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Semantic and sentiment analysis of selected Bhagavad Gita translations using BERT-based language framework

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

It is well known that translations of songs and poems not only breaks rhythm and rhyming patterns, but also results in loss of semantic information. The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient Hindu philosophical text originally written in Sanskrit that features a conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna prior to the Mahabharata war. The Bhagavad Gita is also one of the key sacred texts in Hinduism and known as the forefront of the Vedic corpus of Hinduism. In the last two centuries, there has been a lot of interest in Hindu philosophy by western scholars and hence the Bhagavad Gita has been translated in a number of languages. However, there is not much work that validates the quality of the English translations. Recent progress of language models powered by deep learning has enabled not only translations but better understanding of language and texts with semantic and sentiment analysis. Our work is motivated by the recent progress of language models powered by deep learning methods. In this paper, we compare selected translations (mostly from Sanskrit to English) of the Bhagavad Gita using semantic and sentiment analyses. We use hand-labelled sentiment dataset for tuning state-of-art deep learning-based language model known as \textit{bidirectional encoder representations from transformers} (BERT). We use novel sentence embedding models to provide semantic analysis for selected chapters and verses across translations. Finally, we use the aforementioned models for sentiment and semantic analyses and provide visualisation of results. Our results show that although the style and vocabulary in the respective Bhagavad Gita translations vary widely, the sentiment analysis and semantic similarity shows that the message conveyed are mostly similar across the translations.