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Hindi ?[edit]

I have removed Hindi from the first line of the article. Only Sanskrit is required; Hindi is not a liturgical language of Hinduism. However, my removal was reverted. on what rationale? (talk) 14:45, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Because "Avatara" is not an alternate English language spelling of the word avatar in any dictionary. I have consulted the Unabridged Random Hhouse Dictionary of the English Language, and it does not give "Avatara." Nor do online dictionaries. See here and here. So while it may be found spelled like this, it is actually an incorrect spelling. And it is the job of Wikipedia to follow the correct form(s) of spelling in English. This is why I removed that portion. Dazedbythebell (talk) 15:22, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Also consulted the Oxford English Dictionary, Clarendon Press, Oxford (twenty volumes), and it also does not give the alternate English spelling "avatara." I have no problem with your removing the Hindu spelling, and left it as you have it. However the word should be bolded only as it appears in the English language on the English Language Wikipedia. Dazedbythebell (talk) 15:35, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
This is not an English dictionary entry; rather an article on a "technical term of Hinduism". I cannot come to terms with your insistence on using only the English term; the original Sanskrit term is also important. English Language Wikipedia does not mean each and every word that appears in it must be in linguistically pure English; it can have an English transliteration of the Sanskrit term. If your argument were to be taken universally in Wikipedia, we cannot even have articles on Hindu terms that do not have an English name. (A couple of references you could use - Besant, Annie "What Is an Avatara?" ISBN-1161548327; Chari, Srinivasa (1994) "Vaiṣṇavism: its philosophy, theology, and religious discipline" p.212 ISBN-8120810988). (talk) 17:58, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm confused. The Sanskrit transliteration is there along with the Devanagari. I see no reason for redundancy. olderwiser 18:42, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Bkonrad. The Sanskrit is already given at the top. And as it is currently, it is stated clearly as Sanskrit as it ought to be. Annie Besant (1847-1933) was using a transliteration of the Sanskrit before it had a standard English spelling, which it does now in both the Unabridged Oxford Dictionary and the Encyclopedia Britanica. Here I copy verbatim from The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th Edition, 2010: avatar, Sanskrit AVATĀRA ("descent"), in Hinduism, the incarnation of a deity... Also, in the 19th and early 20th century there were many ways to transliterate Eastern terms that were new to the West, before these were standardized, and when no English term existed. Dazedbythebell (talk) 15:05, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

I myself only learned while doing this research that "avatar" is the right English spelling. And that avatāra is the proper transliteration from the Sanskrit. I doubt there was an English language spelling for it when Annie Besant was writing. Dazedbythebell (talk) 15:17, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
When i did a Google Books search for the string "Avatara" ([1]); i find many books that use the term in English language sentences. Do i need to cite one of them to include the term in the article. (talk) 08:39, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

All this would establish are ways that the word is incorrectly spelled, by people mirroring one another, or that it once had another common spelling. However, this does not change the current proper spelling. Such alternate spellings would not belong in the lead paragraph of the article. If there was a consensus to do so a Known also as section could be included further down in the article. You could see how many people would be in favor of such a section if you feel this is that important a concern. Dazedbythebell (talk) 19:04, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand what is attemped here. To me it looks like this misspelling should belong to a "most common errors" section or something like this, although I doubt it is necessary. Hoverfish Talk 19:27, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

The latinization of the Greek name for Hermes is "Ermis", for Aphrodite it is Aphroditi", for Iliad it is "Ilias" or "Iliada", for Odysseus (aka Ulysses) it is "Odysseas", for Socrates it is "Socratis", for Aristotle it is "Aristotelis", for Euclid it is "Euclidis" and I could list many more famous names and terms. However all these are latinizations of the Greek words, NOT the established English word. What good would it do if I tried to find books written that spell these names as the Greek sound would dictate and then claim they are valid alternate English spellings? Is it proper to correct English words by making them sound exactly like the Greeks pronounce the names? The same case is true here. Hoverfish Talk 21:46, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Requested move 3[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Favonian (talk) 12:34, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

AvatarAvatara – Standard and appropriate Sanskrit term. (talk) 19:52, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose -- the term in common use in English is Avatar. olderwiser 21:08, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- the common English language spelling of this term, even in its Hindu sense, is as presented (Avatar). Dazedbythebell (talk) 23:04, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- Oppose as per Bkonrad & Dazedbythebell. Hoverfish Talk 23:09, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- WTF? Oppose as per Bkonrad & Dazedbythebell & Hoverfish.--Nemonoman (talk) 23:12, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This encyclopedia is not written in Sanskrit. Those who want a Sanskrit wikipedia should go write one; those who wish to be accurate in representing Sanskrit will use avatāra. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:52, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose As per dictionary and encyclopaedias (cited in earlier move, please see above), common spelling is avatar. --Redtigerxyz Talk 05:27, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Rest my case. (talk) 14:43, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The Sankritised spelling in English should be used and not any other version[edit]

The reasoning is quite simple. These are Sanskrit terms that have been mutilated when used in other languages. So the Sankritised spelling will always be RIGHT and CORRECT despite what anybody else has to say. The purpose of any self- respecting encyclopedia should be to PRESERVE correctness instead of pandering to popular or "common spelling". If the encyclopedia shows the right spelling, people will in TIME mirror it. TheOnlyEmperor (talk) 11:07, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Heaven does not apply in this theological context[edit]

No published reliable source says that the Avatar is a descent from "heaven." This is a Christian concept that does not apply in this theological context in Hinduism. The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy says, Skt., lit. "descent"; an incarnation of divine consciousness on earth. (The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion, Shambhala Books, Boston, 1994). And the Oxford Dictionary says, The descent of a deity to earth in an incarnate form. (The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1989). The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy goes on to say, "According to the traditional Hindu view, it is Vishnu alone who is incarnated." (p. 25) Vishnu does not reside in heaven like Jesus does in Christian theology. In Hinduism heaven is a place between births, but the goal of life is moksha, after which perfection is reached and there is no residing of any such sort. Dazedbythebell (talk) 20:01, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Recent edit in Avatar[edit]

Hi Redtigerxyz, I saw the IP edit in Avatar before you reverted it. I did not revert because I am not sure if the part aboutDocetism is correct here. There is a citation of course, but the association of the term seems to me to be the opinion of E.G. Parrinder. I have never seen it mentioned in Hinduism that Krishna or Rama were pure spirits and not real persons in the flesh. The way it is writen, I think it is pushing this opinion as fact, or even confusing. Hoverfish Talk 08:55, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Rama and Krishna are regarded as human beings, real persons in the flesh who were born and died. I could not read all the three references, found one of them [2]: which says Incarnation is a permanent state, that is - Jesus never merges back into God the Father, but retains his existence. In contrast, Rama and Krishna in Vishnu-centric beliefs die and their spirit merges back into Vishnu, which compared to Docetism. The other Sheth is available on JSTOR. If we can get our hands on it, we can understand better what Sheth talks about the translation of avatar as incarnation. --Redtigerxyz Talk 10:11, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

The "according to" makes it somewhat better. Still I find it misleading that in the section "Etymology and meaning" this association to Docetism is made, because that article makes it most central that the avatar is incorporeal, pure spirit, and the text given here seems to suggest exactly this: as different from the idea of God 'in the flesh'. This does correspond to p.111 of the book, which contains the only mention of Docetism I can locate. I feel this is more relevant to "Incarnation: similar conceptions in other religions", which BTW has been placed in the See Also section. Hoverfish Talk 11:33, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Ambiguous hatnote[edit]

The other part of the hatnote was recently added by Y12J, but I don't see why it shouldn't be there. It's better to have a specific, helpful hatnote than an unnecessarily ambiguous disambiguation link, which isn't the purpose of one. - M0rphzone (talk) 21:07, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

If it's systematic bias then it should simply be the disambiguation page. To add one more 'choice' is just as biased. I tend to agree that selecting the movie of all disambiguation choices is biased. However, let us try to reach a consensus here. For this is a very important term. Here are all the uses of the term. How can adding one more from this long list eliminate bias? Dazedbythebell (talk) 21:47, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
I was just going to turn it into a link to the disambig instead of only referencing the Avatar movie. I'll just do that now. - M0rphzone (talk) 06:31, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Btw I'm sure you know there are a few primary topics with the most views (search results and page view counts/redirect counts also show it). Many others in the list were merely added to populate the disambig page. - M0rphzone (talk) 06:35, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
If it's all right with the film fans, a simple dab link is fine with me. Thank you. Hoverfish Talk 12:26, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I also think the disambiguation is better. The problem with this term in the past is all the arguments that happen over which are important. The movie was there due to search results as I remember it. But I think the disambiguation is best. Dazedbythebell (talk) 14:30, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Balarama or Buddha[edit]

