“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.

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By Bhakta Torben and Ajit Krishna Dasa

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

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

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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:

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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):

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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)

5 thoughts on ““The duty of the finger” (Bg. 4.38)

  1. change to prabhupad’s books is not required. plz present it as it is

  2. Here is another example of changing Srila Prabhupada’s words; you may send it on to any website you choose.

    ys Madhava-lila dasa

    Changing the Words and Teachings of a Great Acarya, Srila Prabhupada
    The Motivated Agenda of the Incompetent So-called Editors of the BBT(i)
    Are the editors of Srila Prabhupada’s perfect words motivated or unmotivated, faithful or unfaithful, competent or incompetent? That is the question. In this regard, dear readers, kindly consider the following:
    Original 1975, Cc edition of Madhya 20.117:
    The living entity is called the marginal energy because by nature he is spiritual but by forgetfulness he is situated in the material energy. Thus he has the power to live either in the material energy or in the spiritual energy, and for this reason he is called marginal energy. He is sometimes attracted by the external illusory energy when he stays in the marginal position, and this is the beginning of his material life.
    Dravida dasa version, in 2011 Folio edition:
    The living entity is called the marginal energy because by nature he is spiritual but by forgetfulness he is situated in the material energy. Thus he has the power to live either in the material energy or in the spiritual energy, and for this reason he is called marginal energy. Being in the marginal position, he is sometimes attracted by the external, illusory energy, and this is the beginning of his material life.

    What is the difference?
    1) In the original Srila Prabhupada version, we see that attraction to the external energy is *only* taking place “when he stays in the marginal position”. Thus when he attains immersion in the spiritual energy, and thus leaving behind the “marginal position [i.e., marginal location]” he will not become attracted by the external illusory energy again. To repeat, this is because he is not “in the marginal position” when situated in krsna-prema in Goloka. Thus he will not fall from Goloka. This is the siddhanta taught by sastra and all Vaisnava acaryas, Srila Prabhupada included.
    2) In the Dravida dasa altered version, we see that the replacement text implies that jiva “being in the marginal position” is liable to be attracted to material energy any number of times repeatedly because “being in the marginal postion” is his *permanent* status. Thus, even in Goloka because jiva is “being in the marginal position” he is “sometimes attracted by the external illusory energy”. Thus by this change the implication is that jiva may fall repeatedly from Goloka Vrndavana, and did so originally.
    This twisting of meaning has been achieved by removing the original contextual meaning of “marginal position” as the marginal *location*, and changing “marginal position” towards implying a permanent status of “being marginal”, and thus implying that jiva may fall down from even Goloka Vrndavan, and may do so again repeatedly. This is impure apa-siddhanta and opposed to the siddhanta taught by sastra and all Vaisnava Acaryas, Srila Prabhupada included.
    Conclusion
    In this way, Dravida has introduced the apa-siddhanta of Goloka falldown of which he is known to be erroneously attached. In the Srila Prabhupada original there is no fault in the English at all, so there can be no justification for changing the original text in the first place. We are left to conclude that Dravida has his own agenda. He would change the words of Srila Prabhupada in order to propagate his own apasiddhanta and cover the teachings of Srila Prabhupada. In this way he is a rascal of the first order and becomes an enemy of his own guru.
    Of course, the incompetence, unnecessary changes, philosophical changes, and “writer for hire” public insult to Srila Prabhupada by BBT(i) so-called editors are well-known, but still these incompetents are allowed to continue in their posts. Even in the material world, such incompetence and evident motivation would have caused their dismissal long, long ago from any publishing house. But here in ISKCON, we the guardians of the lifework of such a great acarya as Srila Prabhupada do nothing to rectify this personal attack on very core of Srila Prabhupada’s mission – his books.
    In view of the chronic inaction of the GBC to this incompetent hacking away at Srila Prabhupada’s books, all in contravention to his clear and direct instructions, the recommended action must be to avoid all these “revised” editions. It is clear by the above example from the Caitanya-caritamrta that the so-called editors are motivated and unfaithful to Srila Prabhupada. Many more examples could be sited, even from the very introduction of the Caitanya-caritamrta with its guru-parampara debacle enacted by Dravida.
    Therefore dear devotees of Srila Prabhupada, wherever possible read and distribute the original Srila Prabhupada versions. Yes, there are some imperfections here and there, but the final point is that those originals are the books that Srila Prabhupada wanted you to read and be preserved unchanged, undoubtedly.

  3. Devotional service is always spontaneous. One renders such service with or without knowledge. Devotional service being rendered with knowledge is normally subject to personal motivation and thus endangers ones such service as conditional service whereas devotional service without knowledge is more safer considering as unconditional. So the meaning is totally different in the changed version.

    The potency of the meaning in the changed version of the verse is completely lost.

  4. Hare Krishna Ajit Krishna Prabhu

    This is a very good example of Jayadvaita COMPLETELY CHANGING the meaning of what Prabhupada has written.

    The original says that one who has achieved transcendental knowledge enjoys the self within himself in due course of time. But JAS does not like this. So he changes it to one who becomes accomplished in the practice of devotional service enjoys the self within himself in due course of time.

    This carries a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MEANING…

    This means, according to JAS, one does not have to achieve transcendental knowledge at all. He just has to be ‘accomplished in the practice of devotional service.’ These words are 100% speculated by JAS. They do not appear at all in the so-called ‘original manuscript’.

    It is the same watering down of the philosophy he has done all the way through the book. He has removed the need for actual spiritual advancement, actual realization, and replaced it with the ‘accomplished in the practice of devotional service’ which is just ‘strictly following’ and does not mean the person has any realization at all. So what JAS has written is completely wrong. Being ‘accomplished in the practice of devotional service’ does not mean anything at all. He may have become ‘accomplished in the practice of devotional service’ simply by austerity and may have not achieved any transcendental knowledge at all.

    This is such an envious change. A disastrous change. Removing the need for transcendental knowledge and replacing it with mechanical ‘strictly following…’

    It is a very, very good example Prabhu, and there are so many more similar examples proving that JAS really does not care at all what the ‘original manuscript’ says. He has his own ideas about what Prabhupada’s Gita should say and he thinks he is more intelligent than Prabhupada, so he has replaced Prabhupada’s translations with his own speculations…

    I wish you all success in this endeavor Prabhu. All glories to your service. Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

    Your servant

    Madhudvisa dasa

  5. Pingback: No Reply from ISKCON / BBT on Changes to Prabhupada’s Books | ISKCON & BBT Prabhupada Book Changes

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