By Robert Jasmin Rintoull
“As you know, and as we kept in mind while doing the work, Srila Prabhupada staunchly opposed needless changes.” (Jayadvaita Swami, Letter to Amogha Lila, 1986)
Speaking of needless changes to Prabhupada’s Gita, I found the silliest change of all in chapter 4 vs 22
1972 Gita reads:
“He who is satisfied with gain which comes of its own accord, who is free from duality and does not envy, who is steady BOTH IN success and failure, is never entangled, although performing actions.” (Bg. 4.22, 1972 edition)
Sounds ok doesn’t it?
JAS had ONE small alteration in his 1983 version:
“He who is satisfied with gain which comes of its own accord, who is free from duality and does not envy, who is steady IN BOTH success and failure, is never entangled, although performing actions.” (Bg. 4.22, 1983 edition)
He decided that “IN BOTH” sounded more grammatically or aestethically correct than “BOTH IN”. This is what we would call a nitpicking, pedantic editor!
“As nitpicking inherently requires fastidious, meticulous attention to detail, the term has become appropriated to describe the practice of meticulously searching for minor, even trivial errors in detail (often referred to as “nits” as well), and then criticising them (see hypercriticism).” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitpicking)
But not only that, by this change Jayadvaita Swami changed Srila Prabhupada’s words and brought the Gita further away from Srila Prabhupada. Here is the “original manuscript”:
Don’t change from this to that. That is your American disease. This is very serious that you always want to change everything. (Srila Prabhupada, Letter to Bhakta dasa, Nov 24, 1974)