Reference number 27 clearly states that Buddha will be born in Kali Yuga. He may be considered by some as an avatar of Vishnu. But he is definitely not part of Dashavatara. Balarama and Krishna were born in Dwapara Yuga. The eight avatar is Balarama and the ninth is Krishna. If you visited Hindu houses during Navaratri festival, you will find dolls of various Gods being placed in steps (called kolu). There is a dasavatar dolls in almost all these kolus and each one of them has Balarama as an avatar. Hence I am modifying the list to include Balarama and removing Buddha from Dashavatara. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ramv (talkcontribs) 11:45, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Note: For people who are replacing Balarama with Buddha in the Dasavatar, Buddha may be considered an avatar by few, but he is not part of the Dasavatar list. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ramv (talkcontribs) 08:52, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Reference number 27 is from Swami Bhaktivevedanta's books "Srimad Bhagavatam". These books do present Lord Buddha as an incarnation of the Godhead, regardless of when this incarnation took or will take place. So stating this reference from a teacher who does consider the Buddha as an avatar does not seem to resolve the problem. Can another reference be given to support this? Hoverfish Talk 10:45, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Also the article Dashavatara does include Buddha in its list. Hoverfish Talk 10:54, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Dear Hoverfish,

1. There is a general misconception that the term Buddha refers to Gautama Buddha. The fact is - Buddha is a state of mind and not a person. See the article titled Buddhahood.

2. Please see the wikipedia article named Gautama Buddha in Hinduism. It mentions the discussion between Jagadguru Sankaracharya, Jayendra Saraswati of Kanchi matha and Vipassana Acharya S. N. Goenka. It mentions that "Due to whatever reason some literature was written in India in the past in which the Buddha was declared to be a re-incarnation of Vishnu and other various false things about him, this was very unpleasant. In order to foster friendlier ties between Hindus and Buddhists we decide that whatever has happened in the past should be forgotten and such belief should not be propagated." So there you go - two leading personalities from each of the religion declaring jointly that Buddha is not an avatar.

3. If the article Dashavatara includes Buddha in its list, it too needs to be corrected.

Thanks. User:Ramv —Preceding undated comment added 09:04, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

See continuation of this discussion below at Talk:Avatar#Balarama or Buddha (Continued.)

Requested move 2013[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No consensus which defaults to Not moved. See also this discussion. Nathan Johnson (talk) 01:10, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

– This topic is certainly not the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC for "avatar", and so I am proposing moving the dab page to the plain name. The film got 272674 views in April, while this page got 58437 views. The computing use got even fewer views. The argument could be made that the film is the primary topic, but I'm not making that argument, as there is too much history and too many other uses associated with the term. B2C 06:17, 24 May 2013 (UTC) UPDATE: I'm striking "certainly" from my original language above, as this topic does arguably meet the long-term significance criterion of WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. However, the film clearly meets the usage criterion. Giving due weight to both criteria indicates there is no primary topic for this term, and so the dab page should be at the base name. --B2C 19:24, 24 May 2013 (UTC)


  • This has already been discussed and a decision taken about the name of the article. Please, do take a look at the archived discussions in archive #3 and the one above and notice that there ia a steady consensus to keep the name of this article as "Avatar". The argument has been made and the film is NOT the primary topic. Hoverfish Talk 10:13, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    • WP:CONSENSUSCANCHANGE. This proposal does not argue that the film is the primary topic. What is your argument that the Hinduism use is the primary topic? --B2C 18:23, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict)Comment: The source or the root of the English word "Avatar" is the Sanskrit word "Avatarana"(i.e. "to descend")[3][4][5]. Every other usage of the English word "avatar" hinges upon the primordial connotations of the ancient Hindu concept. In that sense the concept of "Avatar" (incarnation) is the most basic topic and the move is unwarranted and predicated upon an implicit POV. Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 10:25, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    • WP:PRIMARYTOPIC has nothing to do with derivation of terminology and everything to do with how likely a given topic is to be sought with the term in question. Do you have an argument that suggests that this topic is much more likely to be sought than the other uses of "avatar" listed at Avatar (disambiguation)? If not, then you don't have an argument supporting the contention that this topic is primary. --B2C 18:23, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • The Hindu concept has substantially greater enduring notability and historical and educational value than any other topic associated with that term which is in line with the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC criteria. Tertiary sources list the Hindu term as the first definition in most of them. Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 07:55, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
WP:CONSENSUSCANCHANGE says : Editors may propose a change to current consensus, especially to raise previously unconsidered arguments or circumstances. On the other hand, proposing to change a recent consensus can be disruptive.
the nom has not provided any "previously unconsidered arguments or circumstances". The earlier comments here still stand intact. Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 08:03, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong Support clearly computer avatars are very likely to be sought -- (talk) 10:57, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC for "avatar", and nominator's use of the phrase "certainly not" does not change this. In any case, even if the present usage did not exist, the film would "certainly not" be the primary topic. After all, the film's title is derived from the meaning of the actual primary topic and is evidence for the primacy of that meaning. (talk) 14:20, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    • My claim that this use is not the primary topic is supported by evidence (page view counts, as cited in the proposal). How do you support your claim that this use is the primary topic? --B2C 18:23, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. there doesn't have to be a WP:PRIMARYTOPIC but for "avatar" in serious print sources there is. The other uses are largely trivial and all derivative. In ictu oculi (talk) 17:23, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    • What do you mean by, "for 'avatar' in serious print sources there is [a WP:PRIMARYTOPIC]"? How does this use meet the primary topic criteria? --B2C 18:23, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
WP:PRIMARYTOPIC ... A topic is primary for a term, with respect to long-term significance, if it has substantially greater enduring notability and educational value than any other topic associated with that term. In ictu oculi (talk) 18:52, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. You're citing the long-term significance criterion. I agree that suggests this topic is primary. But don't you agree that the usage criterion, based on page view stats, suggests the film is primary? If so, when we have conflicting indications from the criteria, isn't that the epitome of the "no primary topic" situation? --B2C 19:28, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Okay, as noted in many other contexts WP:PRIMARYTOPIC contains 2 criteria - the likelysearch-WP:PRIMARYTOPIC (otherwise known as the WP:TRIVIAL-PRIMARYTOPIC / WP:POP-PRIMARYTOPIC perhaps?) and the significance-WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Why would an encyclopedia editor want to not use raw page visits to determine "topic sought when a reader searches for that term"? Because many users in Googleland are aware that "Avatar" could have other meanings than a film and will actually search "Avatar film" or "Avatar Cameron" or "Avatar 3D" to arrive at the article. This means that raw page views do not have 1-on-1 correspondence with "topic sought when a reader searches for that [single] term.".
As for objections that film fans will suffer by being exposed to Hinduism, Cameron himself acknowledges the title is from Hinduism: Q&A with James Cameron - TIME Jan 11, 2007 "Q:What is an avatar, anyway? A: It's an incarnation of one of the Hindu gods taking a flesh form. In this film what that means is that the human technology in the future is capable ..". Isn't that Cameron himself acknowledging that his film isn't WP:PRIMARYTOPIC? In ictu oculi (talk) 00:33, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, if you seriously believe significant numbers of people seeking the film search with some extended form of "avatar" that's a point on which we can agree to disagree. I do agree with you and Cameron that the film is not the primary topic (though I believe it is in terms of usage). However I also believe the likelihood of the film being sought is sufficient to mean no other use is primary. --B2C 02:01, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
B2C, yes I seriously believe what I said. Note the closer of previous RM cited Nirvana vs. Nirvana (band) from guidelines talk page. That example still stands and is not OTHERSTUFF, but a way of thinking. Nirvana remains Nirvana, "the band Nirvana" remains disambiguated by context. Just as in a book on world culture the Cameron film would not appear without context "the film....", and a computer avatar is "a computer avatar". But an avatar is an avatar is an avatar, base meaning. Incidentally, I would appreciate it if you'd remove the French Google comment from the Venus Williams book link at the head of Ana Ivanovic RM, the link is only to link to the text, not a search. Thanks. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:49, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Opppose Dictionaries/encyclopedias linked in the earlier discussion still consider this as the primary topic. In terms of wikipedia usage, the film has more hits due to WP:RECENTISM and WP:SYSTEMIC BIAS. However, long-term significance is immense for the Hindu Avatar. This is a Top Hinduism and Religion article. A central term of Hinduism, the third largest religion in the world. Redtigerxyz Talk 17:34, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    • The concept of "primary topic", as defined at WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, is unique to WP. Therefore, the claim that other dictionaries/encyclopedias consider this use the primary topic doesn't make sense.

