Prabhupada’s instructions on front covers not honored

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5528_100788686601936_7223238_n

The text below was sent to the BBT International through their website (http://www.bbtedit.com/contact) and to Jayadvaita Swami and Dravida Prabhu’s personal e-mails (jswami@pamho.net, jayadvaita.swami@pamho.net, dravida108@gmail.com) the 7th Feb. 2014. We asked them to comment on the points raised.

So far we have not received any reply.

Here we see, in the background, the painting Prabhupada chose for the front cover of his Bhagavad-gita As It Is (standing yet unframed on the floor).

He was very happy about that painting, and he wished that Deities precisely resembling Krishna and Arjuna on the painting be made for the alter on the Gita-Nagari farm.

“Srila Prabhupada began to sow the seeds of inspiration in directing the future development of Gita-nagari farming community.  Prabhupada confirmed today that the presiding Deity should be Krsna and Arjuna, exactly as on the cover of the Bhagavad-gita.” (Tamal Krishna Goswami’s Diary, Prabhupada’s Final Days, August 30)

He also desired that the pictures on he covers on his books should remain the same on all their respective translations into other languages. This wish has, unfortunately, never been honored.

Prabhupada:

“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)

An unfortunate local example of an unauthorized cover can be read in the links below:

DANISH BHAGAVAD-GITA AS IT IS COVER AGAINST PRABHUPADA’S INSTRUCTIONS

DANISH BBT INTERNATIONAL EDITORS COVERS THE GREATNESS OF BHAGAVAD-GITA AND PRABHUPADA

Jayadvaita Swami: There are warts on Prabhupada’s books

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Parasurama_leading_kirtan_in_OsloParasurama Prabhu leading kirtan

Reposted from the Sampradaya Sun:

Warts on Books

BY: PARASURAM DAS

Dec 15, 2013 — UK (SUN) — Are there warts on Srila Prabhupada’s books, or are there no warts? (Warts on Books, Part 4b, 4.28) A difference of opinion (difference of understanding) has arisen- should the books be changed to fix these warts? No changes as the books are perfect? And the warts are only in the minds of the academic editors?

A strong divide has arisen in regards to the “changes” made to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita since 1977. I was asked recently about the difference between the two Bhagavad-gitas: “This one was written by Lord Krishna through Srila Prabhupada and the other one I am not sure.” I apologise in advance as I admit to being confused, as many of us are, and I was hoping that the audio attached may throw some light.

There is a serious concern as on Saturday 3rd May, 2013 at Bhaktivedanta Manor during class, HH Jayadvaita Maharaj was asked the 84 million dollar question: “When will there be an end to the editing, “changing”? The Definite Bhagavad-gita (Part 4a, 5.20) The answer being, when himself and Dravida prabhu leave their bodies… (Part 4a 6.57) but no guarantee of no changes even then.

Alarm bells are ringing… number of changes already made to the book and a licence to continue. Pictures changed and omitted, Mayavad philosophy inserted and only recently removed, editing out Srila Prabhupada’s unique style of language…

I believe HH Jayavaita Maharaj has overstepped the mark, creating division and uncertainty over the law books for the next 10,000 years. Then again, who am I? Not the sharpest pencil in the pack! But this topic should be addressed soon, as in the future there will be great confusion. There is another 10,000 years to go.

Concerns:

1. The ongoing editing, changing and omitting with no end in sight.
2. Creating division in our society.
3. 2.61 purport… Visnu platform added (Mayavad philosophy), only recently changed back to the way it was. Shows that the editors are capable of making serious mistakes.
4. Many places changed or omitted where Srila Prabhupada had actually given class from and had even spoken about the omitted topics.
5. A major concern is that Srila Prabhupada’s unique style of language and phrases have been replaced.

Warts on Books, Part 4a (MP3)

Warts on Books, Part 4b (MP3)

Your servant,
Parasuram das

Tampering with Prabhupada’s personally typewritten sanskrit translations (BG, Chapter One)

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Skærmbillede 2013-12-09 kl. 22.03.15

The text below was sent to the BBT International through their website (http://www.bbtedit.com/contact) and to Jayadvaita Swami and Dravida Prabhu’s personal e-mails (jswami@pamho.net, jayadvaita.swami@pamho.net, dravida108@gmail.com) the 7th Feb. 2014. We asked them to comment on the points raised.

