User talk:Objectivesea

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Welcome

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Again, welcome! John Vandenberg 11:27, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Non english pages[edit]

Thank you for helping us work out what to do with our texts that are not English.

As you appear to be familiar with those languages, it would be great if you created accounts on those Wikisource and help their communities grow as well. John Vandenberg 11:27, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

I've finished moving "I am a Cat" onto the Japanese Wikisource project.
Thank you for that. I'll have a look at it tomorrow, and if there are other useful tasks I can do for some foreign-language Wikisource projects, I will be happy to participate. I was born in Denmark and am reading-fluent in Norwegian, Danish and French. I read German reasonably well with the aid of a dictionary. After emigrating to Canada I achieved complete reading, speaking and writing ability in English. Currently I am interested in learning Esperanto; I read it fairly easily because of its similarity to other European languages with which I have familiarity, but I do not yet produce writing in Esperanto. I'm gaining some familiarity with Wiki-coded tables and templates; I readily recognize the language something is in from various internal clues even if I have no other knowledge of the language; I didn't know till today that this very limited skill was useful to Wiki projects.
Objectivesea 12:34, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Based on the information you have provided, I have added a {{Babel}} box to User:Objectivesea.
A full list of our foreign-language Wikisource projects can be seen at m:Wikisource. The Danish and Norwegian projects are both very small, with only about 500 "good" pages (compare to this English project which has 69500 good pages). These small projects need all the help they can get. John Vandenberg 13:41, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
The "Multilingual" Wikisource is a dumping ground of any language which does not yet warrant its own project, usually because there are so few Wiki contributors who currently speak it that is untenable to set up a dedicated project. With your skills
Now, Te Karere O Nui Tireni is Maori, and we do not have a special project for that, which means that it needs to be moved onto our "Multilingual" Wikisource project. Before I do that, are you capable/interested in doing translations of any of these texts into English? John Vandenberg 12:09, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, John. I don't speak Maori. I just enjoy a spot of proofreading now and then, and I checked the Wikisource text against a scanned image of the newspaper page at the Niupepa Maori Newspapers site. There is a text summary in English available as well. Would you like me to add some information from there to the Wikisource page?
Objectivesea 12:34, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I only write & speak English (and rely on a shelve of translation dictionaries to read anything else), so there is no need to be sorry :-) Don't bother to add any information to the Maori page yet -- once it has been moved to the right location, you can add additional information there. John Vandenberg 13:41, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

The Bhagavad Gita[edit]

I have imported Sacred Books of the East from Wikipedia, and started to clean it up to suit Wikisource.

From your changes to The Bhagavad Gita, it looks like it needs to be renamed. A few options:

Ideally we want to choose a new name that is stable - we dont want to have to rename it again in a few years when another work with the same name enters the public domain. As far as I can see, they are all unique. The first two options are a typical naming convention on Wikisource for multi-volume works, but it isnt a "standard". Your thoughts on the last two alternatives? Are there other options? John Vandenberg 09:11, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't have immediate access to the Sacred Books of the East series (they will be found in any good graduate library), but my recollection is that each volume is the translation of an entire work like a single Purana (out of a total of 18 Mahapuranas, plus several dozen more upa-puranas), a group of Upanishads, the Dhammapada, or one of the four Vedas, etc. The Puranas often contain (relatively) small texts such as this 18-chapter glorification of the Bhagavad-gita. Many scholars believe that such Glorifications or Mahatmyas are insertions by pious brahmins written at a later date than the main body of the Purana in which they appear. Other scholars believe that their separate existence is due simply to their popularity, and that they were therefore extracted from the larger work. Regardless, the present 18-chapter text is NOT the entire Padma Purana by any stretch, but only a tiny, tiny subset of it. So the only utility of the first proposal would be as a Category:Sacred Books of the East item to add to the bottom of each page in the series,
I have read several versions of the Bhagavad-gita, and they are all retellings of a conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The Bhagavad-gita itself does NOT form a part of the Padma-Purana, but is instead either inserted into or extracted from the Mahabharata (a massive epic of India comparable in length to the Iliad and the Odyssey combined). So I think the second alternative will not be correct. Telang may quite possibly have translated a Bhagavad-gita, but if he did, this is not it.
Either of the last two alternatives will accurately convey what sort of text this is. Version 3, however, has the advantage of specifying WHICH Bhagavad-gītā-Māhātmyam we are talking about. Ṥrīpāda Sankarācharya, a very important Indian teacher (the founder of Monistic or Advaita Vedanta) has written a Bhagavad-gītā-Māhātmyam of his own. That is an utterly different work than this one from the Padma Purana. Sankarācharya's Bhagavad-gītā-Māhātmyam is a lyrical poem which compared the Upanishads to cows and which compares Arjuna to their milker.
The ideal solution would be to go with version 3, along with a cross-reference like a Wikipedia disambiguation page leading people either to the poem by Sankaracharya or to the text from the Padma Purana (and, potentially, to other Mahatmyams if they exist and are eventually published).

