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The use of IAST[edit]

Hi, I have just finished replacing all instances of Nālandā with plain Nalanda. I've done this solely for reasons of consistency as there were far more instances of Nalanda. But I find the general use of IAST in Wikipedia a little worrying primarily for the fact that it actually promotes mispronunciation and misspelling, a self-defeating result. While it's not much of an issue with a word like Nālandā, it is with words like Śīlabhadra (which is pronounced more like Shilabhadra) and Candrakīrti (~ Chandrakīrti). The average Wikipedia reader is going to pronounce these words as Silabhadra and Kandrakirti (or worse, Sandrakirti), and spell them similarly elsewhere. Śakrāditya is another example from this article. Running a search for Silabhadra outlines the beginnings of a malaise of misspelling on Wikipedia alone. It's probably spread all over the interwebs. The intro to Candrakirti's article explains the issue with IAST's C succinctly. The other problematic consonant is the Ṣ (for ष); see the mangled spelling used for Śāntarakṣita in this article. For this and a bunch of other reasons, I'd prefer to use IAST (and IPA) only as pronunciation guides in the intro of an article and use simple (and mainstream) English equivalents elsewhere. Thoughts? Is there a policy page for this? Thanks. --Cpt.a.haddock (talk) 13:37, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Needs upclassification to B[edit]

Request any editor to please carry out a check as per the B-class article checklist so that the next step can be a GA/peer review to showcase this article. AshLin (talk) 13:26, 3 December 2014 (UTC)


<!-- B-Class checklist -->

<!-- 1. It is suitably referenced, and all major points are appropriately cited. -->


<!-- 2. It reasonably covers the topic, and does not contain major omissions or inaccuracies. -->


<!-- 3. It has a defined structure, including a lead section and one or more sections of content. -->


<!-- 4. It is free from major grammatical errors. -->


<!-- 5. It contains appropriate supporting materials, such as an infobox, images, or diagrams. -->


AshLin (talk) 14:16, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Vedic studies and Nalanda[edit]

Part 1[edit]

From Frazier, Jessica, ed. (2011). The Continuum companion to Hindu studies. London: Continuum. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-8264-9966-0. :

> The highly formalized methods of Vedic learning helped to inspire the formation of large teaching centres – effectively India’s first universities. Taxila, Nālandā and Vikramaśīla are the most famous of these, the latter two surviving until the thirteenth century.

Are there any corroborating sources for this opinion? While this statement might have been true for Takshashila, it's a bit of a stretch for the other two Buddhist institutions.

> Such universities taught not only the Vedic texts and the ritual that complemented them, but also the various theoretical disciplines that provided a foundation for these two pillars, the Vedāngas, or sciences (literally ‘limbs’ or ‘supports’), of the Vedas.

@VictoriaGrayson: Re: my revert, IMO, the stress on the "Vedic" component in the lead without mention of the Buddhist curriculum is a misrepresentation. Can all this be added to a dedicated paragraph dealing with the entire curriculum at Nalanda? Some reliable love to the entire curriculum section in the article will also be a great help. Thanks. --Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 09:36, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

This is an academic book written for other academics. It is a extremely high quality source.VictoriaGraysonTalk 15:42, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
This is about its inclusion in the lead, not the article itself. Nalanda was chiefly a Buddhist institution. Without ample importance given to its Buddhist curriculum, it cannot be misrepresented as some sort of Vedic institution.--Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 16:16, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
You may think you are smarter than scholars, but that's not how we edit Wikipedia. The book describes them as Vedic institutions, without any mention of Buddhism.VictoriaGraysonTalk 17:02, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
(And thus your ad hominems begin …) If you're actually contending (by proxy) that Nalanda was not a Buddhist institution, then I can only assume that you're "drive-by-editing" and recommend that you read through the authoritative sources on the Mahavihara included in the article rather than relying on a couple of lines taken out of context in a book about Hinduism. Note that the line in question here is already part of the (incomplete) curriculum section and my objection is to its inclusion in the lead without noting the primary and Buddhist components of the curriculum.--Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 08:55, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
You consider others to be drive by editors since you have WP:OWN issues. And the book is about Hindu studies, not Hinduism. It's a book written for other scholars. The sources you use in this article are dubious.VictoriaGraysonTalk 16:04, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
No, I consider you a drive-by editor since you appear to believe that Nalanda is some sort of a Vedic Hindu institution and not a Buddhist one (as stated in the very first line of this article). This is contrary to all the sources including the non-authoritative one that you are cherry-picking lines out of and misinterpreting. Consequently, pushing this POV of yours into the top of the lead without taking cognisance of the rest of the article that the WP:LEAD is supposed to summarise is both irresponsible and wrong. Stating that the sources that are in use are dubious is not helpful either when you don't list any that contend that Nalanda is a Buddhist Mahavihara. And again, neither your preferred reference nor your preferred line are being removed from the article. The line is question already exists in the article. It is its inclusion in the lead that is in question.--Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 12:57, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────For the lead:

