BBTI MYTH: Hayagriva’s memory failed him

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

Did Hayagriva Prabhu’s memory fail him when he said that he was working closely with Srila Prabhupada in the spring of 1967?

Fra Hayagriva Dasa’s The Hare Krishna Explosion:

“Daily, I consult him [Prabhupada] to make certain that the translation of each verse precisely coincides with the meaning he wants to relate.”


On BBT International’s website it is stated:

“Hayagriva does speak of consulting Srila Prabhupada “daily” throughout the spring of ’67. But Hayagriva’s memory must have been tricking him: In the time he speaks of, he was in San Francisco, Srila Prabhupada in New York.“

How did Jayadvaita Swami reach this particular conclusion? No matter how I analyze the situation, I reach the conclusion that Hayagriva’s explanation holds true.  I could be wrong, so if anyone has some input, I am all ears.

Let’s look at history :

We know that Prabhupada was in San Fransisco where Hayagriva was also from 19th of January 1967 until April 9th 1967. This can be seen by looking at Prabhupada’s letters. Hayagriva wrote in his book The Hare Krishna Explosion that Prabhupada arrived in San Francisco the 19th of January 1967, and that is also precisely the day when the first letter from Prabhupada is sent from San Fransisco. Hayagriva also wrote that Prabhupada took off from San Francisco April 9th, and the last letter Prabhupada sent from San Fransisco is sent 7th of April. The first letter he sent from New York, where he left to from San Fransisco, was sent 10th of April.

Regarding spring, a short search on the internet shows that spring in San Francisco lies in the months of March, April and May. From Hayagriva’s book we know that the period in which he was very busy editing the Bhagavad-gita As It Is under Prabhupada’s personal supervision, and where he consults Prabhupada daily about the verses to ensure that they accurately convey what Prabhupada wants, took place between March 1st and March 21st 1967.

So there are no inconsistencies in Hayagriva’s memory when he says that he and Prabhupada cooperated in the spring of 1967. Nor is there anything at all hindering that this cooperation took place throughout the complete period of time when Prabhupada was in San Fransisco which is 82 days. Taking Prabhupada’s eagerness to send the Bhagavad-gita As It Is to the press, it would not at all be unimaginable that he was very involved in the editing of the book in these 82 days. Actually, who can believe anything else? One can do a lot of work in 82 days. Especially when you only need 2-4 hours of sleep every night.

Who knows the details of what was going on there? No one really knows the precise extend to which Prabhupada was involved in the process of editing. But in one period he was, according to his cheif editor Hayagriva Dasa, daily consulted with nearly every verse to make certain that the translation precisely coincided with the meaning he wanted to relate. Therefore the thousands of changes done by the BBT International to the verses and purports of the 1972 edition are for the most part based only on guesswork.

This is clearly an unsafe, irresponsible and unacceptable editing protocol.

If my calculation are correct – and I think they are – then the BBT International and Jayadvaita Swami ought to either correct or remove their mistaken calculation from their respective websites. If I am wrong, then I would like to see my calculation countered by another analysis done by the BBT International and/or Jayadvaita Swami.

Will they do any of these things? Or will they just let their analysis stay on their websites, even if they are wrong? Time will tell.


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