Recently I came across the following comment which was posted under one question on the Main site (The comment is currently not to be found as it was deleted).

Simple explanation is they did not know. They were just speculating what might have caused creation

Here the word "they" refers to the Vedic Rishis who have heard the Vedas. Now, since the scriptures describe the Rishis as omniscient, they can not be speculating. So, this is disrespectful towards them

Moreover, the Rishis were not the authors of the Vedas. They simply heard or saw the Mantras from God who spoke those.

So, this is also disrespectful towards the most fundamental Hindu belief (that Vedas are authorless) and also towards God himself (because the comment implies that God does not know and he is simply speculating).

So, my questions here are as follows:

  • How to deal with such comments?
    • Are we to flag them as "rude or abusive" or using a custom reason?
  • I have been told by one Mod that we can flag such comments. But i thought of knowing what the official stand on the issue is. Anyways waiting for an answer from one of the Mods. @iammilind – Rickross Sep 17 '17 at 16:00
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    I'm not supporting such comments. Are you 100% sure that he meant Vedas and rishis only? Did he reply to your comment saying he was mocking Vedas? Why did you bold out some text? You want to emphasise on them? " He must be meaning rishis" Are you speculating? And how do you know who downvoted the question? Only CM' s can see that. You're assuming things about downvoting. Don't be 100% sure unless you know it. – Sarvabhouma Sep 17 '17 at 17:47
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    I'm sorry if my comments hurt you, but I was merely answering the question. I can assure you there was no mocking going on. I'm merely stating my observation. If you don't agree with my comments, you can just ignore them. But you shouldn't try to force your opinion on others. People on this forum routinely use comments to answer questions all the time. – Say No To Censorship Sep 18 '17 at 19:17
  • If you want to really to see what mocking looks like, see this example comment by one of the moderators and this comment by another user slandering a BORI scholar - he's talking about where the scholar studied and who he is married to etc. Those are the ones you should be really taking offense. – Say No To Censorship Sep 18 '17 at 19:21
  • @sv. If u found those comments offensive u should have flagged them. I am just concerned about few of ur recent comments. You could have just omitted posting them. I think ur comments are trollish in nature. For example, even though Scriptures mention some chiranjivis u repeatedly keep posting in comments that all those scriptural sayings are false. Do u think we can allow such behavior?? – Rickross Sep 19 '17 at 5:06
  • @sv. Also, i have not flagged ur comment because i was unsure whether we can or not. That's why this Q and now i know that yes we can indeed flag them. – Rickross Sep 19 '17 at 6:09
  • @Rickross Instead of responding to your comments individually I recommend you to read these posts: 1) Does Science Contradict Hinduism? 2) Brothers, we are not Christians! on Christianity.SE. 3) Please try to appreciate others' views, answers and perspectives - even if you don't agree! – Say No To Censorship Sep 19 '17 at 15:13
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    1) Is not relevant here. 2) That is Christianity SE but this is Hinduism SE. Different sites so rules must be different. Are u suggesting we MUST follow them always? 3) This is also i am trying to say to u. I know that u don't have any respect for Hindu beliefs Scriptures or Rishis but what is the need to hurt other Hindus by openly saying things like " C'mon these Rishis don't know anything, they were just speculating" What will u achieve by hurting others? Why can't u be a lil more sober and respectful? @sv. – Rickross Sep 19 '17 at 16:29
