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Removing The Sheen From Buddhism
Post 6/?

On why Lokesh Chandra's speculations remain that: speculation. Because there exist Potalaka theories/speculations favoured (and cited) by others. Not to mention that the 3 out of 5 reasons Lokesh gave for his choice of Shabarimalai as Potalaka derive from how he chose to trace the etymological origins of Potalaka. Can compare this to the different etymological origins for Potalaka traced by a Japanese author, Shu Hikosaka: also speculatively derived, as Shu too decided to take Potalaka as a literal place like Hsuan-Tsang did and to use the description of Hsuan-Tsang's choice of Potalaka as blueprint.

Note that I'm not saying that Lokesh's speculations are speculations and Shu's are "the fact". No. They are both just Mere Speculations, as can be seen from how Potalaka morphed from a spiritual place in the primary text into a "it's probably a physical place, Somewhere Out There" as per later Buddhists who tried to locate it in the physical world in various parts of Asia.

The point is to show that these two Potalaka theories (by Lokesh and Shu) - and several others that have been advanced by "scholars" regarding a physical locus for Potalaka - are "equally" [in]valid. At the very least, the existence of equally-plausible competing theories should call into question the certainty with which some people have been propagating Lokesh Chandra's Shabarimala=Potalaka theory via Rajeev's write-ups about it. (I already know it's too much to expect modern Indians "Hindus" to stick to tradition despite their awareness that so many diverse theories to rob them of their sacred sites are being launched Every Day by their missionary opponents. Equally unlikely is asking people to investigate for themselves the validity of theories being passed around. <- You know, that's that bit where people exercise their brain? The thing in their skulls? Never mind.)

1. The relevant pages on Ayyappa (pages 33-35) from Lokesh Chandra's "The Thousand-armed Avalokiteshwara". Screengrabs are from GoogleBooks.

Page 36 (where Lokesh makes the mistake of confusing Mahishi/Mahishasuri with Mahishasura) just recounts popular local narratives on Ayyappa without introducing Buddhisms, so am skipping that.**

[Image: 3adci.png]

[Image: oqwp46.png]

[Image: 72r3hu.png]

Can try the links if the images don't show:




** On page 36, the Punjabi scholar does end with a touchy-feely bit on how wonderful and moving Shabarimalai is and all, and how "the sacred hills of Shabarimala are a source of inspiration to people in India" (when I doubt that all or even most Indians outside the affected regions have heard of it***), but I'm sure that's because his Bauddhified self got interested in Shabarimalai only because he chose to identify it with Buddhism. If he had dismissed the possibility, he wouldn't give it a backward glance I'm sure. Rajeev, too, practically always mentions Ayyappa together with Buddhism now. In another article where he described difficulties he faced during a trek to see Ayyappa, Rajeev recounted how during this time of introspection he rather recalled how Buddhists must have earlier made this trek. <- I.e. he totally internalised Bauddifying rewrites of Hindu religio-history AGAIN: he has come to assume that Shabarimalai was a Buddhist site at one point in time and so he has further assumed that Buddhists must have gone there. But it's a belief based on a recently-invented (bad) speculation, no more.]

*** Considering that so many modern Indians are so ill-acquainted with Hindu scriptures that they fall for late Bauddhified backprojections, like how Hindus have now been propagating that Mahabali "must have" represented "Buddhism in Kerala's history" (when the Valmeeki Ramayanam speaks of Trivikrama vs Mahabali as ancient ur-history and when Mahabali was a Vedic ritualist from such original accounts, etc). I mean, when Hindus don't even know the basics of pan-Hindu narratives like the Ramayanam, why in the world would Hindus from a distant part of India be expected to know Ayyappa at Shabarimalai? <- Perhaps that's another reason why Lokesh Chandra and his indiscriminate parrots thought they could get away with passing Ayyappa/Shabarimalai off as Buddhist Avalokiteshwara/Potalaka.

2. And here's the Japanese writer Shu's choice of Potalaka: in Tamizh Nadu's Podigai/Potiyil -


Quote:Here it should be a matter of interest to refer to the modern Japanese scholar Shu Hikosaka’s work. On the basis of his study of Buddhist scriptures, ancient and medieval Tamil language literary sources, as well as field survey, he proposes the hypothesis that, the ancient mount Potalaka, the residence of bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara described in the Gaṇḍavyūha and Xuanzang’s Records, is the real mountain Potikai or Potiyil situated at Ambasamudram in Tirunelveli district, Tamilnadu, lat. 8º 36´, long. 77º 17´. With 2072.6 m, it is the highest mountain in the Tinnevelly range of Ghats.[30] In his work, Shu also develops an interesting theory concerning the etymology of the name Potalaka. According to him, the original Tamil name Potiyil is a derivation from bodhi-il, where bodhi is a loan from Āryan languages meaning ‘Buddhism and Buddhists’, and the Tamil word il means ‘place, residence’. Thus the whole name indicates ‘the residence of Buddhists or Bauddha ascetics’. The word kai in Potikai is colloquial Tamil and has the same meaning as il”.[31] In Sanskrit and Prākrit Mahāyāna texts another change took place─the il was translated back as loka, ‘the world or place’. Thus Potalaka is a corrupted form of Buddha-loka, ‘the place of Buddhists’.[32] Shu also says that mount Potiyil/Potalaka has been a sacred place for the people of South India from time immemorial. With the spread of Buddhism in the region beginning at the time of the great king Aśoka in the third century B.C.E., it became a holy place also for Buddhists who gradually became dominant as a number of their hermits settled there. The local people, though, mainly remained followers of the Hindu religion. The mixed Hindu-Buddhist cult culminated in the formation of the figure of Avalokiteśvara. The worship of Śiva Pāṃṣupata, however, remained popular too and blended with that of Avalokiteśvara.[33]

I have two issues with Shu's derivation of Potigai/Potiyil from bodhi-il:

a. If Potiyil had meant Buddhaloka, then even Prakritic-speaking Buddhists would have known enough to translate it directly into Pkt/Skt as such. Consider the lengths that Chinese converts to Buddhism went to to learn Skt just so they could get Buddhism right, to the point that they tried to make literal translations into Chinese of all the Pali, Skt and even Tamil names. Where the etymological origins of "Potalaka" are concerned, Lokesh Chandra has the more convincing argument, relatively-speaking. It's not necessarily the right one, but it's more reasonable than that of Shu. *Because* Lokesh at least assumed the meaning must have been transferred into Chinese (in Buddhabhadra's 5th century Chinese translation).

Further, if Buddhists were going to introduce a non-Skt word, why not then keep the allegedly original Tamil word? That is, if Potiyil/Podigai had anything to do with Potalaka, then Potiyil/Podigai are equally without apparent meaning in Skt as Potalaka, surely. So then Buddhist transcribers could have easily kept the Tamil word if they weren't going to properly translate it back anyway to the alleged Buddhaloka/Bodhiloka. (Else historians would have not have had to speculate Tamil etymological origins for the word, and speculate so differently besides.) That is, Buddhists who didn't understand the Tamil word enough - to render its meaning in Skt/Pali as its name - could at least have more closely stuck to the original word's sounds as best as they could, rather than invent a whole new word that neither in meaning nor pronunciation is related to the allegedly-Tamil predecessor. [That's assuming Potalaka isn't simply a newly-minted Skt/Pkt name with no necessary meaning, and no necessary origins in any other language. I mean, the earliest names and words were invented from random sounds and then given meaning, so why can't Potalaka just be "Potalaka"? Vedic Hindus of course liked for words to derive from the meanings of their constituent sounds, but Buddhists had left Vedic Hindu-dom and were never pedantic about Skt and not even into Skt originally.]

Besides, if the Buddhists supposedly knew to transfer the 2nd half of the word's (allegedly) intermediate Tamil etymology back to "loka" - as Shu conjectured - then why was the first part not equally sensibly transferred back? But as it happens, Buddhists didn't actually turn the 2nd half to "loka": the second half of the word is "laka", betraying no knowledge that the Buddhists thought (as Shu thinks they must have) that it was loka. It's all just an exercise in theorising. And that's why it's given rise to multiple theories on its etymology.

b. However, a more immediate reason for my not being convinced by Shu's take that Potiyil/Podigai would imply Buddhaloka or Bodhi-loka is because, unlike Sanskrit - but like all *European* languages that I know of - Tamil and S Hindu languages in general have short-o and short-e as well as long-o and long-e. Skt only has the long variants for these two vowels. And:

+ Podigai and Potiyil is SHORT O. (You can see this even in how the Doordarshan's Tamil channel Podigai is written with short-o in Tamil script.)

+ Whereas BOdhi is long-o, being Skt. If Tamil Hindus had derived the "Podi" bit in Podigai and Potiyil from BOdhi, as Shu claims, then they could easily have used the long version of the vowel.

When it came to writing, historically, only script characters for the long version of the e and o existed in the Tamil script. [Indicating that the script for Tamil may have been arranged based on the aksharas or script for Skt.] In the colonial era, the characters for long-e and long-o from the Tamil Grantha script (script for Skt) were introduced into the Tamil script, and relabelled as the characters for short-e and short-o sounds in Tamil. Despite the Tamil script not having had characters for short-o and short-e for a long time, yet the short-o sound in the pronunciation of Podigai and Potiyil had been preserved - same as the short-e sound in Venkatachalapati and Venkatachala malai have been preserved (same as Tamil has retained the short-e and the short-o sounds in the pronunciation of Tamil vocabulary in general: can hear these in the vocal rendering of any ancient Tamil language text); because Tamil Hindus have always differentiated between short-o and long-o and between short-e and long-e. We aren't as strict in differentiating between k and g (and h), for example, since that doesn't matter so much in Tamizh; but o and e differences do matter, as it's part of the Tamil language itself since ancient times. Any *written* renderings of Potiyil and Podigai with long-o in Tamil script is just a vestige of people at times still using the limited script characters of the past. The pronunciation still remains Potiyil and Podigai with short-o.

Therefore, it seems to me Shu's conjecture that Potiyil/Podigai must be named for BOdhi-anything is very unlikely. But Shu is Japanese and doesn't know Tamil, so maybe that can be forgiven.

- Podigai is ancient Hindu territory, and a very sacred Hindu site since ancient times (this is obvious even from the placenames).

The Podigai Malai (Mountains) are also called Agastiar Malai (Mountains) because it is very much associated with the Agastya Muni (Hindu religion) since very ancient times. That's why Agastya in Tamil is even called Potiyil Munivar: the Potiyil Muni. Podigai's ancientry is famously associated with Agastya - the Hindu Rishi who worshipped the Hindoo Gods, notably Shiva (Rishi Agastiar/Agastya is one of the first Siddhars of Shaivam).

- The Japanese scholar Shu too admits as much when he says that "mount Potiyil/Potalaka has been a sacred place for the people of South India from time immemorial" and also in his statement that "the locals remained followers of the Hindu religion" despite Shu's -conjectured- syncretist Buddhism there. That is, Shu admits it was Hindu originally and so the locals "remained" Hindu.

Nevertheless, Shu's decision to derive Potiyil from "possibly Bodhi-place" to make it fit his storytelling of equating it with the Potalaka of Hsuan-Tsang - and which etymology is obviously *quite* different from Lokesh Chandra's derivation, who with no less certainty derived the word as rather meaning "brilliance" based on Chinese sources -

Again: Shu's choice to derive Potiyil as "probably from place of Buddhists" to conflate it with Potalaka, has neo- or rather pseudo-Buddhists and other crackpots in TN threatening that this speculation constitutes "proof" that the Podigai/Potiyil area was "Buddhist originally" and that Hindus (dubbed evil brahmoons, since Buddhism wants to convert the resistant Hindoo laity) "had persecuted Buddhism out of there" etc. Never mind that even Shu in deriving the name Potiyil from Buddhism admits that the local masses there "remained Hindus" i.e. as before his hypothesised Buddhist syncretism in the area.

As regards that last, it is interesting to see the Estonian writer of that Gandavyuha paper - who betrays a Buddhist sympathy/adherence - twist Shu's own short statements. (See at link.) That is, Shu had said that despite (the alleged) Buddhist settlers in the place, "The local people, though, mainly remained followers of the Hindu religion". The Estonian in pretending to summarise Shu, declares in utter inversion that the locals must have worshipped some unnamed "gods and 'ghosts'" of some unnamed religion before Buddhism, and then with "Hinduism's triumph", Hinduism was to have inculturated on Buddhist Avalokiteshwara and turned him into Shiva. <- More proof of the Buddhism of the Estonian writer is not needed. Certain kinds of western Buddhist converts (and many modern Indian Buddhist converts, neo-Buddhist or not) tend to always assume Buddhism's innocence and Hinduism's guilt especially against all evidence to the contrary, and spin what other scholars say into an inversion. That and they like to identify syncretism everywhere.

And as regards Shu's final statements: "The mixed Hindu-Buddhist cult culminated in the formation of the figure of Avalokiteśvara. The worship of Śiva Pāṃṣupata, however, remained popular too and blended with that of Avalokiteśvara."

Note that these are nth degree speculations: i.e. they are speculations on "what could have happened afterwards", that follow from Shu's earlier speculations on the origin of the word Potiyil and the speculation that this must be the place Hsuan Tsang took for "Potalaka" (and that must have been a syncretic Buddhist site since Hsuan-Tsang assumed it was such), and the speculation that Potalaka may have been a physical place, etc.

Why does this class of writers always pretend that forced-syncretism with Buddhism (or missionary religion in general) was never rejected by locals? I already mentioned the example of how Hindus tried to avoid the Buddhist encroachment on a form of Shiva which Buddhism attempted via their Padmapani, early Hindus tried to avoid it by halting depictions of said Shiva form with padmam in hand. You can see Taoists even today resist the Bauddhification of a Taoist God which Buddhism had falsely depicted with a pig's head with an eye to popularising this false form (which Buddhism had subsumed into Buddhism). Taoists have also been consciously rejecting Buddhism's equally long-standing attempt to popularise several other Taoist Gods in Buddhist pseudo-yoga postures (another means by which Buddhism tried to assimilate Taoist Gods into the Buddhist hierarchy headed by the multiple Buddhas of Mahayana: Taoist Gods presented as doing Yoga to attain Buddhist-nirvana).

Notable is that what starts off as Shu's "theory" of Potiyil as Potalaka - based on his etymological derivation - is in the end turned into further speculation of how there "must have been a syncretistic Hindu Buddhist cult there" and what could have happened to it, etc. I was always surprised that the great many Bauddhified "Hindu nationalist" vocalists didn't pounce on Shu, considering that they already swear by Buddhism with mere lipservice to Hindu religion. But I guess Shu Hikosaka is only a "Japanese scholar", whereas Indian nationalists feel they must promote modern Indian "scholarship" (even if it is also mere speculation, and especially when others' speculations disagree with the Indian's). Plus Shabarimalai is in Rajeev's own backyard - Kerala - and he did several times think back wistfully on his allegedly and suddenly "Buddhist" ancestors and all - such as when propagating the modern theory that the Vedic Mahabali was a Buddhism. So of course Lokesh Chandra's conjecturing would have appealed more to RS than that of Shu. Alternatively, RS, his friend Devakumar Sreevijayan and most other Indian "nationalists" have never heard of Shu's theories. Which would explain why said readers blindly applauded Rajeev Srinivasan's article which essentially stated "Ayyappa was Buddhist aka Shabarimalai was Potalaka: because Lokesh Chandra said that Hsuan Tsang figured that the Avatamsaka Sutra implied so."

The screenshots from Googlebooks and the quoteblock are all what's relevant in this post too.
Post 7/?

Just some observations/loose notes

Firstly, concerning this line:


Quote:Astonishingly, it appears that the Dalai Lama's Palace in Lhasa, the incomparable Potala, is named after Sabarimala!

But Lokesh only speculated that Potalaka could have been Shabarimalai (itself based on comparatively late Buddhist speculation - such as by Hsuan Tsang - that Potalaka may be real worldly geography and conveniently located in India, instead of being a spiritual place like many other "places" described in Buddhist texts, including Hindu spiritual places commandeered by Buddhism/Jainism, like Meru). Not even Lokesh said that the Dalai Lama's palatial residence was named after Shabarimalai. Srinivasan drew that conclusion for himself - and for his readers - without stating what Lokesh had said, which was only to remark that Dala Lama's Potala was named for Potalaka. Moreover Lokesh makes this observation *before* he even begins conflating Shabarimalai's Ayyappa with the Avalokiteshwara.

The plain fact is that the Dalai Lama's place was named after Potalaka from the Avatamsaka Sutra. Not after Potiyil in Tamil Nadu or Shabarimalai in Kerala or Tirupati in Andhra and the other Potalakas identified in various parts of Asia by various Buddhist and Bauddhified persons. (Though the Indian cases have only been very recently identified. I.e. we're witnessing the back-projection.)

Quote:The Bodhisattva (Buddha-to-be) Avalokitesvara Padmapani, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who is, by tradition, reincarnated as the Dalai Lama, was also the one worshipped at Sabarimala.
In China, the Bodhidharma is worshipped as Guanyin/Avalokiteshwara, masking a female Taoist Goddess who got forcibly merged with a male character by Buddhist "syncretism" trying to ride the wave of her popularity. Which is why GuanYin in E Asia (and where there's E Asian influence in SE Asia) is magically female. While wherever there were Hindus (Indian subcontinent, SE Asia, Tibet) Avalokiteshwara was equally-magically superglued - again by Buddhism - to Shiva and/or Vishnu etc.

But the whole "Avalokiteshwara... was also the one worshipped at Sabarimala" is speculation based on Lokesh Chandra's speculation that Potalaka is in Shabarimalai, based on Hsuan-Tsang's speculation that Potalaka is a physical location (and in India), based on a non-historical myth in Buddhist scriptures.

I don't know why these same people object to the AIT, which is at least as good/convincing when it comes to building on a chain of speculative antecedents.

Like always: people should Prove It. Instead of repeating the same story, only to gradually start talking about it as "fact". Isn't Rajeev the one that has consistently objected to "truth by repeated assertion"? But then, I suppose for him, too, it all depends on who is doing the repeated asserting and how well the assertions appeal to his mind.

Lokesh mentions that "the syncretistic tendencies of the [oxymoron] Shiva-Buddha were a pronounced phenomenon in Indonesia." <- The bit he conveniently missed out on saying is that this was seen in exactly those places of Indonesia and SE Asia that were heavily Shaiva: e.g. Bauddicised Sri Vijaya *had* to encroach on Shiva, because it was significantly Shaiva Hindu before that. The same pattern of Bauddhicisation of Hindu domains was attempted in other parts of SE Asia (e.g. in Vietnam), where Hindu religion did successfully re-take the originally-Hindu kingdoms from the temporary Bauddhification under converted (Buddhist) rulers. And that's when the "syncretised" Shiva-Buddha inculturated forms ceased, because the Hindus - in charge once again - weren't subscribers to the jeebus=Krishna I mean Buddha=Shiva fictions.

Again: it was pure Buddhist opportunism to merge Buddha and Shiva in Indonesia (and Buddha and Vishnu in other SE Asian Hindu temples). The same opportunism is seen the length and breadth of E/SE Asia, where Buddha and even Buddhist fictions were conflated with native Gods. E.g. Buddhism tried similarly encroaching/inculturating on a prominent Shinto agricultural-and-war God in Japan, which was met with resistance from staunch Shinto quarters.

About this bit from Lokesh Chandra though:

Quote:However, Buddha is called MahAdeva only in the Chinese version [of the Buddhist fable demoting Shiva-the-Mahadeva and other Hindu Gods]. The convergence of Buddha and MahAdeva seems to be an early phenomenon, whose culmination can be seen in Harihara becoming Neelakantha alias Thousand-armed Avalokiteshwara.

The AvataMsaka, Hsuan-Tsang and the hymn to the Thousand-armed Avalokiteshwara lead to the following facts:


(v) Avalokiteshwara takes his abode on Potalaka "in coming and going" [color=purple][=literal English translation of Tathagata I think]. Sometimes he appears as Maheswara/Ishwara and at other times as a PAshupata yogin.

(vi) The transformation of NIlakaNTha/Maheshwara/Yogeshwara, with alternating attributes of Hari-hara** into the Thousand-armed avalokiteshwara is evident in the hymn.

The aforesaid remind of Lord Ayyappa of Shabarimala, who could have been the Potala Lokeshwara of Buddhist literature.

(BTW, and *that* - plus his etymology for potalaka meaning "brilliant", and his choosing to tie this meaning into the Makara Jyoti in points i to iii - is what made Lokesh conclude that Shabarimala "must have been Potalaka" and that Ayyappa "must have been Avalokiteshwara".)

But what is evident is that Buddhism had already encroached on the name Mahadeva, in (the Chinese version of) the same undeniably missionary Buddhist fable wherein Buddhism essentially denied that Shiva deserved the name Mahadeva=Shiva's own personal name. And Buddhism also denied the other Hindu Gods of being worthy of the epithet. (Seen in the top part of p.33/the first screenshot from Lokesh's book in the previous post.) The Buddhist fable was rather like an Indian jeebus movie I once watched, whose moral was similar dawaganda: worshipping the Hindu Gods was in vain, no one but jeebus could help the put-upon main character. But then missionising is missionising.

** "The transformation of NIlakaNTha/Maheshwara/Yogeshwara, with alternating attributes of Hari-Hara into the Thousand-armed avalokiteshwara is evident in the hymn."

But even the 3 names given above are Shiva's names. Yogeshwara is admittedly equally Vishnu's name (or that of several other Hindu Gods) and Maheshwara is a valid epithet for Vishnu - as it is that of other Hindu Gods, even though the -Ishwara suffix is generally of Shiva when no further indication is given (the way Perumaal is generally Tamizh for Vishnu=Tirumaal=Maal, although occasionally Perumaal is also used by Shaivas for Murugan and Shivan, though again qualified/indicated by context. E.g. "Perumaale" as direct-reference to Kumaran by AruNagirinAthar, etc.)

Back to the attempted Buddhist encroachment on Neelakantha. In Lokesh's shortlist of "NIlakaNTha/Maheshwara/Yogeshwara" usurped by Buddhism, the name Nilakantha seals the identity of the God who got cloned here: as it is specifically only Shiva who is Neelakantha. The kaalakooTa made his throat bluish-black so he is peculiarly called Nilakantha (also seen in the Vedam), whereas Vishnu is generally neelam all over.

Though Lokesh has not at all proven that Ayyappa is Avalokiteshwara/Potala Lokeshwara*, what he has reiterated - already long shown to be the case by earlier historians - is that Avalokiteshwara was a clone of Shiva. He has further underlined that Buddhism was quite so desperate as to even try encroaching on Shiva's ueber-personal name NilakaNTha, a name which *cannot* be randomly assigned to even other Hindu Gods let alone Buddhisms, *because* it is a physical descriptive unique to Shiva. I mean, did Buddha try to swallow the haalaahalam and have his throat coloured by it? Oh but I forget, Buddhists backprojected a merger of Buddha with Shiva and thus "(christo-)magically" Buddha was present during the samudra manthanam. No? [Although modern Hindus - desperate to invent the "Hinduism=Buddhism=Jainism=The One Dharmic Religion of India", something which Hindu ancestors resisted heavily - will swear to the spatially-and-temporally-localised/non-universal/opportunistic Buddhist credo that Shiva is the Buddha onlee, I mean the first Jain teerthankara of Jain theology, I mean the Judaic deity, I mean the Yezidi deity, I mean ...]

And again: as also indicated in extracts pasted in a previous post in this series, other scholars have also noted that Avalokiteshwara was cloned from Shiva in particular, even though the clone was also made to absorb features of other Hindu Gods (=the purpose of Mahayana Buddhism in Indian space). Lokesh Chandra only tries to force the issue of Avalokiteshwara having inculturated on Hari and Hara features in other Bauddhicised once-Hindu regions, in order to thereby better superimpose his Bauddicising theory on Hariharaputra Ayyappa at Shabarimalai.

There's no question that Buddhism tried inculturating on Hindu Gods - moorties, Hindu temples and sites - including using Avalokiteshwara (and other Buddhist characters that Mahayana regularly gave rise to). I'm still waiting for *proof* - a.o.t. Mere Speculation - from Lokesh/Rajeev and also Shu that Shabarimalai or any Shiva or other Hindoo Kovil in Shabarimalai, Podigai (or Tirupati, or ultimately any Hindu temple/sacred site in India) was regarded as Potalaka [by the natives]. There are Buddhist and other records of known Buddhist outposts in Kerala and Tamil Nadu that were recognised as Buddhist - despite Indian Buddhist pretence that this has been "obscured" (a mask for their disappointment that Buddhism etc never did that well in the south among the laity, only capturing the subvertibles among brahmanas and kShatriyas, as also in other parts of the subcontinent like once-Hindu Afghanistan). So where is the record of Shabarimalai or Podigai being identified by locals from centuries back as the "Potalaka" of Buddhism? [Potiyil and Podigai are unlikely to derive from bOdhi, as already mentioned in post 6: Tamil would have preserved the long-o of Skt then, but Podigai and Potiyil are still pronounced *short-o* (there is a difference in Tamil).]

This post was just some loose notes
Post 8/?

About this again:

Quote:[Lokesh Chandra in his book The Thousand-Armed Avalokitesvara:] The Avatamsaka Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: "Potalaka is on the sea-side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks, and is in fact a sort of earthly paradise. Buddhabhadra (A.D. 420) calls Kuan-yin mountain Kuangming or 'Brilliance', which is usually given as the rendering for Malaya, but a later translator, ShikShAnanda, transcribes the name Potalaka" (Watters 1905:2.231)

In order to find this (unterminated) direct quote that Lokesh Chandra attributed to the Avatamsaka Sutra,

Googled for:

- "it has woods, it has streams, and tanks"

- "it has woods, it has streams"

The search results for the former are a subset of the latter (well obviously) and so am pasting the search results for the 2nd one. For completeness, these are all the search results as of the current period, including what Google says are "similar" ones.

What it shows is actually interesting:

Quote:The Buddhist Connection - Rediff.com

www.rediff.com/news/dec/31rajeev.htm‎ Cached Similar

... 'The Avatamsaka Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''

Potalaka is on the sea-side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

India Archaeology - Groups - Yahoo

https: // groups.yahoo.com/group/IndiaArchaeology/message/8208

... 'The Avatamsaka Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''

Potalaka is on the sea-side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

India Archaeology - Groups - Yahoo

https: // groups.yahoo.com/group/IndiaArchaeology/message/8218‎ Cached

... 'The Avatamsaka Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''

Potalaka is on the sea-side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

The Legend of Vavar - Yahoo Groups

https: // groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/.../topics/8184 ‎Cached

... 'The Avatamsaka Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''

Potalaka is on the sea-side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

Shadow Warrior: for makara sankranti, an old column of mine from ...

rajeev2004.blogspot.com/.../for-makara-sankranti-old-column-of-mine.html ‎Cached

13 Jan 2012 ... ... the sea-side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''...

Buddhabhadra's (AD 420) rendering of Potala (or Potalaka) is ''Brilliance.

The Buddhist Connection: Sabarimala and the Tibetans | Sulekha ...

creative.sulekha.com/the-buddhist-connection-sabarimala-and-the-tibetans_ 323345_blog‎ Cached

'The Avatamsaka Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''

Potalaka is on the sea-side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

•••7am Arivu••• An Excellent 100 Days!!! - Page 301 - Malayalam ...

www.forumkeralam.com/forum/showthread.php/.../page301‎ Cached

... Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''Potalaka is on the sea-

side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

•••7am Arivu••• An Excellent 100 Days!!! - Page 305

www.forumkeralam.com/forum/showthread.php/.../page305‎ Cached

... Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''Potalaka is on the sea-

side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

The Legend of Vavar - Yahoo Groups

https: // beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/.../8184‎ Cached

... 'The Avatamsaka Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''

Potalaka is on the sea-side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.


getreadytofail.blogspot.com/.../ayyappan-aka-sastha-aka-ayyanaar.html‎ Cached

31 Dec 2010 ... ... Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''Potalaka is on the sea-

side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.


sabaridevind.blogspot.com/2009_06_01_archive.html ‎Cached

29 Jun 2009 ... ... Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''Potalaka is on the sea-

side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.


sabaridevind.blogspot.com/2009/06/lord-ayyappa.html‎ Cached Similar

29 Jun 2009 ... ... Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''Potalaka is on the sea-

side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.


sabaridevind.blogspot.com/ ‎Cached

1 Oct 2010 ... ... Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''Potalaka is on the sea-

side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

Rediff On The NeT: Rajeev Srinivasan looks at the Hindu and ...

archive.today/cx6H‎ Cached

... 'The Avatamsaka Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''

Potalaka is on the sea-side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

சர்ச்சைகளும், சபரிமலை ஐயப்பனும்!

musaravanakkumar.blogspot.com/2012/10/blog-post_13.html‎ Cached

13 அக்டோபர் 2012 ... ... Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''Potalaka is on the sea-

side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

மு.சரவணக்குமார்/mu.saravanakumar: October 2012

musaravanakkumar.blogspot.com/2012_10_01_archive.html ‎Cached

1 அக்டோபர் 2012 ... ... Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''Potalaka is on the sea-

side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

சர்ச்சைகளும் சபரிமலை சாஸ்தாவும்

sadhayam.blogspot.com/2006/06/blog-post_30.html‎ Cached

30 ஜூன் 2006 ... ... Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''Potalaka is on the sea-

side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

இயன்ற வரை இனிய தமிழில்: June 2006

sadhayam.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html ‎Cached

30 ஜூன் 2006 ... ... Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''Potalaka is on the sea-

side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

ALTER EGO: December 2010

getreadytofail.blogspot.com/2010_12_01_archive.html‎ Cached

31 Dec 2010 ... ... Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: ''Potalaka is on the sea-

side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks''.

- None of the search results lead to the actual text of the Avatamsaka Sutra

- All search results lead to what Rajeev Srinivasan had written. Note that Rajeev wrote his Rediff article on December 31, 1997 (as seen from if you view the HTML source on the page). Compare this with the visible dates for all the bloggers in the above.

- Note also that Rajeev is the one who used 2 x '' (two times singlequotes) preceding the word Potalaka in his article, instead of doublequotes. And all the search results contain just that version: 2 singlequotes.

- In other words: everyone else all got the statement not from Lokesh's book, but from Rajeev. They're quoting Rajeev - as their source, as "evidence" for "Shabarimalai=Buddhist". (Unless Rajeev had copied and pasted the Lokesh quote too, 2 x singlequotes and all, from some online forum himself). Rajeev's become their authoritative source on what his authority Lokesh Chandra had claimed.