      WP:RECENTISM applies to topics with recent (measured in weeks or months) sharp rises in popularity, not to a five year old film with multiple Oscar wins. No one denies the importance of the Hinduism use - that's why the film is not the primary topic. --B2C 18:23, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

  • OOPPPOOSSEE fine as is. DeistCosmos (talk) 17:36, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Why? --B2C 18:23, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
      • Because sociohistorically the concept of an Avatar references one thing, and later things called by that name are, at the least, obliquely intending to reference that most ultimate of meanings. DeistCosmos (talk) 18:28, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
        • Okay, but derivative use is not a criterion we use in deciding whether a given use is primary. But we do consider long-term significance, and I agree that suggests this topic is primary. However, we also look at usage. Based on the page view stats I cited in the proposal, don't you agree usage consideration indicates the film is primary? When our criteria give us conflicting guidance, doesn't that suggest a "no primary topic" situation? --B2C
  • Comment. Expressing one's opinion that the film is not the primary topic, as I did in the proposal, is not an argument that the topic of this article IS the primary topic, which is what is at issue here. --B2C 17:57, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support – Reviewing the discussion and evidence of the linked previous RM, it's hard to understand how this topic laid claim to being primarytopic for this widely used ambiguous term. Move it back as suggested above. The closer of the prior RM seemed to be operating on the mistaken basis that every term has a primarytopic; he didn't even mention the idea of primarytopic in the closing rationale. Dicklyon (talk) 18:07, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - B2C, on what basis do you claim that this topic is "certainly not the primary topic"? It seems to be at the very root of the meaning and usage. I see no problem with leaving this as it is. Omnedon (talk) 18:32, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    B2C didn't say "certainly not the primary topic", they said "certainly not the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC". Click through that link for the difference (WP:PRIMARYTOPIC doesn't check roots). -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:05, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    The clear context here is the primary topic on Wikipedia, so there is no distinction. Omnedon (talk) 19:11, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    Omnedon, I agree with you about context and no distinction on that point. To answer your original question, per the usage criterion this topic is clearly not primary, based on the page view stats I cited in the proposal. If we went only by usage, the film would clearly be the primary topic. If we went only by long-term significance, the Hinduism use would arguably be the primary topic (though not as clearly, in my view).

    Giving due weight to both criteria indicates neither use is primary here, and thus there is no primary topic in this case. --B2C 19:15, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

    Omnedon, if your comment after that point had been in line with WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, it would have been clear. Since you instead talked about roots, it made it unclear that you were talking about the Wikipedia concept of "primary" for topics and disambiguation, as opposed to the English definition of "primary" (which might include qualities of "being first"). -- JHunterJ (talk) 21:46, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    It was clear that I was referring to B2C's statement, which was about Wikipedia. Omnedon (talk) 21:56, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    B2C, I've seen this argument used in other situations too -- that if there are two different criteria, and they don't point in the same direction, then they must cancel each other out. But that's not borne out by WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, which says that in such cases, "consensus determines which article, if either, is the primary topic." It does not state that there must be a primary topic in such a case, but it also does not state that there must be none in such a case. So it comes down to consensus. In any case, in my view, long-term significance in this particular case seems to outweigh usage; but then again there is no way to quantify the two and compare them in a meaningful way, so we also cannot state that they are equally balanced. Omnedon (talk) 02:39, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, the evidence for there being no primary topic is obvious. Based on page traffic, the film would unquestionably be the primary topic. However, because the term is ambiguous with other well-established meanings, the disambiguation page should be at the base name. olderwiser 18:43, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Looking at both usage and long-term significance, I don't think we can guess what meaning someone is looking for when he or she links to Avatar or searches for "avatar" with a sufficeint probability of being correct. The appropriate solution is therefore to have the base name be a dab page. That way, the links to it can be disambiguated to the appropriate article and users searching aren't directed to a wrong article.--Trystan (talk) 18:59, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per the criteria at WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:03, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Forcing every user who wants something called Avatar to visit this article, despite its not being the most desired use for that term, is pointlessly inefficient and unproductive. Put the disambiguation page at the plain title and let users choose their destinations.--ShelfSkewed Talk 19:50, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. For all the film haters, the word "avatar" has so many different primary uses unrelated to Hinduism - like computer avatars - that the only place a lot of us learn about this Hindu concept is Wikipedia. Shrigley (talk) 21:12, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The subject described in this article is the base from which all others are derived. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:34, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose, for reasons already explained above by Redtigerxyz, In ictu oculi, et al. ╠╣uw [talk] 01:28, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Recognisability: There are over one billion Hindus on the planet. Naturalness: I consulted five dictionaries for this word and thie Hindu use was the first definition in all of them. Precision: This is the derivation of the term in English and all other uses in English derive from it. Conciseness: Can't get more concise than one word. All other uses would have to be clarified e.g. Avatar (computing) Consistency: Other articles referring to terms of this kind are named in this way. e.g. Gods. Has a primary page of the base meaning of the word and then a disambiguation that points to other uses. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Morgan Leigh (talkcontribs) 02:13, May 25, 2013‎
    • For recognizability of those who are not Hindus, and use computers, the computer avatar is much more likley. -- (talk) 04:29, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
Your making an assertion with no substantiting evidence does not make it so. Also is there some reason you are discriminating against Hindus? Morgan Leigh | Talk 07:46, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
    • WP:AT is irrelevant here. There is no question that this title would be appropriate per WP:AT/WP:CRITERIA for this topic in a world where this was the only use of "avatar". The problem is that there are other widely used uses of this term which are covered on WP, which is why WP:D/WP:PRIMARYTOPIC becomes relevant. --B2C 05:14, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
The fact that there are a billion Hindus at present and that Hinduism, as we know it now, has been around since at least the 5th to 8th centuries, meets the WP:D/WP:PRIMARYTOPIC requirements overwhelmingly when compared with a movie that was released in 2009. Also people do not come to an encyclopedia for what they know. They come for what they don't know. Morgan Leigh | Talk 07:46, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Disambiguation and primary topic should be used as navigational aids, not for film criticism. I despise the film and delight in the double disambiguation that it now suffers under. But this proposal wouldn't change that status. Googling avatar -wikipedia suggests readers are looking for information on either the film or the cartoon. Michaels' Hinduism: Past and Present (2004) refers to this topic as either "incarnation" or avatāra, so there isn't even one use of the word "avatar" in the entire 429-page book. In any case, most of the opposition seems to be based on the "Wikipedia is a dictionary" fallacy. Kauffner (talk) 06:19, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support – When the word “avatar” is used without further context in English, it highly unlikely that it refers to the concept that is the subject of this article. Most likely it refers to either the computing term or the 2009 film. It is clear to me that the current subject of this article is not the primary topic for the word “avatar”. There are certainly two and possibly a third article that are closer to being a primary topic than this one. That alone is enough to support this move request. I don’t think “avatar” even has a primary topic, the computing term and the 2009 film are roughly equal, the animated series behind a little way behind, and this ancient concept trailing distantly behind that. All this leads to the clear conclusion that Avatar should be a disambiguation page. MTC (talk) 07:00, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
I would like to quote some portions of what someone wrote above, "There are over one billion Hindus on the planet. ..I consulted five dictionaries for this word and thie Hindu use was the first definition in all of them." (my emphasis) Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 07:49, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

(undent) avatar is an English dictionary word. Copy pasting my list updated and Shrivatsa's list from last discussion: The Oxford Dictionary (2013): [6]"

