Talk:Saṃsāra

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untitled[edit]

The ṃ character doesn't appear in my browser for some reason... --Furrykef 04:31, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Do you have a good unicode font installed on your system? -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽

I would think so...I have Windows XP and have the "East Asian" fonts installed (though this character may be outside these character sets)...e.g., I can see Chinese and Japanese characters just fine, and indeed most characters I encounter. Windows makes you jump through too many hoops for this sort of thing... :/ --Furrykef 04:46, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Well, it's not just windows; unicode support is sketchy all around, which is too bad, because it's really the only thing that makes sense, particularly for projects like wikipedia. The problem here is that, because roman diacritics for Sanskrit and other Indian languages aren't native to any language, they're not well-supported by internationalization efforts. For example, if it were straight i have copied and pasted this for my homework ! Haha you fell for it you thought it was my work and it isnt haha devanagari and you had a font that had any devanagari, your browser would happily detect and display it even if your primary font were something silly. (And by "silly" here, I just mean a traditional roman script) Check and see if you have "Arial Unicode MS" on your system; if you do, try making it your browsers default font. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 17:42, May 28, 2004 (UTC)

Yipe. With the new WikiMedia software and the broken "msg" bug, the article is an absolute mess now. --Furrykef 04:23, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Hmm. Indeed. Monobook skins can be fixed using css customization. See Talk:Buddhism The rest is my fault, and I'm working on it. Apologies for the inconvenience. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 19:50, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Clean up[edit]

This article needed a bit of clean up due to vandalism. I restored text which was obviously vandalized, it's very kind of the vandals to leave such blatant markers.

However, several paragraphs were recently removed from the Hindu section, and it's not really clear to me whether this was intentional or not. Since there is no change comment, I'll restore it soon if no one else does or says something. Somegeek 04:03, 2005 Apr 28 (UTC)

This article had a lot of statements that confused Hindu, Buddhist and Jain beliefs regarding the same term. It also does not shed light on the way people understand samsara today and clarify the original religious meaning from what it would mean to people today. The article also seems to focus more on rebirth, than on the actual phenomenon of samsara.

AutoInquiry (talk) 23:07, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

The lead paragraph[edit]

From the early days of this article (in 2003), the lead sentence has referred to the concept of Samsara in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism." In August, 2005 RDF added "and Surat Shabda Yoga" to the article, to read as follows:

In Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Surat Shabda Yoga, samsara or saṃsāra refers to the concept of reincarnation or rebirth in Indian philosophical traditions (emphasis added).

I don't think that Surat Shabda Yoga belongs in the lead. No doubt it is a significant yoga. However, it is not on a par with Hindusim, Buddhism and Jainism. Please comment. Sunray 02:40, 10 October 2005 (UTC)


Sunray has objected to the inclusion of Surat Shabda Yoga in the lead paragraph of this article, and s/he has been gracious enough to list her/his reasons. My replies to these objections follow.

The first objection appears to be related to some sort of assumption that early edits of an article somehow carry more weight than later additions. Clearly, this viewpoint is counter to a fundamental principle of any wiki, particularly Wikipedia, that the encyclopedia will improve over time through continuous edits.

Meta:Eventualism
Eventualism is a tendency amongst Wikipedians, which focuses on the eventual value of Wikipedia, in the Long Now, rather than the immediate value. Contrast meta:immediatism; the opposite viewpoint.
In stark contrast to an exclusionist, an eventualist has no objection to large chunks of unwikified text and trusts that, eventually, someone will fix this, where an immediatist or exclusionist would be concerned that they will reduce the perceived professionalism of Wikipedia.

The second argument for excluding Surat Shabda Yoga is based on the position that “I don't think that Surat Shabda Yoga belongs in the lead. No doubt it is a significant yoga. However, it is not on a par with Hindusim, [sic] Buddhism and Jainism.”

First, Surat Shabda Yoga is credited with being “significant,” and then it is attributed as being “not on a par” with three other traditions. This “not on a par” claim appears to be the only “substantive” reason for excluding a statement of fact about “a significant yoga.” This sounds like an attempt to exclude factual information about a “noteworthy” group in a parallel constructed descriptive statement.

