Talk:Bhagavata Purana

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Priyanath, I saw you adjusting the TOC in the article to limit its length, and thought I'd throw out some half-baked ideas. The main issue is the Contents section, which has 12 subsections corresponding to the 12 books. We can use the following approaches to omit this sub-sections from appearing in the TOC:

  • Use level four (instead of level 3) headings for each book, and then limit the TOC to display upto only level 3. However MOS may deprecate such an approach.
  • Instead of sub-sections we can organize the books using the "; : " system, as in,
Book 12
The future rulers of Magadha are predicted, along with
The only issue being that we can then not edit the individual books separately, but need to edit the longer Contents section.

The current approach, limiting the TOC to level 2, is not bad either. Abecedare (talk) 20:04, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Both are good ideas, and better than my first attempt at it. I like the first version better. Any issue with MOS may well be the same for the second version. I'll try it out, and solicit more feedback. Thanks, Priyanath talk 20:19, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Hmmmmm, that didn't work. It's now showing all the levels. Priyanath talk 20:25, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Apparently TOClimit doesn't simply count the number of "="'s in the section header, but looks at the levels of hierarchy (see test case). So my first proposed solution won't work. We can stick with the 2nd level limit, or use the second option. I have no real preference, since both have their pros and cons.
By the way, real nice work on fleshing out the Philosophy section! Abecedare (talk) 20:36, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Here is another option (was easier to illustrate than describe). Abecedare (talk) 20:41, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I think that's the best yet. I'll revert to that for now, unless you have better ideas. Priyanath talk 20:44, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
P.S. BTW, as I got into the philosophy section, I realized that there's a great deal more that could be done. Same for the Significance section. Rocher's book was great for the Book descriptions. I'd like to see A critical study of the Bhagavata Purana by T. S. Rukmani, which some of the other reliable sources recommend. Priyanath talk 20:48, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Its nice that we (= you :-) ) have access to the Rocher book at last; it should be useful for Purana and other article too. I hadn't come come across the Rukmani reference before but the title sounds promising and it is part of the Chowkhamba Sanskrit series, which I have seen before. The book is available at my library and I have placed a request for it.
As for there being much more that can be added, that is no surprise: Dasgupta's book has 10-15 pages on the relatively narrow topic of roles of Brahman, Paramishvara, Bhagavat etc in BP (I read it a few weeks back but it was difficult to summarize so I put it off). The length and the depth of this article is limited only by us editors. Abecedare (talk) 21:09, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
P.P.S.: Dasgupta's The History of Indian Philosophy is available online here.[1] Priyanath talk 21:00, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Cool. I have a physical copy of Vol. IV with me, but an electronic copy is even more useful for "browsing". Thanks for the link. Abecedare (talk) 21:13, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

And if you order(ed) Rocher's book, don't be dissuaded when the 'wrong' book arrives (namely Hindu Tantric and Shakta Literature). In my library copy (from Worldcat), The Puranas is bound right on the back of the first book, with no mention of it on the cover or the 'first' title page/contents. Talk about hidden teachings.... Priyanath talk 21:54, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

I suggest that in cases where there are significant traditions providing their own versions and sources they should be allowed to at least be mentioned, on their own merits, so to speak. For example, if some of the major Vaishnava sampradayas, like the Gaudiyas, Vallabhas, Nimbarka etc, have their own traditional datings for the Bhagavata Purana, why not simply allow them to be mentioned? What's the harm? (I am not saying that every little fringe sect with their own version should have to clutter space here, but I am talking about major lineage.) Otherwise there is a risk that Wikipedia becomes monopolized by the academic version. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Harmoniser (talkcontribs) 19:16, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Origin and Dating[edit]

I am not sure how is this related to origin and dating --

It has been also noted that Goudapada, the guru of Govinda, who was the teacher of Adi Shankara, mentions a verse of the Bhagavata in his Uttaragita-bhasya[15] as well as two other verses of Bhagavata Purana in his Sankhya-karika.[16]

