No Objection

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

Jayadvaita Swami admits that it constitutes evidence against making a change if Srila Prabhupada read and/or lectured from a translation or purport without objecting to it:

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“And yet we have several places where Śrīla Prabhupāda speaks of chapter six as the “Sāṅkhya-yoga chapter,” and of course he saw the chapter published with that title and never objected.”

The above quote is from Jayadvaita Swami’s annotated scans: Chapter Six from J. Swami’s edited copy of the 1972 edition. This is a chapter from the copy of the 1972 edition of Bhagavad-gītā As It Is on which Jayādvaita Swami marked the revisions for the edition of 1983.

Direct link to the annotated scans of Chapter Six (look for the headline “About sankhya”):

http://bbtedit.com/gitafiles/72_Gita_showing_revisions_06_chapter_6.pdf

JAYADVAITA SWAMI – SELF-APPOINTED GHOSTWRITER

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

Definition:

“ghostwriter
ˈɡəʊstrʌɪtə/
noun
a person whose job it is to write material for someone else who is the named author.

However, the difference between the usual ghostwriter and Jayadvaita Swami is that the latter is forcing his service upon the author (Srila Prabhupada), after the author’s demise.

We got rid of the eleven self-appointed zonal “gurus”. But we still have Jayadvaita Swami who, as the self-appointed ghostwriter, is forcing his editing on Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada has no say in this regard. He is simply being forced to accept the ghostwritten material of Jayadvaita Swami.

And so is everyone else.

Hare Krishna!

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Open Letter to Sivarama Swami

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This below e-mail was sent to Sivarama Swami through the e-mail address (asksrs@gmail.com) provided on this website. I hope that the devotees in charge of receiving the e-mails will forward the e-mail to Maharaja. In the meantime I will look for another e-mail address of his.

Dear Sivarama Swami. Dandavat pranama. Jaya Srila Prabhupada.

I apologize if answering this letter becomes a burden on your many other responsibilities.

Recently I heard a podcast from your website where you respond to a few questions about the changes made to Srila Prabhupada’s books.

I have a few comments and points I find important in relation to your response, and I hope you will find the time to answer each of them.

This is an open letter, so it will also be posted online.

The letter is attached to this e-mail, but you can also find it here:

Open Letter to Sivarama Swami

Thank you very much.​
Your servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa

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: ISKCON’s Changes to Srila Prabhupada’s Bg. and PQPA

Click to download the book

Click to download the book

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

Perhaps the first book on the book changes. So old it was made with a typewriter. Definitely of both present day and historical value. It contains a lot of good evidence against the changes, good arguments and historical documentation (like mails).

Download the book here: ISKCON’s Changes to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers (by Madhudvisa Dasa).

Radhanath Swami on the book changes (leaked e-mail)

In September 2014 Radhanath Swami sent the below e-mail to one of his Danish disciples, Caitanya Candra Dasa:

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Here is the text in digital format:

“Dear Chaitanya Chandra Prabhu,
Please accept my respectful obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I thank you for confiding in me on this subject. There is much to be said and I sincerely respect your concern. Actually, the subject is being discussed on the GBC level. The sacred principle of not changing what our Acarya has written is to be taken with great care. At the same time, the editorial process was done by persons who were personally trained by Srila Prabhupada. So it is not an easy subject. As it stands, it is being discussed on a high level of leadership.
I do not believe that your separating from our society will have any positive result. There are many innocent and sincere devotees simply trying to be faithful to their seniors. I believe that Srila Prabhupada would want this issue resolved on a higher level of leadership, which I believe it will be in time, and that it not disrupt the lives of innocent devotees or the unity of our society.
You have a right to your genuine concerns, please consider my appeal that you express it in a balanced way that preserves other sacred principles, those of respect and unity which Srila Prabhupada also emphasized as cardinal principles in vaisnava culture.
With gratitude, your servant, Radhanath Swami

An analysis:

We can see that Radhanath Swami is an intelligent diplomat.

RS: “I thank you for confiding in me on this subject.”

Radhanath Swami tries to maintain a relationship of trust. He makes it seem as if he appreciates Caitanya Candra Dasa’s questions, and invites him to open up his heart.

RS: “There is much to be said…”

This could make it seem as if Radhanath Swami has some special knowledge about the book changes, and as if it is a great mystery (secret knowledge) that requires deep and intense study, sadhana and special association to understand. But what Radhanath Swami is really saying, I guess, is that he does not know much about this matter, and that he is not going to speak much about it – neither to Caitanya Candra Dasa nor publicly.