- So the source for the propagation of the subversion on the internet that "Shabarimalai=Buddhist" is... not even Lokesh Chandra but... Rajeev Srinivasan. He could have used his influence for spreading facts instead of irresponsible rumour-mongering based on Lokesh's mere (and bad) speculations.
Post 9/?

Since I couldn't find where Lokesh got his unterminated "direct quote" from the Avatamsaka Sutra from - in order to see what the full alleged quote was like - I went to plan B: looking up the Sutra myself. Fortunately found an English translation by someone who is sympathetic to the source - Cleary (famous translator of JP/CN language Buddhist works) - and whose translation of the Avatamsaka at least comes recommended by a famous Buddhist (Thurman). So:

- Tracked down an (illegally-downloadable) copy of Thomas Cleary's translation of ShikShananda's 7th century CE Chinese translation of Avatamsaka Sutra.

- The Avatamsaka Sutra portion of the book, as per Thurman, has 1463 pages.

- There's an additional 55 pages that are the author's intro (not available in the pirate version online).

- And then there are many closing pages: glossary, appendix etc. Also not available in the pirated version, which is stripped down to just the Avatamsaka Sutra text.

- The digital book is sadly not searchable (just images/scans of the pages, no OCR).

- Fortunately, the Googlebooks version IS searchable. And the page numbers are the same.

- So a search for Potalaka in the Googlebooks version revealed that the word occurred in 4 pages over Cleary's entire book, only the first 3 pages of which were shown. But that didn't matter, as the 3rd page was already in the glossary section, i.e. when the actual Avatamsaka Sutra is already finished, so the 4th search results page containing "Potalaka" is also past the entire Sutra.

The glossary entry is on p.1601, where Googlebooks' search result snippet for "Potalaka" shows:

Quote:"Potalaka is a mountain where many small white flowers grow; this represents the modesty and compassionate behavior of the enlightening being.

Avalokiteshvara represents living in the ocean of birth and"

The search results for the actual Avatamsaka Sutra proper:

- The 3 pages p.1274, p.1275 and p.1280 contain the only 4 occurrences of the word "Potalaka" in the entire Avatamsaka Sutra. (CORRECTED to include 1275.)

- All are in the Gandavyuha Sutra section of the Avatamsaka.

The first two occur on page 1274, which introduces Potalaka, the first of which occurs in the prose section (deemed older) and the second in the verse section (which is deemed later).

The 3rd occurrence (p.1275) says he went to Potalaka.

The 4th and final occurrence is in p. 1280 which has Sudhana farewelling Avalokiteshwara at Potalaka (and offers no description anymore) as he is sent on his way to meet the next spiritual Buddhist character, "the enlightening being Ananyagamin" who is born in the buddhaland of light, one of the many countless buddhalands mentioned in the text (and after Ananyagamin gives his sermon, he sends Sudhana on to meet the "celestial being Mahadeva in the city Dvaravati", etc - which city is not described nor is its location with respect to Potalaka explained: it is just "south" again from Potalaka, and the meaning of Dvaravati - Gateway city? - indicates it may be allegorical.

- But between pages 1274 and 1280 is the entire section first mentioning and then set in Potalaka. (The Ananyagamin section is also supposed to be in Potalaka, since he appeared in Avalokiteshwara's assembly, but there are no more descriptions of the place in that section.)

Sudhana is constantly being sent from one perfect spiritual Buddhist character living in an unidentifiable or unreal but named location to another (the names are often unique to the Sutra and all that that implies). Some backdrops are well described, like the "jewelled apartments and furnishing" of the perfect woman Vasumitra whom Sudhana meets before meeting Veshtila and thereafter meeting Avalokiteshwara. Other localities are simply mentioned by name: Veshtila and Mahadeva's cities are simply named and are "south" from wherever the previous Buddhist character was.**

E.g. Veshtila's house is said to be in the "city of Shubhaparamgama" and he's a householder. More is not said and the city is not described. Note that Buddhism often came up with city names as backdrops for the stories it wants to tell - and a web search for "Shubhaparamgama" only turns up results in the Avatamsaka Sutra, Gandavyuha section - they are not meant to be historical/geographical. (They may have allegorical meanings.) And you don't see anyone searching for Shubhaparamgama, whereas many Buddhists and Bauddhified Hindus are searching for Potalaka. Why? As mentioned before, in Asian Mahayana Buddhists' case, it is because eventually the Avalokiteshwara character - who only gets a few pages of introduction here - grew into a huge, important figure in Mahayana Buddhism. So Buddhists, hoping to find Avalokiteshwara (though not a historic being/not in a physical reality, and developed as/into clone moreover) ended up looking for his location in the physical world instead. But why Bauddhified Hindus should obsess over Potalaka is another question entirely.

** BTW: The fact that the Sutra eventually shows Sudhana journeying in a cycle and returning back to his point of origin (<- which was also mentioned in wackypedia) - obviously indicating a spiritual journey - may moreover refer to a practice, assuming the text is mirroring the reasonings such motifs are used in older Hindu literature: patterned sequential movement tend to represent yoga/tantra in Hindu literature. And even reveal true, complete forms of contained mantras. E.g. in Valmeeki Ramayanam's Sundara Kandam, Hanuman sequentially meeting with various beings is supposed to be Kundalini Yoga, passing through the rudragranthi and the other ones etc. There is also eventual cyclical return there. But then, many early Buddhists - including Mahayana - and especially composers of Buddhist Sutras were ex-brahmanas, after all, and tended to still use peculiarly-Hindu methods and styles of imparting meditation and even tried to transfer Hindu tantra practices into Buddhism.

Actually, found a searchable version of Cleary's Gandavyuha chapter - relevant, since it's the only chapter mentioning Potalaka in all of the Avatamsaka Sutra.


Excerpting from sections on a couple of characters that Sudhana visits both before and after Avalokiteshwara, so that it becomes apparent to anyone (who is not self-delusional) that the text is a spiritual journey and that there is no more need to physically locate one character's locality than the next, since they're not historical.

Note that this Buddhist text is written adopting a style seen in some Hindu meditative texts/sections of Puranas, which also describe the spiritual cities or abode of various Gods in their paraloka and their narratives. They also have protagonist characters meeting one God of Hindoo cosmology or learned Hindoo after another, before culminating in an encounter with the primary deity whom they are seeking (e.g. IIRC, Shrimad Bhagavatam). Alternatively they describe the spiritual exploits of the Hindoo Gods also meant for meditation upon (e.g. IIRC DeviMahatmyam). Etc. The Mahayana Buddhist text uses "countless Buddhas in countless Buddhalokas" - i.e. Buddhist cosmology - as a substitute for where Hindu texts were using the countless Gods in their many lokas etc.

Quote:Those who knew the excellence of the virtues of Vasumitra, however, and

who were aware of the scope of her knowledge, said, "Good, good! You have

really made gain if you ask about Vasumitra. You surely seek buddhahood;

you surely want to make yourself a refuge for all sentient beings; you surely

want to extract the barbs of passion from all sentient beings; you surely -want

to transform the notion of purity. Vasumitra is in her house, north of the

town square."

Hearing this, Sudhana was delighted. He went to Vasumitra's house and

saw that it was surrounded by tenjewel walls, ten circles of jewel trees, and

ten moats filled with fragrant water covered by celestial jewel lotuses of

various colors, with gold sand spread on the bottom, the rippling waters

producing an intoxicating fragrance, the banks adorned by many jewels.

The house had well-arranged apartments and towers made of all kinds of

precious substances; [... etc etc] The house had diamond beams made from the limbs of

gigantic brilliant jewel trees, and it was an inexhaustible treasury of hun-

dreds and thousands of riches in full view; it was also adorned with ten

large gardens set around it.

(Look, "10 large gardens" - amidst the countless jewel descriptions - therefore it is actual geography! Need to locate Vasumitra's house in someone's patch next...)


There he saw Vasumitra, who was beautiful, with golden skin and black

hair, her limbs and body well proportioned, more beautiful in form than all

celestial and human beings in the realm of desire, her voice finer even than

that of the god Brahma. She knew the language of all beings; she had a pleas-

ant voice that could pronounce any sound, and was skilled in freedom of

phonetic organization. She was well versed in all arts and sciences, she had

learned to use the magic of true knowledge, and she had mastered all aspects

of the expedient means of enlightening beings. Her beautiful body was dec-

orated with assortedjewelry, draped with a radiant mesh made of all kinds of

precious substances, shining with an array of countless celestial jewel orna-

ments. She wore a tiara of large wish-fulfilling gems, her waist was adorned

with diamonds, and she had a lapis lazuli necklace on. She had a large,

attractive retinue, all with the same virtues, the same practice, and the same

vow. She was an inexhaustible treasury of goodness and knowledge. He also

saw the whole house, with all its jeweled apartments and furnishings lit up

by the lovely, refreshing, pleasant, blissful, enrapturing light that emanated

from her body.

[She mentions spiritual Buddhist stuff - that Buddhists are meant to read and which visions will help them progress in their Buddhism.

Then onto the next visit:]

"I know this enlightening liberation of ultimate dispassion, but how can I

know the practice or tell the virtues of the enlightening beings who are

endowed with the skill of endless means and knowledge, who are vast, inex-

haustible treasuries of good, who are in the realm of invincible knowledge?

"South of here is a city called Shubhaparamgama, where a householder

named Veshthila is presenting offerings to the shrine of the buddha Sandal-

wood Throne. Go ask him how to learn and carry out the practice of

enlightening beings."

So Sudhana paid his respects to Vasumitra and left.


Then Sudhana went to Veshthila's house in the city of Shubhaparamgama.

Paying his respects to the householder, he said, "Noble one, I have set my

mind on supreme perfect enlightenment, but I do not know how to learn

and carry out the practice of enlightening beings. I hear that you give

enlightening beings instruction; please tell me how to learn and carry out

the practice of enlightening beings."

Veshthila said, "I have attained an enlightening liberation called 'not ulti-

mately exhausted.' To my way of thinking, no buddha in any world ever has,

does, or will become finally extinct, except as a docetic device. When I

opened the door of the shrine of the buddha Sandalwood Throne, I attained

an enlightening concentration called 'manifestation of the endless lineage

of buddhas.' I enter this concentration in each mental moment, and every

moment understand many kinds of excellence."

Sudhana asked, "What is the sphere of this concentration?"

Veshthila replied, "When I am in this concentration, all the successive

buddhas of this world-system — beginning with Kashyapa, Kanakamuni,

Krakucchanda, Vishvabhuj, Shikhin, Vipashyin, Tishya, Pushya,

Yashottara, and Padmottara — appear to me. In the continuity of vision of

buddhas, by the continuity of the succession of buddhas, in one mental

moment I see a hundred buddhas; in the next moment of awareness I find a

thousand buddhas, then a hundred thousand buddhas, a million buddhas, a

hundred million, a billion, a trillion, a quadrillion, a quintillion; I immedi-

ately become aware of the succession of appearance of untold numbers of

buddhas, of as many buddhas as atoms in the continent, as many as atoms in

untold buddha-lands. I also comprehend the order of preparations of those

buddhas' initial aspiration, their spiritual transformation on achieving the

aspiration for enlightenment, the purity of execution of their various vows,

their purification of action, their fulfillment of the transcendent ways, their

attainment of all the stages of enlightening beings, their perfection of

attainment of tolerance, their conquering of demons, the supernal manifes-

tation of their spiritual transfiguration on becoming perfectly enlightened,

the variety of purity of their buddha-lands, the variety of their development

of sentient beings, the variety of their audiences, the variety of their auras of

light, the majesty of their teaching activities, and their accomplishment of

the miracles of buddhas.

[... etc etc. Veshthila describes simultaneously seeing the past present and future with Buddhas everywhere.

Can compare with Hindu texts on the same minus the multiple Buddhas. Can also compare it with Hindu texts like the Gita, where the Hindoo God (Krishna) was already described as manifest in all directions, everywhere, in his countless manifestations; and which explained that divya chaksus makes this visible. [The divya chakshus of Hindu religion was another thing that Buddhism would in time encroach on.]

Anyway, Veshthila - after continuing on his visions of multiple Buddhas everywhere at all times but all in the current moment - eventually sends Sudhana on his way too. This time to Avalokiteshwara in Potalaka:]

"I know this enlightening liberation of ultimate nonextinction; how can I

know the practice or tell of the virtues of the enlightening beings who have

attained instantaneous knowledge of past, present, and future, who dwell in

all concentrations in the space of an instant [...]

"South of here is a mountain called Potalaka, where an enlightening

being named Avalokiteshvara lives. Go ask him how to learn and carry out

the practice of enlightening beings."

Then Veshthila said in verse,

Go, Sudhana, to Mount Potalaka in the ocean, a pure abode of the valiant,

Made of jewels, covered with trees, scattered with flowers, complete

with gardens, ponds, and streams.

On the mountain the steady, wise Avalokiteshvara dwells for the bene-

fit of the world.

Go ask him the virtues of the Guides — he will teach you great, won-

derful means of attainment.

So Sudhana paid his respects to Veshthila and went on.


Reflecting on the teaching of Veshthila, entering the treasury of zealous

application of enlightening beings, remembering the power of

mindfulness of enlightening beings, remembering the power of the suc-

cession of enlightened guides, realizing the unbroken continuity of

buddhas, remembering the progression of the hearing of the names of bud-

dhas, following the principles of the teachings of the buddhas, entering

into the array of collective practice of the buddha-teachings, intent on the

the exclamation made by buddhas on becoming perfectly enlightened,

focusing his attention on the inconceivable action of buddhas, Sudhana

made his way to Mount Potalaka.

Climbing the mountain, he looked around for Avalokiteshvara and saw

him on a plateau on the west side of the mountain, which was adorned with

springs, ponds, and streams, sitting wakefully on a diamond boulder in a

clearing in a large woods, surrounded by a group of enlightening beings

seated on various jewel rocks,
to whom he was expounding a doctrine called

"light of the medium of great love and compassion," which concerns the

salvation of all sentient beings.

Transported with joy on seeing Avalokiteshvara, his eyes fixed on him,

his mind undistracted, full of the energy of faith in the spiritual benefactor,

thinking of seeing spiritual benefactors as at once seeing buddhas, thinking

of reception of the multitudes of all truths as originating in spiritual bene-

factors, thinking of the attainment of all virtues as deriving from spiritual

benefactors, thinking of how hard it is to meet spiritual benefactors, think-

ing of spiritual benefactors as the source from which the jewels of

knowledge of the ten powers are obtained, thinking of spiritual benefactors

as the source of vision of inexhaustible knowledge, thinking that the growth

of the sprouts of goodness depends on spiritual benefactors, thinking that

the door of omniscience is revealed by spiritual benefactors, thinking that

the way to enter the ocean of great knowledge is pointed out by spiritual

benefactors, thinking that the accumulation of the store of omniscience is

fostered by spiritual benefactors, Sudhana went up to Avalokiteshvara.

The enlightening being Avalokiteshvara, seeing Sudhana approaching in

the distance, said, "Welcome, you who have set out on the incomparable,

lofty, inconceivable Great Vehicle, intending to save all beings who are

oppressed by various firmly rooted miseries and have no refuge, seeking to

directly experience all the teachings of buddhas, which are beyond all

[... No more descriptions of Potalaka until the verse section, which starts by retreading Sudhana's visit to Avalokiteshwara from the beginning, before Avalokiteshwara then speaks again, in verse this time:]

Then this was said:

Having respectfully rendered honor and praise,

Sudhana, well controlled, went south.

On a cliff of a mountain he saw Avalokiteshvara,

the seer who abides in compassion.

On a diamond slope, adorned with jewels,

Sitting on a lion seat in a lotus calyx, the Steadfast,

Surrounded by various creatures and enlightening beings,

Expounds the Teaching to them.


[... Avalokiteshwara says positive things about the nature of a Bodhisattva and how compassion is the source for this. And then proceeds to explain his compassion.

C.f. on how Hindu Gods are said to be Karunanidhi - storehouse/abode of compassion.

Interesting is that Avalokiteshwara says that anyone who says his name will be freed from all harms - which harms he lists, it's the usual kind listed in Hindu stotras too - and all this is clearly modelled on the Hindu Gods: who had already promised freedom from all such troubles too when one says their name or just thinks of them.]

At that moment an enlightening being named Ananyagamin descended

from the eastern sky and stood on the top of the mountain range surround-

ing this world. As soon as he set foot on the mountain, the whole world

quaked and appeared to be made of jewels. The body of that enlightening

being gave off such a light that the sun and moon were overwhelmed, [...]

Then Avalokiteshvara said to Sudhana, "Do you see the enlightening

being Ananyagamin in this assembly?"

Sudhana said, "Yes."

Avalokiteshvara said, "Go to Ananyagamin and ask him how to learn and

carry out the practice of enlightening beings."

So then Sudhana paid his respects to Avalokiteshvara and went.


Then Sudhana, with Avalokiteshvara's verse of knowledge in mind, had

not seen enough of Avalokiteshvara but obeyed his words and went to the

enlightening being Ananyagamin. Paying his respects, Sudhana said,

"Noble one, I have set my mind on supreme perfect enlightenment, but I

do not know how to learn and carry out the practice of enlightening

beings. I hear you give enlightening beings instruction, so please tell me

how an enlightening being is to learn and carry out the practice of enlight-

ening beings."


Ananyagamin said, "I have attained an enlightening liberation 'speeding

forth in all directions.'"

Sudhana asked, "What buddha did you learn it from? How far away is that

buddha's world, and when did you leave that world?"

Ananyagamin said, "This point is hard for celestial, human, and titanic

beings, for monks and priests, to know, being the power of an enlightening

being, the unregressing energy of an enlightening being, the accomplish-

ment of the energy of an enlightening being. It cannot be heard or retained

or believed in or comprehended by those who are not under the tutelage of

spiritual benefactors, who are not under the attention of buddhas, who have

no accumulated roots of goodness, who have not purified their intentions,

who have not attained the faculties of enlightening beings, who do not have

the eye of wisdom."

Sudhana said, "Please tell me, noble one — I will believe, I will have faith,

by the empowerment of buddhas and the assistance of spiritual benefactors."

Ananyagamin said, "I come from the buddha-land of a buddha named

Born of Universal Lightan a world to the east called Full of Light. I attained

the enlightening liberation 'speeding forth in all directions' at the feet of

that buddha.


"South of here is a city called Dvaravati, where the celestial Mahadeva

Go ask him how to learn and carry out the practice of enlightening


So Sudhana paid his respects to the enlightening being Ananyagamin and

went on.


[...] Sudhana went to the city of

Dvaravati and asked for Mahadeva.

The people of the city told Sudhana, "This Mahadeva is in a temple at a

crossroads in the city expounding the Teaching in a giant body." Sudhana

then went to Mahadeva, paid his respects, and said, "Noble one, I have set

my mind on supreme perfect enlightenment, but I do not know how to

learn and carry out the practice of enlightening beings. I hear that you give

enlightening beings instruction, and wish you would tell me how to learn

and carry out the practice of enlightening beings."

Then the celestial Mahadeva extended four hands in four directions,

brought water from the oceans with extreme speed and washed his face; he

scattered golden flowers over Sudhana and said, "Enlightening beings are

hard to get to see, extremely hard to get to hear. They rarely appear in the

world, being so exalted. They are supreme lotuses of humanity, saviors of


Sudhana asked, "What is the sphere of this 'cloud net' liberation?"

At that moment the celestial Mahadeva manifested a heap of gold the size

of a mountain before Sudhana, as well as a heap of silver, a heap of lapis laz-

uli, a heap of crystals, a heap of coral, a heap of emeralds, a heap of starry

jewels, a heap of clear jewels, a heap of radiant jewels, a heap of jewels with

facets facing in all directions,

[... etc]

"South of here, at the site of enlightenment in the region of Magadha in

lives an earth goddess named Sthavara. Go ask her how to learn

and carry out the practice of enlightening beings."

So then Sudhana paid his respects to Mahadeva and went on.


Then Sudhana went to the earth goddess Sthavara at the site of enlighten-

ment in Magadha.

Which Magadha is that supposed to be then?

- if Jambudvipa in the above means India, then isn't Sudhana already supposed to be in India? (Since some Buddhist writers - mainly non-Indian - were under the impression the journey took place in India.) That is, why should Sudhana be told to go "south of here to Magadha in Jambudvipa" if he was already in Jambudvipa India? The previous waystation, Dvaravati, was already south of Potalaka which was already south of Sudhana's previous stopover point, etc. If this Sutra's Magadha is finally in Jambudvipa-as-India, then those previous places Sudhana had visited immediately before that were not in India. Meaning: Potalaka and Dvaravati etc were therefore not in India.

- The other meaning of Jambudvipa in Buddhism is the realm where humans reside. So Sudhana's travelling constantly south in this stretch from Veshthila's place to Potalaka to Dvaravati to come to the human realm Jambudvipa, which was then south of wherever (and whatever realm) he was in at the point he got told to visit some place "Magadha" in Jambudvipa. In other words, if Magadha is finally in Jambudvipa/human realm, then all the places Sudhana visited before Magadha were not in the human realm. Once again pointing out that Potalaka wasn't in India (or the world, the avg human-inhabited physical/earthly plane or whatever). In other words, the Avatamsaka is clearly a spiritual text with a spiritual backdrop.

See here: wacky's Jambudvipa page's Buddhism section mentions that in Buddhist cosmology "Jambudvipa is the southernmost island" and "Jambudvīpa is the region where the humans live" and that the other 3 island-continents surrounding KAmadhAtu's Meru "are not accessible to humans from Jambudvīpa" (the 4th continent).


Quote:Jambudvīpa (Sanskrit: जम्बुद्वीप) is the dvipa ("island" or "continent") of the terrestrial world, as envisioned in the cosmologies of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, which is the realm where ordinary human beings live.


In Buddhism

The Buddhist cosmology divides the bhūmaṇḍala (circle of the earth) into three separate levels: Kāmadhātu (Desire realm), Rūpadhātu (Form realm), and Ārūpyadhātu (Formless realm). In the Kāmadhātu is located Mount Sumeru which is said to be surrounded by four island-continents. "The southernmost island is called Jambudvīpa". The other three continents of Buddhist accounts around Sumeru are not accessible to humans from Jambudvīpa. Jambudvīpa is shaped like a triangle with a blunted point facing south. In its center is a gigantic Jambu tree from which the continent takes its name, meaning "Jambu Island".

Jambudvīpa is the region where the humans live and is the only place where a being may become enlightened by being born as a human being. It is in Jambudvīpa that one may receive the gift of Dharma and come to understand the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path and ultimately realize the liberation from the cycle of life and death. Another reference is from the Buddhist text Mahavamsa, where the emperor Ashoka's son Mahinda introduces himself to the Sri Lankan king Devanampiyatissa as from Jambudvipa, referring to what is now the Indian subcontinent.


- Either Jambudvipa means India and Sudhana had travelled south from some non-Indic place (where Potalaka and Dvaravati were) to reach India the Jambudvipa,

- OR Jambudvipa means the human realm, so Sudhana had travelled south from the non-human island continents in kAmadhAtu (where the previous stopover points like Potalaka and Dvaravati etc were) to then reach Jambudvipa, the southernmost continent - in Buddhist cosmology the realm where humans live - in order for Sudhana to arrive at Magadha to meet the next Buddhist spiritual character.

Either way, that would make Potalaka NOT in south India (Kerala or Tamilnadu) and not anywhere in India either.
Post 10/?

- The comments at the end of the previous post are also important:

they show how Sudhana's visits to Buddhist characters other than Avalokiteshwara - and any settings they're in - should be taken into account, as well as the direction of travel (especially the interesting "going further south to Jambudvipa" bit).

- This post contains ONLY all the excerpts referring to Potalaka in the Avatamsaka Sutra. (Having already confirmed that references to Potalaka only occur in the Gandavyuha Sutra section of the AS.)

Returning to how in an earlier post, I'd wondered about the (unterminated) direct quote that Lokesh Chandra attributes to the Avatamsaka Sutra - the one featuring a description of Potalaka that Lokesh presented as relevant to his points (and which Rajeev Srinivasan had quoted/referred to):

Quote:[Lokesh Chandra in his book The Thousand-Armed Avalokitesvara:] The Avatamsaka Sutra describes the earthly paradise of Avalokitesvara: "Potalaka is on the sea-side in the south, it has woods, it has streams, and tanks, and is in fact a sort of earthly paradise. Buddhabhadra (A.D. 420) calls Kuan-yin mountain Kuangming or 'Brilliance', which is usually given as the rendering for Malaya, but a later translator, ShikShAnanda, transcribes the name Potalaka" (Watters 1905:2.231)

So, having looked up the Avatamsaka Sutra (see previous post for larger excerpts to provide context) to confirm for myself, it

turns out Lokesh Chandra's alleged "direct quote" from the Sutra is a (conveniently) semi-mangled version of what's actually in there:

- the "is in fact a sort of earthly paradise" bit of the line is indeed not part of the text, just as one could surmise. But more importantly

- Potalaka isn't "on the sea-side in the south". It is both "south of" where Veshthila - who directs Sudhana further south - is, AND "it is in the ocean" [implying island] as per Cleary's translation of Shikshananda's 7th century Chinese translation of the Avatamsaka (which translation referred to the name "Potalaka")

The point being, Lokesh has made it sound like the Sutra says that Potalaka is 'at the southernmost area on the seaside', whereas the Sutra merely said that Potalaka was south relative to where Sudhana's previous host Veshthila was, AND that Potalaka is in fact north of the next waystation that Sudhana visits: Dvaravati, which in turn is north of the next waystation "Magadha in Jambudvipa" (being further south still). [And people will need to check the Gandavyuha sutra to find out how many places are further south than that.] <- Now, wasn't all that something that Lokesh should have mentioned - if indeed he were a sholar and not an opportunist out to selectively collect data as will conform to his [Bauddhifying] story?

- even more importantly, Lokesh and his parrot Rajeev (and his numerous parrots on the web) have missed out on the non-earthly sounding bit in the alleged direct quote:

"Mount Potalaka - in the ocean - is MADE OF JEWELS" (plus being "a pure abode of the valiant" enz). Shabarimalai is NOT made of jewels. It's also not in the ocean... Same for Potiyil. Etc.

Quoting from Cleary's translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra (from the early Chinese translation by Shikshananda)

Gandavyuha Sutra section. Again: because it's the only section in the Avatamsaka Sutra that contains all things "Potalaka"


Quote:(prose section, deemed olderSmile

"South of here is a mountain called Potalaka, where an enlightening

being named Avalokiteshvara lives. Go ask him how to learn and carry out

the practice of enlightening beings."

(verse section, deemed laterSmile

Then Veshthila said in verse,

Go, Sudhana, to Mount Potalaka in the ocean, a pure abode of the valiant,

Made of jewels, covered with trees, scattered with flowers, complete

with gardens, ponds, and streams.

On the mountain the steady, wise Avalokiteshvara dwells for the bene-

fit of the world.
The above section (albeit in Cleary's translation) is the bit of the Avatamsaka Sutra that Lokesh was claiming to refer to. (Thomas Cleary is more reliable because he can actually read and understand Chinese. I seriously doubt Lokesh can. He couldn't even get basic things right.)

For completeness, am providing the other sections of the Avatamsaka sutra mentioning or describing Potalaka (i.e. specifically from Gandavyuha, since that's all that mentions Potalaka in the AS):

Quote:(Another prose section, deemed earlierSmile

focusing his attention on the inconceivable action of buddhas, Sudhana

made his way to Mount Potalaka.

Climbing the mountain, he looked around for Avalokiteshvara and saw

him on a plateau on the west side of the mountain, which was adorned with

springs, ponds, and streams, sitting wakefully on a diamond boulder in a

clearing in a large woods, surrounded by a group of enlightening beings

seated on various jewel rocks,
to whom he was expounding a doctrine called

"light of the medium of great love and compassion," which concerns the

salvation of all sentient beings.


(Another verse section, deemed laterSmile

Sudhana, well controlled, went south.

On a cliff of a mountain he saw Avalokiteshvara,

the seer who abides in compassion.

On a diamond slope, adorned with jewels,

Sitting on a lion seat in a lotus calyx, the Steadfast,

Surrounded by various creatures and enlightening beings,

Expounds the Teaching to them.

People can decide for themselves whether Lokesh Chandra is being disingenuous or not.

But have already made up my own mind about him: Lokesh is not just 'not a scholar'. He lied for Buddhism* in order to force-fit Potalaka onto Shabarimalai in order to claim Ayyappa/Shabarimalai for Buddhism in order to brainwash modern Hindus into Buddhist claims and make them parrot it on. And he has clearly succeeded. (See two posts back, where everyone on the searchable internet was repeating Lokesh's mangled "direct quote" thanks to his brainwashing Rajeev Srinivasan into being his intermediary.)

* There's No Way that it was "all just an innocent error" by Lokesh. He was demonstrably lying, i.e. consciously: because in his alleged direct quotation from the Avatamsaka Sutra, he has left out all the salient bits ("made of jewels") and mistranslated another/massaged another into a better fit ("on the sea-side" instead of "in the ocean") - that is, he left out the very descriptions that underline how Potalaka is not Shabarimala - nor Podigai/Potiyil nor ANY part of India. [But it could be Treasure Island - well, for those who still insist on taking it as a literal, geographic site, a.o.t. the Buddhist spiritual vision for meditation that it is.]

And just in case the UnScholar Lokesh tries to claim his Avatamsaka direct quote was from some other recension:

- Note that Thomas Cleary (Buddhist himself IIRC and famous translator of Mahayana texts from Chinese and Japanese) is *directly* translating from ShikShananda's Chinese translation (7th century) of the Avatamsaka Sutra. All extant Skt versions of at least the Gandavyuha are IIRC later.

[See www.chibs.edu.tw/ch_html/chbs/10/chbs1011.htm again, which said: "The oldest surviving Sanskrit manuscript is Nepalese and dates from the end of the twelfth century." This may argue for Shikshananda's version being more authoritative/closer to the original descriptions on Potalaka.]

