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  1. #21
    IncGamers Member
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    Re: Hindu chant in the palace levels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Feysal View Post
    Today I happened to see a documentary on television about an extremely odd case of conjoined twins. The other twin had developed only partly before being fused with her sister, who ended up having 4 legs and 4 arms. As this happened in India, she ended up being worshipped as an incarnation of the goddess Lakshmi, who is represented as having 4 arms.

    The documentary was about the operation to remove the extra limbs which the girl couldn't control - they weren't really hers. The operation was of course risky, and the family was worried. So, before the operation, they brought the girl with them to a hindu temple to pray for fortune.

    During that scene, I hear a chant in the hindu temple, which sounds strangely familiar. I recognized it in a moment - it was the same one played in the harem and palace cellar levels in Lut Gholein.

    Has anyone else ever noticed this? Better yet, does anyone actually know which chant it is?
    Actually you are not as crazy as you think. Diablo II's soundtrack done by a very awesome music artists named Matt Uelmen (3) who took his job for the game quite seriously, using authentic instruments to make his tracks, as well as taking samples from real world music, which is what you were hearing in the Harem level (my fave track in the game btw).

    I am not surprised that you heard the same "chant" on another middle eastern program, as the music from D2's desert levels was authentic middle eastern tunage. I did research on this subject when an acquaintanceship of mine from work told me that D2's music caused the game to be banned from certain countries because, well, not only is it a game with focus on demons and alleged "devil worship", (*rolls eyes*), the music was so authentic that many Muslim and Hindu players found that the use of sacred chants was offensive and that they should be removed from the game. I was unable to determine if this was true or not, (well... I did find out the game was banned from many countries, mainly because of it's American ties as well as it's demonic themes, but so are many many other games, music, and other American culture simply because they are American/Western and thus presumed to be immoral and are automatically banned without question. But, I was not able to determine if the music itself was of serious concern for any foreign players, who would probably simply dislike the game outright for reasons I already mentioned.)

    While researching, however, I did find out that the chants you hear are indeed real chants from Heart of Asia: the Sanskrit Female 1 samples (3) which I could not, for the life of me, find online. (sorry davekk, they are NOT from the Vishnu Sahasranama - Sri Lakshmi Ashtottara Stotram, which btw you misspelled, it's actually spelled "Sahasranamam".) It seems only Matt knows where to get those tracks from, I believe them to be some sort of collection of sound tracks for sound/music producers to use, so I would imagine it it would be hard for us regulars to get ahold of. I tried to get ahold of Matt, but had no luck whatsoever. I'm sure he has much better things to do! lol.

    I also had a very hard time trying to decipher the lyrics, and could not get a very clear one since there are no official release of the lyrics from the Harem song to be found online, which you think Matt would have tried to make available since he did release the official Diablo II soundtrack on CD, but oh well. What little translations I could find were poor repeats of false facts, like what davekk had said before, on how the lyrics of the song are as follows...(1)
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________

    Bhaagyadam
    Prasanna Vadhanaam
    Saubhaagyadam Abhayapradham Maniganeer Naanavidhir Bhuritaam
    Sadaa
    Sadaa Shakti
    Shaktiiii
    Shaktiiiiiiiiii

    It is a famous Sanskrit verse taken from the invocation song of the 108 names of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. The meaning of the verse is
    "I salute the Goddess with Lotus flowers in hand, bestower of all fortunes, adorned by various ornaments and precious stones who fulfills the ambitions of her devotees"
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___________________________

    I found this to be untrue, however, because they actually have the lyrics to
    the invocation song of the 108 names of Lakshmi posted online on a few different sites, and none of those lyrics that are in the D2 Harem song mentioned above are in the Lakshmi song. (2) Also, if you actually listen to the Lakshmi song in full, you will find that not only does it not sound anything like the Harem song (not really important), but, you can hear for yourself that the same words/lyrics from the D2 Harem song are are not contained within (pretty important). You would think that at least the word we can all clearly hear, which is "Shakti" at the end of the Sanskrit lyrics in the Harem song, would have been present, but they are not at all. So this guy got the words right, but, got the origin wrong.

    So it is a mystery as to what chant/song they actually come from, although I think it's safe to believe they are indeed from a real song or chant. Trying to find it on the internet based on those lyrics above, however, proved fruitless as it only brings up the many forums which spread the lie that the Harem lyrics are from the invocation song of the 108 names of Lakshmi. Again, this is simply not true. When searching the lyrics with "diablo" removed from the search, nothing comes up at all, making one wonder how well those lyrics are translated and if they are spelled correctly, or if they are, if there is indeed a Sanskrit/Hindi song with them even in it. Does this original song exists? I think it's possible, but it's probably very obscure and hard to find unless you are a member of the Hindi/Sanskrit culture, who do not use the internet much, if at all, for posting their sacred hymns I would assume.


    The most difficult part of trying to get the song lyrics translated is that they are apparently sang in Sanskrit, which is a pretty old language and most online translators are not equipped to handle it. To make it more frustrating is trying to get the exact spelling of the words by simply listening to the song. Even if you did, you would only have the English spelling of the words, and not the Sanskrit writings, so you still couldn't get a real translation unless you actually SPOKE Sanskrit. This proved quite frustrating and, unless you know someone who speaks Sanskrit and has some free time to do it for you, I doubt you will find an honest translation that is not just made up by someone online. (I found plenty of those in my search)

    The only one I found that was semi believable was this guy who said the lyrics translate into "]
    Based on, A present given to Kings, Forever, Forever Strength, Strength, Strength!" Which I finally accepted to be true, or at least partially, because when translating the words from English (the ones from the translation above) to Hindi (which is very close to Sanskrit, about as close as I could get when using a translator that actually speaks) the words in Hindi did seem to resemble the words we hear in the D2 Harem song. You have to listen to ALL of the words with the translator (Google's translator worked great), as there are more than one options for each, synonyms if you will. Eventually I did find that the Hindi words did match the Harem song words according the this guy's lyrical interpretations and translations. But, as far as finding the song from which they came from originally, I am not even sure Matt himself knows and could only tell us that they came from Heart of Asia: the Sanskrit Female 1 samples. From there, I would not even know where to begin to search for such a song unless I had the Heart of Asia sampler which may be able to give me a more exact title of the song, or at least some credits to where they came from.