All students at Nalanda studied Mahayana as well as the texts of the eighteen sects of Buddhism. Their curriculum also included other subjects such as the Vedas, Logic, Grammar, Philology, Medicine, Samkhya, law, astronomy, and city-planning.

The supporting references including the Continuum Companion are in the Curriculum section. Both Dutt and Sankalia paraphrase the following from Hwui-Li:

The priests, belonging to the convent, or strangers (residing therein) all study the Great Vehicle, and also the works belonging to the eighteen (Hinayana) sects, and not only so, but even ordinary works such as the Vedas and other books, the Hetuvidyā (Logic), Śabdavidyā (Grammar and Philology), Cikitsāvidyā, the works on magic (Atharva-veda), Sānkhya (system of philosophy).

--Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 16:08, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

  • See WP:VNT. It doesn't matter that you personally feel the source is wrong.
  • There is no cherrypicking. The book doesn't mention Nalanda is Buddhist anywhere else.
  • You continuously calling others drive-by editors, just further proves your WP:OWN issues.VictoriaGraysonTalk 16:53, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
No, I am not calling the source wrong (although I am certainly calling it non-authoritative here). I'm calling it incomplete for this article as it does not mention that Buddhism was the primary subject of study. It is a false syllogism to conclude from the fact that Frazier does not state that Nalanda (or Takshashila or Vikramashila) was a Buddhist institution that it was not one or that it was Vedic. She only mentions that Vedic texts were studied there and nothing more (as her book is on Hinduism and this is the only thing pertinent). Therefore your edit which coloured Nalanda as some sort of Vedic University was similarly incomplete. Yes, the vedas were studied at Nalanda and the source for Frazier's statement (which she does not note) is very likely the Hwui-Li quote included above and as you can see, Mahayana and then Hinayana were the main topics studied. And I have attempted above to correct this perception. And no, I do not have WP:OWN issues as evident from the fact that I've repeatedly requested you to expand and fix the curriculum section (and then summarise it) in both this talk page ("Some reliable love to the entire curriculum section in the article will also be a great help.") and in my edit messages. Thanks.--Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 18:09, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
You say you are not calling the source wrong, but then you do clearly call it wrong. You say you don't have WP:OWN issues, but you are deleting sourced material you don't agree with, edit warring, calling others drive-by editors and giving orders to support your POV.VictoriaGraysonTalk 18:18, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
No, I am calling your interpretation of it wrong and calling the source non-authoritative with respect to the other sources which deal specifically with Nalanda. If I thought that the source was wrong, then I would also be objecting to its use elsewhere in the article. I am not deleting sourced material as the material (including the line in question) from the same source exists elsewhere in the article. Furthermore my proposed edit above effectively cites the same line from the same source prepended by another line supported by authoritative and reliable sources which clarify the statement further and provide the context that is required. And I am not edit-warring as we are on Talk here discussing the issue and trying to reach consensus. By discussing the issue, I am also not ordering anyone to do anything. If you feel that we are unlikely to reach consensus on this issue, the please let me know and we can bring in a third party to mediate or take it further to whichever avenue Wikipedia proposes for dealing with situations like this.--Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 18:37, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This book looks quite fishy to me. It certainly doesn't meet the requirements of WP:HISTRS because the articles are not signed by the authors. Only two of the contributors are historians (as far as I can tell) and many others probably aren't. The publisher is relatively unknown, and they didn't acquire the copyright of the book despite calling the book "Continuum Companion." So, this source needs to be used with great caution. - Kautilya3 (talk) 14:21, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