So far we have not received any reply. 

By Ajit Krishna Dasa and Bhaktin Anna Nygaard

In regard to the posthumous editing of Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Jayadvaita Swami has expressed (emphasis added by Arsa-Prayoga staff):

1982:

“Comparing each verse in the book with the text of the manuscript, I made only those changes that to me seemed worthwhile. I tried to be conservative and not make needless changes.” (Jayadvaita Swami, letter to senior devotees, October 25, 1982)

1986:

“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)

1995:

“When Srila Prabhupada conveyed to us the conclusions of the previous acaryas, he did so perfectly, preserving and transmitting the philosophy exactly as it is, neither watering anything down, nor covering anything over, nor leaving anything out. He gave us the essence of everything.

We therefore don’t need to add anything, subtract anything, or change anything. We need only faithfully serve Srila Prabhupada’s orders, and everything will be revealed.” (Jayadvaita Swami, Sri Vyasa Puja book August 19,1995)

2009:

On BBT International’s website we find this video:

Transcription of the video:

Arsa-Prayoga is a very important principle. The editor should never have the mentality that he’s better than the author, that he has something more to contribute than the author does, that the author really doesn’t know what he is doing, but he knows what he is doing. That’s offensive! And that is…ruins everything! It is an offense to the acarya. The idea, however, that this sort of sanctity that the author’s text has, or that the words of the author have, somehow extends to the mistakes of the editors…is weird! “It’s an offense to correct the mistakes of previous editors!” Are they acaryas? Are they paramahamsas? Are they infallible? They are wonderful devotees, they did wonderful service. But they made mistakes. Understandably.”

Summing up Jayadvaita Maharaja’s standpoints from the above:

In 2009 Jayadvaita Swami admits that the principle of arsa-prayoga is very important, and that it is an offense to violate it. He admits that Prabhupada’s text has sanctity, and that the editors of Prabhupada’s books should never think they are better than Prabhupada and has more to contribute than Prabhupada.

In 1995, twelve years after Prabhupada’s disappearance, Jayadvaita Swami said that we should not add, subtract or change anything in the teachings Prabhupada has given us. Earlier, in 1982 and 1986, Jayadvaita Swami claimed that they had in mind not to make needless changes in their editing of Bhagavad-gita As It is, because Prabhupada staunchly opposed such needless changes. They only changed what they felt was worthwhile changing. However, Jayadvaita Swami further states that the sanctity that Prabhupada’s texts have do not apply to the work done by Prabhupada’s editors (he seem not to appreciate the fact that this work was later approved by Prabhupada. Does Prabhupada’s approval not have sanctity?)

In this way Jayadvaita Swami makes it seem as if he did not add, subtract or change any of Prabhupada’s direct words (except for the grammatical errors, capitalisation and commas). However, during the last three decades, we and many other devotees have observed and documented numerous needless changes made by Jayadvaita Swami to Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is. And in spite of Jayadvaita Swami’s own seeming interest in not adding, subtracting or changing anything in Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, the posthumously edited books contain all of these three types of edits (adding, subtracting and changing).

We will now start a series of articles documenting the changes made to the sanskrit synonyms (word for word meanings) in the first six chapters of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Why only the first six chapters?

According to Jayadvaita Swami the first five or six chapters of the draft (often referred to as the ”original manuscript”) to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is was personally typewritten by Srila Prabhupada himself.

Jayadvaita Swami writes on his website:

”Some books Srila Prabhupada wrote out in longhand or typed himself. These include Easy Journey to Other Planets, Sri Isopanishad, the first and second cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the first five or six chapters of Bhagavad-gita As It Is,…” (Jayadvaita Swami, Editing the Unchangeable Truth, How Were the Books Written?, Reprinted from ISKCON Communications Journal, Volume 11, 2005)

If anything has sanctity, apart from the finished manuscripts that Prabhupada sent to the press for printing, it must be the words that he himself wrote on his type-writer. We would most certainly not expect to see any changes made to these. Even if they contain mistakes, these mistakes should not be corrected according to the principle of arsa-prayoga.

