Very informative and nice talk about the book changes. I recommend that every devotee watch this.
Sitapati and his wife, Danna Devi, has invited Garuda Prabhu, Gaura Prabhu, Dhanesvara Prabhu and Mucukunda Prabhu to their channel Param Vijayate to discuss the changes made to Srila Prabhupada’s books.
Someone alerted me to this publically available statement that Satsvarupa Das Goswami wrote:
“I received a letter from a disciple who told me he prefers reading the first edition of the Bhagavad-gita edited by Hayagriva. He thinks there are too many changes in the second edition edited by Jayadvaita. But I do not agree with this point of view. Jayadvaita and Dravida published a booklet, Responsible Publishing. There they demonstrated the many omissions Hayagriva made from Prabhupada’s original manuscripts. Jayadvaita restored the original material by Prabhupada and did responsible editing of his English. Prabhupada had implicit faith in Jayadvaita Maharaja and kept him as his editor for Srimad-Bhagavatam. He said that Jayadvaita’s editing should not be changed. Now Garuda Prabhu has written an entire book championing the editing version of Hayagriva and criticizing the second edition edited by Jayadvaita. I do not agree with Garuda Prabhu on this topic. My followers should feel confident to read the second edition published by the BBT, edited by Jayadvaita Maharaja, and not the earlier edition done by Hayagriva.”
Several interest points I’d like you to consider:
The first edition of the Bhagavad-gītā As It Is was authored by Śrīla Prabhupāda. It is not the Hayagriva edition. There were others besides Hayagravia who worked on it at the time, including Jayadvaita.
Whether one finds Prabhupāda’s authorized authored edition or the second heavily revised (corrupted) edition preferable or not is beside the point. Which one did Prabhupāda actually author and authorize for sure? The answer is obvious. Which one is questionable? The answer is obvious.
Satsvarupa says he does not agree with Garuda Prabhu on the topic of posthumous editing if it means correcting Jayadvaita’s work. On what basis? He’s read Dravida’s and Jayadvaita’s rationalization for editing, but he’s never read a word of my work on the subject. His decision is not being made from a rational mind but out of loyalty to Jayadvaita. Moreover, is Satsvarupa being loyal to Prabhupāda?
Satsvarupa says, “Now Garuda Prabhu has written an entire book championing the editing version of Hayagriva.” First of all, there is no “editing version of Hayagriva.” Secondly, I’ve not written an entire book “championing” anything. But I hope I’m always championing Prabhupāda himself. Is that so distasteful to Satsvaraupa?
Isn’t Satsvarupa making a foregone conclusion here by telling his followers to read Jayadvaita’s edition? But he says more . . . he’s telling his followers NOT to read Prabhupāda’s original authorized edition! And calling it the “earlier edition done by Hayagriva”! Does he foget that Hayagriva, Jayadvaita, and others worked UNDER Prabhupāda? Does he not realize that Dravida and Jayadvaita have been working OVER Prabhupāda since his departure?
Just throwing these points out to all of you.
Tomorrow is Vyāsa Pūjā for our beloved Śrīla Prabhupāda, the original world teacher of Krishna bhakti. How can we honor him in the best way? By following his instructions, instructions not filtered through the limited brains of Jayadvaita, Satsvarupa, Dravida, mine, or anyone else’s. Let us not try to better Prabhupāda as Jayadviata has been attempting to do. Let us try to better ourselves in our relationship wtih Prabhupāda!
On this Vyāsa Pūjā, let us all receive the gifts Prabhupāda has given us graciously, and reciprocate Prabhupāda’s loving gifts by preserving, absorbing, and sharing his teachings.
I find it interesting that there is a mistake in the Govindam adi purusam prayers which is played and sung daily in the temple.
The lead singer starts:
But the actual text says:
Srila Prabhupada did not even mention this mistake, and he had the sung played every day in every temple. This was a standard he sat, and it is supposed to continue.
Devotion is more important than correctness. Those who want to correct the mistakes of devotees should consider this carefully.