RS: “…and I sincerely respect your concern.”

Radhanath Swami makes it seem as if he truly shares Caitanya Candra Dasa’s concerns. He speaks as if they are on the same side – that of genuine concern. But Radhanath Swami’s statement is trivial, for who does not care for Srila Prabhupada’s books? Everyone will say they care. Everyone will say that the editing should be done in a way that pleases Srila Prabhupada. But notice that Radhanath Swami does not disclose his own personal opinion. He really says nothing at all.

RS: “Actually, the subject is being discussed on the GBC level. The sacred principle of not changing what our Acarya has written is to be taken with great care. At the same time, the editorial process was done by persons who were personally trained by Srila Prabhupada. So it is not an easy subject. As it stands, it is being discussed on a high level of leadership.”

Here we again see Radhanath Swami’s diplomatic skills at work. He is indirectly saying that Caitanya Candra Dasa should not care much about it because it is being taken care of “on a high level of leadership”. Radhanath Swami says: “Do not worry! The GBC will handle it! Go back to sleep!”

But we all know what “a high level of leadership” in ISKCON means! It means incompetent devotees creating new problems while trying to solve already existing problems caused by themselves.

And what is the proof that the GBC are talking about this? It was not mentioned in the GBC resolutions of 2015. Maybe Radhanath Swami is misinformed or twisting the truth trying to buy time. Or maybe there is really a committee of around 3 members who are all pro-change who speaks about the book changes 2 hours per year trying to figure out how to close the mouths of the protesters.

Why should we accept Radhanath Swami’s “assurance” that the GBC is handling this issue? For all we know he could be lying. He presents no proof.

Radhanath Swami tries to balance things out by acknowledging that it is important not to change the words of our Acarya. But at the same time, he says, we should remember that those who did the changes were personally trained by Srila Prabhupada. Radhanath Swami uses the same diplomatic skills as Duryodhana on the battlefield first glorifying Drona and then Bhisma. He is saying to Caitanya Candra Dasa: “You are good, and they are also good! Therefore it is all very complicated and can only be solved at GBC level! Please go back to sleep!”

RS: “So it is not an easy subject.”

It really does not take much of a brain to see that Jayadvaita Swami and BBTI have violated the arsa-prayoga big time. But either Radhanath Swami will not write this online, or he is in denial or simply does not know much about what has been done to Srila Prabhupada’s books.

What we do know is that he is diplomatic, and that he is not going to risk his own prestige and position by speaking about the book changes online or publicly.

Factually, by his silence Radhanath Swami is accepting the changes made to Srila Prabhupada’s books by the BBTI, and by encouraging his disciples to also stay silent, he is also encouraging them to accept the changes.

RS: “There are many innocent and sincere devotees simply trying to be faithful to their seniors. I believe that Srila Prabhupada would want this issue resolved on a higher level of leadership, which I believe it will be in time, and that it not disrupt the lives of innocent devotees or the unity of our society.”

Radhanath Swami seems to have failed to understand that the so-called “higher level of leadership” in ISKCON has had more that 30 years to resolve this very simple issue. But they have continuously made the situation worse. Instead of stopping all editing while investigating the matter thoroughly they have allowed BBTI to continue editing many of Srila Prabhupada’s books.

We have absolutely no reason to believe or trust that the BBTI or GBC are capable of solving this issue on their own. And since they will not listen we have to challenge them to answer publicly. There is no other way. It is their own fault that this subject is being debated publicly.

And to claim that it is dangerous for new devotees to hear of such controversial topic is simply foolish. Our first concern in spiritual life is to make sure that the scriptures we read are bona fide. This is ABC and all new devotees are taught this in the temples, and it is written in all of Srila Prabhupada’s small introductory books. So if there is any doubt about the authenticity of the books, then all devotees need to know.

The funny thing is that we know for sure that the original books are bona fide and have the power to deliver us. But we are not sure if the changed editions have that potency. As a guru Radhanath Swami ought to have at least the amount of intelligence to understand that we must stop printing the changed books until we know for sure which editions are bona fide. Better safe than sorry.

But Radhanath Swami has never stepped forward to ask the BBTI to stop their editing while the matter is being investigated.

