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Previously redirected back to Lapchi. It doesn't really help much to indiscriminately link stuff together if one doesn't really know about them in the first place! TSD

Moved the personal comments over to the talk section: --- With the transplantation of Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet, many sacred places there were eventually identified as similar or identical with the Indian sites. A practice that the great Sakya Pandita greatly criticised. The sacred place of Lapchi for instance, one of the main practice spots of Jetsun Milarepa, was said to be the same as the Indian Godāvarī. Tsari was equated with Devīkoṭṭa or Devīkoṭi, Mount Kailash with Himāvat or Himālaya. In most sources, Oḍḍiyāna is said to be situated in the Swat valley in present-day Pakistan. However, in the biography of the Indian Siddha Buddhagupta-natha, we read of him travelling there and clearly situating it in the Gazhni region of present-day Afghanistan. Kāmarūpa corresponds to most of present-day Assam and Sindhu is said to be situated in the Sindh region of Pakistan. These are however to be taken with a pinch of salt. Neither early Indian masters nor Tibetan ones, either of the past or the present, seem ever to have completely agreed upon those locations. ---

What on earth makes this whole paragraph a "personal comment", except maybe for the last two sentences??? These are established and verifiable facts. Certainly the very first sentence on this discussion page is a "personal comment", that's why I put it here. Please explain! ---

Depending on the tradition there are specific locations for these places. Can't do much if the location names change, villages are deserted, rivers dry out and so forth. This wikipedia should not take any positions if something is right or wrong in the main topic section, the talk page is suitable for such discussions. ---


I beg to differ. I think we should take a very clear position. Particularly since there is so much misinformation out there, which many simply repeat without ever researching the facts. Even many of our younger upcoming translator colleagues do that, as have we, until we learned better through thorough research.

Now as to the somewhat different opinion about Oḍḍiyāna, and I think this is what you have in mind mainly, since Laphyi, Tsari and Mt. Kailash etc. are hardly disputed: my statement is based on the writings of Jetsun Taranatha, who received this information from his teacher Buddhagupta-natha, who certainly was the last known "eyewitness" and traveller in this parts so to speak. For all the many vague accounts of Oḍḍiyāna, its features and location, Buddhagupta-natha seems to have been the only one who ever gave us clear indications as to how he got there and where it is. All this is found in Taranatha's biography of him, entitled "grub chen buddha gupta’i rnam thar rje btsun nyid kyi zhal lung las gzhan du rang rtog gi dri mas ma sbags pa’i yi ge yang dag pa", and found in volumes 17 in both redactions of Taranatha's Collected Works. He first mentions a city in West Punjab which can be identified as Multan, southwest of Lahore, in present-day Pakistan. Then on to Afghanistan's capital Kabul and on to Khorasan in the Northeast province of Iran (with Mashed for its main city).

This is followed by Afghanistan's northeastern province of Badakshan which is identical with the Panshir valley, inhabited then as now by Tadjik speakers. Finally he reports how he got to Kosht which is very near Ghazni. As was the order of the day back then, Buddhagupta-natha identifies the inhabitants of these five regions as "Mongols" who long ago invaded (or immigrated) from "Upper Hor", who speak Tadjik and Turkish and who were Muslims. He goes on to state that each of these five regions border on Oḍḍiyāna.

Oḍḍiyāna then is his next destination, and he describes how he came down from Mt. Ilo/Ilam which is east of Swat, after which he goes on to stay in Dhumi-stira, Oḍḍiyāna's capital and only town, located in the centre of the region. He informs us how there are four approach routes to Oḍḍiyāna, extending over a distance of two days travel from east to west, and four days travel from north to south. But Oḍḍiyāna also comprises a number of outer regions which he defines as "extremely vast". They stretch all the way to the five regions which he has mentioned before and up to the ones which he lists next. In the East, South and West, Buddhagupta-natha tells us, there are three lakes. Now, there are two possibilities: either he is still talking about Oḍḍiyāna proper, or he speaks about the outer regions. The latter is more likely and these lakes would then be the famous ones of Band-i-Amir west of Bamyan. Indeed his next entry seems to suggest exactly this.

There he mentions a route between the eastern and southern lakes to Balkh, a few miles west of Mazar-i-Sharif in the central part of northern Afghanistan and quite a considerable distance from Mt. Ilo/Ilam. According to Taranatha, Balkh (once conquered by Alexander the Great) was a sacred buddhist site once upon a time. Eventually leaving the region, Buddhagupta-natha tells us how he travelled back East towards neighboring Kashmir. So now we are in a position much better to define the general area of Oḍḍiyāna on a map. No better description exist and another is highly unlikely to emerge.

Best, TSD