Talk:Bodhidharma/Birthplace sources

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Copied from Talk:Bodhidharma's birthplace: A separate page on Bodhidharma's birthplace[edit]

Many may wonder if it is necessary to create a separate page on Bodhidharma's birthplace. The reason for this is the ongoing debate on the Bodhidharma page over the exact place where Bodhidharma was born. The intention of the present page is to offer sources and webpages which mention various possible places for his origin, and to give extensive quotes so readers can judge for themselves what the value and trustworthiness of these sources is.

Regarding the sensitivities of the various South Indian cultures and identities, I've tried to formulate this article as careful as possible for me, a western white male. No doubt tehre will be sensitivities of which I am not aware. In case any-one feels offensed, I offer my apologies. Writing this article gave me some insights into Indian history, the depths of which I was not aware of.

Regarding the requirements of Wikipedia, this article lingers on the limits of it. It offers an overview of mostly primary sources, most of which are weblogs and discussion fora. As such, this is article is close to OR, if not already over the limit of it. Yet, the one reason to do this, is to offer an examination of the references which are mentioned in defense of the various proposed places of origin of Bodhidharma. I sincerely hope that this article may contribute to a fair and balanced discussion on this topic.

Friendly regards, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 09:23, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi, I came across this article while patrolling new pages. I see above you're aware this article is very boderline when it comes to community guidelines. Might I suggest, then, that it be moved to your userspace until the major issues are dealt with? In other words, is there any need for it to be in the mainspace of Wikipedia yet? If the purpose of the article is to assist in the discussion at "Bodhidharma", then this article will be just as accessible in your userspace as it is here. ClaretAsh 11:06, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid that the 'borderline-issues' can't be solved; they are the point of discussion. It can be in my userspace as well, but is it okay to link to a userspace-article to assist in the discussion? It can be useful, since it gives the various arguments together. But as long as it is in my userspace, what freedom is there to other Wikipedians to add information & links to the article? Is it, maybe, also possible to make this page a subpage of the Bodhidharma-article, or of it's talk-page? Friendly regards, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 12:50, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

First of all, I'll answer your questions. Secondly, I'll discuss the article in more depth.

  • Is it okay to link to a userspace article? From an article page, never. From most other pages, yes (within reason).
  • Can other wikipedians edit it? By all means. Your userspace is a part of Wikipedia and the community is free to edit it, albeit with an extra degree or two of courtesy. See Wikipedia:User pages.
  • Can this article be a subpage of...? I think there is precedent but I'll go into this in more detail below.

I've looked over Talk:Bodhidharma and I see now that the issue of B's birthplace is deeper than I thought. To deal with those issues, we appear to have two options, both of which you seem to be trying to cover by this article. As I understand it, the purpose of this article is, on the one hand, to keep the birthplace issue from messing up Bodhidharma and, on the other, to act as a gathering point for the various sources relating to the topic. I believe both those objectives are necessary but I don't think they work well combined. It would seem the former objective would be best served by an article while the latter should be served by a subpage (for which there is precedent). Allow me to elaborate.

As an article, the topic, Bodhidharma's birthplace, has the merit of keeping the main Bodhidharma article cleaner by avoiding detracting too far from the rest of the topic, i.e. the subject's life and achievements. Nonetheless, we still have to deal with the question of notability. The creation of Bodhidharma's birthplace as a separate article demonstrates that the issue is controversial. But, where lies the controversy: solely among wikipedians and random anonymous editors, or can it be traced to reliable third-party sources? If reliable sources differ about B's birthplace, or if individual reliable sources state that there is disagreement, then the article is entirely justifiable by WP's guidelines. If, however, the disagreement lies predominantly within WP's discussion pages, then I think you'll find yourself having to constantly justify the article's existence.

Regarding the subpage option mentioned earlier, this is best where the sole or main intent is to collate sources. If that is the case, then a subpage such as Talk:Bodhidharma/Birthplace sources or User:Joshua Jonathan/Bodhidharma birthplace sources is easily created and maintained. Just remember to mention it on the appropriate talk pages and, if it is in your userspace, to add some sort of comment at the top to let others know they're free to edit it.

As for the article as it is currently written, I urge you to be very careful when choosing sources. You mention weblogs and discussion fora above; I advise you to read Wikipedia:Verifiability particularly the section on sources that are usually not reliable. Incidentally, you might find Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder controversies a useful example of a controversial topic described in a WP article.

But back the topic of splitting the article's objectives, my suggestion is to move the various "Websites mentioning..." sections into a subpage as I've described above. A subpage that merely lists the various sources will be more useful and, I suspect, far easier to maintain and to protect from random POV-pushers. As for the remainder of the article, I suggest elaborating on what you've already done: demonstrate the existence of the controversy according to what the existing literature states, then move on to specific sources. In other words, keep it simple, neutral and verifiable.

Anyway, I have to leave this for now. It's almost 1am where I am. I hope I've been able to give some good advice. This page is clearly useful to the wikipedia project and I don't want to see it superficially and thoughtlessly sent to AFD. Feel free to talk to me if you have any further comments or questions. ClaretAsh 14:17, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the elaborate response! I'll think it over (family-duties are calling). Actually, in the lietrature, this is not controversial; the pricipal sources hardly contain information on Bodhidharma; a reliable 'biography' is not possible. So that limits the possibilities for a separate article substantialy. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 15:54, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Creating Bodhidharma/Birthplace sources[edit]

Sorry administrators, this copying-proces has been a little bit messy... Joshua Jonathan (talk) 18:25, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Merge & streamline[edit]

This article is well-informed and cited, but it is a mess indeed. Some of those sections need to be merged, some of the text streamlined. No citations need to be removed or anything... just clean-up.--Djathinkimacowboy vandals' playground 07:12, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi Djathinkimacowboy.
  • Thanks for your additions. I'll search for sources for them; have you got any suggestions yourself?
  • Could you explain what sections need to be merged, to your opinion, and why? And what parts need to be streamlined, and why? To explain, this page is meant as an addition to the Discussion Page of Bodhidharma, as an overview of the proposed birthplaces & the possible sources for these birthplaces, lest the same arguments keep being repeated over and over again. Friendly regards, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 07:34, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Another source?[edit]

For what it is worth, I am reading Yampolsky's translation/commentary of the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch and he notes that the Ch'üan fa pao chi which dates to the first decade of the eighth century (page 5) states that Bodhidharma was a Brahman from Southern India (page 7). Helpsome (talk) 00:25, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

I'll check it out and integrate it, though I expect it to be avariant on the other ancient Chinese sources. Thanks! Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:17, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Done, finally. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:45, 21 July 2014 (UTC)