E-mail exchange between Jayadvaita Swami and Ajit Krishna Dasa

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JSportraitJayadvaita Swami

akdAjit Krishna Dasa

I sent this e-mail to Jayadvaita Swami (23rd October 2013):

Dear Jayadvaita Maharaja! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Prabhupada!

I have written several times via the contact form on the BBTedit.com website. But I have not received any replies.

I have done studies of some of the changes made to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and my conclusion is that there are some problems. I would very much like your reponse to some of the articles on my new blog:

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/

The amount of devotees concerned with the editing of the BBT International increases. Information is being spread like wildfire via facebook and other social medias.

Here are the 5 articles I have sent via the contact form on BBTedit.com. I hope we will receive your replies to all the points raised in all the 5 articles:

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/category/no-reply-from-bbt-international/

Our intention is to publish your answers along with our comments (if we have any). If we do not get answers that will also be posted.

Everything will be shared using facebook, twitter, pinterest, e-mails, google+, linkedin and more.

This e-mail will also be posted and shared!

We hope you will have time to reply!

Hare Krishna
​Your lowly servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa

Jayadvaita Swami’s preliminary reponse (25th Oct. 2013):

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
Not for publishing, quoting, forwarding, etc.

Dear Ajit Krishna,

Please accept my best wishes. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I wish to acknowledge receiving your letter.

I have 70 letters now in my in-box, more come every day, and during Kartika I spend more time reading and chanting. So I may not respond quickly. But I *will* look at what you wrote and respond.

As a general note:

Rather than first write me directly, you have chosen first to express your concerns through propaganda on the internet. I regard this as a sort of rowdy, uncultured behavior. I doubt that any competent Vaisnava spiritual guide has advised you to act in this way.

The approach you have chosen complicates communication. It conveys a poor impression of your worth. And it sends your letter down, not up, my priority list.

I do value critical input, but I value it more when given personally, in a gentlemanly fashion.

Anyway, as I said, I will look at what you wrote and respond.

Hare Krsna.

Hoping this finds you in good health,

Yours in Srila Prabhupada’s service,
Jayadvaita Swami

PS:

My apologies for your not receiving replies to the messages you sent to BBTedit.com. I am not the person to whom messages sent there automatically go. And I don’t have control over that part of the site’s infrastructure. When time allows, I’ll write to the person who controls it and try to break the jam.

Hare Krsna.

Ajit Krishna Dasa (28th October 2013):

Dear Jayadvaita Swami! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Prabhupada!

Thank you very much for your kind reply to my e-mail! Very nice to
hear from you!

As I wrote in my first e-mail this correspondence will be made public.
The debate about the book changes ought to be in full disclosure,
exposed to as much light as possible. Prabhupada’s books are, after
all, our law books for the next ten thousand years, so we want
complete transparency when changes to the books are being made.

I know thousands of devotees would love if you would prioritize this
debate more than any other topic. But if you do not agree to my public
approach and find it “rowdy” and “uncultured” you are, of course, free
not to engage in the debate. But before you do that, kindly consider
that BOTH sides of this debate for years have been making “propaganda”
(a term Prabhupada mostly used with positive connotations) on the
internet and elsewhere for years.

For example, BBTedit.com use typical propaganda tools like claiming
they dispel the “myths” promoted by those opposed to the book changes.
They also publish videos with small, carefully selected snippets of a
long video with Madhudvisa Prabhu aiming at creating doubts about his
personality and statements (Why can’t we see the full video?).

You are yourself publishing articles wherein you use sarcasm as a
propaganda tool. Examples are these articles:

http://www.jswami.info/images_planet_trees

http://www.jswami.info/content/bbt_calendar_unauthorized_changes

I try my best to not use sarcasm and other such tricks on my blog
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com and I will guarantee you a nice
treatment if our exchange continues.

My plan is that I will systematically go through the complete gita and
send you all my questions. I will post them on my blog with the
following notice:

“This article was sent to the BBT International through their website
(http://www.bbtedit.com/contact) and to Jayadvaita Swami’s personal
e-mails (jswami@pamho.net and jayadvaita.swami@pamho.net) the
date-month-year. We asked them to comment on the points raised. So far
we have not received any reply.”