- More importantly, the relevance of ShikShananda's translation to Lokesh Chandra's speculations become clear from Lokesh's own words in his own book:

Citing Watters he admits that Buddhabhadra's (IIRC 5th century) Chinese translation rendered the name of Avalokiteshwara/KuanYin's mountain to Kuang-ming, but that it was the 7th century Shikshananda whose Chinese translation transcribed it as "Potalaka". And since Lokesh's alleged "direct quote" from the Avatamsaka Sutra referred specifically to "Potalaka" and not "Kuangming", Lokesh is likely to be referring to Shikshananda's translation/recension:

Quote:Buddhabhadra (A.D. 420) calls Kuan-yin mountain Kuangming or 'Brilliance', which is usually given as the rendering for Malaya, but a later translator, ShikShAnanda, transcribes the name Potalaka" (Watters 1905:2.231)

For version information:


Quote:[9] The full title of the Avataṃsaka is Mahāvaipulyabuddhāvataṃsakasūtra (Dafangguang fohuayan jing 大方廣佛華嚴經)─“The Great Expanded Sūtra of the Flower Garland of the Buddhas”. There exist three versions of it in Chinese. The earliest one is the Sixty-fascicle Huayan jing translated by Buddhabhadra (Fotuobatuoluo 佛馱跋陀羅) in 418-20; Ru fajie pin is found there in fascicles 44-60 (T 278: 9, 676a-788b). Next, called the Eighty-fascicle Huayan jing was translated by Śikṣānanda (Shichanantuo 實叉難陀) in 695-695; Ru fajie pin is found in fascicles 60-80 (T 279: 10, 319a-444c). The latest version is the Fourty-fascicle Huayan jing translated by Prajñā (Banruo 般若) in 796-798 and consisting only of the Gaṇḍavyūha portion under the subtitle Ru busiyi jietuo jingjie Puxian xingyuan pin (入不思議解脫境界普賢行願品) (T 293: 10, 661a-851c). There exist also two fragmentary translations of the Gaṇḍavyūha. Luomojia jing (羅摩伽經) in three fascicles was translated by śramaṇa Shengjian (聖堅) between 388 and 412 (T 294: 10, 851c-876a,); and Dafangguang fohuayan jing in one fascicle translated by Divakara (Dipoheluo 地婆訶羅) in 680-s (T 295: 10, 876b-878c); the latter, however, does not contain the Avalokiteśvara chapter. The phonetic translation of the title Gaṇḍavyūha-Jiannapiaohe (健拏驃訶)-appears in Fazang’s (法藏) Huayan jing tanxuan ji (華嚴經探玄記) (T 1733: 35,121a) and Chengguan’s (澄觀) Dafangguang fohuayan jing shu (大方廣佛華嚴經疏) (T 1735: 35, 524b) obviously referring to the whole collection of the Avataṃsaka; see also Grohmann 1997: 52. The Eighty-Huayan is translated into English by Thomas Cleary, the Gaṇḍavyūha occupying a separate volume (Cleary 1989).

(Cleary's republication from 1991 or 1993 contains the entire Avatamsaka Sutra in one volume. Which is what I first looked at; the searchable Gandavyuha at the Archives link may be either the 1989 or 1991/3 publication.)

The Chinese title Ru fajie pin is supposed to render Sanskrit *Dharmadhātupraveśanaparivarta (“Chapter of the Entering into the Realm of Dharma”) but no Sanskrit version of the Gaṇḍavyūha under this title has survived. We may only hypothetically presume that the title Dharmadhātupraveśana was used in some earlier versions of the sūtra, circulating in Central Asia as an independent texts, or as a part of a pre-400 C.E. Avataṃsaka recension which was brought to China not later than the beginning of the fifth century, the time from which the first complete translation by Buddhabhadra dates. The subtitle for the Fourty-Huayan─Ru busiyi jietuo jingjie Puxian xingyuan pin─is the rendering of Sanskrit title Acintyavimokṣagocarapraveśanasamantabhadracaryāpraṇidhāna (“Entering into the Area of Inconceivable Liberation and the Vow of the Conduct of Samantabhadra”) under which the sūtra seemingly was circulating in South India from where it was brought to China at the end of the eighth century (see, e.g., Jan 1959). The oldest surviving Sanskrit manuscript is Nepalese and dates from the end of the twelfth century. It bears the title Gaṇḍavyūhasūtra. The most comprehensive English overview of the different Sanskrit versions and Chinese translations of the Gaṇḍavyūha is found in Gómez 1967: xviii-xxxii; see also Hirakawa 1993: 279-282.


- Avatamsaka Sutra spoke of a spiritual Buddhist Potalaka. And factually, that's all that the text supports. Potalaka is not - and never was - in the physical geography of India, certainly not at any Hindu sites, be it Shabari, Potiyil or Tirupati or anywhere else. That means that Hsuan Tsang had simply chosen to identify Potalaka with the hearsay descriptions he had received of an Indian Shaiva Hindu temple site (complete with "Ishwara" or "PAshupata Yogin" manifesting, as per the very hearsay relayed by Hsuan-Tsang) and assumed it all "must have" concerned Potalaka/Avalokiteshwara instead.

- Lokesh Chandra is utterly unreliable. The word "fraud" actually comes to mind.

A new low for English-language Indian "scholarship".

- Don't know why other people don't have a habit of looking obviously-shady speculations up in primary sources. Much of it is online, after all. And much of that is available translated. Plus the average search engine places everything at one's fingertips. People can therefore look up various crazy claims for themselves, instead of blindly following along with the priestly class of middle-men playing at being scholars and pretending they can hog access to data.

- I know it's too much to ask modern Hindus to be Hindus and not get subverted by all the blatant subversions that get passed around like the flu, but surely it's not unreasonable to expect people to exercise their judgement and double-check unHindu claims made on Hindu religio-history, instead of ingesting every speculation and parroting it blindly and peddling it about all over the internet. 'Cause that's just environmental pollution of the internet.
Another spam-series, directly related to the previous, following on from it. But like a sequel.

Post 11/?

Wanted to provide a link for how Podigai Malai=Agastiar Malai (and in particular Agastyakoodam).

This led me to the following wackypedia entry. Which is the subject of this next spam session.

1. Good to archive the contents of this wacky page before neo/Buddhists, ur-Shramanism peddlers and beliebers in dravoodianism deface this page with their interminable neo/Buddhist inculturation too:



Pothigai Hills

Elevation 1,866 m (6,122 ft)


Location Thiruvananthapuram district, Tirunelveli district, Kanyakumari district, India

Range Anaimalai Hills

Coordinates 8°37'00.09?N 77°14'46.50?E? / ?8.6166917°N 77.2462500°E? / 8.6166917; 77.2462500

The Pothigai Hills, also known as the Agasthiyar Malai are in the Ashambu Hills, part of the Anaimalai Hills in the southern part of the Western Ghats of South India. Legend says that the sage Agastya (also written as Agasthiyar or Agathiyar) is said to have provided the grammar for the Tamil language. This grammar was further fine tuned by one of his disciples in the Tolkappiyam.


The western slope is located in the Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala state, eastern slope of Pothigai hills is in the Tirunelveli District, southern slope is located in Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu. At 1,866 meters, it is the highest peak in the rugged Ashambu hills, which have one of the richest concentrations of biodiversity in the Western Ghats.[1] The area is known for its spectacular views, beautiful forests and waterfalls, ancient temples, and the river Tamirabarani, the lifeline of the region.


According to the Mahabharata, Lord Shiva sent the two saints (or sages) Vyasa and Agastya, down to Earth, to create the divine languages, Sanskrit and Tamil. Agathiyar came to Pothigai and established the Tamil culture.

(Puranas combined with Sthalapuranas and old Tamil Hindu texts and tradition document this in detail.)

After establishing the Sidhar Gnana Koodam center for scientific research, and later traveling throughout the world, spreading the knowledge gained, Agathiyar returned to a spot in the Pothigai hills, where he merged into the cosmos. A temple has been built for him at this spot, close to the Papanasam Falls on the banks of the Thamirabarani River. It is said that Sage Agathiyar occasionally gives appearances to sincere aspirants and devotees.

So, although Potiyil certainly does not match the Avatamsaka Sutra's Potalaka (which description is very different and is a spiritual place of Buddhist cosmology), it can match some distinctive features of the real-sounding place that Hsuan-Tsang was relaying from hearsay.

To stress:

- The potential match with 7th century Hsuan-Tsang's transmission of hearsay from his day simply takes into account 1. the geography he wrote about AND especially 2. the mention of the "Ishwara/Maheshwara", "PAshupata Yogin" (i.e. Shaiva=Hindu Yogi) which his sources said made appearances to sincere devotees,

- But NO speculations are required on the place name Potiyil or to force its etymology to fit a Bauddhified narrative.

- And of course, the parts of his description that claimed to tie Buddhism with the PAshupata Yogin's appearance (or the Ishwara of the region) are an entirely different matter.

For supporting data that Vedic Rishi and Shaiva Siddha Agastya is called Potiyil Muni, as I had claimed in an earlier post above, see

- temple.dinamalar.com/news_detail.php?id=17686

Page is in Tamil. Where "Potiyil Munivan" is mentioned in paripadalgal featuring Muruga. It refers only to Agastya.

- Or even the title of the page:


which of course refers to Agattiyar (அகத்தியர்), which is a Tamil rendering of Agastya

Everyone probably knows (or should know) better than me, but never mind:

+ Two Rishis were born of Urvashi and Mitra-Varuna: VasiShTha and Agastya born from a kumbham. (Both may be kumbhodbhava?) The Vedas are generally the first reference given for the mention of their descent from Urvashi. Ramayanam refers to both Rishis again. Etc.

+ References to Potiyil's association with the Vedic Rishi Agastya are found in Puranas* and in early Tamil Hindu literature, including for example also Silappadikaaram**, which repeats Hindoo Pauranic accounts on Agastya [e.g. sourced to Vayu Purana] - which makes it clear that it is the Vedic Rishi Agastya - besides Silappadikaaram also referring to Agastya as the muni dwelling at Podiyil in the very same breath as stating his direct affiliation with Shiva of the Vedam (thus repeating Puranas and the ancient local Hindu tradition to this effect***). Note that in this last, Shiva really IS explicitly mentioned with reference to the Vedam; not to any unVedic Buddhist clone.

* E.g: the MBh already mentioned Agastya going south of the Vindhyas permanently - and Devi Bhagavatam apparently explains how this event is associated with his name - the Skaandam recounts Agastya's settling in the south as being in accordance with the request of Uma-Shiva, and the Srimad Bhagavatam has Balaraama worshipping Rishi Agastya at Potiyil. Etc.

** Will paste English translations from Silappadikaaram in a post further below.

*** Vedic Rishi Agastya is the first of the line of Shaiva Siddhars in Shaiva Siddhaantam.

+ Both Shiva and Murugan were the driving force behind Agastiar's Tamil work as well as his work in Siddha medicine etc.

There are of course many Hindu temples to the Gods in the Western Ghats including the Podighai mountains (and no doubt Buddhists and Jains had made there way there in time too to set up camp there).

But as we're particularly interested in a "PAshupata Yogin" and "Ishwara/Maheshwara" associated with the Potiyil Malai and making appearances there, in order to conform as closely as is possibly with anything Hsuan-Tsang was talking about, this restricts the topic to the Hindu Gods most closely associated with Agastyar in TN/Kerala: Shiva and Murugan.

a. Since very ancient times, Potiyil has been one of the sites of the Dakshinaamoorti-Shiva. Such that Tirumantiram's Tirumoolar - another of the famous Shaiva Siddhars and supposed to have come to the south from Kashmir to meet up with Agastya - and other Hindu Shaiva literature of TN (like TiruvAchakam) refer to Dakshinaamoorti-Shiva.


This page is unavailable, but search using *Bing* for the phrase "Sage Agathiyar on the instruction of Lord Murugan originated the Tamil language" and you get the cached page, which contains a line I want to use as supporting evidence:

Quote:After satisfactorily completing their mission of propagating the said teachings the sages (Shaiva Siddhars) went into 'Samadhi' merging themselves into the cosmos. Kandan went into Samadhi in Thorana Malai, Bhogar in Palani, Thaeraiyar, Pulipanai and Yugimuni in Kantha Malai, and Agathiyar himself choosed to come back to Courtalam. He chosed a spot called Dhashina Meru in the Pothigai Hills. This spot is also the abode of Lord Siva as Dhashina Murthi.

(Dashina/Tatchina etc are a Tamil way of writing dakShiNa.)

The following is also very useful as it translates an old Tamil text that documents a native Potiyil chieftain's devotion to Dakshinaamoorti:


Quote:Coming to the prevalence of dakSiNAmUrti on the west coast of Tamil country,

there is a mention in the CT text ciRupANARRuppaTai about dakSiNAmUrti as



Al amar celvaRku amarntan2an2 koTutta

cAvam tAgkiya cAntu pular tiNi tOL

Arvam nal mozi Ayum.... (ciRu. 96-99)

Here the chieftain Ay of potiyil region is described as giving a fine cloth

to dakSiNAmUrti (Al amar celvan2).
The jurisdiction of Ays extended from

Nagarkoil in the south to Tiruvalla in the north according to Sreedhara


As for his [dakShiNAmUrti's] nature of teacher or creator, CT texts call him "kaTavuL" and even

"ton2mutu kaTavuL". Moreover, we have the following tEvAram of campantar:

paNTu nAlvarukku aRam uraittu aruLip pal ulakin2il uyir vAzkkai

kaNTa nAtan2Ar ................................................

(tEv. 2.107.7)

So he is definitely god-creator too.

"CT texts" - is this a reference to "Sangam (Cankam) Tamil texts"?

Wackypedia at present dates "ciRupANARRuppaTai" to 1st century BCE to 1st century CE:


Quote:Cirupanarruppatai,(Tamil:சிறுபாணாற்றுப்படை) is a Tamil poetic work in the Pathinenmaelkanakku anthology of Tamil literature, belonging to the Sangam period corresponding to between 100 BCE – 100 CE. Cirupanarruppatai contains 269 lines of poetry in the Achiriyappa meter. The poems were written by the poet Nathattanaar in praise of a minor Velir chieftain named Nalliyakkotan, a Nāka king of Nāka Nadu (ancient Malabar North Ceylon). Cirupanarruppatai belongs to the Pattupattu collection and follows the Arruppadtai style, a device used by most of the books in the Pattupattu collection.

Clearly, for a Chieftain of 100 BCE-100 CE to have been attached to Dakshinamoorti-Shiva means that he didn't just discover the God at that very moment, but that the knowledge of the presence of this Hindu God there by the local people (Hindus) must have been established for some time. That is, it is likely that the Potiyil Chieftain's ancestors knew about Dakshinamoorti-Shiva in the region too. And for who knows how many generations.

b. As for Murugan's close association with Agastiar and Potiyil:


Quote: Tamil language, Sage Agasthya and Lord Muruga are inseparable according to both history and the scriptures.

When Agasthya came to Pothigai, he created the river Tambaraparani. He stayed in a Muruga temple in the place close to a waterfall. In course of time, this temple came to be known as Agasthya Temple. According to researchers, Agasthya wrote the Tamil Grammar Agathiyam from this temple.

+ Is the waterfall mentioned above the Papanasham falls? Because wikipedia's Podigai entry, pasted at the top of this post, said that Agastya's Samadhi Kovil at Podiyil is "close to the Papanasam Falls on the banks of the Thamirabarani River". Papanasham falls may have been named so not only since waters are divine to Hindus, and this particular fall probably does as its name says (since even the wind from Potiyil has since ancient times been said to have beneficial properties), but perhaps also because the activity is associated with Shiva, who makes Harohara out of all paapam (and so this is featured in many stotras to him, e.g. ShivaaShTakam: "mahApApanAsham").

+ River Tamraparani (also called Porunai, Podhigai/Podikai, see e.g. below) finds its origins around/near Agastyar Malai, the way River Vaigai/Vaikai finds its origins in Periyar plateau, also in the Sahyadris/Western Ghats. The sacred Sahyadris are the origin of a great many sacred rivers of southern India.

Quote:Ammaiappan: Thamiraparani River...


8 Aug 2008 ... The river has also been historically known as Podhigai. ... peaks of Aduppukkal

Mottai, Agastya Malai and Cherumunji Mottai. ... Mythology: The Tirunelveli

Sthalapurana associates the origin of the river with sage Agasthiyar.


Quote:Spelt differently as Tampraparani, Tamraparni, Tamiravaruni, etc., the river is mentioned as the Porunai nathi (nadi, i.e. river) in Tamil poetic literature. It gets recognition and is referred to as the renowned one in Sanskrit literature references which are as old as that of the Puranas and Epics. The river has also been historically known as Podhigai.

It originates more than 2,000 metres above sea-level in Agasti Hill[Periya Pothigai hills], a part of the Aanamalai range on the eastern slopes of Western Ghats above Papanasam in the Ambasamudram taluk of the Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu, near the peaks of Aduppukkal Mottai, Agastya Malai and Cherumunji Mottai. It flows roughly east and enters the Gulf of Mannar of the Bay of Bengal near at Punnaikayal in Tiruchendur taluk of Thoothukkudi district. At 130km it is a relatively short river.
Post 12/?

2. keralatripguide.com/thiruvananthapuram/agasthyakoodam-trek.html

(this page has a photo of the beautiful sacred Hindoo region.)

Quote:Agasthyakoodam (also known as Agasthyarkoodam) is a 1868m tall mountain within the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala. It lies on the border between Kerala and Tamilnadu. It is also known as Agasthyamala in Malayalam (അഗസ്ത്യമല) and Pothigai Malai in Tamil.

(Also known as Agastya Malai in Tamil, since he's supposed to be the one initiated into Tamil by Shiva and Murugan, from which derives his Tamil grammar and that of his student Tolkappiyar.)

This mountain belongs to the Ashambu Hills, the southern end of Western Ghats. There are over 25 peaks in Ashambu Hills and Agasthyakoodam peak is the tallest one among them.

The forests around this peak are famous for the abundance of rare medicinal herbs and plants. It is also far away from human settlements, making it one of the pristine natural forests in Kerala. It hides one of the richest concentrations of biodiversity in the entire Western Ghats. Among the peaks of Western Ghats, Agasthyakoodam ranks as a medium peak. However, it has a magical aura around it and as you trek up the mountain, you feel refreshed and recharged. People believe that even the wind here has medicinal properties and will protect or cure you from diseases.

Agasthyakoodam Legends

Agasthyakoodam peak is also a pilgrimage destination for Hindu devotees who believe that sage Agasthya meditated on the mountain. Sage Agasthya is one of the seven maharishis(Saptarishis) in Hindu puranas. There is a small shrine on the mountain top with an idol of Agasthya rishi and during Agasthyakoodam trekking season, people perform pujas here.

Agasthya sage is considered to be guru of Ayurveda system of traditional Indian medicine. Most of his statues depict him with a stone crusher in one hand and a bowl of medicines in the other. He is also considered as the father of Tamil literature and Siddha medicine.

According to one of the legends, Everyone including maharishis moved to Himalayas during the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvathi. This caused the earth to tilt to one side and Lord Shiva asked Agasthya to go to south and balance the earth again. Agasthya came to the southern mountains and he liked the place and stayed on. There are plenty of other interesting legends about Agasthyamuni.

As you look down, you will be blown away by the vastness of the valleys and the mountains below. You will also suddenly notice another majestic mountain range which seems to have magically appeared from nowhere! This mountain range of 5 peaks is known Ainthuthalai Pothigai.

(Will return to Aindutalai Podigai in the next post.)

As you reach the top, the first thing you notice is the ferocious winds at this height and if you are not careful, you might fall. Agasthya shrine/idol is located in the middle of a small forest on the peak and hence is protected from the wind. As you spend time here, you realize that you should have attempted this trek much earlier!

The following table summarizes the Athirumala to Agasthyakoodam Peak trek trail along with the distance and the average time taken from the starting point at Athirumala.

3. Considering the geographic descriptions above and in the previous post, AND especially the following from the wiki entry again:


Quote:Agathiyar returned to a spot in the Pothigai hills, where he merged into the cosmos. A temple has been built for him at this spot, close to the Papanasam Falls on the banks of the Thamirabarani River. It is said that Sage Agathiyar occasionally gives appearances to sincere aspirants and devotees.

can compare both aspects with the following translations of Hsuan-Tsang's description from hearsay:

The first translation Hsuan-Tsang=Xuanzang is copied from www.chibs.edu.tw/ch_html/chbs/10/chbs1011.htm,

and the subsequent two translations are copied from Lokesh Chandra citing Beal and Watters

a. Xuanzang’s (玄奘) description of mount Potalaka (Budaluojia shan 布呾洛迦山)[24] in his Records on the Western World (Datang xiyu ji 大唐西域記):

Quote:“To the east of the Malaya mountains [Molaye shan秣剌耶山][25] is Mount Po-ta-lo-kia [Budaluojia shan布呾洛迦山] (Pôtalaka). The passes of this mountain are very dangerous; its sides are precipitous, and its valleys rugged. On the top of the mountain is a lake; its waters are clear as a mirror. From a hollow proceeds a great river which encircles the mountain as it flows down twenty times and then enters the southern sea. By the side of the lake is a rock-palace of the Dêvas. Here Avalôkitêśvara [Guanzizai pusa觀自在菩薩] in coming and going takes his abode. Those who strongly desire to see this Bôdhisattva do not regard their lives, but, crossing the water (fording the streams), climb the mountain forgetful of its difficulties and dangers; of those who make the attempt there are very few who reach the summit. But even of those who dwell below the mountain, if they earnestly pray and beg to behold the god, sometimes he appears as Tsz’-tsaï-t’ien [Zizaitian自在天] (Îśvâra-dêva), sometimes under the form of a yôgi [tuhui waidao塗灰外道] (a Pâṁśupata); he addresses them with benevolent words and then they obtain their wishes according to their desires.

[Note, PAMshupata is presented as simply a different rendering of PAshupata, i.e. Shaiva or related to Shiva. Repeated by Shu's reference to Shiva PAMshupata "Śiva Pāṃṣupata"; and the fact that Watters and Beal - quoted by Lokesh Chandra below - rendered this as PAshupata.]

“Going north-east from this mountain, on the border of the sea, is a town; this is a place from which they start for the southern sea and the country of Săng-kia-lo [Sengjialuo guo僧迦羅國] (Ceilon). It is said commonly by the people that embarking from this port and going south-east about 3000 li we come to the country of Siṁhala.”[26]

b. Lokesh Chandra quoting Beal:

Quote:Hsuan-tsang refers to Avalokiteshwara on the Potala in the following words (Beal 1884: 2.233): "To the east of the Malaya mountains in Mount Po-ta-lo-kia (Potalaka). The passes of this mountain are very dangerous; its sides are precipitous, and its valleys rugged. On the top of the mountain is a lake; its waters are clear as a mirror. From a hollow proceeds a great river which encircles the mountain as it flows down twenty times and then enters the southern sea. By the side of the lake is a rock-palace of the Devas. Here Avalokiteshwara in coming and going takes his abode. Those who strongly desire to see this Bodhisattva do not regard their lives, but crossing the water (fording the streams), climb the mountain forgetful of its difficulties and dangers; of those who make the attempt there are very few who reach the summit. But even of those who dwell below the mountain, if they earnestly pray and beg to behold the god, sometimes he appears as Tsz'-tsao-t'ien (Ishwara-deva), sometimes under the form of a yogi (a PAshupata); he addresses them with benevolent words and then they obtain their wishes according to their desires."

c. Lokesh Chandra quoting Watters:

Quote:Watters (1905:2.229) summarises the above passage as follows: "In the south of the country near the sea was the Mo-lo-ya (Malaya) mountain, with its lofty cliffs and ridges and deep valleys and gullies, on which were sandal, camphor and other trees. To the east of this was Pu-ta-lo-ka (Potalaka) mountain with steep narrow paths over its cliffs and gorges in irregular confusion; [the other bit left out by Rajeev:] on the top was a lake of clear water, whence issued a river which, on its way to the sea, flowed twenty times round the mountain. By the side of the lake was a stone Deva-palace frequented by Kuan-tzu tsai P'usa. Devotees, risking life, brave water and mountain to see the P'usa, but only a few succeed in reaching the shrine. To the people at the foot of the mountain who pray for a sight of the P'usa, he appears sometimes as a PAshupata TIrthika, or as Maheshwara, and consoles the suppliant with his answer"

[Lokesh continues:] Hsuan-tsang clearly says that Avalokiteshwara at Potala sometimes takes the form of Ishwara (Shiva) and sometimes that of a PAshupata yogin.

If the above is meant to describe the Podigai Hills and in particular Agastiar Malai's AgastyarKoodam, then the river would be the sacred Thamrabarani aka Porunai aka Podigai.

But note once more how only the Hindu narrative is confirmed: Hindus have since ancient times claimed that the famous Shaiva Siddhar (aka a PAshupata Yogi), the Vedic Rishi Agastya, dwells in these mountains and especially at Agastya Koodam and that he manifests to sincere Hindu devotees.

And Hsuan-Tsang does not know hearsay of any sightings of Avalokiteshwara-anything to document that. It is only "syncretist" Buddhism's contention that anything that appears as "Ishwara" to Shiva-devotees anywhere is related to Avalokiteshwara instead, when clearly if there are any sightings of Ishwara, it can't be Buddhist (Avalokiteshwara was *invented* at a late time even in Buddhism and -later still- was tweaked to look more and more like a clone of Shiva in order to encroach on Shiva. That doesn't mean it is Shiva, let alone that it can appear (at all) - let alone that it can appear as Shiva. And after all, in China/Taiwan, only a Goddess [Taoist] appears to devotees at her sacred sites, while the Buddhist Sangha merely gradually claimed that this was Guan-Yin/Avalokiteshwara - suddenly a female to suit the occasion = obviously opportunism - and that "therefore" the site was Buddhist.)

But will get back to the subject of Avalokiteshwara in the final posts.
Post 13/?

The previous 2 posts were on Agastiar Malai / Podigai Malai / Potiyil (Potiyam) in the Sahyadris, where the Vedic Rishi/Shaiva Siddha Agastyar still appears to sincere Hindu devotees, and

that post compared these features and the location with the hearsay accounts that Hsuan-Tsang documented of a sacred place in the south where "Ishwara" "PAshupata Yogi" manifested (the last can simply mean a Shaiva Yogi rather than Shiva).

If one were to take it that his hearsay account referred to Potiyil, then:

Hsuan-Tsang's version therefore confirms the Hindu claims that the Vedic Rishi/Shaiva Siddhar at times manifests to Hindu bhaktas hoping to see him at his sacred abode in Agastyarkoodam of Agastya Malai=Podigai Hills.

What is Not confirmed is Japanese scholar Shu's theorising about the etymological origins of Podigai/Potiyil. Shu wanted to derive it from a Buddhism (anything Buddhist), in order to therewith argue some Buddhism into his choice of Potiyil for the physical place in India that Hsuan-Tsang described (and which is not the Buddhist Potalaka, since that exists only in Buddhist theology and is supernatural if at all real).

Had already repeatedly mentioned that Podigai/Potiyil use short-o and not long-o (makes a difference to Tamil Hindus), whereas bOdhi - being Shu's guess for Potiyil/Podigai's etymology - is long O. Further, supposing Potalaka had been derived from Tamil, and if they didn't know what it meant in order to translate it, then why on earth would they transfer it as "Potalaka" into Skt, when neither Potalaka nor Potiyil is meaningful in Skt? May as well have stuck as close to the original sounds as possible and transcribe it instead (e.g. as pOdiyil, since the short-o doesn't exist in Skt).

But here are some of the meanings of Potiyil and Podigai in Tamil:

1. Material from 1713, BOOK:

Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalgs "Genealogie der Malabarischen Goetter" Edition der Originalfassung von 1713 mit Einleitung, Analyse und Glossar von Daniel Jeyaraj (2003)

(meaning: "Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg's Geneology of the Gods of the Malabar, edition of the original version from 1713 with Intro, Analysis and Glossary[/i] by Daniel Jeyaraj")

Quote:Bartholomäus Ziegenbalgs "Genealogie der malabarischen Götter": ... - Google Books Result


Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg, Daniel Jeyaraj - ‎2003 - Gods, Hindu

Qurrßlszmra U366)60 potikai-malai, „Berg Potikai“. ... 41 TL, 2920: Das Tamil-Lexikon leitet das „Potiyam“ vom „potiyil“, „offene Halle“, d. h. (=das heisst) „potiy-il“ = „Public Hall"...

The last line says:

Quote:potikai-malai, "Mountain Potikai": The Tamil dictionary/lexicon derives the "Potiyam" (Mountains called Potiyam) from "potiyil", [meaning] "Open Hall", that is "potiy-il" = "Public Hall".

2. Material from the BOOK

Asia's Maritime Bead Trade: 300 B.C. to the Present

by Peter Francis

Google books has marked the following entry as being from page 27:

Quote:ArikamEDu-Virampatnam has long been identified with Podouké* of Periplus Maris Erythraei Sea and Pôdouké** Emporion of Ptolemy, based on its location. Mahadevan*** (1970) explained the Roman name as a corruption of the Tamil potikai, "a meeting place," either indoors or outdoors, associated with the VELir dynasty at ancient VIrai.3

* accent-aigu on final-e, so pronounced as Skt e (dIrgam)

** same accent-aigu on final-e, but NOTE: with circonflex on first o. I.e. pronounced as SHORT-o.

*** Possibly quoting Iravathan Mahadevan, but then I'd note how even he's not donating the name Podigai/Podiyil to Buddhism.

Note how the meaning assigned above for Potigai = "meeting place" -

sort of matches that which Ziegenbalg provided for Potiy-il = "Public hall"

in Ziegenbalg's 1713 work (from perusing a Tamil lexicon)

And again, the GrecoRomans at least transcribed the word closer to its original pronunciation (keeping the short-o, long end). Whereas if Indian Buddhists had really transferred it into Skt or even Pkt as Potalaka, then they transferred neither its meaning nor its actual sounds.

Also interesting to note perhaps, is that the GrecoRomans only know the place as Podigai - the word their transcription looks to derive from - but not as Potalaka or Potala. (The Ptolemy referred to seems to be the 2nd century CE one.)

3. In 1800+ C.E.:

And here's everyone's own dear Bishop Caldwell - not really that good at Tamil, but he was the first christist to heavily turn his missionary gaze onto Tamizh and is hence fondly remembered anyway by dravoodianists and other assorted christists.





BY The Right Rbv. R. CALDWELL, D.D., LL.D., Bishop

Kai is capable also of meaning place, c.g.^ Poti-kai, place of concealment,

the name of the mountain from which the river of Korkai takes its rise.

If Podigai did mean 'place of concealment', then perhaps it's a reference to being concealed by thick vegetation, and the sources of some of the rivers in the sahyadris in general are hard to find (hence a source of disputation by neighbouring states).

In any case, dravoodians always swear by Caldwell- and neo-Buddhists besides - so they may NOT forget to swear by what he says now.

4. There are OCR errors in the following, so don't know if what looks like the word in question been affected too. Also, as no accents are used to indicate whether the long or short vowels are used, so it's hard to determine relevance. But including for completion, and because I *suspect* it to be relevant.