Probably belongs to a different section, not this one. --Nvineeth (talk) 07:45, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I think that sentence was essentially paraphrased from this Hare Krishna webiste (or perhaps one of its mirrors), which says "But Gaudapada, teacher of Govinda who was teacher of Sankara, mentions the Bhagavatam in his Uttaragita-bhasya and in his commentary on Sankhya-karika makes reference to other two verses." Anyways, the detailed argument of its dating doesn't belong in this section, which is written in summary style to represent religious views and scholarly consensus, without going into detailed examination of the evidence that lead to those views. Abecedare (talk) 07:55, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
It directly relates to the question of dating of the Bhagavata Purana, as if it was cited before Adi Sankara time, it is obviously related to the dating of the purana. (and no, it is not a paraphrase of cite that also makes a use of the same research. Wikidas© 07:59, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
In the website, they provide the context before they present this sentence. However, when added in isolation, this sentence is definitely out of place and sounds confusing as well. --Nvineeth (talk) 08:05, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I did not use the website for this reference, I agree that the sentence itself sounded out of place, and I have changed it to clarify how it directly relates to 'dating' - being pre-sankara - of the Purana. I hope it is acceptable as it is, since its clearly relating to dating of the Purana. Wikidas© 08:09, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I found the original source from where the sentence including the citations was copied. See this "MA thesis summary" (zip file) which says on page 7-8, "... Goudapada, the teacher of Govinda, who was teacher of Sankara, mentions a verse of the Bhâgavatam in his Uttaragita-bhasya[28] as well as two other verses of Bhâgavatam in his Sankhya-karika.[29]" with citations 28 and 29 matching the ones Wikidas added, without citing the source he had actually consulted. Incidentally this is a fringe source that concludes that

"Bhâgavatam was compiled in a period that goes from the end of Mahâbhârata age, at the beginning of Kali-yuga (3102 BC) and at the latest around 2600 BC, when the star Alpha Draconis was still in the Polar Axis and the Sarasvati still flowed. However, in spite of all the scientifically rigorous analysis presented in this investigation, we find that mainstream scholars are still very much opposed to this demonstration"

It would really help if we could avoid such POV pushing, mis-citations of non-RS sources, and adding fringe sectarian material in the future. Abecedare (talk) 08:11, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

While clearly this MA thesis is citing the same material, why is the view that Goudapada cited Bhagavata Purana is not acceptable for inclusion, It is not the MA Thesis that is being cited but the sources used in it. Thus your accusation is groundless to say the least. Wikidas© 08:17, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikidas you have been caught misrepresenting sources several times in the past and if you continue, you will be banned from wikipedia. A simple question: Did you actually read the two sources you cited ? If so, can you provide the corresponding quotes ? If not, you did miscite sources, especially considering that you left out the contradictory mainstream opinion that even the fringe "MA thesis" you used quoted. Abecedare (talk) 08:21, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
If anything in this case I can be accused of copyvio. It quoted it verbatim. Non of the accusations you personally brought against me ever held up, and I am very closely citing the sources. This source clearly relates to the fact that Goudapada, a well known grand-guru of Sankara is citing this Purana. It is also covered by "The Bhāgavata bhakti cult and three Advaita ācāryas, Śaṅkara, Rāmānuja, and Vallabha" by Ramnarayan Vyas, Nag Publishers, 1977, specifically in the pages 190-192. I am not citing these sources, but it is a fact that dating of the purana is being seen in a different light and the whole discussion on the influence of this Purana on Sankara may be mentioned as well. I have seen both the sources and the MA at the time I add this. As an admin you should know better as to treat others, there are many sources that corroborate to the fact that Goudapada has cited the Bhagavatam, besides the primary sources. Wikidas© 08:38, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Since you claim to have seen both the sources that you cited, can you:
  1. Specify what references 2 and 3 are in this snippet and explain why you cited the incorrect page number (just like the MA thesis did)?
  2. Can you provide the relevant quotes from "Majumdar, Bimanbehari. Krishna in History and Legend. University of Calcutta 1969, p. 61" ?
I'll be blunt with you: It is obvious that you are not being truthful in this instance, just has been the case in the past. If you wish to argue that none of the times you have been caught making up and/or misrepresenting sources "ever held up", I am willing to start a user RFC on you, which IMO will lead to you being banned from the project (I'll have to dig up the diff, but I can even quote you saying several months back that you had miscited sources in the past, but had stopped now). I would highly recommend that you admit error and more importantly, stop this disruptive and completely unacceptable behavior. Abecedare (talk) 08:54, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, this also seems to be a case of synthesis using two sources not directly related to dating. Neither of the references seem to talk directly about the dating, and support only the presence of verses. While this is perfectly acceptable for a MA thesis, I don't think it is possible in the article. --Nvineeth (talk) 08:58, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Incidentally, the MA thesis was from "Instituto Bhaktivedanta de Ciencias y Humanidades A. C., Mexico (note the redlink), and is worth reading to see (1) its fringe claims, and (2) even the author admitting that his claims will not be accepted by actual scholars in the field ("admittedly the research presented here may not be sufficient to satisfy the specialists"; "we find that mainstream scholars are still very much opposed to this demonstration").
It's quite obvious that Wikidas essentially plagiarized this source, without attribution, and cited the other two without having taken a look at them. Incidentally, here are some earlier instances that I am aware of where he made up, misrepresented or selectively quoted sources to push a POV:
and now here. I think it is high-time such behavior which is so corrosive to encyclopedic content stops. Here is what the ARBCOM had to say in a similar case, and Wikidas has been told all this repeatedly over the past 2 years. Abecedare (talk) 09:17, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikidas, please try to be honest about your sources and stick to WP:RS. I suppose it is possible to construct an argument dating the BP to the 8th century, as it is impossible to date any classical Indian text better than with an error margin of at least 200 years, but such an argument would have to come from a serious source, and would need to be presented accurately, not via a mis-citation of a mis-citation. --dab (𒁳) 09:43, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