--Redtigerxyz Talk 08:50, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Morgan Leigh, Redtigerxyz, Mr T, and any one else who thinks dictionary usage is relevant here... a major use of the term "avatar" in English is a proper noun - the name of a film. You won't find that in any dictionary. That's one reason for WP:NOTADICT. Dictionary usage is not an appropriate source for deciding how to title WP articles. Dictionaries are not even mentioned at WP:AT, and only mentioned briefly at WP:D in a context that has nothing to do with situations like this one. Arguments based on dictionary usage are very weak, at best. --B2C 09:29, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - for an English encyclopedia, the word more likely to be used for other contexts. Dab page makes better sense. - Aurorion (talk) 09:49, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose: as per Redtigerxyz. I have given enough arguments in previous discussions. Avatar is a word used since 6th century AD. You cannot erase this historical use by making a film take over a word. If a film is named Plato, Zeus or Alexander the Great and it becomes very popular, still these articles should keep pointing to their historical usage. That the word Avatar comes from India and not Greece or Rome does not make this less important. Plato will keep being the ancient philosopher and Plato (film) the film. Hoverfish Talk 11:00, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose: for the many reasons given above, but more importantly those arguments already given in the earlier discussion saved here. All other recent uses of the word "avatar" are metaphorically based on the 1400 year old Hindu concept, meaning descent or taking form. The primary reasons sighted for the current name were "recentism, educational value, and to a lesser extent, systemic bias." Dazedbythebell (talk) 12:10, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
In that previous RM, the closer seems to have totally missed the point made by many, that when a term is ambiguous we do not have to choose a primarytopic. The decision there goes totally against the principles of WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, which is why we have this open again to fix it. Dicklyon (talk) 15:20, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support; the film aside, Avatar (computing) is also likely to be a topic that many people are seeking. Certainly more people than are looking for this tangentially related concept that they've probably never heard of before. Powers T 13:46, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Comment The discussion is about moving Avatar to Avatar (Hinduism) not to Avatar (computing). Your "Support" seems to be specifically for the computing use. Maybe I miss something? Hoverfish Talk 15:13, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
      • Yes, because this move is really about moving the disambiguation page to Avatar, therefore allowing people looking for avatars in computing to find their desired topic quicker. Red Slash 16:46, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, there are several competing topics and there is no primary topic. Red Slash 16:46, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Comment: "there is no primary topic" is a wrong statement above. I quote here Wikipedia:Primary topic: There are no absolute rules for determining whether a primary topic exists and what it is; decisions are made by discussion among editors, often as a result of a requested move. Tools that may help to support the determination of a primary topic in a discussion (but are not considered absolute determining factors) include: 1- Incoming wikilinks from Special:WhatLinksHere 2- Wikipedia article traffic statistics 3- Usage in English reliable sources demonstrated with Google web, news, scholar, or book searches. Many of the oppose arguments, including mine, given above and in previous discussions are about case 3 (Usage in English reliable sources). Hoverfish Talk 20:02, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
      • Comment: Which is the biggest problem with the oppose arguments: They are one-dimensional appeals to simple "firstness" that rely on the wrong types of references. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a dictionary, and it encompasses topics that will never appear in a dictionary. In the context of Wikipedia, the primary-topic concept is not just about which use came first or which appears first in dictionary entries, it also takes into account what users are actually looking for when they type in (in this case) the word Avatar. Now, if user demand were all that mattered then perhaps the primary topic would be the film--but I don't think anyone is making that argument, which would be just as badly one-dimensional as the definitional appeal. What we have, as B2C pointed out above, is a conflict between, on the one hand, the didactic or pedagogical priorities of Wikipedia, and, on the other, the issue of user-friendliness, where our aim should be to deliver the large majority of users to their desired articles as quickly as possible. Making the film (or some other more recent usage) the primary topic would, I agree, be an absurd affront to the former priority, but forcing every user to visit the Hinduism article is an equally absurd affront to user friendliness. The sensible solution is to put the dab page at the plain title.--ShelfSkewed Talk 21:17, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
        • Comment: It is not so much the "didactic or pedagogical priorities of Wikipedia" that make me oppose this proposal, I don't wish to force others to learn something. It is the quality of Wikipedia itself as an encyclopedia that is my concern, and I have no problem with user-friendly concerns either. We should be user friendly. Placing the film and the computer use at the top of the article is as many clicks away as it is sending the user to a dab page: it is exactly as user-friendly. However, I do feel that Wikipedia loses in quality if one asks for, say, Messiah and he is taken to a dab page explaining that this is one of many uses, instead of going to the article itself. And that article does disambiguate at the top to Handle's famous oratorio (which happens to be FA too), so we lose no user-friendliness while keeping terms linking where they really belong. Hoverfish Talk 23:02, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
          • You say Messiah, I say Madonna. When there is genuine ambiguity, I don't think Wikipedia suffers in quality by directing users to a well-constructed dab page that allows easy navigation to the available choices.--ShelfSkewed Talk 15:15, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The Hindu word is the root concept and all other uses--computer, film, etc.--are derivatives of that. Therefore the term Avatar should take the reader directly to the article about its original meaning. LhanaXano (talk) 22:41, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
I think we all agree that the Hindu word is the root concept and all other uses are derivative from that. But that only addresses one part of the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC criteria: long-term significance. Given the strong conflict with usage, with two or three other topics being much more popular, don't you think it would be better to say NO primary topic on this ambiguous term? I certainly don't see a consensus in favor of picking this one. Dicklyon (talk) 02:52, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Hi Dl, I may have miscounted but I just got 14 Oppose and 13 Support which isn't as strong as the previous RM where closer cited Buddhist Nirvana vs the band, but doesn't show consensus developing in favour of a move either. Are you saying that "if no consensus automatically move from WP:PRIMARYTOPIC" or similar exists as a benchmark somewhere? (This is a question, I don't know). If not I wonder if the fact that avatar (small a) is a natural subject is relevant to WP:PRIMARYTOPIC guideline? In ictu oculi (talk) 05:23, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Look at what WP:PRIMARYTOPIC says: "In a few cases, there is some conflict between a topic of primary usage and one of primary long-term significance. In such a case, consensus determines which article, if either, is the primary topic." Here we definitely have usage and long-term notability pointing in opposite directions, and no consensus to choose one or the other as primary topic. So the title Avatar should go to the disambig page, where it was before. Dicklyon (talk) 05:37, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • There are 12 opposes, not 14. We need a new vote counter. Kauffner (talk) 07:21, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, you're right, it's 12 vs 13. As I said "I may have miscounted". Thank you for your helpful contributions. In ictu oculi (talk) 10:09, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The Hinduism concept is the root meaning and usage and strongly meets the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC definition due to its long-term significance from sources. The other uses are either trivial or derived from this definition. Tanbircdq (talk) 10:55, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Can you explain how a topic that receives more than 4 and a half times more page views than this topic is "trivial"? olderwiser 11:07, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • So we have this view that terms in Wikipedia (or any encyclopedia?) depend on how many people happen to use them or look them up at a certain time. This is a one-sided technical way of looking at things and all of the support arguments are based on this. So what if there are 4 times more views in the computing or the film? Has the importance of the original meaning of the term changed? What if a film is made titled "Wikipedia" or "England" and it gets 100 times more views than the article about Wikipedia or England? Shall we then move the term to the film? Doesn't this attitude characterize the quality of Wikipedia as an encyclopedia? Hoverfish Talk 11:33, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • What you and perhaps some others considers a "one-sided technical way of looking at things", other editors think reflects how people are actually using the encyclopedia rather than how some self-appointed guardians of knowledge think they ought to be using the encyclopedia. Once again, as so many of the opposers appear to be confused about this, THIS PROPOSAL IS NOT ABOUT MOVING THE FILM TO THE BASE NAME. It is about moving the disambiguation page to the base name because there are conflicting indications from the criteria for primary topic. Consider Madonna, which is a cultural concept at least as deeply rooted as this term. In the unlikely event of the films you hypothesize about, we can have the discussion then. If they were in fact such huge disproportion of page views, I think there would be a good case for placing a disambiguation page at the base name. olderwiser 13:51, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Words like "self-appointed guardians of knowledge" amount to personal attacks. Please remain civil. Dazedbythebell (talk) 14:04, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
How is that a personal attack? Seriously? Is there something wrong with pointing out the pomposity of the positions taken by some. olderwiser 14:17, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
No offence taken, but 1) I do not act as a procter of knowledge but I did talk about protecting the quality of Wikipedia, if this matters 2) Madonna originally means Lady, so it should be where it is, i.e. in a dab page. Not so for Avatar or Nirvana though 3) if you feel my position is in any way "pompous" (which I don't), so do I for yours 4) this discussion should be posted in some board somewhere so that the wider community knows about this conflict of view and we get a wider input. Hoverfish Talk 14:25, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I meant no offense and my comment was not directed at you in particular. While you might not think you are acting as a proctor of knowledge, it is in effect the basis of many of the oppose arguments — that "we" (some collective group of editors) are able to determine that some meaning is more important for readers to know about than another, regardless of what the readers might actually be looking for. olderwiser 14:37, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • In response to older ≠ wiser/Bkonrad’s question; Can you explain how a topic that receives more than 4 and a half times more page views than this topic is "trivial"? I do not need to, I said the other uses are EITHER “trivial” or “derived” from this definition. I presume you assumed that trivial was referring to the film or computing term, it was not, those are uses that I was referring to as being derived from the definition. Also as Dazedbythebell has said please remain civil, everyone is entitled to their own views and opinions without being attacked or ridiculed about it. Tanbircdq (talk) 14:56, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I believe it is not incivil to respond to a farcically unbalanced characterization of one side's position as a "one-sided technical way of looking at things" by pointing out the similarly farcical unbalanced position held by the other side. My initial question to you (though perhaps this was not clear in retrospect), was actually in response to your claim that it "strongly meets the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC definition due to its long-term significance from sources". Your blithe dismissal of the other criteria for primary topic as well ignoring the guidance concerning what to do when these criteria conflict is at the heart of the issue here. olderwiser 15:07, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose-- Number of page views as it has been put forth in the argument is not a criterion, more over, Google adjusts its search algorithm depending on various factors and this will probably change when Avatar 2 will be released. --TheMandarin (talk) 13:59, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • However, the need for disambiguation is a reason for moving (BTW, these "criteria" are at best an incomplete list). And the Google seach algorithm really has nothing to do with page views -- that is an internal count of how many times a page is viewed. olderwiser 14:17, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support The word is now widely used in a sense quite different to its etymology. As has been demonstrated above, usage today is diverse. As at today, the PRIMARYTOPIC, if there is one, could be the film. There is so far no clear majority in claims for PT on any sustained basis. But the lack of a primary topic is not really relevant because we don't have to have one PT to supplant another one like #1 hit songs. Like many terms, 'Avatar' can be home to disambiguation because of diverse usage. Readers will be better served with properly disambiguated namespaces because they are more likely land where they want with fewer mouse-clicks overall. -- Ohc ¡digame!¿que pasa? 03:34, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Whether one lands on a dab page or on the actual article "Avatar", (where there IS a dab header which should include BOTH these uses -> my position in the last such discussion too), readers going for the film OR the computer use are exactly as many clicks away from their topic. So the argument of how many clicks away a user is from the film or the computer use is a red herring. Hoverfish Talk 10:16, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
This argument, if generalized, would suggest that dab pages should almost never be at base names... that we should almost always put one of the articles on the dab page at the base name - after all, everyone reaching that article by mistake would still be only one click from all the other likely choices presented as hatnote links at the topic of that article. The problem is that there is no community consensus supporting this seemingly reasonable approach, as demonstrated by WP:TWODABS which calls for a dab page at the base name even when there are only two choices, if neither is clearly the primary topic.

