You should have been given read access to the English version of the site to view the files. They are written in a text format called org-mode, but they should be saved as text files with the extension .txt.

Encoding of file – UTF-8


Note: It is important that they are saved in UTF-8 encoding with Unix line endings.

When you save a file, you should see the above option at the bottom.

Once the files are completed, they can be added to our repository – see our page on Using Seafile to add books

Basic structure

Below is a sample image of a book translated into Czech, showing the general properties of the book (1), and the first page of the book (2)


1. The details of the book

All the details of the book are in the very first block, marked with a 1 in the image above.

  1. The TITLE of the book is the very first line, preceded by a *
  2. The LANGUAGE is the 2 letter country code for your language. e.g. France (fr) Bulgaria (bg)
  3. BOOK_NUMBER You should leave this empty for now, even if there is an English number (we may fill this in in future versions).
  4. AUTHOR can be translated into your native language
  5. ORIGINAL-EDITION can put 1 if true, 0 if false (the image above isn’t right)
  6. YEAR the year the book was published in your own language
  7. PUBLISHER put the name of your own country’s publishing house
  8. CITE-KEY This is the most important property. Every book (and page) needs a unique cite key. You can make yours by adding the language code to the English cite key. For example if the English version is ap-1, then the version in Czech is ap-1-cs
  9. GENRE should remain in English and not be translated

2. Individual Page

  • The document is divided into pages. Each page begins with a title, which has a  * in front of it. There should always be at least 1 empty line before this title, and preferably 2 or 3.
  • Then every title is followed by a PROPERTIES block for each page, which starts with :PROPERTIES: and ends with :END:
  • The important thing is the CITE-KEY – this is generated by adding the language code to the English cite-key. We do have a script to generate CITE-KEY automatically for individual books, as long as the cite key for the book is supplied, but it is not guaranteed to be 100% reliable.
  • The GENRE should be left unchanged from the English version.

More detailed Syntax advice


  • Text that has slashes either side e.g /Sri Chinmoy/, will be rendered in italics on the website


Each poem, or anything in verse (like verse aphorisms or prayers) must be included in the directive:





I love you
Not because you have tremendous power,
But because
You are all peace.


  • Note: prose aphorisms, e.g. /Friendship/ must not have VERSE applied. Use QUOTE directive in that case.


A quote can be inserted thus:





Loneliness is another fantasy of the self-mind. Lose thy separate self, and thou shalt find thy Universal Self: In union with the One Life all that exists is included, and all that was thought to be lost is found again.


Note that the author’s name goes inside the quote directive:


Delight is not satisfaction of the mind, the vital and the body. It is something deeper, higher and purer. Delight needs no outer help for its existence. It is self-existent, self-revealing and self-fulfilling.

-- Sri Chinmoy




In prose, each paragraph must be ended with two (2) carriage returns, so that there is a space between each paragraph

paragraph 1

paragraph 2



In English typography, there are three kinds of dashes, technically called: hyphens, en-dashes and em-dashes. In Guru’s books (and usually in general modern typesetting) only the first two are used.

When dashes are used as punctuation, we need to be consistent about their size and surrounding spacing.

Hyphens appear within words, and en-dashes appear in number ranges and in clauses.

We use the following syntax:

hyphen: one keyboard minus sign (i.e., by typing -).
en-dash: sequence of two keyboard minus signs (i.e., by typing --). Please always put a space either side of each en-dash.

USE OF EN-DASH (clause)

Example 1:

This is an en-dash -- note the space before and after it.

Example 2:

Each time I arrive at my Destination,
My Lord immediately whispers:
"My child,
This is not the final Goal --
Your Goal is ahead."

USE OF HYPHEN (within words)

God loves
Even a poverty-stricken
Human being.


The syntax is:

Text before footnote[fn:: CITE KEY. Footnote Text here]

The CITE KEY should not contain colons or dashes; these should be replaced with a space between letters and number.

Note that there is no space between the previous text and the footnote

Placement of footnotes

The best place for footnotes is by the title header. The only exception to this rule is when a footnote appears inside the text of a unit.

Dates and venues as endnotes should always be next to the heading. Example:

* The Master surrenders[fn:: MSSR 1. January 11, 1974.]

Footnotes inside units can be specified as follows:

Text of unit[:: Text of note] here.

To be more precise, the paragraph can be specified. Example:

… After him comes Mother Teresa, the present Pope[fn:: SCA 433,1. At the time of this answer, the present Pope was Pope John Paul II.]

That means: Note related to SCA 433, first paragraph

or the footnote can relate several paragraphs

last paragraph[fn:: SCA 27,3-7. Text here]

Which means Chapter (or unit) SCA 27, paragraphs from 3 to 7.

Footnotes for several pages

Example: a footnote to Part I, relating to unit EA:1 to EA:7

* Part I[fn:: EA 1-7. Text here.]

The syntax of the footnote must have no preceding space.

* Part II[fn:: MHOF 2-5. These questions asked by U. and her family were answered by Sri Chinmoy during a visit to their jewellery factory in Talisay, Cebu, on 10 January 1993.]


\\ stands for “newline”, so that those individual lines will stick together without having a space in between. This can be used in cases where the VERSE syntax is inappropriate. It is used only in those special cases, where some lines are not really a paragraph, and do not belong to a poem.


Sri Chinmoy \\
United Nations Headquarters \\
21 May 1976



To indent verse, use only spaces. The tab character is never used.

Usually one indent block is four spaces. In some exceptional cases, only two spaces.

It is impossible to be able to align words like we see in printed books, since that depends on the font used, so we must concentrate on the “semantic” meaning added by indent quantities.



Parts should be spelt out or Roman numbers used to differentiate from chapters.

e.g.  “Part one”, Part II


Dates and Venues

Newline syntax is used and the date is italicized

Halifax, Nova Scotia \\
/16 March 1974/


Notes by editors

Note by editors goes in square brackets.