It is known that we allow questions locating resources of Hindu literature offline and online. What should be the tone and way of asking a question which is looking for a book?

We should remember that we are a Q&A site and not a book store or a search engine to find missing books on the internet. Lately, there are some questions asking in this way.

I want Vishnu Purana English pdf

This is exactly the search query people type in Google address bar to find something.

I have commented to let the OP know what is the way according to "How to ask" page and linking to help center and also said we are not a site to provide links to missing books. But I ws not sure how to edit it because different people have different tastes.

Are we okay with this type of questions framed like a demand in a book store? Please note that shopping recommendations are off-topic for Stack Exchange sites.

What should be the action towards these type of questions without showing proper research, asking in a demanding tone?

1 Answer 1


We have a tag for the purpose of questions dealing with finding resources to learn about Hinduism including finding scriptures. However as you pointed out, it doesn't mean we are allowing shopping recommendation neither we are a service to scan books or provide pdfs.

Asking resource for particular scripture, commentary and translation are on-topic. Following are examples of proper questions that can be asked:

  • Is the commentary of Mahidhara on Rigveda available?
  • Is the English/Hindi translation of Charanavyuha available?

So, asking resource to particular text or is on-topic but I think one should not demand soft copy (pdf) if they are not finding on internet. For example, Hindi translation of Sayanacharya's commentary on Rigveda is available to purchase and if I ask the question like "Whether it's available to read online or if soft copy/pdf is available" then I don't think it would be fine question. We are not a service to provide scanned copies!

Also one should not demand particular publication. For example it is fine to ask for an English translation of Valmiki Ramayana but "I am looking for Gitapress publication only" is not a good question to ask e.g I want Gita Gorakhpur press Valmiki Ramayan english pdf has been closed as off-topic.

So, following type of questions should be discouraged:

  • Where can I get the soft copy (pdf) or online reading version of particular text? Note
  • How do I get this text from particular publication? [off-topic]
  • Which publication is good for reading particular text? [opinion-based]

Note: Users are recommended to go through resources e.g. Internet Archive and list of scanned books available etc. A list of useful resources have been complied in this post and linked to help-center.

  • Should we also include "Available online for free" even though there is a version for purchase? Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 11:53
  • @Sarvabhouma include in on-topic or off-topic; can you give an example; I didn't get.
    – Pandya Mod
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 11:58
  • You wrote a list which is discouraged. So should we also add "Where is XYZ available for free download" (even though it's available for purchase) on other platforms. Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 13:19
  • @Sarvabhouma Yes, we are already providing a resource to get scriptures ready to read. We are not supposed to officially help people for getting gratis copies of every text. Users should check resources we're listing e.g Internet Archive or list of scanned books check whether texts/books are in public domain and so available to download.
    – Pandya Mod
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 14:24
  • Getting free copies privately or with possibly violating licenses should not be allowed.
    – Pandya Mod
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 14:27

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