However, we do see significant changes made to the sanskrit translations that Prabhupada personally wrote on his type-writer. By comparing the posthumously edited 1983 edition with both the 1972 MacMillan edition and the so called “original manuscript” we see that the 1972 MacMillan edition is much closer to and faithful to Prabhupada’s original words.

This is especially interesting because Prabhupada was very concerned with better knowing disciples that had become “learned” in sanskrit:

“…a little learning is dangerous, especially for the Westerners. I am practically seeing that as soon as they begin to learn a little Sanskrit immediately they feel that they have become more than their guru and then the policy is kill guru and be killed himself.” (from a letter to Dixit das on 18 Sep 1976)

We now publish for the first time a complete list over all the changes made to Prabhupada’s personally type-written sanskrit translations. Here is the complete list for Chapter One.

PDF: bg-comparing-OM-1972-1983-ch1  

Direct link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/d9u09z5jxnwj50d/bg-comparing-OM-1972-1983-ch1.pdf

Question to Jayadvaita Swami: What would Prabhupada say to you?

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This letter was sent to Jayadvaita Swami the 6th Dec. 2013:

Dear Jayadvaita Swami! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Some weeks have passed since our last e-mail exchange. I hope  you are in the process of answering the questions I linked to in my first two e-mails to you? Otherwise they are here:

E-mail 1: https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/letter-to-jayadvaita-swami-23rd-oct-2013/

E-mail 2: https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/e-mail-exchange-between-jayadvaita-swami-and-ajit-krishna-dasa/

These are questions that thousands of devotee’s around the world would like to see answered as soon as possible.

While awaiting your promised answers, I am constantly researching the changes made to Prabhupada’s books. Recently I saw this video posted on BBT International’s website:

Direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlqbnzzL_28

In the video you say:

”I went back and re-edited especially the translations in the first canto. Especially the first perhaps three chapters where I thought their were a lot of short comings. And I typed up all the translations – after I finished all the work, I typed up all the translations in one manuscript and put them in an envelope, and Prabhupada was coming to New York where I was at the time. Prabhupada came, and I put all the translations in an envelope, and I wrote a cover letter explaning what I have done, and asking him whether it was okay. And then I brought it up to Prabhupada’s quarters at 55th Street in New York–the New York temple—with the idea that I would leave them with his secretary and come back later. But Prabhupada was right there, and so he…I offered obeisances, and he had me, you know: ”What do you do in here?” ”What have you come for?” Not in those words, but, you know, he inquired was I was doing. And I explained that I had come to deliver this. So Prabhupada had me start reading right in his presence. And I began, I read the first verse, the second verse, the third verse. I went through a few verses, and Prabhupada stopped me. Prabhupada was listening very carefully, he stopped me. ”So what you have done?” And I said: ”Well, Srila Prabhupada, I have edited to try to bring it closer to what you originally said.” Prabhupada said: ”What I have said?” I said: ”Yes, Srila Prabhupada!” Then Prabhupada: ”Then it is alright!”, and that was it. ”Then it is alright!” ”What I have said?”, ”Then it is alright!”

 A few points about this story:

1. Your story is merely anecdotal evidence which is considered a rather unreliable and dubious support of a  claim. No one is really able to investigate the truth value of your story. To use anecdotal evidence as the foundation for changing the books that are supposed to guide mankind the next ten thousands years will surely create doubt about the authority of the changed books.

As Srila Prabhupada said about such stories:

“Just like in our ISKCON there are so many false things: “Prabhupada said this, Prabhupada said that.””
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 7/11/1972)

“They misunderstand me. Unless it is there from me in writing, there are so many things that “Prabhupada said.”” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, 2/9/1975)

And as you yourself say:

“If Srila Prabhupada didn’t clearly and definitely say it, and if it first came up after 1977 whatever it is, don’t trust it. Rule of Thumb.” (Diksa-Diksa, Where the Rtvik People are Wrong,  p. 85, Jayadvaita Swami)

You started circulating your story after the book changing controversy started, and there is no evidence to support that it is true. Therefore, “…don’t trust it. Rule of Thumb.”

