Talk:Yoga

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(Mis)Pronunciation of योग and other words[edit]

This is regarding the reverted version 580462994, as outlined here - http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Yoga&action=historysubmit&diff=580921871&oldid=580860256. I understand that the mispronunciation of योग as योगा needs to be proven via citation(s).

In case one is a native speaker and keeps oneself updated about the world (via travel or news), one would know that योग is being frequently mispronounced as योगा, usually by non-native speakers and seldom by urbanized natives. The mispronunciation is widespread and the audience of Wikipedia, a layman, needs to be educated on the pronunciation, because mispronunciation is widespread and it changes meaning. Expecting the layman to understand that the trailing "a" is not to be phonetically confused with ā is an unduly challenging expectation on the layman. It is but natural for a layman to pronounce "Yoga" as योगा, and "Yog" as योग. In case I have done a good job of elaborating the rationale, the world may be a better place if the revert is restored. In case the citations are still required as a technicality, please allow me to suggest a simple test, which one may conduct without any special apparatus or conditions. 1) Get a native speaker to pronounce योग OR Listen to About this sound pronunciation  - mark the lacking "aa" sound in the end. 2) Use your favourite search engine for any audio-visual occurrence of योग, and listen to the pronunciation. Note the number of occurrences of mainstream mispronunciations. (An indicative search yields http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000201897, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17015429 et al containing mispronunciations). I hope to rest my case regarding citations with this simple test.

This brings me to the larger issue regarding mispronunciations of Devnagari words. An incorrect pronunciation changes the meaning of the word - It is विवेकानंद not विवेकानंदा, राम not रामा, योग not योगा (Apologies to the non-natives for using devnagari for quoting examples in the preceding sentence, but there is a very high probability that you will mispronounce if you do not fully understand IAST). Wikipedia's selection of IAST for transliteration has resulted in an entirely unintended but extremely harmful consequence - mispronunciations. I wish to propose adopting a transliteration scheme that does not assist in widespread mispronunciation of native words. Our audience is a layman, not the phonetically literate who understands the phonetic difference between a and ā - I wager that many reading this talk page would also not know the difference. It is imperative that we shine a bright light on mispronunciations and propagate the correct pronunciations, and thus correct meanings. If this may not be the appropriate forum, I would request the more learned folks on this talk page to raise this in the right forum, and share the link to the correct forum on this talk page, so that the conversation could be taken to its logical conclusion.

Is "Neo-" (as in "Neo-Vedanta") pejorative?[edit]

Question to all: Is the prefix "Neo-", as in "Neo-Vedanta", a value-neutral prefix? It seems to be one that western scholars use, and that Joshua Jonathan has on that basis inserted into many Wikipedia articles. But I don't hear the words "Neo-Christian" or "Neo-Jewish" used much on WP, and I wonder whether modern-day Christians and Jews would feel comfortable being described with such a phrase. In fact, my suspicion that they wouldn't like those terms was just now this moment confirmed: The urban dictionary defines a neo-Christian as "An individual who calls himself a christian, yet fails to act in accordance with the teachings of Jesus." In other words, a fake Christian.

Furthermore, although others may feel differently, my ear tells me that "Neo-Vedanta", which is defined in the 4th word of its WP article lede as synonymous with "Neo-Hinduism", has negative connotations built in. It seems to connote the idea that modern Hindus such as Swami Vivekananda are not in a direct line with a millennial tradition. To my ear, it makes them sound a bit like amateurs in their own tradition. Now I lack the time to delve in detail into the writings of the scholars (e.g., White) that Joshua Jonathan cites. But I know enough about scholarship to know that many scholars of religion/spirituality can miss the boat: They can focus on externals but miss the inner coherence. This is true of scholars of many religious traditions, but my perception is that the problem has been especially acute in scholarship on Hinduism.

Furthermore, there are scholars such as Julius Lipner -- e.g., Religious Studies, 32(1), 109-126 - that emphasize the dynamic, evolving nature of Hinduism, portraying it as constantly putting down new roots, and sending up new branches, but all in a coherent relation (connection) with earlier manifestations. To designate some of the more recent variations of that process as "Neo-" is a rhetorical move that has a lot of potential implications, not all of them free of POV. I think WP should take a careful look at whether this "Neo-" designator may in fact be somewhat malodorously paternalistic (or worse) in its connotations, despite its recent usage and perhaps origin in a scholarly context. If it is malodorous to a lot of ears (or should I say noses?) then I suppose Wikipedia may not have a totally free hand in how it seeks to redress the situation, since WP must still rely on reliable sources, which most commonly means scholarship, but sometimes can mean other things. At least we'd have identified a problem that needs to be addressed. And - if the term is indeed determined to have POV connotations - perhaps we can be much more careful in balancing it with other perspectives that balance out the hidden pejorative message the term contains. More generally, we could (if the term is found to be pejorative) try to identify appropriate resources and approaches to rebalance any text where the term is used. If this issue is real and we were to totally neglect it, then I fear we risk being "neo-Wikipedians", or "neo-" whatever we are, in a pejorative sense parallel to "neo-Christian" as defined above by the urban dictionary.

