Correcting Corrections – Future BBT job?

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By Ajit Krishna Dasa

Are you looking for a job? BBTI has the perfect job for you who like to correct corrections. This is an example of what you will do  – 8 hours a day, 5 days a week:

Nectar of Instruction, Text One, Purport:

Original 1975 BBT Edition:​

“As for the agitations of the flickering mind, they are divided into two divisions.”

An older edition from BBTI:

“As for the agitations of the bickering mind, they are divided into two divisions.”

BBTI’s newest edition:

“As for the agitations of the flickering mind, they are divided into two divisions.”

As you can see it seems that the mind of the editor was, after all, flickering. Just like in this example your job will be to correct all such corrections. Do not worry. You will be guaranteed work until you reach the age of retirement. And the job is well paid.

E-BOOK: Arsa-Prayoga: Preserving Srila Prabhupada’s Legacy

Almost 400 pages about the changes made to Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Arsa-Prayoga Book

Click picture to visit website

From the back cover:

“Arsa prayoga, lit. “rishi’s license,” means to honour the acarya by preserving his teachings in the originally published form, not changing what he has written to make it appear more effective or politically correct. There should be no confusion between the work written by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and edited by Howard Wheeler and the posthumous cent per cent revised copy proposed by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. By changing Prabhupada’s books without explicitly saying so, they do a discredit to Srila Prabhupada, devotees and scholars. At present it appears that the revisions were made by the original author. This book is meant to be the truth about the editing of Prabhupada’s books carefully chronicled for future generations.”

Go directly to download page: arsaprayogabook.com/book

E-BOOK: Blazing Edits

blazing-edits

Click to download the book

Aug 20, 2015 — CANADA (SUN) —  We invite you to download a copy of Blazing Edits, an e-book collection of segments written by Bhakta Torben Nielsen on the topic of the changes to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is. This series has been an ongoing publication on Sampradaya Sun and www.arsaprayoga.com.

This e-book was made in a cooperative effort by Bhakta Torben Nielsen (Author), Bhakta Max Køngerskov (Design and Layout), Ajit Krishna dasa (Idea), and the Sampradaya Sun (Publisher). The book will periodically be updated with new segments.

DOWNLOAD LATEST VERSION

Blazing Edits (16 okt. 2015)

Imperishable Add-on Edit (Bg. 15.1)

Plate 35 of the 1972 Edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is.  This painting is not to be found in the 1983 Edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Plate 35 of the 1972 Edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
Not to be found in the 1983 Edition.

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 15.1

Original and authorised 1972 edition:

The Blessed Lord said: There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down and whose leaves are the Vedic hymns. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas.”

The draft a.k.a. “the original manuscript”:

The Supreme Lord said: It is said that there is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down; and the Vedic hymns are its leaves. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas.”

Uauthorized 1983 edition:

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: It is said that there is an imperishable banyan tree that has its roots upward and its branches down and whose leaves are the Vedic hymns. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas.”

From lectures:

Pradyumna: (Translation:) “The Blessed Lord said: There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down and whose leaves are the Vedic hymns. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas.”

Prabhupada: So this is the description of Vedic literature. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15]. That will be described. (Srila Prabhupada, Lecture, See Spiritual Identity Everywhere,
73/10/28 Bombay, Bhagavad-gita 15.1)

Nitai dasa: Translation: The Blessed Lord said: There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down and whose leaves are the Vedic hymns. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas.

Purport: After the discussion of the importance of bhakti-yoga, one may question, “What about the Vedas?” (Srila Prabhupada, Lecture, The Purpose of Vedic Study 74/02/26 Calcutta, Bhagavad-gita 15.1)

No objections from Srila Prabhupada.

Comment

1) We here observe that Jayadvaita Swami, after scanning the authorized verse, takes the usual route to an old draft (the so-called original manuscript). An idea for which he has no proper justification.

2) He decides to change “The Blessed Lord”. Here he could have chosen to use Srila Prabhupada’s words from the draft’ translation of Bg. 15.1 which reads “The Supreme Lord said”, but he chose instead to go to the English synonyms and use “The Supreme Personality of Godhead”.

3) Next he decides to add “It is said”. This he took from the drafts’ translation of Bg. 15.1.

4) Then he decides to add an adjective to “banyan tree”. He could have gone back to the English synonyms and used the word “eternal”. But instead he took a trip to the drafts’ purport where he for some reason chose the word “imperishable” over the word “indestructible” which is also in the purport. NOTE: The word “imperishable” is omitted from the purport of both the original 1972 edition and the 1983 edition which makes his choice even more strange.

5) He then changes “which” to “that” even though “which” was both found in the draft and was grammatically perfectly fine. In other words, he found the word “that” not in the English synonyms, not in the translation and not in the purport. But in his own mind.

Hundreds of changes to Srila Prabhupada’s Gita have been documented online. And we see Jayadvaita Swami again and again randomly chose words sometimes from the manuscripts’ translations, sometimes from the English synonyms, sometimes from the purport and sometimes from his own mind.

For the most part it is very hard to find any objective and identifiable criteria for his changes. Especially for changes such as those above. And there are hundreds, if not thousands, of such changes in the Gita alone.

