This is an extension of my older question. As per current thread: Can we revisit the sources required rule?, the general sentiments seems that we must cite the sources for the answers. Hence, it's important to decide, which sources are counted & how are they considered valid?

The objective criteria-s may look like below (just examples):

  • If the source cited is written in Sanskrit
  • If the source is hosted in some website
  • If the source has some affiliation with known Veda/PurAna/Gita etc.
  • ...

Why is it important to decide the sources?

Suppose, I host a webpage such as "super-sacred-texts.com" and copy some part from actual "sacred-texts.com", but then add some of my own philosophies & imaginations & cite here to spread. Then that will create a boomerang effect for the "sources" criteria & may become detrimental.
We don't have any way to oppose such instruments as of today. That answer cannot be taken down by fair moderation, because "scriptures" have given that answer a due legitimacy.

Most of the users will not do such things, but imagine that if someone who is outside Hinduism has already done that propaganda years back. It's easy for any user to get attracted innocently towards such material & cite it here.

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1 Answer 1


What scriptures are considered valid?

All Hindu scriptures are valid and authentic source. Works of Acharyas, Sayings of Saints, Swami and Gurus are also valid source to cite.

What sources are considered valid?

Now talking about citing texts from websites.

Websites that provide English translation and commentary of Hindu scriptures:

  • Hindu scriptures are primarily written in Sanskrit which are translated into various languages and most of websites provide English translation of it. For example Here you'll find many useful resources to get scriptures. Citing English translation and commentary of scriptures from websites is valid as they are based on (or affiliated with) Hindu scriptures.

  • Which website we should prefer to cite? For citing scriptures, we shoud prefer websites that provides proper reference to scripture i.e verse-to-verse translation e.g this so-that you can give proper reference e.g Rigveda 2.3.4, BG 5.23 etc. But if I say Manu Smriti says xyz or Krishna said xyz without proper reference like Manu. 3.22. then it is improper and missing reference which we can't rely on. So, we should not cite such texts from websites that are actually "missing proper reference".

  • There are many sites provide English translation and interpretation of scriptures besides we do know; We can't pre-judge the correctness of translation and/or interpretation of them. Voting on answers will decide the correctness of it.

Websites that provides modern works of Acharyas:

  • We should prefer well-known and/or official websites for citing works/saying of Acharyas/Swami/Saints. For example Belur Math for Works of Swami Vivekananda and Sringeri and Kamakoti for Adi Shankaracharya. Similarly reputed websites for Ramanujacharya and other Acharyas/Swami/Saint.

Similarly for websites that provides various article on Hindu practices, we should prefer reputed website but as we can't pre-judge the correctness and reliability of all sites, we should not disallow websites for citing as reference since we don't have a list of approved websites by community (We can implement restriction if we provide and maintain list of approved sites). Depending on the content (expectation according to question), voting will serve the purpose of deciding correctness of information being cited and provided in answers.

In brief, listing with descending order of authenticity, 1. Hindu Scriptures 2.Works of Acharyas/Swami/Saints, 3. Information cited from reputed websites are considered valid sources.

Note that Blogs are not considered valid source as they are mostly nothing but the opinions of blogger and we can't rely on mere personal opinions or personal experience. Similarly your idea of super-sacred-texts.com with your personal/own philosophy will fall in this category.

  • 1
    Nice iterative answer. BTW the super-sacred-texts.com, will Not fall under blog or personal experience, because it's presented in such a way that it look legitimate (even though it is not). Hence it's also a good thing if you list down the names of the websites which are allowed to be cited. Also it's important decide, under what criteria we should disallow "super-sacred..."?
    – iammilind
    Commented Mar 19, 2017 at 12:46
  • Conversation continued in chat
    – Pandya Mod
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 4:39
  • 4
    Good answer. What about sites like narayanastra.blogspot.com -how do you define a 'blog' and a 'website?' Where do you draw the line? What will you tell someone who says Wikipedia is as authentic as Kamakoti.org? 'Works of Acharyas' - what if an acharya you don't know runs a blog or website? What exactly is "work of an acharya?" Is a blog run by an acharya a "work?" How do you decide who's an acharya & who's not? Commented Mar 23, 2017 at 3:21
  • 1
    @sv. "What will you tell someone who says Wikipedia is as authentic as Kamakoti.org?" Ignore them. What else? Branding a website totally as inauthentic is not right because many so called authentic sites are run by persons and give their personal opinions. Sometimes Quora, speaking tree are added in answers. In these cases, there is no banner or anything because the linked articles give proper references. This should be the same for any website or Wikipedia or kamakotimandali etc., Seeing the name and deciding it as authentic is not proper. hinduism.meta.stackexchange.com/a/1472/5212 Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 3:37
  • 1
    If Scriptures, Sruti,Smriti are the invariable pramanas to resolve all dharma sandehams, then the culture is static. It would suffer from rigid custom, habit and laws. The Mahatma has quite clearly stated the most desirable attitude.."My feet are embedded in past values but windows are always open to fresh air "
    – Narasimham
    Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 16:18

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