Everything will be spread through social media like facebook etc.

The picture that the BBT International tries to paint is that:

1. You are authorized by Prabhupada to change his Bhagavad-gita.

2. You are only making corrections back to the so called original manuscript.

3. That you have made no unnecessary changes.

4. That you honor the arsa-prayoga principle by not correcting
Prabhupada’s sanskrit and personally chosen words, but only the words
of the previous editors.

However, in my studies I (and others) have found:

1. Corrections made to Prabhupada’s sanskrit translations and chosen words.

2. New words which are not to be found in the so called original
manuscript or in the 1972 edition being added to the gita.

3. Words that are both found in the so called original manuscript and
in the 1972 edition being removed from the gita.

4. Unnecessary change of syntax (sentence structure).

There are thousands of devotees following this debate and eagerly
awaiting your comments to all the points raised both in this e-mail
and in all the blogposts I have previously sent to you and the BBT
International.

What other topic ought to be prioritized higher than this?

We all hope you will find time to answer these important questions!

Have a wonderful day,
Your lowly servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa (Denmark)

PS: I forgot to mention a 5th point, namely that I also found in my studies of the book changes that Prabhupada never authorized you (or anyone else) to re-edit the Bhagavad-gita.

Ys, Ajit Krishna Dasa

We are now awaiting Jayadvaita Swami’s reply.

Read PART 2 here

“The duty of the finger” (Bg. 4.38)

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This article was sent to the BBT International through their website (http://www.bbtedit.com/contact) and to Jayadvaita Swami’s personal e-mails (jswami@pamho.net and jayadvaita.swami@pamho.net) the 24th Oct. 2013. We asked them to comment on the points raised.

So far we have not received any reply.

1383179_412872895502777_881195929_n

By Bhakta Torben and Ajit Krishna Dasa

Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita 4.38, original 1972 edition:

Skærmbillede 2013-10-24 kl. 14.27.12

Jayadvaita Swami’s version (BBT International, 1983 edition):

Skærmbillede 2013-10-24 kl. 14.28.19

The sentence,

“And one who has achieved this enjoys the self within himself in due course of time.”

is changed to:

“And one who has become accomplished in the practice of devotional service enjoys this knowledge within himself in due course of time.”

This change is both needless and alters the meaning.

It is NEEDLESS because Prabhupada has not asked for it.

It alters the meaning, as the words “enjoys the self” is erased and replaced with “enjoys this knowledge”.

And the words “has achieved this” are substituted with “has become accomplished in the practise of devotional service”.

Furthermore the words “are culminated” in the end of the purport are NEEDLESSLY changed to “culminate”.

So there are NEEDLESS changes BOTH in the translation and in the purport.

Usually all this is explained away with something from the “original manuscript”. But on BBT International’s website we find no information about this change.

The “original manuscript” sounds like this:

Skærmbillede 2013-10-24 kl. 11.27.55

So AGAIN the “original manuscript” is seen to be closer to the 1972 original Bhagavad-gita than Jayadvaita Maharaj’s version.

On top of that, in the word-for-word translation the word “na – never” is changed to “na – nothing” and “svayam-itself” is changed to “svayam-himself”. Prabhupada personally did ALL the type-writing for the first six chapters of the so called “original manuscript”. In the “original manuscript” Prabhupada’s translation of “na” was “never” (Na-never) and his translation of “svayam” was “itself” (svayam-itself):

Skærmbillede 2013-10-24 kl. 14.13.44

So BBT International have CHANGED PRABHUPADA’S SANSKRIT TRANSLATION as it was PERSONALLY WRITTEN BY HIM, on his type writer. Prabhupada was very concerned with better knowing disciples that had become “learned” in sanskrit:

“…a little learning is dangerous, especially for the Westerners. I am practically seeing that as soon as they begin to learn a little Sanskrit immediately they feel that they have become more than their guru and then the policy is kill guru and be killed himself.” (from a letter to Dixit das on 18 Sep 1976)

Prabhupada gave this lecture from Bg. 4.38 and did not mention anything about changing anything:

Madhudvisa: Verse thirty-eight: “In this world there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism and one who achieved this enjoys the self within himself in due course of time [Bg. 4.38].”