Instead Radhanath Swami suggests that we leave this crucial matter to incompetent “high level leaders”, while we sleep our way back to Godhead. Are these foolish instructions on the book changes really coming from a bona fide spiritual master?

RS: “You have a right to your genuine concerns, please consider my appeal that you express it in a balanced way that preserves other sacred principles, those of respect and unity which Srila Prabhupada also emphasized as cardinal principles in vaisnava culture.

With gratitude, your servant, Radhanath Swami”

Radhanath Swami tries to close the correspondence in a mood of friendship. He has said something and at the same time nothing. Radhanath Swami prefers that Caitanya Candra Dasa keeps quiet about this matter and leaves it to the “high level leaders”. At the same time Radhanath Swami knows that Caitanya Candra Dasa might not want to keep his mouth shut, so he implores him to speak in a balanced way if he speaks about it.

At no point did Radhanath Swami state his own opinion about the book changes, and he did not help Caitanya Candra Dasa understand this most important issue. If Radhanath Swami really was a bona fide guru, then he should easily be able and willing to clear the doubts of his disciples on this matter. But it seems he cannot do that. Or maybe he choses to let his disciples stay in the darkness of ignorance in order not to get himself into trouble.

This is not how a guru works. A guru is not a diplomat. A guru is straight forward. A guru want to help his disciples. He wants to save them from ignorance and the offences of violating the arsa-prayoga principle.

Some of our local ISKCON authorities in Denmark have tried to impress upon the Danish devotees that Caitanya Candra Dasa is violating his guru’s instructions by speaking about the book changes. But we can see this is false. Radhanath Swami says that Caitanya Candra Dasa has the right to be concerned about the book changes, and he does not prohibit Caitanya Candra Dasa from speaking publicly about the book changes – for whatever reason.

PROOF POSITIVE: AN APPEAL TO JAYADVAITA SWAMI FOR CLARIFICATION (PART 2)

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BY: THE ASSEMBLED DEVOTEES

Jul 25, 2014 — GLOBAL (SUN) —

No Opportunity for Questions?

In the 2003 Honolulu conversation cited in the first installment of Proof Positive, Jayadvaita Swami stated:

“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.”

In the 15 months prior to Srila Prabhupada approving the 1972 Bhagavad-gita blue-print/galleyproof, Jayadvaita wrote to His Divine Grace on six different occasions regarding book production. Srila Prabhupada replied each time, often with detailed explanations and instructions. Though the statements found in some of these letters (see below) refer to books other than Bhagavad-gita, they are still a definitive indication that Srila Prabhupada had made himself available for final proofreading, questions on editing, and other details of book production, and that he already was communicating and interacting with Jayadvaita on such matters.

And, as indicated below, Srila Prabhupada also went to New York and spent approximately 14 days there in July and August of 1971. The record shows that Jayadvaita had plenty of opportunity to send Prabhupada the Bhagavad-gita blue-prints, manuscripts and queries, as well as to meet personally with His Divine Grace. Srila Prabhupada also made a standing offer directly to Jayadvaita in a meeting in Boston in 1969 regarding publishing of the unabridged Gita:

Jayadvaita: [referring to the “original” manuscript] Some of it has been edited by Rayarama, but you can see around it and go to the original behind it.

Srila Prabhupada: So whatever is lacking, you ask me. I will supply you.

Why, then, did Jayadvaita Swami state there was no opportunity, and why didn’t he ask his questions when he had the chance?

(Emphasis is added in the following letters and some have been abbreviated):

Letter to Jayadvaita- Bombay, March 17, 1971:

“My Dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 21st February, 1971 and noted the contents carefully. I do not know what may have happened to the letter dated 9th January, 1971, but I have not received it.

Regarding your questions:

12:12: The ultimate point is to come to the stage of loving Krsna and all other indirect processes are subsidiary….

14:27: Impersonal Brahman is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness because without coming to the brahma-bhutah platform and remaining engaged in the activities of brahman nobody can be joyful….

I have dictated the missing purports from Chapter IX and they are set enclosed herewith. So far changing the working of verse or purport of 12:12 discussed before, it may remain as it is.”

Letter to Jayadvaita- Los Angeles, July 3, 1971:

“My Dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 30th June, 1971 and have noted the contents carefully. Your report on the progress of Srimad-Bhagavatam, first four cantos, is very much encouraging, so continue this work very seriously. I have again begun translating work and have so far sent Satsvarupa Prabhu three tapes from 4th Canto, 8th chapter, and will be sending many more.”