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2. You seem to conclude that since Prabhupada approved the verses that you brought him, then he also approved that you could change all his books using the same method – even after his disappearance. But this is an unwarranted extrapolation, because you extrapolate far beyond the range of available data, namely from one single instance of editing to more or less all future instances of editing. But from your story no justification for such an extrapolation can be found. The only conclusion to be deduced (if your anecdote is at all true) is that what you did to the very specific verses you brought Prabhupada was okay.  No more, no less.

3. If your anecdote is true, then Prabhupada told you that if you had made the text closer to what Prabhupada originally said, then it was okay.

However, in my previous e-mails to you I have referred to articles where it is clearly documented that you have:

  • Deleted many of Prabhupada’s own chosen words and sentences (even those also found in his ”original manuscript”)
  • Added your own words and sentences (which means they are also not to be found in the ”original manuscript”)
  • Changed Prabhupada’s own personally typewritten sanskrit translations.

The article ”The Duty of the Finger” demonstrates all these types of changes made to Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is:

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/enjoying-the-self-within-or-the-duty-of-the-finger-bg-4-38/

Now, I think most devotees around the world would like to know what you think Prabhupada would have said if you had told him:

”Well, Srila Prabhupada, in my editing I have deleted some of your own chosen words and sentences! And I have also invented some completely new words and sentences and put them in where I felt they would do a good job! And since we at the BBT are now ”accomplished sanskrit scholars” we have gone through some of your own typewritten sanskrit translations and changed them.”

What do you, honestly, think Prabhupada would have answered? Then try to extrapolate that answer to the changes you have made to Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Your servant, Ajit Krishna Dasa

E-mail exchange between Jayadvaita Swami and Ajit Krishna Dasa (Part 2)

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JSportraitJayadvaita Swami

What follows is a continuation of an e-mail exchange between me, Ajit Krishna Dasa, and Jayadvaita Swami (Part 1 can be accessed here).

Jayadvaita Swami answered my e-mail in the following way (29th October 2013):

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
Not for publishing, forwording, quoting, etc.

[Ajit Krishna Dasa:] What other topic ought to be prioritized higher than this?

[Jayadvaita Swami:] For you, from what I hear: Following the four regulative principles.

From what I understand, you are living with a woman to whom you are not married. Since the laws for the next ten thousand years so deeply concern you, you might want to start with the first four.

Bye.

My reply to Jayadvaita Swami (6th November 2013):

Dear Jayadvaita Swami! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my e-mail despite your kartik vows to focus more on chanting and reading.

The topic we exchanged about was the changes made to Prabhupada’s books, and you said you were busy. So even though I am happy to receive your reply I am surprised to see that you are prioritizing the topic of my marital status higher than answering the questions regarding the changes made to Prabhupada’s books. In your reply you didn’t mention anything at all about the changes made to Prabhupada’s books.

You once wrote an introductory manual to debate and argumentation called “Straight Thinking, Strong Speaking“. Over the years you have given seminars from this book, and it has been used at the Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education. A seminar can be downloaded from your personal website.

stss-jas-vihe-title

The topic for the first section of “Straight Thinking, Strong Speaking” is “Arguments”. Among other things you here mention different types of fallacies. One of them is called “Topic Switching”. You write:

Topic Switching

Also known as Diversion, Changing the Subject, and Red Herring.

[…]

Avoiding the question: Your opposer says something which does not answer the question he was asked.

[…]

REMEDY:

Refuse to be diverted. Restate the original topic and stick to it.”

(Straight Thinking, Strong Speaking, p. 10)

You have not answered the questions regarding the book changes, but have instead switched the topic to my personal marital status. According to your own manual I should refuse to let you divert me and instead restate the original topic:

The changes made to Prabhupada’s books!

In addition, switching the topic from the changes made to Prabhupada’s books to speaking negatively about my personal marital status is a specific type of “Topic Switching”, namely “Argumentum ad hominem” also called “character assassination”, “poisoning the well” or “Give the dog a bad name and hang it”. You mention this type of fallacy on page 17 in your manual:

Argumentum ad hominem

”attack on the person”

Instead of addressing the argument, one tries to discredit the person who made it.