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    @sv, do you know what slander means ? mentioning the truth is not considered slandering. To Make false and damaging statements about someone is slander. The FACT is that BORI edition was written by someone educated in western nations and married western woman and named their children western names. Check Wikipedia. However, if you find the truth damaging, maybe the fault is not at my end. – mar Sep 20 '17 at 15:25
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    @ram I can also argue that the statement I made ("Simple explanation is they did not know. They were just speculating what might have caused creation") is factually correct. Why are users on this forum taking offense to it? "However, if you find the truth damaging, maybe the fault is not at my end." - FYI, that works both ways. – Say No To Censorship Sep 20 '17 at 15:29
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    @sv, If you got sources for that statement, and/or can derive inferences from those sources, sure. Also, I'm all for community driven decisions. If this site gets overrun by atheist/left/critical/rational intellectuals, then their opinions will run supreme. If not, it won't. I would personally flag such comments, and when enough people do, moderators can decide whether to remove them. I flagged yours and moved on. Both your and my response comments got deleted, since we don't want to seem like a bunch of bickering fools to outside viewers. – mar Sep 20 '17 at 15:32
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    @ram 'If you got sources for that statement' - since when has this site adopted the policy that comments need to be backed up with citations? That only applies to answers. Not comments. I've read a lot of your comments and most of them are unsupported. So it appears to me that 'Vyasa is no longer alive' needs to supported "by facts" and while 'Vyasa is still living somewhere in the Himalayas (with or without the body, we don't know)' needn't be because that is what everyone wants to believe? – Say No To Censorship Sep 20 '17 at 16:04
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    @sv. Please read my comment again, i said "didn't know anything about Gravity". Coming to contradictions, they are for people who live with limited consciousness. When we expand consciousness, there will be no contradictions. First a devotee accepts and it is belief. Belief is everywhere. A 6 year old student believes words as teacher as true and verify them later when he attains proper age. Even in Sadhana, first a devotee believes what Scriptures say and when he advances in Sadhana, he will verify all statements when he attains that transcendental state. Belief is everywhere. – The Destroyer Mod Sep 20 '17 at 17:49
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    @sv. For proper Shankara commentary see this page. To understand "consciousness", you need to study upanishads. As i suggested earlier, you can watch "Through the Worm hole documentary" and read Upanishads later. We can discuss about it after you have watched those series or after reading Upanishads. And then you would understand, there are no blind beliefs. – The Destroyer Mod Sep 20 '17 at 18:36
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    @sv, if you make comments that are both offensive, and not backed-up with sources, people have 2 reasons to flag it. When you don't know what you're talking about, yet seem sure about it, AND it is offensive, your comments/opinions/answers will be treated with disdain. – mar Sep 20 '17 at 19:03