Anyone who finds any fault with a devotee’s description of Krishna is a sinner. If a devotee writes a poem, no matter how poorly he does it, it will certainly contain his love for Krishna. A fool says ‘visnaya’ while a scholar knows the correct form is ‘visnave’, but Krishna accepts the sentiment in either case. If anyone sees a fault in this, the fault is his, for Krishna is pleased with anything the pure devotee says. You too describe the Lord with words of love, so what arrogant person would dare criticize anything that you have written? (Chaitanya Bhagavata 1.11.105-110)
The picture above contains some unserious propaganda material for the BBT International.
1) The only reason that the original Gita is being sold by BBTI, and some places in ISKCON is that BBTI/ISKCON has been under pressure to print and sell it. They do not like to print it, and in fact, the version they print, is not the version Srila Prabhupada wanted, since BBTI has left errors in it that Srila Prabhupada wanted corrected, e.g. “cattle raising”.
2) It is a fact that many devotees have been kicked out of temples because they preferred and advocated, even slightly, the original books.
3) What about all the other books? This is only the Gita. Will the original CC, SB, BBD, POY, PQPA, etc. also be sold on ISKCON property, and on their websites?
4) On the picture we see the Vedabase. Some years ago all the original books where on the Vedabase. Now they have all been removed. I do not even think the Gita is there, but I might be wrong. But at least all the other original books have been removed.
5) Also, please note how the designer of the below propaganda material writes BBT instead of BBTI, trying to hide the fact that BBTI is a corporation, while Srila Prabhupada’s BBT is a trust. Srila Prabhupada’s BBT has been made inactive, and it has been replaced by BBTI. In that scoundrelly move Srila Prabhupada was called “an author for hire” by the BBTI.
As we know by now BBT International try to convince devotees about their changes by employing the “closer to Srila Prabhupada” manoeuvre.
This manoeuvre has a twofold approach:
It argues that 1) the BBT International have exchanged the editor’s words with those of Srila Prabhupada by going back to earlier drafts to see what Srila Prabhupada actually said, while it at the same time 2) deliberately fails to mention the many, many cases where BBT International have added, changed or removed Srila Prabhupada’s words in a way that takes the books further away from what Srila Prabhupada actually said.
Here is one such example that was brought to my attention by Caitanya Priya Dasa who also provided evidence in the form of pictures from the different editions of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
The Delhi edition
Bharatvarsa : This part of the world is also one of the nine Varsas of the Jambudwipa earthly planet. Each planet is also some times called as Dwipa on account of its being an island in the fathomless outer space. Each planet is factually an island in the airy ocean of outer space. Jambudwipa is one of such countless islands in the airy ocean of the outer space. Description of Bharatvarsa is given in the Mahabharata (Bhisma Parva chapters 9 to 10)
The 1972 edition
Bhāratavarşa: This part of the world is also one of the nine varsas of the Jāmbūdvīpa or earthly planet. Each planet is also sometimes called a dvipa because of its being an island in the fathomless outer space. Each planet is factually an island in the airy ocean of outer space. Jāmbūdvipa is only one of such countless islands in this airy ocean of space. A description of Bhāratavarşa is given in the Mahābhārata (Bhişma Parva, Chapters 9 to 10).
The 1976 edition
Bhārata-varṣa: This part of the world is also one of the nine varṣas of the Jambūdvīpa, or earthly planet. Each planet is also sometimes called a dvīpa because of its being an island in the fathomless outer space. Each planet is factually an island in the airy ocean of outer space. Jambūdvīpa is only one of such countless islands in this airy ocean of space. A description of Bhārata-varṣa is given in the Mahābhārata (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapters 9-10).
The 1978 edition
Bhārata-varṣa: This part of the world is also one of the nine varṣas of the Jambūdvīpa. A description of Bhārata-varṣa is given in the Mahābhārata (Bhīṣma-parva, Chapters 9 and 10).
Present BBT International edition (vedabase.io)
Bhārata-varṣa: This part of the world is also one of the nine varṣas of the Jambūdvīpa. A description of Bhārata-varṣa is given in the Mahābhārata (Bhīṣma-parva, Chapters 9 and 10).
