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Oḍḍiyāna


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A small country in early medieval India associated with the rise of tantric Buddhism. Its actual location is open to dispute. Many scholars conventionally place it in the Swāt Valley region of present-day Pakistan although a case on literary, archaeological, and iconographical grounds may be made for locating it in the east of India in present-day Orissa. On this understanding the name derives from the Dravidian Oṭṭtiyan, meaning a native of Oḍra (Orissa) or from Oṭṭiyam, Telegu for Oḍra. However, Oḍḍiyāna is also the Middle Indic form of Udyāna, the name by which Hsüan Tsang knew the region (he translates it as ‘garden’). It was said to be a kingdom ruled by several kings each of whom bore the name Indrabhūti, and was visited by several key figures in the later history of tantric Buddhism, among them Padmasambhava. In later Tibetan traditions, the country tends to be viewed more as a mythical divine land, akin to Shambhala.inhabited by ḍākinīs and inaccessible to ordinary mortals. See also Kāñcī; Sahor.

Subjects: Buddhism.


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