It appears that the "Gaudapada cited the BP" idea originates in the 1930s with one Amarnath Ray [2] The idea can be referenced by pointing to perfectly pedestrian publications like Encyclopaedia of Hinduism, no need to introduce funky ISKCON "MA theses". Also note that the spelling "Goudapada" is a dead giveaway that we are looking at ISKCON literature ("Gouranga"), the chap is called Gauḍapāda in close transliteration, and lived in the 8th century. Was the BP composed in the 8th century? Or the 9th? Or the 10th? You've got me there. I would say that the BP is of about the same age as Beowulf. --dab (𒁳) 09:50, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Our article already states that the date range for BP is 5-10c , with ~9c being the most commonly accepted date (we even cite Hazra as one of the few exceptions, who prefers the 6th century dating). The problem is not that a pre-8th c date is being pushed, but rather that material taken from a fringe source is being presented out of context and being attributed to other sources, that not even Wikidas has seen. That prevents an honest evaluation of the material and source quality. Abecedare (talk) 10:02, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
It is your choice to remove sources you do not like or if it is associated with a POV you do not like. You can use some records of the previous attacks on my sources as a tool, obviously it will lay on your conscience. This source different to others cited by MA I saw a year ago is clearly presenting a specific POV (that you for some reason trying to remove from the article. If you want you can bring it up on ARBCOM, but I would question your partiality on this, since there is a good record of your attempts to remove predominantly spread Gaudiya POV from a few articles and you may use your admin status for that, but should you not just mention the simple notion that Goudapada quotes Bhagavatam and that predates the Adi Sankara by some hundred years... Is it a POV or a simple fact that is very relevant to the date of the Purana... ?Wikidas© 10:03, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikidas, again please don't create a strawman. This is not a debate about any POV, but about your repeated dishonest presentation of sources. If you dispute that, please do answer the questions I asked above, and provide quote from the sources you cited, and claimed to have seen. Abecedare (talk) 10:15, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Look I cited sources you do not like, they are by Gaudiya scholars and associates. You do not like them and do not like the fact that this funky MA thesis is using them. I do not have scans of these and I only seen them with MA. Are you based on this will deny that Encyclopaedia of Hinduism should not be cited? Obviously it discusses the dating in detail and is presenting same facts (and more facts) on the earlier dating then the Gaudapada. Look at the above discussion, it is all about Gaudiya presentation. But lets put it aside, are you prepared to have a sentence here clearly stating that because it quoted by 7th century commentator Gaudapada, the later dating is put into a question. Thanks dab for the RSs, I had trouble finding it due to the spelling mistake in that funky MA source I used. Wikidas© 10:31, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for at last admitting that you cited sources that you had not seen and that you lied before when you claimed otherwise ("I have seen both the sources and the MA at the time I add this.")! Such dishonesty makes it very difficult to trust anything you say, and work collaboratively with you. You really need to stop such conduct, if you wish to continue editing on wikipedia. Two years is a long enough period to have learned better.
As for the content issue: even if you read the thesis itself, you'll see that most scholars dispute the evidence you are citing. Even then, the article correctly summarizes the that BP was composed sometime in the 5-10c period (which includes the pre-8th c conjecture), and that 9th c is the most widely, though not universally, accepted date. Getting into a detailed discussion of the evidence that leads scholars to this conclusion, is beyond the scope of this summary style article - although I would encourage you to read the cited sources (Kumar Das, Matchett, van Buitenen etc), instead of wasting your and our time (selectively) quoting from a fringe MA thesis. Abecedare (talk) 10:50, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
You are making such a fuss out of quoting from the fringe MA thesis, and accusing me of not seeing it. Why do you do it? Why a simple logical statement that Gaudapada quoted it according to some is out of the range of this 'summary style'. If it is a summary style - then a full article should be written on the subject, otherwise what is it summary of? If anything the section should be expanded. Any reasons on not expanding the section? Did I quote anything that makes this section a fringe? Did I even mention the fringe MA thesis in the citation? Stop this attack and lets write down based on the RS as per above. Wikidas© 10:57, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Why have you claimed that (diff) I quote a Hare Krishna website (when I didn't)? You know that it is being used as a source to the Hare Krishna views; and thus you are just trying to put me down (before even discovering the MA thesis), it is clearly not about the actual article's content, you are just trying to dismiss it off hand and then accusing me of lying, when you present your assumptions as the fact first. (an interesting move, light the fire and then accuse others of creating a strawman) Wikidas© 11:05, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I am sorry but I not going to argue or explain this any further. Feel free to start an RFC or get a third opinion, if you wish - although you should be aware that further disruption is likely to lead to you being sanctioned for persistent WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. Abecedare (talk) 11:17, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
You do not need to, you have already agreed to expand the article and your input is valued! RS are there and the fact that it was written and known before Gaudapada is worth mentioning; WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT - it is something u should note and use; but remember it is not your article, and anyone who has good RS is free to add material as well as question the sources. I am going to expand the section about the date of the Bhagavata using the RS above, and I appreciate the help of other editors who supplied these sources after my edits. Can you try to be less antagonistic Abe? Nevermind Wikidas© 11:23, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikidas, the article already gives a range from 500-1000 CE, using the very best sourcing. Any fringe or even little known scholar who also puts the date in that range is unnecessary. Because of your history, I suggest you propose additions here and reach consensus first. I think the article actually bends over backwards to point out that the date range is referring only to the final written text, not on the origin of the Bhagavata itself, which can't ever be proven (using real sources, anyway). The pattern of falsifying sources to promote a POV is much more serious. If there is an RfC (which I don't have the time to start), I think that a topic ban on Krishna- and Hinduism-related articles wouldn't be overreaching. Priyanath talk 16:34, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

