Proof Positive: An Appeal to Jayadvaita Swami for Clarification (Part 1)

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BY: THE ASSEMBLED DEVOTEES

Jul 22, 2014 — GLOBAL (SUN) — Let us first offer our obeisances to our Spiritual Master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
Also, let us extend our respects to H.H. Jayadvaita Swami. We pray he will understand the concerns expressed in this essay and not construe our presentation as something other than a quest for truth.

In a conversation with Govinda dasi in 2003 (see Appendix A), H.H. Jayadvaita Swami repeatedly denied that Srila Prabhupada saw the galley proofs for his 1972 MacMillan edition of Bhagavad-Gita, indicating there were mistakes Prabhupada would not have allowed, implying this is why the book needed re-editing.

Jayadvaita Swami stated:

“He [Srila Prabhupada] never saw the proofs in 1972.”

“No he did not.”

“Prabhupada didn’t see the galley proofs of the 1972 edition.”

“But he didn’t see the galley proofs for the 1972 one…”

“there was no opportunity to like send Prabhupada back and forth, like sending him the second chapter and getting it back and asking questions; it just didn’t happen.”

“I could tell you that some of the verses that some of the BBT staff questioned, Prabhupada would never have approved. I can say with confidence, Prabhupada would never have approved.”

“And the unabridged edition he really didn’t see in its preparation for its, um, pre-publication stages”

The above statements appear to be in stark contradiction to the following letter from Srila Prabhupada to Jayadvaita found in the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase (Prabhupada regularly referred to galley proofs as “blue-prints” – see Appendix B).

SP Letter to Jayadvaita- Los Angeles, May 28, 1972:

“My Dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I have received your letter dated May 26th, 1972, along with the blue-print copies of Bhagavad-gita As It Is from MacMillan Company. It is very nice. So I shall be looking forward to seeing the entire manuscript and book sometime around first July, 1972.”

After receiving the blue-print copies, Srila Prabhupada states “it is very nice”, gives no indication that he found any mistakes, and expresses anticipation to see the completed book. It would oppose reason to argue that the above letter does not indicate Srila Prabhupada’s approval of the blue-prints/galley proofs. In absence of evidence to the contrary, the May 28th letter proves that not only did Srila Prabhupada see and approve the blue-prints/galley proofs but that Jayadvaita himself sent them to His Divine Grace.

The printing of Bhagavd-gita As It Is in 1972 was to be the very first publication of Srila Prabhupada’s unabridged version of the book and it was about to be printed by a world-renowned publishing house. This was a very important event and a very significant milestone in Srila Prabhupada’s literary corpus—presumably something a disciple involved at responsible levels of the book production process would not take lightly or easily forget. Taking all these factors into consideration, is it unreasonable to wonder how Jayadvaita Swami not only forgot he had sent Prabhupada the blue-prints, but also forgot Prabhupada personally acknowledged receipt of them and had indeed approved them? In addition, it seems Jayadvaita Swami never came across the digital copy of the above letter in the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase during his otherwise scrupulous research regarding BBT editing.

As disciples of Srila Prabhupada, we feel duty bound to petition Jayadvaita Swami to explain these discrepancies to the Vaisnava community. At the same time we caution our readers notto rush to judgment without allowing Jayadvaita Swami a chance to respond. We concede that there may have been extenuating circumstances that we are yet unaware of. Perhaps Jayadvaita Swami has letters from Srila Prabhupada that never made it to the Bhaktivedanta Archives or other evidence that could shed light on this issue. If so, we hope he will share them with the assembled devotees and uproot our reasonable doubts. Under the circumstances, we trust he will understand why we would consider physical evidence much more compelling than personal recollection. When all the evidence is presented, if our assessments prove wrong, an apology on our part would certainly be warranted.