Letter to Jayadvaita- Los Angeles, July 13, 1971:

“I am in due receipt of your letter dated 10th July, 1971 and have noted the contents. Also I have received the laid-out sheets for tapes no. 1 & 2 and they are very well done. Thank you very much. I was so much pleased to see that already the tapes were edited and laid out and this is encouraging me to translate more and more. You can give Ch. 8 of S.B. canto 4 the title “Dhruva Maharaja enters the forest to meet the Lord”.

…Very soon I am coming to N.Y. and we can discuss further on these matters.

Letter to Jayadvaita- Calcutta, February 18, 1972:

“My Dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of February 5, 1972, and have noted the contents. Yes, because no one else can do them, I shall do the sanskrit synonyms. You simply send me now the manuscripts as required by you, and I shall send back either dictaphone tapes or tape-recorder cassettes.”

Letter to Jayadvaita- Calcutta, March 5, 1972:

“My dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I have also received your letter along with Bali Mardan’s….As I have informed, Pradyumna and Syamasundara will be sending you regularly completed transcriptions of my translation work by post, that will avoid the high cost of sending tapes, which besides are very expensive and may be lost easily in mail, and because I am here if they have questions I can answer and make the final proofreading, and this will expedite everything. One thing, now you say the date for printing by MacMillan Co. is set for August 1st, but last time you said June 1st, so I am wondering how long this delaying business shall go on?”

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.”

In summary, Srila Prabhupada stated:

“So whatever is lacking, you ask me. I will supply you.”
(1969 meeting in Boston)

“Very soon I am coming to N.Y. and we can discuss further on these matters.”
(he then spends 2 weeks in New York)

“if they have questions I can answer and make the final proofreading”

“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.”

In total, Jayadvaita corresponded with His Divine Grace on six different occasions between February 1971 and May 1972.

Jayadvaita Swami stated:

“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.”

Confidential E-mails From Ramesvara Leaked (Dec. 2014)

Just recently three confidential e-mails were leaked and posted on facebook. They reveal what Ramesvara Prabhu thinks about the changes made the Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita, the editing policies of the BBTI and they shed light on what happened when the GBC and BBT trustees “reviewed” the 83 Gita. ramesvara1 Below are some quotes that will rock the boat, but please visit the website at the end of this article to see all three e-mails in their entirety and thus get the full picture. Quotes From confidential email no. 1:

“The problem with the “Responsible Publishing” paper is that it is simply not the entire body of instruction, and it‘s critics point out that it is one-sided and obviously leaves out many of Prabhupada’s cautionary instructions against unnecessary change,”

[…]

“That analysis with Dravida Prabhu left me with my deepest concern: if the changes didn’t have substantial merit but were made anyway, then regardless of the justification of “making it better” the door, the “change disease” as Srila Prabhupada called it, had been dangerously opened for anything to happen in the future after we are all long gone.”

[…]

“The Lilamrita interviews I found tell of Srila Prabhupada’s direct instructions regarding the size of the books, the artwork to be kept in the books, etc. – things that have already been changed so many times in the past 20 years, without understanding of Prabhupada’s orders, that it makes the “official” opening of this “change” door more ominous for the future, in ways we can’t even imagine.”

[…]

“…an absolute position has to be reached so that before we die, we know that within the BBT and ISKCON there could never again be one single change, for any reason, ever made to Srila Prabhupada’s books.”

From confidential e-mail no. 2:

“The “Responsible Publishing” (RP) paper has either a significant misleading or a significant historical inaccuracy. There are sites which claim to list more than 5,000 changes. Certainly there were thousands of changes. The RP paper states that every change to the translations was reviewed and approved by the Trustees, leading ISKCON devotees, the CBC, etc. Later the RP cites or implies in its endorsements that all the changes were approved. Of course, NO ONE other than the editors ever saw back in 1981 or 1982 ALL the changes.”

[…]

“I have always admitted that my great failure as a trustee was not carefully reading every proposed change, and instead, relying on the endorsement of Hridayananda and Satsvarupa- along with Jayadvaita.”