Yes, you can flag such comments. Moderators will review/investigate flags and will take necessary action.

Related article from Help Centre: What if I see someone doing something bad?

Flagging a comment:

If the inappropriate content occurs in comment, hover over the offending comment and click the small flag icon that appears.

You must specify a reason for each comment flag. The most common cases are listed in the comment flag dialog box:

  • rude or abusive
  • no longer needed - the comment is obsolete, chatty, or otherwise unnecessary
  • in need of moderator intervention - A problem not listed above that requires action by a moderator

If a comment is like a hate speech, abusive or hurts/offensive to others, you can flag them as "rude or offensive".

If the comment is like not-constructive, you can choose "no longer needed" option while flagging comments.

Here or sometimes judging whether the comment is classified as "rude or offensive" or simply "not constructive" is bit tricky. If you think the comment is offensive or hurting, you may choose "rude or offensive", otherwise you may go with "no longer needed".

If one continues to make rude or offensive comments repeatedly, he/she can be suspended.

  • We can choose no longer needed. Can't we? Because the comment was not constructive. I think it's better than rude or abusive. – Sarvabhouma Sep 17 '17 at 17:37
  • @Sinister I've mde it bit clear. – Pandya Mod Sep 17 '17 at 17:59
  • Troll comments like these should be treated as non constructive because they help in the post improvement in no way. Comments are not for saying some opinions. So, they should be flagged as "no longer needed". Rude or offensive flags must be used carefully because they give penalty for the user. We must be 100% sure that the user is mocking or insulting gods (The user didn't reply to any if the replies to his comments.So, it is not sure what he meant. So, "no longer needed" would be apt). There were troll posts in the past too. Some of them were deleted without rude flags. – Sarvabhouma Sep 18 '17 at 4:12
  • Thanks it is good to know that we can flag such comments. "No longer needed" gives the impression that it was needed earlier. But that is not the case as such comments are never needed. So, i would prefer rude or offensive rather. Such comments are obviously the ones that haters post so must not be welcome.@@Pandya – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 4:52
  • @Rickross "No longer needed" doesn't mean that they were needed earlier. The comment flag reasons which were "obsolete", "not constructive", "too chatty" were clubbed under one flag reason. If the comment is not constructive(not needed to that post at any time), can be flagged as no longer needed. Rude and abusive flags should be used carefully because they penalize the user significantly on the other side. If we are not sure about it, then we shouldn't use that flags. For the troll comments like these, no longer needed flags are apt. If the user continues to do the same, then use rude. – Sarvabhouma Sep 18 '17 at 5:03
  • I was talkng to Pandya not you. @Sinister – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 5:06
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    @Rickross But I am talking to you only. You said that no longer needed means needed earlier. That was not right. That's why I explained the comment flags because you don't know them. What do you mean I'm not talking to you? This is a public forum and anyone can talk to anyone. Besides, you understood the system wrongly. So, I intervened. If you are on a public platform, you should be ready for other's views also. If you want to talk to a particular user, use mails, social networking etc., – Sarvabhouma Sep 18 '17 at 5:11
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    Let me decide what is wrong or right. Also when the MOD can clarify why are u jumping in? @Sinister – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 5:14
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    @Rickross There are multiple reasons I am jumping in. 1.The issue is not only between you and a mod. It's about site policy. These are taken after discussion and not unanimously by a mod. 2.The motto of SE is Anyone can question and anyone can answer.The answer I gave is not about Panya's personal opinion. It's about SE's general policy of comments. So, every user of SE who knows about the comment flags can correct you if you are unclear about it. You can't stop any user who's correcting you. 3. The first comment on the answer is posted by me and I'm already part of the discussion. – Sarvabhouma Sep 18 '17 at 10:32
  • @Sinister I am not stopping you. I can not stop u either otherwise how are u posting this comment? As i was discussing with Pandya, whose answer it is, obviously i want the clarification from him. If still u want to post ur opinions in that is upto you. – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 16:41

Respect is most important thing we should maintain in posts and comments. But in some cases it is "subjective" to decide whether post or comment is offensive or not.

Tour page says

Hinduism Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for followers of the Hindu religion and those interested in learning more about Hinduism.

So, anyone who is interested in Hinduism besides native followers can join this community. At the same time users should respect core values or philosophy of Hinduism (on which all Hindus unanimously agree). One can't ridicule Gods (Devas) or Rishis who heard Vedas. If a user wants to know Scientific proof of Hindu concepts such as rebirth, divine nature of Vedas or if he/she involves Sceptic thinking with help of Modern Science, then this community is not for him/her. A fellow user shouldn't ridicule beliefs of Hinduism (although many such beliefs can be proved with logic which was done by Hindu philosophers in past, but that's different thing).

If you see any post or comment which you feel offensive, check whether OP is newbie or some experienced user. If newbie, he could have made incidental statements. Check his activity and if many users (say 3 or more users) feel offended, flag his posts for moderator attention. If experienced users makes such comments, flag their comments or posts as rude. It's always better if you mention the reason using "other" flag. Flag comments which are offensive to many users.

Coming to your question, from traditional Hindu perspective this comment can be bit offensive (although opinions vary depending on users knowledge and belief in principles of Hinduism). It's always better not to post against something on which all Hindus agree unanimously. Apart from core philosophy, there are many paths and Sampradayas in Sanatana Dharma. "Constructive Criticism" of one philosophy by others through "Sastra Charcha" (scriptural debates), as per rules laid down in Sastras (scriptures), was/is very common in Hinduism. Let's only give place for Constructive Criticism and that too only if really needed.

We should also remember this site is to learn Hinduism not to debunk Hinduism, before we post any questions or answers or comments.