This is because landing on another article with a hatnote link to the article you're actually seeking is considered significantly less desirable than landing on the dab page for your search term. This is why the consensus of the community is that only topics which are clearly primary should be located at the basename of an ambiguous term; otherwise the dab page should be there. --B2C 18:08, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

  • Strong Oppose Is it ok to laugh at seeing this here again? This requested move will soon have more incarnations than Vishnu. Oppose, same as last time. This has been the primary topic for over 1,000 years. Google hits, spin, and opinion indicate that the movie or computer topic (which both draw their name from the primary topic here) might have garnered more interest in pop culture in the last thousand days! WP:PRIMARYTOPIC gives a great deal of leeway to balancing various approaches, including: "A topic is primary for a term, with respect to long-term significance, if it has substantially greater enduring notability and educational value than any other topic associated with that term." The current topic has so much more "enduring notability and educational value" that it's not even close. Let's give the movie at least a few decades before determining if it has any "long-term significance." Then I might be convinced. First Light (talk) 04:19, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Does "no consensus" mean "move" in this case?[edit]

Above, Dicklyon cites WP:PRIMARYTOPIC:

Look at what WP:PRIMARYTOPIC says: "In a few cases, there is some conflict between a topic of primary usage and one of primary long-term significance. In such a case, consensus determines which article, if either, is the primary topic." Here we definitely have usage and long-term notability pointing in opposite directions, and no consensus to choose one or the other as primary topic. So the title Avatar should go to the disambig page, where it was before.

I presume we all agree that this is one of those cases where "there is some conflict between a topic of primary usage and one of primary long-term significance". The film is the topic of primary usage and the Hindu term is the topic of primary long-term significance.

Previous RMs have shown that there is no consensus for the film being the primary topic. The question essentially posted at this RM is whether the Hindu term is the primary topic. It seems to me that unless we have consensus supporting the Hindu term being primary (which would mean consensus opposing this proposal), the result must be that there is no primary topic, and the dab page moved to the base name, as proposed.

Is that right? --B2C 19:50, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

The question is whether or not this article should be moved; and there seems to be no consensus to do so. Omnedon (talk) 20:09, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
In scholarly published sources, other encyclopedias, and religious studies, the term's Hindu meaning is the primary usage. Also in theosophy and literature the Hindu meaning is the primary usage. Also in philosophy, etymology, philology, history, and mythology, the Hindu meaning is the primary usage. So it depends on what you mean by primary usage. If you mean usage in current pop culture in the last two or three decades in the English speaking world, and current online searches, many of the other uses are now more often what is intended. If you mean usage in scholarly books and academia it is certainly the Hindu sense. The assumption seems to be that primary usage simply means primary search term. But is that a valid criterion for an encyclopedia? Dazedbythebell (talk) 21:20, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Which is why I said above that this issue goes well beyond this one article and should be discussed as a more general one with the community. The issue here is not just moving an article but about a certain way of interpreting WP:PRIMARYTOPIC vs. a certain other way. Hoverfish Talk 21:38, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
If you mean usage in scholarly books and academia it is certainly the Hindu sense. I am not so sure about this. A quick scan at the results thrown up by a search on Google Scholar shows that most of them seems to use the word in its other meanings. - Aurorion (talk)

I agree with Omnedon. I also observe that this move, once again, is attempted at a great haste. The discussion started at 19:24, 24 May 2013 (UTC) and now at 19:50, 26 May 2013 (UTC) Born2cycle wants to draw final conclusions. Why this haste? Last time the move was done before most concerned users knew what was going on, no project was notified, no main editors of the article were notified, and then when they noticed it had moved, there was a discussion and it was moved back. I may be wrong, but from a quick look, I see that the majority of supporters for this move usually work in disambiguation issues, which is great, but which also means that such a group of users, since they usually work in a certain common area, can get to an article in number and take decisions much faster than other concerned users have time to notice and react. Hoverfish Talk 21:27, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

The original move like this was done with little input on September 2010 here, and then after a more inclusive discussion was moved back five months later in February 2011 here. Prior to and since that temporary move to Avatar (Hinduism), the term Avatar was always directed to the Hindu concept ever since the article's original creation in 2004. Dazedbythebell (talk) 21:46, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

I do not agree that "there is some conflict between a topic of primary usage and one of primary long-term significance". All other uses of the word avatar depend for their existence on an understanding of the Hindu usage. i.e. the hindu usage is primary. And it has MUCH greater long term significance, since the 5th - 8th centuries. Ask yourself if in 1500 years people will remember the film? Also I completely agree that there seems to be too much of a rush in deciding this issue. Combine that with the fact that this has been discussed and resolved before I suggest more time be allowed to resolve this issue. Morgan Leigh | Talk 07:54, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

