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First of all I want to tell that before upvoting or downvoting just by seeing the title read the whole question first.

For a long time the tag has been creating conflicts in the community, it is evident from several meta posts and answers, so I feel there is need of new community consensus on this matter.

So, I propose to change the name of tag from and rename it as (or other suitable).

Need of changing:

One popular argument given in the support of use of tag as it is, is;

If one hovers around Mythology tag then one can easily get tag description and in which sense we are using it.

To this reply is as:

1) It's only in the desktop and laptop one should hover to get tag description. There are thousands of mobile users (like me) and for them hovering doesn't work. They have to go to the link of 'Mythology' tag itself open a new page and read there, which one rarely does.

2) The question tagged with 'Mythology' in google search show with 'Mythology - question' format in this case also hovering doesn't works.

Hence, there is a need to change Mythology tag as it has another popular meaning of 'false story'.

No need of removing completely:

There are also views saying that Mythology tag should be completely removed. I don't think this is also a good thing to do because:

1) Mythology is the top tag presently, removing it completely might affect some questions too. Also the tag is useful on separating philosophical question and story based question. For eg. It isn't suitable to tag a question purely dealing with story as 'philosophy', neither it is suitable to tag question dealing with 'philosophy' with 'mythology'. So, this tag is useful in separating these type of questions. And if 'Mythology' is renamed as 'Legend' it plays the same role without giving any negative meanings also.

2) Since 'mythology' is top tag now, many users have earned tag badges using it. For eg. Keshav Srinivasan has earned gold badge on mythology. Similarly there are many other users too. So, it might be injustice for these users to completely remove the tag.

Hence, I propose to rename the tag as a middle way. The most suitable I find is 'Legends' which has a meaning of:

a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but not authenticated.

So, this might be a good thing to rename it. Other things like , or simply are also good options.

So, here is how one can take part in consensus:

Way 1:

If you agree with this post upto now. Or if you think that tag shouldn't be used as it is and should be renamed then upvote this question.

Way 2:

If you think tag should be removed completely then present your view as a representative in answer and voting then starts on your answer.

Way 3:

If you think tag should be kept as it is, then present your answer (as a representative) with detailed argument why it should be kept as it is. Then voting also goes in your answer.

So, present your views and votes wisely 😊😊. Thanking you.

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    I think one ought to not have any problem with sacrificing a golden badge for a good cause. Regarding other meanings of Mythology tag, we should take only the meaning which is prevalent generally. An average Joe will always take the word mythology as a fictional story. – Mr. Sigma. Nov 28 '17 at 6:24
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    Any religion having self dignity will never use mythology word for their traditional historical stories. – Mr. Sigma. Nov 28 '17 at 6:35
  • First of all, did we have the consensus on changing or removing the mythology tag? Isn't this question too early? – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:37
  • @Nog Shine you can present your views as 'way 3' under answer that 'mythology tag should be kept as it is' neither should be renamed nor removed... – Tejaswee Nov 28 '17 at 6:39
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    @Rohit. A religion doesn't use but we are not a religious site. Remember that one. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:39
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    @NogShine We are not religious site but we discuss here religion. – The Destroyer Nov 28 '17 at 6:40
  • And also mobile users having a problem with tag excerpt is not a matter we should discuss. It is a SE thing. There should be network wide change. You could propose a feature request on Meta.SE. Changing the tag name or removing a tag name is not a solution because there is no feature to see the tag excerpt. It is better to ask a question on Meta.SE for a feature for seeing a tag excerpt. The reason 1 you gave for hovering is invalid now. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:45
  • @TheDestroyer Well, there is a difference between a religious site and a site which discusses religion. Currently, we are tagging folklores, fables, stories as mythology. Then by synonymising them ,are we saying that all are true? Only those which are present in scriptures are real and others may be true are. We should take care that our site is only for Hindus and not for others. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:51
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    @Nog Shine Instead of writing these huge comments here you can prepare a good answer with these nice points. (By the way hovering issue isn't the reason why mythology should be removed/renamed, it's just secondary reason the primary reason is mythology word itself has bad connotation). Of course you may disagree, but we have to agree-disagree. – Tejaswee Nov 28 '17 at 6:59
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    @Tezz I'm commenting because I'm giving the flaws in your argument that tag excerpts and wikis don't work in this matter and not giving my stance about mythology tag. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 7:34
  • so... when do we take action on removing this tag ? – ram Feb 15 at 22:45
  • I think "Sacred Mythology" is the best option we have. – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury May 6 at 15:22
  • I am good with sacred-stories or as-per-scriptures (something like that) but definitely not with legends. – Mr_Green May 28 at 14:12

11 Answers 11

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There is no answer written based on Stack Exchange perspective. So, I am writing an answer covering all the possible ways available in front of us. It is long.

The major argument you have listed in the question is hovering the tag excerpt and wiki.

1) It's only in the desktop and laptop one should hover to get tag description. There are thousands of mobile users (like me) and for them hovering doesn't work. They have to go to the link of 'Mythology' tag itself open a new page and read there, which one rarely does.