BBT Editorial Policy for Future Editors

The BBT International is apparently in the process of creating editorial policies for future editors i.e. editors working AFTER the present editors’ retirement.

Guidance for Future BBT Editors

Proposed BBT Editorial Policy for Future Editors

For now, we at Arsa-Prayoga are simply putting this up for everyone to see:

Hare Krishna
Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada

The BBT Global Communications team have requested our assistance in widely circulating as far as possible (in ISKCON circles) the draft of the proposed BBT editorial policy to allow for devotees to comment.

Please can you assist in this regard as this is a very important and sensitive subject.

Below is a standard cover letter you can use and attached is the draft policy

I have cc’d in Smita Krsna Prabhu and Rasika Bandhu Prabhu who are co-ordinating this communique for BBT

Your servant
Nanda Kishor das

———————

Dear Devotees

Hare Krishna

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Attached kindly find for your perusal and comment the BBT Editorial Policy.

Kindly send all comments by no later than 20 September 2015 to:
BBT.Global.Communications@pamho.net

The BBT directors, at their latest meeting, had an extended discussion
about Srila Prabhupada’s purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam verse 4.25.41. We will
soon send out a separate memo about that, letting you know where those
thoughts led and seeking your comments.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada
BBT Global Communications

Link to the Guide for Future BBT Editors.

BBTI’s Gives Mutually Exclusive Justifications for the editing of Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers

Perfect_Questions_Perfect_Answers-cover

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

In 1993 BBT International published a new edition of Srila Prabhupada’s Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers. Madhudvisa Prabhu wrote about this:

“The original edition was more or less a transcript of the original conversation. It was edited, of course, to make the English clear and correct and to make it readable. But basically it remained a transcript of the original conversation.

The 1993 version changes all of this. The book is slashed from 99 pages to 77 pages! And the type is not even smaller! So much has been cut out. In one place four complete pages have been deleted!

All the text has been heavily edited and the whole mood of the book has been completely changed. We have not done anything below about the editing, we have just pointed out a few pieces of text (shown in bold) that have been completely deleted from the new edition.” (http://bookchanges.com/iskcon-perfect-questions-perfect-answers-book-changes/)

The BBT International has tried to justify the changes to Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers. But their attempted justifications are mutually exclusive.

BBTI’s Attempted Justification 1

“In the mid-1990s the BBT published a second edition of Perfect Questions, Perfect Answersedited by a less experienced BBT editor. Because readers of this edition pointed out numerous editorial discrepancies, the BBT directors resolved in 2002 that Dravida Dasa will review the book before its next printing. Either he will correct the discrepancies, or the BBT will revert to the first edition.” (ISKCON Communications Journal Vol. 11, Editing the Unchangeable Truth: An Overview of the Editorial History of the Books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, 2005)

In 1996 the editing is of Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers was described by Jayadvaita Swami as follows:

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 13.13.04

(From Madhudvisa Dasa’s ISKCON’s Changes to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers)

In this letter Jayadvaita Swami mentions the name of the “less experienced editor” (Sita Devi Dasi), and he claims that her editing made the new version read “more smoothly” and made it “closer to the original transcription”. But he later had to admit that this new and less experienced editor was allowed to change the books of Srila Prabhupada without proper supervision, and that her editing was not good enough.

So this is how Jayadvaita Swami’s explanations sounded in 1996 and 2005 respectively. But a few years ago one of his colleagues posted the following on the internet:

BBTI’s Attempted Justification 2

“A report from Ranjit das, BBTI:

No good deed goes uncriticized.

The story of Perfect Questions Perfect Answers reprint

Recently someone has tried to stir up a new criticism of the BBT by pointing to the re-print (in the 1990’s) of the book Perfect Questions Perfect Answers. Some 20 pages were taken out of the book. Why?

At that time PQPA had been out of print for a long time. The devotee in charge of operations really wanted to re-print the book because he liked it so much. However there was a problem. The book was around 120 pages long. The small books that the BBT were printing at the time had been formatted into 96-page books so that the printers would give a really good price. If PQPA were printed at the 120 plus pages then most of the distributors would not buy them and distribute them because such books as Perfection of Yoga, Beyond Birth and Death, etc were cheaper.

What to do?

Our devotee in charge of operations read the book and a good section consisted of a conversation between Srila Prabhupada and an Indian gentleman who was also present at the time. So our devotee figured that this part could go because it was not really part of the conversation between Bob Cohen (now Brahmatirtha Das) and Srila Prabhupada. But this was just not enough to bring it down to the 96-page format so a few more pages were cut.

Srila Prabhupada himself authorized the same thing with the abridged Gita. This devotee simply followed the precedent. But Srila Prabhupada wanted the word to go out and so did our intrepid BBT manager. And now this is being pointed to as some kind of conspiracy. So our BBT manager, instead of being lauded for the 96 pages that were printed and distributed is criticized for the 20 pages that he did not.” (https://www.facebook.com/bbtedit/posts/10152724990094126)

Like I said, these stories are mutually exclusive. Take a look:

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In addition to this, Madhudvisa Prabhu has documented that in fact the second edition has not just had sections and pages cut out. Quite a few individual words and sentences have been randomly removed. Here is a link to Madhudvisa Prabhu’s comparisons. Please check it out yourself.