Prabhupada: Yes. Knowledge: “I am part and parcel of Krishna, or God. My duty as part and parcel is to serve Krishna.” Just like this finger is the part and parcel of my body. The duty of the part and parcel is to serve.
(Bhagavad-gita 4.34-39, Los Angeles, January 12, 1969)

Letter to Jayadvaita Swami (23rd Oct. 2013)

letter-to-jayadvaita-swami-1Click to enlarge picture!

Dear Jayadvaita Maharaja! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Prabhupada!

I have written several times via the contact form on the BBTedit.com website. But I have not received any replies.

I have done studies of some of the changes made to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and my conclusion is that there are some problems. I would very much like your reponse to some of the articles on my new blog:

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/

The amount of devotees concerned with the editing of the BBT International increases. Information is being spread like wildfire via facebook and other social medias.

Here are the 5 articles I have sent via the contact form on BBTedit.com. I hope we will receive your replies to all the points raised in all the 5 articles:

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/category/no-reply-from-bbt-international/

Our intention is to publish your answers along with our comments (if we have any). If we do not get answers that will also be posted.

Everything will be shared using facebook, twitter, pinterest, e-mails, google+, linkedin and more.

This e-mail will also be posted and shared!

We hope you will have time to reply!

Hare Krishna
​Your lowly servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa

Help Prabhupada by writing BBT International and Jayadvaita Swami

Please request answers from BBT International and Jayadvaita Swami! Send them the blogposts from this Arsa-Prayoga Blog and ask for their response!

Write BBT International: http://bbtedit.com/contact

Write to Jayadvaita Swami: jswami@pamho.net or jayadvaita.swami@pamho.net

“Phalanx” in Bg. 1.2 and Bg. 1.11 (Jayadvaita Swami’s double standard)

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Back-To-Godhead-Jayadvaita-Swami

The text below was sent to the BBT International through their website (http://www.bbtedit.com/contact) and to Jayadvaita Swami and Dravida Prabhu’s personal e-mails (jswami@pamho.net, jayadvaita.swami@pamho.net, dravida108@gmail.com) the 7th Feb. 2014. We asked them to comment on the points raised.

So far we have not received any reply.

Regarding the word “Phalanx” in Bg. 1.2 Jayadvaita Swami writes on the BBT International’s website:

“In the old edition, the idea of a specific military formation (vyudham) is omitted.”

So we see that Jayadvaita Swami feels free to not only override Prabhupada’s editorial decisions regarding Bg. 1.2, namely to omit “military phalanx”, but also to unnecesarrily add the word “formation” instead of “phalanx” (Prabhupada often used the word phalanx. We find it many times in books like Bhagavad-gita, Krishna Book, Nectar of Devotion, Caitanya Caritamrta, and also in lectures, conversations, earlier essays and poems).

Jayadvaita Swami continues:

“In the new edition, I revised “phalanx” to “military formation” because a phalanx (originally) is a particular type of formation peculiar to ancient Greek warfare. Greek columns on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra didn’t seem right. Hence the revision.”

Then why did Jayadvaita Swami not remove the word “phalanx” from Bg. 1.11?

“All of you must now give full support to Grandfather Bhisma, as you stand at your respective strategic points of entrance into the phalanx of the army.” (Bg, 1.11, BBT International 1983 edition)

“Phalanx” is also found in the purports to Bg. 1.3 and Bg. 1.11 in BBT International’s 1983 edition.

Something doesn’t make sense!

In retrospect: “Phalanx” has come to refer to any military formation, so perhaps I should have been less picky. But at any rate, the new translation gets in the idea that the old one left out.”

So will Jayadvaita Swami again add the word phalanx to Bg. 1.2? Or will he remove it from Bg. 1.11 and add “formation”? Changing back and forth – again and again and again…ad infinitum?

Is that what Prabhupada expected from his editors? Is this how the world comes to respect Prabhupada’s books and ISKCON?

Not back to the “original manuscript” (Bg. 1.2)

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This article was sent to the BBT International the 22nd Oct. 2013. We asked them to comment on the points raised. So far we have not received any reply.

