Comment: Of course there is SOME potency in the 1983 Gita, because not everything by Srila Prabhupada has been deleted. But since Jayadvaita Swami has changed the Gita so that it is – in hundreds, probably thousands, of instances – further away from what Srila Prabhupada said and approved, then the 1983 edition has less potency – and in fact it is contaminated by a conditioned consciousness and offensive mentality.
Hari Sauri Prabhu was part of a team of devotees who approved Jayadvaita Swami’s 1983 Gita before it was published, so he needs to defend himself. If he admits that the book is not good, then he also admits that he made a huge mistake when he approved it.
It is also a falsehood that Hari Sauri and the team saw every single correction. They only saw corrections to the translations. Not to the word for word meanings and the purports. Also not to the paintings, front cover, foreword and chapter headings.
Hari Sauri claims that Jayadvaita Swami brought the Gita back to the “original manuscript” (which is in itself a silly idea), but this is only true in some instances. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of changes to the Gita that brings it further away from what was written both in the 1972 edition AND the “original manuscripts” (see my e-book at http://www.arsaprayoga.com in this regard).
He speaks as if Jayadvaita Swami only corrected mistakes. This is not true. Most changes are not corrections of mistakes. They are simply needless changes to something which was perfectly understandable and fine English.
The example of Bg. 2.20 is false. “Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be” does NOT mean that the soul was created, as Jayadvaita Swami claims. I have spoken to many educated English speaking people – both devotees and non-devotees – and it simply means that if we observe the existence of a soul at a certain point of time, then we know that this soul has always existed and will always exist. Jayadvaita Swami’s English is simply not good enough.
Hayagriva Prabhu had permission to edit for “force and clarity”. So he took some of what Srila Prabhupada had written and wrote the same in a clearer way. And Srila Prabhupada approved his work. So what is the problem? Why change things back when Srila Prabhupada approved it?
“I am swamped with editing. Since much of the text is equivocal due to grammar, I find myself consulting Swamiji on nearly every verse. It seems that in Sanskrit, Hindi, and Bengali, phrase is tacked onto phrase until the original subject is lost.” (Hayagriva Dasa, The Hare Krishna Explosion)
So what about Bg. 2.20? Maybe Srila Prabhupada saw Hayagriva’s work and approved it? So how can we change it back to the draft without running the risk of overriding Srila Prabhupada own editorial decisions?
Srila Prabhupada allowed Hayagriva to take inspiration from other translations of the Gita:
“Just copy the verses from some other translation,” he tells me,…” (Hayagriva Dasa, The Hare Krishna Explosion)
Again, Srila Prabhupada approved Hayagriva’s work, so why change back? Hari Sauri is talking about Hayagriva cutting things out. But actually the Gita was made both by Hayagriva and Rayarama. So we do not know who cut out what, and most importantly we do not know if Srila Prabhupada instructed some of these things to be cut out. For example, the verses from Gita Mahatmya which were cut out from the introduction. Maybe Srila Prabhupada gave them instructions to cut it out. We do not know, so therefore we cannot put them back in. We simply do not know if it will please Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada loved his 1972 edition of the Definitive Edition of the Gita. He approved it, had it sent to the press, had it published, had is distributed, had his disciples read it and he gave lectures from it for years – without demanding more than 2-3 changes. Jayadvaita has killed that original Gita by putting his own speculations in it. He has contaminated it with the poison of his offensive mentality.
“Anyone who finds any fault with a devotee’s description of Krishna is a sinner. If a devotee writes a poem, no matter how poorly he does it, it will certainly contain his love for Krishna. A fool says ‘visnaya’ while a scholar knows the correct form is ‘visnave’, but Krishna accepts the sentiment in either case. If anyone sees a fault in this, the fault is his, for Krishna is pleased with anything the pure devotee says. You too describe the Lord with words of love, so what arrogant person would dare criticize anything that you have written?” (Chaitanya Bhagavata 1.11.105-110)
Srila Prabhupada said his original Gita was 100% transcendental. So how can the 1983 Gita be “more potent”? Makes no sense! The 1983 Gita brings us further away from what Srila Prabhupada said in his manuscript/drafts and also further away from how he wanted it to be.