It is an ocean of wisdom and the essence of all scriptures. Using the latest technology, this application gives users a convenient medium for reading and studying the Vachanamrut. Allowing users to engage in the Vachanamrut in new and exciting ways, this app is an attempt to make it easier for curious minds to delve into the depths of the Vachanamrut. Inspired by Brahmswarup Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Pragat Brahmswarup Mahant Swami Maharaj, a team of scholarly sadhus and dedicated youths have strived to help make the Vachanamrut easier and more practical.
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This English version of the Vachanmrut is a completely new, revised translation made by a team of sdhus working directly from the original Gujarti text published by Swminryan Aksharpith, which itself is a letter-to-letter, printed version of the original, authentic manuscript published in under the auspices of chrya Shripatiprasdji of Vartl.
The work of translation began in September with initial meetings to discuss methods and conventions, and concluded in September with blessings from His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swmi Mahrj, who continually supplied invaluable inspiration to complete the monumental task. Continually inspired and guided by Yogiji Mahrj, Shri H.
Dave had worked diligently and meticulously to produce the first translation into English. However, through the years a need for a revised edition became apparent. A new edition could improve authenticity by correcting omissions, inconsistencies and misinterpretations. Also, readability could be improved by using less difficult words, simplifying sentence structures and correcting errors of usage.
The reader could be provided better facilities by creating a richer glossary, giving meanings of shlokas and by including meaningful appendices. For these and other reasons, the entire Vachanmrut was retranslated by a team of sdhus with a systematic approach.
The reader will find that before beginning the text, understanding the approach and the conventions adopted in the translation will undoubtedly provide a deeper insight into the text, as well as a clearer understanding of why it has been translated as it has.
Unlike other books, translating the Vachanmrut into English posed many challenges. The first challenge was its mere size the original Gujarti scripture was colossal it contained printed pages! Most importantly, though, it was to be treated as a holy scripture. Unlike other descriptive books and novels where certain The Vachanmrut imaginative aspects could be superimposed, in the case of this translation, nothing was to be added and nothing was to be removed.
After all, the act of creation was already complete; it was to be merely translated. However, unlike translating text from German to English or from French to English, the task at hand required translating Gujarti to English two very distant languages, both syntactically and culturally!
How does one do justice to phrases and concepts such as Vhfi ufi fi Strine vishe bethy-uthyni vsan? Of course, the grammatical rules of the English language also raised issues that do not arise in Gujarti. For example, capitalisation is not an issue in Gujarti. Now, in English, should Satsang be capitalised or not?
Should pronouns referring to entities other than God be capitalised or not? Assuming they should not, a more fundamental question was that do they really refer to God, or do they refer to a demigod? Many such decisions had to be made. Then there was the question of spelling. Should Krishna be spelled as Krishna or Krushna, or Krashna as it is generally pronounced in Gujarti?
Satsang or Satsanga? Should diacritical marks be used, or should a simpler method be employed to spell Gujarti and Sanskrit words? More decisions. Due to the sheer size of the task, teamwork was essential. But this raised an additional issue of accounting for the various styles and vocabularies of the different translators.
How to maintain a uniform, consistent style throughout the work? Of course, as with any philosophical scripture being translated by humans, there was the obvious issue of simply not being clear about what the original text intended to say.
Purushottam Bhagwn je te Vairj Purushn mastakne vishe rahyu je sahasradalnu kamal tene vishe pravesh karine Aksharbrahmtmak eavo je nd tene kart hav in Srangpur-6? Yet, since nothing in the scripture was to be omitted, even such complex and intangible concepts had to be translated. The Vachanmrut Countless such decisions major and minor had to be made throughout the duration of the project.
Despite the challenges faced by the translators in rendering the scripture into English, their job was never to re-write the original words. They had to remain merely translators not editors reproducing the message of the original into its closest, equivalent English. A Systematic Approach Despite the challenges involved, the team of translators decided that with Gods grace and a systematic approach, the task, though formidable, was nevertheless possible.
Developing a systematic procedure was the key to success. So, before initiating the work of translation, the translators worked meticulously to devise an overall plan. Furthermore, in order to overcome minor problems and to help share each others experiences, the translators met regularly and discussed potential complications and confusions.
The regular meetings also served to fine-tune and clarify the conventions that were established as the need arose. The following, then, is a summary of the approach adopted in the translation process.
From the outset, the translators fixed certain aims and decided on conventions to be adhered to during the translation process to fulfill those aims. First, and of primary concern, was maintaining the accuracy of the translation and its fidelity to the original text. After all, the words were not ordinary they were the words of God. This was certainly a very formidable task.
Since speech patterns and syntax differ from language to language, accurate communication of the meaning of the original script demanded careful consideration of sentence structures and contextual meanings of words. For example, prakruti does not always refer to the philosophical term; it also means a persons innate nature. Even small words, such as that stress only, were not to be ignored. In fact, every effort was made to maintain even the tone of the original text.
For example, the use of The Vachanmrut in the very last sentence of Gadhad I adds a lot more emphasis on the topic discussed in the passage; that is why it has been translated as those who do believe [God] to be nirkr just do not understand, and not simply those who do believe [God] to be nirkr do not understand.