This is not in our hands. This is a feature something the Stack Exchange should look into. SE is mainly intended for desktop and laptop users. So, the main focus will be on that users only. Many features do not work on mobile site or the app. If we have to get rid of the tag just because a certain feature does not work on mobile or app, we have to get rid of many things on the site which is not going to happen. There is on Meta Stack Exchange Allow access to tag wikis from the Android app to access to tag wikis. If that gets a on it, we can think of this argument. For now, we need not to remove mythology tag due to this reason because we do not have any role in implementing a feature.

If the tag should be removed due to this reason, we must have to remove many other tags because their excerpts and wikis are not visible and not many would take their time to see what the tag means. So, we have to remove many tags whose names are complex to understand or not known to many. E.g , . If one looks at health, they might decide to post a new question about their health (which we already did). So, we would be receiving many off-topic questions. So, we should remove those tags too. Should we? I will leave that question to community.

The question tagged with 'Mythology' in google search show with 'Mythology - question' format in this case also hovering doesn't works.

Not necessarily. According to answer to How is the tag chosen to prefix the title? , the popular tag in the question takes prefix into the question.

It's the most popular tag that doesn't already appear in the title.

In your example, PHP is mentioned in the title so the second-most popular tag "nginx" is chosen for the HTML title.

So, it is based on HTML title of the page. We should not bother what is shown in the google search results. They change from time to time. If our tagging policy changes based on new trends on google, we should change our tags and their names every month. It is help center and meta which decides how a tag should be used. Burnitating a tag and creating should be based on discussions and not on Google results. When I was randomly searching for our site, the results were the following:

enter image description here

And today, they changed.

enter image description here

So, my point is simple. We should not be bothered about google search results which change day to day and tag based on what is shown as prefix in results. That should not be our concern.

Even if it shows in the format mythology- question, what would be the problem? Tags on our site do not indicate the authenticity of the topic discussed in the question. They indicate the topic. We should not use to indicate correctness to questions and answers. Due to this format, we might have to see some questions as "sin- question name" format. So, does that not mean we are supporting evil intentions of sin or crime in internet users. All tags are equal in this matter let it be , , . It is just the title of the html page which is based on page source and takes whatever it sees as popular tag. So, this is also a an invalid argument for removing a tag in a question. We should be tagging based on the topic of the question only and not to show the question or answer is right or wrong. Tagging to show factual correctness would make the site biased towards religion or against religion. But we need a neutral environment for everything.


Way 2:

Should we remove the tag completely? No. Currently we are using the tag for following reasons.

For questions about stories that are part of Hindu religious beliefs. Hindu mythology can be found throughout Hindu scriptures like the Vedas, Puranas, Ramayana, and Mahabharata.

So, we are using the tag for stories only. Not to denote that the stories are false. Due to the emotion and sentiment, people are not adding the tag. There seems to be a partiality in adding the tag for related questions which ask for stories too. Even if it is added in edits, that is forcefully removed. This is a dangerous situation. A user should be free to tag a question based on the topic of the question. If the question asks for a sin, we are tagging at as . If something related to lust and anger, we are tagging as or . The word Kama has a very bad connotation in general usage and common people. What can be worst than that? But we are still tagging that if the question asks about that topic. No tag removals are being made. So, why should be there a partiality in adding a tag about stories? There should not be removal of tag which indicates stories. Stories are very important in Hinduism and that differentiates questions like philosophy, finding source of the question, asking nature of text or asking interpretation of a shloka or a passage. We are adding a separate tag for each of the topic. So, there is no harm in having a tag which denotes stories. This will also help the users to find related questions easily. The original purpose of the question is also the same:

A tag is a keyword or label that categorizes your question with other, similar questions. Using the right tags makes it easier for others to find and answer your question.

So, if someone is interested to read questions about stories, there should be a way they should find and having a tag is the solution. So, the tag should not be removed.

Another solution proposed is tagging as or . This does more damage. This spoils the usage of those tags. Even though itihasa means "as it happened", it is not used in that sense every time. When itihasa is used, Ramayana and Mahabharata are also referred. We are using that tag which includes both the texts and which asks for the nature of itihasas only. Using that tag for stories assuming every story is from itihasa because every thing happened literally gives rise to bias. Itihasa in Sanskrit translates to . But when we use , it denotes how Hinduism developed in historical context over millenniums. It is used to ask about history of Hinduism. So, using it as a substitute of mythology is also not a good idea. We are using as a general tag when it is nature of puranas or it generally concerns with puranas. Not every story finds place in Puranas or itihasas but believed strongly to be happened. We can find examples of thousands of stories as sthala puranas (temple legends) and folk lores which are not present in primary texts but popular in oral tradition. So, we need a tag which covers all the stories. Important thing is we should not treat these stories as completely false because it is a matter of belief.

Another argument made:

our itihasas (iti-hasa - like so, it was) are history, although quite old to the point that people don't believe them, just as people don't believe in jesus or pretty much anything before the invention of photography, or anything after the invention of photoshop.