(The book seems to be by a Hindu Tamil, not an anti-Hindu)



Central Government with the internal management of the

village. Indeed the village enjoyed absolute autonomy

in the management of its internal affairs with the

help of the village elders 1 who formed themselves

into various committees for supervising particular

interests like gardens, tanks, etc. The village affairs

were settled by the unanimous decision of the elders

who generally assembled under a big tree. The

assembly thus convened is called mcwram, and also

Four kinds of trees are mentioned as

relating to a manmm. In fact the manmm takes its name

"Podiyil" is mentioned twice in the document with that spelling. But not sure whether the ? is supposed to be a full stop or is an unknown character. But let's assume that unlike the previous noun ("mcwram"), this one didn't get mangled. Then the sentence reads "The assembly thus convened is called a <something> and also Podiyil". If that's the correct reading, then it's saying that a special kind of democratic assembly of elders is called Podiyil. This is not unlike the word Podiyil meaning "Open Hall" or "Public Hall" as per the lexicon Ziegenbalg perused and Podigai meaning "meeting place" as per Mohadevan. Special assembly fits right there in that meaning, both as a reference to the site and as a reference to the gathering. A bit like De Ding in NW European religion.

5. This was unexpected:

https :// www. flickr.com/photos/naseer_ommer/2199010315/

Quote:[Photo:] on top of.... Agasthyakoodam_a distant view

JanvPi 78 months ago | reply

wow! I'm not sure if u already know this - the one on left is called the ain-thale podigai meaning 5-headed serpent in Tamil. I think the other one is Nagapodigai.

Naseer Ommer 78 months ago | reply

Thank you. i was told by the trackers about these, but 'm extremely happy which prevented me to note down the names. BTW..carrying de pen, ....tooooo heavy <grin>

themargi 50 months ago | reply

Ain - thalai Podigai(tamil) means five-headed serpent!! Nagapodigai!! Thanks Janvpi for the names n info!! on top of.... Agasthyakoodam_a distant view 4 ; 8 ;

Serpent is not impossible I suppose. (I mean, if Shu is allowed to speculate... And as I don't know what the word means, I should be equally open to considering the possibility of bhujaga/pambu.)

* The Sahyadris are famous for sarpas so the region could be named for it, and Agastiar - a teacher of Kundalini Yoga - is associated with sarpam, see e.g. agatthiyarjnanam.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/37-ven-saarai-is-it-snake-what-is.html

Southern Hindu Siddha medicines are supposed to also have cures for venomous sarpa bites, and Agastiar was a Shaiva Siddhar.

* If Ain(thu)-thalai (=5 headed) podigai means 5 headed serpent, then obviously it's the "podigai" portion which the commenter above implies as meaning serpent. But Naga already means serpent, so Nagapodigai - at first sight - tends to mean serpent-serpent, which seems a redundancy.

EXCEPT that in Tamil, pambu means snake, naga means snake and yet nagapambu is still a word ("nagasarpa"). Nagapambu means hooded snake I think, often used for the Hindu Cobras.

* And if you look at the photo at flickr above, it becomes clear why it those parts of the mountain range may be considered 5-headed snake and hooded snake: because they really look like it.

The question is however whether Podigai does mean to refer to anything serpentine in Tamil or not. (I don't know.) The two above-named Podigai ranges may simply have been called the 5-headed hill of Podigai and Naga hill of Podigai, where the snake becomes implicit (since it's form is apparent to the observer), while Podigai merely indicates that it is of the Podigai range. <- I'm just submitting this suggestion, in case Podigai does not mean serpent.

Anyway, the picture shows how beautiful this sacred Hindoo site is. And impressive mountain formations.

6. If a long-O is used, then the word Podigai gets a different meaning (as people could have guessed):


Quote:The Vijayanagara mandapam outside the temple has monolithic pillars. The pushpa pOdhigai (flower corbels) on the pillars indicate that they belong to the Vijayanagara period. The pusha podhigai here don’t have the banana flower hanging from them. That was how it was in the initial Vijayanagara times.

[Not being etymologically-capable, I had somehow subconsciously assumed that the kai/gai part in River Vai-gai Amman and gai in River Podi-gai may perhaps be related. Also the Korkai river that was mentioned by Caldwell as originating in the Podigai Hills similarly ends on -kai suffix.]

In any case, what we *can* see is that long-standing meanings of the words Potiyil/Podigai in Tamil as explained by Tamils (incl. the Tamil Lexicon perused by Ziegenbalg in 1713) and which were parroted by aliens, all have nothing to do with Shu's convenient derivation of Potiyil/Podigai from any Buddhism (though his assumption did make things fit his storytelling better. It seems to me, that since Shu's so far off from the established meanings, that Shu just happened to decide that because Potiyil had 4 letters in common with Potalaka that this was a word worth etymologically massaging into something that could be made to have a counterpart that sounded Buddhist.)

And specifically: I observe that ALL the claims on the internet that Potiyil/Potigai would be named for Bodhi-place/Buddhaloka (anything Buddhist) is always launched by people quoting Shu for their authority. Neo-Buddhists have non-Tamil origins - originating from the Indian regions of Ambedkar's influence - but why Tamil believers in dravoodianism (=dravoodianists) should parrot Shu when he seems so obviously-wrong (I'm still pedantic on the short-o) is beyond me.

I guess they were all desperate to impute a Buddhism. Despite Buddhism/Jainism being no less a product of any alleged oryan invasion. [Not to mention how both are moreover missionary=non-ancestral religions.]

While the Japanese scholar's ignorance about the long-standing claims of Agastya's manifestations at his sacred hill site is forgiven - since I have a severe bias in favour of Japanese, plus Shu at least admitted that the "locals remained Hindus" and so did not seem anti-Hindu -

what I find telling is how many a western Buddhist writer, who parrots Shu's identification of Potiyil as the place described by HT,

tends to deliberately leave out all mention of Agastyar at the hill and how Agastyar is a Vedic Hindu and a famous Shaiva Yogi. (Agastya, who moreover authored several so-called "brahminical"* works on Kundalini Yoga. *These are exclusively Hindu works and recognised as such by Buddhists, but because Buddhists don't want to recognise the existence of a Hindu laity, they have therefore labelled these words as "brahminical". Usually only Hindu works that can't be Bauddhified are called "brahminical" by Buddhists/Jains, every other Hindoo work they call "Indian". Sort of like christianism calls all things Hindu that can be inculturated upon as "Indian".)

This silence on Agastyar by those western Buddhists authors who lend credence to Shu's reasoning for why Potiyil must be the place described by HT, is suspect IMO. And the Estonian (who wrote www.chibs.edu.tw/ch_html/chbs/10/chbs1011.htm) is a Buddhist, by the way: not only does he refer to emperor Ashoka as "the great king Aśoka" (compare with how many non-convert western people would refer to any Indian ruler as "great"), but he has a subtle but pointed anti-Hindu bias*, evident from his Bauddicising re-interpretation of Shu's theory, which latter admitted that Potiyil had already been sacred to the locals since ancient times and that the locals remained Hindus despite his (Shu's) supposed period of a presence of Buddhist syncretism on Hindu religion there.

* Many western converts to Buddhism - including in Buddhist research - are even severely anti-Hindu. (Possibly Thurman and Cleary are exceptions? They seem the kind to just mind their own chosen religion.)

As a result, Hindus are faced with the anti-Hindu productions of western "researchers" on Hindu religion and of western Buddhist researchers as well.

Posts 11-13, when taken together, cover the reasons for why Potiyil could be the place HT described from hearsay (11, 12), while also covering some supporting evidence for why Shu's etymological reasonings to conflate Potiyil with Potalaka are Not actually supported (13) [may explain why the Buddhist Estonian could not refer to these as being more than an "interesting theory"], so that Shu's further suppositions - based on his linguistic means of identification - fall flat and are consequently mere speculations with no grounding: he surmised a period of the presence of some Hindu-Buddhist syncretism (alongside the ancient and continuous presence of unadulterated Hindu religion) at the site. However, his etymological derivation being unsupported - and contradicted - by the actual meaning given for Potigai and Potiyil ("meeting place" and "open/public hall"), means there is no need to suppose that it was ever named for a Buddhism (as a "Buddha/Bodhi place") and that - besides Shu's speculative claims (and the inculturation tactics of Buddhists of a late century on all things Hindu including Shiva) there is nothing to actually argue for any valid Buddhist claim on the Shiva and Agastya at that site at all.

Anyway, Lokesh Chandra/Rajeev & parrots' unjustified encroachment on Shabarimalai for Buddhism via Hsuan-Tsang is a delirium. It was clearly but a theory, and a poorly researched, poorly argued and poor one in general at that. There are better fits for HT's description - though any Buddhism of the actual Podigai site has not been proved (not counting late projections, recent backprojections and other wishful thinking by Buddhist encroachment on Shaivam in the region). All Hsuan-Tsang has been able to confirm is that his hearsay supports the Hindu claims of an appearance of a *Shaiva* (i.e. pAshupata) Yogi/Siddha and Vedic Rishi, Agastyar.

But there's much more to be said on the topic. Left for the final posts.

This post quotes western and Indian authors on the actual meanings of the words Podigai and Potiyil
Post 14/?

Am returning to some of the things mentioned in post 11 about the famous Vedic Rishi Agastya. Because it is relevant to the next post.

1. The wackypedia page on Podighai (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pothigai) mentions (or did) that the MBh recounts how Vyasa and Agastya were sent by Shiva to be progenitors of Samskrita and Tamil languages. I will have to look that up.

For now, as is known even to me, the MBh does mention that Agastya travelled south of the Vindhyas and didn't return north.

2. In the meantime: as mentione before, Pauranic accounts repeat how Agastya was sent by Shiva to the south and that he settled in Potigai specifically;

3. Further, another Purana (Vayu Purana, see below) is supposed to refer to an incident of how Agastya - visiting Indran - once pronounced a shaapam on Urvashi when she makes a few missteps while dancing, because she's meanwhile fallen deeply in love with Indran's son Jayanta and they are both made to incarnate on earth along with Narada's particular type of Veena. Why this last should be remotely relevant will hopefully become clearer by the end of the next post.

1. mahabharataonline.com/translation/mahabharata_03104.php

Quote:Section CIV

"Yudhishthira said, 'O great saint! I am desirous of hearing in detail why it was that Vindhya, made senseless with wrath, suddenly began to increase his bulk.'"

"Lomasa said, 'The sun between his rising and setting used to revolve round that monarch of mountains--the great Meru of golden lustre. And seeing this the mountain Vindhya spake to Surya saying, 'As thou every day goest round Meru and honourest him by thy circumambulations, do thou even the same by me, O maker of light!' Thus addressed, the sun replied to the great mountain, saying, 'I do not of my own will honour this mountain by my circumambulations. By those who have built this universe hath that path been assigned to me.' Thus addressed the mountain suddenly began to increase from wrath, desirous, O chastiser of foes, of obstructing the path of the Sun and the Moon. And all the assembled gods came to Vindhya, the mighty king of mountains, and tried to dissuade him from his course. But he heeded not what they said. And then all the assembled gods went to the saint, living in the hermitage, engaged in the practice of austerities, and the very best of persons devoted to virtue; and stated all that happened to Agastya, possessed of exceeding marvellous power.

"The gods said, 'This king of hills, Vindhya, giving way to wrath, is stopping the path of the Sun and the Moon, and also the course of the stars. O foremost of Brahmanas! O thou great in gifts! excepting thyself, there is none who can prevent him; therefore do thou make him desist.'

Hearing these words of the gods the Brahmana came to the mountain. And he with his wife, having arrived there, came near Vindhya and spake to him, saying, 'O thou best of mountains! I wish to have a path given to me by thee, as, for some purpose, I shall have to go to the southern region. Until my return, do thou wait for me. And when I have returned, O king of mountains, thou mayst increase in bulk as much as thou pleasest.' And, O slayer of foes! having made this compact with Vindhya up to the present day Varuna's son doth not return from the southern region.

2. Several Puranas (and ancient local traditions) cover the travel of Agastya to the south, Agastya's settling in TN and that this was on Shiva's direction, his sacred dwelling in Potiyil as well as his travels, his initiation into Tamil by Shiva and Murugan, and also his being the father of the Tamil language.

The fact of his presence in Potiyil was rather well-established, so that instead of pointing out all the Puranas, I'm just going to quote from one for brevity, then move on to the next point and will return to the subject when quoting from Silappadikaaram in the next post.

From Srimad Bhagavata Purana, Skandha 10, Chapter 79: Pilgrimage of Balarama

The subsection "The All-BhArata Pilgrimage of BalarAma", shlokas as marked.

After travelling to other parts of India, visiting various important Hindu kShetras there, Bhagavaan Balaraamar eventually came south and has reached Karnataka, AP, TN and Kerala regions at this point:

Quote:15. [...] He (Balarama) worshipped at the shrine of Skanda and proceeded to Srisaila the abode of Siva, and from there to the holiest of holy places in Dravida country, VenkatAdri (Tiruppati); to Kamakoshni, KAnchipuram, the most holy river KAveri and to Srirangam where there is a special manifestation of the Lord. He then went to Rishabha mountain, a place holy to Sri Hari, the southern Madhura and reached the great sin-destroying Setu at the shore of the ocean.

16. At Setu he gave ten thousand cows as gift to holy men, and then (Balarama) went to the rivers Kritamala and Tamraparni and from there to the Malaya mountain.

17. He worshipped Agastya who was performing austerities there. Receiving his blessings he reached the shore of the southern sea and worshipped at the shrine of Durga, known as Kanyakumari.

18. [PadmanAbha, Kerala etc.]

So 16 and 17 are relevant to Agastya dwelling in the Malaya:

R^iShabhAdriM hareH kShetraM dakShiNAM mathurAM tathA | sAmudraM setumagamanmahApAtakanAshanam || 15 ||

tatrAyutamadAddhenurbhrAhmaNebhyo halAyudhaH | kR^itamAlAM tAmraparNIM malayaM cha kulAchalam || 16 ||

tatrAgastyaM samAsInaM namaskR^ityAbhivAdya cha | yojitastena chAsIrbhiranuj~nAto gato.arNavam |

dakShiNam tatra kanyAkhyAM durgAM devIM dadarsha saH || 17
(There may be typos.)

3. A totally unrelated account about Agastya, but it's important for the next post.

The account may exist in other pan-Hindu shaastras too, but it certainly exists in the Vayu Purana:


Quote:Jayanta was the son born to Indra by his wife SacI-devi. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 112, Stanzas 3 and 4).


4) Jayanta became Bamboo. Once Agastya came to

Indra's durbar. Indra arranged for the dance of

UrvasI in honour of Agastya's visit. In the midst of

the dance UrvasI saw Jayanta before her and she fell

in love with him. Consequently her steps went out of

beat. Narada who was playing his lute called MahatI

went wrong. Agastya got angry and cursed Jayanta

and changed him to a bamboo. UrvasI was cursed to

become a woman with the name Madhavi. Agastya

cursed Narada that his lute MahatI would become the

lute of the people of the world. (Vayu Purana).


21 ) Agastya cursing Urvasi, Jayanta and Narada. Once

Agastya went to the realm of the Gods, as a guest

of Indra. On that day a performance of dance by

Urvasi was held in honour of Agastya. In the midst

of the dance Urvasi's eyes fell on Jayanta and she fell

in love with him; her steps went out of beat. Narada

also went wrong slightly in playing on his famous

lute called Mahatl. Agastya got angry and cursed

Urvasi, Jayanta and Narada. According to the curse

Jayanta became a bud. Urvasi was born in the earth

as a woman called Madhavl and 'Mahatl' the lute of

Narada became the lute of the people of the earth.

Variations of the above:

- maharishis.blogspot.in/2008/10/agastya.html

(which has more famous narratives on Agastya at link) mentions Urvashi's incarnation as Madhuri by name, while still keeping Jayanta as a flower bud.

- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jayanta

which mentions the happy ending when everybody returns to Swargam after their divine play, as usual.
Post 15/?

Agastya's association with Potiyil AND with Shiva of the Vedas in the Silappadikaaram

Tamil/Kerala Hindus - like ethnic Hindus all over the subcontinent are a very Vedic population. As other Hindus have long explained - by pointing to ancient Tamil literature - among the many Hindu Gods worshipped in TN, Indran used to be one of the Vedic=Hindu Gods who was quite central in southern Hindus' conscious lives too. (And then Buddhist use of Indra - like with Brahma - gradually increased to encroachment and inculturation. I suspect a Certain correlation with another trend. But will leave that for now.)

The Vedic-ness of the Tamil/Kerala Hindus since ancient times is why the Hindu Tamil-language work Silappadikaaram too was very familiar with the Hindu Pauranic narrative concerning Agastya's shaapam on Urvashi and Indran's son Jayanta to incarnate on earth (mentioned in the previous post). Consequently, Silappadikaaram went on to recount how its 2nd heroine, Madhavi, was the re-incarnation of or descendant of Urvashi, upon the shaapam taking effect.

+ The Silappadikaaram summarises this event from Hindus' Vayu Purana (or any other equally old/er Hindoo source) and explains how Madhavi is related to Urvashi. In doing so, the Silappadikaaram naturally also mentions how the Vedic Rishi Agastya came to visit Indran and thus came to pronounce the shaapam.

+ In another section, Silappadikaaram mentions Agastya as the Rishi of the Potiyil Malai and in that very same set of verses also mentions Agastya's affiliation with "Shiva of the Vedic scriptures".

+ The Tamil-language Hindu text also mentions that Potiyil is sacred to Agastya, implying its knowledge that it had been sacred well before he came there and also why it should be sacred to him. As brought up in Post 11 (the very first post in this spam series), that's because his deva-gurus Murugan and Dakshinaamoorti-Shiva reside there: that post (#11) already contained a quote from even older Tamil literature that showed how Dakshinamoorti-Shiva was known to and hence worshipped by a Hindu chieftain of Potiyil in that ancient time.

In short: the Silappadikaaram knew the Agastya of the Hindu Puranas as the Vedic Shaiva (and also generally Hindu) muni who lived at Potiyil. The text is likewise familiar with the ancient sacredness of Podigai Malai/Potiyil.

I will paste quotes - English translations from Silappadikaaram - that support the above.

But as for Silappadikaaram's date:

Until recently (just a few decades back at most), TN used to date Silappadikaaram to the 2nd century CE. Of course the missionary Caldwell wanted to have it appear only in the 6th or 7th century (since he didn't want Vedic religion to have been ancient in TN, so that he could argue that Tamil grammar and culture and history had no historical relation at all to Skt and to Hindu religion in specific, in order to push his missionary AIT agenda). And because the Hindu literary work goes on and on about Vedic religion in Kerala and TN, and because Silappadikaaram can't be christianised, christianism's desperation has only increased with time: they want Hinduism to be dated to no earlier than 8th century CE in Kerala/TN (so that christianism can claim all of the history of southern and esp. Tamil/Kerala Hindu culture for itself), and as a result of demonstrable christianist machinations at online reference sites, Silappadikaaram sometimes even gets pushed down to 8th century CE these days. Although only christians like to fall for that one.

Silappadikaaram knows of the presence of Jainism and Buddhism in the south at that time and mentions them respectfully, trying to give some details on them too, as Hindus do even today, but it is the work by a Hindu and about Hindu religion - this being the native religion of the southern countryside in that age (as is clearly evident in the text itself).

In reality, the Tamil Hindu text is likely to be several centuries older than Hsuan-Tsang. In any case, Silappadikaaram mentions not just Agastya's shaapam of Urvasi (=the Vedic Rishi Agastya, since it's referring to the pauranic account), but also how the same Vedic Rishi Agastya is the muni of Potiyil AND associated with Shiva of the Vedas. But Silappadikaaram does not know of any Avalokiteshwara/Buddhism associated with Potiyil. (<- This point matters.)

From English translations of Silappadikaaram, taken from the viewable pages on Google Books (or searchable via Google Search):

a. From S.Krishnamoorthy's translation of "Silappadikaram",



Quote:"Once the dance of Urvasi, accompanied by a girl singing the varam tune and Narada on his veena at the court of the thousand-eyed lord Indra, faltered and the veena sounded discordant; the music and dance failed to please Indra. Thereupon Agastya cursed Urvasi and the discordant veena to be born on the earth. It was thus that Urvasi was born on earth with the name of Madhavi.

Let us enjoy the dance of her descendant who is also named Madhavi with alkul like a cobra's hood and also pay our homage to Indra who is worshipped there."

That clearly identifies the *Vedic* Rishi Agastya.

And it is the same Rishi Agastya described on p.74:

Quote:23. "The Pandian is the ruler of the glorious Podiyil hill where dwells the sage Agastya, the descendant of the Lord who gave the scriptures. Let him [the Pandian king] wear the garland of scarlet ixora to the ruin of the habitations of his enemies and their cattleherds.

The "Lord" in the above reference is the Vedic God Shiva and the "scriptures" mentioned are the Vedas onlee - referred to repeatedly throughout the translation as "the scriptures"/Vedas etc.

(The "descendant of Shiva" bit may refer to the lineage of Shaiva Siddhars of Shaiva Siddhaantam, of which Agastya was the first and Shiva the originator/progenitor.)

But so as to leave no doubt, here follows a translation of the same verse as above but by an anti-Hindu, wannabe-feminist speaking of "the patriarchy" [though not of his own of course, patronising], who is predictably a close friend of that lame AK Ramm-anujan. Look how even this next guy - who readily donated Ilango Adigal and his work to Jainism and said mean things about Hindu religion and Hellenismos all while praising the Gospels and other christianisms (cryptochristo alert) - is nevertheless still forced to confess that the Agastya/Podiyil Malai known in Silappadikaaram's era can't be donated to Buddhism even under the Buddhist Avalokiteshwara-inculturation, as it's all exclusively Vedic Hindoo only in the text:

The Introduction is signed "R. Parthasarathy" - who appears to be the translator, as he talks about this in the intro - and dated to "Aug 20, 1992", but Googlebooks has the book at "2004". So it may be a re-publication.

From: "Cilappatikaram : The Tale Of An Anklet"


Have reconstructed the full version of the following quoted section by combining Google search with Googlebooks search:


Quote:POSTLUDE 2.4

May the Pandyan, eager for victory,

Wear the vetci flower that spells ruin

For his enemy's forest and rescue of cattle.

For he [Pandya king of Madurai] is the lord of the Potiyil with lofty peaks

Where lives the sage Agastya, born

After Siva who knew the Vedas well.

From the same anti-Hindu translator, comes also the following which he was forced to admit. It's another reference in the Silappadikaaram to Agastya's curse of UrvashI to be born on earth, and the derivation of MadhavI therefrom. Note particularly how the verse directly ties the Agastya of the Vayu PuraaNa (i.e. Vedic Rishi Agastya) to Potiyil, making it clear it's one and the same person onlee, AND also that Potiyil was already considered divine at Silappadikaaram's era (and who knows for how long before that):

p. 34

Quote:Agastya of the divine Potiyil had once

Cursed Indra's son Jayanta, and UrvashI.

That curse he graciously revoked

As UrvashI displayed her talent for the dance

On the stage. And from that exalted line

Of heavenly nymphs was MAtavi descended.


Further relevant occurrences of Potiyil in the last translation admits to:

Quote:p. 204

"Be gracious enough to listen

To listen to the reason why

I came here, O king of kings

Of the resplendent spear!

I had gone round

The Potiyil hills, sacred to Agastya,

And bathed in the renowned waters of the Kumari.



After going round the Potiyil,

Sacred to the great sage Agastya,

And bathing on the ghats of the

Kumari, he was returning

To his own family.



Rising from the lush Potiyils hills

Of the illustrious sage Agastya,

the herald South wind breathed the coming of spring.

p. 199

The Godddess of Maturai was the family deity

Of the king who ruled over the cool port

Of Korkai, the port of Kumari, and Mount Potiyil.

p.377 (Excerpt looks like it's from Glossary sectionSmile

Malaya Potiyil, a mountain in the Pandya kingdom famous as the dwelling of seer Agastya

[If someone wants to read Silappadikaaram in English, S. Krishnamoorty's version appears to be the better of the two, from my sampling via Googlebook search. But I didn't read the introduction, so I can't confirm. In any case, the 2nd English translation mentioned is by an anti-Hindu of 'subaltern studies' type.]

Mark how the extracts say not only that Potiyil is divine and the dwelling place of Agastya muni, but it is stated twice above that the Potiyil Malai is also *sacred to Agastya*. The sanctity would be because the Potiyil malai is Murugan's and Shiva's abode, where Agastya had made his southern home.

Silappadikaaram is already familiar with Hindu Puranas, and the association of Agastya with Potiyil and Shiva is already made directly in Silappadikaaram, so the Silappadikaaram's familiarity with the other relevant Hindu puranas and traditions about the Vedic Rishi & Shaiva Siddhar Agastya's association with the Vedic=Hindu Shiva and Murugan seems quite likely.

Note the Pandyan kings are said to rule Podiyil, besides Madurai and Kumari and Korkai ports in the Silappadikaaram. That the Pandya dynasty at this stage are still Vedic=Hindu* is made clear from the fact that Madurapati - clearly described as an Ardhanaareshwara but referred to as a She because it is the Amman Ardhanaree (every description given of her is directly that of Shiva-Shakti from the Vedas, Upanishads and Pauranic stotras) - Madurapati, the God/dess of Madurai is the patron deity of the Pandya lineage. Making the Pandya kings Vedic=Hindus still at this time. Just like Cenguttuvan, the Hindu king who becomes important in another section of the Silappadikaaram: he performs a rAjasUya yagnya, as admitted even by the anti-Hindu translator.

The objective here is not to point out the Vedic Hinduisms in the text - because Silappadikaaram's mostly about Vedic religion=Hinduism, with bits of Jainism and Buddhism mentioned, sort of like how Hindus today write articles about Jainism and Buddhism (and often christianism and islam etc) too.

The objective in mentioning all the above is to make it clear that at least in the time Silappadikaaram was written* (and probably also in any earlier time it was set), it was known that:

- the Vedic Rishi Agastya, who is mentioned as being closely associated with "the Lord Shiva who gave the Vedas", i.e. the same Rishi Agastya mentioned in our Puranas, IS the one who dwells at the "divine Potiyil".

* Even the anti-Hindu translator tentatively dates the Silappadikaaram to the 5th century CE. I.e. he hadn't bothered making it more recent still, back in 1992 or 2004 when his book got published, and many other recent writers too have similarly latched onto 4th or 5th century CE instead of 2nd century CE (which was still the norm a few decades back).

Further, just to make it clear that the Potiyil Malai of Agastya in Silappadikaaram is quite the same as the Podigai/Agastyar Malai I've been talking about in my posts:

From S.Krishnamoorthy's English translation of "Silappadikaram", p.114

Quote:"Once Parasaran, a learned brahmin, belonging to the grain-rich land of the king of Puhar--rich in water-filled fields--who wields the sceptre of justice and the formidable, long sword and who belongs to the line of the king who ascended the scales of the balance for the sake of a dove and the king who dispensed justice to a cow, heard of the munificence of the bright-lanced Chera king who fed vast armies2 and presided over a glorious assembly. Desiring to meet the Cheran wielding the long, mighty spear, who helped a brahmin, a great Tamil scholar, to attain heaven3. he crossed the forests, the countryside and towns and left behind him the tall Malaya, namely the Podiyil, mountains.


To repeat, the Rishi/Muni Agastya of Potiyil known to the Silappadikaaram, is the Rishi Agastya known from the Puranas and Vedas et al - e.g. the Rishi who pronounces a Shaapam on Urvashi et al, as even recalled in the Silappadikaaram itself -

and who is:

+ therefore famous himself: described in a translation above as "the illustrious sage Agastya"

+ famously associated with the Shiva of the Vedas onlee ("the Lord Shiva who gave the Vedas")

+ famously associated with Potiyil Malai, already considered his dwelling place and divine. Agastya moreover finds the malai sacred, because his Gurus, the Hindu Gods are there: the Silappadikaaram already betrays a knowledge of the Puranas and old Hindu oral traditions in recognising that Agastya is an ancient dweller on Potiyil. And these sources are the ones that mention how Agastya had been initiated by Murugan into Tamil there (Murugan is known as Tamil Devam).

The above is really important to the points I want to make in the next post.

As a sidenote, in the last blockquote above, notice how it mentions the king of Puhar as a descendant of the Vedic king Shibi:

Quote:the king of Puhar--rich in water-filled fields--who wields the sceptre of justice and the formidable, long sword and who belongs to the line of the king who ascended the scales of the balance for the sake of a dove and the king who dispensed justice to a cow

The King of Puhar is clearly not Buddhist, and the Silappadikaaram cannot be written by a Buddhist either: because the Shibi described above is King Shibi of the Hindu ithihaasas/shaastras onlee, not the Bauddhified clone "Shibi" from the Buddhist Jatakas:

- there are no scales and no dove involved in the act for which the Bauddhified clone Shibi was made famous in Buddhism. He had an eye operation done to remove his eyes and give it away to Sakka in disguise. (wisdomlib.org/definition/sivi-jataka/index.html)

- Silappadikaaram knows onlee of the original=authentic Hindoo King Shibi:

Repeating the MW dictionary entry again, but just the relevant portion that relays the Hindu version:

Quote:1 zibi m. (also written %{zivi}) N. of a king (renowned for his liberality and unselfishness , and said to have saved Agni transformed into a dove from Indra transformed into a hawk by offering an equal quantity of his own flesh weighed in a balance) MBh. Hariv. Pur.

The fact that the Silappadikaaram doesn't know of/doesn't give recognition to the Bauddhified clone Shibi means that the Silappadikaaram's author is not Buddhist. A Buddhist is unlikely to have recognised the Hindu original, as the Buddhist version of the original Hindu Shibi narative was specifically meant to replace the Hindu version among followers of Buddhism.

This post contains relevant quotes from Silappadikaaram.

Spam-series to be continued.
Post 16/?

Unfortunately, this is going to drag on some more and not end with this post. After pasting the following here, am unfortunately going to have to go over all the allegations made. And there are so darn many.

And here we come to perhaps the most important part. Sadly for Buddhism it's not really evidence. Though there is definitely evidence of Buddhist backprojection and encroachment (aka criminality). And check out the amount of speculations too.