We conditioned souls have four defects. Our senses are imperfect, we fall prey to illusion, make mistakes and have a tendency to cheat. From the evidence available thus far, one would conclude that Jayadvaita Swami is also a victim of the four defects. Even if we assume the alleged error was an honest mistake, it is nonetheless, a grave mistake and it could cast doubt on his credibility as an impartial editor of the sanctified words of our Spiritual Master. It may even raise the greater question: Is it appropriate for any conditioned soul to edit the books of an empowered and fully realized nitya-siddha devotee after their departure andwithout their express approval or direct oversight?

Jayadvaita Swami Letter to Amogha Lila, quoted in Responsible Publishing:

“To my knowledge, Srila Prabhupada never asked us to re-edit the book” [1972 MacMillan edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is]

Appendix A

Conversation between Govinda dasi and Jayadvaita Swami – Honolulu, Jan 19, 2003(emphasis is added):

Jayadvaita Maharaja: …It differs in uh, [inaudible] uh, in addition to that, of course, Prabhupada did see the galley proofs in 1968 of the abridged edition. He never saw the proofs in 1972. He wasn’t involved at any stage of the production, except, um, mainly for expressing impatience at how slow it was being turned out—a slowness for which I was partly responsible. Um, but he didn’t go over, didn’t go over the manuscript…

Govinda dasi: Srila Prabhupada didn’t see the galley proofs?

Jayadvaita Maharaja: No, he did not. [inaudible] Prabhupada didn’t see the galley proofs of the 1972 edition. But he did see the galley proofs, and we have galley proofs with Prabhupada’s handwriting and directions, just in very few places, for the original edition. But he didn’t see the galley proofs for the 1972 one…

Govinda dasi: There must be some preliminary, something that he went over, if he didn’t see the final galley proofs.

Jayadvaita Maharaja: Not that I remember.

Govinda dasi: Then he had to have… I mean, I…

Jayadvaita Maharaja: As far as I remember, he didn’t. He was just… the main thing that he was asking was, “Where is it? I’ve been hearing, ‘Just now coming, just now coming;’ I’ve been hearing that for some time now—where is the book?” The main thing that we were hearing from Prabhupada was, “Where is it?” And, um, Prabhupada at that time was already traveling extensively, um, around the world, and, uh, there was just none of this, there was no opportunity to like send Prabhupada back and forth, like sending him the second chapter and getting it back and asking questions; it just didn’t happen.

Govinda dasi: Hayagriva was living with Srila Prabhupada in ’68, and they were going over things, and that was after this book [the abridged edition] was printed. So that must have been for the ’72 one.

Jayadvaita Maharaja: He may have, for some brief time, spent some time with Prabhupada. It’s possible. Um, but the final product was certainly not, um, something that Prabhupada, um, you know, pored over the original, he just didn’t have, couldn’t possibly have the… I could tell you that some of the verses that some of the BBT staff questioned, Prabhupada would never have approved. I can say with confidence, Prabhupada would never have approved. Some of the very few verses that we had issues with, there’s no question in my mind that Prabhupada didn’t see them.

Later in the same conversation:

Jayadvaita Maharaja: Just all I really wanted to do is contribute to the history of the Gita and say that, um, what Prabhupada saw and signed off on, um, in 1968, was the abridged edition. And the unabridged edition he really didn’t see in its preparation for its, um, pre-publication stages, except perhaps there were some meetings at some point, you were there to…

SP Letter to Jayadvaita- Los Angeles, May 28, 1972:

“My Dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I have received your letter dated May 26th, 1972, along with the blue-print copies of Bhagavad-gita As It Is from MacMillan Company. It is very nice. So I shall be looking forward to seeing the entire manuscript and book sometime around first July, 1972.”

Appendix B

The following letters show:

Srila Prabhupada regularly referred to galley proofs as blueprints
was consistent in his oversight of the editing
was meticulous in his scrutiny regarding errors

Letter to Pradyumna- Los Angeles, April 20, 1970:

“Please accept my blessings. I have just received the blueprint copy of KRSNA, the Reservoir of Pleasure and I have begun to read it through. But I notice that there are some points you should correct before the final printing.”