Objectivesea 09:42, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the detailed explanation. I'll wait an hour or so, so you have time to finish changing the pages of this work, and then I'll do the page moves and create the disambiguation page. John Vandenberg 10:28, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I forgot to mention that the SBE can be found here. I'll check back here before I do any page renamed in case you have changed/refined your opinion on the ideal page names after seeing their transcription of vol. 8. John Vandenberg 10:31, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer to this great reference source. Unfortunately, it appears to deepen the mystery. Looking at Sacred Books of the East (volume 8) reveals that it does in fact contain, inter alia, a Bhagavad-gita translation by Telang. Nowhere in the online volume 8, however, can I readily discover our Wikisource Mahatmya. There are the standard 18 Bhagavad-gita chapters, along with footnotes, but no glorifications. It is possible that these glorifications or mahatmyas may exist in the printed volumes but not in the on-line or DVD-ROM series. Since a portion of the 18th mahatmya is clearly missing from the text supplied to Wikisource, I suppose I can either check at the University of Victoria library or we can ask the original uploader if he or she has additional text to supply. However, I have done all that I can on this project for now, so please go ahead with your moving and renaming as you think best. Regards, Erik

Objectivesea 10:56, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Oh what a mess. yes, I see now that the text doesnt match the SBE edition.
Just looking at chapter one, I have found a few other possible matches: [1] [2] (click "full story", attributed to Sri Vyasa Muni ), and [3].
I dont feel comfortable moving the pages unless we can work out who/when wrote this edition, becaues if the translator is not known, the copyright is also not known.
We would be better spending our time copying the SBE edition, or working on the Arnold edition which is also in the public domain. John Vandenberg 12:59, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, John. The first two Internet URLs you provide are both postings from 2005, whilst the third URL is from a 2003 posting. None of them seem to provide reliable authorship information. They are all quite similar in content and tone. I'll visit my university library again in January, and I'll try to get a bit more information on provenance and copyright in the meantime. I agree that moving things around or changing the authorship is not wise at this point.
(By the way, Sri Vyasa Muni or Sri Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva is the "traditional author" of nearly all ancient Sanskrit literature. Occasionally, more modern authors wil attribute authorship to Vyasadeva in order to lend additional importance or perceived sanctity to their writings. A lot of this stuff comes from a time when the widest dissemination of a text was the goal, not the earnings of publication royalties. Authors from the 16th through to the 19th century would deliberately not provide their own name with the text, believing that having the name of Vyasadeva attached to it instead would give the text an aura of greater credibility. We may never find the name of the actual author if that is the case, but we may be able to find that it has a publication history going back over 100 years, in which case it will be public-domain and publishable anyway.)

Objectivesea 17:37, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Of the four alternatives provided I'm inclined to some variation of the fourth option. The fact that it is at least about the Gita makes this the most important point to be presented about the work. Müller's Sacred Books of the East in an anthology of some very important works on Asian thought, often presented with a great deal of additional commentary. Each of them is more than that in itself, and the volumes were and continue to be sold separately. It is far more important to be linked with other versions of the Gita, than to be tied to Victorian perceptions about all these works.
In one sense a Purana is also an anthology of unrelated works. It is a broader term than the already huge Mahabharata and Ramayana which can both be considered as puranas. I also don't think that we should dwell on the fact that the Gita is part of the Mahabharata. The Gita has distinguished itself from the other parts of the Mahabharata even more than Psalms has distinguished itself from othe books pf the Bible. By attempting to reverently anglicize the term "mahatmya" as "glories" the third option imparts meanings that may me either more or less than what the Sanskrit intended.
I don't think that many of us favour the second option. It has already been stated that this text is more than just the Gita, and we can hardly ignor that distinction.
The fourth option makes it clear that these are commentaries about the Gita. It leaves room for multiple levels of disambiguation as required, first for the works of different commentators, and second for the various translators. Eclecticology 02:07, 10 December 2007 (UTC)