The following is the paper

Some Buddhist Poems in Tamil* by G. Vijayavenugopal


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF A. K. Narain [with lots of western authors contribution]

University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA

Volume 2 1979 Number 2, p. 93-97

https: // journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/index.php/jiabs/article/viewFile/8492/2399


VIracOliyam is a grammatical treatise in Tamil written by Puttamittiran

(< Skt. Buddhamitra) in the 11th century A.D.
, during the reign of the

Cola king Virarajendra.' In his introductory verse Puttamittiran claims

himself as 'the ruler of Ponparri' which is identified as the present

Ponpetti village in Tanjore district.2 Again the title 'ruler' may imply

that he got an assignment on the revenues of Ponpetti from the Cola

ruler.'3 This grammar, based on the Sanskrit model, explains, though

rather briefly, the structure of the Tamil language, including that used

in inscriptions. For instance, it mentions -icci as one of the feminine

gender suffixes (which is not mentioned by Tolkappiyam, the earliest

Tamil grammar, written around 3rd century B.C.), which is used in

one of the inscriptions of Sundaracola (of 10th century A.D.).4 This

grammar, being written by a Buddhist, was widely used in the Buddhist

monasteries by those who learnt Tamil and, according to Godakumbura,

the Sinhalese grammatical work, viz. Sidada Sankara, is based on


There is a commentary for this grammar, written by one

Peruntevanar, was is also a pupil of Puttamittiran, in which we find a

number of stray Buddhist verses quoted as examples for various

grammatical rules. Since the commentator has not given the name of

the authors of the works to which they belong, nothing can be said

about the origin of these verses. Further, except for casual references,

nothing has been said about these verses in modern studies of

Buddhism in Tamilnadu. However, these poems throw some light on

the religious conditions, especially on the status of Buddhism, in the

Tamil country during the 10th century A.D.

Avalokiteswara cult and Buddha bhakti tradition:

Puttamittiran mentions Avalokiteswara in two verses. First in his

introductory verse6 he mentions that Agastya learnt Tamil under

Avalokiteswara and later spread it to the world.
Secondly in the

penultimate verse in the chapter, viz. Kiriya-pata-p-patalam, he

states: 'the true Tamil of Avalokiteswara whose fame shines in several

thousand ways.'
According to the Saivite tradition of Tamilnadu, Siva

explains Tamil to Agastya and the hill Potikai/Potiyil is the residence of

Agastya. For our purpose the mentioning of Avalokiteswara is

important. According to the Buddhist tradition this Mount Potikai is

the seat of Bodhisattva Avalokiteswara. Taranath7 mentions that

Potala is a mythical mountain in the South and is the seat of

Avalokiteswara. Hien-Tsiang, the Chinese traveller, also mentions one

Mo-lo-kiu-ch'a. Beal and Hultzsch have identified both Taranath's

Potala and Hien-Tsiangs's Mo-lo-kiu-ch'a (= Malaiyam) as Potikai and

Hultzsch states that Hieun-Tsiang or his Buddhist informants seem to

have transformed Agastya, who is supposed to reside on Podigai, into

the Bodhisattva Avalokiteswara.8 But, as pointed out above, according

to Puttamittiran, Agastya is the disciple of Avalokiteswara. Thus it is

clear that the Buddhist tradition of Tamilnadu has identified Potikai,

the seat of Agastya, as also the seat of Avalokiteswara and made

Agastya his disciple. One of the meanings of the name Avalokiteswara

is 'the Lord who looks from on high (i.e. from the mountains, where he

lives, like Siva)'9 and probably this meaning might be responsible for the

Tamil Buddhist tradition. What is important here is the popularity of

the Avalokiteswara cult in the Tamil country. It attained much

significance when Mahayanism became very popular.

It is very unfortunate that no systematic study has been done so

far with reference to the origin, development, and fall of Buddhism in

Tamilnadu. The only complete Buddhist literary work in Tamil

available now is Manimekalai (generally assigned to 2nd century A.D.,

but it could have been written around 4th century A.D.)
which contains

not only literal translations (though partial) from the I canto of

Mahavagga of Vinayapitaka,10 but also refers to the Paramitas.11 It is

not clear whether these paramitas refer to the six kinds of paramitas of

the Hinayana doctrine or the extended paramitas (i.e. ten paramitas) of

the Mahayana doctrine, though the learned editor interprets it to mean

the ten paramitas. But the verses quoted in Viracoliyam commentary

definitely belong to Mahayanism. According to Har Dayal, 'the

bodhisattva doctrine may be said to have been the inevitable outcome

of the tendency towards bhakti and the new conception of Buddhahood.'

12 Conditions before the 11th century in Tamilnadu reveal that

there was prevalent a strong Buddha bhakti tradition and idol worship

should have been very popular. The period between 650 A.D. and 950

A.D. is considered to be the period of bhakti movement which saw the

revival of Hinduism and the gradual weakening of the influence of

both Buddhism and Jainism. The Alvars and Nayanmars spearheaded

this movement and as a result a large number of Siva and Visnu

temples were built by the kings who adopted these religions. Sometimes

some of the Buddhist temples might have been changed into

Hindu temples.13 [Ref 13: Venkatacami, op. cit., p.59] But at the same time these kings patronised other

religions like Buddhism and Jainism, too, by making liberal donations,

endowments, etc. to the viharas and pallis (of the Jains). The verses

praising Buddha or Bodhisattva Avalokiteswara quoted by the

commentator of Viracoliyam reveal the Buddha bhakti tradition to

have been quite similar to Siva bhakti or Visnu bhakti traditions.

Now the question is, which was the model?
Did the Buddhists and

Jains follow the Hindu bhakti movement and compose poetry on those

lines, or vice versa? There are two things involved here. One is the

bhakti movement itself and the other is the bhakti poetry resulting

from this movement. Har Dayal claims that 'the idea of bhakti

originated among the Buddhists and was adopted in self defence by the

Hindus.' '... [The] ideal of bhakti arose and flourished among the

Buddhists.'14 However, he also points out that the new sects of the

Hindus 'exercised a profound influence on the further development

of Buddhism."5 There are counter claims too. For instance Aiyaswami

Sastri, quoting Kimura and Radhakrishnan, states that 'the evolution

of the original atheistic Buddhism into theistic Mahayanism was a

result of the religious fervour of its adherents under the dominating

influence of theistic Hinduism through the centuries.'16 The same

thing could be said about the development in Tamilnadu also. It is

that the Tamil poet Cekkilar who wrote the famous Saivite

hagiology called Periyapuranam, 'the big Purana,' might have gotten

some inspiration from the Buddhist Jataka stories in modelling the

biographies of the Saivite saints. Or this could have been done even

before him, at least in oral tradition, since Cekkilar is only giving a

poetic form to these stories.

But the verses quoted in Viracoliyam show the influence of Siva/

Visnu bhakti poetry. Some of the verses are definitely modelled after

Paripatal, an anthology of poems following the old cahkam tradition,

composed ca. 2nd century A.D. Verses quoted on p. 140 and 142 are in

the old poetic forms called vannaka ottalicai-k-kalippa and ampotaranka

ottalicai-k-kalippa (old poetic metres). The verse quoted on p. 157

follows the poetic form adopted in Tirukkural, an ancient Tamil

ethical work. Similarly verses quoted on p. 161 follow other old metres

like talicai and aciriyattalicai. Thus we find an interesting interaction

between these religious movements; as a result we see some are taken

from the Buddhist/Jain tradition and some are borrowed from the

Tamil bhakti tradition. At least the verses quoted in the commentary of

Viracoliyam reveal the influence of Tamil bhakti poetry on Buddhist

literary activity.
One of the characteristic features of the Tamil bhakti

poetry is the praising of the Lord, eulogising His qualities. For

example, Siva is associated with the banyan tree in the Tamil bhakti

poems. In the same way, the verses which praise the qualities of the

Bodhisattva always mention him as the one who sits under the bodhi

tree and showers His Grace. As Siva/Visnu are mentioned by various

names, the Bodhisattva is referred to as Matavar (p. 124) 'the great

medicant,' Punniyan (p. 125, 159) 'the One who does good," Varadan

(p. 125) 'benefactor,' Arivan (p. 126) 'one who knows everything,'

Vaman (p. 125), kotila aram pakarnta kon (p. 127) 'the king who told

the dharma which is flawless,' Punitan (p. 157), the pure one,' Atinata

(p. 161) 'the ancient Lord,' coti (p. 183)'the light,' Niraivar (p. 188)

'the full one,' Kurramana aintotarikor munrarutta natan (p. 127) 'the

Lord who cut the eight faults.' Similarly the verse quoted on p. 140

states that the bodhisattva has told the 32 kalas and 89 siddhis, and the

verse on p.142 mentions him as the yogi who accompanies all the souls in

their births and deaths.

Another characteristic feature of Tamil bhakti poetry is the use of

mythologies of Siva/Visnu. In the Buddha bhakti verses quoted one

sees a number of mythologies associated with the bodhisattva. Thus

there is the story of weighing his flesh (p. 140), the story of offering his

body to a hungry tiger (p. 114, 140, 142), the conquering of Mara (p.

141, 142), the story of becoming a fish and becoming one with truth (p.

141), the story of becoming a deer and revealing the divine qualities (p.

141), the story of preaching the dharma to five rakshasas (p. 144), the

story of removing the sufferings of the Nagas (p. 141), the story of

giving eyes to lndra at the latter's request (p. 125, 165). Another

feature of the Tamil bhakti poetry is the praising of the sacred place/

town of Siva/Visnu. Similarly, we find one verse (p. 188) wherein the

city Tutitapuram (< Dushita) is mentioned as the abode of Niraivar, 'the

full one.'

Two verses which were quoted partially reveal the influence of

Tantric Buddhism. One verse (p. 171) states that 'I will wander around

and play until the exhaustion of the desires before the swung top stops.'

The metaphor vicina pamparam, 'the swung top' refers to the soul and

its birth. The other verse (p. 171) runs like this: 'I will wander and play

before the built palace collapses.' Here the metaphor used is etutta

matam, 'the built palace,' suggesting the soul in a new body. Thus these

poems reveal the Buddha bhakti tradition in Tamilnadu during the

10th/11th centuries A.D. as similar to the Tamil Siva/Visnu bhakti


<Refs at link>

1. So, can see Buddhism backprojecting Buddhisms onto Hindus' Agastya and Tamil Grammar to claim both.

Just like Buddhism backprojected Buddhisms onto Hindus' Panini and Skt Grammar to claim both. See www.india-forum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/2224-removing-the-sheen-from-buddhism/page__view__findpost__p__113431

Same nonsense.

Ah Buddhist/Jain (and christian) missionary tactics for inculturation, appropriation and backprojection. Never grows old.

Neither do the bald-faced lies.

2. To note (and with regards to content in previous posts):

a. As per the above article from 1979, Manimekhalai is 2nd-4th century CE. So Silappadikaaram, to which Manimekhalai was the sequel, is also 2nd-4th century CE (or somewhat older).

And Silappadikaaram knows of Hindu Pauranic accounts of Agastya, and that said Agastya dwells at Podiyil; and in the same verse mentioning that, it describes him in relation to Shiva as being "a descendant of Shiva who gave out the Vedas" [combining translations], where I imagine (but wouldn't know) that 'descendant' could be a reference to the Shaiva Siddhantam that originates in Shiva and of which Agastya is the first Shaiva Siddhar in the line.

Silappadikaaram knows nothing Buddhist (incl. Avalokiteshwara-related) about Potiyil's Agastya, though the Agastya's (=Potiyil Muni) connection with Shiva IS well-known/was already established, and so is implicitly alluded to.

In Silappadikaaram, Potiyil is already known as sacred. And a 1st century BCE/CE Tamil work - ciRupANARRuppaTai - already had a Hindu chieftain of Potiyil make a gift to Dakshinaamoorthy-Shiva (i.e. probably at a temple/shrine in his locality). See post 11.

b. Hsuan-Tsang's accounts from hearsay are from the 7th century. They document clearly that the sightings at Podiyil are only of "Ishwara/Maheshwara", a "PAshupata Yogin". I.e. whether it be in the 7th century or the present (as per yesterday's wackypedia page on Podigai), there is nothing that can even describe the sightings as Buddhist in any way**: rather, there's only Shaiva (i.e. Hindoo, Vedic-Shiva-related) features about the manifestations to sincere devotees at Podigai.

c. And the late Buddhist Tamil-language grammar work "vIracholiyam" is from the 11th century CE, as per the 1979 article above (though like Silappadikaaram and Manimekhalai, vIracholiyam may be considered more recent today). And it is in vIracholiyam that Agastya is claimed as having an association with Avalokiteshwara; i.e. that Agastya is suddenly a Buddhist, rather than a pAshupata=Shaiva.

This means that between Hsuan-Tsang's 7th century account and Puttamitiran's 11th century vIracholiyam is when the Buddhist notion started - and solely among Buddhists - that Agastya was ever a Buddhist and was ever connected to the concoction known as Avalokiteshwara and that there was any Buddhism driving his Grammar and other work let alone the formation of the Tamil language. In the meantime and since the beginning, Agastya has only ever been associated with Vedic religion, and the original traditions on his connection to Tamil and its Grammar are Hindoo onlee.

** In particular a pAshupata is a very particular type of Shaiva Hindu, their practices and views derive from the Vedam (e.g. ShvetAshvatara Upanishad), and can simply not be a Buddhist because of seriously conflicting cosmological views.

ShaivaSiddhantam - the Shaivam taught by Agastyar in TN - is very closely related to the Shaivam of pAshupatas, so pAshupata is quite an accurate description of Agastya. Taken from a Hindu Swami's summary (a few words paraphrased):

Quote:The philosophy of ShaivasiddhAnta is very similar to that of the PAshupata [branch of Shaivam=Hindooism], the only difference being that the former accepts 36 tattvas (like Kashmir Shaivam) whereas the latter only [accepts] 25.
The numbers 25 and 36 concern the enumerations related to the Veda-derived, i.e. Hindoo, theistic, pre-Classical Sankhyam views. It is expressly cosmological (ShvetAshvataropaniShad). Meaning it's not the later, non-cosmological (non-theistic) Classical Sankhya, though this last did have a bearing on the Sankhyam elements found in Shramanic religions. [And which is another thing that dates Buddhism/Jainism.]

** And it's because the manifestations that Hsuan-Tsang (=HT) relayed from hearsay are so Shiva-related that all Buddhist apologist historians have fallen over themselves to point out how Avalokiteshwara had subsumed Shiva features (though it was for inculturation purposes). Because otherwise there is nothing to argue the case that the deity at the temple site of HT's description is Buddhist in any sense, and they end up in a bind of having to admit Buddhist encroachment on a Hindu site. Shu resolved this problem - as modern Bauddhified Hindus like to do, too - by proposing a period of Hindu-Buddhist "syncretism" and so making it all sound chummy and amicable and innocent. [Except whenever one side is a missionary religion, the syncretism is... replacement theology.]

So in a-c above, can already see when and in what - obviously very late - timeframe Buddhist appropriating lies had developed concerning Agastya and Tamil being "Buddhist".

To be fair, Buddhism wasn't the only Indic missionary religion that indulged in this class of delusional mythmaking (encroachment using backprojection via literature). But such obvious Buddhist myths/encroachments on Hindu religion get more international interest and support, because of the large foreign base of converts.

Can also compare with how christianism is now writing fictions about Tiruvalluvar/Tirukkural being christian and that Manickavasagar/TiruvAchakam was talking about jeebus/biblical monogawd. And similarly, a 1000 years from now, that too may be held up as proof of christianism of the two Tamil language works. Oh and of "proof" that christianism invented bhakti.

Avalokiteshwara was simply Buddhism's means to declare it automatically "inherited" all things related to the Hindoo God Shiva (and other Hindu Gods elsewhere, and a certain Taoist Goddess in other Asian lands), and thereby encroach on those things for Buddhism. This Bodhisattva was the means by which Buddhism tried to encroach on Panini and his grammar, and on Agastya, his works, and his influence on Tamil. In particular, the Avalokiteshwara fiction/excuse was employed to shift Panini and Agastya's derivation of Grammar from Shiva onto Avalokiteshwara=Buddhism's replacement for Shiva. Depending on what part of India the Buddhist claims to Panini's grammar were launched, wonder whether there was historically some Buddhist collaborative effort - collusion, pre-meditation between Buddhism in different parts of the country - to Bauddhify the established Hindu origins of grammar/languages/texts on languages (and Hindu perceptions regarding them)*. Same reasoning as behind creating the Jatakas to contain Bauddhified parallels to many pre-Buddhist (usually Hindu) Indian narratives: to give converts to Buddhism an alternate, Buddhist history and of a more ancient Buddhism; and that Buddhism was the origin for all things valuable (which had actually been originate by Hindus' religion).

* The way christians collude to edit wackypedia to make everything that attests to Hindu religion in TN and Kerala in ancient times to be dated to the 8th century CE instead. And thereby, to alter Hindu, christian and international perceptions of when each was present in the region.

Long ago, there was a comment at Vijayvaani - no doubt by Buddhists distressed that the Mahabodhi Buddhist temple had been commissioned by a Shaiva Brahmana - claiming that Shaivas were often Buddhists and Brahmanas were often Buddhists too (No, they'd be ex-Shaivas, ex-Brahmanas) and that this therefore meant that the person who had the Mahabodhi Buddhist temple built was a Buddhist not a Hindu "after all".** A convenient excuse for how all things Hindu - and Hindoo religious labels - magically refer to Buddhism/Jainism when it suits Buddhist/Jain/etc purposes. [Like Rajeev Srinivasan regularly describes christianism's encroachment tactics: "What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine too." Of course the Indic missionary religions had long ago perfected that artform, and their peddlers continue it.] No matter. Because PAshupatas - southern ones at any rate* - are NOT Buddhists, but Vedic Hindoos only, deriving their views and rituals from the Vedas, and is one of the oldest forms of Shaivam.

** Except that it was a Buddhist who recorded that the Mahabodhi Buddhist temple had been commissioned by a Shaiva Brahmana, and the Buddhist writer specifically implies this contrastively with Buddhism:



Quote:More than that, a Buddhist member of the Bodh Gaya temple management committee has admitted that "the laudable work of the construction of the Mahabodhi temple" was "undertaken by a Brahmana minister of Shaivite persuasion".6

[ref 6:] "With reference to Xuan Zang, who saw the temple in 637 A.D., shortly after it was built, and who explicitly gave the credit to a Brahmin worshipper of Shiva Maheshwara."

Not a Brahmin worshipper of the Buddhist Avalokiteshwara clone, note. Clearly Xuanzang knew enough to make the distinction, as in this case it's not hearsay of a place he didn't visit: he was there "shortly after it was built", he would have consulted sources for details. Plus Hsuan-Tsang/Xuanzang is on record screeching at "worshippers of Shiva Maheshwara" at other times - though I reckon if you had a shrine built for his religion, he'll keep quiet for a bit and even oh-so-graciously credit you. So this is an important admission.

To be continued.
Post 17/?

Directly related to stuff in post 16, particularly the blockquote at its start.

3. Vijayavenugopal however does not claim that Potiyil Muni Agastya could have originally been Buddhist, or been originally associated with Avalokiteshwara, nor that the original claim was the Buddhist one: that Agastya learnt Tamil from Avalokiteshwara (the character that Buddhism developed to replace Shiva). All Vijayavenugopal has been able to say is that in the 11th century, a Buddhist (Puttamittiran) writing a Buddhist Tamil-language grammar work, had made claims to this effect for his religion. And Vijayavenugopal could hardly do otherwise: there is too much evidence to argue that Buddhism was merely appropriating for itself a far older (already long well-documented, established) Hindu tradition on the subject, which stated repeatedly that -the very much Hindu- Agastya had learnt Tamil from -the very much Hindu- Shiva (and Murugan).

Instead, Vijayavenugopal's objective is to use Puttamittiran's claims to make his case that the Avalokiteshwara cult/Mahayana Buddhism 'must have been really popular' in TN round about the period:

Quote:What is important here is the popularity of the Avalokiteswara cult in the Tamil country. It attained much significance when Mahayanism became very popular.

Vijayavenugopal's logic (or lack of it) is my problem. Because his conclusion (Mahayana's alleged popularity) does NOT follow from the claims on Agastya evident in 11th century Puttamittiram's backprojected Bauddhifying literature.

I mean, consider Santa Helena, Constantine's Mummy-Dearest:

She suffered from alleged "dreams", that various ancient sacred Hellenistic temple sites in GrecoRoman territory were "actually" the important places of the lately-invented jeebus' [fictive] life. She had the temples razed and hideous churches constructed there. (IIRC Elst and Ishwar Sharan both provide sources for this: some NZ historian wrote a book on it.)

The point is, the existence of Helena's claims identifying jeebusism all over heathen GR space in the 4th century does not at all prove

- the popularity of christianism at the time. It was not popular. It was gradually installed by the law and implemented by the sword.

Even upon the deat of the first christian emperor Constantine, the empire's heathenism was still alive. And a crazy christian emperor or two later, the heathen Emperor Julian still thought the empire salveagable for ancestral heathenism. Christianism was enacted "gradually" - but with acceleration - in Rome under its successive christian emperors.

- that Helena's dreams were part of general "christian tradition", before she launched her claims. Actually, Helena is likely to have been influenced in her "dreams" by the wishlist of the christian clergy. (There had been earlier cases of convert-empresses pleading on christianism's behalf to their heathen emperor husbands: all requests made by the church to the empress to act as their mediary to gain favours for christianism. What's the point of having a convert on the inside if you don't use it?)

To make it all sound valid/like divine inspiration - you know, similar to the labarum fiction - Helena made up the "dreams" bit.

Anyone can easily write down grandiose claims at any period of time (just like Buddhists wrote backprojected claims on Vedic Panini and Vedic Rishi Agastya). The crazy cult to which the claimants/claims belong may OR may not be popular at that time. Independently, the claims themselves may OR may not be popular (or even tradition) among the cult's adherents.

That is, there is no direct implication, but Vijayavenugopal is treating his conclusions as implications.

Also modern Buddhists and whiny Buddhist elements in SL (the Sangha esp.) often quote Hsuan-Tsang's statements for large numbers of viharas in a given city (and IIRC an expectedly low figure of monks/nuns to manage them) as indicating how "popular" Buddhism must have been in TN in that era. Jains make similar arguments. BUT: there are a great many churches in India, mushrooming pointlessly everywhere everyday - plus christianism owns the most land in India save the govt (see Ishwar Sharan) - but even so, anno 2014, all this land-hogging hasn't made christianism anywhere near as popular as the ancestral religion of the nation, let alone the majority religion. Christianism is still a minority religion, even after about 1500 years of terrorising India, plus it has only recently started gaining many converts (also through inculturation, appropriation and lying against ancestral religion/brainwashing - i.e. the same tactics). [Though, just for contrast: it seems that the tireless efforts of Hindoos has seen the reversion of 2 lakhs of ex-christians and ex-muslims in India in 2011. I don't know more recent figures.]

Nothing's changed. Buddhism/Jainism got lots of patronage, and even moreso during the periods they converted Hindu rulers to their religions - and then often persecuted the Hindu laity and went after Hindu sites (documented for the south at any rate). And with such patronage and wealthy converts who - as in early christianism - gave all to "charity" (probably the institution they converted to) as they entered the monkhood or nunneries*, the Indic missionary religions would have had enough money to build as many viharas etc to dot the country side as they wished.

* See Cilappadikaaram, where e.g. one character gave away his wealth and joined an Ajeevika order.

What I wish to point out is that there is no necessary correlation between number of religions buildings (or even monks/nuns) of missionary religions in a city and the popularity of said religions among the laity at that time.

And as for the "Mahayanism became very popular" conclusion: no evidence is cited, conveniently. The statement is just inserted as a matter-of-fact (perhaps because the writer thought Buddhist buildings mushrooming everywhere were "proof", and/or because he was busy developing the "buddha bhakti" theory in order to claim it won hearts and minds everywhere).

If Vijayavenugopal had evidence for Mahayana and its Avalokiteshwara-cult being "very popular", he'd surely have provided it. Instead he seems to think that presenting Puttamittiran's Bauddhifying claims on Agastya involving Avalokiteshwara constitutes proof for this. I want data, numbers. Or at least references. Even estimates of 4th century christians based on the number of churches let alone bishops is ... shaky reasoning. Yet at least western [christian] writers provided estimates of numbers and explained their (at times bad) working when estimating christianism's popularity. But not so Vijayavenugopal and other (Buddhist) Indian writers who seem content to declare that Buddhism (or its Mahayana variant) was popular because <"look how many Buddhist buildings there were, or even monks/nuns" or even the fact that a king converted and/or grants were being given>. But Joseph McCabe's sane reasoning on why certain estimation tactics are built on shaky premises is valid here too:


Quote:But even the figure of three million, seven hundred and fifty thousand is too high. Having myself made a thorough study of the fourth century (see my "St. Augustine and His Age," "Crises in the History of the Papacy," "Empresses of Rome," etc.), I can check Professor Schultze's deductions, and we shall find that he is too optimistic, even in his lower figure.

For most provinces of the Roman Empire he finds the number of bishops, and from this he estimates the number of the faithful. It is a delicate and treacherous method unless you know well the conditions of church-life in the fourth century. In my "St. Augustine" (pp. 195-7) I have shown that as late as the year 391, when Christianity was established by law and all other religions bloodily suppressed, the bishop of Hippo had only one church, with a few hundred worshipers, in a town of thirty thousand inhabitants, and that Augustine, who succeeded him, had not a single priest under him; yet because Schultze finds two hundred bishops in Africa about the year 310, he roundly estimates that there must have been one hundred thousand Christians. There is no known ratio of bishops and the faithful.

From all the lack of tangible evidence provided for the allegations of mass-Buddhism and mass-Jainism in TN and the south in general that I've come across, I see no reason to budge from the status quo - as reflected in works like Silappadikaaram - that the laity in general remained followers of ancestral heathenism (i.e. Hindu heathenism) in TN/Kerala and even other states.

Yes Buddhism had mushroomed centres in cities of AP etc, but this says no more about AP's laity than Buddhism's vast array of monuments and centres in Afghanistan where the laity remained Hindu and the rulers eventually reverted too.
Post 18/?

Directly related to stuff in post 16, particularly the blockquote at its start.

And now the more important section, or at least, the bit that's more relevant to the original topic.

On this:

Quote:For our purpose the mentioning of Avalokiteswara is important. According to the Buddhist tradition this Mount Potikai is the seat of Bodhisattva Avalokiteswara. Taranath7 mentions that Potala is a mythical mountain in the South and is the seat of Avalokiteswara. Hien-Tsiang, the Chinese traveller, also mentions one Mo-lo-kiu-ch'a. Beal and Hultzsch have identified both Taranath's Potala and Hien-Tsiangs's Mo-lo-kiu-ch'a (= Malaiyam) as Potikai.

Even if we - for now - grant that HT's 7th century description had already witnessed the Bauddhification of Dakshinaamorti Shiva at Potiyil by Buddhists declaring him to be Avalokiteshwara instead;

Puttiramitran's 11th century vIracholiyam is the first evidence I have seen of Agastya at Potiyil being Bauddhified, i.e. Agastya being declared a Buddhist.

There is no evidence that this is a "Buddhist tradition" yet, vIracholiyam may merely be the beginnings of Buddhist attempts at launching literary claims to him.

In particular this line: "According to the Buddhist tradition this Mount Potikai is the seat of Bodhisattva Avalokiteswara."

According to WHAT Buddhist tradition is Potalaka = Podigai/Potiyil?

The writer's invented a "Buddhist tradition".

+ Vijayavenugopal writes that 17th century Tibetan Buddhist Taranath admits Potalaka is a mythical place in the "south" :handwaving: (except that admits to nothing more than that according to Avatamsaka Sutra's Gandavyuha sutra, Potalaka is south relative to some other unidentifiable and supernatural places; not to mention that "Jambudvipa" is further south of this Potalaka).

So Taranath's statement becomes irrelevant to identifying the location of any physical alleged Potalaka, let alone identifying it with Potiyil, at least on *his* evidence. We can leave Taranath's input out altogether where Podigai/Potiyil is concerned or even Hsuan-Tsang's statement.

+ The only "evidence" the article cites for the identification of Potalaka with Potiyil is authority: the article admits that it is "Beal and and Hultzsch that have identified both Taranath's Potala and Hien-Tsiangs's Mo-lo-kiu-ch'a (= Malaiyam) as Potikai". (While Lokesh Chandra identified it with Shabarimalai... This is not evidence. Interestingly, Lokesh quoted Beal's translation of Hsuan-Tsang, but made no mention of Beal's identification of Potalaka with Potiyil. Curious unfamiliarity of his, no?)

+ Now, Podigai may well be the place that HT was referring to (but Podigai is clearly not the Potalaka of Taranath; and not the place "Potalaka" of the Avatamsaka Sutra, though the Avatamsaka's Potalaka matches with Taranath's Potalaka description, what little there is: "mythical" and somewhere "south").

+ And Podigai may well be the place where Tamil Buddhists wanted to present the Dakshinamoorti Shiva as "Avalokiteshwara" and try to Bauddhify the Hindu narratives of the Podigai Mountain with (just as they tried to Bauddhify Agastya).

+ But, where in Tamil Buddhist texts - i.e. "Buddhist tradition" - (and not of recent invention) do the Buddhists state that Podigai = Potalaka?


Quote:[Buddhist Puttamittiran in his 11th century Tamil text VirachOliyam] mentions that Agastya learnt Tamil under Avalokiteswara and later spread it to the world. Secondly in the penultimate verse in the chapter, viz. Kiriya-pata-p-patalam, he states: 'the true Tamil of Avalokiteswara whose fame shines in several thousand ways.

To note is that it is Vijayavenugopal who mentions Potigai:

Quote:According to the Saivite tradition of Tamilnadu, Siva explains Tamil to Agastya and the hill Potikai/Potiyil is the residence of Agastya.

- Podigai/Potiyil itself is not actually mentioned by Puttamittiran in his verses, and this is worth noting. Because he may merely be trying to Bauddhify what wikipedia mentioned was an account from Mahabharata:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pothigai (page as at a few days back)

Quote:According to the Mahabharata, Lord Shiva sent the two saints (or sages) Vyasa and Agastya, down to Earth, to create the divine languages, Sanskrit and Tamil. Agathiyar came to Pothigai and established the Tamil culture."

Conceivably, Potigai MAY BE implicitly referred to by Puttamittiran here, since it is the specific place as per established Hindoo accounts where Agastyar learnt Tamil from (Shiva and) Murugan, so Buddhism would very likely want to encroach on the physical setting of the Hindoo religio-history, besides the history itself.

- Important to note, however, is that there is no mention - implicit or explicit - of any local Buddhist tradition identifying Podigai with Potalaka-anything by name. (Else there would be no need to refer to Beal and Hultzsch or Shu interpreting Potiyil as Potalaka.) As there's not even a reference to Podigai in Puttamittiran, there's certainly no allusion to Podigai being The seat of Avalokiteshwara, "Potalaka".

First I have to explain what I'm getting at overall: the answer to Why "Da seat of Avalokiteshwara" is important.

- Well, Buddhist/western historians want to find *where* Avalokiteshwara first developed.