[…]

“I know that in talking years ago with others on that committee, that they also admitted performing only a cursory review of the proposed changes,…”

[…]

“No one back then did their job or acted with full responsibility for what they were endorsing. l assure you that NO ONE on that Committee ever even asked to see all the changes, and we would have been astounded to have learned in 1981 or 1982 that there were thousands, maybe more than 5,000 changes. I lazily assumed that the work done on manuscripts as close to the original as possible was the only thing that mattered. I failed to consider all the other Prabhupada instructions, the ramifications for making changes if they didn’t ultimately change the meaning; the effect of changes that in some cases loses the flavor of the Gita we had been studying for 10 years, and most importantly, that breaks the etiquette of changing a Sampradaya Acaraya’s books after His disappearance and opens the “change door” for possible future other changes over the decades and centuries to come. The RP paper implies that the changes were carefully reviewed and approved throughout the leadership of the BBT, GBC and ISKCON. I am certain that by interviewing all the leaders of that time, we would find most guilty of the same mistake that i made. It is true to state that the leaders of ISKCON at the time endorsed the changes. However, it is overtly misleading to state or suggest that the leaders actually performed a careful review. And getting back to the fact that there are thousands of changes, no leader, including the BBT Trustees, was ever shown every single change. No one! That is the sad historical fact…”

From confidential e-mail no. 3:

“I find it embarrassing that on the site BBTEdit.com, in the section about editing posthumously, the only quote to support touching the works of a departed Acarya is that Srila Jiva Goswami was working posthumously on Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu. Seriously – how can any living entity compare themselves to Sri Jiva Goswami, or think because he touched the work of Sri Rupa Gosvami, therefore an editor in the lower stages of bhakti, not yet fully situated in the perfected stages of bhava (what to Speak of prema) can touch and change the words of a departed Sampradaya Acarya. Not a good example in my lowly View – it begs the question of What our editors think of themselves and their level of Krsna Consciousness. Oh well…”

Please find all the three e-mails in their entirety here: http://jayasrikrishna.weebly.com (PDF and Word). You can also see and download the e-mails here as PDF and Word.

Response to the author of “No More Cattle Raising on the Planet of the Trees”

Book Change Rebuttal

Response to the author of “No More Cattle Raising on the Planet of the Trees”

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In the following we will discuss the article “No More Cattle Raising on the Planet of the Trees” that was recently posted on the Dandavats website (http://www.dandavats.com/?p=14403).

The author attempts to prove that Srila Prabhupada instructed his editors to make changes and corrections to his books after his disappearance. In support of his conclusions the author quotes from the “Rascal Editors” conversation and from a mail exchange between Ramesvara Dasa and Tamala Krishna Goswami.

A careful analysis, however, reveals that the author’s conclusions are invalid. He is correct when he says that after the “Rascal Editors” conversation Srila Prabhupada approved that further editing could be performed. This is revealed in the mail exchange between Ramesvara Dasa and Tamala Krishna Goswami (see Appendix 2 in the author’s article). But his conclusions about HOW editing could be continued, and FOR HOW LONG it could be continued are fallacious. He specifically commits three logical fallacies that invalidate his conclusions:

  1. SELECTIVE EVIDENCE/CHERRY PICKING
  2. NON SEQUITUR
  3. TAKING A QUOTE OUT OF CONTEXT/CONTEXTOMY

In order to properly understand Srila Prabhupada’s last instructions on editing (that we know of) we have to take a closer look at the letter Tamala Krishna Goswami wrote Ramesvara Dasa (see Appendix 2 in the author’s article), because a crucial sentence has been left out of the author’s analysis (reproduced here in bold):

“Your suggestion that in the future any mistakes which are found can be reported to Satsvarupa Maharaja, Jayadvaita Prabhu, Radha Ballabha Prabhu, or yourself, and after sufficient investigation and confirmation these mistakes can be rectified is accepted. As we are working on this Fifth Canto planetary system, whatever corrections are required to be made, we will get approved by His Divine Grace and then send them on to you so that the new edition will be free from any of these discrepancies.

[…]

“Although He has certain doubts in regard to the perfectness of our service, He is quite confident that you will do the needful to make any corrections that are required. [handwritten:] I explained the contents of your letter and Satsvarupa’s, and Radhaballabha and He seemed satisfied that things were not being unauthorizedly changed, while at the same time whatever corrections needed to be done were being made.” (Letter to Ramesvara from Tamala Krishna, July 22, 1977)

From these quotes we can understand that Srila Prabhupada did not want any more editing that was not “sufficiently investigated” and “confirmed”. Nothing should be “unauthorizedly changed”. Now, the questions is:

WHO will ultimately confirm and authorize the editing?