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    The Qn itself is about why Hindu scriptures don't agree unanimously on the topic of "creation". You wrote in answer -- "Coming to your question, from traditional Hindu perspective this comment can be bit offensive ... always better not to post against something on which all Hindus agree unanimously" -- May you specify, why do you find the comment bit offensive? Which unanimous thing is it challenging? – iammilind Sep 18 '17 at 7:32
  • @iammilind Hinuds agree unanimously on divine nature of Vedas and Rishis. My point is not about title or body of question but about comment which is about Rishis and Devas. – The Destroyer Mod Sep 18 '17 at 7:38
  • To have healthy discussion, just consider me as a devil's advocate. -- So the comment doesn't challenge the divine nature of Veda-s, Deva-s & Rishi-s. It says that they were speculating. Now, As per the Qn, the scriptures are contradicting (not agreeing) on certain topic. We all know that Divine natures can have different POV-s. But only 1 POV can be right. Other POV-s have to be wrong. What word would you use for the "action", which unintentionally generates wrong POV? – iammilind Sep 18 '17 at 7:45
  • Obviously not. Many POVs can be right, like different paths from A to B. Moreover, his point is about origin or Vedas and Rishis which is unanimously agreed by Hindus. – The Destroyer Mod Sep 18 '17 at 8:11
  • "Respect is most important thing we should maintain in posts and comments." - Please explain me, what is respectful in you calling an institution like BORI and its scholars 'leftists' in this comment? How is it related to the question being asked? – Say No To Censorship Sep 18 '17 at 19:04
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    What do you make of this comment by another user who's slandering a scholar re: who he's married to? Why didn't you delete it already? I'm guessing you and other moderators already noticed it and did nothing about it. Is there a conflict of interest here between your personal views and your role as a moderator? – Say No To Censorship Sep 18 '17 at 19:06
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    "It's always better not to post against something on which all Hindus agree unanimously." - Please don't force your personal opinion on what 1 billion Hindus should believe, should not believe etc. Also, before making such comments, please get yourself acquainted with this post on Christianity.SE. See the very first point: "Christianity.SE is not here to either dictate or define the views of it's users." – Say No To Censorship Sep 18 '17 at 20:34
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    Also, see Brothers, we are not Christians‼. – Say No To Censorship Sep 18 '17 at 20:36
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    @sv. "Please don't force your personal opinion on what 1 billion Hindus should believe, should not believe etc". They are not my personal opinions. They are original definitions of Hindus. A Hindu can't be a hindu (precisely a follower of Sanatana Dharma) if one ridicules Vedas and Rishis. If you go by some purported modern definitions, then good luck. Do you think definition given by some who haven't even read Vedas and with no perfect knowledge of Sanskrit is true definition? – The Destroyer Mod Sep 19 '17 at 3:26
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    @sv. How is calling an institution "leftists" disrespectful from Hinduism pov? I said their ideology which is not in accordance with Dharma or Hinduism. So, anything which makes you offensive really makes things offensive? Can i stay in your house talking against you all the time and badmouthing? Same is the case here. When you are on Hinduism SE, be a believer or non believer, you should respect core ideas of Hinduism and you can't say "Rishis were speculating." Similarly, if i go to BORI, i won't say organization is leftist. Respect is relative and don't generalize it everywhere. – The Destroyer Mod Sep 19 '17 at 3:32
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    @sv. You may say, "RIshis were speculating" if same question is asked on Spektics SE or on Physics SE. Overall we should follow "Be nice" Policy of SE. But also we should follow some community specific rules. – The Destroyer Mod Sep 19 '17 at 3:34
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    @sv. It's you assumption that i didn't read the link. Being secular doesn't mean you can say whatever you want about core principles of Hinduism. This is your problem with understanding of Secular. Do you know meaning of secular? Site rules are secular, means they are not influenced any religions. Being respectful to core principles is one such "secular rule". (it's obvious) "you need to stop saying you somehow represent and speak for the whole Hindu community" Please know definition of Sanatana Dharma that is in use from many millenniums (or at least before 1000 years). – The Destroyer Mod Sep 19 '17 at 15:44
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    @sv. SE is an international platform and Hinduism SE is not a Pro Hindu organization. But if you talk about a subject, be it Physics or Religion or anything on Secular platform, you can't talk against anything that is well accepted. Can you say Newton was just speculating and didn't know anything about Gravity? Obviously people would consider you have zero knowledge of Newton and concept of Gravity. Same is the case with Hinduism. Rishis and origin of Vedas is well accepted fact among Hindu community. You can't say Rishis were just speculating without even knowing what they said. – The Destroyer Mod Sep 19 '17 at 15:50
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    @sv. Please say how you justify my above example of Newton which is similar to your case. Please analyze "Be nice policy" and above bold statement. You can say any of your views unless it doesn't violate be nice policy. Now, you just go to SE rules and say it won't violate. See from Hinduism Community not just from SE community as whole. – The Destroyer Mod Sep 19 '17 at 17:21
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    @sv. There is no bigotry in that comment. Calling someone leftists is not offensive. It may be offensive on Twitter if you use it in India. – The Destroyer Mod Sep 19 '17 at 17:40

