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In recent decades the relationship between tantric traditions of Buddhism and Śaivism has been the subject of sustained scholarly enquiry.
This article looks at a specific aspect of this relationship, that between Buddhist and Śaiva traditions of practitioners of physical yoga, which came to be categorised in Sanskrit texts as and whose teachings are found in many subsequent non-Buddhist works, the article draws on a range of textual and material sources to identify the Konkan site of Kadri as a key location for the transition from Buddhist to Nāth Śaiva It has long been recognised by indologists that Vajrayāna Buddhist and Nāth1 Śaiva traditions have much in common, in particular adepts, sacred sites and metaphysical terminology.
This last episode includes an echo of the popular Tibetan story in which Virūpākṣa stops the sun in its course until the king pays the bill for his drinks.39 Here he falls for one of the women of Kāñcī and, in order to impress her, grabs the moon and makes it into a goblet with which to ply her with drink.
Thus he says that Jayabhadra lived for some time at Mahābimba,79 describes Jñānapāda’s visit to Pālitapāda and his initiation into the , went to Suvarṇadhvaja in the Konkan, which was “...a noble well-proportioned place. There were about fifty fully ordained monks there and at most about one thousand upasakas”.83 Subsequently “[t]he monks of Maharata and Kongkuna invited him and he went to all their temples giving empowerments, upadesas, alms, sermons on the tantras, etc., and he clearly explained the Vajrayana teachings”.84These references to a flourishing Vajrayāna tradition in 16th-century Konkan are intriguing, but are likely to be garbled reports from earlier times.
In Tāranātha’s detailed account of the travels of his guru Buddhaguptanātha, he writes the following: are largely diffused.
The gods become concerned and, at Brahmā’s instruction, go to Virūpākṣa and sing his praises, at which he puts the moon back in its rightful place.
With this, the historical trail left in India by Virūpākṣa goes cold,40 but he has left enough clues for a tentative identification of the region in which his teachings were transmitted from Vajrayāna Buddhism to Nāth Śaivism.