  • @Dazedbythebell: Other encyclopedias don't use kludgy MediaWiki software. They can support multiple instances of a title, so don't have to bother with primary topics or disambiguation pages. Dictionaries put the root meaning first because that's dictionary style. Our style is that a primary topic, if any, should be the topic readers are most likely to be seeking. Kauffner (talk) 09:15, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
  • @Kauffner: You write that: "Our style is that a primary topic, if any, should be the topic readers are most likely to be seeking". But this is not what WP:PRIMARYTOPIC says. It says:
There is no single criterion for defining a primary topic. . .
A topic is primary for a term, with respect to usage, if it is highly likely—much more likely than any other topic, and more likely than all the other topics combined—to be the topic sought when a reader searches for that term.
A topic is primary for a term, with respect to long-term significance, if it has substantially greater enduring notability and educational value than any other topic associated with that term.
In a few cases, there is some conflict between a topic of primary usage and one of primary long-term significance. In such a case, consensus determines which article, if either, is the primary topic.
Dazedbythebell (talk) 10:52, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I was simplifying by ignoring the second criteria as I don't think it is relevant here. Hindu avatars are not a focus of academic study in the way the RMS Titanic or Madonna and Child paintings are -- and Madonna is a DAB page. The film Titanic is about the ship. But the film Avatar never even hints that avatars have anything to do with Hinduism. Kauffner (talk) 11:46, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually, as the Themes in Avatar article notes, "the title of the film and various visual and story elements provoked discussion of the film's use of the iconography of Hinduism, which Cameron confirmed had inspired him." To say there's "never even hints" of this seems a bit odd... ╠╣uw [talk] 19:57, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Madonna is different. First of all the word "Madonna" is not one of the names given at the top of the article about Mary (mother of Jesus) and does not even appear in the lead section. Also "Madonna" is not a Christian theological concept, but simply means "Lady" and is often applied to the Virgin. However, it mostly applies to works of art, and there is no Christian article for the term as it is not important enough to the faith to warrant it. Avatar in Hinduism, on the other hand, has no other term at all, and is pivotal to the Gita (the central religious scripture in Hinduism). Second, the article for the film Avatar actually does state quite clearly that James Cameron based the name on the Hindu concept and the article refers to the Hindu concept three times. Examples: "Cameron was asked about the meaning of the term Avatar, to which he replied, "It's an incarnation of one of the Hindu gods taking a flesh form." "Also he said, 'I just like blue. It's a good color … plus, there's a connection to the Hindu deities, which I like conceptually.' "The Hindustan Times . . . commended the film's message for its overall consistency with the teachings of Hinduism in the Bhagavad Gita." Thirdly, your claim that Hindu avatars are not a focus of academic study in the way the RMS Titanic is is simply false. It is central to academic studies of Eastern philosophy, comparative religion, religious studies, and mythological studies. No academic course of study on Eastern religion would be without it, as it is one of the central concepts of Hinduism. Also, this is only talking about the West. English is spoken by 125,226,449 people in India, which is dominantly Hindu. Wikipedia is somewhat biased toward American usage because most editors are American. But this is an English encyclopedia, not simply a Western or Caucasian one. Dazedbythebell (talk) 12:05, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

One more question to Kauffner. I don't quite get this comment: I was simplifying by ignoring the second criteria as I don't think it is relevant here. Clearly some people in this discussion do think that the second criteria (long-term significance) is relevant here. So I don't understand how "ignoring" it is simplifying. I think we need to come to an agreement about what criterion applies in this case, and not simplify the issue to suit one point of view. The way you stated what you did gave the appearance that only one criterion was policy. Dazedbythebell (talk) 12:38, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
I have looked up and found the answer to the policy question in the subtopic above: Does "no consensus" mean "move" in this case? This is from Wikipedia:Consensus#No_consensus.
In article title discussions, no consensus has two defaults: If an article title has been stable for a long time, then the long-standing article title is kept. If it has never been stable, or has been unstable for a long time, then it is moved to the title used by the first major contributor after the article ceased to be a stub.
Dazedbythebell (talk) 13:28, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
My question is about whether cases like this - where a given topic at a base name title being primary for that title is at issue - is another situation in which there should be a special default. Something like...
If a move proposal discussion is centered on whether a given term has a primary topic, and no consensus is reached about that, then the dab page for that term should be located at that term.
--B2C 19:18, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Dazedbythebell: Agreed: long-term significance is indeed a relevant and important consideration, per the primary topic guidelines. I also agree with your point about what a "no consensus" outcome means in this case: if no consensus supports the move, then the existing arrangement is kept, per policy. ╠╣uw [talk] 20:25, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
I checked to see how comes and the dab to the film 2009 at the top of the article had disappeared (I placed it back with the computer use), which may have given rise to the "how many clicks away" argument. There had been a short interchange between Dazedbythebell, M0rphzone and myself about the cartoon series also being included in the dab, which Dazed first and then I removed, and then M0rphzone removed the link to the film as well. This was not based on any decision but rather a mild case of WP:POINTy. I am very sorry I failed to notice this. Here are the diffs: [13],[14]. Hoverfish Talk 01:48, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • The overblown rhetoric meter is certainly inching upwards here. Okay, let's pull up Google Trends and see what the 125 million English-speaking Indians are up to, suffering under Caucasian oppression as they are. Notice the enormous spike in interest in this term in 2009 when the film came out. Also notice the top associated terms: movie, download, games, online, "avatar 2", torrent, 3d. Nothing that sounds even vaguely Hindu. Kauffner (talk) 10:37, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
    • "Overblown rhetoric meter", "suffering under Caucasian oppression", why the caustic tone? There is plenty of rhetoric and stats jargon from the support side, often including imprecise references to the dab guidelines, as can be seen in the above discussion, and there is a general disregard of the contrary arguments as irrelevant. You cannot "pull what 125 million English-speaking Indians are up to" by a Google Trends search. This is a mistaken point of view. Google Trends is a very limited window to the reality of these 125 million people. You may need to visit India during a religious festival to see what they're really up to. This will never come up in Google Trends. Hoverfish Talk 11:21, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
      • imprecise references to the dab guidelines, as can be seen in the above discussion, and there is a general disregard of the contrary arguments as irrelevant -- this sounds like a description of most of the oppose arguments. Conveniently ignoring half of the disambiguation guideline to focus only on what suits their intents. olderwiser 11:27, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
        • I do not think your side of the argument is irrelevant. I am for a user-friendly Wikipedia. But I do not place user-friendliness above the qualitative side of Wikipedia as one encyclopedia among others. I would like it to be the very best, if possible. Its additional wiki-functions should be an addition to its quality, and not detrimental to it. Hoverfish Talk 11:50, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Here's an Interesting statistic from Wikipedia article traffic statistics. It's based on Wikipedia traffic for April 2013 (last month).

  • Avatar was viewed 58,437 times.
  • Avatar (disambiguation) was viewed only 12,534 times.

This seems to contradict the assumption that most people who come to this article don't intend to, and then have to spend all the trouble of going to the disambiguation page. If this were so, the disambiguation page would have nearly as many page views as Avatar. But in fact, less than 1/4 of those that come to this Avatar article navigate to "Avatar (disambiguation)."

While it's true that the 2009 movie has several times more hits than the original Hindu concept, the viewers are clearly not reaching it through the disambiguation page. They are coming most likely from search engines directly to the movie. Notice it's the third hit in Google for example. Incidentally, the computer sense of the word has far less page views than the HIndu concept, about a quarter as many. I think the need to speed traffic to the desired modern cultural terms is a bit exaggerated. Also, Hoverfish has mentioned that he has reinserted the movie and the computer sense of the word in the hatnote, so there is effectively the same number of hits for these popular uses as it would be if this were replaced with a Dab page. Dazedbythebell (talk) 19:31, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

It's probably true that most users get to our articles via search engines, and those search engines get them directly to the articles without regard to how we title them. So for those cases -- the majority -- titles don't matter in terms of helping readers find the articles. BUT, some never-the-less significant number of users do use WP search, and we owe it to them to serve them well. We can use the page view stats to help us determine which are the most likely articles to be sought for a given terms (again, thanks to search engine help), but then we should use that information to name our articles accordingly. This is what WP:PRIMARYTOPIC is about. --B2C 20:13, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Gladiator had 82,831 page views last month. Gladiator (2000 film) had 154,047. Does it follow from that that we have an obligation to move Gladiator to a disambiguation page? You can do the same for Armageddon: there were 56,812 views in April for the religious concept, 107,554 for the 1998 movie. By this logic every time a popular movie was made using an historical term, we would have to move the original term on which the movie was based to a disambiguation page.
Explain to me then why we need to move Avatar to a disambiguation page and not Gladiator or Armageddon? Dazedbythebell (talk) 21:05, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
It's not an "obligation", but yes, those show good evidence that the main intent of primarytopic, of getting readers to where they want to go easily, is being abused by having articles instead of disambig pages at the base titles Gladiator, Armageddon, and probably many more. If someone wants to propose fixing those, I would support that. If someone proposes making the movies primary, as some editors tend to do, I would oppose that, as the usage numbers are in direct conflict with the longterm significance, so there should be no primary topic claim in those cases. I would not be in a rush to change things when new movies come out, but if the movie is still getting a lot more traffic when it's over 10 years old, like these, then certainly keeping the old primary claim has long been a problem. Not all problems get noticed or fixed of course. Dicklyon (talk) 21:15, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Well many I think here would disagree with this point of view, and that is the point of this discussion. Armageddon and Gladiator have serious scholarly encyclopedic meanings, and the other articles borrow from these older meanings, very much as with Avatar. Dazedbythebell (talk) 21:44, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes, there are multiple viewpoints on this. I understand that by "serious scholarly encyclopedic meanings" you're referring to the "long-term significance" criterion in WP:COMMONNAME; but when that is in direct conflict with the usage criterion, it would always be better to use a disambig page, in my opinion. Dicklyon (talk) 22:43, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
But, Dazedbythebell, there is no disagreement about that. The issue is about whether a "serious scholarly encyclopedic meaning" of a term, and the fact that "other [uses] borrow from [this] older meaning" of that term, is an over-riding reason in deciding what article or dab page to put at that term, in cases where there are other uses of the term which users are more likely to be seeking when searching with that term.