True. There are people who believe in something and do not believe in something at the same time. Even if we take some incidents from itihasas or puranas, some are very hard to believe. A chapter in Bhavishya Purana (a major purana) says the army of kings in 12th century had millions of soldiers each side. If not million, crore. But if we look at the population, this may not match with history. So, it is based on personal belief. As a site, we should not be dictating it. We should be as neutral as possible. A tag should not indicate whether the incident has happened really or not. It should not mean different things to different people.

If it is meaning differently to different people, it comes under a meta-tag. Meta-tags are discouraged on Stack Exchange sites. From The Death of Meta Tags

If the tag commonly means different things to different people, it’s probably a meta-tag.

So, we as a site should not step into personal beliefs to solve this matter. We should be as neutral as possible. We should define in the tag excerpts and wikis what it means to our site. We as a site has a policy which would not hurt the feelings of any religions or classes. So, it is obvious that we do not use mythology in a derogatory form.


The only reason to think of this discussion is the name mythology having a bad connotation on the internet. Seems a valid reason. We have to consider that we look at all the tags equally and do not show any tag based on the questions. There are many other tag names which have a bad connotation or an ambiguous meaning. For example. look at . , etc, which are not related to Hinduism at all. These are controversial terms too. So, what about connotation of these tags? Should we delete aforementioned tags too?

If the problem with mythology tag is number of questions asked and damage it is doing by being the top tag, that is not the problem we should be bothered about. People are more interested in stories and asking questions on it.So, we should let them. Interests change time to time. After a few years, people may be interested in some other tag and number may increase for that tag.

What is a top tag and stats of tags are not shown to a passerby user. These are only shown to users when logged into the site. If the users are already members, they are expected to read the excerpt and wikis and tag based on the topic by following it. For a passerby, it doesn't matter if it is a top tag or anything. So, we should be clear what we mean by mythology here. If you are wondering mythology being the top tag doesn't alter the passersby or internet users, the answer is no.

enter image description here

The tag is not showing up in google search results at all. Surprisingly it is which is showing up even though it has very less compared to mythology or . So, deciding and discussing our policies simply based on internet results or opinions on internet people would not be a great idea.

If we are going through the popular usage and connotation in society and internet, we must have to make major changes to our tagging, Q&A style and almost everything. Varna is almost synonymous to Caste now. But originally, both of these are different. We have different tags for and preferring original meaning over popular meaning formed due to incidents. The same is argued and written in Q&A that varna and caste are different in the religion. Besides these, "varna" has a wide range of meanings. Which meaning to be taken on which context is also decided and best meaning is taken into account. Varna also means color. So, if we tag a question with color (one of the popular meanings), we are not talking about color or complexion. If a passerby understands it as talking about a color or race, we should make it clear what we are talking about. I think we should go with a similar approach with this tag too.

Myth originally meant:

"a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events."

In more detail From an answer from Christianity.SE regarding the original definition of myth and mythology:

The word myth, in its academic definition, means a story with deep power and symbolic meaning. When studied in the academic sense, it's that meaning that is important, not whether the story actually happened or not. Thus ancient 'myths' like the founding of Rome, or the stories of Hercules were important (to their societies) for what they said and the effect they had on those societies rather than because of their historicity.

Many of those myths turn out not to be actually true (like Hercules). That doesn't necessarily rob them of their power. The existence of the story can still shape a nation and a culture. But given that they mostly aren't historical, the word 'myth' in common parlance has come to mean 'something that isn't true' (giving rise to 'Mythbusters' for example). But that's not the sense that Lewis, as an academic, intended it.

Hence the original meaning when used in academic sense means a story with deeper symbolism. That is how the word originally meant. But due to changes, the meaning has changed like many other terms. But we on the site are following the original meaning over current popular meaning. So, why not for this tag too?

So, I have so far covered pros and cons of using all the ways mentioned in the question and some of the arguments which rose up during the discussion. I have answered from a Stack Exchange perspective and academic perspective without showing partiality towards any way i.e., removing or adding the tag till now. So, I feel we should not follow way 2 at all. We should also not tag it indicate beliefs because we are not a Hindu site. There should be neutrality in all regards as much as possible. Hence using wrong terms and tags like Purana or history as a substitute for mythology is also not preferable.

Now we are left out with adding a tag excerpt and wiki clearly what we mean by a term (in the case of or other ambiguous tags). And renaming the tag. If we follow the above way striking out the issues of passersby users & internet opinions, removing partiality towards a tag, we need to rename the tag. We just need to be clear in the tag excerpt and wiki that we do not mean we are using the tag in a wrong way.

After this discussion was posted on meta, one of our moderators Pandya posted question on ELU on what is the best alternative for mythology. For that, there were some responses which are noteworthy.

My guess is that all synonyms of "myth" or "mythology" are going to create equally big or bigger problems. Mythology is really the word you want. If you are looking to emphasize the sacredness in order to avoid misunderstanding, maybe use an adjective. Consider tags along the lines of sacred-mythology.

and also

I think the word mythology is your best bet, precisely because it strikes a balance between the camp that holds these stories are historical and factual and those who hold them to be instructive but apocryphal. Any words which does have this "ambiguity" (really, neutrality) is going to put off one of these camps or the other, which defeats the purpose of the exercise.