This form of argument is famous as “the refuge of the scoundrels”.

It may involve innuendo or direct name-calling.

[…]

It can be a powerful device before a sympathetic audience.

[…]

REMEMBER: Knocking the person does not knock out the argument.

(Straight Thinking, Strong Speaking, p. 17-18)

You mention five ways to deal with the attack. Out of the five I have chosen:

3. Point out what is going on–your opponent is stooping to name-calling.

4. Demand the person give evidence to back up his personal attacks and show that they are relevant.

5. Accept the pejorative label & then demand that your opponent address himself to the real argument.

(Straight Thinking, Strong Speaking, p. 17-18)

Regarding the fourth and fifth option I have the following comments:

It is a fact that I am living with a woman, Bhaktin Anna, to whom I am not yet married [we got married (civil marraige) 22nd Nov. 2013]. We do follow the regulative principles, and do not engage in illicit sex unless you want to use the hyper-strict definition that also includes living together as engaged, but without physical intimacy. If you are not referring to this hyper-strict definition, then you lack the evidence to back up your accusation that we don’t follow the four regulative principles.

Anna and I are looking for a qualified, pure brahmana to perform the Vedic marriage ceremony. In our understanding being pure includes being loyal to Prabhupada’s teachings/his original books. We are actually in the process of arranging a stay on Hawaii, because we know some of your godbrothers there whom we consider very loyal disciples of Srila Prabhupada. They are dedicated to printing and distributing his original books. We hope to have the fire sacrifice done there [That plan did not work out so far].

The Danish yatra is small, and the propaganda for the BBT International’s book changes has been extensive for decades. Therefore, even though things are now gradually changing, to find a person who has both the overall purity, the skills to perform the fire sacrifice and the loyalty to the original books is difficult. So for now Anna and I have to settle with just wearing engagement rings on our fingers and are planning to have a civil marriage, because finding a bona fide brahmana is so difficult.

I do value any advice regarding my marital status, if it comes from a true well-wisher. However, I sense you’re raising the topic for some other reason! And since the topic of my marital status has no logical connection to the truthvalue of my conclusions about the changes you have made to Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is (and other books) I humbly beg you to follow the guidelines regarding arguments and fallacies that you yourself teach devotees through your Straight Thinking, Strong Speaking manual and seminars.

Strong speaking will not suffice when it comes to the topic of the changes made to Prabhupada’s books. We are thousands of devotees eagerly awaiting your promised answers flavored with some straight thinking– and directly related to the points I raised in my blogposts and the e-mails I have sent to you.

I beg to remain your servant,

Ajit Krishna Dasa

E-mail exchange between Jayadvaita Swami and Ajit Krishna Dasa

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JSportraitJayadvaita Swami

I sent this e-mail to Jayadvaita Swami (23rd October 2013):

Dear Jayadvaita Maharaja! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Prabhupada!

I have written several times via the contact form on the BBTedit.com website. But I have not received any replies.

I have done studies of some of the changes made to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and my conclusion is that there are some problems. I would very much like your reponse to some of the articles on my new blog:

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/

The amount of devotees concerned with the editing of the BBT International increases. Information is being spread like wildfire via facebook and other social medias.

Here are the 5 articles I have sent via the contact form on BBTedit.com. I hope we will receive your replies to all the points raised in all the 5 articles:

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/category/no-reply-from-bbt-international/

Our intention is to publish your answers along with our comments (if we have any). If we do not get answers that will also be posted.

Everything will be shared using facebook, twitter, pinterest, e-mails, google+, linkedin and more.

This e-mail will also be posted and shared!

We hope you will have time to reply!

Hare Krishna
​Your lowly servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa

Jayadvaita Swami’s preliminary reponse (25th Oct. 2013):

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
Not for publishing, quoting, forwarding, etc.

Dear Ajit Krishna,

Please accept my best wishes. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I wish to acknowledge receiving your letter.

I have 70 letters now in my in-box, more come every day, and during Kartika I spend more time reading and chanting. So I may not respond quickly. But I *will* look at what you wrote and respond.