If this justification for exclusion somehow is based on the number of adherents or supporters for the proposed addition, then once again the argument appears to be extremely weak, at best. For example, adherents of Jainism are less than 0.05% of Hinduism and about 1% of Buddhism. By this “not on a par” criterion, perhaps Jainism, and possibly Buddhism (36% of Hinduism), should be excluded as well. While Surat Shabda Yoga lists about 48% of Jainism adherents, this is based on roughly twenty year old data for one movement (Radhasoami [1]). The leader of only one other Surat Shabda Yoga movement would basically double the adherents estimate. Thus it also it is a relatively simple matter to argue that the number of Surat Shabda Yoga adherents is “on a par” with the number of Jainism adherents as well.:

By his own estimate, Sant Thakar Singh initiated more than 2 million people between 1976 and 2005, and more than 1.5 million of these presently live in India. In February 2005 1.1 million people gathered in Pimpalner, India to see Sant Thakar Singh pass the mantle of Guruship to his successor, Sant Baljit Singh. (Sant Mat# Geographical Reach)

From Religion#Present day religious adherence and trends:

  • Hinduism: 1.1 billion
  • Buddhism: 400 million
  • Jainism: 4.2 million
  • Sant Mat / Surat Shabd Yoga : 2 million

For the reasons stated above, Surat Shabda Yoga is just as valid as any of the other traditions listed in the lead paragraph for continued inclusion. In addition, if someone comes along two or three years from now with an equally factual and noteworthy tradition that uses the concept of samsara, it should be included as well. RDF talk 17:55, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

RDF argues that, when judged by number of adherents, Surat Shabd Yoga should be included with Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism in that it has almost half the number of adherents as Jainism. He further argues that any "noteworthy tradition that uses the concept of samsara" should be included in the lead. However, I don't think that this is the function of a lead paragraph.
A lead paragraph exists to give the reader a quick and comprehensive introduction to a particular topic (see Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles#Lead section. According to the guide, the lead section "should establish significances, large implications and why we should care... The first sentence should give a concise, conceptually sound definition that puts the article in context." In this case, the reader will undoubtedly be interested to know that the term "samsara" is shared by three of the world's major religions. While there are many other traditions that also use the term (several other yogas for example), we don't mention them. Why not?
The first part of the answer has to do with the scope and influence of the three traditions named in the lead. Buddhism and Hinduism are on virtually every list of major world religions. Jainism is listed on most. All three have been around for hundreds of years and have had a major impact on history. The second part of the answer is that we cannot exhaustively list everything that applies to an article topic in the lead. To do so would drastically weaken a lead and would be contrary to Wikipedia's aims.
Since RDF has an extremely strong point of view on this, it would be good to hear the views of other editors. Sunray 22:56, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
I think the beginning should say something like "In Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and other related religions". There are probably more than 4 religious groups out there that believe in samsara. - Nat Krause 11:06, 16 October 2005 (UTC)
Right, I agree. Only three of us have commented. According to Wikipedia:Consensus a two thirds majority constitutes consensus on talk pages. Therefore I will make the change. Sunray 16:35, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

I shall support the exclusion of the explicit mention of Surat Shabda Yoga cult. Here are my reasons:

  1. Religious denominations for Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism were classified according to the 1920s census of British India. No new classification scheme has been agreed upon ever since.
  2. All later cults that add new ideas around one core set of beliefs will have to be considered part of the larger religious whole. For example the Surat Shabda Yoga, has the same concepts of a soul (Surat), the Absolute Being that can be represented by a word (Shabda) and Yoga (union of the two), that are part of the Hindu Vedanta tradition or early Sikhism. For these reasons, Surat Shabda Yoga is better considered a part of either Sikhism or Hinduism, unless there a strong compelling difference between them and any of these mainstream faiths.
  3. There may seem to be strong similarities between Jainsim, Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism. But there are strong dissimilarities that essentially distinguish these faiths from each other, and therefore merit separate classification. For example:
  1. Hindu faiths, which include Vedanta (which itself has a separate), Sant Mats, Yoga, Mimamsa and other Trantic and yoga cults have a few distinguishable common beliefs. All of these believe in an individual soul, a supreme God (either an Absolute Being,Brahman, Atman or others), the Vedas are accepted as sources of knowledge about the divine (some of them believe it is supreme and others don't, but they all accept its validity) and the goal of life is said to consist of attaining some form of union, realization of sameness or closeness to God. All of them are non-Abrahamic (Jewish, Christian or Muslim faiths), and all of them have their roots in India. Different cults have slightly varying traditions regarding the origin of the world, but all of them believe in some sort of creation.
  2. Buddhists completely deny the existence of a God, are silent on the question of the origin of the world and do not believe in the union of the individual soul and God. In fact, they don't even accept the Vedas, Upanishads, refute any theories of the soul and have a distinct theory of rebirth that does not involve the transmigration of a soul. Liberation for Buddhists is by enlightening to the essential nature of phenomena in the world.
  3. Jainism again breaks away from the Vedic cult of rituals and believes that salvation can be attained by terminal starvation and complete inaction, thus taking the practice of asceticism to austere extremes. They don't believe in the existence of a God, or creation, but accept the existence of an individual soul that transmigrates from one body to another upon death, except if the individual has attained kaivalya.
  4. Sikhism began with a cult hue with a mild following of people having Hindu beliefs. The waheguru of the Sikhs closely resembles the Vedantic belief in a non-anthropomorphic Universal being, almost identical with the universe itself. Their belief in Maya, reincarnation, NSabad, naam, kirat and other beliefs, especially found in the Adi Granth are so similar to any other Hindu belief that they could as well be called another Hindu tradition. (Indeed some Hindus and Sikhs also accept the near identity) However, the main reason to separate the Sikhs from the Hindus would be due to their insistence that idol worship and rituals are worthless, their non-acceptance of the Vedas, refusal to be seen as a faith in Hinduism, but as a religion that tolerates both Hindu and Muslim faith during the Islamic conquest of India. They comrpised mainly of warriors that fought against the Mughals for the protection of the weak.

In short the Surat Shabd Yoga and the Radhasoami is a cult following the lineage of Sri Chand one of Guru Nanak's sons that founded the Udasi order. These were perhaps offshoots of the same order. They are so similar to Sikhism that separating them from Sikhism would be an overkill.

None of the reasons mentioned above by User:Sunray or User:RDF (that they are a significant movement, or that they have a large following) support the need for classifying Surat Shabd Yoga as a separate religion, especially on a topic that has such a wide acceptance among all Dharmic religions. If there were a topic that specifically recognizes the distinct beliefs of Sant Mat and Sikhism or Hinduism alone on a common topic, it would be sensible to document their ideas separately, but it would not be so otherwise.

In fact, for this same reason, I don't understand why Vaishnavism is included here as a separate religion. It is just another Hindu school.

AutoInquiry (talk)


Darwin (References)[edit]

I don't get it: why did you put back that lame reference (with question marks, yet!) to The Voyage of the Beagle? It wasn't called that in 1839; it was, at that time, volume 3 of Fitzroy's Narratives -- which reference I inserted in rather abbreviated form (too abbreviated?). I also added a modern version of The Voyage that seemed rather good (doesn't have Fitzroy's blather in it, of course) and is readily available. Was there something wrong with that? -- Jrmccall 14:08, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 16:23, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Rebirth as a plant[edit]

Please provide the quote. Mitsube (talk) 17:25, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Popular Culture[edit]

I don't know if this popular 90s club night in London called 'Escape from Samsara' is worthy of a mention?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fridge#Return_To_The_Source_and_Escape_From_Samsara

78.86.10.170 (talk) 16:43, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Thats interesting. But it is not worthy of mention.--Indian Chronicles (talk) 16:08, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Is a Naruto reference, a fictional martial art technique for an anime about ninjas, really necessary here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 163.151.2.10 (talk) 19:31, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