Letter to Brahmananda- Los Angeles, April 20, 1970:

“P.S. There are some editorial mistakes in the blueprint of The Topmost yoga.”

Letter to Brahmananda- Los Angeles, April 22, 1970:

“Please accept my blessings. Regarding the Topmost Yoga, in the blueprint there are many mistakes. I am pointing out some of them as follows:”

Letter to Brahmananda- Los Angeles, June 2, 1970:

“I have received the blueprint from Uddhava and I have already corrected 180 pages and sent it to Boston, and the balance will be sent tomorrow.”

Letter to Brahmananda- Los Angeles, June 19, 1970:

“Regarding Bhagavatam printing, I have received the blueprint copy of 1st chapter, 2nd Canto, and it is very nicely done. The style is to the standard of my previous books.”

Letter to Uddhava – Los Angeles, July 11, 1970:

“Please accept my blessings. I beg to thank you for your letter dated 6th July, 1970, along with the blueprint copy of the Lord in the Heart. Thank you very much. It is alright to go ahead with the printing of this second chapter. I have approved all the questionable points noted by Pradyumna, so it is alright.”

Letter to Uddhava- Los Angeles, July 14, 1970:

“Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 12th July, 1970, along with the blueprint for the third chapter of Srimad-Bhagavatam Second Canto, entitled “Pure Devotional Service: the Change in Heart.” I have looked over the blueprint and noted a few points to be corrected, so I am sending back the blueprint to you for seeing the necessary changes as they are in the text.”

Letter to Uddhava- Los Angeles, July 24, 1970:

“Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge your letter dated 20th July, 1970, along with the blueprint for chapter 4 Second Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam. I have gone through the blueprint and I am also sending the necessary Sanskrit corrections to Pradyumna. So when these corrections are made then you can print immediately.”

Based on the above letters, one might ask: If Srila Prabhupada had wanted any corrections made in the blue-prints of the ’72 Gita, would he not have stated so?

 

The Original Books: Now YOU can make a difference!

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 17.43.49www.krishnapath.org

As of now the only 100% original pre 1978 text versions of Srila Prabhupada’s books are the scans available on this website.

The digital text versions, such as what are found in the Vedabase, are not exactly perfect replicas of the books that were printed during Srila Prabhupada’s presence. There are no digitized versions of these books available anywhere as of now, except the original book SCANS available on this site krishnapath.org for free download.

We are working hard to preserve and distribute the original, authorized and blessed books of Srila Prabhupada and to eventually have digitized versions of all his original works. But as of now the volunteers have only completed the very first laborious task of manually scanning every page of all those texts and making them available on this site for you to download for free simply as raw book scans.

The “Original Book Vedabase” is the closest thing available in digital text format and is an early step of the preservation process although not identical to the actual books that were printed during Srila Prabhupada’s manifest presence. The next step that we are currently at is to manually go through all the Vedabase book files and word by word, comma by comma compare them to the scans and revert them back to the original way. As Srila Prabhupada has said “The next printing should be again to the original way.” We currently have the original book scans available for free download on this page.

For many years the Krishna Path team has been looking for someone able to do this work. By the mercy of Krishna and Srila Prabhupada we have recently found someone to do this huge task. He can produce about one 500 page book’s text exactly how it was in the pre-1978 original edition (including all original art, text, chapter links etc) 100% completed and available to the world in only one or two months! Upon completion those texts will be immediately available for free download to the world on the KrishnaPath.org website. We will offer them in all digital formats such as PDF, ePub, Kindle etc!

The devotee doing this huge laborious task of producing/digitizing 500 pages of 100% original books is simply asking $200 per 500 pages. As mentioned, upon completion, the files will be available on this website for free download to the world in all major formats!

To sponsor one month or more of seva click on the donate button which you will find here.

Here is a current list of books that have been completed up to date:

Krsna Consciousness The Matchless Gift (First printing, original 1974 edition)

The Nectar of Instruction (1976 edition)

If you would like to sponsor one or more books please donate. For any questions please email info@krishnapath.organd we will be happy to work with you to make more original books available for free download to the world!