How do users benefit by us sending everyone who uses that term in WP search to an article we know they are unlikely to be seeking? To create such a situation unintentionally is one thing, but once we realize it, shouldn't we fix it? Wouldn't the experience of most people affected by this title choice be improved if we sent them to the dab page instead of to an article they are not seeking? I don't understand the predilection for sending users to the wrong articles. --B2C 22:52, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

The "predilection for sending users to the wrong articles"? You are stating that people who disagree with you on this have a positive desire to send people to the wrong article. That is an assumption of bad faith. You are also ignoring the fact that this article has links at the top to two other commonly-sought articles, plus the broader disambiguation page, and that the search box itself will provide options. It's perfectly easy for people to reach the article they want. Give the reader at least a modicum of credit. Omnedon (talk) 23:12, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Hatnote links aside, there is no question that more people searching with "Avatar" are searching for a topic other than this one than are searching for this one. Therefore, leaving this article at this title is sending unnecessarily large numbers of users (those searching with "Avatar") to the wrong article. This may or may not be intentional, but does not imply bad faith either way! One may not realize this effect, or one may not care, thinking users are better off for learning about the original meaning.

As to hatnote links, even in the case of WP:TWODABS, unless one of the topics is clearly primary, we prefer to send people to a dab page with two links than to the wrong article, even if the article at the base name has a hatnote link to the other. Why shouldn't the same underlying philosophy apply here?

Oh, and regarding search box options, that's only with browsers running javascript. Many people have that turned off, especially when using mobile devices. --B2C 23:43, 28 May 2013 (UTC) updated with last paragraph about search boxes. --B2C 23:46, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

You clearly referred to a predilection to send users to the wrong articles, and now you confirm that you believe it may be intentional. You are thus assuming bad faith on the part of other editors, in that they would purposely wish to send readers to the wrong place. In any case, you keep going on about the "wrong article" -- but there are links at the top for other articles. It's perfectly easy. No one is trying to force the reader to read about something the reader isn't interested in, as part of some sort of effort to "educate" the reader. It's just that this article belongs here for the reasons given. Omnedon (talk) 00:02, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
I have in the past encountered editors who openly admitted that they thought it was a good thing for readers unaware of the historical/original meaning to become aware of it by us sending them to that article even though they are looking for something else. "Planned serendipity" (or something like that) I think it was even called. The point is there is no bad faith in wanting to do that. It's a philosophical issue about how an encyclopedia should work. I have no idea whether any of the editors opposing this particular RM proposal agree with that viewpoint, but it's certainly possible. Why you have to give this a negative spin, I don't understand.

Yes, for anyone seeking the movie or computing term, this is the "wrong article". That's why we put hatnote links on top of the article - for all those who go there for whom it is the "wrong article". Sorry if you don't like that term, but I'm not sure how else to refer to an article to which we send a user that is not the one they are seeking in a given search. --B2C 18:37, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Negative spin? "Predilection for sending users to the wrong articles"? That's negative, plain and simple -- no spin required. In any case, the hatnote is there, and it works. A move was proposed, and there is no consensus to move it, thus we do not move it. Omnedon (talk) 18:50, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
As you know, consensus is not determined by counting !votes. It's up to the closer to evaluate the strength of the arguments on each side, and determine consensus accordingly. It seems to me that the only arguments opposing this proposal are based on the premise that this topic is primary for "Avatar", which itself is based on some variant of the historical significance criterion. The argument in favor is that since a similar argument can be made that the film is primary based on the usage criterion and so it should be placed at Avatar, there is no primary topic here, and so the dab page should be at this location. Do you see it differently?

Here's another way to look at it. Say it is moved as proposed, and then there is another proposal to reverse that move. Do you think consensus would be achieved favoring that move? I seriously doubt it, not even by the irrelevant !vote count method. --B2C 17:55, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Not only the number of opposes and supports here, but also the arguments made on each side, indicates a lack of consensus to move this article and replace it with a disambiguation page. Thus, since we have no consensus, it should not be moved. You seem to be saying that it should be moved without consensus, or even that that it should be moved because there is no consensus. I disagree with this move and have said why, as have others. Why do you feel that should be set aside, or that any closer would see consensus here? As for your final sentence, I believe that is speculative and irrelevant. Omnedon (talk) 18:26, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
I think it's likely that in terms of counting !votes there will appear to be a "no consensus" result. However, in terms of strength of arguments presented, I think consensus overwhelmingly favors the proposal. No matter how much we say these evaluations are about evaluating argument, not counting !votes, closers do seem to be reluctant to call in favor of one side or another when the !votes are divided evenly.

You say the arguments made on each side indicate a lack of consensus to move. Your oppose !vote, for example, is essentially supported by a challenge of the claim that there is no primary topic, and the "I see no problem with leaving this as it is" proclamation. You really think this is stronger than, or even as strong as, "there is no primary topic because two different topics each meet one or the other primary topic criteria, so the dab page should be at the base name"? --B2C 18:48, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

B2C: You're welcome to your opinion that arguments "overwhelmingly" favor your proposal. Others clearly disagree. Just as consensus is more than a count, it's also more than your opinion that views favorable to your proposal are best.
The subject of your proposal is the move, and on that subject I see nothing to indicate that we're at or anywhere near a consensus; if so, then (per policy) the move is not made in this case. Please respect that. I would also strongly suggest – as various other editors already have – that continued efforts to the contrary are becoming counterproductive. Let's move on. ╠╣uw [talk] 22:07, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Repeating what Omnedon said above: The question is whether or not this article should be moved; and there seems to be no consensus to do so. Dazedbythebell (talk) 14:46, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree, but some people just want to rape the process to get whatever they want. DeistCosmos (talk) 15:04, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree that this is beginning to look less and less like a desire to reach consensus, and more like a desire to alter the policy to suit a particular goal. Dazedbythebell (talk) 15:59, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
I absolutely, positively agree with Dazedbythebell. This is degenerating into bad faith assumptions galore and goal chasing. There are about 863248628396398 other things on wikipedia that could use the kind of energy that is being invested here in this discussion over an unimportant change. How about we all go and do some of them instead and let this lie? Morgan Leigh | Talk 01:25, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Move to close[edit]

A full seven days have elapsed since this RM was initiated by Born2cycle on 06:17, 24 May 2013‎. The initial survey resulted in 14 opposed to the move, and 13 supporting it. Discussion following it on what the rules are and ought to be regarding moves, again resulted in no agreement. Does anyone know how to ask an administrator to close this discussion? Rules for closing RM discussions hold that no one that participated in the discussion may close it. Dazedbythebell (talk) 13:18, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Non-admin closure of above RM[edit]

The appropriateness of the non-admin closure of the above RM has been questioned at this AN/I:

--B2C 03:26, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

  • The above WP:NAC should be reverted as contested. It's really not complicated. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:32, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
  • If the above discussion remains open, 1. some administrators noticeboard (not sure which is the apropriate one) should become aware of the degeneration of this discussion into a "bad faith assumptions galore and goal chasing" by editors "who have no desire to reach consensus" (as has been stated above) and that it is becoming a very serious waste of creative time in Wikipedia for many of us, and 2. ALL the editors who took part in the previous discussions (move to and move back) about this very same issue should be notified about this. Hoverfish Talk 11:52, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