Of course, the BBT International did not exist when this change was made. The BBT did. But I guess the editor in chief was the same. And since the change has not been reversed the BBT International is today responsible for it.
The BBT International claim that we can visit their website and inform ourselves of all their changes. They claim to have complete lists of all changes, explaining why they were made. The fact is that only a tiny fraction of the changes are mentioned. The above is not found on their website, so we have to clue why they made it.
I thought the lecture was from 1976, but in fact it is from 1975. The 1976 edition of the First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam was, obviously, not printed in 1975, and thus we now know with 100% certainty that BBT International inserted the wrong text in the transcript.
They cut out the audio read from First Canto 1.7.7 1972, and then in the transcript they inserted the text from First Canto 1976.
From Original Nectar (left) to Poisonous Sap (right)
“Though the water of the Ganga is pure and sweet, when received by the roots of bitter or poisonous trees growing on its bank, it becomes distasteful sap in the trees. Similarly when the Vedas come from the mouths of these faithless people, the meaning becomes distasteful and gives results which are opposite to the normal results.” (Visvanath Cakravarti Thakura, Srimad-Bhagavatam Sarartha Darsini, 11.14.8p., as translated by Bhanu Swami)
With their +5000 posthumous changes to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is alone it is strikingly strange how the BBT International do not seem to notice how they themselves function as a poisonous tree who transforms pure nectar into distasteful, poisonous sap.
In their own purport to the same verse BBT International writes:
“Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has given a most interesting example, as follows. The water of the Ganges is always pure and very sweet. On the banks of that great river, however, there are several types of poisonous trees whose roots drink up the Ganges water from the soil and use it to produce poisonous fruits. Similarly, those who are atheistic or demoniac utilize their association with Vedic knowledge to produce the poisonous fruits of atheistic or materialistic philosophy.”
At ISKCON Mayapur a devotee, Jitavrata Dasa, was publicly humiliated for speaking the truth about the book changes. He was asked to stop his vyasa puja offering.
Read the complete vyasa-puja offering below (the part that Jitavrata Prabhu was not able to speak has been marked with bold).
Nama Om Vishnu padaya Krishna prestaya bhutale
Srimate Bhaktivedanta swamin iti namine
namas te Sarasvate deve Gauravani pracarine
nirvisesa sunyavadi pascatya desa tarine
Dear Srila Prabhupada ,
please accept my humble obeisances unto your worshipable Lotus Feet.
You brilliantly shine as the most glorious servant of your Lordship Sri Sri Radha Madhava.
As time goes by, and as ignorance is dispelled, you are appreciated as the most important personality in our movement ,most definitely because you are the founder acharya under whose guidance everyone must abide in order to understand the instructions of the disciplic succession that are within your books.
You are without a doubt the most merciful guru to empower even today whoever takes shelter of your instructions. We all feel very fortunate to be under the shelter at your Lotus feet. They are guiding us back to Godhead beyond the shadow of a doubt.
It is only because of you that we can find the potency to continue your great mission of bringing immortal happiness to the entire world. Your greatest joy is to see your books distributed far and wide, because your books unlock the doors to the treasure house of pure Love of Krishna.
As time goes by, your Divine presence is becoming more intensely felt because we realize that it is only by your mercy that this movement is carrying on. You are everyone’s well wisher and your spiritual attributes are unfathomable.
As ISKCON is your body, you want to see it flourish and grow beyond material limits, in great spiritual happiness and health for all the generations to come. So many nice devotees have joined your movement and are very much eager to serve at your Lotus Feet with great joy.
Please give us the intelligence to not change the bonafide process that you are giving us, as to avoid causing you so many troubles. It was first given by Krishna and has worked wonders millions of years ago, it is still now working so many wonders and will continue to work wonders in the milleniums to come.
As you are the spirit maintaining ISKCON thru sickness and health, please give us the intelligence to understand the supreme importance of protecting all the original English versions of your books that you have personally approved and rendered thereby eternal.