Part 2[edit]

Frazier herself describes it as "Nalanda, a renowned Buddhist university established by the Guptas in the fifth century CE" on p. 269. - Kautilya3 (talk) 18:45, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

  1. facepalm! I wish I'd noticed that earlier and saved myself all this typing. And I see that VG has (as expected) simply ignored your statement completely and chosen another angle of attack … --Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 13:22, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
(A couple of lines later, Frazier calls Ashoka the son of Chandragupta Maurya …)--Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 13:25, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Cpt.a.haddock, describing Frazier as non-authoritative is absurd. Your source of Hwui-Li is actually a primary source, and should be deleted. Wikipedia uses secondary sources. See WP:WPNOTRS.VictoriaGraysonTalk 19:03, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Dutt and Sankalia (and many others who talk about this) cite Hwui-Li and paraphrase that quote in their books. I clearly state this right above the quote where I say "Both Dutt and Sankalia paraphrase the following from Hwui-Li:". I have not cited Hwui-Li directly, but cited Dutt and Sankalia.--Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 13:56, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
@AmritasyaPutra and Sdmarathe:Please take a look.VictoriaGraysonTalk 18:50, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
I also find it very peculiar that Frazier only mentions the Vedic part of the curriculum, and doesn't even mention that Nalanda was a Buddhist University. To mention only this Vedic part of the curriculum in the lead is like writing an article on a psychology department, and only mention in the lead that they teach statistics. The lead should mention the core (Buddhist) curriculum, if any mention of the curriculum is to be made in the lead. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:17, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
The lead should present a summary of the article. To give undue weight to one aspect of the curriculum might be misleading. JimRenge (talk) 07:04, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
I agree. (Far above,) I proposed the following sentences (now slightly tweaked further) for inclusion in the lead:
"All students at Nalanda studied Mahayana as well as the texts of the eighteen (Hinayana) sects of Buddhism. Their curriculum also included other subjects such as the Vedas, Logic, Grammar, Philology, Medicine, Samkhya, law, astronomy, and city-planning."
This IMO summarises the (referenced) curriculum section in the article's body adequately and can perhaps be expanded further to include a list of some of the luminaries at Nalanda and their contributions.--Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 13:42, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
I think your proposed text is acceptable. Please consider to remove the word "All", unless it is mentioned in the source. JimRenge (talk) 14:51, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@JimRenge: Both Dutt and Sankalia specifically use the word all.


Irrespective of their special subjects, they all had to study Mahayana philosophy.


But there were some subjects which almost all the students had to study, which in a sense were "compulsory" as we now understand the term.

Being primarily a religious institution, Nalanda had made Theology compulsory for all the students. And knowledge of theology meant a thorough grasp of all the works on Mahayana besides acquaintance with all the eighteen schools of Buddhism.

This is based on Hwui-Li (see quote far above) who states that "all" had to study the Great Vehicle. I have added the text to the lead.--Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 08:04, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

Deletion of material by IP[edit]

  • Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism's entry on Nalanda: "the Vedas and Hindu philosophical schools, as well as mathematics, grammar, logic, and medicine."
  • Continuum Companion to Hindu Studies: "Such universities taught not only the Vedic texts and the ritual that complemented them, but also the various theoretical disciplines that provided a foundation for these two pillars, the Vedāngas, or sciences (literally ‘limbs’ or ‘supports’), of the Vedas. These included linguistics, reasoning (hetu, literally, ‘causes’), medicine, law, astronomy and city-planning."
  • Cambridge World History Vol. 5. "Vedas, philosophy, and secular sciences such as logic, Sanskrit grammar, and medicine"
  • Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India: "Vedas and other books, the Heuvidya (Logic), Sabdavidya (Grammar and Philology), Cikitsavidya (Medicine), the works on Magic (Athara-Veda), Sankhya (system of philosophy)"VictoriaGraysonTalk 02:35, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

Turkish genocide denial[edit]

The current revision has deleted all mention of the genocide at Nalanda and the burning of the libraries. In its place, it now claims the Buddhists killed themselves and burned down their own library. Can someone please restore the previous version?