Read these quotes carefully:

“As you know, and as we kept in mind while doing the work, Srila Prabhupada staunchly opposed needless changes.” (Jayadvaita Swami’s Letter to Amogha Lila 1986)

“Comparing each verse in the book with the text of the manuscript, I made only those changes that to me seemed worthwhile. I tried to be conservative and not make needless changes.”
(Jayadvaita’s letter to senior devotees, October 25, 1982)

From the so called “original manuscript”:

bg-1-2-manuscript

From the original and by Prabhupada approved/authorized 1972 edition of Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is:

bg-1-2-1972

From the BBT International’s 1983 posthumously edited Bhagavad-gita As It Is:

bg-1-2-1983

“PHALANX” – JAYADVAITA SWAMI’S DOUBLE STANDARD

Jayadvaita Swami attempts to justify his changes in this way:

“In the old edition, the idea of a specific military formation (vyudham) is omitted. In the new edition, I revised “phalanx” to “military formation” because a phalanx (originally) is a particular type of formation peculiar to ancient Greek warfare. Greek columns on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra didn’t seem right. Hence the revision. In retrospect: “Phalanx” has come to refer to any military formation, so perhaps I should have been less picky. But at any rate, the new translation gets in the idea that the old one left out.

We see that Jayadvaita Swami feels free to not only override Prabhupada’s editorial decisions regarding Bg. 1.2, namely to omit “military phalanx”, but also to unnecesarrily add the word “formation” instead of “phalanx” (a word Prabhupada often used).

Bg, 1.11 (BBT International 1983 edition):

“All of you must now give full support to Grandfather Bhisma, as you stand at your respective strategic points of entrance into the phalanx of the army.”

According to Jayadvaita Swami: in Bg. 1.2 “phalanx” didn’t seem right on Kuruksetra, because it’s a Greek word peculiar to ancient Greek warfare. But in Bg. 1.11 Jayadvaita Swami did not remove “phalanx”.

What are we to make of it?

Jayadvaita Swami admits that he might have been a little too “picky” regarding the word “phalanx”. This means he is not completely satisfied with his own work.  Maybe we will have a new edition of Bg. 1.2 in his next printing? And what about Bg. 1.11? Change-change back-change-change back? Is that what Prabhupada wanted?

Jayadvaita Swami said he tried not to make needless changes, but only those worthwhile. But which of the changes here are really worthwhile? Which are really needed? None of them! Bg. 1.2 is just fine the way it is in the original 1972 edition.

“BEGAN TO SPEAK”

Jayadvaita Swami continues:

“Srila Prabhupada typically said “began to speak” or “began to say” when the meaning is simply “spoke” or “said.” Such a phrase as “began to speak” is more apt when followed by something like “but was cut off” or “but changed his mind and fell silent.” In later books, the BBT editors routinely trimmed off the “began to.”

The expression “began to speak” is not wrong, and as we can see below Prabhupada did not object to it in Bg. 1.2, but re-confirmed it. Therefore the change is needless and not at all worthwhile. The editors might have trimmed the phrase off in other books, but these books were then approved by Prabhupada. Bg. 1.2 was approved with the phrase “began to speak”. Prabhupada did not approve the 1983 edition.

The shocking fact is that Jayadvaita Swami’s underlying technique is to attempt to mind-read Prabhupada after his physical disappearance and use his mind-reading “discoveries” about Prabhupada’s desires in relation to his books to change them posthumously. I don’t think even the devotees in favor of the changes have the fantasy to imagine that this is an editing methodology actively used by the BBT International.

The fallacy of going back to the so called original manuscript is covered here. But apart from that, what does it even mean to postulate that you are changing back to the manuscript, when there are so many instances where you concoct phrases that Prabhupada never used in relation to the verses under discussion?

Let us see how Prabhupada dealt with Bg. 1.2:

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

sanjaya uvaca
drstva tu pandavanikam
vyudham duryodhanas tada
acaryam upasangamya
raja vacanam abravit
[Bg. 1.2]

Translation: “Sanjaya said: O King, after looking over the army gathered by the sons of Pandu, King Duryodhana went to his teacher and began to speak the following words:”

Prabhupada: So Dhrtarastra inquired from Sanjaya, kim akurvata: “After my sons and my brother’s sons assembled together for fighting, what did they do?”