If we are not convinced that mythology is still bad after reading complete answer (you really read it completely? ;-)), we are only left with renaming the tag with something which is close to stories which do not indicate beliefs or historical accuracy. Usage of other terms like narrative, tradition etc., would be more misleading than the present term. So, the word or would be my suggestion to solve this. It will bring a balance between users without affecting their beliefs. It also reflect the academic sense (learning about Hinduism without preaching it) and neutrality of the site. Adding a sacred word also shows that we are not demeaning the story or the incident mentioned in the question. Even though we are not a Hindu site showing partiality towards Hindus and opposing other paths which do not have problem with academic use, We are a site about Hinduism after all. Why would we use derogatory term? We only mean the word in a good sense. All the best and cheers! Let's hope for the best.

  • I think there should be a 'TLDR' section for such a long post. Also, if one upvotes this post, does it mean they are ok with either 'mythology' or 'sacred-mythology'? – sv. May 3 at 20:14
  • @sv. Yes, I agree this is a long answer because no one has written pros or cons of following the way 1 or 2 so far. Upvoting this post means opposing way 2 which is removing mythology tag and also way 1 which is renaming to legend, narrative etc., IMO, they are not near terms to convey what we meant till now in case of mythology. I support current name but people have decided to change the name at any cost without considering SE policy or disadvantages as pointed in the answer, I suggested sacred mythology. – Sarvabhouma May 4 at 16:24
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Way 2: The tag should be completely removed.

doesn't go hand in hand with any religion. A "religion" cannot be a "myth" and a "myth" should be the last thing to become a "religion".
Other SE-s like Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, have no such tag. Islam has that tag with only 4 Qn-s under it, which are actually discussing our equivalent.

On the other hand, Hinduism has more than 1000 Qn-s as of today, which gives a wrong impression to insiders & outsiders.

Existing (or ) can be used at relevant places, as they will give further solidity to epics like Ramayana & Mahabharata. Hopefully the gold badge would be retained or regained, as the volume of such Qn-s would be high.
What happens to a tag badge when a tag is merged with another one, or it is deleted?

Note: From online sources, the meaning of "legend" almost seems like "myth", so that won't make much difference.

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    I completely agree with you. – Rickross Nov 28 '17 at 6:29
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    Yes, legend doesn't make any difference but removing tag totally is not a good idea. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:53
  • Currently we are tagging questions related to stories in scriptures as mythology and are not saying they are false. Many understood the other way. The belief tag is about questions about beliefs related to Hinduism. My view is that there is no need to remove the tag but make it clear in the tag excerpts and wikis that we are not claiming them as false as a 'note of caution'. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:59
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    @NogShine, I got your point. Somehow, the mythology is too difficult for many to accept. If mahabharata, verified or not, is a mythology then, it renders all the teachings in it as superficial. In past, also I expressed the same in this thread. I recommend you to post an answer with more clarity on your suggestion. – iammilind Nov 28 '17 at 7:01
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    I prefer purging that tag too, it's most inconsistent and irrelevant tag for me here. CM can help in purging this tag without editing 1000s of question – Ankit Sharma Nov 28 '17 at 7:49
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    Agreed!; Yes, your answer is nice.. btw merging mythology into 'history' tag may be also a good idea... – Tejaswee Nov 28 '17 at 7:57
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    @Tezz, yes itihasa or history are very good choice especially when Ramayana & Mahabharata are associated. That tag will give authenticity to their genuineness (interpolated or not). I think these tags should have been suggested. Having said that, if we should merge all mythologies to those tags, requires discretion. – iammilind Nov 28 '17 at 8:57
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    History tag is for history of Hinduism not for stories. Look at the synonyms it has. For example, how has the practices of Hinduism evolved, how has Hinduism influence into X or Y. Whereas, the stories are different. There is also itihasa but it can be redundant if the question is tagged with ramayana or mahabharata. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 9:42
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    I like Ithihasa ancient history etc. but cannot see why Mythology tag should be outright removed. Afterall, Hinduism is (arguably) the oldest surviving, and even one may in a sense say thriving religion & civilization a way of ancient life practices, a heritage not to be ashamed of in anyway.The olden images come to the common man mainly through mythology and puranas, even if some concoction is there in building ideal situations. If not for their recorded value there is a danger of not being recognized in future as a distinct group. – Narasimham Jan 5 '18 at 20:44
  • @Sarvabhouma, we can try really hard to call a cat a cow, but most people won't accept it. – ram Apr 24 at 22:57
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Although there is a famous quote, "With time, history becomes legend and legend becomes myth", word "Mythology" today has very bad connotation in India as well as in abroad and also among general people. Even among intellectuals myth is just a fictitious story and not historic event.

It also looks like Legend has bad connotation like "mythology". My opinion is to completely remove and tag questions with if stories are from Ithihasas , if stories are from Puranas and if stories are from Vedas.

