The “Book Changes” Conflict (Parasurama Dasa)

Parasurama_leading_kirtan_in_Oslo

BY: PARASURAM DAS (From Sampradaya Sun)

Aug 05, 2014 — UK (SUN) — We arrived in Scandanavia for the Rathayatra tour (7 Rathayatra festivals). The first words I heard from a local devotee were “thank you for defending Srila Prabhupada’s original books”. Then I noticed devotees wearing T-shirts promoting BBT printing. Yep, we have a conflict.

In this age of Kali there are few things we can agree on. At least we all agree on the Mahamantra being chanted, and we used to be able to agree on the purity of the books. It was an argument that set us above other “religions” who had watered down their books. But now we are in danger of disunity again over something that could have been avoided. Even the famous barking dog video revolved around the book changes.

All the deviations in our history had one thing in common: the concept that Srila Prabhupada was inaccessible or insufficient. Zonal Acharyas, Gopi Bhava Club, Narayana Maharaj, Hinduism, etc. Some groups still remaining within ISKCON still believe that Srila Prabhupada’s books are not Sabda Brahman. Not one word nor one full stop should be changed. Srila Prabhupada taught us this principle:

“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 asat-patha. It should remain as it is.” (Lecture, Vrindavana, March 31,1976)

It was Krishna’s arrangement that Jayadvaita Swami and Dravida prabhu made so many mistakes and unnecessary changes, as it has highlighted our offence of seeing Srila Prabhupada’s books in a relative way. Even though Srila Prabhupada said that discrepancies should remain unchanged the BBT ignore this, and even worse, make changes when there is no discrepancy. There are many cases where the manuscript and the original edition are in agreement, and with perfectly good grammar. One example is the many times that “owner of the body” has been changed to “knower of the body”. The BBT conveniently avoids talking about this.

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.

Deleting “whatever” (Bg. 6.26)

Bg. 6.26:

Srila Prabhupada’s draft (so-called original manuscript):

Screenshot 2014-04-13 12.00.37

Original and authorized 1972 Macmillan edition:

“From whatever and wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self.”

BBT International’s posthumously edited 1983 edition:

From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self.

What did Srila Prabhupada think about the verse?

Visnujana: Verse twenty-six: “From whatever and wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self [Bg. 6.26].”

Prabhupada: This is the process. This is yoga system. Suppose you are trying to concentrate your mind on Krsna, and your mind is diverted, going somewhere, in some cinema house. So you should withdraw, “Not there, please, here.” This is practice of yoga. Not to allow the mind to go away from Krsna. (Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 6.25-29, Los Angeles, February 18, 1969)

The words translated as “whatever and wherever” is “yataḥ yataḥ”. In the 1972 Macmillan edition the word for word looked like this:

 yataḥ-whatever; yataḥ;-wherever

In BBT International’s 1983 edition this is changed to:

yataḥ yataḥ — wherever

Unfortunately these word for word synonyms are missing for 6.26 in the so-called original manuscript. But we do find something in Srimad-Bhagavatam:

yataḥ yataḥ — from whatever and wherever; (SB 7.15.32-33)

As a side note: This verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam in about the same subject as Bg. 6.26:

While continuously staring at the tip of the nose, a learned yogi practices the breathing exercises through the technical means known as puraka, kumbhaka and recaka — controlling inhalation and exhalation and then stopping them both. In this way the yogi restricts his mind from material attachments and gives up all mental desires. As soon as the mind, being defeated by lusty desires, drifts toward feelings of sense gratification, the yogi should immediately bring it back and arrest it within the core of his heart. (SB 7.15.32-33)

Again we left with the conclusion that Jayadvaita Swami and the BBT International are not bringing Srila Prabhupada’s books “closer to Prabhupada”. They are violating Srila Prabhupada’s, sastra’s and their own stated editing guidelines by making both needless and harmful changes in Srila Prabhupada’s books.

“Secret wisdom” deleted from Bhagavad-gita As It Is (Bg. 9.1)

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

Bg. 9.1:

Srila Prabhupada’s draft (so-called original manuscript):

Screenshot 2014-03-29 12.53.56

Original and authorized 1972 Macmillan edition:

“The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.”

BBT International’s posthumously edited 1983 edition:

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most confidential knowledge and realization, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.”

Here we, again, see that Jayadvaita Swami’s editing often takes us further away from Srila Prabhupada. We see again and again that the BBT International’s claim to fame, namely that they are making the books “closer to Prabhupada” is false. In fact they are deliberately changing Srila Prabhupada’s own chosen words. In other words, they are violating the principle of arsa-prayoga – again and again.

How long will this be allowed to go on?

Jayadvaita Swami’s Reward (Bg 4.11)

Screenshot 2014-03-13 10.45.34Jayadvaita Swami

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

BG 4.11:

So called original manuscript (Srila Prabhupada’s draft):

Screenshot 2014-03-18 21.02.45Click to enlarge picture

Original and authorized 1972 Macmillan edition:

All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.

BBT International’s posthumously changed 1983 edition:

“As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.”

Hayagriva Prabhu was true to Srila Prabhupada’s words here. Jayadvaita Swami’s 1983 version is not! Why?