- They assume that because a place called "Potalaka" was namedropped into the Avatamsaka Sutra (Gandavyuha estimated at 1st-3rd century CE), that this means that there may have once been a physical Potalaka (which got mythical by the time of the Avatamsaka) and that the Avalokiteshwara notion may have first been developed in that place. (Some devout [western] converts to Buddhism further believe he may even originally have been a Buddhist sage and then developed into a mythical figure; i.e. they want a historical Avalokiteshwara, besides a physical Potalaka).


1. Buddhism's genesis of Avalokiteshwara [note: not of Potalaka, but just Avalokiteshwara alone] has also been argued by other equally-'scholarly' to lie elsewhere still, e.g. near Dhanyakataka/Dharanikota, AP - which, 'scholars' write, experienced a period of Buddhist presence.
Of course, back when Buddhists first conceived of Avalokiteshwara, Potalaka wasn't invented yet, because, although Avatamsaka's Gandavyuha Sutra was an early Mahayana text and an early text mentioning Avalokiteshwara (whose character Buddhists had not completely developed yet back then), there were even older Mahayana texts similarly name-dropping the then newly-minted "Avalokiteshwara" character and which had no mention of Potalaka (because it was not invented yet).

2. Assuming that 7th century Hsuan-Tsang was referring to Podigai and assuming he really was transmitting a local "Buddhist tradition" that the deity at Potigai was viewed as Avalokiteshwara by Buddhists (the way we have evidence of 1 local Buddhist in the 11th century presenting Agastya as an adherent of Avalokiteshwara, i.e. as a sudden Buddhist), the problem still remains, that

- 1st century BCE/CE Tamil accounts still only had the chief of Potiyil presenting a gift to Dakshinaamoorti Shiva;

- and 2nd-5th century Silappadikaaram still only mentioned Potiyil Muni Agastya in association with the Vedic-onlee Shiva i.e. as "Shiva who gave out the Vedas".

- in the 7th century Agastya at Podigai was still a pAshupata yogin (as per Hsuan-Tsang's hearsay, again if one assumes he was referring to Podigai); though some indications of Buddhist attempts at associating Agastya with Avalokiteshwara were present in HT's account: that Avalokiteshwara was the one manifesting as the "Pashupata Yogin" ("Ishwara/Maheshwara").

- by the 11th century - and only in the vIracholiyam, apparently - there is actual evidence of a Buddhist claim that Agastya (who'd learnt Tamil from Shiva) had by now been morphed into a Buddhist by Buddhism (and so was no longer a "pAshupata yogin" to Buddhists anymore, though this last had been the description repeated by Hsuan-Tsang in the 7th century).

Quote:Beal and Hultzsch have identified both Taranath's Potala and Hien-Tsiangs's Mo-lo-kiu-ch'a (= Malaiyam) as Potikai and Hultzsch states that Hieun-Tsiang or his Buddhist informants seem to have transformed Agastya, who is supposed to reside on Podigai, into the Bodhisattva Avalokiteswara.8 But, as pointed out above, according to Puttamittiran, Agastya is the disciple of Avalokiteswara. Thus it is clear that the Buddhist tradition of Tamilnadu has identified Potikai, the seat of Agastya, as also the seat of Avalokiteswara and made Agastya his disciple.

Everyone seems off. Including especially Vijayavenugopal's convenient denial of Hultzsch, when Hultzsch was simply sticking to what Hsuan-Tsang had said and not trying to retrofit stuff onto HT.

I think that what we're witnessing over the centuries from around HT to around Puttamittiran's claims is the development of a TN Buddhist "tradition" of encroachment on Potigai (especially all the sacred Hindu associations there). Vijayavenugopal is trying to present the final Buddhist version as at Puttamittiran's vIrachOliyam time, as the standing Buddhist "tradition" even in HT's time. But HT would never have referred to a pAshupata Yogin in relation to Avalokiteshwara unless he got that from his "Buddhist informants", even were he wrong about the relationship between the pAshupata Yogin manifesting and the alleged Avalokiteshwara at the shrine (i.e. even if he had conflated the two).

3. Anyway, to get back to the problem of Da Potalaka.

It all means that the physical location where the Buddhist Avalokiteshwara notion was first developed *cannot* be Podigai/Podiyil.

In 1st-3rd century CE, Avatamsaka Sutra's Gandavyuha already namedrops Potalaka as a place associated with Avalokiteshwara. If there was a physical place that gave rise to the mythical Potalaka of Avalokiteshwara or even the origin of the Avalokiteshwara character itself, then it can't be Podigai because:

- Buddhist encroachment on Podigai (assuming Hsuan-Tsang and Puttamittiran were both thinking of Podigai) started quite late: AFTER Silappadikaaram of the 2nd-5th century CE. Sometime before HT
(when the theory was still developing clearly, since Agastya was still a pAshupata).

- The Avalokiteshwara cult is already dated to 1st century BCE-1st century CE, so the Avalokiteshwara notion must precede that. And Afghanistan already had Avalokiteshwara images in the 2nd-3rd century CE (even mentioned below as the "first image of Avalokiteshwara") - all before or while Silappadikaaram still associated Potiyil Agastya with Shiva.


Quote:The image of Avalokitesvara first appears in the ancient Indian Buddhist iconography of the second to third centuries C.E., in reliefs of the temples and stupa complexes in Gandhara, as a companion of the Buddha. Later, in the fifth or sixth century, it is already found throughout India as an independent figure and object of cult.[2] It is natural, however, to consider that there must have been a certain evolution of the concept before it found its way into religious art. Thus, the beginning of the Avalokitesvara cult may be dated back at least a century or two earlier, that is the period between the first century B.C.E. and the first century C.E. which coincides what is commonly accepted as the time when early Mahayana emerged in India.[3]

The written sources seem to confirm this assumption. In the Lotus Sūtra and the larger Sukhāvatīvyūhasūtra, both supposedly dating back to the first or second century C.E.,[4] we meet bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara already in his full glory [...]

[13] The exact date of the Gaṇḍavyūha is still a matter of discussion. Gómez (1967: lxviii-lxxiv), on the basis of the analysis of direct and indirect sources and referring to some archaeological material has set up both a terminus ad quem and a terminus ad quo for the Gaṇḍavyūha that are respectively the second half of the third century C.E. and the “period shortly after the beginning of our era.” Nakamura (1989: 195) says: “The Gaṇḍavyūha is likely to have been composed in the early reign of the Kuṣāṇa dynasty, i.e., 1-100 A.D.”


+ the Avalokiteshwara notion (before or at 1st century BCE - 1st century CE) had already been developed before Buddhist incursion on Podigai

+ the Avalokiteshwara cult (1st century BCE-1st century CE = when early Mahayana emerged in India) had already developed before Buddhist incursion on Podigai

+ Pre-Avatamsaka Sutras mentioning Avalokiteshwara - Lotus and SukhAvatIvyuha (1st-2nd century CE) - is before Buddhist incursion on Podigai

+ the earliest mention of "Potalaka" - in the Gandavyuha of Avatamsaka Sutra (1st-3rd century CE) - is before Buddhist incursion on Podigai

+ the earliest known images of Avalokiteshwara (2nd-3rd cent CE) are dated before Buddhist incursion on Podigai

+ by the 7th and 11th centuries there were of course images of Avalokiteshwara in many parts of the subcontinent, but that won't make their loci the original "Potalaka" of either the Avatamsaka or any physical locations that may have originated the mythical notion. [Though in Bauddhified Asia, places have been named Potalaka after the Avatamsaka. And these places house statues referred to as Avalokiteshwara.]

+ Buddhist incursion on Podigai was still developing after 7th century Hsuan-Tsang: it's only in the 11th century we have evidence of Buddhists declaring (in usual backprojection) that Potiyil Muni Agastya was actually a Buddhist and that he'd learnt Tamil from Avalokiteshwara, and more Bauddhifying fictions.

[I predict Tamil dravoodianism will do two things in time: shift dates of important early Tamil texts to make them more amenable to the Buddhist claims AND

dravoodianism having worked so hard to declare that Agastya did not give rise to Tamil etc, now dravoodianism will backpeddle and say he did give rise to Tamil after all, but that he was Buddhist, "because an 11th century Buddhist said so."]
Post 19/?

(Post 18 was actually a two-parter, so this follows on from previous.)

To return to this again, then:

Quote:According to the Buddhist tradition this Mount Potikai is the seat of Bodhisattva Avalokiteswara.

+ NO. The matter concerns a logical predicate. It's FALSE (= a lie) the way it's written now. According to Buddhist tradition, the mythical Mount *Potalaka* is The seat of Bodhisattva Avalokiteswara. [See Avatamsaka Sutra. And repeated by Taranath.]

+ By 7th century Hsuan-Tsang's time, his Buddhist sources alleged an Avalokiteshwara at what could conceivably be Podigai. But there's no evidence they - or anyone else - called Podigai Potalaka, though HT certainly transcribed the location he identified as such. 11th century Tamil Buddhist did not mention either Podigai or Potalaka, he's mute on the matter (else Vijayavenugopal and others would have pounced on his statement); can only infer.

+ BTW according to other scholars, the origins of the Avalokiteshwara character do Not lie in Potiyil. (E.g. Dhanyakataka was one of the places hypothesised.) As long as any of those possibilities remain, it directly follows that Avalokiteshwara's "original seat" - the place where he was first invented/name-dropped - can not lie in Podigai. And - if any identification with a physical locality is to be done - the place of his invention is what must be identified with a physical Potalaka. Logically speaking. And regardless of whether said physical place where he got invented was called Potalaka or not, since Avatamsaka's "Potalaka" is myth anyway (and was a flourish added to his mythology later than his own conception); otherwise every place that got associated with Avalokiteshwara becomes "equally" likely as Potalaka: Buddhists all over Asia have already randomly identified different parts as Potala/Potalaka [even though many were heathen sites first]. So it doesn't matter whether the physical place where the Avalokiteshwara notion was first conceived was called Potalaka or not, it is the real seat of Avalokiteshwara (OR the spiritual "Potalaka" of the Avatamsaka, since that is the first known mention of the place and in assocation with Avalokiteshwara).

BECAUSE: all they've been able to prove is that the FIRST mention of Potalaka is exclusively as a mythical place and in the Avatamsaka. To repeat, had they actually found historical Buddhists saying that Podigai was Potalaka, that would have been something. But they haven't. Not even historical Tamil Buddhists apparently - else Vijayavenugopal would have held that up as evidence, instead he had to resort to Beal and Hultzsch for authority. They all want Hsuan-Tsang to be the lynch pin, except that if he actually meant to describe Podigai, then the timing of Buddhist encroachment on Podigai was too late to associate the locale with the formation of either the Avalokiteshwara character or Avatamsaka's Potalaka. So, while Podhigai may potentially be the place Hsuan-Tsang described from hearsay, there's a whole lot of other things it isn't.

Again: that does not discount the fact that Buddhists have encroached on Podigai for Avalokiteshwara using their usual inculturation tactics (which they clearly did). But it does not make Podigai equal Potalaka "in Buddhist tradition", as Vijayavenugopal had claimed. (He hasn't proved that. But he has given more evidence of encroachment on Hindu religion that directly or indirectly concerns Podigai.)

What there IS proof for is - even if by some great Bauddhific miracle they found historical evidence of Indians Buddhists saying Potigai=Potalaka of Avatamsaka Sutra and at the time of its composition or before (But note: not a "dakshina Potalaka" or some obviously latter-day excuse like that; since Podigai is Dakshina Meru of Hindu religion, and so that would just be Buddhism cloning the idea) -

Again: even IF historical evidence were found of Indian Buddhists saying Potigai=Potalaka, THEN:

There is still proof that Podiga/Potiyil remains in origin (as it also does now) a Hindoo heathen sacred site, and that Buddhism would only have encroached on it as Avalokiteshwara's place ("Potalaka") afterward, using Buddhism's usual inculturation tactic.
<- Obviously, since Podigai has been associated with the Vedic Rishi (and Shaiva Siddhar) Agastya since ancient times and with his God Dakshinaamoorty-Shiva since even more ancient times. Plus the 7th century Hsuan-Tsang can't deny Agastya association with Potiyil AND the silly 11th century Tamil Buddhist "evidence" cannot deny Agastya's assocation with Tamil. More importantly, HT - who preceded the 11th century Puttamittiran and his claims by 4 centuries - couldn't deny that Agastya was a "PAshupata Yogin"=Hindoo Shaiva onlee. And it is only in the intervening centuries that Agastya evolved from being a PAshupata Yogin=Hindoo to suddenly being of Avalokiteshwara's troupe instead. <- Showing proof of development of Buddhistic encroachment.

And everyone already knows that - not all that long ago - Buddhism did try to encroach on Dakshinamoorty at Potiyil too. Using Avalokiteshwara.* (Though it was still called Podigai/Potiyil and not Potalaka.) Again, an occurrence that got euphemised to "syncretism" by modern Indian Hindus who don't want to see longer than their nose is and who probably think that had India been Bauddhised like say once-Hindu Thailand and Cambodia, then it would all be the "same-same".

* There were a few other places where the Buddhist sangha tried to inculturate on Dakshinamoorty (with padmam in hand) too, fortunately Hindus stopped making the Hindu vigrahas of Dakshinamoorty-Shiva with padmam in his hand, so that the Buddhists ran out of excuses: the Buddhists didn't know what to do with their whole "Padmapani=Shiva, Hindus please submit to Bauddhification" routine anymore, since that Shiva form didn't get depicted with Padmam anymore. Besides, only some of the forms of Dakshinaamoorti ever got depicted with padmam. Others were with Veena etc or with his wife (also easily identifiable as Uma onlee and not some lame invented Buddhist generic 'goddess' or knock-off <- great word, even better than clone), so they couldn't be encroached upon by Buddhism.

If it turns out that Hsuan-Tsang's description was referring to Podigai - certainly more likely than Lokesh & parrots' Ayyappa Shabarimalai insinuations/bauddhifications - then

Shu was right about:

- it having been a sacred site to the locals (i.e. Hindus) since "ancient times" [before Buddhism came there]

- and that despite the Buddhist inculturation on Dakshinaamoorti-Shiva there via Avalokiteshwara, the "locals remained followers of the Hindu religion".

Shu was wrong about:

- the etymological derivation of Potiyil

- that the Buddhist encroachment on Dakshinaamoorti-Shiva there (or in a few other places) was "syncretism". It was inculturation - an attempt at takeover/replacement and missionising - on Hindudom and nothing more. "Avalokiteshwara" has taken over lots of heathen (incl Hindu) temples in many parts of Asia.

Shu missed out on (or wasn't quoted by others as referring to):

- Hindoo bhaktas still seeing Rishi Agastya ("pAshupata yogin") manifest at Podiyil

Anyway, Shu's errors notwithstanding, it does prove that Japanese, though they present their findings in understated manner (not being loud or bombastic or sensationalist about their investigations) are more sane and clever - and more willing to be impartial, and less motivated, i.e. actually scholarly - than ... a whole of other lame people who were looking into the Potalaka thing.

I suspect Shu even knew about what Buddhism was attempting with Dakshinamoorti-Shiva there.

So, if Buddhists/Bauddhified Hindus/dravoodianists etc want to claim Podigai IS

+ the location where the Avalokiteshwara character was first created and developed, (i.e. the origin locus of Avalokiteshwara)

THEN they have to prove the existence of Avalokiteshwara's beginnings at Podigai before or at 1st century BCE-1st century CE (but remember: since the Avalokiteshwara cult was already known to exist somewhere between 1st century BCE-1st century CE, any evidence of Avalokiteshwara's origins being at Podigai have to be of a date *before* any evidence of Avalokiteshwara anywhere else);

or, foregoing that, then at least

+ the physical origin of the "Potalaka" myth (i.e. a physical place that could over time have germinated into the supernatural Potalaka mentioned in Avatamsaka)

THEN need to prove that Avalokiteshwara was worshipped at Podigai before Gandayvuha Sutra (i.e. before 1st-3rd century CE) AND that Podigai was called Potalaka in a contemporaneous Buddhist text

NO "re-interpreting" of Hindu texts allowed of course.

[And remember: anything that mentions Rishi "Potiyil Muni" Agastya is *automatically* referring to Hindoo-dom onlee. Don't go there.]

And if Buddhists/Bauddhified Hindus/dravoodianists/other assorted want to claim

+ that Avalokiteshwara at Podigai preceded Dakshinaamoorti,

THEN need evidence of Avalokiteshwara worship from at minimum before 1st cent BCE-1st cent CE (though Dakshinaamoorti-Shiva worship at Podigai seems to have even older references, so actually need earlier references than 1st century BCE. Except that Avalokiteshwara may not yet have been invented at such an early date... So it's not looking to too good for planting an original 'Avalokiteshwara' at Potiyil. "Sorry")

+ that Agastya is originally a Buddhist,


Sorry. Can't be done.
Post 20/?

This post in the current spam-series is not relevant to the original topic. This one contaisn some loose notes on other things that Vijayavenugopal claimed.

Posts 16 and 18 are more on topic.

Related to the blockquote at the start of post 16.

Just pointing out some of the not-so-subtle indicators of Vijayavenugopal being a Buddhist and motivated for it:

Example 1: The usual modern Buddhist (and Jain) tactic of claiming - without providing evidence, of course - that "Hindus took over Buddhist/Jain temples"

Vijayavenugopal wrote:

Quote:Sometimes some of the Buddhist temples might have been changed into Hindu temples.13 [Ref 13: Venkatacami, op. cit., p.59]

Even his reference has only allowed Vijayavenugopal to conclude "some Buddhist temples might have been changed into Hindu temples". So he has not a single case to provide as evidence. I.e. he can't even state that "some" or even "a few" temples WERE converted.

How very typical. He's only being careful because he's writing for a publication and has to tiptoe by playing researcher, instead of shrieking that "All Indian/southern Hindu temples used to be Buddhist/Jain", as the whiny Jains of the JMF and Buddhists (neo and SL Sangha, for e.g.) often do. But he insinuates that Hindus "might have", knowing that generating suspicion is always enough to condemn heathens: it's cryptoBuddhist crap like this that often gets quoted, after all.

So he makes the claim, to get it out there - and thereby introducing the insinuation into the journal pool of citable stuff. Then someone will pick it up and refer to both Vijayavenugopal and his Venkatacami's op.cit. and it turn into "some Buddhist temples were converted into Hindu temples". And then the next Buddhist will come along - citing all - and declare that "all Hindu temples were Buddhist". And then the JMF (Jain Minority Forum) will plagiarise and declare that "all Hindu temples were Jain"; though admittedly the Buddhists often pilfer from earlier Jain falsehoods as well (e.g. Jamanadas seems to have plagiarised from JMF for Buddhism).

Still, not a remotely scholarly statement to have made. It said nothing tangible, made unsubstantiated insinuations - libel - and ran off. *Because* the writer knows he has no evidence. Plus all the little digs at Hindu religion - and claims for Buddhism - shows that it's a Buddhist writing the article and that, in his private time, he'd be quite the fire-brand.

Most interesting however is what Vijayavenugopal does say with no hint of speculation:

Quote:The Alvars and Nayanmars spearheaded this movement and as a result a large number of Siva and Visnu temples were built by the kings who adopted these religions. Sometimes some of the Buddhist temples might have been changed into Hindu temples.13 [Ref 13: Venkatacami, op. cit., p.59] But at the same time these kings patronised other religions like Buddhism and Jainism, too, by making liberal donations, endowments, etc. to the viharas and pallis (of the Jains).

Note how there's no speculation in the second statement, because he is unable to deny what is so well-known. Vijayavenugopal *knows* there is evidence of the Hindu Kings patronising () Buddhism and Jainism. (Throwing money and land and manpower at them. Just like historical Hindu kings had patronised christianism foolishly. Moral: don't feed missionary religions.)

So while Vijayavenugopal can only confirm that Hindu kings were benign to the (as yet conspiring) missionary religions, what Vijayavenugopal is unable to provide is evidence of Buddhist temples being changed into Hindu temples. Yet he had to insinuate it anyway. Is this more Indian "scholarship"? Or should I just file it into more Indian Buddhist scholarship?

Hindus - and Chinese Taoists and Shintos, Tibet - have historical evidence of Buddhist persecution of their respective heathenisms. In Sri Lanka, can see an ongoing example of how Hindu regions get Bauddhified and Hindu sites get taken over - including in Buddhist writings that lay the groundwork/Buddhist moral imperative for such takeovers. Whereas Hindus and other heathens don't want Buddhist (or Jain) sites or their vigrahas, because they're not of our Gods and not actually accurate even when Buddhism tried hard at inculturation*. Traditional vigrahas are very specific and can't be made by non-Hindus since the Hindu sculptor needs to do dhyaanam on Hindu mantras when constructing the image, in order to produce something that is *actually* our Gods. Buddhists would never have constructed their clones of Hindu Gods with a Hindu mind, meditating on Hindu mantras and with the Hindu cosmological perception necessary. Therefore Buddhist/Jain output can never be the Hindu Gods - it's just stone to Hindus in that case: someone else's statues have no meaning - and will not be effective when appealed to by Hindus, the way our ancient Hindu vigrahas are very powerful.

Traditional Hindu sites are moreover places where Hindu Gods really are - or munis like Agastya. So it's not meaningful to take over originally-Buddhist/Jain sites where Hindu Gods would not have bothered appearing. It's another thing if the site was originally Hindu and taken over by other religions, but even that is an issue that Hindus don't tend to force, though all Hindus would certainly be willing to have the site back if it weren't occupied.

* E.g. traditional Taoists have been advising other traditional Taoists to *break* and despose of any false inculturating "syncretist" Buddhist images of Taoist Gods in their homes and replacing these with accurate Taoist images (like the Taoist God whom Buddhism presented as having a pig's head - which is Very Wrong). Taoists specifically don't advice breaking any fake Bauddhified images of Taoist Gods in Buddist sites, since that doesn't concern Taoism and because - being Bauddhified versions - they don't represent the Taoist Gods.

The point is, heathens don't want nastika sites or stuff.

- It is missionary religions that want heathen sites, in order to claim for their own religion the heathens that throng there. (Can still see this in every Buddhist/Jain whining how every - coincidentally famous and major - Hindu temple "was originally Jain/Buddhist" as well as screeching that all the Hindus visiting the site "were once Jain/Buddhist". <- Usually Jains and Buddhists claim all the SAME Hindu temples for their own religion.)

- It is missionary religions that want heathen accomplishments.

- It is missionary religions that encroach, that inculturate and that will even go all the way to Hindu-specific pages on Wackypedia and deface them with Buddhist and Jain insinuations (e.g. Jogeshwari, Elephanta and Patanjali/Yogasutras wacky pages. Even that tacky "Vedism" page had Shramanas inviting themselves over to spin ur-Shramanism fables). Meanwhile Hindus have no interest in correcting the a-historical and false nonsense or even anti-Hindu libel seen on Shramana pages (e.g "Shramanism" page, or a Buddhism page that - among its list of persecutions - continues to repeat the known Buddhist fiction of Hindu Pushyamitra having "persecuted" Buddhists. See below)


Quote:Timeline of Buddhism


185 BCE: Brahmin general Pushyamitra Sunga overthrows the Mauryan dynasty and establishes the Sunga dynasty, apparently starting a wave of persecution against Buddhism


(The page also whines about Taoist and Confucian persecutions in China etc. Missionary religions always feel greatly aggrieved when the native ancestral religions don't approve of their missionising.)

- But you know Buddhism must be getting desperate if all the "persecution" they can point to in Hindu religion is a known falsehood, and moreover a libel invented by Buddhism (documented in detail by Elst at koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/articles/ayodhya/pushyamitra.html) and which sobstory the Buddhists based on their own "great king" Buddhist Ashoka's massacre of 18,000 Ajeevikas and subsequent later massacre of further Ajeevikas or Nirgranthas (Jains). [The story about Ashoka may well be true: Buddhists did document it about Buddhism's own Constantine after all. They're proud of him, why would they lie?]

- The use of "apparently" in "Hindu 'brahminical' Pushyamtira apparently starting a wave of persecution against Buddhism" is instructive. Just like cryptoBuddhist Vijayavenugopal was careful with his claim that "Buddhist temples might have been converted to Hindu temples" - knowing full well that he has absolutely no evidence to provide for it, and only evidence of Hindu Kings foolishly patronising ingrate missionary religions - the Buddhists of today peddling their persecution sobstories at wackypedia likewise try to cover the fact that they are emitting a known falsehood by using "apparently". I.e. these words give deniability. They arouse suspicion, brainwash etc - as is the point - but the writers can always deny that they meant to state the facts, by saying they indicated it was an uncertainty. What was that word they accused Hindus (Vedic religion) of, but which applies to the missionary religions alone? Oh yeah. Swindlers.

Example 2: The tactic of building speculations upon speculations, all in order to donate some other part of Hindus' religion to the Shramanisms

Another example of Vijayavenugopal's "speculative scholarship":

Quote:It is possible that the Tamil poet Cekkilar who wrote the famous Saivite hagiology called Periyapuranam, 'the big Purana,' might have gotten some inspiration from the Buddhist Jataka stories in modelling the biographies of the Saivite saints. Or this could have been done even before him, at least in oral tradition, since Cekkilar is only giving a poetic form to these stories.

Uh, did the editor notice there was NOTHING in that section that is not a speculation? And not even any references to support the out-of-hand speculation either.

Vijayavenugopal's purpose in the whole speculative chain is of course to derive Sekkizhaar's Periyapuraanam as a product of Buddhist inspiration, in order to then use that as an example for his inversionist claim: that the alleged "Buddha bhakti" was the origin of Hindu bhakti. <- This claim is a typical modern tactic of missionary religions: both extant types of Nastikas and christianism claim that each invented bhakti. IIRC the ur-Shramanism wackypedia page knew to be a little more prudent, though it declared that bhakti was a separate group - thereby admitting at least it wasn't Shramanic in origin, despite falsely presenting bhakti as magically independent of the Vedic religion. [Using the concocted "Ur-Shramanism", they like to tear the Sanatana Dharma/Vedic religion/"Hinduism" to shreds - by denying the existence of the Hindu laity and what ties them to their ancestral religion: the Gods - even as the Shramanists build up a false picture of their own religion and its faux-history.]

This faux-"Buddha Bhakti" theory Vijayavenugopal constructs surrounding his favourite pivot Avalokiteshwara (whose cult he alleges was very popular in TN at some point) seems to break down when Avalokiteshwara was entirely modelled on Shiva and was made to absorb the Hindu shaastraic accounts of Shiva concerning Tamil language (hence Tamils) too. But that's something Vijayavenugopal doesn't want to mention. Or maybe Vijayavenugopal merely wants to submit that "buddha bhakti" was in fact so appealing that it was able to convert the Shaiva Siddhar Vedic Rishi Agastya - backwards in time of course (a Shramanist speciality, I understand) - to the Avalokiteshwara cult?

I'm not sure if Vijayavenugopal coined the phrase "buddha bhakti" or whether he's merely part of a minority in using it, but it doesn't (yet) seem very popular in Google search. (Maybe it's just still waiting to catch on?) Nice backprojection by Vijayavenugopal of a "Buddhist innovation" that wasn't. But will get back to this subject in a subsequent post.


Documenting the lives of heathen lineages is a very common heathen thing. It has nothing to do with Buddhism.

E.g. Taoists document the histories of their Immortals. In fact, if one was going to draw a comparison, Sekkizhaar's biographies of the Nazhanmaars have more in common with the narratives of the life-stories of Taoist Immortals than with the Buddhist Jataka stories. That's not even taking into account that the "Buddhist" Jataka stories are known to be mostly Bauddhified plagiarisms (mainly from pre-existing Hindu religion) that Buddhism simply passed off as "original work".

I'm surprised Buddhism didn't claim that christianism copied the notion of hagiographies from Buddhism. Certainly christianism's pointless relic industry seems to have been... "inspired" by the same in Buddhism.

Example 3: Pretending that the original religion in TN is some Shramanism, by concealing key historical facts.

And denying that Hindu subsects are part of 1 religion: the Sanatana Dharma/Vedic religion/Hindoo-ism/whatever it's called

More barely-veiled Buddhism by Vijyavenugopal:

Quote:The period between 650 A.D. and 950 A.D. is considered to be the period of bhakti movement which saw the revival of Hinduism and the gradual weakening of the influence of both Buddhism and Jainism. The Alvars and Nayanmars spearheaded this movement and as a result a large number of Siva and Visnu temples were built by the kings who adopted these religions.

- Suddenly Shaivam and Vaishnavam become separate "religions". That should certainly make Mahayana and Theravada and Vajrayana (and the extinct Mahasanghika, Sthavira, etc) Buddhisms separate religions too (they did compete after all - isn't that all the evidence necessary?); and so too Digambara and Shwetambara Jainisms of course.

- And Vijayavenugopal presents the Hindu Kings as having "adopted" new religions, instead of what they actually did: the Hindu royal dynasties merely reverted to their ancestral Hinduism after a period of dalliance with the nouveau religions of Buddhism/Jainism.

That the south was predominantly-Hindu (especially remote communities, and non-urban communities like hunters, see Silappadikaaram) well before Vijyavenugopal's earmarked "period of the bhakti movement" is even seen in Silappadikaaram (2nd-5th century CE) and in Tamil literature from centuries before that. TN and Kerala kings were originally Hindu, just as the laity, although the laity remained more constant in the intervening centuries - as true in Shu's guesses regarding Potiyil as in real life all over the southern regions to Afghanistan. So a king converting to Shramanism and building nastika centres isn't much of an indicator of the popularity of the nastika beliefs to a heathen laity. (I mean, Japan remained majority Shinto even after Japanese rulers tried to force Buddhism onto the Shinto Japanese population, following even an official policy of Buddhist "syncretism" on Shinto sites, i.e. Bauddhicisation of native heathenism. Many centuries later, Japan had remained largely Shinto. Maybe Vijayavenugopal would contend that they were immune to "Buddha bhakti"?)

It is clearly some unknown period after the Silappadikaaram's predominantly-Hindu era that Vijayavenugopal is speaking of, when southern kings were converted to nastika beliefs (and which must be the period where Vijayavenugopal alleges - without providing evidence - that Mahayana Buddhism was generally "very popular"). And as the author grudgingly implies, by "the period of [the] bhakti movement" ("650-950 CE") TN rulers had already been reverting back to their ancestral heathenism again. The start of the alleged nastika "golden age" in TN is not clear from Vijayavenugopal, but there is between 1.5 - 4.5 centuries between the Silappadikaaram's estimated dates and the start of the bhakti period. Perhaps it simply wasn't enough time for the Shramanisms' "popularity"/mass appeal to shine through?

Lots of ancient Hindu Tamil literature refer to Hindu religion. Tirukkural refers to Ulagu Alandaan (this is a famous Tamil personal name of Mahavishnu as Trivikrama, meaning "[He who] measured the world [with his feet]"), and refers to accounts from Hindoo Shastras: one of the verses mentioning Indran refers unambiguously to Vedic Rishi Gautama Muni's shaapam on Indran concerning the Ahalya matter. This is not Jain or Buddhist, it is exclusively Hindoo.