    We will probably have to ask a serious Sanskrit expert who's family has worshiped the religion for quite some time and is engulfed in the ancient culture and knows much about hymns and chants within. But, I don't think they would be happy to find out that their sacred chants were used in a demonic video game, so, who knows if they would even want to help. But we could get lucky and find a professor who studies such things and might be able to tell us that it is indeed a famous Sanskrit chant, but I doubt a man/woman like that has the time or care to help us with such a matter. I just wish Matt would have taken the time to find out for us, since he was the one who fell in love with the music samples in the first place. You would think he would have taken some time to find out what they were from, or what they meant. He probably just heard the sample as was like "this is perfect" and then just inserted it into the track over some drums and authentic middle eastern music, then called it "Harem". I doubt he cares as much as I do on the subject.

    I just find it interesting that you heard the SAME song chant used elsewhere. This could mean a couple different things. The program you were watching may have had access to the same Heart of Asia: the Sanskrit Female 1 samples. Or they might have had another sampler with the same track on it. This should not come as too big of a surprise I guess, since I'm sure Matt was not the only one with access to the tracks, but at the same time it is a pretty cool coincidence that only us D2 fans would recognize! Ha!

    Thanks for reading!

    Stevo (Anarchius)

    Sources:
    1.)
    http://www.act-scoring.com/2011/10/2...lo-2-harem-hq/
    2.)http://www.hindudevotionalblog.com/2...anamavali.html
    3.)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diablo_II



  2. #22
    IncGamers Member
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    Nov 2011
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    Re: Hindu chant in the palace levels?

    Interesting topic and nice bump.
    As a native Hindu and speaker of many Sanskrit derived languages, I was interested in this song too.

    First of all, the lyrics indeed are from 'Sri Lakshmi Ashtottara Stotram'. They are NOT the opening verse, it is somewhere in the middle, which explains the confusion. The actual verse goes like this.

    Vande padmakaram prasanna vadhanam sowbhaghyadham bhaghyadham
    Hasthabyam abhayapratham manikanair nanavithair bhusitham

    These are rearranged somewhat creatively to form the lyrics we hear in the song.

    bhaghyadham
    prasanna vadhanam
    sowbhaghyadham
    abhayapratham
    manikanair
    nanavithair bhusitham

    This part onwards is just added in ( not part of the stotram )

    Sadaa
    Sadaa Shakti
    Shaktiiii
    Shaktiiii-iiiiii

    You may find a the song here. Skip ahead to 2:25.
    Note, they sound nothing like the song in diablo 2.

    Annoyingly enough, I was not able to find the translation of these verses online with googling.
    I will provide my ( very bad ) translation and ( half ) knowledge.

    bhaghyadham
    -Bringer of fortunes
    prasanna vadhanam
    -famous <not sure>
    sowbhaghyadham
    -Bringer of good fortunes
    abhayapratham
    -Not afraid of anything
    manikanair
    -adorned with gems
    nanavithair bhusitham
    -<no idea>
    Sadaa
    -forever
    Sadaa Shakti
    -forever strong
    Shaktiiii
    -strength
    Shaktiiii-iiiiii
    -strength

    I must add though, that I did not find the song offensive in any way. While a song dedicated to a goddess sung in a 'harem' is probably in bad taste , let's face it, it's not really a harem. It's just called that, filled with standard monsters. And the same song also plays in Canyon of the magi , Tal rasha's tombs which are very kickass areas of the game.

    On a related note, the opening sequence of Battlestar galactica is an operatic rendition of the Gayatri mantra.



  3. #23
    IncGamers Member
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    Re: Hindu chant in the palace levels?

    Actually I am hindu and I read bit of sanskrit well this actually is -
    First in Sanskrit
    वन्दे पद्मकरां प्रसन्नवदनां सौभाग्यदां भाग्यदां
    हस्ताभ्यां अभयप्रदां मणिगणैर्नानाविधैर्भूषिताम् । -> Actually they uses only these two lines
    भक्ताभीष्टफलप्रदां हरिहरब्रह्मादिभिः सेवितां
    पार्श्वे पंकजशंखपद्मनिधिभिर्युक्तां सदा शक्तिभिः ॥

    Now in english
    vande padmakaram prasanna-vadanam saubhagyadam bhagyadam
    hastAbhyam abhayapradam maNigaNairnAnAvidhirbhu****am | - > only these two
    bhaktabhIShTa-phalapradam hari-hara-bhrahmAdibhiH sevitam
    parshve pa~nkaja-sha~Nkha-padma-nidhibhir-yuktam sada shaktibhiH ||

    Translation
    i bow to the one who has lotus in her hand, has a pleasant happy face, who gives good fortune and destiny, gives refuge (fearlessness) with her hand (posture), who is adorned with lots of gems and other ways, who gives the very much desired fruits to the devotees, is attended upon by VISHNU , SHIVA, BRAHMA and others, behind whom are lotus, conch and other opulence and who is always with power.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYTRHI_IBCk Real aarti(chant) listen first 33 seconds for these lyrics.

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