Ganesh's bomb shelter...
July 5, 2010 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Hindi speakers, especially Hindus with some familiarity with religious texts! Please, I need some CREATIVE translation / collaboration for a very short (one or two phrases / sentences) bit of work in Devanagari script.

Imagine this scenario: a strange cult-like group has built a doomsday shelter. This shelter has a huge blast door to protect the people inside, and it looks like this:

Fallout 3 Gear Door

These people are a flavor of hippie / Westerner-Hindu / Hare Krishna... their cult is centered around Ganesh. They speak Hindi as a part of their religious rites / culture, and they write in Devanagari.

Where you see the "101", they have an icon of Ganesh.

There is also some Devanagari script, running around the first circle of the door. That is maybe enough space just for a short phrase or two.

They would probably have some quotation from an ancient religious text, maybe about the end of the world, or of Ganesh / God protecting the righteous, or something of that nature...

They have kind of perverted the original teachings: Ganesh is the mover of obstacles, but this cult sees outsiders as "obstacles", and their main saying is "get out of the way"...

So, sorry for that long background...

What does it say on this door? Any sort of creative / poetic / interesting suggestions would be most welcome and appreciated. If you are interested I will give full credit to you for this work when I publish my (non commercial) thing.
posted by Meatbomb to Religion & Philosophy (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I found this, which is I think the different names for Ganesh. Not really sure if any of this would be apropos, hoping for something better, but just throwing it into the mix:

पिता- भगवान शिव
  • माता- भगवती पार्वती
  • भाई- श्री कार्तिकेय
  • पत्नी- दो 1.रिद्धि 2. सिद्धि (दक्षिण भारतीय संस्कृति में गणेशजी ब्रह्मचारी रूप में दर्शाये गये हैं)
  • पुत्र- दो 1. शुभ 2. लाभ
  • प्रिय भोग (मिष्ठान्न)- मोदक, लड्डू
  • प्रिय पुष्प- लाल रंग के
  • प्रिय वस्तु- दुर्वा (दूब) शमी-पत्र
  • अधिपति- जल तत्व के
  • प्रमुख अस्त्र- पाश, अंकुश

posted by Meatbomb at 9:23 AM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: I think you can indeed look at a list of alternate names of Ganesha as the text, since most of the names refer to attributes of Ganesha. See this list, especially no. 99. The stuff you put in the first comment are more like a biodata of Ganesh: eg: first line reads: Father- Lord Shiva, second line: Mother : Parvati, etc etc.
posted by dhruva at 10:03 AM on July 5, 2010

Regarding your comment, those aren't different names for Ganesh. Rather, they are stats about him:
  • पिता - भगवान शिव = Father - Bhagavan (Lord/God) Shiva
  • माता - भगवती पार्वती = Mother - Bhagavathi (Godess) Parvathi
  • भाई - श्री कार्तिकेय = Brother - Sri Karthikeya
  • पत्नी - दो 1.रिद्धि 2. सिद्धि (दक्षिण भारतीय संस्कृति में गणेशजी ब्रह्मचारी रूप में दर्शाये गये हैं) = Wife - Two 1. Riddhi 2. Success? (Something about Southern India)
  • पुत्र - दो 1. शुभ 2. लाभ = Sons - Two 1. Prosperity 2. Profit
  • प्रिय भोग (मिष्ठान्न) - मोदक, लड्डू = Favorite snacks/sweets - Modak, Laddoo
  • प्रिय पुष्प - लाल रंग के = Favorite flower - Red coloured ones
and so on...

Sorry, I'm horribly rusty with this....trying to recall stuff from grade school, so some of it may not be the best translation. Google translate should give you a decent idea about the rest, if you'd like.
posted by Throw away your common sense and get an afro! at 10:09 AM on July 5, 2010

Gmail allows you to transliterate hindi into devanagri - for eg yeh kya horaha he would become यह क्या होरहा हे ?

that should give you greater flexibility in setting up your own sayings

if you can't set it up, memail me with your gmail and I'll gmail you an email with it - that's how I got the icon in my setting box via dad

best inspiration for the kind of things you want would be looking up the Upanishads, where the infamous "Behold, I am become death; destroyer of worlds" quoted by Oppenheimer comes from
posted by infini at 11:04 AM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

(दक्षिण भारतीय संस्कृति में गणेशजी ब्रह्मचारी रूप में दर्शाये गये हैं)

this note after the mention of two wives simply a note that means that in Southern Indian belief, Ganesh is celibate "brahmachari"
posted by infini at 11:06 AM on July 5, 2010

ओह फॉर द हेस्क ऑफ़ इट लेट्स सी इफ थिस गेट्स मी इन्टो त्रौब्ले
posted by infini at 11:43 AM on July 5, 2010 [3 favorites]

infini, that reads as:
ohh faar dee hesk auf it lates see if thhis gates me in-toe tro-blay.


