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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 (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) the 7th Feb. 2014. We asked them to comment on the points raised.
So far we have not received any reply.
Excerpt from a letter called “Please Explain, Jayadvaita Swami, Dravida Prabhu & Company” originally posted on the Sampradaya Sun.
“BY: A GROUP OF SRILA PRABHUPADA DISCIPLES & FOLLOWERS
Dear Jayadvaita Swami, Dravida Prabhu & Company, please explain why you have done the following:
(1) Why is it in the revised edition of the Bhagavad-gita, you and company have completely removed the foreword by Professor Edward Dimock that was printed in the original Macmillan version of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is which Srila Prabhupada regularly read from?
Readers, please visit the website and see the video on YouTube of Srila Prabhupada lecturing on the Bhagavad-gita.
There, in the very immediate beginning (very first few minutes) of this video, you will find Srila Prabhupada praising the foreword by Professor Edward Dimock. This particular video clip is taken from one of the 19 Double layer DVD’s produced by Nrsimhananda Prabhu and his associates at ITV. It is the particular DVD named Bhagavad Gita as It Is, with Krishna and Arjuna on the chariot, and sky background, and is in the very first part, called “Introduction”.
Srila Prabhupada is reading the foreword himself, praising it, mentioning Edward Dimock’s name, and praising Edward Dimock for a particular comment that he had made, as follows:
“Swami Bhaktivedanta comments upon the Gita from this point of view, and that is legitimate. More than that, in this translation the Western reader has the unique opportunity of seeing how a Krsna devotee interprets his own texts”
Srila Prabhupada in the video explains this particular statement by Edward Dimock, on how a Krsna devotee interprets his own texts, by explaining that just as a family member only is qualified to give the best knowledge to others about his own family, similarly, only a Krsna devotee can properly explain to others about Krsna. Srila Prabhupada appreciates this particular point made by Edward Dimock in the video.
Thus, not only has Srila Prabhupada authorized this particular foreword in the Macmillan Bhagavad-gita, but had himself read, it, and praised certain points made by the person who wrote this foreword. Yet you, Jayadvaita Swami, Dravida Prabhu & Company, have the audacity to remove this foreword completely in your revised version. The proof of how you have offended your Spiritual Master is on public video record, as those who watch will sadly but easily be able to understand this particular deviation of yourselves in either revising or omitting your Spiritual Master’s works and words by using your fertile imaginations.”
[End of excerpt]
Below there are several instances where Prabhupada shows appreciation for the foreword by Edward Dimock. Please note that Prabhupada said that this foreword will “appeal to the scholarly class”. And we see here that Prabhupada in fact used the foreword to preach to professors, scholars, cardinals and journalists. As can be seen from the below quotes Prabhupada appreciated the foreword because it underscored some of his own points about this specific edition of the Bhagavad-gita, namely the As It Is version.
But the BBT International under the leadership of Jayadvaita Swami have now removed this foreword by Professor Dimock without ever explaining why. Certainly Prabhupada never asked for its removal.
Prabhupada: That’s all. So this Bhagavad-gita, at least, should be introduced in all colleges. And Professor Dimock has recommended. Just…
Professor: Well, it is quite widely read, the Bhagavad-gita.
Professor: The Bhagavad-gita is quite widely read.
Pradyumna: This is an introduction by Professor Dimock.
Professor: Yes, I’ve seen it. I read it. But it is quite widely read, you know. I mean the translations… (Room Conversation with Sanskrit Professor, Dr. Suneson — September 5, 1973, Stockholm)
Prabhupada: That has been written by Professor Dayal, Dimock, that “Sanskrit scholars should get good opportunity, and nobody, I think, will deny Swamiji’s scholarship.” He has said that. (Room Conversation — September 21, 1973, Bombay)
Bhagavan: There are many copies of Bhagavad-gita, but the unusual happening with this version is until this was presented, there was no devotee…
Prabhupada: Professor Dimock has said very nicely.
Monsignor Verrozano: Yes, we have also many translations. Yes.
Prabhupada: You have not brought by the fruit?
Nitai: Yes, Satsvarupa Maharaja did.
Monsignor Verrozano: We have here one translation of the commentary of Professor Zehner(?) from Oxford.
Prabhupada: Here is my foreword by Professor Dimock.
Yogesvara: This is a professor from Chicago University who wrote the foreword to this edition. He makes an interesting comment.
Prabhupada: You read, read it.
Prabhupada: Professor Dimock’s.
Cardinal Pignedoli: It’s very strange and famous. That’s the gospel.
Prabhupada: Read it.