Since Mod has already replied and is accepted. Another POV in my answer, which is more specific to the "comment" in Qn.

Probably I am the rare one who think that the comment was Not rude or abusive or hurtful -- at least it's not obvious to me in anyway. It doesn't fall outside the "Be Nice" policy. That's why I asked in the Qn section, why this comment is found to be "mocking". The user hasn't made obvious anywhere.

My tolerance towards "hurtfulness" is probably bit high :-) I "might" find hurtful if following is done:

  • Simple explanation is those idiots did not know. They were just speculating what might have caused creation
  • Simple explanation is they did not know. Those morons were just speculating what might have caused creation
  • Simple explanation is they did not know. Why are you asking such stupid Qn.

Calling names either to revered sages or the OP can be hurtful. In any case, we may always flag to the Mod for their review.
If we judge the edits based on "sentiments", then it's like overriding the SE policy.

SanAtana Dharma welcomes all kind of thinkings. As we all know, "Atheism" is also a part of it. If someone doesn't want to believe authority of XYZ, then they are free to do that, until their actions are in parliamentary way in this site. I don't think the user @sv., who is well aware of "be nice" policy, would want to break it. Suppose even if that user intends that, even then the choice of words is not poor and it cannot be termed as offensive.
This is just my thinking. It doesn't mean I disregard the opinions of others who finds that comment hurtful.

---Answer finishes here---


Bhagavad Gita is regarded as the highest -- not only in the hierarchy of sources cited for Hinduism.SE, but also in Indian supreme court & many philosophers. Because of its influential nature, many people try to be associated with it by "reverence" or "love" or "propagation" or "devotion".

Now many also try associating with it by "criticism" and "hatred".
All are true on their own path!

Krishna asking Arjuna to kill Bhishma & Drona during Gita [BG 11.34] -- didn't happen in physical sense.