We get a hint about whom by looking at the sentence that the author has left out:

“As we are working on this Fifth Canto planetary system, whatever corrections are required to be made, we will get approved by His Divine Grace…”

So it seems the four above mentioned devotees were not just changing the books themselves. They were sending their changes to Srila Prabhupada for final approval. This seems to be the procedure that Tamala Krishna Goswami is talking about.

By leaving the sentence about the edits to the fifth canto out the author commits the fallacy of “selective evidence” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_picking_(fallacy).

Some might argue that MAYBE the changes to the fifth canto were the only changes that were sent to Srila Prabhupada, and not any other changes. But “maybe” is guesswork. And we do not make changes to the books of the acaryas based on guesswork (maybe, I think, perhaps etc). A principle of caution must be observed in editing Srila Prabhupada’s books. Better safe than sorry!

So contrary to what the author argues we find no evidence in the exchange between Ramesvara Prabhu and Tamala Krishna Goswami to support the conclusion that these four above mentioned devotees could edit without having Srila Prabhupada approve or disapprove all their changes.

The author’s conclusion about posthumous editing simply does not follow from it’s premises, and therefore he also commits the logical fallacy “non sequitur” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_sequitur_(logic)) which cover all arguments in which the conclusion does not follow from the premises.

Another very important point is that neither in the “Rascal Editors” conversation nor in the exchange between Tamala Krishna Goswami and Ramesvara Dasa do we find any information about posthumous editing. They were spoken/written within a context where Srila Prabhupada was around to approve or disapprove the editing work of BBT. The conversation and the letters came into existence because Srila Prabhupada and some of his disciples were dissatisfied with some of the editing work done by the BBT – not because anyone asked Srila Prabhupada about how editing should be done after his disappearance.

The burden of proof is on the devotee who states that we can project, extend or expand the instructions given by Srila Prabhupada on book editing from one context (when he was around) into a completely different context (when he is no longer around). In connection with the book changes no one has been able to lift this burden of proof successfully, and the author’s attempt also fails:

The author argues that since the letter written by Tamala Krishna Goswami states that “in the future” the editing should follow the above mentioned procedure, and since Srila Prabhupada never asked them to stop this procedure, therefore this procedure must still be followed after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance. There are several problems with this argument:

  1. The letter was signed by Srila Prabhupada, but was written by Tamala Krishna Goswami. So we cannot know for certain how Srila Prabhupada understood and interpreted the words “in the future”. We cannot even be sure he took special notice of the words.
  1. We humans often use “in the future we should do such and such” in a very unspecified way – and often it is implicit that there is a timeframe involved, or that if certain factors are changed then the procedure must also be changed or stopped. For example, if I tell my wife that “in the future” the procedure is that she should have my breakfast ready at 9:00a.m., then I do not also have to state the obvious fact that if I die today, then she should stop that practice tomorrow. Similarly, based on sastra and Srila Prabhupada’s clear instructions on the arsa-prayoga principle it can be argued that he did not also have to tell his editors that if he leaves his body, then they should stop the editing. At least there is NO PROOF for the contention that the editing should continue.
  1. If one states that the words “in the future” also refers to the time after Srila Prabhupada left his body, then one is clinging to the same faulty reasoning as the ritviks. Ritviks state that the word “henceforward” in the famous July 9th letter (also written by Tamala Krishna Goswami and signed by Srila Prabhupada) should be taken to mean that ritvik initiations should continue after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance. But neither the author nor any other ISKON leader will accept that interpretation of the word “henceforward” in the July 9th letter. Thus they have a double standard – i.e. they apply a different set of principles for similar situations. Unless the author wants to fall prey to the same faulty reasoning as the ritviks, he has to admit that there is no proof that “in the future” refers to the time after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance.

Summing this point up:

Nothing seems to suggest that the instructions on book editing given by Srila Prabhupada in the “Rascal Editors” conversation and in the exchange between Ramesvara Dasa and Tamala Krishna Goswami can be extrapolated into a context where Srila Prabhupada is no longer around. So by insisting on this unjustified extrapolation the author is effectively invalidating his own argument by committing the logical fallacy of quoting out of context/contextomy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_quoting_out_of_context).

We do not have one single instruction from Srila Prabhupada where he allows for posthumous editing of his books. However, he actually taught us how to deal with the transcendental mistakes of the acaryas.

