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.

3 thoughts on “Debate: Ter Kadamba Das versus Ajit Krishna Dasa

  1. Self realized souls are not so easy to come by if one thinks that he is dealing with many self realized souls then that is the mind tricking him. If by chance you happen in this life time come to hear from a self realized soul you should feel great fourtune is arising. As far as the changes in the books, how can you add sentences and think your editing????

  2. This article sums up the whole shebang. The only thing these guys hang onto is institutional bullying (“Sivarama Swami is a self-realized soul, so watch your step!”). Says who? Just because Ter Kadamba says so?

    Ter Kadamaba prabhu’s response is typical of an institutional, not a spiritual response. He has no true moral conviction or spiritual ground on to defend himself or his wayward decisions. That is why he chose to delete I pity him and his poor choice of association. He is simply a corporate climber, like most of his ilk, forever clinging to the the ISKCON ladder in the hope of some fleeting name and fame.

    He is professing here that Jayadvaita Swami is a ‘vaisnava.’ Well, isn’t Srila Prabhupada a vaisnava? Shouldn’t HIS words and deeds carry the more (the most) weight? Why doesn’t Ter Kadamba prabhu stand beside and behind Srila Prabhupada on these points, rather than his own self-appointed leaders?

    Why indeed? What has he got to lose (or gain) by his stance? Name, position? It couldn’t certainly be that he wants the merciful glance of Srila Prabhupada, otherwise he would be trying to defend Srila Prabhupada.

    To see whether we should consider Ter Kadamba prabhu’s words AT ALL, we should ask, “Who exactly appointed his ‘guru’ as guru?” So firstly, let’s look at authorisation. Was Ter Kadamba prabhu’s guru’s guru (Jayadvaita Swami), or for that matter Sivarama Swami, ever authorised by Srila Prabhupada to be a spiritual master? Srila Prabhupada clearly states:

    Prabhupāda : “Try to understand. Don’t go very speedily. A guru can become guru when he’s ordered by his guru. That’s all. Otherwise nobody can become guru.”(Bg class Oct 28th, 1975 Nairobi)

    “You cannot become a spiritual master all of a sudden. There must be order from a superior person. Superior to you. If he says, “Now you can make disciples,” then you can do that. This is the educational process. That means, when one has received order from the spiritual master.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.18 New Vrindaban, July 19, 1974)

    “One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorized by his predecessor spiritual master.” (SB 4.8.54)

    So, how can anyone claim anyone else to be a ‘self-realized soul’ if they took a position their spiritual master didn’t even authorise them for? Who exactly in parampara authorised them to perform the role of guru? It certainly wasn’t Srila Prabhupada. He never, ever authorised Jayadvaita Swami (and thus anyone in ‘his line’) nor Sivarama Swami, to be any sort of spiritual master. Thus they have simply taken on the role without the permission from their own guru. So, what sort of disciple is that?

    “The disciple must stick to whatever the spiritual master orders.” (SB 4.28.51)

    So, were they ever really ‘disciples’ in the true sense? Not really. They can never make that argument as they ‘jumped the gun.’ They didn’t remain humble. They didn’t get this service from their guru in parampara. So what worth are their words as a fake ‘guru’? Why does anyone listen to them AT ALL? Clearly they are deviated. And anything they do in the concocted and illegal BBTi is also deviated. None of these guys got this service of editing from Prabhupada for after he left. Prabhupada never, ever told any of them to keep on editing his books after he left. So, at least with Jayadvaita Swami, he is doubling up on his unauthorised ‘service’ – guru and book changer both.

    Also, no one should think these guys (‘gurus’) are factually in the parampara. Their connection with the disciplic succession and claims to ‘divine right of kings’ exists 100% in their own minds. Anyone can see this simply by looking at their history. I would also challenge anyone to ask these guys these questions based on the statements of Prabhupada above – did Prabhupada EVER ask you to be guru? Not one of these guys mentioned can say that they were. They will be completely embarrassed.

    “Trying to advance in spiritual life outside the disciplic succession is SIMPLY LUDICROUS.” (SB 4.22.24)

    Unless there is a connection with a bona fide spiritual master, coming in the line of disciplic succession, there is NO POSSIBILITY of making progress in spiritual life. (SPL to Friends, May 23rd, 1972)

    So that’s laughable to start with. And anyone who still thinks they can make ANY sort of spiritual advancement by hanging on to these unauthorised persons is a fool. Basically, they appointed themselves as guru without receiving any explicit order from Srila Prabhupada. Therefore anything they do in that concocted ‘service’ is also way, way off. What to speak of letting them play with the books of Srila Prabhupada, a nitya siddha, maha bhagavata, intimate maidservant of Srimati Radharani, like little spoilt children, messing with the whole thing.

    The rank and file ISKCON members should firmly reject any of these ‘Srila Prabhupada disciples’ who claim to be gurus, as any sort of authority, if they did not get the specific directive from His Divine Grace to perform the role of spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada’s words are very, very clear. “If he says, ‘Now you can make disciples.’ THEN YOU CAN DO THAT. THIS IS PARAMPARA.”

    Additionally, Srila Prabhupada states that:

    No one can be a bona fide spiritual master without following this principle of disciplic succession. The Lord is the original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message of the Lord as it is to his disciple. No one can be spiritually realized by manufacturing his own process, as is the fashion of the foolish pretenders. (Bhagavad-gita, 4.34 purport)

    Guru cannot be self-made. No. There is no such single instance throughout the whole Vedic literature. And nowadays, so many rascals, they are becoming guru without any authority. That is not guru. You must be authorized. Evam parampara-praptam imam ra… [Bg. 4.2]. As soon as the parampara is lost, sa kalena yoga nasto parantapa, immediately finished. The spiritual potency finished. You can dress like a guru, you can talk big, big words, but it will never be effective. (Srimad Bhagavatam class, Mayapur, Feb 27th, 1977)

    A bona fide spiritual master is in the disciplic succession. (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 4.42, purport)

    So, no one should listen to anyone who follows people who are very clearly outside the parampara. Foolish persons such as Ter Kadamba prabhu should not ever be considered connected with Srila Prabhupada due to taking shelter of unauthorised personalities, and of course can never be relied upon to defend, support, preserve, or uphold any sort of dharma. Such merely and solely ecclesiastical personalities provide support much like the mirage in the desert – it will look like the real thing, but those who rush to take any sort of shelter there will soon find their heads split from crashing into the broken rocks laying on the bare ground.

    Everyone should simply pray sincerely the Lord within the heart and He will personally lead them to a bona fide guru.

  3. Very good points in deed. Krishna consciousness is very simple unless adultereted.
    ” Therefore, anyone, Mahatma Gandhi or anyone, who has got his own ulterior motive, to prove it from the topics of Bhagavad-gītā, he must adulterate it. But that is not the process of reading Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā, how to read Bhagavad-gītā, that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. When we come to the Fourth Chapter, we’ll know. So anyway, apart from the process of… But rest assured, we are speaking here of the Bhagavad-gītā as it is. We are not going to add, add in it something for fulfilling our own philosophy, our own points of view.” Srila Prabhupada 660412BG.NY
    Hare Krishna!
    y.s. bj

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