Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Kingdom of Yavana and Ol-mo-lung-ring/Stag-gzig


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"If we follow the scheme of the Eighteen Great Countries, and assume that ’Ol-mo-lung-ring is, as many later sources say, in some way identical with Stag-gzig, we see that Stag-gzig is to the west of Tibet, and is bordered by the smaller areas of Gilgit and Yavana (Bactria). This would point to an area stretching from present-day north Pakistan to Takhar (equivalent to Tibetan Tho-gar, which shouldn’t be confused with the Thod-dkar which borders China, although both names seem to come from a single ethnonym, and are in fact occasionally confused in Bon sources) in northeastern Afghanistan, and possibly including areas still further to the south.".......Martin, Dan. (1999). "'Ol-mo-lung-ring, the Original Holy Place." In: Sacred Spaces and Powerful Places In Tibetan Culture: A Collection of Essays. (1999)

"Yavana or Yona is a community in Hindu mythology. They are grouped under western countries along with Sindhu, Madra, Kekeya, Gandhara and Kamboja as per the descriptions in the epic Mahabharata. This word is also used in Indian history to indicate Greeks and later Arabs from 7th century AD."

"Manjushri Yashas (Tib. Rigdan Tagpa) is said to have been born in 159 BC and ruled over a kingdom of 300,510 followers of the Mlechha (Yavana or "western") religion, some of whom worshipped the sun. He is said to have expelled all the heretics from his dominions but later, after hearing their petitions, allowed them to return. For their benefit, and the benefit of all living beings, he explained the Kalachakra teachings. In 59 BC he abdicated his throne to his son, Puṇdaŕika, and died soon afterwards, entering the Sambhoga-káya of Buddhahood.".... Das, Sarat Chandra (1882). Contributions on the Religion and History of Tibet, in Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal

"Yona" is a Pali word used in ancient India to designate Greek speakers. Its equivalent in Sanskrit is the word "Yavana". "Yona" and "Yavana" are both transliterations of the Greek word for "Ionians" (Homer Iāones, older *Iāwones), who were probably the first Greeks to be known in the East......Several references to the Yonas are found in ancient Indian documents and monuments including the following:
The mention of the "Yona king Antiochus" in the Edicts of Ashoka (280 B.C.E.)
The mention of the "Yona king Antialcidas" in the Heliodorus pillar in Vidisha (110 B.C.E.)
King Menander and his bodyguard of "500 Yonas" in the Milinda Panha.
The description of Greek astrology and Greek terminology in the Yavanajataka ("Sayings of the Yavanas") (150 C.E.).
The mention of "Alexandria, the city of the Yonas" in the Mahavamsa, Chapter 29 (fourth century C.E.).

"Persians used the word Yauna or Yavanu
Egyptians used the word j-w-n(-n)-’
Assyrians used the word Iawanu
Persians used the word Yauna or Yavanu
Indians - used the word Yavana in the Mahabharata and other historic texts.
Sri Lankans - used the word Yona in the Mahavamsa ("Great Chronicle") and other historic texts.
In Biblical writings, the word was Yāvān (and still is, in modern Israeli Hebrew - יוון)
In Arabic and Turkish it is Yunan

The "Yona" Greek king of 'India' Menander (160–135 BCE). Inscription in Greek: "BASILEŌS SOTĒROS MENANDROU", lit. "of Saviour King Menander".

"The same basic scheme of the Eighteen Great Countries is found in three other Bon histories, as well as in one fourteenth-century Bon commentary on the Mdzod Phug (often with good reason called the ‘Bon Abhidharma’). Two of these sources refer back to a work called Rtsa ’Grel, or ‘Root Commentary’, which is supposed to have been excavated in about the mid-twelfth century, but is not now available to us. For present purposes, we would like to draw particular attention to the location of Stag-gzig to the west of Tibet, touching on Gilgit and Yavana (Bactria). We have also noted the existence of a very similar scheme of Nine Great Countries in both the Rgya Bod Yig-tshang (composed in the year 1434) and the ‘Guide to the Derge Tanjur’ by Zhu-chen (1974: II 15), both deriving from an earlier, but not currently available, biography of Śākyamuni Buddha by Bcom-ldan Rig-ral (who flourished in the second half of the thirteenth century). There are still other indications that the Eighteen Great Countries idea was known to Chos writers.".....Martin, Dan. (1999). "'Ol-mo-lung-ring, the Original Holy Place." In: Sacred Spaces and Powerful Places In Tibetan Culture: A Collection of Essays. (1999)

