Oddiyana

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Oḍḍiyāna (Skt. Oḍḍiyāna; Tibetan: ཨུ་རྒྱན་Wylie: u rgyan, Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଆଣ), a small country in early medieval India, is ascribed importance in the development and dissemination of Vajrayana Buddhism.[1] The physical location of Oḍḍiyāna is disputed and open to conjecture.[2] Possible locations that have been identified are:

  • Odisha[3] in Eastern India, through a case founded upon "literary, archeological and iconographic evidence" according to Keown et al. (2003: p. 203). Scholars championing this location contend that the name Oḍḍiyāna derives from the Dravidian Oṭṭiyan, denoting a native or indigenous person of Oḍra (Odisha) or from Oṭṭiyam, Telugu for Oḍra. Oḍḍiyāna is also the Middle Indic form of Udyāna "garden," the name by which Xuanzang knew the region around Odisha.[4]
  • In later Tibetan traditions, Oḍḍiyāna is either conflated or identified with Shambhala, a land inhabited by dakinis and inaccessible to or by ordinary mortals - a beyul "hidden land".[5]

Conflation of Indrabhuti related to conflation of Oddiyana[edit]

Confusion about the identity of Oddiyana is conflated with confusion about the identity of Indrabhuti as Donaldson (2001: p. 11) observes:

In his argument, P. C. Bagchi states that there are two distinct series of names in Tibetan: (1) O-rgyān, U-rgyān, O-ḍi-yā-na, and (2) O-ḍi-vi-śā, with the first series connected with Indrabhūti, i.e., Oḍiyăna and Uḍḍiyāna, while the second series falls back on Oḍi and Oḍiviśa, i.e., Uḍra (Odisha) and has nothing to do with Indrabhūti. N.K. Sahu objects, however, and points out that these two sets of names are seldom distinguished in Buddhist Tantra literature, and opines that the words Oḍa, Oḍra, Uḍra, Oḍiviśa and Oḍiyāna are all used as variants of Uḍḍiyāna. In the Sādhanamālā, he further points out, Uḍḍiyāna is also spelt as Oḍrayāna while in the Kālikā Purāṇa, as indicated earlier, it is spelt either Uḍḍiyāna or Oḍra. There is also evidence, Sahu continues, that Indrabhūti is the king of Odisha rather than of the Swāt valley. The Caturāsiti-siddha-Pravṛtti, for example, mentions him as the king of Oḍiviśa while Cordier, in his Bṣtān-ḥgyur catalogue, gives sufficient indications of his being the king of Orissa. Also, in his famous work Jñānasiddhi, king Indrabhūti opens it with an invocation to Lord Jagannātha, a deity intimately associated with Odisha and with no other area of India.[6]

Orgyan or Orgyen[edit]

In the 'Seven Line Prayer' (of Padmasambhava) revealed in Jigme Lingpa's terma of the Ngöndro of the Longchen Nyingthig and throughout the Longchen Nyingtig Ngondro, Oddiyana is rendered in the form Tibetan: ཨོ་རྒྱནWylie: o rgyan.

Tibetan Buddhism[edit]

In Tibetan Buddhist literature, Oḍḍiyāna is described as being ruled by several kings each of whom were named Indrabhūti.[7]

A number of Vajrayana and Tantric practitioners are said to have stayed and practiced there. In Mahayana folklore, the first Vajrayana teachings were supposedly given there by Shakyamuni Buddha, at the request of King Indrabodhi.[8]

Udyāna[edit]

Udyāna (Sanskrit, meaning garden or orchard; Chinese pinyin: wu chang, also romanized as Woo-chang) was a Buddhist region in northern India, delimited in part by the Indus River and to the south by a region known as Soo-ho-to. Prakrit was spoken.[citation needed]

The area is said to have supported some 500 Sthavira Buddhist monasteries, at which travelling monks were provided lodgings and food for three days. It is said Buddha's footprint could be found there (refer petrosomatoglyph), a rock on which he dried his clothes and a place where he 'converted' a Naga.

It is said that the two schools derived from the Sthaviras, the Dharmaguptaka and Kāśyapīya, were established in this area. Both of these schools had proto-Mahayana doctrines.

Udyāna is of vital importance in the Vajrayana schools of Buddhism, as most of the later tantras are identified as originating there.

Possible locations of Udyāna that have been identified is the modern day Mahanadi and Baitarani basin in Odisha, India[9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Keown, Damien (ed.) with Hodge, Stephen; Jones, Charles; Tinti, Paola (2003). A Dictionary of Buddhism. Great Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press. P.203. ISBN 0-19-860560-9
  2. ^ Keown, Damien (ed.) with Hodge, Stephen; Jones, Charles; Tinti, Paola (2003). A Dictionary of Buddhism. Great Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press. P.203. ISBN 0-19-860560-9
  3. ^ Keown, Damien (ed.) with Hodge, Stephen; Jones, Charles; Tinti, Paola (2003). A Dictionary of Buddhism. Great Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press. P.203. ISBN 0-19-860560-9
  4. ^ Keown, Damien (ed.) with Hodge, Stephen; Jones, Charles; Tinti, Paola (2003). A Dictionary of Buddhism. Great Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press. P.203. ISBN 0-19-860560-9
  5. ^ Keown, Damien (ed.) with Hodge, Stephen; Jones, Charles; Tinti, Paola (2003). A Dictionary of Buddhism. Great Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press. P.203. ISBN 0-19-860560-9
  6. ^ Donaldson, Thomas E. (2001). 'Iconography of the Buddhist Sculpture of Orissa: Text', Volume 1 of Iconography of the Buddhist Sculpture of Orissa, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 81-7017-375-2, ISBN 978-81-7017-375-5 Source: [1] (accessed: Tuesday February 2, 2010), p.11
  7. ^ Keown, Damien (ed.) with Hodge, Stephen; Jones, Charles; Tinti, Paola (2003). A Dictionary of Buddhism. Great Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press. P.203. ISBN 0-19-860560-9
  8. ^ Nyingma History
  9. ^ Sambalpur#History

References[edit]