Implode/soften the t's and d's for proper effect, of course.
posted by mondaygreens at 11:53 AM on July 5, 2010

yaar hush do you want to gets me into troubley? btw, I thought it sounded like a nice saraswat brahmin surname inspector trouble to the rescue. blame googley boss ;p
posted by infini at 12:07 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

mondaygreens, कुच्छ intelligent सजेस्ट कर ना फिर meatbomb को

considering the fact that mom taught me this stuff from a single readers digest for my O levels in 6 months 28 years ago, not bad ;p
posted by infini at 12:13 PM on July 5, 2010

Oh I've been me-mailing Meatbomb and have promised a Sanskrit shloka (about the obstacle-removing power of Ganesha) and hopefully some Hindi prayer lines in a few hours - prayer room is currently closed! I was telling him the problem is that Ganesha is so benign, cuddly and sweet-tempered... while some religious-minded people may not be.

And no, not bad at all! Amazing, actually. I myself can't remember the last time I wrote Hindi; I think it was on a delivery slip where the guy forgot half the things we ordered and I had to write a note for his boss about why we weren't paying him what he'd been told to collect. :-/
posted by mondaygreens at 12:36 PM on July 5, 2010

I know, I just can't imagine Ganesh running around killing anyone

btw, anyone see Peter Brook's Mahabharata? 5 hours of multiracial fantasy and fun.. we got bussed in from Paldi
posted by infini at 12:45 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: Too bored to type this is devanagari

Vakratundam Mahadeva
Suryakoti samaprabha
Nirvighnam kuru may deva
Sarva kaaryeshu sarvada

Which (very very VERY loosely translated) means

Lord with the elephant trunk
who shines like a thousand suns
Let me be obstacle-free
in all tasks for EV4R!!

The last two lines may work for you.
posted by hariya at 12:56 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: And then googling "vakratunda" and "vakratundam" found this and this.
posted by hariya at 1:01 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ah, hariya, that's the one!
posted by mondaygreens at 1:42 PM on July 5, 2010

Glad I could help; or rather my 6 years of Sanskrit lessons and 8 years of living next to a Ganesh temple could help.
posted by hariya at 11:03 PM on July 5, 2010

Response by poster: Hey guys, I really want to thank you all super maximally for the help.

I will try to summarize a few of these responses, and double check spelling and a few others...

Please keep the stuff flowing in if you've got any more! I love the look of this script, and some day I am going to properly learn it. :)

infini: "that should give you greater flexibility in setting up your own sayings "... well, it would if I understood Hindi, which I don't at all.

1. Google translates "Get out of the way" as "रास्ते से हट जाओ", does that sound OK to you guys?

2. Upanishads "Behold, I am become death; destroyer of worlds"... I am following this one up, and would love to have this in Sanskrit (I guess that is the original?). Again, my own non-proficiency is a huge block to accurately finding it. If any of you have it, please bring it on.

3. I am thinking to use the list dhurva provided as some of the main text on the door. Can I put the Hindi "period / pipe" mark between each name, does that seem normal? By the way what's up with that? It seems to operate mainly as the end of paragraph marker, or Hindi has a different concept of what a sentence is... And I am letting the machine at Google transliterate into Devanagari... so if possible can any of you double-check?

श्री विघ्नाविनाशानाया । श्री यशस्करम । श्री विश्वमुखा । श्री विघ्नराजेन्द्र । श्री वरप्रदा । श्री तरुण । श्री सुरेश्वरं । श्री सिद्धिविनायका । श्री शुबं । श्री सर्वात्मन । श्री प्रथामेश्वारा । श्री निदीश्वरम । श्री मृत्युंजय । श्री गणपति । श्री दुर्जा । श्री देवेंद्रशिका । श्री भुवंपति । श्री अलाम्पता ।

4. hariya, love the poem and will find somewhere to include it all. Does this transliteration check out OK?

वक्रतुन्दम महादेव
सूर्यकोटि समप्रभा
निर्विघ्नं कुरु माय देवा
सर्व कार्येशु सर्वदा

5. SPECIAL BONUS SECTION... Yes, I know I am pushing it here, but hey if you are still hanging around you have only yourself to blame :) ... if you have the time and patience I would love to have these double checked. (they will be the bilingual signage in the level... the extant temple complex above the bomb shelter)

ladies ablution महिलाओं स्नान

men's ablution पुरुषों की स्नान

ladies' toilet महिलाओं का शौचालय

men's toilet पुरुषों के शौचालय

do not wash feet in sink सिंक में धो नहीं पैर

kitchen रसोईघर

external affairs विदेश

public relations प्रचार

Do not enter में प्रवेश नहीं

authorized personnel only अधिकृत कर्मियों केवल

temple complex ( I not sure what I should call this: the huge room, with an altar at the end, with schoolrooms, meditation rooms, and the leader / guru private living quarters at the back) Ashram? Gurdwara is just Sikh I think?
posted by Meatbomb at 1:52 AM on July 6, 2010

ladies ablution महिलाओं का स्नान

do not wash feet in sink सिंक में पैर naa dhoay (sorry, can't type in Hindi)

public relations janasamparka (see first word on green banner)

Do not enter प्रवेश naa kare

Ashram seems fine.
posted by Gyan at 3:37 AM on July 6, 2010

Best answer: 1. रास्ते से हटो

2. It is from the Baghavad Gita, Chapter XI, Sections 12 and 32. That is only Oppenheimer's version of the actual verses. You will not find those in the original(from here.)