Quote:Verse 25

Such is the power of those who subdue the five senses that even Indra,

Sovereign of spacious heaven's celestials, suffered their curse.
As even colonial translators had already argued: only Hindu religion will accept that persons who subdue their five senses (ascetics) would pronounce shaapa-s (i.e. such ascetics being Rishis, and the example given is of Gautama Muni, i.e. *Hindoo* shaastras alone), whereas Jainism and Buddhism would not recognise as an evolved Jain/Buddhist (i.e. "who has subdued their 5 senses") any who 'gives way to anger' in such a manner.

Actually, this next page by Michel Danino describes the ancestral religio of the south, with special focus on the Tamil regions and Kerala, but it's true for all of the southern region:


Quote:The Tolkappiyam also formulates the captivating division of the Tamil land into five regions (tinai�), each associated with one particular aspect of love, one poetical expression, and also one deity�: thus the hills (kuri�ji�) with union and with Cheyon (Murugan)�; the desert (palai�) with separation and Korravai (Durga)�; the forests (mullai�) with awaiting and Mayon (Vishnu-Krishna)�; the seashore (neytal�) with wailing and Varuna�; and the cultivated lands (marutam) with quarrel and Ventan (Indra). Thus from the beginning we have a fusion of non-Vedic deities (Murugan or Korravai), Vedic gods (Indra, Varuna) and later Puranic deities such as Vishnu (Mal or Tirumal). Such a synthesis is quite typical of the Hindu temperament and cannot be the result of an overnight or superficial influence�; it is also as remote as possible from the separateness we are told is at the root of so-called �Dravidian culture.�

(Uh, Kotravai=Durga is from the Vedam - e.g. YV's Mahayanaraynopanishad and Atharvasheersham. Every description of Kotravai is of Durga only as from the Hindu shaastras. Murugan IS Skanda who is from the vedam, Vishnu is just as much from the Vedam - e.g. YV.

And Dravida culture=southern Hindu culture. "Dravidian" is modern English terminology for brainwashed and thus self-alienated southern Hindus -usually/mostly Tamils- of once-Hindu ancestry; it's also the word that JMF and neo-Buddhists, christians/dravoodianists etc have encroached on to backproject pseudo-histories of grievances/persecution-complexes etc.)

Expectedly, this fusion grows by leaps and bounds in classical Sangam poetry whose composers were Brahmins, princes, merchants, farmers, including a number of women. The �Eight Anthologies� of poetry (or ettuttokai�) abound in references to many gods�: Shiva, Uma, Murugan, Vishnu, Lakshmi (named Tiru, which corresponds to Sri) and several other Saktis.[37] The Paripadal, one of those anthologies, consists almost entirely of devotional poetry to Vishnu. One poem[38] begins with a homage to him and Lakshmi, and goes on to praise Garuda, Shiva on his �majestic bull,� the four-faced Brahma, the twelve Adityas, the Ashwins, the Rudras, the Saptarishis, Indra with his �dreaded thunderbolt,� the devas and asuras, etc., and makes glowing references to the Vedas and Vedic scholars.[39] So does the Purananuru,[40] another of the eight anthologies, which in addition sees Lord Shiva as the source of the four Vedas (166) and describes Lord Vishnu as �blue-hued� (174) and �Garuda-bannered� (56).[41] Similarly, a poem (360) of a third anthology, the Akananuru, declares that Shiva and Vishnu are the greatest of gods[42]

Not only deities or scriptures, landmarks sacred in the North, such as the Himalayas or Ganga, also become objects of great veneration in Tamil poetry. North Indian cities are referred to, such as Ujjain, or Mathura after which Madurai was named. Court poets proudly claim that the Chera kings conquered North Indian kingdoms and carved their emblem onto the Himalayas. They clearly saw the subcontinent as one entity�; thus the Purananuru says they ruled over �the whole land / With regions of hills, mountains, / Forests and inhabited lands / Having the Southern Kumari / And the great Northern Mount / And the Eastern and Western seas / As their borders....�[43]

The Kural (second to seventh century AD), authored by the celebrated Tiruvalluvar, is often described as an �atheistic� text, a hasty misconception. True, Valluvar�s 1,330 pithy aphorisms mostly deal with ethics (aram), polity (porul) and love (inbam), following the traditional Sanskritic pattern of the four objects of human life�: dharma, artha, kama, and moksha�the last implied rather than explicit. Still, the very first decade is an invocation to Bhagavan�: �The ocean of births can be crossed by those who clasp God�s feet, and none else�[44] (10)�; the same idea recurs later, for instance in this profound thought�: �Cling to the One who clings to nothing�; and so clinging, cease to cling� (350). The Kural also refers to Indra (25), to Vishnu�s avatar of Vamana (610), and to Lakshmi (e.g. 167), asserting that she will shower her grace only on those who follow the path of dharma (179, 920). There is nothing very atheistic in all this, and in reality the values of the Kural are perfectly in tune with those found in several shastras or in the Gita.[45]

Let us briefly turn to the famous Tamil epic Shilappadikaram (second to sixth century ad), which relates the beautiful and tragic story of Kannagi and Kovalan�; it opens with invocations to Chandra, Surya, and Indra, all of them Vedic Gods, and frequently praises Agni, Varuna, Shiva, Subrahmanya, Vishnu-Krishna, Uma, Kali, Yama and so forth. There are mentions of the four Vedas and of �Vedic sacrifices being faultlessly performed.� �In more than one place,� writes V. Ramachandra Dikshitar, the first translator of the epic into English, �there are references to Vedic Brahmans, their fire rites, and their chanting of the Vedic hymns. The Brahman received much respect from the king and was often given gifts of wealth and cattle.�[46] When Kovalan and Kannagi are married, they �walk around the holy fire,� a typically Vedic rite still at the centre of the Hindu wedding. Welcomed by a tribe of fierce hunters on their way to Madurai, they witness a striking apparition of Durga, who is addressed equally as Lakshmi and Sarasvati�the three Shaktis of the Hindu trinity. There are numerous references to legends from the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas. After worshipping at two temples, one of Vishnu and the other of Shiva, the Chera king Shenguttuvan goes to the Himalayas in search of a stone for Kannagi�s idol, and bathes it in the Ganges�in fact, the waters of Ganga and those of Cauvery were said to be equally sacred. Similar examples could be given from the Manimekhalai�: even though it is a predominantly Buddhist work, it also mentions many Vedic and Puranic gods, and attributes the submergence of Puhar to the neglect of a festival to Indra.

As the archaeologist and epigraphist R. Nagaswamy remarks, �The fact that the literature of the Sangam age refers more to Vedic sacrifices than to temples is a pointer to the popularity of the Vedic cults among the Sangam Tamils.�[47]

(Though even temples would indicate Hindoo religion onlee. As even the whiny Jain Minority Forum (JMF) blundered in stating that the notion of constructing temples derive from/are built around the concept of "Yajaneeya Devataas". Aka the Gods of the Yagnya onlee. <- JMF foolishly admitted to the *Hindu* origins of temple construction. Honestly, sometimes you don't even have to give people any rope for them to hang themselves.)

I should also make a mention of the tradition that regards Agastya, the great Vedic Rishi, as the originator of the Tamil language. He is said to have written a Tamil grammar, Agattiyam, to have presided over the first two Sangams, and is even now honoured in many temples of Tamil Nadu and worshipped in many homes. One of his traditional names is �Tamil muni.� The Shilappadikaram refers to him as �the great sage of the Podiyil hill,� and a hill is still today named after him at the southernmost tip of the Western Ghats.

It would be tempting to continue with this enumeration, which could easily fill a whole anthology. As a matter of fact, P. S. Subrahmanya Sastri showed with a wealth of examples how �a knowledge of Sanskrit literature from the Vedic period to the Classical period is essential to understand and appreciate a large number of passages scattered among the poems of Tamil literature.�[48] Others have added to the long list of such examples.[ 49] In other words, Vedic and Puranic themes are inextricably woven into Sangam literature and therefore into the most ancient culture of the Tamil land known to us.

So, like I said: the TN rulers merely reverted to ancestral Hindoo=Vedic religion in the bhakti era after briefly dabbling in the nouveau missionary Indic religions. The laity remained significantly Hindoo throughout and understandably disinterested in the nouveau unheathen religions.

This post in the current spam-series is not relevant to the original topic. This one contains some loose notes on other things that Vijayavenugopal claimed.
Post 21/?

Follows on from previous post.

(Contents swapped with next post)

As for any remnants of the TN Mahayanist cults, surely we must look for them in SL? It is well-known to all - perhaps because the SL Bauddha Sangha has made it a point to remind everyone - that 'twas Jainism that kicked Buddhism from TN into SL: so there must have been "a great many" Mahayana Buddhists making the exodus, no? I mean, Vijayavenugopal did allege Mahayana Buddhism was oh-so-popular in TN. AND we know there was an exodus, courtesy of fellow Shramanist religion Jainism.

But whether there were many Mahayana Buddhists in TN or not is not important to the consequences however: These Mahayanist refugees (plus the Mahayanists already in SL) were ... "absorbed" by Theravada, and the SL Mahayana Buddhist sites were too (<- merely repeating how modern SL Theravada Buddhists have carefully worded the matter). And SL history has been rewritten to make it look like a pure Theravadin nation from beginning to present (well, except that the ancient continued presence of SL Tamil Hindus contradicts this SL Buddhist narration; but you know, Theravadins come up with new Bauddhifying stories and takeovers of Hindu temples to gradually compensate).

Despite modern SL Theravadin rewriting of the history of Buddhisms in SL, I suspect Theravada was not quite so tolerant of Mahayana Buddhism: it was considered a heresy (e.g. even in the early period of Buddhism in India, the Sthavira Buddhists and IIRC Mahayana Buddhists were trying to convert each other out of each others' "heretical" thinking), so maybe Mahayana idols of the various Mahayana Buddhist deities in SL got sadly crushed by Theravada or demoted into Theravada entities? Or did they simply get masked with purer (less syncretistic forms of) Buddhism? I don't hear of several of most of the Mahayana Buddhist deities being consciously/knowingly worshipped by Sri Lankan Buddhists, let alone using Mahayana scriptures. In contrast, in the once-Hindu temple sites commandeered by Buddhism in SL many of the Gods are still recognisably-Hindu (and their Vedic Hindu names still kept by the Buddhists who took it over in some cases, but perhaps not for long; though Buddhism has been evolving Bauddhifying fictions about these Hindu Gods and the Hindu origins of their sites, of course, like at Kadirgamam etc).

Like Theravada's gradual takeover/replacement of Hindu religion in SL, I speculate (and I may actually turn out to be right) an early - and possibly even difficult - period of replacement by Theravada of the Mahayana Buddhist influx into SL and native SL Mahayana. A definite Tamil presence was to have existed among the "Sinhalese" Buddhists since an early time, after all (or so SL Buddhists occasionally admit), not just more recent Tamil converts from Hindoo heathenism.

This next does give some hints:


Quote:Theravāda Account

Veneration of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva has continued to the present day in Sri Lanka, where he is called Nātha.[18] In more recent times, some western-educated Theravādins have attempted to identify Nātha with Maitreya Bodhisattva. However, traditions and basic iconography, including an image of Amitābha Buddha on the front of the crown, identify Nātha as Avalokiteśvara.[19] Andrew Skilton writes:[20]

Quote:... It is clear from sculptural evidence alone that the Mahāyāna was fairly widespread throughout [Sri Lanka], although the modern account of the history of Buddhism on the island presents an unbroken and pure lineage of Theravāda. (One can only assume that similar trends were transmitted to other parts of Southeast Asia with Sri Lankan ordination lineages.) Relics of an extensive cult of Avalokiteśvara can be seen in the present-day figure of Nātha.
So SL Theravadins are trying to forcefit Mahayana into Theravada - using inculturation on Avalokiteshwara with Maitreya. Just desserts for Mahayana having tried to inculturate on Shiva with Avalokiteshwara. I'm sure concerned Buddhists (Mahayana) can tell the difference between Avalokiteshwara and Maitreya. In any case, Hindus can certainly tell the difference between the Avalokiteshwara concoction and the original (and real) Shiva.

Poor Mahayana religion in SL: to have been replaced by Theravada religion altogether so that barely-remembered traces of their Mahayana past there remains. Where are all the Bauddhified "Hindus" who regularly wax eloquent on a back-projected imaginary Buddhist past of Hindus' ancestry and their temples in India (especially certain southern states)?

And must also evince some surprise that India's neo-Buddhists and dravoodianists - writing on and on about "poor, superior, persecuted-to-extinction" Mahayanism in India* - haven't transported themselves into the Theravada heartland of SL to try and revive Mahayanism in the southern Indic Buddhist heartland.

(* But they never write about Mahayanism in SL, for some reason. That's because the baiters are not really Mahayanists and don't care other than to use their history-rewriting to bait Hindus with, and to pretend that Mahayanism was the origin of bhakti and to further spin their usual rumours that Mahayana's idols/temples "must have" been taken over by Hindus, etc. In fact, SL's Theravadin Sangha and even lay Buddhists had - maybe still - been trying that tactic too, in order to claim that TN in India should "re-convert" to Buddhism, even if it's only to the 'heretic Mahayana' brand. Nice try.)
Post 22/?

(Related to the blockquote at the start of post 16)

And about the whole "Hindu bhakti was copied from 'Buddha-bhakti' " spin:

Now they're just digging a hole.

Forced to admit that visible forms of bhakti were copied from Hindu religion (even in Vijayavenugopal's example of Buddhist poetry copying Hindu stotra styles), Har Dayal and Vijayavenugopal resort to declaring that there are two aspects involved, and that the other aspect - the notion of bhakti itself, though not the expression thereof - was invented by Buddhism/Avalokiteshwara cult (Mahayana-isms), but that the nastikas borrowed the style of expression from Hindus.

How convenient.

Note how he transforms what is exclusively Hindu bhakti into a "Tamil bhakti tradition" in order to thereafter claim it for Buddhism. Now where have I seen this before. Oh yeah. Christianism. Christianism too converts Hindu religion & religio-culture into 'Indian culture', and then into 'christian culture/religion'. <= Another characteristic of missionary/replacement religion.

- Again, it is Vijayavenugopal who sets the bhakti period at 650 to 950 CE. Well, the Silappadikaaram shows TN/Kerala in a much earlier period - of 2nd/5th century CE - and it gives copious evidence of the region's Hindus of that age (like Shakta huntsmen) being devoted to their Gods and worshipping them. The stotras they use essentially have the same content as is seen in Hindus' Vedas incl Upanishads and Puranas, Hindu folksongs, Tevarams and Azhwar songs, Acharya's stotras, and Carnatic music.

- Bhakti is simply Piety (used in the Hellenistic Roman=true sense of the word) to the Gods. Buddhism and Jainism never had any Gods, and had to inculturate on others' Gods in order to keep their converts. They're good at copying, or diverging, but not good at being original.

- Bhakti is a natural product of the direct vision of the Gods. Bhakti is very much present in Taoist China for instance and ancient Hellenistic Greece/Rome. Hindus, like Taoists and Hellenes etc, see their Gods. To this day. Bhakti is evident in all 3 examples of heathenisms cited. (E.g. Julian writing about Helios speaks of his affection for the God and the wish to attain to him for any period of time.) Buddhism didn't "inspire" Hellenistic (or Taoist etc) bhakti either: the Olympic Gods did. Though Buddhism did make a beginning of its process to inculturate on the Olympic Gods as seen in Afghanistan - no doubt with an eye at peddling their inculturation in Greece and Rome thereafter.

Buddhism treats Gods as unreal, including the Bodhisattva and Multiple Buddha fictions it invented: that's why Buddhism

- keeps changing the characters, nature and appearance of other heathenisms' Gods

- regularly pretends it has "converted" heathen Gods to Buddhism (again, in order to convert the heathens). E.g. in Tibet, also Japan, etc.

- so readily changed Avalokiteshwara from looking like Shiva in Shaiva places, to looking like Vishnu in centres of Vishnu worship, to looking like a combination of the two in places where Hindus were not specifically Shaiva or Vaishnava (but both), to Avalokiteshwara in China suddenly being turned into a female deity that was initially modelled on the features of an extremely popular Taoist Goddess.

Interestingly, none of the descriptions of Avalokiteshwara reproduced by Vijayavenugopal from Puttamitiran's 11th century vIracholiya was a physical description (whereas such descriptions are parts of true bhakti literature: which are often founded on direct interaction and vision of the Gods). Perhaps 11th century Mahayana Buddhism in TN hadn't yet developed the Avalokiteshwara mythos that far yet, or perhaps Vijayavenugopal avoided them because they sounded too much like (a recognisable but the usually mangled Buddhist clone of) Shiva? The closest he got was to comparing how Shiva is described as being seated under an Alamaram/Banyan tree (=Dakshinaamoorti-Shiva) while the clone that Buddhism invented for him, Bodhisattva (Avalokiteshwara), is deliberately inched closer to Dakshinaamoorti-Shiva with the description that the clone of the Buddhists -Avalokiteshwara- sits under the Bodhi tree (that Buddha obtained enlightenment from).

Which is not only copying style/expression but inculturating on the substance too.

Regardless, Avalokiteshwara does seem to conveniently take on the form of the very Gods of Others that Buddhism wants to encroach on. A Buddhist "miracle" perhaps.

Quote:Atinata (p. 161) 'the ancient Lord,'

Jainism had already encroached on that name (though it was already that of Shiva). Just like Shaastaa is taken by both Buddhists AND Jains (besides already being a Hindu epithet for Hindu Gods, as well as a general term). Jainism and Buddism often copy each other concerning even primary names of Buddhas and teerthankaras - showing when competition between them became fiercest. And of course Buddhism plagiarised from Hindu religion: from primary names (for masking clones, e.g. Nilakantha, -Ishwara suffix), secondary names (e.g. VaishravaNa, for replacement Buddhist clones in the rearranged Buddhist hierarchy,) and physical features of Hindu Gods, encroaching on settings and everything.

Quote:Har Dayal claims that 'the idea of bhakti originated among the Buddhists and was adopted in self defence by the Hindus.' '... [The] ideal of bhakti arose and flourished among the Buddhists.'
Yes, a claim. Stating it doesn't make it true. But it certainly shows what they're wishing for. Fortunately, even Vijayavenugopal knows better than to present it as the only view, and is forced to quote better authorities - including Japanese Kimura besides people closer to home - who know better and therefore say otherwise.

But goes to show that it's not just the christians who have been asserting that they (christians) invented bhakti and that Hindus copied it from them, right? Jains at the Jain Minority Forum tried it too. All the missionary religions are envious that they have not been as successful as they hoped in converting people and that the heathen laity have been immune to their overtures for so long. They blame it on Hindus' bhakti. Unable to divert Hindus' bhakti to their own replacement religions and entities (several of which are fictional) instead, the missionary religions resort to declaring that they invented bhakti/they have the "actual, original, true" version of bhakti etc. And more missionary nonsense, born out of obvious and sad petty jealousy.

Bhakti is there in the Vedas (singing to the Gods, feeding the Gods, and deep feelings of piety to the Gods, e.g. Hindus in the Rig threatening Indra with "ichChAmIddhr^idhA manasA chidindram" which even an alien translator translated as "I long for Indran with all my heart and mind" or something); bhakti's there in the temple (Agamic) rituals, to the Itihaasas, to the Puranas, to local regional Hindu literature and songs. It is of course even there in stotras by Advaitins, because Advaitins also experience bhakti to the Hindu Gods.

Buddhism demonstrably copied bhakti. It never had Gods. Then it copied them. It never had Goddesses and then Mahayana copied them. It suddenly invented bodhisattvas, noticed that it could use Hindu Gods to attract Asian heathens and dupe them into Buddhism. Encroached on a real Taoist Goddess using the male Avalokiteshwara bodhisattva so as to appeal to even more heathen laity in E Asia, and then tried to convert more Asians using the Bauddhificly-masked Taoist Goddess (and other heathen Asian Gods that Buddhism tried to clone). Yet Buddhism never won proper converts there either.

E.g. despite ~1.7 millennia of Buddhism in Vietnam, offering the "Buddha Bhakti" brand (Buddhism in Vietnam is mainly Mahayana), there are today still ~3 times more Vietnamese practicising native and Chinese heathenism (Taoism + worshipping native and Taoist Goddesses) at about 45%+ of the population, than there are Buddhists in Vietnam (about 16%). The unBauddhised=native Vietnamese keep worshipping their own native Gods and going to Chinese Taoist temples, or set up native Taoist temples with Taoist and Vietnamese Gods - all in order to worship the Real Gods (a.o.t. fictional Buddhist entities) - even though it's being said Taoism arrived in Vietnam some centuries after Buddhism. That in itself proves that bhakti in Buddhism is not original, that Buddhism (Mahayana or Theravada) doesn't really have it, and is a shallow shadow of the real thing which is only found in Heathenisms: the heathen laity can clearly tell the difference.

And that exemplifies the most important reason for why Bhakti is naturally present in the Gods-based, Gods-centred religions (and is therefore not at all a natural feature of Buddhism/Jainism - and it's the reason why their obvious copying of "the bhakti tradition" from Hindu religion failed): the Gods of heathenisms [but not of invented missionary religions] are real. And the heathens who worship them know their Gods are real because the Gods can be seen and interacted with. Whereas invented Gods, clones/knock-offs and backprojected entities can't be seen because they don't exist. (The way only "Ishwara" and the "PAshupata Yogin" appeared - and still appear - at the site Hsuan-Tsang described, yet Avalokiteshwara was Never seen. In E Asia, the "KuanYin" seen by the superficially-Bauddhified laity is only the Taoist Goddess, who is indeed a very compassionate Goddess, but is not KuanYin or anything Buddhist. No one there's seen the actually-male Avalokiteshwara/KuanYin. They're not the same.)


Quote:Long-established religions in Vietnam have included Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism (called the three teachings or tam giáo). According to Pew Forum figures, most of the Vietnamese practice indigenous religions, worshiping local spirits, gods and mother goddesses (45.3%)**, as these religions have experienced a revival since the 1980s.[8]

Buddhism is the second-largest religion with 16.4% of the population adhering, around 8.2% of the Vietnamese are Christians (mostly Catholics), and around 30% are religiously unaffiliated.

** Note the Mother Goddesses of the Vietnamese - and the Gods too - often include Taoist Gods (on a few occasions even Hindu Gods). That's because the Taoist Ammans and Gods are all real. (Which is why Buddhism tried to inculturate on them)


Quote:Taoism in its pure form is no longer practiced in Vietnam, but elements of it have been absorbed into the Vietnamese folk religion. Taoism has also influenced the Caodaist (recent religion that combines Jade Emperor+his Wife + with Buddhist "syncretism") and Dao Mau[2] religions in Vietnam.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dao_Mau <-> I imagine that this is related to the worship of the Taoist ... Uh not quite:

Quote:Đạo Mẫu

The term Đạo Mẫu (Han Nom:道母) refers to the worship of mother goddesses in Vietnam.[1] While scholars like Ngô Đức Thịnh propose that it represents a systematic mother goddess cult, the term draws together fairly disparate beliefs and practices.[2][3][4][5] These include the worship of goddesses such as Thiên Y A Na, The Lady of the Realm (Bà Chúa Xứ), The Lady of the Storehouse (Bà Chúa Kho) and Princess Liễu Hạnh,[6] legendary figures like Âu Cơ, the Trung Sisters (Hai Bà Trưng), and Lady Trieu (Bà Triệu), as well as the cult of the Four Palaces. Đạo Mẫu is commonly associated with spirit mediumship rituals—known in Vietnam as lên đồng—much as practiced in other parts of Asia, such as Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. Although the Communist government had initially proscribed the practice of such rituals, deeming them to be superstitions, they relented in 1987, once again legalizing their practice.


Quote:Vietnamese folk religion

Vietnamese folk religion or Vietnamese indigenous religion (Vietnamese: tín ngưỡng dân gian Việt Nam, tôn giáo bản địa Việt Nam), also called Thầnism (Vietnamese: thần giáo,[citation needed] "religion of the gods") is the ethnic religion of the Vietnamese people, dominant in Vietnam, where it is practiced by 45.3% of the population.[1] The Vietnamese folk religion shows a great quantity of similarities with southern Chinese folk religion. (i.e. what Chinese call "Taoism" in English)

And the ethnic-Hindu (Cham) area of Vietnam is still majority Hindu, having overcome a short period of Mahayan Bauddhicisation in the middle somewhere, and then reverted to Hindu religion (just like rulers did in TN around the same time). The islamised part is now in Cambodia, with Hindu and Buddhist minorities.


Quote:My Son: Hinduism in Vietnam

Photo by mittobiontour.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/pb042302.jpg

My Son is a complex of Hindu temples in Southeast Asia, considered to be one of the oldest in the continent and a one-of-a-kind sight in Vietnam. Its sandstone exhibits and statues are just some of the reflections of a spiritual India culture.


The relics at My Son were made during the reign of King Bhadravarman I (380-413 AD). A temple was built to worship Shiva in the form of Lingam, translated as the God of Rebirth. Even today, this statue, along with the figures of Yoni, Nadin and Apsara, still exist in the temple. This religious culture of India can also be found in the old written records in Sanskrit.In each cluster in the My Son complex, certain structures are a constant fixture. The temple of Kalan is always present, surrounded by the statues of Lingam, Yoni and Shiva. Gopura is the entrance gate-tower situated at the front of the complex, while Mandapa is a vestibule for public rituals. The God of Wealth Kubera is placed beside the vestibule, facing North. It consists of one to two halls containing offerings to worship the gods. The main entrance gates of all temples are strategically placed facing East wherein the sunshine can enter completely. Each temple is pyramid-shaped, the symbol of Lord Meru, home of the Hindu gods.Though My Son is generally a Hindu place of worship, some signs of Buddhism can also be found in the complex. This is because in the 10th century, Buddhism actually became the primary religion of the Cham people.


Quote:The predominance of Hinduism in Cham religion was interrupted for a time in the 9th and 10th centuries, when a dynasty at Indrapura (Dong Duong in Quảng Nam Province of modern Vietnam) adopted Mahayana Buddhism as its faith. The Buddhist art of Dong Duong has received special acclaim for its originality.

Beginning in the 10th century, Hinduism again became the predominant religion of Champa.

According to wackypedia, the Cham monarchy is dated to 2nd century CE - though wackypedia's christianism has in the main body of the text seen fit to date Hindu religion there to 6th or 7th century, despite Hindoo relics/remnants at MySon - as per above - being dated to 4th century already. The languages of the Hindu kingdom were: "Cham, Sanskrit". (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champa)

So much for no one speaking Sanskrit. [IIRC wackypedia mentioned how every Filipino language is 25% Sanskrit and Tamil, because Filipinos used to be Hindu before their christo-islamisation and they used to know Tamil and Sanskrit, like several of the Hindu characters in Silappadikaaram apparently, including protagonist Kovalan, of a merchant community.]

And Cham Hindus also have varnas, e.g. they are significantly kShatriya (but other varnas exist there too, e.g. the existence of brahmanas is mentioned):



Main article: Hinduism in Southeast Asia § Vietnam

Adherence to Hinduism in Vietnam is associated with the Cham ethnic minority; the first religion of the Champa kingdom was a form of Shaivite Hinduism, brought by sea from India. The Cham people erected Hindu temples (Bimong) throughout Central Vietnam, many of which are still in use today; the now-abandoned My Son, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is perhaps the most well-known of Cham temple complexes.

Approximately 50,000 ethnic Cham in the south-central coastal area practice a devotional form of Hinduism. Most of the Cham Hindus belong to the Nagavamshi Kshatriya caste,[51] but a considerable minority are Brahmins.[52] Another 4,000 Hindus (mostly Tamil, and otherwise of Cham or mixed Indian-Vietnamese descent) live in Ho Chi Minh City, where the Mariamman Temple acts as a focal point for the community.
(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champa mentions 60,000 Champa)

Anyway, Buddhism did not invent bhakti. The alleged "buddha bhakti" of Mahayana is clearly not even popular in Vietnam where only 16% of the population are Buddhist, while a separate 45% of the population follow the religion of their heathen Gods and ancestrally-affiliated Taoist Gods. And all this despite Vietnam regularly being tattoed as a "Buddhist nation" by Indics (such as SL Buddhists, Bauddhified Indian "Hindus" etc).

Mahayana Buddhism lost because fake bhakti is fake. And because clones/cheap knock-offs of heathen Gods are fake. And because heathens can see through all that.

Copying doesn't pay. Buddhism should have stuck to its principles and accepted that its principles do NOT have a wide appeal, instead of Buddhism trying to acquire deities for competition's sake (and inculturating on others' Gods and religions to absorb their popularity). These are dishonest tactics and point to dishonesty at the root. And they still result in reversion of laity to native heathenisms. As attested in E Asia to SE Asia to the Indic subcontinent (regular tendency to revert to Hindu Gods seen among Buddhist laity in SL, despite Hindus there not even being interested in attracting Buddhists to their temples or religion).
Post 23/23

I really hope that's the last on the topic of why Ayyappa/Shabarimalai allegedly being Buddhist/Avalokiteshwara/Potalaka is NOT the case. And that such assertions are merely the insidious and villainous rumour-mongering by unscrupulous Buddhists/Bauddhified (and/or bad scholarship) and their indiscriminate Bauddhified parrots.

The real moral is that

+ if you don't want to sound so totally wrong like Lokesh Chandra - who is in fact so wrong that even I can poke holes (often by mere googling) into his lame unresearched theories and unscholarly argumentation - then:

Don't get Bauddhified

+ if you don't want to sound like Lokesh's parrots: pompously certain that his Mere (And Flawed) Speculations are actually true, and thus peddling Lokesh's lies about as truths (thereby moreover ostracising yourself from Hindu Gods/religion on account of your preference to adhere to lies <- That was the fine print; But no backpeddling, right?), then:

Don't get Bauddhified

Because, clearly Bauddhification makes once-Hindus 1. come up with stupid theories that only stupid/bauddhified people believe; 2. blindly believe stupid things and not check it up for themselves, while still peddling it on eagerly as fact. <= Yes, that is the Direct Consequence of their Bauddhification.

Since any *Hindoo* would have bothered to check pseudo-scholarly and/or Bauddhising claims on Hindu religion. It means you know your religion more or at least that you're willing to credit your religion some, enough to bother to look into the matter.