Pūrvapakṣa : What if user doesn't know which scripture story belongs?
Me: He can guess from other part of question. For example, if question is about Rama or Ramayana, he can add itihasa. If it is about Krishna, he can add purana (as it could be from Bhagavata Purana) or itihasa if it is based on Mahabharata.

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    Legend is a synonym of myth. It is the top result when someone googles. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:38
  • @NogShine History fades to legends and legends fade to myth. But connotation of myth is very bad due to many reasons. So, being a site which discuss Hindu dharma, we shouldn't allow such words which have bad connotation. – The Destroyer Nov 28 '17 at 6:44
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    I think legend also has bad connotations. King Arthur and Robin Hood are called legends, and I don't think Rama and Krishna fall in the same category. Legend has connotations of folklore, whereas the stories of Rama and Krishna are not just folklore, they have a basis in authoritative Pramanas. I think "stories" may be a better tag than "legends" (if we want to get rid of mythology). – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 28 '17 at 7:51
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Legend, if it refers to person, means notorious . But we are not calling Rama and Krishna as "legends or notorious persons". It is about their life stories which we call legends which means they are historical characters but can't be proved as Sabda Pramana is not accepted by many. But even if legend gives same meaning as myth, i am ready to disagree on "legends". – The Destroyer Nov 28 '17 at 8:29
  • @TheDestroyer I'm not talking about legend as in notorious. King Arthur isn't notorious, but when we say "the legend of King Arthur' we are casting doubt on whether there was a person named King Arthur. Those are the connotations that I'd like to avoid. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 28 '17 at 8:42
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    Agree. Purging the tag & redistribution in various relevant tags, is good approach. Mods need to check its feasibility though, as there are 1000+ Qn. – iammilind Nov 30 '17 at 12:58
  • In this answer of mine i have suggested ur suggestion: "For example, if a question is about a story (it seems that it is a story is the only reason of using mythology as tag) which is present in the Puranas, we can tag the question with Purana. If the story is in some other scriptures, we can tag it with relevant tags accordingly. Why "Mythology" is even needed?" – Rickross Nov 30 '17 at 17:09
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    Tagging stories posts with puranas, itihasas and vedas just makes the purpose of these tags going wrong. Vedas are for the questions about vedas and for others too. We are using mythology tag just for stories why not have a separate tag for the stories in the scriptures and famous ones? – Sarvabhouma Nov 30 '17 at 17:38
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Well, I think the word mythology on religion site should be interpreted as "sacred/traditional story that are part of beliefs" rather than considering story a myth or false/fictional. So, now we've two options i) keep mythology tag as it is and educate users to it's meaning and usage on this site, ii) rename the tag considering possible confusion.

A note on "Why we should not remove the tag":

  • According to the excerpt of tag, it is aimed to filter questions talking about stories (that are part of beliefs) which can be either narrated in scripture or headed-down traditionally. So, if we remove the tag users interested in questions relating sacred-stories won't be able to filter/find questions based on their interesting topics which is the purpose of tag.

  • One idea is to use , or instead of thinking most of stories are included in Puranas and Itihasa. But I think such thought miss the usage of tags. Let me explain: Tags for Purana and Itihasa should be used for questions talking about Purana and Itihasa themselves like that of tag. Questions citing verse of Puranas not necessarily talking about Puranas itself. It can be question about particular deity or character or about worshiping, about practice or yoga, about dharma or ethics etc. So, such question should be tagged with appropriate tag for worship, practice, particular deity etc. instead of or at-least in addition to Purana.

    In the similar way, a question taking about story should be tagged with story to categorize that question properly.


So, Let's approach possible way:

Way 3: Keep the tag as it is and make people aware with the true meaning of mythology

  • This have been done by adding appropriate tag excerpt and an explanation post by Keshav Srinivasan.
  • GNU/FSF have also been facing such a problem with the ambiguous word free which can mean freedom and gratis. Most of the people will think a gratis software by the word "Free Software" i.e free as in price instead and there is no English word that can explicitly indicate freedom/liberty. So, In order to withstand with this misunderstanding what they do is: they provide explanation and definition for "What is free software?" They sometime put the word "libre" like "Free/Libre Software" to avoid the chance of mistaking the true meaning.
  • We can also do similar thing. I found [1] [2] [3] [4] there is no such useful/better alternative to mythology

So, we can think of keeping as it is or can add adjective like "sacred-mythology" or "canonical-mythology"