  • "Non believers" may criticise as -- Krishna just speculated, but it didn't happen
  • "Believers" may defend as -- On the command of Krishna, Arjuna hurling weapons at Bhishma & Drona alone is enough that Arjuna slayed them. An insult to elders alone is enough to slay them, let alone exercising deadly weapons. [Reference: MahAbhArata]
  • So you are saying is that we should be indifferent to such comments. I don't agree with it. – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 5:31
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    I can understand that even atheists can ask questions here and post but that does not imply that they can ridicule the beliefs of others. That Q is about Veda mantras and the comment says they do not know- they are just speculating. Now, these are equivalent of saying God does not know (because God spoke Vedas), the Rishis (because Rishis heard Vedas) are just speculating- so they are hurting the feelings of the Hindus (believers). They can post from their POV but without ridiculing the beliefs of a mainstream Hindu. I am downvoting ur post. – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 6:06
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    @Rickross, "Now, these are equivalent of saying God does not know" -- that's subjective. In a way, that's a speculation, which can be true or false. Lord Krishna has given lower importance to Veda-s at places during Gita. Of course the conversation was in private, but that doesn't mean he ridiculed. I think, this issue is stretched out of proportion. – iammilind Sep 18 '17 at 7:05
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    I don't think it is stretched as you are saying. I just wanted to know if we can flag such comments or not? In Hinduism SE can we allow comments that are ridiculing Hindu beliefs? Also it is not that this is the first such comment from the concerned user. He has been posting like that from some days. So, i thought its better to know the official stand on such issue. – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 7:10
  • @Rickross, in such case it was better if the body of your Qn had just followed the title. And incidentally the answer you accepted, doesn't discuss about that comment at all. But you have chosen to disclose the user with that comment. That's also OK, if it's unavoidable, but the comment which you posted in the Qn is not ridiculing explicitly anyone. If you find the trend of such comments, then links to all those comments would have helped. As far as I know, the user is smart enough not to break the "Be Nice" policy. I have seen that in past during some of the conversations. – iammilind Sep 18 '17 at 7:17
  • @Rickross, the main Qn is about creation (origin) of universe, which is also called saguna brahman. -- What you want to say about following: BG 10.2 - Neither the gods nor the great sages know My origin. In every way, I am the origin of the gods and the great sages.? – iammilind Sep 18 '17 at 7:24
  • Yes he is not ridiculing any particular user- that's why i was not sure whether to flag or not to. And yes he must be thinking that he is not violating the be nice policy but i think most users (except someone like who downvoted the Q and u) will agree with me that those comments should not be allowed. Its Ok to be atheists but that does not mean they can openly disrespect Hindu scriptures and belief. – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 7:43
  • You are gravely mistaken about BG's scriptural authority. Authority status are discussed only for those scriptures which are complete. And BG is not a complete scripture at all. Suppose we have only BG available to us and no other scriptures. What will we do with it? It is just a philosophical discourse, it does not have guidelines for so many Dharmic things which Hindus will have to do on daily basis. The whole nitya-naimittika-kamya karmas will have to stopped for not having any guidelines available on them (1) – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 7:48
  • BG is part of an Itihasa. I am not sure if Itihasas have any scriptural authority. In scriptures we find authority discussed for only Sruti (Vedas)-Smriti and Puranas. Now, these 3 are complete scriptures. If any one of them is available we can follow Dharma and all its rites even if no other scriptures are available. Even Tantras are complete Scriptures in that sense.When no other scriptures are available we can easily manage if Tantras are available. (2) – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 7:54
  • Now think of the opposite scenario- BG is not available but other scriptures are, then nothing comes to standstill, the advice which are found in BG are also found scattered in several other scriptures. So not any problem at all. See this Q for the authority status of Hindu scriptures: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/20664/… – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 7:55
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    @Rickross, I agree that "Bhagavad Gita" is not meant for the worldly matters. Veda-s & various Smriti-s are meant for running the society. Hence Gita is also rightly referred as "VedAnta" (beyond world). I am also not to prove its authority either. Since the Qn was about "beyond world" (creation), the "beyond Veda" scripture can be authorised. :-) Anyways, to cut the discussion short, it was better if the body of your Qn had been loyal to the title only. May be after some time, when the things get pacified, you yourself would find that pinpointing a user for this matter was not right. :-) – iammilind Sep 18 '17 at 8:26
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    I have edited the Q now. Have a look. – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 8:48
  • Btw i do not understand why u have posted those portions which show ur "tolerance level".. If someone calling Vedic Rishis or Gods morons, idiots etc then we obviously won't be discussing those posts here in Meta. As such posts will be gone as soon as the Mods are notified about their existence. So, those portions are redundant IMO. – Rickross Sep 18 '17 at 16:37
  • Upvoted your answer as I find yours closest to official SE policy. You might be interested in this and this post on Christianity.SE. – Say No To Censorship Sep 18 '17 at 20:50
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    @Rickross, regarding "tolerance level", since I am coming from the main SO site, it's naturally high. See the edit history of this answer, where the answerer calls it a silly Qn. However, I do understand that Hinduism.SE is a religious site & it cannot be directly mapped with SO. Even then, the gravity of the comment was not that high. Hence, I gave some examples of what could be the right tolerance level. – iammilind Sep 19 '17 at 5:29

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