As a general note:

Rather than first write me directly, you have chosen first to express your concerns through propaganda on the internet. I regard this as a sort of rowdy, uncultured behavior. I doubt that any competent Vaisnava spiritual guide has advised you to act in this way.

The approach you have chosen complicates communication. It conveys a poor impression of your worth. And it sends your letter down, not up, my priority list.

I do value critical input, but I value it more when given personally, in a gentlemanly fashion.

Anyway, as I said, I will look at what you wrote and respond.

Hare Krsna.

Hoping this finds you in good health,

Yours in Srila Prabhupada’s service,
Jayadvaita Swami

PS:

My apologies for your not receiving replies to the messages you sent to BBTedit.com. I am not the person to whom messages sent there automatically go. And I don’t have control over that part of the site’s infrastructure. When time allows, I’ll write to the person who controls it and try to break the jam.

Hare Krsna.

Ajit Krishna Dasa (28th October 2013):

Dear Jayadvaita Swami! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Prabhupada!

Thank you very much for your kind reply to my e-mail! Very nice to
hear from you!

As I wrote in my first e-mail this correspondence will be made public.
The debate about the book changes ought to be in full disclosure,
exposed to as much light as possible. Prabhupada’s books are, after
all, our law books for the next ten thousand years, so we want
complete transparency when changes to the books are being made.

I know thousands of devotees would love if you would prioritize this
debate more than any other topic. But if you do not agree to my public
approach and find it “rowdy” and “uncultured” you are, of course, free
not to engage in the debate. But before you do that, kindly consider
that BOTH sides of this debate for years have been making “propaganda”
(a term Prabhupada mostly used with positive connotations) on the
internet and elsewhere for years.

For example, BBTedit.com use typical propaganda tools like claiming
they dispel the “myths” promoted by those opposed to the book changes.
They also publish videos with small, carefully selected snippets of a
long video with Madhudvisa Prabhu aiming at creating doubts about his
personality and statements (Why can’t we see the full video?).

You are yourself publishing articles wherein you use sarcasm as a
propaganda tool. Examples are these articles:

http://www.jswami.info/images_planet_trees

http://www.jswami.info/content/bbt_calendar_unauthorized_changes

I try my best to not use sarcasm and other such tricks on my blog
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com and I will guarantee you a nice
treatment if our exchange continues.

My plan is that I will systematically go through the complete gita and
send you all my questions. I will post them on my blog with the
following notice:

“This article was sent to the BBT International through their website
(http://www.bbtedit.com/contact) and to Jayadvaita Swami’s personal
e-mails (jswami@pamho.net and jayadvaita.swami@pamho.net) the
date-month-year. We asked them to comment on the points raised. So far
we have not received any reply.”

Everything will be spread through social media like facebook etc.

The picture that the BBT International tries to paint is that:

1. You are authorized by Prabhupada to change his Bhagavad-gita.

2. You are only making corrections back to the so called original manuscript.

3. That you have made no unnecessary changes.

4. That you honor the arsa-prayoga principle by not correcting
Prabhupada’s sanskrit and personally chosen words, but only the words
of the previous editors.

However, in my studies I (and others) have found:

1. Corrections made to Prabhupada’s sanskrit translations and chosen words.

2. New words which are not to be found in the so called original
manuscript or in the 1972 edition being added to the gita.

3. Words that are both found in the so called original manuscript and
in the 1972 edition being removed from the gita.

4. Unnecessary change of syntax (sentence structure).

There are thousands of devotees following this debate and eagerly
awaiting your comments to all the points raised both in this e-mail
and in all the blogposts I have previously sent to you and the BBT
International.

What other topic ought to be prioritized higher than this?

We all hope you will find time to answer these important questions!

Have a wonderful day,
Your lowly servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa (Denmark)

PS: I forgot to mention a 5th point, namely that I also found in my studies of the book changes that Prabhupada never authorized you (or anyone else) to re-edit the Bhagavad-gita.

Ys, Ajit Krishna Dasa

We are now awaiting Jayadvaita Swami’s reply.