Upvote this answer only if you're ok with Way-3, Otherwise go-to: Way 1

  • If you didn't find any better alternative then also explain what's wrong in removing the tag altogether keeping all such questions under umbrella of single tag - itihasa? What extra mythology tag providing than combination of tags like ramayana, mahabharata,puranas etc? – Mr. Sigma. May 2 at 4:52
  • sacred-mythology looks like mythology (fiction-stories) which has become sacred to masses. It's not a solution at all IMO. Others can look at it. – Mr. Sigma. May 2 at 4:56
  • @Mr.Sigma. Tag mythology/stories can serve the purpose of filtering questions talking about stories (regardless of whether story comes from Puranas or Itihasa) – Pandya May 2 at 11:37
  • Are you suggesting to limit the usage of mythology tag? Only to use for stories outside of 'Hindu' scriptures? Because Today it's being used redundantly along with itihasa, puranas, ramayana, mahabharata etc. Stories outside of 'Hindu' scriptures are negligible. – Mr. Sigma. May 2 at 12:23
  • "word mythology on religion site should be interpreted as "sacred/traditional story that are part of beliefs" rather than considering story a myth or false/fictional." But "mythology" has very bad connotation. It means fictitious story. – The Destroyer May 2 at 13:08
  • You have split the answer but you have not given the original meaning it was intended. – Sarvabhouma May 2 at 13:48
  • Mythology is a generic term easily understood by the masses. Thankfully this site has a very educated audience & should not be perturbed by the it, if its helping seekers find the right information. Legends might create confusion for the users/readers. Mythology is also a Highly Rated Keyword on Google. We the believers of Hinduism already know that the entire Universe is a Myth / Maya ... then why such heart burn over the simply understood word 'Mythology'. This keyword is used WORLDWIDE to categories a lot of such Sacred Old Stories & books in ALL the Libraries. The word is not the problem. – Saptrishi May 3 at 6:36
  • what about renaming it as "legacy/mythology"? – DirghaChintayanti May 3 at 13:47
  • @DirghaChintayanti I'm not familiar with word "legacy". I just searched that it is similar to "heritage". Btw, tag naming doesn't allow slash (/). – Pandya May 4 at 15:09
  • fine, the slash is a minor issue, you can use a hyphen or some other demarcation symbol. Legacy means :- something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past. – DirghaChintayanti May 4 at 15:11
  • @Sarvabhouma Have you checked the revised answer? – Pandya May 4 at 15:11
  • @Pandya I already upvoted this answer. Now, the part which says way 1 is removed, this answer is clear. I support way 3.Legacy is something similar to tradition. So, can't use it for stories. Bttw, have you checked my answer? (it''s long. I ask not to follow way 1 or 2.) – Sarvabhouma May 4 at 15:17
  • @Sarvabhouma Yes, just read your long answer. – Pandya May 4 at 16:36
3

Note: Answer splitted from this one

Way 1 (suggestion for alternative name)

According to some users, the word "mythology" has bad connotation or it can be confusing or misleading to think visitors that mythology is related to "myth" in the sense of false/fiction. This would be problematic especially for new users who can get wrong idea/impression I think. So, one workaround is to avoid calling a tag "mythology" and rename it.


If you are convinced with explanation of "Why we should not remove the tag" given in this answer and think that the name of tag should be changed, upvote this answer.

2

I agree with milind's answer which says that the tag mythology should be completely removed.

Reasons:

  1. This is a site about Hinduism. So, how does Hinduism defines what mythology is? If at all it defines? No answers can be given.

One user is repeatedly posting the same line again and again viz- "This not a Hindu site". So, how does that allow using mythology here? This not a Hindu site all right, but a site dealing with Hindu religion. But the religion itself does not endorse the concept of mythology anywhere. So, using the tag is completely redundant here.

  1. The user who created the tag himself admits somewhere else, that at that time he was full of misconceptions about Hindu stuffs. So, we can understand that he committed a mistake by a creating tag that itself is undefined in the realm of Hinduism. Some users are in agreement with carrying this mistake for ever and ever but many like us want that to be corrected. Hence, removal or at least a name change becomes necessary.

Alternative:

This should be thought of as the last resort, if complete removal of the tag gives birth to some site-related technical issues.

Puranic Stories can be loosely translated as ancient stories. Coming from PurAkAla or ancient times, it means events that happened in some ancient time.

So, ancient-stories looks fine.

Since, the stories are found in Hindu scriptures, the term sacred-stories is also right.

Any other suggestions can also be thought upon, but a complete removal of the tag or it's renaming is completely necessary.

  • According to this accepted answer in English.SE: Word that includes mythology, legends, etc.?. A word which is a superset of myths, legend, folklores, sagas etc. is called "story". Hence if you suggest to re-tag it as a "[sacred/ancient]-story" then we may end up in the same loop. :-) However this is a localised post which discusses the technicality from English perspective (Google conforms to it). Yet, we need to see more. Probably that's the reason why "ramayana" & "mahabharata" are famously referred as "epics" & not "stories". – iammilind Nov 28 '17 at 7:40
  • 1
    The user who created the tag said that he had misconceptions but never said that he believes the stories in the scriptures are false. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 7:43
  • 2
    @iammilind You may be right about my choices of alternatives. We can use simply Sanskrit terms as well if everyone agree. Anyways, mythology should be stopped from being a tag here. – Rickross Nov 28 '17 at 8:25
  • @NogShine He may not have thought that mythology refers to false stories but he may not have known the fact that mythology itself is misfit in Hinduism. That he had misconceptions then is enough for us to guess that it was a mistake that he had committed. – Rickross Nov 28 '17 at 8:27
  • the word story also has a possible meaning of imaginative work. see my answer which contains definitions of all these words - epic, legend, story etc. – ram Feb 8 at 19:05
2

Remove the tag.

Any word which has any possible meaning that could denote 'untruth' must not be used.