Dhananjaya: (reading) “Swami Bhaktivedanta comments upon the Gita from this point of view. And that is legitimate.”
Prabhupada: Yes. That is legitimate.
Dhananjaya: “More than that, in this translation the Western reader has the unique opportunity of seeing how a Krsna devotee interprets his own texts. It is a Vedic…”
Cardinal Pignedoli: Yes.
Prabhupada: A Krsna devotee interpreting on Krsna, and a nondevotee interpreting on Krsna. There is far difference. (Room Conversation with Catholic Cardinal and Secretary to the Pope — May 24, 1974, Rome)
The introduction by Mr. Dimock is nice and it will appeal to the scholarly class. (Letter to: Rupanuga — Sydney 4 April, 1972)
Krishna is the source of all human cultural contributions, and His book is the most widespread read all over the world. So if you can convince this education minister that this KC Movement is cultural. One big, big Professor Dimock has given in his introduction to my Bhagavad-gita As It Is that every college student should read this book. Syamasundara. can send you a copy of his statement if you require. So if in other colleges beyond India it is so recommended, why not in India. So the education minister must advise this books should be read. This will give us example for approaching central government. There are so many things to be done. (Letter to: Giriraja — Sydney 12 April, 1972)
Speculators cannot have definite knowledge. Therefore our Professor Dimmock has said, “Here is definite definition of Gita.” 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…
Prabhupada: Yes. That is his word.
Prabhupada: Read it all.
Devotee: “Definitive English edition of Bhagavad-gita. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of the text already known to many, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 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?” (George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel)
Prabhupada: “Dimmock. He has given very good appreciation. And gradually it will be printed in other languages. German, French, Spanish, Denmark, Holland…” (Conversation with Dai Nippon — April 22, 1972, Tokyo)
Prabhupada: “Somehow or other.” This is science. “Somehow or other,” “maybe,” “perhaps.” This is their science. [break] …speculation. The whole Western countries, their all knowledge simply speculation. Nothing definite. [break] …Professor Dimmock has “Definitive…” What is that translation, or something like?
Prabhupada: Definitive, then translation of Bhagavad-gita, like that. [break] (Morning Walk — June 30, 1975, Denver)
Prabhupada: Yes, yes, yes. You just read one big professor’s remark here. You see?
Prabhupada: Professor Dimmock of Chicago University.
Faill: “A new and living interpretation.” This is you, is it?
Prabhupada: This is…? Yes.
Faill: That’s you.
Prabhupada: Yes. If you read these books and write regular articles on the basis of my talk with you, it will be actually great benefit to the public. (Room Conversation with Bill Faill (reporter) — October 8, 1975, Durban)
Pusta Krsna: In the United States… These are many letters we have, just some of them, from different professors who are actually using Prabhupada’s books, professors from respectable universities such as Harvard, Yale, Duke. Professor Dimmock, who is the leading scholar of southeastern languages at the University of Chicago, he very much appreciates Prabhupada’s books.
Prabhupada: He has written one foreword.
Pusta Krsna: So these books are being accepted as the authority, at least in America and England, so far as studies of Indian culture are concerned, philosophy, sociology. And you can see the beautiful presentation. Each Sanskrit is there, transliteration so that anyone can chant, word-for-word Sanskrit to English translation, translation in English, and then the purport, a commentary.
Prof. Olivier: That’s right. This is a good edition. Good edition.
Pusta Krsna: Professor Dimmock, he says that there are many, many translations of Bhagavad-gita, and he says that “By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has increased our understanding manyfold.” So although it’s been prevalent in America… I know that when I was studying Humanities in college in the University of Florida, Bhagavad-gita was required. And we read one edition, but it was very much limited. Until we come in contact with Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the understanding is very much limited. But it’s not a sectarian approach. It’s purely scientific and realistic. There are many such reviews.
Prof. Olivier: Well, this is a good letter. (Room Conversation with Professor Olivier — October 10, 1975, Durban)
Prabhupada: Therefore rascal. (laughter) Therefore rascal. We definitely know Krsna, the origin of everything. That is definite, not “It may be.” We don’t say “Krsna may be.” No. Definitely. Krsnas 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. (Morning Walk — November 26, 1975, New Delhi)
Prabhupada: Dimmock said that “Here is the commentation who has practiced devotion in his life.” (Morning Walk — December 17, 1975, Bombay)
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Very disappointed to see that there is some indication that the BBT editiorial staff has taken a direction to not include the foreword to Bhagavad-Gita As-it-is by Srila Prabhupada. Looking forward to hearing that this is a false rumor. Always your servant, Sarvabhauma dasa
BBTI took it out in 1983. Have you not seen it in all these years?