The above named discussion at Administrators' noticeboard has been closed by an administrator. Dazedbythebell (talk) 23:13, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Balarama or Buddha (Continued)[edit]

This is a continuation of the discussion Talk:Avatar#Balarama_or_Buddha. Ramv, the discussion is not complete. There are differing lists of the 10 avatars, and the point is not settled. It should be settled and agreed somehow, for what is here should be consistent with the Dashavatara article. This is likely a better place to have the conversation, since more people have it marked to watch and may engage in the discussion. I don't know how to resolve it. Also, when you sign your comments please use the symbol ~~~~ which can be found top left on your keyboard. This automatically causes a signature with date. Thanks. Dazedbythebell (talk) 11:05, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Here are two websites that give different lists, one including Buddha and one with Balarama in his place. The article may require a referenced discussion. Otherwise it is only one preference given undue weight. Also see this PDF file where "Shakyamuni (the historical Buddha)" is given as 9th Avatar. Also here. There are many that list it as such, and thus simply reverting on this page is premature without further discussion. Dazedbythebell (talk) 11:31, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
I see the problem seems to have resolved itself. Dazedbythebell (talk) 20:26, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Dear Dazedbythebell,
When the representative heads of both the religions jointly declare that Buddha is not an avatar of Vishnu, do we have the right to overrule it?
Please see the wikipedia article named Gautama Buddha in Hinduism. It mentions the discussion between Jagadguru Sankaracharya, Jayendra Saraswati of Kanchi matha and Vipassana Acharya S. N. Goenka. It mentions that "Due to whatever reason some literature was written in India in the past in which the Buddha was declared to be a re-incarnation of Vishnu and other various false things about him, this was very unpleasant. In order to foster friendlier ties between Hindus and Buddhists we decide that whatever has happened in the past should be forgotten and such belief should not be propagated." Ramv (talk) 11:45, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Neither the Kanchi Shankaracharya is the head of Hinduism (the authority of Kanchi is questionable, it is not one of the four mathas established by Adi Shankaracharya) nor Goenka a religious leader of Buddhists. Redtigerxyz Talk 16:35, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I had noticed you said this same thing to Hoverfish above. But what Bkonrad said in his edit summary is also true: "references and the other linked article all support inclusion of Buddha." Thus perhaps a footnote could be added to the inclusion of Buddha in the list that gives some clarification of the issue and points out there is some controversy. The footnote could also link to the Gautama Buddha in Hinduism article. This is a better way to make your point than get into an edit war, where apparently the majority think it is good as it is. Dazedbythebell (talk) 12:05, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

It is North - South divide. North India has Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu, South India recognizes Balarama instead. Krishna-centric lists include both and remove Krishna, the "source of all avatars". Redtigerxyz Talk 16:35, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

As Mr. Redtigerxyz mentioned, it could be a case of North-South perceptions. But ignoring the perception of one set of people is not justice. Why not have Balarama as well in the list explaining with a note that certain section of people consider Balarama and others consider Buddha as the avatar. Ramv (talk) 09:15, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

To me what Redtigerxyz said above is of encyclopedic value. Wikipedia does not propagate beliefs or mediate for interfaith relations, but states that "according to source A ... and according to source B ..." so anyone can research further. If it possible, Ram's suggestion of including both in the list with notes about this, seems best. Hoverfish Talk 09:50, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Alright. If no one else has any objections, we will go ahead and modify the content as agreed here. Ramv (talk) 06:29, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
The problem now is that there are eleven names for a term (Dashavatara) that means "ten descents" in Sanskrit. Dazedbythebell (talk) 14:18, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Also it is now inconsistent with the other article, Dashavatara. Dazedbythebell (talk) 23:55, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

I hope my comment was not interpreted as adding one extra "descent". I corrected this. The note states that some other versions have Balarama instead of Gautam Buddha. It would be better, however, to specify in which parts of India each belief is held, if a reliable citation can be given for it. Hoverfish Talk 02:20, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

The way Hoverfish has set the note I think is best, though as he says a citation hopefully stating who believes what and where in India would improve this even further. Dazedbythebell (talk) 11:27, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Dear Dazedbythebell and Hoverfish,
I don't know about you guys, but I am a practicing Hindu and I know the Dasavatharams (thats how we pronounce it here in Tamilnadu) of Vishnu by heart from my childhood days. Now that you requested for citations, I did a casual search of Dasavatharam + Vishnu in Google and randomly looked at the search results. Except for Wikipedia and ISCKON sites, all the list that I peruse contains Balarama in the list. Check out this, " this and " this .
I agree that having eleven names in the list not the right way. But I am not happy with the way the list now depicts Balarama as just a side note. I tell you again - Buddha does not refer to Gautama Buddha (or Siddhartha). Buddha is the term given for the state of mind of an enlightened person. When Jayadevar included Buddha in his Dasavataram song, please do not misinterpret it as Gautama Buddha.
Is there a way to modify the article such that Balarama included in the list without sidelining him into a footnote? Ramv (talk) 10:07, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Ramv, you are right that Balarama is part of Tamil Dashavatara; but [15] several references state that Buddha (Gautama Buddha) is included in Dashavatara. Even Jayadeva's Buddha is Gautama [16]

Redtigerxyz Talk 15:48, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi Redtigerxyz,
The same Gita Govindam by Jayadeva that you cite, has this verse which just precedes the verse referring to Buddha.
vahasi vapuñi viçade vasanaà jaladäbham
keçava dhåta-haladhara-rüpa jaya jagadéça hare
This verse refers to Balarama. You can check out the translation here or any other sources. Also, there are links in google books that mention Balarama.
By the way, Gita Govindam does not have a verse for Krishna Avatar. That does not stop us from leaving out Krishna as an avatar of Vishnu. Moreover, I repeat this again - Buddha does not mean Gautama Buddha (or Siddhartha). Buddha refers to an enlightened person [17] and apart from Gautama, there have been many Buddhas in history [18]. Ramv (talk) 06:52, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Ramv, I do not cite Jayadeva's shloka as proof that Buddha is in Dashavatara. Jayadeva is Krishna-centric which includes both Balarama and Buddha; Krishna is the source of all avatars in this tradition. What I cite are secondary references that say Buddha in Hinduism is Gautama Buddha, "the Buddha". Please do not mix non-Hindu concepts of Buddhahood and 28 Buddhas with the concept of the Hindu Buddha. Like Buddha, Hinduism also assimilated Rishabha - "founder of Jainism" as per Jains - as an avatar (not Dashavatara) of Vishnu. --Redtigerxyz Talk 16:05, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

I wish I could give an answer from sources I can find, but unfortunately this is a quarrel among Hindus who know these scriptures better in their various forms. The problem here is that Wikipedia can accommodate a controversy when a person can give quotations by others. We are thus limited. We can't do original research. There appear to be differing translations and no clear authoritative source on how to discuss the controversy. Online sources seem to simply state it one way or the other, but never enter into a discussion of the controversy. One would need to do deeper research to provide a meaningful section or sub-article on the subject of the debates in India over the Dahavatara. If one is open to doing this research, and can provide sources, much of this discussion would be more meaningful. But a mere quarrel over it and pointing to websites and Wikipedia articles is not sufficient. Until someone who has reliable sources is willing to research a reliable secondary source on the controversy itself, there is little that can be done in the Wikipedia article. Hoverfish entered a footnote to at least address the controversy and its existence. But if one is not willing to find sources on the controversy, then it really has no place here. Dazedbythebell (talk) 15:29, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

IMO, Dashavatara should tackle the controversy. "Alternative lists" already tackles the issue to certain extent. Redtigerxyz Talk 16:05, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps the comment at the end should also have a link to Dashavatara#Alternative_lists. Dazedbythebell (talk) 01:27, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Bhagavata Purana[edit]

In the section Avatar#In the Bhagavata Purana there have until recently been 21 listed Avatars, though the caption states that there are 22 numerically listed avatars in the scripture Bhagavata Purana (also known as Srimad Bhagavatam). The new editor ‎Munnavijayprakash has just added a 22nd, Venkateswara, without giving a reference. Wondering if a reference could be found, or any clarification of these avatars, I went to this translation of the Bhagavata Purana and the current list here is entirely different. Can anyone shed some clarification? Dazedbythebell (talk) 11:26, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Corrected. An user removed Mohini from all lists. --Redtigerxyz Talk 12:05, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you User:Redtigerxyz. Dazedbythebell (talk) 19:13, 22 June 2013 (UTC)