Since this is a Q&A Site about religion, almost all information we have is not owned by us. Hence there are two options,

  1. We use quotes for all information from scripture, fables, myths. It could be uncited or cited.
  2. We use quotes only for information which has a proper online source and the answerer has copied it verbatim.

Please discuss these two options or some variation of these as a standard practice for this site.

  • Clarification: is your question about how and when we provide sources, or is it about the use of blockquote formatting in markdown using >?
    – senshin
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 23:25
  • the first part is meta.hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/42/…. This question is about the general guidelines for using blockquote using >. Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 5:27

2 Answers 2


This is a blockquote

Use blockquotes when you are quoting something verbatim that is longer than a line or two (if it is shorter than that, you can just put it "in quotation marks"). You should do this whenever you quote verbatim from anything, whether that is an online article, a scripture, or a published fable. Also remember to include a reference to the thing you are quoting from, and, if you know of somewhere it is available online, a link to the online version.

Avoid using blockquotes when you are paraphrasing. For example, if your parents told you the story of Narasimha, and you then find a question here about Narasimha that you would like to answer, you should not put your recounting of the tale of Narasimha in blockquotes, because it is not a verbatim quote from anything. What you should do is include a note in your answer that says something like "This answer is based on the story of Narasimha, as told to me by my parents". Of course, ideally, we would like to draw from original writings (e.g. scripture) as much as possible, but it's understandable if there are cases where that isn't possible/feasible.


Not really an answer, but we should (incrementally) assemble a list of standard sources and abbreviations to make the practice easy and ubiquitous. E.g.:

  • [BG 4.34] = Bhagavad-gita, chapter 4, verse 34
  • [MB Santi 168.5-7] or [MB 12.168.5-7] = Mahabharata Santi parva, chapter 168, verses 5 to 7

Other popular abbreviations: ISO=Ishopanishad, Katha=Katha Upanishad.

Not so sure if we can recognizably abbreviate these:

  • Vedanta sutra
  • Manusmriti or Manu Samhita
  • Patanjali's Yoga Sutras
  • Chanakya's Nitishastra

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