names like “Sivaloka” or “Vishnuloka”? I am thinking of Suryavarman II who was a 12th cent. Khmer king.  His posthumous name was Paramavishnuloka.  French scholars have translated such names as “He who has gone to Sivaloka,” etc.. This custom seems to have been around in Cambodia from at least the 9thcentury CE.
How does a synonym of vaikuntha—Paramavishnuloka—become a posthumous name? Do we know of such cases in India?

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