Read PART 2 here

“The duty of the finger” (Bg. 4.38)

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This article was sent to the BBT International through their website (http://www.bbtedit.com/contact) and to Jayadvaita Swami’s personal e-mails (jswami@pamho.net and jayadvaita.swami@pamho.net) the 24th Oct. 2013. We asked them to comment on the points raised.

So far we have not received any reply.

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By Bhakta Torben and Ajit Krishna Dasa

Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita 4.38, original 1972 edition:

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Jayadvaita Swami’s version (BBT International, 1983 edition):

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The sentence,

“And one who has achieved this enjoys the self within himself in due course of time.”

is changed to:

“And one who has become accomplished in the practice of devotional service enjoys this knowledge within himself in due course of time.”

This change is both needless and alters the meaning.

It is NEEDLESS because Prabhupada has not asked for it.

It alters the meaning, as the words “enjoys the self” is erased and replaced with “enjoys this knowledge”.

And the words “has achieved this” are substituted with “has become accomplished in the practise of devotional service”.

Furthermore the words “are culminated” in the end of the purport are NEEDLESSLY changed to “culminate”.

So there are NEEDLESS changes BOTH in the translation and in the purport.

Usually all this is explained away with something from the “original manuscript”. But on BBT International’s website we find no information about this change.

The “original manuscript” sounds like this:

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So AGAIN the “original manuscript” is seen to be closer to the 1972 original Bhagavad-gita than Jayadvaita Maharaj’s version.

On top of that, in the word-for-word translation the word “na – never” is changed to “na – nothing” and “svayam-itself” is changed to “svayam-himself”. Prabhupada personally did ALL the type-writing for the first six chapters of the so called “original manuscript”. In the “original manuscript” Prabhupada’s translation of “na” was “never” (Na-never) and his translation of “svayam” was “itself” (svayam-itself):

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So BBT International have CHANGED PRABHUPADA’S SANSKRIT TRANSLATION as it was PERSONALLY WRITTEN BY HIM, on his type writer. Prabhupada was very concerned with better knowing disciples that had become “learned” in sanskrit:

“…a little learning is dangerous, especially for the Westerners. I am practically seeing that as soon as they begin to learn a little Sanskrit immediately they feel that they have become more than their guru and then the policy is kill guru and be killed himself.” (from a letter to Dixit das on 18 Sep 1976)

Prabhupada gave this lecture from Bg. 4.38 and did not mention anything about changing anything:

Madhudvisa: Verse thirty-eight: “In this world there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism and one who achieved this enjoys the self within himself in due course of time [Bg. 4.38].”

Prabhupada: Yes. Knowledge: “I am part and parcel of Krishna, or God. My duty as part and parcel is to serve Krishna.” Just like this finger is the part and parcel of my body. The duty of the part and parcel is to serve.
(Bhagavad-gita 4.34-39, Los Angeles, January 12, 1969)

Letter to Jayadvaita Swami (23rd Oct. 2013)

letter-to-jayadvaita-swami-1Click to enlarge picture!

Dear Jayadvaita Maharaja! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Prabhupada!

I have written several times via the contact form on the BBTedit.com website. But I have not received any replies.

I have done studies of some of the changes made to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and my conclusion is that there are some problems. I would very much like your reponse to some of the articles on my new blog:

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/

The amount of devotees concerned with the editing of the BBT International increases. Information is being spread like wildfire via facebook and other social medias.

Here are the 5 articles I have sent via the contact form on BBTedit.com. I hope we will receive your replies to all the points raised in all the 5 articles:

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/category/no-reply-from-bbt-international/

Our intention is to publish your answers along with our comments (if we have any). If we do not get answers that will also be posted.

Everything will be shared using facebook, twitter, pinterest, e-mails, google+, linkedin and more.

This e-mail will also be posted and shared!

We hope you will have time to reply!

Hare Krishna
​Your lowly servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa

“Phalanx” in Bg. 1.2 and Bg. 1.11 (Jayadvaita Swami’s double standard)

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Back-To-Godhead-Jayadvaita-Swami

The text below was sent to the BBT International through their website (http://www.bbtedit.com/contact) and to Jayadvaita Swami and Dravida Prabhu’s personal e-mails (jswami@pamho.net, jayadvaita.swami@pamho.net, dravida108@gmail.com) the 7th Feb. 2014. We asked them to comment on the points raised.