The (wrong) explanation of the view of Samsara was removed, because I didn't think that was the right place for the mention of the cycle of rebirth and Moksha. The Naruto mention was questionable too, but not too out of place. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Preacher066 (talkcontribs) 21:43, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Science? DNA?[edit]

Is there any science that deals with this other than perhaps that of DNA? This all being a child-like vision of actual science, and the scientific method... or perhaps a more archetypal algortihm at the basis of nature... Dagelf (talk) 17:21, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Samsara doesn't fit Sikhism[edit]

I've been reading the section on Sikhism and Samsara, and no matter how I try and write it, Samasara does not fit the Sikh concepts. I may have to remove it as I cannot find any references. Thanks 16:29, 26 November 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sikh-history (talkcontribs)

Move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. 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 proposal was no consensus. --BDD (talk) 16:36, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

– Like other words of Sanskrit origin like (avatar, guru, moksha), Samsara has been incorporated as an English word. It is included in English dictionaries without diacritics so transliterations should not be used per WP:ENGLISH. Oxford, Merriam Webster, Collins, Random House, Britannica. Redtigerxyz Talk 19:11, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

  • I agree with the move (for all of the above pages) and the reasons stated. - Dorje108 (talk) 23:38, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - as with previous moves it would be better for active editors of the projects involved to first get consensus on a MOS for Sanskrit terms and use of IAST. Particularly when (admittedly at random) the first book hit I clicked Arthur L. Herman The Problem Of Evil And Indian Thought 1993 Page 146 had the term in IAST: "Saṃsāra is a Sanskrit word from the root sr which means, variously, 'to flow', 'run swiftly', or 'glide'; conjoined with the prefix sam, meaning 'with' or 'together', the word has the * Previously published in The Journal of the Ganganatha Jha ..." . As regards the comparison in nom, avatar and guru are as English as English bungalow and khaki; moksha okay. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:50, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
  • support The pages title to be moved to non-diacritic titles as per the reasons stated above. It is more better searchable and the link does not look shabby.--Indian Chronicles (talk) 05:20, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per dictionary entries -- 76.65.128.222 (talk) 05:51, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't accept the original reasoning. The word is a technical term of non English derivation, hence the basic rule of scholarly usage should apply. Also see the dictionaries for some words of European origin which are often written with diacritics, e.g. café, doppelgänger, naïve.

Additionally some of the dictionaries make allowance for 'foreign' words , e.g. [2] says of café that it is a French word. English can borrow other scripts in the same way that it can borrow pronounciations, and indeed words. Imc (talk) 09:56, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Support, all English-language textbooks I have seen drop the diacritical mark from the word.--Xiaphias (talk) 03:49, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per User:Imc. This is an academic rather than a pop culture topic that is served well with the precision that IAST affords as reflected in quality sources. —  AjaxSmack  01:48, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. 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.

Saṃsāra[edit]

I wanted money so that I can learn the dharma[1], it is a strange mystery about human existence, many years ago I learned about what Saṃsāra may be, so the gurus said how Saṃsāra is cyclic existence, that we are trapped in Saṃsāra, and there are many ways out of this trap - I went figuring out how I may depart from this trap, then whether I did escape or otherwise, I found myself staring once again at what Saṃsāra may be [2]- the very essence why an escape was meaningful is because there was a trap in the first place. Without the trap i.e. Saṃsāra, any freedom from it is also rather pointless.

Liken Saṃsāra with a mother. I came from a womb, so that was Saṃsāra, that was the trap. Each day I live on, having already escaped from the mother's womb, I continue working at it, day after day, knowing that an eventual beyond may exist that pleases me as much as what a Buddhahood would be. Yet whether I attain Buddhahood or otherwise, that very attainment is only meaningful because I did come from a womb a long time ago. If the mother and her womb disappears, the Buddha serves hardly any purpose if at all; if the planet earth with her cyclical existence disappears, any escape from this planet is ridiculous in itself too.

  1. ^ The Collection of Teachings of Ven Guang Chao
  2. ^ Lin, Rongxiang. "Saṃsāra". http://guangchaofayin.org/development. Retrieved 10 June 2014.