sheesh, I didn't see the 500 CE lower estimate. Then why oh why are we prancing about some obscure references saying "may predate 800 CE"? We already say it may predate 800 CE, by as much as three centuries! Now 500 CE would be an extremely early date for the composition of any Purana. As Priyanath is saying, we are already bending over backwards to accommodate the "my ancient texts are more ancient than your ancient texts" mentality exhibited by Wikidas. Please let it rest now, there is nothing to see here. dab (𒁳) 18:44, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I am not trying to suggest it is ancient or not, I just wanted to see reference of its age to the landmark of Sankara. I feel it is important, as the most common argument (besides common Vopadeva story that I keep hearing) is that Sankara did not comment on it and did not refer to it thus it must be post Adi Sankara. Why you keep putting words in my mouth? Wikidas© 20:33, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
you "wanted to see reference of its age to the landmark of Sankara"? Shankara lived in the 9th century. By saying that estimates range from 500 to 1000 we are already saying BP may predate or postdate Shankara. If you have academic literature that add further points, present it, but stop making a fuss over nothing at all. Also, stop trying to sneak in non-academic ISKCON-type literature into the dating question. --dab (𒁳) 15:59, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree - if there are very high quality academic sources that can add to the dating, then let's hear about them on the talk page. Right now the article reflects the highest quality sources, which is as it should be for such an important article. Let's keep it that way. Priyanath talk 20:13, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

