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By Ajit Krishna Dasa
This is the back cover of the Bhagavad-gita, As It Is (Third printing, 1973)
Definition of DEFINITIVE
1 : serving to provide a final solution or to end a situation <a definitive victory>
2 : authoritative and apparently exhaustive <a definitive edition>
a : serving to define or specify precisely <definitive laws>
b : serving as a perfect example : quintessential <a definitive bourgeois>
4 : fully differentiated or developed <a definitive organ>
Prabhupada: He has mistaken in so many ways. (Sanskrit) Just like our… Not Pradyumna. If somebody has boils all over the body, then where it will be operated? Better kill this body. (laughing) So he has got so many boils, this Hegel and Segel, all, because they are speculators. They have no definite knowledge. Speculators cannot have definite knowledge. Therefore our Professor Dimmock has said, “Here is definite definition of Gītā.” What is that? Just see. Then it is so. He has appreciated it. You cannot see, of the…
Devotee: They only put two lines of what he said in there. He says this…
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is his word.
Prabhupada: Read it all.
Devotee: “Definitive English edition of Bhagavad-gītā. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of the text already known to many, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda has increased our own understanding manyfold.”
Prabhupada: That is a definite, not vague, speculative. That is the difference between my translation and others. Therefore I have given the name “As It Is.” So we will be no spoke or speculation. As soon as you speculate, you are rejected. Therefore others are seeing some danger that “This Bhaktivedanta’s…, this Bhagavad-gita As It Is accepted, then where we are?”
Prabhupada: Therefore rascal. (laughter) Therefore rascal. We definitely know Krishna, the origin of everything. That is definite, not “It may be.” We don’t say “Krishna may be.” No. Definitely. Krishnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. Here is Bhagavan. Here is God. That is definite. Therefore our professor…
Hamsaduta: Svarupa Damodara?
Prabhupada: No, no. Who has written foreword to my Bhagavad-gita?
Prabhupada: Dimmock. “Here is definitive…”
Nitai: “Definitive edition.”
Prabhupada: “Definitive edition.” That is the credit. Not “may be.” No “maybe,” sir. That is rascaldom.
Prabhupada never asked that his gita be re-edited. On the contrary, in May 1976 Prabhupada still referred to his gita as “the definitive edition” comparing it to other translations of lesser importance. During the four years from 1972 to 1976 he could have changed it if he had wanted to. But he still considered his translations and purports as they appeared at that particular time (May 1976) to serve as the final solution, the end of all editions, the authoritative, the exhaustive, the defining, the precise, the perfect example, the fully differentiated and developed edition of the Bhagavad-gita EVER published in recent times. Nothing indicates that Prabhupada ever changed his mind about this.
But to many devotee’s amazement the BBT International seemed not to agree with Prabhupada! Because in 1983 (six years after Prabhupada’s physical disappearance) the BBT International deleted the foreword by Professor Dimmock wherein he says that Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita, As It Is, 1972 edition, is the “definitive edition“. They also in some (if not all) of their many publications of their changed 1983 edition – deleted the sentence “The definitive english edition of Bhagavad-gita” from the back cover. And they exchanged pictures and paintings and made 5000+ changes, additions and deletions in the translations and purports of the book.