I am adding this to the Yoga page since it was catalyzed by conversations on the Yoga page. But please feel free to copy it to the neo-Vedanta page. Best regards to all.-- Presearch (talk) 01:18, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Very good points you're raising here. Insightfull.
  • To me, "Neo-Hinduism" has a different "sound" than "Neo-Vedanta". I understand your association of "Neo-Hinduism" with "Neo-Christian". "Neo-Vedanta", to me, sounds more like 'a further development of Vedanta', which is itself of course a tradition of interpretation. So a 'new interpretation', atuned to the present times, sounds (seems) logically to me.
  • Many more scholars have noticed this "evolving nature". Axel Michaels (2004) calls it "the identificatory habit". And scholars like Hiltebeitel (2003), Nicholson (2010) and Samuel (2010 (2008)) have described this ongoing development in detail.
  • As my personal understanding is developing, I'm becoming more appreciative of the efforts of man like Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan. They lived in an oppressive, colonial system, and/but used the narratives of this system on Hinduism against this system. That's almost brilliant. And they were fighting a just fight. This context should be mentioned.
  • But (sorry, here's also another side) this does not change the fact that people like Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan have also been criticized for their approach, especially for 'blurring together' a broad range of traditions. Of course, their view can be seen as a further development of Hinduism. But it can also be seen as a "veiling" of the differences within the Hindu tradition (see also Flood 1996, last chapter (sorry, I haven't got the book at hand right now; it's lying besides my bed, and my wife is sleeping; I don't want to wake her up. My apologies)), and as a 'simplification'. I suspect that this is also a reason for the strong reactions in the west: some people here want to know the details, the differences, and get frustrated about this "identificatory habitus". But that's my personal thought.
Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:05, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Copied to Talk:Neo-Vedanta#Is "Neo-" (as in "Neo-Vedanta") pejorative? To be continued there? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:05, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Beware of Socks[edit]

User HathaYogin was recently determined to be a sockpuppet at this SP/I and has been blocked indefinitely. My edits were based on this finding and action. If there are any questions about HY's edits, please discuss on talk with active editors here to ensure consensus. Please also be aware that there may be other socks lurking about as well. Thank you for your consideration. Regards, Devanampriya (talk)

my reversion in Purpose section[edit]

In this edit I removed this:

The various branches of yoga all supply benefits to those who practice, and the entire concept of it is based on a complex structure. Yoga recognizes the natural human condition. It communicates to its practicers that the mind is restless, and there is a way to bring your mind under full control. Yoga supplies methods for reaching the full potential of the human body, as well as the mind.<<ref>{{cite journal|last=Raman|first=Varadaraja|title=Hinduism and Science: Some Reflections|journal=Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science|date=1 September 2012|page=558|accessdate=3 February 2014}}</ref>

I see two problems with this. First, it's written in a non-neutral tone. Rather than describing aspects of Yoga it endorses them. Second I don't think it belongs in the "Purpose" section. It seems too weirdly general. Side note: This is related to Education Program:Duquesne University/UCOR 143 (Spring 2014).— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 01:21, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Joshua Jonathan Yoga Origins or Yoga criticism?[edit]

I think instead of arguing in the yoga origin sections, with According to Zimmer this and Samuel argues and says that, we should give Western criticism its own section on the page, to me it seems like another aryan theory train wreck waiting to happen.

Archaeological Origins of yoga at the Proto-Shiva seal indus valley no one from india disputes it, in fact Wikipedia states that Hinduism began life at the indus valley.

Also the religious text of Hinduism is called The Bharitiya scriptures, this is a text which forms ties to both vedic and indus cultures blended into this mass of publications which vedas are just a fragment of. See [1] 82.38.160.13 (talk) 03:08, 4 February 2014 (UTC)ve

Reply by JJ:

  • Western criticism section: Wikipedia is based on WP:RS, so WP:RS are being used to describe the origins of yoga. To label this "Western criticism" misses the point of WP:RS
  • Proto-Shiva seal: "no one from india disputes it". See Pashupati seal for conclusions on this seal; see also the introduction of Samuel for a discussion on this seal, and the conclusion that it can't be seen as a proto-Shiva image.

Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:03, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

Indus valley criticism.. white theory is a train wreck at best[edit]

[P]rior to the end of the first millennium CE, detailed descriptions of āsanas were nowhere to be found in the Indian textual record. In the light of this, any claim that sculpted images of cross-legged figures—including those represented on the famous clay seals from third millennium BCE Indus Valley archeological sites—represent yogic postures are speculative at best.

that's like saying Egypt's religion has no links to pyramids just because no archaeologist has found a text which talks about the pyramids being triangular in shape!

Yoga teachers fly to india not to read diagrams or carvings of yoga positions, they come to india to learn yoga face to face sight to sight, thats how india has done it for over 3,000 years and thats how buddha himself was taught in india, he was not taught yoga by text he was taught by hindu rishis of india face to face, text is to explain the purpose of yoga and its roots

Buddha reminds me of western yoga teachers that come to india to get taught yoga then go back to america re-brand everything and start to try and self proclaim its history and knowledge to what suits them.82.38.160.13 (talk) 04:13, 4 February 2014 (UTC)ve