Everyone please give your blessings and thanks to the sponsors!

Please copy and paste the following direct link and share it on your favorite social media sites to help spread the good news about this most important project!

http://www.krishnapath.org/about/#digitization-of-original-books

Debate: Ter Kadamba Das versus Ajit Krishna Dasa

The following exchange between Ter Kadamba Das (disciple of Kadamba Kanana Swami, who is disciple of Jayadvaita Swami) and Ajit Krishna Dasa took place on facebook Tuesday 1st Juli 2014.

14324279_675617275936525_8383774334663058082_oTer Kadamba Das preaching: “Ask a Monk – Any Topic”. Well, when  asked about the book changes he deleted my questions and blocked me on facebook!

Ter Kadamba Das: For some odd reason there is still some confusion in ISKCON about book editing. I think this article should clear everything up: http://www.sivaramaswami.com/en/2010/01/02/“the-mystery-of-the-edited-books”/

And

Ter Kadamba Das: “Prabhupada has on some occasions found errors in text he personally wrote, and complained about the lack of editing.”

Ajit Krishna Dasa: Dear Ter Kadamba Prabhu! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

You wrote:

“Prabhupada has on some occasions found errors in text he personally wrote, and complained about the lack of editing.”

Prabhupada wanted his English edited, but to a limited degree only. Where does Prabhupada state that he wants his personally typewritten sanskrit translations edited? In the Rascal Editor conversation (1977) Prabhupada specifically became angry at changes to his sanskrit translations:

Prabhupada: The nonsense, they are… They are correcting my trans… Rascal.

In 1977 Srila Prabhupada also said they could only divide the synonyms – not change them:

Prabhupada: This of should be strictly forbidden.
Radha-vallabha: So no corrections. That makes it simple.
Prabhupada: They can divide the synonyms. That’s all.
Radha-vallabha: Synonyms. So even…
Prabhupada: That is his tendency, to correct. That’s very bad. He should not do that.
Radha-vallabha: So I’ll just forget this, then.
Prabhupada: The system is: whatever authority has done, even there is mistake, it should be accepted.
Radha-vallabha: Oh.
Prabhupada: Arsa-prayoga. That is ha… He should not become more learned than the authority. That is very bad habit….
Prabhupada: Why finish it? Whatever is done is done. No more….
Radha-vallabha: Well, now that this system of no corrections anywhere, that makes it very simple. Then he can’t do anything. I don’t think he wants to, either. It makes it more simple for him. It makes him very uncomfortable.
Prabhupada: No corrections.
(Room Conversation 27 february, 1977)

In chapter one of the 1983 edition of Bhagavad-gita there are around 130 changes to Srila Prabhupada’s own personally typewritten sanskrit translations. You can see the change here:

TAMPERING WITH PRABHUPADA’S PERSONALLY TYPEWRITTEN SANSKRIT TRANSLATIONS (BG, CHAPTER ONE):

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/…/tampering-with…/

CHANGES TO PRABHUPADA’S PERSONALLY TYPEWRITTEN SANSKRIT TRANSLATIONS (STATISTICS FOR BG, CHAPTER ONE):

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/…/changes-to…/

If any links are broken I shall gladly provide them.

65.92% of the changes to the sanskrit synonyms in chapter one are “Modifications not according to Srila Prabhupada’s draft while the original edition follows Srila Prabhupada’s draft.”

In light of the above statements from Srila Prabhupada, how is this justified?

Jayadvaita Swami has not only corrected mistakes. I have documented this in an e-book. Here in something from the introduction:

Many changes have been made to Srila Prabhupada’s books since his departure in 1977. As we all know this has caused a lot of controversy.

This e-book presents new evidence to the effect that the BBT International, and Jayadvaita Swami in particular, have overstepped their authority by making changes that Srila Prabhupada did not want.