You have compiled these books with great endeavor, choosing each word and sentence very carefully under the full guidance of Lord Krishna sitting next to you. Your very specific combination of words acts like a powerful mantra to cut thru the illusory energy of Maya and revive our remembrance of Krishna
By changing these word arrangements thinking to know English better than you is the greatest offense as it removes the bonafide value of your writings. You taught us that 5 things permits Kali’s influence to infiltrate our consciousness. Meat eating, intoxication, gambling, illicit sex and if all four are absent then Kali is allowed to reside where there is hording of gold. Our biggest protection is the chanting of a minimum of 16 rounds every day, and keeping the association of the devotees. These simple instructions if carefully practiced will protect us from down falls.
You told Rameswara your BBT Trustee that your greatest fear was that after your departure, bonafide instructions will be taken out of your books and non bonafide things will be introduced, that is why you strictly forbade any book changes and you really made this instruction very clear to him. Unfortunately Rameswara left after a series of unfortunate events and even though these instructions were left in writing when Rameswara was interviewed for the production of your Lilamrta, that interview was never utilized and simply sat in the archives forgotten for over 30 years. As the enemy is invisible but its influence can be seen. Kali has infiltrated somehow or other,maybe someone is hording some gold or breaking the principles who really knows, but somehow Kali has found a way to modify your books, making it look seemingly harmless, claiming the changes will be closer to what you really meant , but Kali has in fact opened wide the doors for future changes. Next Kali will make us believe that watering down the philosophy will greatly increase our membership among those who are especially angry that you are just too strict and conservative with your principles, so better make a few compromises, where is the harm? And then Kali will tell us next that there is no need to chant Jaya Prabhupada , it is not necessary . Kali’s goal is to really minimize your importance and gradually take you out of the picture .Kali says” no no a little book change that is alright,where is the harm we are making the books better, Prabhupada didn’t know how to speak english we are just helping him out especially since now we even know sanskrit better than him”. Is this why you emphatically stressed no book changes,as you could foresee these attacks from the fox like Kali?
Rameswara Prabhu , has witnessed first hand your reactions over some changes the press was planning for your books. He was coming of course to get your approval as you always personally directed every details of your books publications. He saw how very angry you were when presented with so called book changes for the seemingly better, and that was the most frightening experience Rameswara ever had to see you this angry ,he felt very similar to what Hiranyakasipu felt when he saw Lord Nrisimhadeva. Hiranyakasipu was actually so scared that he fought the Lord with his eyes closed. You repeatedly told Rameswara that you do not want your books changed. You also told Hayagriva your editor in 1972 that you had approved all the verses in the Bhagavad Gita and that there was no need to change any of them, that once approved they are eternal. Rameswara carefully noted down all the details of these super heavy lessons and in 1979 he gave a long interview for the Lilamrta describing everything that happened . He had never seen anyone so angry, There were also many others who were involved with the press like Radhaballava das , Bali Mardana, your BBT artists and various editors who received your clear instructions about not changing your books except for the few absolutely needed corrections. When we finished the Chaitanya Caritamrta marathon in 75, Rameswara told you afterwards that in the subsequent printing the finished paintings would replace the unfinished ones. You said no, no book changes, but Prabhupada he said we are just putting the finished paintings in , they are the same paintings .but three times you forbade him to do so, because you wanted to stress and emphasize that no matter how good the reasons seems to be, you did not want your books changed, once approved they are eternal.
But now we see that so many changes have been made, your very clear instructions on this matter have been forgotten in the archives for more than 30 years and as they are now seeing the light of the day we are faced with the difficult task of undoing this blunder, difficult because Kali has brainwashed us and anyone who criticizes these changes is shown the door . Kali ‘s might is right and devotees are scared to talk about this ,because they don’t want to be kicked out of ISKCON. So what to do? We want to correct these transgressions from your orders so that we may qualify to be the recipients of your full mercy .