First of all he gave philosophical instructions about the dangers of violating the arsa-prayoga principle:

“If one is too big, there is no mistake. Arsa-prayoga means there may be discrepancies but it is all right. Just like Shakespeare, sometimes there are odd usages of language, but he is accepted as authority. I have explained all these things in my Preface to First Canto.” (Letter to Mandali Bhadra, Jaipur 20 January, 1972)

“So unless one is self-realized, there is practically no use writing about Krsna. This transcendental writing does not depend on material education. It depends on the spiritual realization. You’ll find, therefore, in the comments of Bhagavatam by different acaryas, even there are some discrepancies, they are accepted as arsa-prayoga. It should remain as it is.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.23-24, Vrndavana, March 31, 1976)

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)

Srila Prabhupada also taught us by his own practical example. The article “Srila Prabhupada’s Instructions on editing are in his own books” (by Prahlada Nrisimha Dasa) reveals how Srila Prabhupada himself dealt with the transcendental mistakes made by the previous acaryas (he did not change or touch them). Here are two examples from the article:

“In the Caitanya-caritāmṛita, Madhya-līlā 9.358, Srila Prabhupāda cites his spiritual master Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, who points out that in the seventy-fourth verse of this same chapter there is an apparent error made by Kṛṣṇa dāsa, Kavirāja Gosvāmī. Srila Prabhupāda, just to teach us the principle of arsa-prayoga, [please see quotes from Srila Prabhupāda on “arsha-prayoga” at the end of this article] does not touch the words of Kṛṣṇadāsa Kaviraja Goswami, but leaves this apparent error as it is, out of respect for the transcendental book. Even though Srila Prabhupāda’s own spiritual master, the most pure and intimate confidential devotee and associate of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu himself, had clearly pointed out that this is an apparent error and is apparently wrong.

Furthermore in the purport to that seventy-fourth verse, mentioned above, Srila Prabhupada mentions nothing; only at the end of the chapter, after Srila Kṛṣṇadāsa Kaviraja concludes his narration, does Srila Prabhupāda even mention the apparent mistake.

That Caitanya-caritāmṛita, Madhya-līlā 9. 358 purport is cited here for your reference:

“Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura points out that in the seventy-fourth verse of this chapter it is stated that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited the temple of Śiyālī-bhairavī, but actually at Śiyālī, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited the temple of Śrī Bhū-varāha. Near Śiyālī and Cidambaram there is a temple known as Śrī Muṣṇam. In this temple there is a Deity of Śrī Bhū-varāha. In the jurisdiction of Cidambaram there is a district known as southern Arcot. The town of Śiyālī is in that district. There is a temple of Śrī Bhū-varāhadeva nearby, not Bhairavī-devī. This is Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s conclusion.”

This is a very good lesson to make a clear and prominent note of how Srila Prabhupāda, the teacher by example, has chosen to edit (or rather not edit) the words of the spiritual masters or previous acharyas’ writings.”

[…]

“We will cite another place were Srila Prabhupāda left a seeming mistake as it is, even though it may be considered “wrong.”

“Ambikāvana is situated somewhere in the Gujarat province. Ambikāvana is said to be situated on the river Sarasvatī, yet we do not find any Sarasvatī River in the Gujarat province; the only river there is Savarmati. In India, all the big places of pilgrimage are situated on nice rivers like the Ganges, Yamunā, Sarasvatī, Narmadā, Godāvarī, Kāverī, etc. Ambikāvana was situated on the bank of Sarasvatī, and all the cowherd men and Nanda Mahārāja went there.” (KRSNA Book 1970 edition Volume 1 Chapter 33 / Vidyādhara Liberated and the Demon Śaṅkhāsura Killed)

In this quote from Srila Prabhupāda’s original KRSNA book, Prabhupāda mentions that although it says, “Ambikāvana is said to be situated on the river Sarasvatī, yet we do not find any Sarasvatī River in the Gujarat province…” Prabhupāda does not change the text to correct the seeming mistake.” (Prahlada Nrisimha Dasa, Srila Prabhupada’s Instructions on editing are in his own books)

The article has additional examples and many other interesting points in regard to the topic of book changes.

Sastra also confirms that the mistakes of the acaryas should not be corrected:

“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)

The conclusion is that there is no mention of posthumous editing in Srila Prabhupada’s teachings other than:

1) The clear statements about not changing the works of an acarya (the arsa-prayoga principle).