Itihasa & Purana are enough to categorize most mythology questions. For remaining, we can deal on case by case basis. Within those two, we have 2 + 18 = 20 different tag options for detail.

Myth definition:

a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.

a widely held but false belief or idea.

Mythology:

collection/study of myths

So, @KeshavSrinivasan's comment :

And by the way, while the word myth has these two disparate meanings in English, the word mythology has only one meaning and that is related to the non-pejorative usage of the word myth, i.e. "a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events."

doesn't seem to have google's blessing, since mythology is just a collection of myths, which could mean collection of facts, or collection of lies.

Legend :

a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated.

similar to myth.

Story:

an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.

similar to myth.

Epic:

a long poem, typically one derived from ancient oral tradition, narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures or the history of a nation.

see legend definition above. similar to myth.

  • 2
    mythology has become the most misused tag – Rickross Feb 9 at 5:58
-1

Stories

First of all, I don't think there's a need to remove the mythology tag. The word mythology need not mean false or fictional, as I discuss in my answer here.

But if the community wants to remove the mythology tag, I think stories would be the ideal replacement. The word legend has bad connotations, it refers to popular stories which we do not know to be true, like Robin Hood and King Arthur. But many Hindus, myself included, believe that the stories of Rama and Krishna, the stories of Vishnu and Shiva, etc. are not just legends or folklore, but rather they're backed up by authoritative Pramanas. (It's the difference between Aitihya and Sabda Pramana, to use the terminology of Hindu philosophy.)

So it's better to use the tag , because the word story does not contain any suggestion of falsity. For instance one can talk about the story of how Gandhi became a freedom fighter.

  • 1
    But they are not simply stories written by author X, Y or Z. They are found in Vedas, Puranas etc. How to differentiate then between a story written by me (say) and one that is found in scriptures? Why is it so much necessary on a Hindu religion site to emphasize the fact the Q is about a story? Simply tagging the scripture names (in which the passage is found) would be enough. – Rickross Nov 28 '17 at 8:20
  • What about narration ? – Mr. Sigma. Nov 28 '17 at 8:35
  • 2
    @Rickross It's useful to indicate questions that are about Hindu stories, for classification purposes. For instance there are users who love to read questions that are about Hindu stories, and there are users who love to answer questions about Hindu stories. That is the purpose of tags in Stackexchange sites, to classify questions so that users can easily find a category of question that they're interested in. And tags for individual scriptures are not good enough, because consider a question like "How did Ganesha lose his tusk?" The user may have no idea what scripture that story is in. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 28 '17 at 8:36
  • the user may have no idea what scripture that story is in--- For this Q it is not necessary for OP to tag anything more than just Ganesha. That he does not know where in scriptures is the passage found is the reason why he is asking the Q. It is not necessary also for him to tag it with story. Because, that does not enrich the post in any way. @KeshavSrinivasan – Rickross Nov 28 '17 at 8:41
  • 2
    @Rickross Tags are not about "enriching" a post, they're about making a post easier to find. For instance, what if a user would like to learn about Hindu stories. If you just tag the question with Ganesha, someone interested in finding all the questions about Hindu stories may not easily find the question about how Ganesha lost his tusk. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 28 '17 at 8:47
  • 2
    I agree with using stories, we may also think of sacred-stories or scriptural-stories. – Pandya Nov 30 '17 at 11:21
  • -1 for stories. story: an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment. – ram Feb 8 at 18:53
  • "The truth about stories, is that that's all we are" - Thomas King – Zanna Apr 25 at 14:05
  • mythology "NEED NOT" mean false or fictional, but it "DOES" – ram May 1 at 3:21
-1

I agree with Milind's most voted answer for complete eradication of the tag. Itihaas which means 'as it was' (If I am not wrong) can be used in replacement of mythology.

We don't need to think about other replacements.

  • 1
    @Sarvabhouma, why do we even need a tag which covers all these scenarios ? what is the purpose of even having tags ? it's a stackoverflow specific thing, which was meant for easy filtering of different programming languages.. there is no need to characterize all scenarios with one word which has negative connotations. – ram Apr 26 at 15:34
  • @ram Tags are not only specific for stack overflow or programming. They are for categorizing all the questions. It is for filtering out stories from philosophy, understanding passages from question, questions about Puranas or Ramayana itself. For example I have a story I heard from elders and I ask about it which is not from any above source, we can tag. Similarly, which asks specifically for a story behind something, we can tag it so that it is easy to find with similar questions. – Sarvabhouma Apr 26 at 15:53
  • 1
    @Sarvabhouma, it was a rhetoric question. i know why tags exist. but if it is a choice between not having tags, and having tags that are harmful, the former is better. in first case, people find it hard to find certain posts. in the second case, people find it easy to think certain posts are fiction. imo, the second is worse. those who are browsing this site very often will be the main ones affected by lack of tag. where those browse this site occasionally (which is majority of users) will be the main ones affected by misleading tag. – ram Apr 26 at 15:59
-2

WAY 3

First of all I want to tell that before upvoting or downvoting just by seeing the title read the whole answer first.