In deciding the correct methodology, the translators also opted for a sentence-by-sentence approach; that is, unless change was absolutely necessary, each sentence in the original was to be sequentially rendered into English, of course adding any necessary linking words for better flow. Although this sentence-by-sentence method may sound simplistic or crude, its prime benefit was that it assured accuracy. After all, years from now, people should not say, This was not in the original!
Also, a helpful by-product of this methodology was that it could tremendously help those who are referring to the original Gujarti Vachanmrut. With this method, most extracted quotations from the original Gujarti text that are used in other books could immediately be correlated to corresponding sentences in the English translation.
Another issue in maintaining accuracy was retaining certain Gujarti or Sanskrit words in their original form. It is a well-known and accepted fact that certain concepts in the Vachanmrut simply have no equivalent English words. For example, anvay and vyatirek have no exact, simple, English equivalent words or phrases. Manushyabhv can only be rendered into English by using a phrase a single word simply does not suffice.
In these cases, instead of repeatedly using a lengthy English phrase or an inaccurate approximation, the original Gujarti or Sanskrit word was kept with the appropriate English spelling. In general, these words fall into three categories: 1 Words that cannot be translated mostly proper nouns and technical, philosophical terms such as anvay, vyatirek, ekntik, Prakruti, Aksharbrahma, etc.
For example, darshan could be translated as to see, or to look at, but in reality to do darshan has much more meaning than just looking at someone; it incorporates an attitude and devotional intentions The Vachanmrut that are much more than simply looking at someone, or even looking at someone with reverence. For example, gnn could be translated to knowledge; but, the word gnn merits a place in the readers vocabulary because it is so vital a concept in the Vachanmrut.
Throughout the translation process, the translators continually fine-tuned this list by adding and removing words. Spelling Conventions A major decision that had to be made regarding this list of Gujarti and Sanskrit words was the convention to be used for spelling. Ideally, diacritical marks provide an exact rendering of such words to English; but, to make the words more easily readable to a wider audience, a simpler scheme was chosen.
Overall, the general criteria for determining spellings of Gujarti words was pronunciation words were spelled as pronounced e. Many times Sanskrit spellings of words differ from the pronunciation of words e.
Even in such cases, pronunciation was the primary criteria. Of course, in cases that could have caused confusion e. Also, if a particular word was already in the English dictionary and if the definition therein matched the connotation of that word in the Vachanmrut e.
One problem with making pronunciation the basis for the spelling of Gujarti words was that some sounds in the Gujarti language could not be accurately represented by the English alphabet. For this reason, one diacritical mark was eventually used in the spelling conventions for Gujarti words.
To differentiate between the a sound in words like about and the Sanskrit-Gujarti prolonged a sound as in vaasanaa, sevaa, or father the letter was used vsan and sev , pronounced as in art or car.
Although this spelling scheme does have drawbacks, such as its inability to differentiate between letters such as and , both of The Vachanmrut which are transliterated as tha, and between letters such as and , transliterated as s ha, in most cases words can be pronounced relatively easily. The scheme avoids forcing the reader to learn a complex system of diacritical marks, and in most cases, the words are pronounced exactly as they are spelled.
Furthermore, the spellings of all English words follow the U. English spelling conventions thus the spelling colour instead of color. Within the framework of accuracy, literary style and readability were secondary concerns. Sentences should flow, and words should be meaningful and suitable. Of course, as with all translations, literal, word-to-word renderings can be tragically misleading in many instances and can do great injustice to the meaning of the original text.
So, the context of the original words had to be understood in order to provide a translation that did not mislead by being too literal. With regards to readability, the translators were faced with two difficulties: firstly, all too often, readability must be sacrificed for authenticity. Ideal examples of this are the descriptive paragraphs included by the paramhansas at the beginning of each individual Vachanmrut.
In some instances, they have provided full detail of Shriji Mahrjs dress, as well as the location and time of the assembly. But in certain instances, only scant information is available. Translating such passages into English all too often leads to choppy paragraphs.
Adding a few extra words of description to create a better flow would be desirable, but since authenticity took priority over readability, no such additions were made. The second difficulty was how to ensure that the translations linguistic style catered equally to the differing linguistic backgrounds and preferences of the various audiences that would use the translation now and in the future.
Differences in the knowledge of Gujarti among the different intended audiences shaped many of the decisions regarding the number of words to keep from the original Gujarti text. Moreover, regarding the level of English difficulty, youths, in general, would prefer simple, straightforward sentences without complex philosophical terminology. Scholars, accustomed to such terminology, would prefer a more classical approach wherein The Vachanmrut words such as sentient, concomitance, indomitable and ubiquitous are common and easily understood.
Keeping these issues in mind, all efforts were made to strike a balance between readability for private reading, academic study and usefulness for memorising. To help achieve that balance, the final text was given to various types of people young and old, well-educated and not so educated, sdhus and householders for scrutiny.
To allow the translation to be more easily accessible to a larger audience, common English with simple sentence structures was used. English words were kept simple enough so as not to require a dictionary as a constant companion. Yet, to appeal to a more scholarly audience, idiomatic phrases and a purely spoken-English tone were avoided except where absolutely necessary.
॥ શ્રી સ્વામિનારાયણો વિજયતે ॥
vachanamrut - english
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