2) Srila Prabhupada’s own example of not touching the mistakes of the previous acaryas.

3) Sastric injunctions on not to correct the mistakes of the acaryas.

As cited above Tamala Krishna Goswami writes to Ramesvara Dasa:

“Your suggestion that in the future any mistakes which are found can be reported to Satsvarupa Maharaja, Jayadvaita Prabhu, Radha Ballabha Prabhu, or yourself, and after sufficient investigation and confirmation these mistakes can be rectified is accepted.” (Letter to Ramesvara from Tamala Krishna, July 22, 1977)

Besides the obvious problem that none of the changes made post-1977 can be approved by Srila Prabhupada, there is also the problem that HARDLY ANY of the changes made to the Gita have been “sufficiently investigated”. The changes were made by Jayadvaita Swami – more or less alone. And as we see there are many discrepancies in his editing. And most of his changes are directly violating clear instructions from Srila Prabhupada. For example, Srila Prabhupada did not want any needless changes.

“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)

But the Gita (and other books) is filled with thousands of needless changes. Many of these are mentioned in the e-book “No Reply from BBTI” which is easily found by searching the internet.

This e-book shows how the attempted justifications used by the BBTI are very problematic. BBTI usually argue that:

  • 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.

But the articles in the e-book documents that the BBTI has needlessly:

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

So even if we – for the sake of argument – accept the conclusion that some changes could be made posthumously (for which there is no evidence), then we would still be in a situation where the BBTI has violated the instructions on how Srila Prabhupada wanted his books edited while he was still around to supervise the work.

All the articles in “No Reply from BBTI” have been sent to Jayadvaita Swami, Dravida Dasa, BBTI and the author of “No More Cattle Raising on the Planet of the Trees”. But so far we have received no replies to the points raised – hence the name “No Reply from BBTI”.

We humbly ask you to read this e-book, and also visit the many different websites made by devotees who are skeptic towards the changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books. The author of this article shall promptly send you links to “No Reply from BBTI” and other relevant websites on your request.

Your servant, Ajit Krishna Dasa

All changes except philosophical changes are okay?

myth-reality

 

MYTH:

“As long as the BBTI do not make philosophical changes, then their changes are all okay!”

REALITY:

Dear Jaya Krsna Prabhu! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Our previous chat was very messy and unstructured. It was not possible for either of us to present our arguments and points in an orderly way. Therefore let us now start a debate where we focus on some concrete points. I suggest we start with your above request:

Jaya Krsna Dasa (JKD):

“Whenever possible, please share any verse you found which is  philosophically completely against what Srila Prabhupada taught because of this change. I mean only philosophical changes only, not any other type of changes”

Now, there are a few significant things about this request of yours. It has an implied premise, namely that:

“All changes that are not of a philosophical nature are okay.”

The truth of this implied premise can be disproved by quoting Jayadvaita Swami and the BBTI:

“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)

Now, as we see Prabhupada did not did not only disapprove of philosophical changes to his books. He also disapproved of “needless changes”. Therefore, if we can find any needless changes in his books, we know that Jayadvaita Swami and the BBTI have done something wrong. My contention is that Jayadvaita Swami and the BBTI have made many needless changes. Too many.

Here is one example:

“And the covers, if possible, should always be the same for each respective book regardless of what language it may be printed in.” (Letter to Jadurani, Bombay, January 3, 1975)

So why have the BBTI changed the covers of many of the books? This seems to be completely needless. Prabhupada loved the original cover. It was very special. It was popular. It made devotees. Why change it? We have asked the BBTI and Jayadvaita Swami why the cover was changed. But we have not received any reply.

Maybe you can answer this question, dear Jaya Krsna Dasa Prabhu?

Read more about the changes to the covers here:

https://arsaprayoga.com/2013/09/01/covers-should-be-the-same-regardless-of-language/

And here:

https://arsaprayoga.com/2013/12/24/prabhupadas-instructions-on-front-covers-not-honered/

So now I have:

1. Argued against your implied premise, and therefore against the validity of your question.
2. Presented positive evidence that the changes of the covers are against Srila Prabhupada’s instructions.

Now you have to:

1. Defend your implied premise, or admit that your question is invalid.
2. Argue against my points about the covers, or admit that you either cannot answer it, or that it is in fact against Srila Prabhupada’s instructions to change them.
3. Possibly present further points on the matter of the book changes.

Ajit Krishna Dasa