I am really very surprised.

In the Main Site answers, anyone can quote from any book written by Dick and Harry, to spoil the Philosophies propounded by our ancient Munis--none is much bothered about it. Anyone can call Lord Shiva a deluder on the basis of some Purana full of interpolations --almost none has any headache! One can write that Goddess Durga is maid-servant of Vishnu, again wrongly interpreting a Purana--most members are indifferent. But when the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are called Mythology, many peoples' sentiments are hurt!!! What a strange situation!

If Mahabharata is NOT Mythology, it is a sacred text. In that text, Lord Vishnu's Sahasranama and Lord Shiva's Sahasranama are simultaneously present. The hymn to Goddess Durga by Arjuna on Sri Krishna's order is also a part of it. The mentioned stotras leave no room for denigrating ANY deity. We think these are sacred texts and allow mud-slinging to deities? Not contradictory? Do we then really accept Ramayana and Mahabharata as holy scriptures? The above-mentioned reactions clearly answer the question IN THE NEGATIVE.

I therefore support the Mythology tag fully. Anything supported by any published book is a valid reference here.The writings of Sri Devdutta Pattanaik is far more scripture-based, logical and reliable to me than the writing of Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura and the interpolations of the Puranas. Sri Devdutta is very very learned and a real scholar. He has interpreted Mythology in a different way. By the word he means : 'somebody's truth'.

My logic therefore is simple : The word 'Mythology' is accepted by innumerable people who are readers of Debdutt etc etc, while the secterian views are views of a handful.If we can allow the secterian views full of bigotry and hatred here just because they are published in some book read by a handful, we should accept the word 'Mythology' as its accepted by many scholars, many common people and many books for many many years.It at least contains little bigotry and hatred and are presentable to civilised and sensible people.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Keshav Srinivasan May 3 at 19:12
  • "an ant is biting my neck, so let me allow this mosquito to bite my arm" - is this your stance ? many of the 'interpretations' are also part of scripture/texts made by renowned saints, they are not cooked up inventions like you're saying. – ram May 3 at 20:20
  • @ram That the ant and mosquito are related and to be killed together--this I have made clear in my answer with enough logic I think.All who would read the answer minutely would understand it in all probabilities. – user17294 May 4 at 3:49
  • @ram No renowned saint wrote like that as saints are bound to believe in the scriptures.These are all cooked up stories.Even if they enjoy it within the sect, they must not wash their dirty linen in public. – user17294 May 4 at 3:53
  • i realize you were sarcastic in ur answer. but i'm not referring to the particular things u mentioned in ur answer, but the general interpretations of who is supreme being. they all have scriptural backing. u're equating that with stuff made up by modern 'scholars', that is not correct. – ram May 4 at 4:02
  • @ram Modern scholars are far more dependable and intelligent and knowledgable to me than the secterian blinds. – user17294 May 4 at 4:04
  • @ram Our sanskrit texts have deep spiritual meanings most of the time and none can contradict the Vedas. – user17294 May 4 at 4:06
  • if you think you can understand vedas directly by reading them without the help of itihasa puranas, or without help of saints commentary, you have a low chance (but not zero) of getting it right. your choice. – ram May 4 at 5:54
  • @ram My posted answer addresses already the reply to this. – user17294 May 4 at 5:58
-7

I would prefer Way 1

Rename tag mythology to Virtual Reality, because until unless some people see real proof they assume it to be virtual but then there are people who say it's real! For instance we all knew Rama Setu was real but certain groups said it's a mythological bridge but now after NASA (wonder why we always need western stamp to confirm) confirmed people say well it was real which existed about 1.6 million years ago!

  • "now after NASA confirmed..." - no NASA did not confirm. They in fact clarified their photos are not proof of historicity of Ramayana. "The age, substratum, geological structure or anthropological status of the ocean bed in Palk strait cannot be determined by the astronauts' photographs. So there is no basis for these claims," Braukus said. – sv. Jan 5 '18 at 20:56
  • @sv the link you have shared is from year 2007, we are in 2018, check this now dw.com/en/a-bridge-that-lord-ram-built-myth-or-reality/… ... so you down voted for this reason? – Just_Do_It Jan 5 '18 at 21:06
  • 'we are in 2018' - so what? You said "NASA confirmed" - what did it confirm? Simple pointing to an article isn't good enough. Making a story out of a picture taken by NASA and saying "NASA confirmed" (even after NASA issued a statement clarifying their stance) is dishonest propaganda. – sv. Jan 5 '18 at 22:23
  • "it was real which existed about 1.6 million years ago" - 1.6 million years ago there were no modern humans at all. The oldest human discovered was from 300,000 years ago. And we're talking about primitive humans here, not bridge-building humans/apes. – sv. Jan 5 '18 at 22:24
  • @sv, "1.6 million years ago there were no modern humans at all." - maybe you should stop at saying "we currently do not have evidence of modern humans 1.6 million years ago".. earth deals with such large timescales that entire civilizations could be erased without a trace - see recent thread from hacker news - news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19707426 , and these are NASA guys – ram Apr 26 at 15:36

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