Re: [INDOLOGY] Speaking of plagiarism: Satya Prakash Sarasvati and Satyakam Vidyalankar’s Ṛgveda

Robert Goldman rpg at
Sun Jul 19 19:20:54 UTC 2015

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

> On Jul 19, 2015, at 10:49 AM, David and Nancy Reigle <dnreigle at> wrote:
> No, I did not intend to imply anything about Malhotra's writings, which I have never read. I wanted to call attention to two other cases of plagiarism, far more extensive than Malhotra's. Even if the possibility that something might be done about them is remote, it may be useful to know about them.
> I was very disappointed when I saw what T. G. Mainkar had done with the Sāṃkhyakārikā and Gauḍapāda’s commentary, copying even omissions and typographical errors in Har Dutt Sharma's translation. It seems that all he did was read and edit the English, without even consulting the Sanskrit. He improved some English words here and there, and deleted all the parentheses that Sharma had used to distinguish his own additions from what is in the Sanskrit. Yet Sharma's superior translation has fallen into oblivion, while Mainkar's was again reprinted in 2004. I have scanned and posted Sharma's book in three parts here: <>
> Similarly, I was very disappointed to see that Satya Prakash Sarasvati and Satyakam Vidyalankar had largely only copied Wilson's translation of the Ṛgveda, substituting God for the Vedic gods. The notes they added are helpful, and they reproduced Aufrecht's romanized text, and also a devanagari text. But I expected their translation to follow the Arya Samaj line of interpretation throughout, so that we could see how it differs from Sāyaṇa’s interpretation. What unsuspecting readers got instead, other than God for the gods, was in fact Sāyaṇa’s interpretation, by way of the silent appropriation of Wilson's translation.
> My own work is textual, and these two cases of plagiarism are more important to me than is Malhotra's case. I wanted to use the opportunity that this discussion of plagiarism provided to call attention to these two cases. Sorry that I did not distinguish them more clearly from Malhotra's case.
> Best regards,
> David Reigle
> Colorado, U.S.A.
> On Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 10:33 AM, Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at <mailto:wujastyk at>> wrote:
> Two wrongs don't make a right.  (If that's what you meant.)
> ​​
> Dominik Wujastyk​
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