The articles in this e­-book will show you that the changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books cannot be justified by arguments like

• We are changing Srila Prabhupada’s books back to what he actually said in his original manuscript.
• We are making the book “Closer to Prabhupada”.
• We are only correcting grammar, commas, capitalization etc.
• We are only correcting the mistakes of previous editors
• No unnecessary changes have been made

On the contrary, these articles will document that the BBT International have

• Deleted many of Prabhupada’s own chosen words and sentences (even those also found in his ”original manuscript”)
• Added their own words and sentences (which means these word and sentences are also not to be found in the ”original manuscript”)
• Changed Prabhupada’s own personally typewritten sanskrit translations.
• Made unnecessary change of syntax (sentence structure).

We humbly ask that you read this e‐book, and also visit the website http://www.arsaprayoga.com for much more information and many more examples of changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Thank you!

The e-book can be found here:

https://arsaprayoga.com/2014/05/08/e-book-no-reply-from-bbti/

Looking forward to your kind reply, prabhu!

Your servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa

Ter Kadamba Das: Ajit krishna Prabhu. I deleted your comment because I find it offensive to the Vaisnavas. Jayadvaita Swami is my param guru, and I cannot allow you to use my timeline to blaspheme him. The gaudia vaisnava parampara is a siksa line, and that means we don’t just read Prabhupada’s books and then speculate on the meaning – we check with the senior devotees, the self realized souls, if we have understood correctly. You do not do that, and that makes your arguments invalid. Even worse is to take segments of letters or conversations (rather than the books themselves) in order to push our own issues. I posted an article by HH Sivarama Swami because that makes it authorized. Whatever I may come up with in my tiny brain is superfluous if I don’t check it with the self realized souls. The same goes for you. You have effectively sacrificed the association of the devotees in order to push your issue about the book editing, and I find that sad. I don’t mean to attack you, I am truly writing this in an attempt to help you, even though it may not seem so. For what it is worth, I consider you a devotee of the Lord, and I believe you are honestly trying to serve Prabhupada to the best of your ability. Hare Krishna my friend!

Ajit Krishna Dasa: Dear Ter Kadamba Prabhu! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

You say you find my comment offensive. If you hear blasphemy of devotees there are three things you can do. In the Nectar of Devotion it is stated:

“If someone is heard blaspheming by words, one should be so expert that he can defeat the opposing party by argument. If he is unable to defeat the opposing party, then the next step is that he should not just stand there meekly, but should give up his life. The third process is followed if he is unable to execute the above-mentioned two processes, and this is that one must leave the place and go away.” (NOD, Ch. 9, Blasphemy)

Instead of deleting my comment it would have been better service to your param guru if you had defeated my arguments.

You say I do not consult senior devotees to check my understanding. In fact I do. I have quite a network of senior devotees and friends whom I consult often, and who encourage me in my opposition against the changes to Srila Prabhupada books. I have simply chosen to listen to OTHER senior devotees than you listen to. You have used your discriminative powers and chosen your authorities, and I have used my discriminative powers and chosen mine (including my own Guru Maharaja who was against the changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books).

Our respective authorities simply contradict each other on certain points. If we want to find out who is correct regarding the book changes, and who is actually blaspheming who (am I blaspheming your param guru, or is your param guru blaspheming Srila Prabhupada?), then we have to see who’s points are backed by guru, sadhu and sastra, logic and observation.

If you had answered the points I raised in my comments, then we actually would have had a chance to settle the matter and see who of us is actually following bona fide authorities.

You claim I “take segments of letters or conversations (rather than the books themselves) in order to push our own issues.” But as I mentioned before, instead of simply deleting my comment and throwing unsubstantiated accusations it would be a better service to your param guru if you actually defended your own case with the help of guru, sadhu and satra, logic and observation.

In order to defend your case, and thus bring this exchange to a befitting level of intelligence, you need to show specifically what is wrong with the points I presented, including whatever quotes from Prabhupada I posted.

I hope you will do that, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Your humble servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa

Ter Kadamba Das deleted both my above comments shortly after they were posted. Later he deleted the whole thread, including his own opening statement.