About the Arsa-Prayoga Blog

prabhupada-gita-smiling

The term “Arsa-Prayoga” means we should not correct the transcendental mistakes sometimes made by the acaryas. We can only correct if the acarya explicitly orders us to do so. And even then we should be very cautious and reluctant.

What does arsha-prayoga mean?

Prabhupada explains:

If one is too big, there is no mistake. Arsa-prayoga means there may be discrepancies but it is all right. Just like Shakespeare, sometimes there are odd usages of language, but he is accepted as authority. I have explained all these things in my Preface to First Canto. (Letter to Mandali Bhadra, Jaipur 20 January, 1972)

So unless one is self-realized, there is practically no use writing about Krsna. This transcendental writing does not depend on material education. It depends on the spiritual realization. You’ll find, therefore, in the comments of Bhagavatam by different acaryas, even there are some discrepancies, they are accepted as arsa-prayoga. It should remain as it is.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.23-24 — Vrndavana, March 31, 1976)

Prabhupada: This of should be strictly forbidden.
Radha-vallabha: So no corrections. That makes it simple.
Prabhupada: They can divide the synonyms. That’s all.
Radha-vallabha: Synonyms. So even…
Prabhupada: That is his tendency, to correct. That’s very bad. He should not do that.
Radha-vallabha: So I’ll just forget this, then.
Prabhupada: The system is: whatever authority has done, even there is mistake, it should be accepted.
Radha-vallabha: Oh.
Prabhupada: Arsa-prayoga. That is ha… He should not become more learned than the authority. That is very bad habit….
Prabhupada: Why finish it? Whatever is done is done. No more….
Radha-vallabha: Well, now that this system of no corrections anywhere, that makes it very simple. Then he can’t do anything. I don’t think he wants to, either. It makes it more simple for him. It makes him very uncomfortable.
Prabhupada: No corrections.
(Room Conversation 27 february, 1977)

This is all summed up so nicely in Prabhupada’s Bhagavatam (in this Delhi version there is even bold emphasis):

sb-delhi-arsa

Prabhupada never ordered or gave permission to anyone to edit his books after his physical departure, and even while he had his manifest lila he was very unhappy about a lot of the editing made by his Book Trust (BBT, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust). Despite that, after Prabhupada’s physical departure the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International have made thousands of unauthorized changes, additions and alterations to many of his books. In this way they have violated the principle of arsa-prayoga and greatly compromised the transcendental potency of Prabhupada’s books – all of which creates huge obstacles in his and his loyal disciples preaching mission.

This blog is dedicated to inform, explore and discuss this catastrophy – and to again give you access to the original and authorized versions of Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental books!

We also have a facebook group you can join:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/arshaprayoga.english/

Please write me if you have any questions or comments.

Hare Krishna!
Ajit Krishna Dasa

All quotes and pictures on arsaprayoga.wordpress.com from His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are copyright by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

3 thoughts on “About the Arsa-Prayoga Blog

  1. Pingback: Arsa-Prayoga | Q&A

  2. The BBT editors were able to make thousands of unnecessary changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books, and particularly to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, because no one voiced any opposition. Their thinking was that if no one objects, they must agree, so let us make all the changes we think will improve the books. They think this is the prerogative of the disciple, but by so doing they must first set aside the principle of arsha prayoga.

    Devotees are perhaps not aware that while Srila Prabhupada was physically present, anyone who served as a BBT trustee was also a member of the GBC. Although the BBT was a legal entity separate from ISKCON, according to Srila Prabhupada’s arrangement, it was ultimately to be managed by the GBC. Back around 1982, all of the GBC members received a letter from the BBT asking for feedback on changes they were proposng to make to the verses of the Bhagavad-gita. None of them responded in writing to this letter. Their silence was taken as a nod of approval and the rest is history.

    The following is an excerpt from a letter Srila Prabhupada wrote to Brahmananda on January 13, 1976 wherein we find some important instructions concerning the responsibilities of GBC members. I believe the principles of management mentioned could be useful in determining the origin of and solution to the deviation known as “book changes”:

    “Our movement is so large it requires expert management and strong vigilance. Now you are finding out so many things were mismanaged, but why didn’t you find out before? What is the use of complaining now? …Anyway, just try to mend things and restore it to its original position.”

    Obviously, the time to object to the book changes was BEFORE the revised edition of the Bhagavad-gita was actually published. Once something is printed, how can it be changed back? Nor is it possible to issue a recall of the thousands of copies already distributed. Srila Prabhupada says in the above letter to Brahmananda, “Just try to mend things and restore it to its original position.” This instruction is very similar to him saying, “The next printing should again be to the original way” after hearing that many changes which he had not approved had been made to the Sri Isopanisad.

    In the spirit of increasing book distribution, I believe the solution is that we all work together to flood the world with Srila Prabhupada’s original books. This is the way to “mend things and restore it to its original position.” By Krishna’s arrangement we can now easily present to any person a well-bound pocket edition of the original Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It is very attractive with forty-eight color plates and nearly 800 pages printed on Bible paper, and can be sold for just a few dollars. Please also note that its back cover clearly mentions that it is the DEFINITIVE English Edition of Bhagavad-gita. It even includes the Foreword written by Professor Edward Dimock. What a blessing!

    Srila Prabhupada gave the example of a glass that is filled with milk… you cannot add ink to it. So let us fill the market place with this pocket Gita and all of Srila Prabhupada’s other original books. The BBT will soon find that there is no room in the marketplace for unannotated books that were revised without the author’s authorization.

    My humble obeisances to you all. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    Your servant,
    Locanananda dasa

    • Thank you very much, prabhu! With your permission may I post your writings about the book changes from your own blog – including the above reply – as posts here on this blog? I will give a link to your blog as a reference. Your servant, Ajit Krishna Dasa

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