This is why we pray at your lotus feet to please give us the intelligence to understand how you are too monumentally big for anyone to correct your books . What you wrote was already approved by you, and you did not want it changed in any ways. Please give ISKCON at large the spiritual intelligence to understand this principle of arsa- prayoga. I do not see how we can get your mercy while keeping you in an angry mood over the changing of your books, this is the most serious offense to think that we can touch your writings. Please consider our ignorance and we beg you to please enlighten those who do not see the evil in these activities. Your books are worshipable deities being non different than Bhagavan Sri Krishna and we know them to contain all of your devotional ecstasies. In the first Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam , Chapter five, the verse of text eleven says: On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes , etc. , of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world’s misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest. The original English version of your books are the seed mantra to all worldwide translations of your books, the ultimate reference in authenticity, that anyone could refer to. What will scholars think when they find out your books were tampered with, they will refuse to study the bogus ones.
No outside influence can stop your ISKCON, but to allow from within that your books may be modified is non different than killing you. You said that you live eternally in your books, but if they are modified then they are no longer your books, Kali has found a way of silencing you by playing the changing game to suit its evil purposes while still presently hiding behind your good name.Do we need to form a Ksatriya force to keep this Kali at bay? Please Srila Prabhupada give us the intelligence to see clearly, guide us on the right path, and inspire your BBT to print all your original versions once again. But I see hope in the horizon , happy days are returning because of your Jayapataka Swami who is getting his visa extended for his visit on this earth, all by the mercy of Lord Nrisimhadeva and by the mercy of his disciples, so that he may finish your big plans for Mayapur. Rameswara your great book distribution general is coming back to hopefully retire in Mayapur. Please illuminate their hearts with your full splendor and please kick Kali far away. Allow us to remain very close to you Srila Prabhupada , let your instruction of no book changes be known in ISKCON at large. Let the truth of your instructions shine. Let us all work united under you, under your unchangeable immortal instructions.
Jaya Sri Sri Radha Madhava, Jaya Supremely powerful Lord Nrisimhadeva, Jaya O most merciful Sri Sri Panca tattva, Jaya o most magnanimous Srila Prabhupada!
Yadavendra Prabhu notes that in the two editions of Bhagavad-gita As It Is (1972 and 1983) the text of verse 4.23 differs from Srila Prabhupada’s typewritten text in the original manuscript.
He notes that the original manuscript uses the words “a person” whereas both of the two published editions uses “a man”. He concludes that this is highly sexist, and he argues that the editors must have been on the bodily platform, influenced by male pride and have misinterpreted Srila Prabhupada’s words.
Is Yadavendra Prabhu correct?
The answer is “No!”, and here is why:
Yadavendra Prabhu’s conclusion can be immediately falsified if we can find an instance where Srila Prabhupada uses the word “man” (in his translations, lectures and purports) in the same sense that it is used in the two published editions of Bhagavad-gita As It Is 4.23.
A search on the Vedabase, and in the original manuscripts reveals that there are indeed instances where Srila Prabhupada uses the word “man” in precisely that same way. We find it in for example Bg. 2.70, 4.39 and 6.7.
Original Manuscript 5.7 (“not the man who”):
Original Manuscript 4.39 (“A faithful man”):
Original Manuscript 6.7 (“To such a man”):
Srila Prabhupada gave lectures on all three of the above-mentioned verses, and he did not complain about their wordings.
The word “man” is used in all of these three verses in both the 1968 and the 1972 edition, and we know Srila Prabhupada said they could keep the verses of the 1968 edition in the 1972 edition. He must have been satisfied with them.
In Srila Prabhupada’s purports the word “man” or “men” is used in a similar sense (as in the two published editions) hundreds of times. It is very easy to find them by doing a search on the Vedabase.
This disproves Yadavendra Prabhu’s idea that it is sexist to use the word “man” like it is used in the two published editions – unless he wants to argue that Srila Prabhupada was sexist. But his point is precisely that Srila Prabhupada was not sexist, but that the two editors were.
I guess my point is that if we want to criticise Srila Prabhupada’s editors we must first do our own research properly.
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