[INDOLOGY] Speaking of plagiarism: Hari Prasad Shastri's Rāmāyaṇa

David and Nancy Reigle dnreigle at gmail.com
Mon Jul 20 12:15:16 EDT 2015


This is amazing, Robert. Just last week I was reading about how influential
Hari Prasad Shastri's English translation of the *Rāmāyaṇa* was. Who would
have thought that an Indian teacher, an accomplished Sanskrit scholar as he
was, would have largely translated from the French translation of a Western
scholar rather than from the original Sanskrit.

Nancy and I take this opportunity to express our utmost appreciation to you
and Sally and your team for your lifelong project of translating the
critical edition of the *Rāmāyaṇa* into English. The team from the Oriental
Institute, Vadodara (Baroda), working from 1951 to 1975, gave the world the
first critical edition of the Sanskrit *Rāmāyaṇa*. Your team gave the world
the first reliably accurate English translation of the *Rāmāyaṇa*. The
value of these two contributions cannot be overestimated.

Best regards,

David Reigle
Colorado, U.S.A.


On Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 1:20 PM, Robert Goldman <rpg at berkeley.edu> wrote:

> Since the topic has come up, it is illuminating as David and Nancy have
> done, to look beyond the wretched and ignorant writings of Mr. Malhotra to
> examples of work in wide circulation in which the author’s unethical
> reliance on earlier scholarship has not been widely noticed.
>
> The most serious and extensive example we have  encountered in the course
> of our work is Hari Prasad Shastri’s three volume English translation of
> the *Vālmīkirāmāyaṇa*, *The Ramayana of Valmiki *(London: Shanti Sadan
> 1959). This work has been very substantially translated directly from
> Alfred Roussel’s 1903 French translation* Le Rāmāyaṇa de Vālmīki*,
> (Paris: Librairie des cinq parties du monde. Bibliothèque Orientale, no.
> 8.) as Sally Sutherland Goldman and I have amply documented throughout  the
> annotation of our translations of the epic’s *Sundara*, *Yuddha* and
> *Uttara* (now in press) *kāṇḍas*.
>
> As others have noted Sanskrit does  of course have a widely used marker of
> quotations in the form of the particle *iti* and the numerous authors
> with whom we have worked are quite meticulous in citing their sources
> whether they agree or disagree with the quoted authors or texts. They do
> not necessarily cite, as  modern western protocol requires, by chapter and
> verse, generally being content with ascriptions to a text, a body of text
> or an author as in *iti śrutiḥ*, *iti pādme*, *iti bhaṭṭatīrthāu *etc.
> But that is the normal scholarly protocol of their intellectual tradition.
>
> Bob Goldman
> Dr. R. P.  Goldman
> Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor in South and
> Southeast Asian Studies
> Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies MC # 2540
> The University of California at Berkeley
> Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
> Tel: 510-642-4089
> Fax: 510-642-2409
>
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