Anyway, modern Indians Angelsk-speaking "Hindus" "nationalists" vocalists are a shorthand for the sort of deeper problems Hindoo India faces. That of gangrene. Which comes from a willful wallowing in utter stupidity and not knowing better. It is the inability to distinguish between facts and speculations. The inability to reason, even at a basic level. The inability to tell scholarship apart from merely published tripe. And of course, to top it all off, there is their subvertibility, their tendency to de-heathenise naturally when the conditions are right for this.

The reason it's gangrene is because, had Shabarimalai been declared Buddhist by anti-Hindus (say christists or islamaniacs or Romila types) - and with the same non-"arguments" as Lokesh produced - then all of the same Hindu vocalists would have made it a point to at least look up the matter and decide for themselves. Because a christo-islami-communitwit made the ridiculous claim.

But because some cryptoBuddhist-else-unscholar (Lokesh) said it and because a prominent Bauddhified Hindu nationalist (Rajeev) said it, every subvertible entity that would have fallen for that Buddhism did fall for it. (And they're doing their best to peddle it on, having bought into it.)

That is why gangrene will kill Hindoo-dom from the inside-out, while anti-Hindoos of the visible enemy types (alien religions and ideologies) can only dream of being able to get under Hindus' skin like that (I mean, imagine if their electronically-delivered drivel had as much currency among Hindus: how many Hindus should they have scored for their moronisms by now).

However, Hindus are not immune to anti-Hindus of the Indic religion variety - Hindus are unable to detect what is clearly anti-Hinduism in the "Shramanisms" - unlike Hindus' growing immunity to christo-islami-communist Hindu-baiting.

And where Buddhism is concerned, the matter becomes more serious because the rest of Asia is involved: other Asian heathens have to pay the price when Hindus won't do their duty but will instead roll over to Bauddhicising nonsense. It does affect everyone. Especially with the growing interest of Indian "Hindus" to declare that Taoists and other Asian heathens must share the same fate as Hindus in getting lumped with Buddhism.


Which also mentions:


Varanasi: Aiming to connect with Buddhists of Varanasi-Sarnath region, Narendra Modi on Thursday said ancient Chinese traveller Hsuan-Tsang had visited his birthplace at Vadnagar in Gujarat.

Modi, before filing his nomination from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat today, said that Chinese traveller Hsuan-Tsang had visited his birth place at Vadnagar, which he claimed was a place bustling with Buddhists at that time.

“People used to believe that Buddhism existed only in the East, but my village testifies that it was prevalent in the West also. So my affinity towards Buddhism is connected to my birth,” the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate said.



First Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014

Does Modi have any tendency toward Shiva? Because if he does, then Hsuan-Tsang is talking about Modi right *here*:

Quote:To the north-east of the city of Po-lu-sha 50 li or so, we come to a high mountain, on which is a figure of the wife of Isvara Deva carved out of green stone. This is Bhima Devi (= Durga). . . . It has the reputation of working numerous miracles, and therefore is venerated by all, so that from every part of India men come to pay their vows and seek prosperity thereby. . . . Below the mountain is the temple of Mahesvara Deva; the heretics who cover themselves with ashes come here to offer sacrifice. (Beal 1884: 113-14)

[It would be nice if a SL Sinhalese Nationalist leader went and built a Hindu circuit in Sri Lanka of all the Hindu temples taken over by Buddhism there. But that will never happen.* Just like Modi will in all likelihood not get the Sri Rama temple at Ayodhya rebuilt. But we will get a Buddha circuit. And therefore more missionary vultures. :Yay:

* And Buddhism will certainly not let it happen: the sangha worked hard to get rid off else take over those Hindu temple sites in SL.]

Actually, Modi should patronise islam and christianism too. Let's not discriminate. They consider Hindus as a population to be converted too. By inculturation if possible. And by other means if necessary.

Speaking of other means. It's time to move on from this topic.
Wow is Buddhism really good at rewriting history.

Check out Wacky's "Bon" page, where Bon is now declared a branch of Tibetan Buddhism. And compare it to what older versions of the page said.



Wackypedia's "Bon" page as at today

Quote:Bon or Bön[1] (Tibetan: བོན་, Wylie: bon, Lhasa dialect IPA: [pʰø̃̀]) is a sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It arose in the eleventh century upward[2] and established its scriptures mainly from termas and visions by tertöns such as Loden Nyingpo.[3] Though Bon terma contain myths of Bon existing before the historical introduction of Buddhism in Tibet, "in truth the 'old religion' was a new religion."[3]

Had in recent years come across apologetics by western converts to Tibetan Buddhism where:

* the western Tibetan-Buddhist gradually argued - despite admitting they didn't really know about Bon or its history - that it "must have been" a Tibetan Buddhism because it's so like Tibetan Buddhism now (yeah well, that's because Tibetan Buddhism got many of its Gods from Bon).

And now such theory mongerying has become "fact" as established by Wikipedia.

BTW, that same Tibetan Buddhist apologetics/history-rewriting tract did admit - and clearly the western convert author got uncomfortable - that Buddhist texts of the era had been demanding those not of the (Buddhist) Dharma should have their eyes gouged out and be stomped on, etc. I.e. advocating violence. The Buddhists text said many such violent things actually, and Buddhists didn't leave it at words either.*

* the western Tibetan Buddhists converts (authoring a book for a Tibetan Buddhist publication) had created a whole new framework for negating Bon. They argued that Tibetan Buddhism's historical commandments to convert Bon Gods to Buddhism (i.e. take over native Gods) should be seen in a new sense: that Bon itself was created by Buddhism, as the "Other", to generate Gods for Buddhism to "convert", because Tibetan Buddhism has a need for a constant supply of Gods to convert for its tantra rituals.

(Oooh nice convoluted excuse! But some of the Gods in Bon have Taoist origins. And they were blindly transplanted/converted into Tibetan Buddhism even by looney Indian-influenced Tibetan Buddhism. So proof right there.)

But I'm sure converts to Buddhism will nevertheless happily lap it up to make themselves feel better about the past, especially since historical 1st hand sources do not lend themselves well to such a retelling of the past: primary Tibetan Buddhist sources, demonstrably screeched that the Bons should be very violently done away with, and which resulted in persecution of Bon, where Bonpos fled their ancestral land. <- All that may not be so amenable to Buddhists' convenient rewrite of their religion's unpleasant history in Tibet.

Extracts from older versions of the Bon page follow. Don't have time to look at it in detail, but some obvious elements stick out.

More interesting is the date of when things have changed so drastically (from Bon being its own, independent, indigenous, and pre-Buddhist Tibetan religion to Bon being declared a Tibetan Buddhism). Buddhism's been busy.

Older versions:


Wacky Bon page as at 22 July 2014

Quote:Bon or Bön[1] (Tibetan: བོན་, Wylie: bon, Lhasa dialect IPA: [pʰø̃̀]) is the term for the religious tradition or sect of Tibet. It arose in the eleventh century upward[2] and established its scriptures from terma (hidden treasure) and visions by tertöns such as Loden Nyingpo.[2] Though Bon terma contain myths of Bon existing before the introduction of Buddhism in Tibet, "in truth the 'old religion' was a new religion."[2]

No direct mention of Bon being a Tibetan Buddhist sect on 27 Jun 2014:


Wacky Bon page as at 27 June 2014

Quote:Bon or Bön[1] (Tibetan: བོན་, Wylie: bon [pʰø̃̀(n)]), also Bonism or Benism (Chinese: 苯教, Běnjiào) is the term for the religious tradition or sect of Tibet more accurately called Yungdrung Bon today, as well as the general term for the elements of alleged non-Buddhist or indigenous religious practices for common Tibetan people in some cases. The former religion arose from the eleventh century upward and established its scriptures from terma and visions of tertons such as Loden Nyingpo, who would have been one of the most influential Bonpo in the fourteenth century.[2] Though Bon terma contain myths of Bon existing before the introduction of Buddhism in Tibet, "in truth the 'old religion' was a new religion."[2]

And no mention of "alleged non-Buddhist or indigenous religious practices for common Tibetan people" in the following from January, or that it was a Bon myth that Bon existed before Buddhism invaded Tibet / that the "old religion was a new religion":


Wacky Bon page as at 4 January 2014

Quote:Bon or Bön[1] (Tibetan: བོན་, Wylie: bon [pʰø̃̀(n)]) is the indigenous religion of Tibet, pre-dating the introduction of Buddhism. It influenced Tibetan Buddhism and is still practiced as a minority religion.

Tradition has three parts to Bon's spread. First, there is a story known as the Tazig 'Olm Lung Ring'. Second, in the fourteenth century Loden Nyingpo revealed a terma containing the story of Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche.[2] Third, there are documents written by people from the Zhang Zhung kingdom who supposedly practiced Bon. Zhangzhung is not well known, but is believed to be located in western Tibet. Bon historians hold many Central Asian Buddhist antiquities are Bon.[3]

The scholarly history of Bon is difficult to clearly ascertain because the earliest surviving documents referring to the religion come from the 9th and 10th centuries, well after Buddhists began the suppression of indigenous beliefs and practices.[4] Moreover, historian Per Kværne[4] notes that "Bon" is used to describe three distinct traditions:

the pre-Buddhist religious practices of Tibetans and Tibetic peoples of Nepal that are "imperfectly reconstructed [yet] essentially different from Buddhism" and were focused on the personage of a divine king;

a syncretic religion that arose in Tibet and Nepal during the 10th and 11th centuries, with strong shamanistic and animistic traditions. This shamanic indigenous religion is not Buddhism, but is sometimes regarded by scholars as a substrate form of Buddhism.

a set of popular beliefs in which local shamans try to heal people using ideas sometimes ascribed to Bon. Shamans may divine deities' wishes, have supernatural fights with deities, or be possessed by deities. These shamanic practices are common in the Tibeto-Burman speaking ethnic groups, such as Magar, Tamang, Tibetan, etc.

However, other scholars do not accept the tradition that separates Bon from Buddhism. Christopher Beckwith calls Bon "one of the two types of Tibetan Buddhism"[5] and writes that "despite continuing popular belief in the existence of a non-Buddhist religion known as Bon during the Tibetan Empire period, there is not a shred of evidence to support the idea... Although different in some respects from the other sects, it was already very definitely a form of Buddhism."[6]

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, recognizes the Bon tradition as the sixth principal spiritual school of Tibet, along with the Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug and Jonang schools of Buddhism, despite the long historical competition between the Bon tradition and Buddhism in Tibet. In 1978 the Dalai Lama acknowledged the Bon religion as a school with its own practices after visiting the newly built Bon monastery in Dolanji."[7]

The Wiki edit revision undoes the previous content (see below) explaining:

"(cur | prev) 13:49, 4 January 2014‎ (talk)‎ . . (35,505 bytes) (+112)‎ . . (That the 14th Dalai Lama has recognised Bon as a legitimate religion is NOT the same as saying that it is a school of Buddhism.) (undo)"

Quote:This is an old revision of this page, as edited by (talk) at 13:49, 4 January 2014 (That the 14th Dalai Lama has recognised Bon as a legitimate religion is NOT the same as saying that it is a school of Buddhism.). The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the current revision.

The previous version had said:

Quote:Bon or Bön[1] (Tibetan: བོན་, Wylie: bon [pʰø̃̀(n)]) is a branch of Tibetan Vajrayana.

And this section was still there on the Bon page in 4 January 2014, not sure when it disappeared, but it's not there in the present page:


Quote:Competition with Buddhism

After the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet during the 7th century, there was often fierce competition between the two traditions, especially during the reign of Langdarma. Over time, Bon has been losing influence and has been marginalized by the Tibetan political elite.

And these next sections have notably entirely disappeared in Wacky's current Bon page. Sort of like what happened to the section on the Guan-Yin wacky page explaining how a Daoist Goddess was subsumed by Buddhism in China.

(Not sure when they disappeared exactly, but the following sections were at least still there at the dates shown.)


Wacky Bon page as at 27 June 2014

Quote:Definitions of Bon

The scholarly history of Bon is difficult to clearly ascertain because the earliest surviving documents referring to the religion come from the 9th and 10th centuries, well after Buddhists began the suppression of indigenous beliefs and practices.[3] Moreover, historian Per Kværne[3] notes that "Bon" is used to describe three distinct traditions:

* the pre-Buddhist religious practices of Tibetans and Tibetic peoples of Nepal that are "imperfectly reconstructed [yet] essentially different from Buddhism" and were focused on the personage of a divine king;

* a syncretic religion that arose in Tibet and Nepal during the 10th and 11th centuries, with strong shamanistic and animistic traditions. This shamanic indigenous religion is not Buddhism, but is sometimes regarded by scholars as a substrate form of Buddhism.

* a set of popular beliefs in which local shamans try to heal people using ideas sometimes ascribed to Bon. Shamans may divine deities' wishes, have supernatural fights with deities, or be possessed by deities. These shamanic practices are common in the Tibeto-Burman speaking ethnic groups, such as Magar, Tamang, Tibetan, etc.

However, other scholars do not accept the tradition that separates Bon from Buddhism. Christopher Beckwith calls Bon "one of the two types of Tibetan Buddhism"[4] and writes that "despite continuing popular belief in the existence of a non-Buddhist religion known as Bon during the Tibetan Empire period, there is not a shred of evidence to support the idea... Although different in some respects from the other sects, it was already very definitely a form of Buddhism."[5]

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, recognizes the Bon tradition as the sixth principal spiritual school of Tibet, along with the Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug and Jonang schools of Buddhism, despite the long historical competition between the Bon tradition and Buddhism in Tibet. In 1978 the Dalai Lama acknowledged the Bon religion as a school with its own practices after visiting the newly built Bon monastery in Dolanji."[6]

The syllable -po or -pa is appended to a noun in Tibetan to designate a person who is from that place or performs that action; "Bonpo" thus means a follower of the Bon tradition, "Nyingmapa" a follower of the Nyingma tradition, and so on. (The feminine parallels are -mo and -ma, but these are not generally appended to the names of the Tibetan religious traditions.)[7]

Bon today

A complex appreciation of Bon is emerging by scholars. Bon, prior to the Tibetan diaspora, existed within a web of ancient indigenous animism, Hinduism, sympathetic magic, Buddhism, folk religion, shamanism, Vajrayana, asceticism and mysticism; complexes prevalent throughout the Himalaya and intermingling throughout the Inner Asian region. Pegg (2006) relates that these

"[c]omplexes include mosaics of performing practices and discourses rather than discrete or fixed sets of practices or beliefs. They are syncretic and overlapping. The power of sound to communicate with spirits is recognized…" and a recurrent motif throughout the region.

Leading Bon scholar Per Kværne writes:[citation needed]

Both Buddhists and Bonpos agree that when Buddhism succeeded in gaining royal patronage in Tibet in the eighth and ninth centuries, Bon suffered a serious setback. By the 11th century, however, an organized religious tradition, styling itself Bon and claiming continuity with the earlier, pre-Buddhist religion, appeared in central Tibet. It is this religion of Bon that has persisted to our own times, absorbing doctrines from the dominant Buddhist religion but always adapting what it learned to its own needs and perspectives. This is ...not just plagiarism, but a dynamic and flexible strategy that has ensured the survival, indeed the vitality, of a religious minority.

(But Per Kværne makes no mention of Buddhist plagiarism from Bon - which is much greater and which started much earlire: everything from Gods to rituals.

Plus lots of similarities of Bon with "Buddhism" is because of Hindu and Taoist elements in pre-Buddhist Tibet, and which elements Buddhism had already inculturated on.)

Q: Have to ask, is it the "Dharmic religions ra-ra" types - especially those who threatened to include Taoism under "Dharmic" alongside Buddhism and Jainism - that defaced the Bon page? You know, the indiafacts/vijayvaani types that spend aeons pandering to Buddhism etc.

And compare the following two sections:


Wacky Bon page as 27 June 2014


In the fourteenth century, Loden Nyingpo revealed a terma containing the story of Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche.[2] It states that Tönpa Shenrab Miwoche established the Bon religion while searching for a horse stolen by a demon. Tradition also tells that he was born in the land of Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring (considered[by whom?] an axis mundi) which is traditionally identified as Mount Yung-drung Gu-tzeg ("Edifice of Nine Sauvastikas"), possibly Mount Kailash, in western Tibet. Due to the sacredness of Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring and the Mount Kailash, the Bonpo as well as Hindus regard both the swastika and the number nine as auspicious and as of great significance.

Note that the Foundation subsection is still there and Kailash and Swastika are still mentioned, but suddenly there is no more reference to "Hindu" on the current page.

Is it just neo-Buddhists and Indic Buddhists again, or is it other Buddhists that are defacing it too? Reminds me of how neo-Buddhists removed the mention of Hinduism in Japan (point 6 of post 121 in this thread, from 2011, even though it only said that Hindu religion had arrived in Japan "when other Indian-related beliefs incl Buddhism" had arrived.)

Current wacky Bon page (today, Nov 2014):



Three Bon scriptures, mdo 'dus, gzer mig, and gzi brjid relate the mythos of Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche. The Bonpos regard the first two as gter ma rediscovered around the eleventh century and the last as nyan brgyud (oral transmission) dictated by Loden Nyingpo, who lived in the fourteenth century.[4] In the fourteenth century, Loden Nyingpo revealed a terma known as The Brilliance (Wylie: gzi brjid), contained the story of Tonpa Shenrab. He was not the first Bonpo tertön, but his terma became one of the definitive scriptures of Bon religion.[3] It states that Shenrab established the Bon religion while searching for a horse stolen by a demon. Tradition also tells that he was born in the land of Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring (considered[by whom?] an axis mundi) which is traditionally identified as Mount Yung-drung Gu-tzeg ("Edifice of Nine Sauvastikas"), possibly Mount Kailash, in western Tibet. Due to the sacredness of Tagzig Olmo Lungting and Mount Kailash, the Bonpo regard both the swastika and the number nine as auspicious and as of great significance.

There was ancient Hindu presence in Tibet, before Buddhism came there. And that - and the Taoist connection to Bon - is what Buddhism has used to Bauddhify what little is known in the west of pre-Buddhist Bon. Buddhism pointed to Hindu elements and said "this is actually Buddhism" and declared that all the post-Buddhist parts of Bon are "Buddhist" too, and therefore that all of Bon is Buddhist onlee.

Except that there is a significant minority of Bon refugees in China-proper - IIRC from the time when Buddhism persecuted Bon with such measures that the adherents of the native Tibetan religion had to flee to neighbouring countries.

Buddhism is clearly cleaning up after itself.
  • Like how it cleaned up after its encroachment on a Taoist Goddess for the Buddhist Guan-Yin, as seen in the Buddhist rewrite of actual history in wackypedia (<- see end of that linked post)

  • Like how SL Buddhism cleans up after it takes over Hindu Gods and Hindu temples in SL and continues to write backprojected mythology on how "these were always part of Buddhism" (i.e. Bauddhifying for history)

Buddhism is clearly very powerful on wikipedia. 2nd only to christianism and islam I should say.

Even Taoism has no voice, predictably Bon has even less of a voice.

Again, the date of the drastic change from Bon being recognised as a separate indigenous religion to Bon suddenly being a Tibetan Buddhism is tell-tale: all these wackypedia changes happened somewhere midway this year.

Buddhism is desperate to fill up this black hole it had left in history.

Tomorrow Buddhism will rewrite its violent history in Mongolia too, I shouldn't wonder. And orobably following the same blueprint, too: that "it was all really a Buddhism" there since the beginning (aka "no such thing as Shamanism", even though both Mongolian and Tibetan Bon are Shamanist) and that nothing distinct existed before Buddhism. And can already hear Sri Lankan Buddhists declare for others that China and Japan etc are "Buddhist nations" and that their culture is "originally" Buddhist, when Japan and China are Shinto and Taoist and Confucianist in origin. And their ancestral heathenisms predated Buddhist invasion there and their native heathenisms predated Buddhism itself.

But it's all sort of like an ur-Shramanism theory being concocted for Tibet and Mongolia.

India released this disease onto other Asian populations. Instead of fixing it, Indians (incl. "Hindu" vocalists, the type seen at vijayvaani, or indiafacts) are peddling Buddhism AND even peddling such Buddhist apologetics/history re-writes as above.

Disgusting. I'm sure there will be retribution. I hope it doesn't get the Hindoos who would never do this to Asian heathens.

But like I said, Buddhism is on overdrive to Bauddhify Asia. As part of that mission, is the need to rewrite Buddhisms' history of violence, inculturation and encroachment there, and to Bauddhify any record of a previous, indigenous religion.

Post Summary: Wacky edits that show Buddhists turning Tibet's Bon religion from indigenous pre-Buddhist Tibetan religion to "a sect of Tibetan Buddhism". The edits all happened this year.
^Buddhist vandalism of the Bon wikipedia page^ shows that Buddhism's still intent on running down Bon and converting it.

(Even the Dalai Lama didn't quite concede when he declared that Bon didn't deserve the persecution; rather, he merely declared that Bon was one of the Tibetan Buddhist sects and for that reason should not have been and should not be persecuted. In a way he has encouraged a lot of Buddhists - including western converts on fire for Mahayana and particularly Tibetan Buddhism - to view the matter his way and to argue it his way. Even though the matter actually concerns Bon religion and Bonpos and not Buddhism/Buddhists.)

Tracked down one of the two modern western-Buddhist apologetics for Tibetan Buddhism that was mentioned at the start of the previous post.


"Bon and Tibetan Buddhism

Alexander Berzin

Amsterdam, Holland, December 23, 2001

lightly edited course transcript"

(Personally felt dumbed-down after reading that article. It is touchy-feeling speculations. It is very new-agey western Buddhist of wanting reconciliation [to save face for Buddhism] etc. yet claims Bon for Buddhism as much as the speaker dared to do via what he knew was his mere, ignorant speculation. Quite provoking. Don't know why these people don't bother to read some works on the subject by historians.)

The speaker -

1. Admits he doesn't really know Bon OR its history and doesn't know whether any of his conjectures are remotely true, but *will* nevertheles speculate

2. And speculates conveniently in favour of Buddhism: he starts off pretending to be impartial, and then develops inevitably (predictably) into the now all-too-oft-seen Buddhist backprojected inculturation that "Bon was a Buddhism. Its origins must have been a pre-Tibetan Buddhist Buddhis, from some Bauddhified place outside Tibet."

3. He conveniently projects that determined Buddhist persecution of Tibet's pre-Buddhist indigenous religion Bon was actually "political" not religious (contradicted by religiously-Buddhist writings hurling invectives at Bon) and even that it was all ultimately Bon's own fault: the speaker - western convert to Buddhism - having tried his best to summon a picture of "political intrigue" at the time of Buddhism's introduction into Tibet's royalty, the speaker argues that Bon was essentially xenophobic/unaccepting of outsiders infiltrating their royalty and that *this* must have been the reason for Buddhism persecuting Bon. Lame, and contradicted by actual history of why Buddhism persecuted Bon. But anyone with sense would admit that - even for apologetics - it's bad.

4. He shows signs - as do many western converts to Tibetan Buddhism who in time discover that their religion of choice/investment wasn't all that uh "friendly" towards the native Bon religion - of feeling rather uncomfortable with the little he did bother to discover about how Buddhism actually felt about Bon. But the discomfort quickly passes for converts, and with redoubled efforts they continue to deny that Buddhism could be capable of criminality let alone should be held culpable for it.

5. Upon increasing visibility of (one can't say familiarity with) Bon, more new-agey western people have contemplated dabbling in Bon too. Some like dabbling in both Bon and Tibetan Buddhism, the latter as well as Tibetan Buddhists (and converts to it) tend to like to contemplate a vision of Tibetan Buddhism having got along swell with Bon and that everything else must all have been but a terrible misunderstanding. Some alien converts to Bon too - being new-agey - want to be part of a larger new-agey network of "paganisms" and so you get the same nonsense from them. (Also, when did Buddhism/Jainism suddenly become "paganisms"?)

Of course, it's not just aliens who are determined to rewrite the ugly history of Buddhism in Tibet vis-a-vis what IS the native ancestral and originally distinct religion of Bon (and which is yet distinct in places outside of Tibet), and for which there are in fact clear signs that it existed before Buddhism. (Not the least that they were/are familiar with pre-Bauddhified forms of Hindu and Taoist Gods. I don't want to press the matter, but it remains a fact that Bonpo were like relations to Hindus: it was an overlap region, so Bon knew Hindu religious forms well too, and besides Kailasa, certain other famous sacred peaks were to have been revered by Bon before Buddhism as well, and they also recognised these - in their own names, but with the same view/same descriptions as Hindus did - as their divine parents. There was the *definite* presence of unBauddhified Hindu religion in Tibet and among Bon before Buddhism entered Tibet. And even their many Gods have been stolen by Buddhism and Buddhism detected Shiva and Parvati quite clearly among them and Bauddhified them with its standard mapping template. And that's not even mentioning the Daoism there. There is further every indication that what's called "Tibetan Buddhist" art is actually Bon, Nepalese Hindu and Taoist in origin, imagery/visualisations already conceived of among the Bon.)

There was one accidentally interesting bit in the article, which is very telling about who all did NOT invent vegetarianism:


Quote:Bon has certain vows that one would expect Buddhists to have but they do not. For example, Bonpos have a vow of being vegetarian. Buddhists don't. The Bon morality is a little stricter than the Buddhist.
I predict the JMF will next terrorise the Bon by declaring that Bon was derived from Jainism. But no, it wasn't due to Jainism's influence either.

Anyway, so much for "ur-Shramanism invented vegetarianism" claims. (Not that anyone but the delusional would have believed it. Taoists independently knew of it: some of their communities are strict vegetarians including in offerings. Some of the Taoist Gods are strict vegetarians, so that even non-vegetarians will only offer vegetarian fare to them. And some ancient Taoist Sages were likewise.)

And the bit that the speaker admitted (though he doesn't tell the full story, but one suspects he knows it?):


Quote:[...] people who emphasize their positive sides will tend to project their negative sides onto somebody. This phenomenon is found particularly in fundamentalist Buddhist traditions with super guru devotion and a big emphasis on a protector. The protector becomes the important thing. The [Tibetan Buddhist] texts say terrible things about anyone who is against the [Bauddha] Dharma or against the said tradition [Buddhist sect]. Smash our enemies, trample them, tear their eyes out, etc.

I've left out the rest of the paragraph because I've had enough of the apologetics of "it must originally have been Bon's fault for not being accepting of alien religion", which were speculations when the speaker first submitted them and now he advances them as certainties. (As if conjecture becomes true in the retelling.) Can see at link.

Well, at least the western convert to Tibetan Buddhism admitted as much as the above. He couldn't avoid it though: it's not like people don't know or can't find out.

But I'm tired of these excuses for known, historical cases of ethnic cleansing and replacement theology (oddly enough, people blindly defend Buddhism from a factual crime, while Hindus - whose religion has been projected as that of some mythical alien invaders - are blamed [often by the same people, btw] for backprojected fictional crimes of ethnic cleansing and replacement, and expected to feel remorse over it. Quite insane.)

Anyway, the violence in the Buddhist screechings against (corrected) Bon invokes the conclusion in an early quoteblock of this thread:

[quote name='Bharatvarsh2' date='09 May 2010 - 02:07 AM' post='106279']

Quote:The nAstika tilopA from the va~Nga country is highly regarded among Tibetans. He was an aggressive subversionist of former dharma. He says in apabhraMsha:

bamhA vihNu mahesura devA | bohisattva ma karahu seva | deva ma pUjahu titya Na jAvA | devapUjAhi Na mokkha pAvA ||

Here tilopA says: bodhisattva, do not worship the deva-s brahmA, viShNu and maheshvara; do not do pUjA to deva-s do not go to tIrtha-s. One does not get mokSha by doing pUjA to deva-s. Earlier, the sthaviravAdin buddhaghosha (born a brAhmaNa in magadha) who calls upon the nAstika-s to desist from hearing the rAmAyaNa or the bhArata. Actually, this strain is an original aspect of the tAthagata-s that passed unchanged through the transition of the yAna-s. Umakant Mishra points to a li~Nga in the Soro village of Orissa that has been defaced by the carving of a nAstika dharaNi on it. So the pAShaNDa-s were ready to put these words into practice. Yet we are repeatedly told that it is the Astika-s who were the buddha-busters (to borrow a favorite term of the Mohammedan: bhut-shikhan).



And the simplified version that was provided:

[quote name='Bharatvarsh2' date='09 May 2010 - 09:34 AM' timestamp='1273377387' post='106291']

Basically says that tilopA from Bengal who is highly regarded among Tibetans was a Buddhist and a subvertionist of dharma (or Astika sampradayas) who preached that Buddhist's shouldn't worship Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva and shouldn't go to the traditional holy places (tIrtha's) of Hindus because one doesn't achieve moksha through these things. Earlier Buddhaghosha from Magadha told the Buddhists that they shouldn't hear the Ramayana or Mahabharata narration. This type of attack is an original aspect of Buddhists that passed unchanged through the transition of yAna-s (vehicles? **). Umakant Mishra points to a shiva linga in the Soro village of Orissa that has been defaced by the carving of a nAstika dharaNi (Buddhist "earth"? ***) on it. Basically the linga was desecrated by Buddhists somehow. This shows that the pAShaNDa-s/Buddhists (another word for nAstika-s of various kinds including Buddhists & Jains but in this case Buddhists) were ready to put into practice the rants of people like tilopA by desecrating Hindu murti's/icons. But nowadays we are told (by commies and assorted enemies of Hindus) that it was the Astikas/Hindus who destroyed Buddhist temples/idols and Buddhism itself from India, to a borrow a term from the Muslims we are told that Hindus were the but (idol) shikhans (breakers) when it comes to Buddhists.

[/quote][Not related to my point, but:

** "yAna-s": I *think/guess* the reference is to the various Buddhisms, i.e. the hinayana, mahayana, vajrayana etc. And as the original quote also mentions the crazy sthaviravaadins, the ref "yaana-s" would then surely include all the Buddhisms that have appeared throughout history and not just the ones that are known to end on the -yana suffix. Thus the sentence might read "This type of attack is an original aspect of Buddhists that passed unchanged through the transition of <the various Buddhisms>". Or something. Or I interpreted it wrong all the while.

*** "dharaNi": dharaNi is a Buddhist spell, incantation. Or so I'd made out from the E Asian context.]

But I meant to refer to this line:

Quote:So the pAShaNDa-s were ready to put these words into practice.

In the context of:


Quote:The [Tibetan Buddhist] texts say terrible things about anyone who is against the [Bauddha] Dharma or against the said tradition [Buddhist sect]. Smash our enemies, trample them, tear their eyes out, etc.
(Actually, a lot of unpleasant things were said by Tibetan Buddhism about Bon.)

The words were not mere threats. Buddhism persecuted Bon so that many fled Tibet for some neighbouring countries. Called ethnic cleansing were anyone else to have done it.

It is not because of but in spite of Buddhism that Bon has survived.

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