There is NO explanation of why this change was made on the BBTI’s website. I wonder why, since they write:

“Want to see the actual revisions made for Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and Teachings of Lord Caitanya? You’ve come to the right place.” (BBT International’s website)

And on Jayadvaita Swami’s “annotated scans” which are categorized under “See the changes” on BBTI’s website there is no annotations made to verse 4.11.

Regarding these “annotated scans” BBT International’s website says:

“When Jayadvaita Swami made his revisions for the second edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, he did them directly on a copy of the book–that is, a copy of the first edition. After the second edition was published, for many years his first-edition copy was lost. But back in roughly 2006, Dravida Dasa found it in a trunk in San Diego. More recently, that copy has been scanned and digitized. And now the BBT is putting it here online.”

Apparently not all the changes made to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is are to be found in this “annotated scan” that all of a sudden mysteriously re-appeared. Why do they not write that not all changes are mentioned in this “annotated scan”? Are they trying to hide some of the changes from the public?

How did Srila Prabhupada feel about verse  4.11 as it appeared in his 1972 Macmillan Bhagavad-gita As It Is:

Prabhupada: So the original verse says that “All of them as they surrender unto Me, I reward accordingly. Everyone follows my path in all respects.” This means that everyone is searching after that absolute truth. Some of them are satisfied with impersonal feature. The philosophers, jnanis, they, because they want to understand the absolute truth by dint of their imperfect knowledge.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 4.11-18 — Los Angeles, January 8, 1969

Prabhupada: “All of them — as they surrender unto Me — I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.” God is everything, and we can associate with Him according to our choice.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Interview with the New York Times — September 2, 1972, New Vrindaban

Cyavana: Krsna says, “All of them, as they surrender, I reward accordingly.” So that means they are surrendering in different…
Prabhupada: Yes. He has not surrendered. He keeps himself separate from Krsna, and he is, artificially he shows surrender. Surrender does not mean that you reserve something for you. That is not surrender. Surrender means without reservation. That is surrender.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk — November 1, 1975, Nairobi

Pradyumna (leads chanting): Translation: “All of them, as they surrender unto Me, I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.”

Prabhupada:

ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante
manusyah partha sarvasah
[Bg. 4.11]

Everyone is seeking to find out Krsna. Directly or indirectly. Krsna means the all-attractive. All-attractive. Bhagavan means the all-attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead. So indirectly or directly, everyone is seeking Krsna, the all-attractive. Ananda-mayo ‘bhyasat. The Supreme Bliss.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 4.11 — Bombay, March 31, 1974

Nitai: “All of them — as they surrender unto Me — I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.”

ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante
manusyah partha sarvasah
[Bg. 4.11]

We are continuing from yesterday’s subject matter, how one can become purified and go back to home, back to Godhead.
Here the second line of this verse is very important. It is said, mama vartmanuvartante manusyah partha sarvasah: “All human being is searching after Me.”

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 4.11 — Geneva, June 1, 1974

Prabhupada: This is page one-hundred-eighteen, yes.
Tamala Krsna: “All of them as they surrender unto Me, I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.” Purport: “Everyone is searching after Krsna in the different aspects of His manifestation. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is partially realized in His impersonal brahmajyoti or shining effulgence. Krsna is also partially realized as the all-pervading Supersoul dwelling within everything, even in the particles of atoms.”
Prabhupada: It [the microphone] is not fixed up right.
Tamala Krsna: “But Krsna is only fully realized by His pure devotees. Therefore, Krsna is the object of everyone’s realization, and as such anyone and everyone is satisfied according to one’s desire to have Him. One devotee may want Krsna as the supreme master, another as his personal friend, another as his son, and still another as his lover. Krsna rewards equally all the devotees in their different intensities of love for Him. In the material world the same reciprocations of feelings are there and they are equally exchanged by the Lord with the different types of worshipers. The pure devotees both here and in the transcendental abode associate with Him in person and are able to render personal service to the Lord and thus derive transcendental bliss in His loving service. As for those who are impersonalists and who want to commit spiritual suicide by annihilating the individual existence of the living entity, Krsna helps them also by absorbing them into His effulgence. Such impersonalists do not agree to accept the eternal, blissful Personality of Godhead, and consequently they cannot relish the bliss of transcendental personal service to the Lord…”
Prabhupada: Yes.
Tamala Krsna: “…and they extinguish their individuality.”
Prabhupada: God realization, there are three aspects: brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate [SB 1.2.11].

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 4.11-18 — Los Angeles, January 8, 1969

Again we see that Jayadvaita Swami’s and BBT International’s claim to fame – namely that they are making the books “closer to Prabhupada” – is false propaganda. Many, many changes – hundreds (if not thousands) – are further away from the words that Srila Prabhupada originally wrote or dictated.

Their claim about not making needless changes is proved false by the changes to Bg. 4.11, since this change is not at all needed.

Does Jayadvaita Swami and the BBTI trustees ever ask themselves this question: If making all of these changes is our way of surrendering to Srila Prabhupada, then what will our reward be?

BBTI makes extreme changes to Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers (22 pages deleted)

VIDEO: The Duty of the Finger (Bg 4.38)