"An example of a ‘triple’ geocentrism is Dbraston (ca. 1930). According to this geographical work, the ‘geographic center’ (sa-tshigs-kyi yul dbus) is Mt. Kailash, which itself might be identified as two different places, either Mt. Ti-se in western Tibet, or the Ti-se of Stag-gzig, which Indians call both Ka-bi-la (Kabul? Kapita?) and Kê-la-sha. The latter is located on the opposite side of the Shi-ta river that forms the boundary of Shambhala. The second center, the ‘Bon center’ (bon-tshigs-kyi yul dbus) is the place called Shambhala by the Indians, Bde-ba-can by the inhabitants of O-rgyan, and by the Tibetans Northwest ’Ol-mo’i-gling. This place is further identified with Stag-gzig. The third center, the ‘place that accords with being a Bon center’ (bon-tshigs-kyi yul dbus rjes-mthun) is identified with the two countries of Zhang-zhung and Tibet (Zhang Bod gnyis)."........Martin, Dan. (1999). "'Ol-mo-lung-ring, the Original Holy Place." In: Sacred Spaces and Powerful Places In Tibetan Culture: A Collection of Essays. (1999)

"Reading the Nahum Pesher .....reference to a king likely to be Demetrius, King of "Yavan" (= Greece); Demetrius wanted to enter Jerusalem, but could not for "God did not deliver Jerusalem into the the hand of the kings of Yavan from Antiochus up to the appearance of the chiefs of the Kittim" ..... Judaism of the Second Temple Period, Volume 2....By David Flusser

"The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom covering various parts of the northwest regions of the Indian subcontinent (modern Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Western India) during the last two centuries BC, and was ruled by more than 30 kings, often in conflict with each other.....The kingdom was founded when the Graeco-Bactrian king Demetrius invaded the subcontinent early in the 2nd century BC. The Greeks in South Asia were eventually divided from the Graeco-Bactrians centered in Bactria (now the border between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan)."

"The Yavanajātaka (Sanskrit: yavana 'Greek' + jātaka 'nativity' = 'nativity according to the Greeks') of Sphujidhvaja is an ancient text in Indian astrology......It is a later versification of an earlier translation into Sanskrit of a Greek text, thought to have been written around 120 BCE in Alexandria, on horoscopy. The original translation, made in 149–150 CE by "Yavanesvara" ("Lord of the Greeks") under the rule of the Western Kshatrapa king Rudrakarman I, is lost. Only a substantial portion of the versification 120 years later by Sphujidhvaja under Rudrasena II has survived......Yavanajataka is the earliest known Sanskrit work referencing western horoscopy. It was followed by other works of Western origin which greatly influenced Indian astrology: the Paulisa Siddhanta ("Doctrine of Paul"), and the Romaka Siddhanta ("Doctrine of the Romans"). However the earliest known sanskrit work on horoscopy is Vedanga Jyotisha....It was translated by David Pingree into English, which was published as volume 48 of the Harvard Oriental Series in 1978.".....David Pingree, "Jyotiḥśāstra", Jan Gonda (ed) A History of Indian Literature, Vol, VI Fasc. 4, Otto Harrassowitz — Wiesbaden, 1981

"Mc Evilley "The shape of ancient thought", p385 ("The Yavanajataka is the earliest surviving Sanskrit text in horoscopy, and constitute the basis of all later Indian developments in horoscopy", himself quoting David Pingree "The Yavanajataka of Sphujidhvaja" p5).....The last verses of the Yavanajātaka text describe the role of Yavanasvera in the creation of the text, and the role of Sphujidhvaja in its subsequent versification:......."Previously Yavanesvara (the lord of the Greeks), whose vision of the truth came by favor of the Sun and whose language is flawless, translated this ocean of words, this jewel-mine of horoscopy, which was guarded by its being written in his tongue (i.e., Greek), but the truth of which was seen by the foremost of kings (in the year) 71; (he translated) this science of genethlialogy for the instruction of the world by means of excellent words." (Chapter 79/60-61 The Yavanajataka of Sphujidhvaja) "There was a wise king named Sphujidhvaja who versified this entire (text), which was seen by him in the year 191, in 4,000 indravajra verses." (Chapter 79/62 The Yavanajataka of Sphujidhvaja)........The dates employed in the Yavanajataka are based on the Saka era (see Chapter 79/14 "When 66 years of the Sakas have elapsed..."), meaning that the translation of the text into Sanskrit was made by Yavanasvera in 149 CE (year 71 of the Saka era, which starts in 78 CE). Accordingly, the versification by Sphujidhvaja was made in 269 CE."....."The shape of ancient thought", Thomas McEvilley

"....A foreign king of the Kala- yavana (Indo-Scythian) race soon invaded the Yadu, or Aryan, territory, whereupon Krishna built and fortified the town of Dwaraka, in Guzerat, and thither transferred the inhabitants of Mathura..."....A Classical Dictionary of India: Illustrative of the Mythology, Philosophy ...Page 343.....By John Garrett

"Menander I Soter.....of the Indo-Greek Kingdom (165/[2]/155[2] –130 BC) who established a large empire in South Asia and became a patron of Buddhism......Menander was born in the Caucasus, and was initially a king of Bactria. He eventually established an empire in the Indian subcontinent stretching from the Kabul River valley in the west to the Ravi River in the east, and from the Swat River valley in the north to Arachosia (the Helmand Province). Ancient Indian writers indicate that he launched expeditions southward into Rajasthan and as far east down the Ganges River Valley as Pataliputra (Patna), and the Greek geographer Strabo wrote that he "conquered more tribes than Alexander the Great."



John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….November 2014


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