Prabhupada continues without objecting to the words “began to speak. In fact a little later in the same lecture Prabhupada says:

“Raja vacanam abravit [Bg. 1.2]. Then he began to speak, to inform Dronacarya.”

(Bhagavad-gita 1.2-3, London, July 9, 1973)

So in this lecture Prabhupada heard the verse, and did not object to to words “gathered” and “began to speak”.  In fact he re-translated the words “raja vacanam abravit” to “began to speak” – the very same words he used in his draft (so called original manuscripts) and which he had approved in his 1972 edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

From a room conversation:

Aksayananda: Acaryam upasangamya raja vacanam abravit [Bg. 1.2].
Prabhupada: Yes. What is the translation?
Aksayananda: “Sanjaya said, ‘Oh king after looking over the army gathered by the sons of Pandu, King Duryodhana went to his teacher and began to speak the following words.’ ”
Prabhupada: Aiye. [break] Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission is to preach. So you join us.

(Room Conversation on New York court case, November 2, 1976, Vrindavana)

Prabhupada continues speaking with no objection to the verse as it was read to him.

The comparison of Bg. 1.2 in the original 1972 edition and BBT Internationals 1983 posthumously edition version is an axample of everything Prabhupada’s editors should NOT do:

  • They changed what was approved by Prabhupada (namely “gathered” and “began to speak”)
  • They added what Prabhupada approved left out (namely “military”)
  • then added something Prabhupada didn’t write (namely “formation” instead of “phalanx” and “spoke” instead of “began to speak”).

Jayadvaita Swami is not at all being conservative in his editing. He is by nature an extreme liberal, since he feels free to rely on a New Age methodology, namely using his feelings and “intuition” to mind-read Prabhupada. Jayadvaita Swami is actively using this liberal New Age methodology to add, substract, concoct and change words in Prabhupada original and authorized books.

Gita Cover-Up or Buyer Beware!

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By Rupanuga Dasa (ACBSP) (Posted from the Sampradaya Sun)

Interested parties should be made aware that the BBT editors of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is have continued editing their own new (2010) paperback edition of their 1983 “revised and enlarged” version. They have removed the notice “Revised and Enlarged” from the face page and left only “Second Edition.” The phrase “with the original Sanskrit text, Roman transliteration, English equivalents, translation and elaborate purports” has been omitted. So now, after all the omissions, the face page reads simply “Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Second Edition, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.”

Consequently, there is no indication for the prospective buyer that the book is actually a revised version of the original; rather it is made to appear to be simply a re-printing of the original—by the same author! The BBT editors, remaining incognito, continue to plagiarize Srila Prabhupada’s name and fame to lend credibility to their in fact re-written version of the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, originally designated as the “Complete Edition” by Srila Prabhupada himself.

On the back cover, once again the editors omit an important phrase in the description of Srila Prabhupada as “the leading exponent of the science of Krsna consciousness in the West and the world’s most distinguished teacher of Vedic religion and thought…” And they add a curious sentence in conclusion, which really reflects their own clandestine position: “Thus, unlike other editions of the Gita, his conveys Lord Krsna’s profound message as it is—without the slightest taint of adulteration or personally motivated change.” This is so reminiscent of that well-known story of the man on the second floor of his house hearing a noise downstairs and calling out, “Who’s there?” revealing the actual position, a voice from below answers emphatically, “Oh, I’m not stealing! I’m not stealing!”

Or the time when devotees told Srila Prabhupada about a newspaper article claiming that a space probe to Mars had sent back photographic images that so closely resembled the terrain in Arizona. Srila Prabhupada said the scientists involved were themselves in Arizona, simply revealing their own minds, reflecting their surroundings.

Similarly, these editors, perhaps smarting from unending legitimate criticism, have inadvertently revealed their own position: “Oh no, we have edited responsibly, without the slightest taint of adulteration or personally motivated change!” But they continue to commit what Srila Prabhupada described in the purport Srimad Bhagavatam 3.4.26:

“Although one may be well versed in transcendental science, one should be careful about the offense of maryada-vyatikrama, impertinently surpassing a greater personality.”

The impertinence knows no bounds, because BBT editing has become a co-authoring of Srila Prabhupada’s books. Buyer beware! Milk still looks like milk even when containing poison.

bcdebat-long2009 Hardback

gita102010 Paperback