Our questions to BBT International: What is correct here? The first or second explanation? Or a combination? Or a third or fourth explanation?

Uneven Edit (Bg. 2.48)

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BY: BHAKTA TORBEN

Jun 17, 2015 — DENMARK (SUN) —  Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 2.48:

Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

“Be steadfast in yoga, O Arjuna. Perform your duty and abandon all attachment to success or failure. Such evenness of mind is called yoga.”

Manuscript: 

“Do your prescribed duty in an equipoised condition. To do such duty without being attached to success or failure, and to remain in an equiposed condition is called Yoga.”

Read Aloud to Srila Prabhupada by Tamala Krishna in London, 1968: 

“Be steadfast in your duty, O Arjuna, and abandon all attachment to success or failure. Such evenness of mind is called yoga [Bg. 2.48].”

And immediately after Tamal Krishna’s reading of the verse Srila Prabhupada says:

“This is the explanation of yoga, evenness of mind. Yoga-samatvam ucyate. If you work for Krsna, then there is no cause of lamentation or jubilation. Jubilation is there because you are working for Krsna, but there is no cause of lamentation. Yoga-sthah kuru karmani, yogah karmasu kausalam. That is the secret of activities, how you can very diligently work at the same time you are not entangled with the actions. That is the secret. Go on.”

The word-for-word reads ‘samatvam – evenness of mind‘ (Original), but the heavily edited ‘JAS It Is’ version says in the word-for-word ‘samatvam – equanimity’.

‘JAS It Is’:

“Perform your duty equipoised, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga.”

Once again we observe an absolutely unnecessary change. This verse in the original 1972 edition is perfect.

There are more irregularities. Check it out.

Failed De-Sexing Edit Attempt (Bg. 2.23 and 2.24)

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN

May 14, 2015 — DENMARK (SUN) —

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 2.23:

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Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

“The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.”

Manuscript: 

“The soul can never be cut into peices by any kind of weapon, neither can he be burnt by fire, nor can He be moistened by water, nor can he be dried up by the wind.”

JAS It Is: 

“The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.”

Although both the manuscript and the original says he about the soul, the JAS It is-version has, for unknown reasons, dropped the pronoun.

Paradoxically, however, ‘Jas It Is’ version in the ensuing verse, 2.24, does NOT drop the pronoun ‘he‘ for the soul:

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 2.24:

Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

“This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.”

Manuscript: 

“This individual soul is unbreakable, cannot be burnt, insoluble, nondriable, everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.”

JAS It Is. 2.24:

“This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.”

So the ‘JAS It Is’ edit-strategy seems to be pretty fickle. “Should we, or shouldn’t we?”

Anyway, why not just stick to the original? It is pretty clear.

In London, 1973, BOTH of the original’s verses were read aloud to Srila Prabhupada.

Superfluous and Awkward (Bg. 3.26)

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN

May 18, 2015 — DENMARK (SUN) —

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 3.26:

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Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

“Let not the wise disrupt the minds of the ignorant who are attached to fruitive action. They should not be encouraged to refrain from work, but to engage in work in the spirit of devotion.”

Manuscript: 

“Those who are after the fruitive results of prescribed duties may not be induced to stop work, disrupt his intelligence. Rather they should be engaged in all sorts of activities, for gradual development of Krsna consciousness.”

JAS It Is:

“So as not to disrupt the minds of ignorant men attached to the fruitive results of prescribed duties, a learned person should not induce them to stop work. Rather, by working in the spirit of devotion, he should engage them in all sorts of activities [for the gradual development of Krishna consciousness].”

The original is fine and lucid.

The ‘Jas It Is’ edition is a threefold mix of the original and the manuscript plus added stuff, i.e., the words ‘So as not to’ and ‘a learned person’ .

The bracketed sentence in the end ‘for the gradual development of Krishna consciousness’ is a pleonasm to the sentence ‘working in the spirit of devotion’, therefore superfluous and the end-result is awkward.

There is more, check it out.

Performer Edit (Bg. 14.19)

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN

Apr 02, 2015 — DENMARK (SUN) —

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 14.19:

Original, authorized 1972 edition:

“When you see that there is nothing beyond these modes of nature in all activities and that the Supreme Lord is transcendental to all these modes, then you can know My spiritual nature.”

Manuscript:

“When you see that there is nothing beyond these modes of Nature in all activities — and that the Supreme Lord is transcendental to this, then you can know My spiritual Nature.”

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Jas It Is:

“When one properly sees that in all activities no other performer is at work than these modes of nature and he knows the Supreme Lord, who is transcendental to all these modes, he attains My spiritual nature.”

The Original and the manuscript agrees TO THE LETTER. Both the manuscript and the original says `You can know My spiritual nature´, whereas `Jas It Is´ says `he attains to My spiritual nature. The word-for-word says, ‘vetti’- know.

The phrase, ‘no other performer‘ is not found in the original or the manuscript.