4. this would be the correct transliteration

वक्रतुंड महाकाय
सूर्यकोटि समप्रभा
निर्विघ्नं कुरुमे देवा
सर्व कार्येशु सर्वदा

Ashram is a monastery, A temple is mandir मंदिर, and so is a temple complex. The sanctum sanctorum is गर्भगृह.
posted by hariya at 6:38 AM on July 6, 2010

Best answer: Meatbomb, the pipe thing | is indeed a period, but in poetry and such it is used as to end the stanza as well. I'm just going to take a stab at your bonus section. I'm assuming this is stuff that would be on doors, yes? So I've fixed yours and also provided some alternatives:

ladies ablution महिलाओं का स्नान
Alternative: स्नान-घर (महिलाएं) .. would translate literally as "house/room of bathing (women)"

men's ablution पुरुषों का स्नान
Alternative: स्नान-घर (पुरुष) .. would translate literally as "house/room of bathing (men)"
You can also follow the same pattern as the ones about toilet and replace स्नान (bath) with स्नान-घर (bathhouse)

ladies' toilet महिलाओं का शौचालय
alternative शौचालय (महिलाएं)

men's toilet पुरुषों का शौचालय
Alternative शौचालय (पुरुष)

do not wash feet in sink सिंक में पैर न धोएं

external affairs विदेशी मामले -- This means foreign matters/affairs, kind of literal in that we don't use the word "मामले" here formally, but I think it works.

public relations प्रचार विभाग
If this is going to appear on a door, I'm assuming it's an office or department of some sort. विभाग means department; कार्यालय means office. If department sits well with you, you can also use it in the one above and make it विदेशी विभाग (department dealing with external stuff)

Do not enter प्रवेश निषेध - entrance forbidden. निषेध is a good, strong word you can use elsewhere as well.

authorized personnel only केवल अधिकृत कर्मी (only athourized personnel), or केवल अधिकृत कर्मी प्रवेश करें (only authorized personnel may enter).

And yes, aashram (आश्रम) seems fine to me too.
posted by mondaygreens at 9:46 AM on July 6, 2010

I prefer ashram to temple in the context of a complex

btw, o gurus of gyan ;p what say you here?

1. Google translates "Get out of the way" as "रास्ते से हट जाओ", does that sound OK to you guys?

That's direct translation. Now working with the concept here, if these are the bad guys going around interpreting "remover of obstacles" to mean murder and mayhem, aren't they more likely to be saying rougher things like

haat jaao mere samne se


hutt jao
posted by infini at 10:26 AM on July 6, 2010

Ganesh is also the "giver of knowledge" in addition to "remover of obstacles" --> have you thought about these guys getting some secret knowledge of off him as well? maybe by inhaling the smoke of his father's favourite?
posted by infini at 10:29 AM on July 6, 2010

Response by poster: infini: it is a long backstory, which if you are interested here's the outline...

There are two levels of cult going on here.

1. Before the Great War, renowned psychologist Levi Reznick (kind of loosely modelled on John Hagelin) developed his new theory of Karmic Energy after a trip to India. To spread the possibilities of infinite and instantaneous peace and absolute human perfection he set up the Institute for Advanced Ganeshi Consciousness in centers all around the US.

Just to cover all the bases, as the planet started going to shit he also contracted with Vault-Tec to construct a shelter under his main DC branch. He is still there in the shelter pursuing his research these years later.

The "Secret Knowledge" that Reznick possesses is that nothing actually exists as it seems, and that the main character, himself, and all of he other inhabitants of the wasteland are actually only constructs in an advanced computer game. The real DC still exists and is not destroyed in a nuclear war.

2. Up above, in the ruins of the temple complex, there is a fraudster / opportunist passing himself off as the original reznick. He is sort of loosely modelled on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He was not a part of the movement before the war, just sort of happenned on the place and saw the opportunity. This new guru and the people in "the movement" at this point actually do not have a clear understanding of any of the original doctrine or practice of the cult, they just follow the whims of their charismatic leader.

The "Secret Knowledge" that the fake guru guy possesses is that if the protagonist (you) can bring massive quantities of women, drugs, foodstuffs, etc to him at the temple then all truth will be revealed and all kinds of excellent bonuses will be bestowed (not).

Thanks again, all.

When this is in a more presentable state I will post some updates.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:28 PM on July 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

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