I suggest that in cases where there are significant traditions providing their own versions and sources they should be allowed to at least be mentioned, on their own merits, so to speak. For example, if some of the major Vaishnava sampradayas, like the Gaudiyas, Vallabhas, Nimbarka etc, have their own traditional datings for the Bhagavata Purana, why not simply allow them to be mentioned? What's the harm? (I am not saying that every little fringe sect with their own version should have to clutter space here, but I am talking about major lineage.) Otherwise there is a risk that Wikipedia becomes monopolized by the academic version. Harmoniser (talk) 19:20, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Philadelphia art museum paintings[edit]

I came across quite a few images related to Bhagavata Purana at the Philadelphia Art Museum. See Wikipedia_talk:Hinduism-related_topics_notice_board#Philadephia_art_museum for details on accessing these images. --Nvineeth (talk) 17:58, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Great! This article is fun to illustrate given the humongous amount of art BP inspired. For balance though, we should include some temple and sculpture images, which unfortunately are harder to find under a free license since {{PD-art}} does not apply. Abecedare (talk) 17:12, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Cultural and social influence section[edit]

Just wanted to gain some consensus on the scope and content of this section (CSI).
In my view the contents of this section need to be kept distinct from the Philosophy and Content section in that the latter two talk about what the BP says, while the CSI section outlines what effect that theology and mythology had on Indian society and culture. So for example, the discussion of BP's views on rituals and caste perhaps belong in the Philosophy section, while the CSI section should discuss if and how those views practically changed the established caste system, and Brahmanism.
Secondly, I think the Theatre and dance discussion should not be split out on its own, but should be a subsection of CSI. Over time I plan to add two more similar subsections on CSI's impact of

  • Literature and poetry (for example, on the Sandesha kavya genre), and
  • Art and architecture (we already have great examples of BP inspired iconography in the images included in the article).

As Bryant notes:

... the Bhagavata has inspired more derivative literature, poetry, drama, dance, theatre and art than any text in the history of Sanskrit literature, with the possible exception of the Ramayana.

and CSI should summarize these influences in one place. Eventually, depending on the length, we may want to split the social influence from the cultural influence, but for now I think we can keep them together. Any comments or suggestions ? Abecedare (talk) 17:01, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

I had the same thought as I was writing that section re: the fact that it was about what the BP says rather than its influence. So, moving that into the philosophy section (subsection title?) makes sense to me. And then of course having the current section cover the influence. Priyanath talk 17:08, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
I think the caste content can be covered under the Bhakti subsection, since as I understand it, the underemphasis on caste followed from BP's focus on devotion as the preferred dharmic path, in contrast with Vedic ritualism, or even Upanashidic focus on jnana. This change meant that Brahmins were no longer the required intermediary in worship. However, the sources need to be be checked to confirm my memory - since I haven't looked at them recently. Abecedare (talk) 17:18, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
That sounds right, the Bhakti section. I was also looking for those sources re: getting rid of the priestly intermediary - so far what I'm seeing is that the bhakti movement in general had that influence. I'll keep looking. Priyanath talk 17:52, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

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Lead section image[edit]

Bhagavata Purana manuscript, 18 century.jpg

I thought that the image here is a much better illustration of the Bhagavata Purana as an ancient text, being a hi-rez and good quality image of the original manuscript with illustrations. This is what, IMHO, the lead section image should illustrate. The current image of Krishna holding the Govardhan, while being nice and aesthetically pleasing, serves less to illustrate the article on the Bhagavata Purana as an ancient text than the proposed image does. It can still be used, but should be demoted to the body of the article. Regards, Cinosaur (talk) 07:40, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Replacing the image with another image of the manuscript and illustrations, but with a more prominent episode.--Redtigerxyz Talk 05:57, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, that's good. However, the resolution is a bit too low. Is it possible to find the same or similar manuscript image of a better quality, with a view of nominating it for FP (as I was hoping to)? Also, it is unclear for me what should take preference – image quality or its arbitrary content prominence? Regards, Cinosaur (talk) 06:45, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
I've just replaced your image with its hi-rez version, albeit not high enough for a FP nomination. Regards, Cinosaur (talk) 06:59, 30 January 2014 (UTC)