So far we have not received any reply.

Regarding the word “Phalanx” in Bg. 1.2 Jayadvaita Swami writes on the BBT International’s website:

“In the old edition, the idea of a specific military formation (vyudham) is omitted.”

So we see that Jayadvaita Swami feels free to not only override Prabhupada’s editorial decisions regarding Bg. 1.2, namely to omit “military phalanx”, but also to unnecesarrily add the word “formation” instead of “phalanx” (Prabhupada often used the word phalanx. We find it many times in books like Bhagavad-gita, Krishna Book, Nectar of Devotion, Caitanya Caritamrta, and also in lectures, conversations, earlier essays and poems).

Jayadvaita Swami continues:

“In the new edition, I revised “phalanx” to “military formation” because a phalanx (originally) is a particular type of formation peculiar to ancient Greek warfare. Greek columns on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra didn’t seem right. Hence the revision.”

Then why did Jayadvaita Swami not remove the word “phalanx” from Bg. 1.11?

“All of you must now give full support to Grandfather Bhisma, as you stand at your respective strategic points of entrance into the phalanx of the army.” (Bg, 1.11, BBT International 1983 edition)

“Phalanx” is also found in the purports to Bg. 1.3 and Bg. 1.11 in BBT International’s 1983 edition.

Something doesn’t make sense!

In retrospect: “Phalanx” has come to refer to any military formation, so perhaps I should have been less picky. But at any rate, the new translation gets in the idea that the old one left out.”

So will Jayadvaita Swami again add the word phalanx to Bg. 1.2? Or will he remove it from Bg. 1.11 and add “formation”? Changing back and forth – again and again and again…ad infinitum?

Is that what Prabhupada expected from his editors? Is this how the world comes to respect Prabhupada’s books and ISKCON?

Not back to the “original manuscript” (Bg. 1.2)

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This article was sent to the BBT International the 22nd Oct. 2013. We asked them to comment on the points raised. So far we have not received any reply.

Read these quotes carefully:

“As you know, and as we kept in mind while doing the work, Srila Prabhupada staunchly opposed needless changes.” (Jayadvaita Swami’s Letter to Amogha Lila 1986)

“Comparing each verse in the book with the text of the manuscript, I made only those changes that to me seemed worthwhile. I tried to be conservative and not make needless changes.”
(Jayadvaita’s letter to senior devotees, October 25, 1982)

From the so called “original manuscript”:

bg-1-2-manuscript

From the original and by Prabhupada approved/authorized 1972 edition of Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is:

bg-1-2-1972

From the BBT International’s 1983 posthumously edited Bhagavad-gita As It Is:

bg-1-2-1983

“PHALANX” – JAYADVAITA SWAMI’S DOUBLE STANDARD

Jayadvaita Swami attempts to justify his changes in this way:

“In the old edition, the idea of a specific military formation (vyudham) is omitted. In the new edition, I revised “phalanx” to “military formation” because a phalanx (originally) is a particular type of formation peculiar to ancient Greek warfare. Greek columns on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra didn’t seem right. Hence the revision. In retrospect: “Phalanx” has come to refer to any military formation, so perhaps I should have been less picky. But at any rate, the new translation gets in the idea that the old one left out.

We see that Jayadvaita Swami feels free to not only override Prabhupada’s editorial decisions regarding Bg. 1.2, namely to omit “military phalanx”, but also to unnecesarrily add the word “formation” instead of “phalanx” (a word Prabhupada often used).

Bg, 1.11 (BBT International 1983 edition):

“All of you must now give full support to Grandfather Bhisma, as you stand at your respective strategic points of entrance into the phalanx of the army.”

According to Jayadvaita Swami: in Bg. 1.2 “phalanx” didn’t seem right on Kuruksetra, because it’s a Greek word peculiar to ancient Greek warfare. But in Bg. 1.11 Jayadvaita Swami did not remove “phalanx”.

What are we to make of it?

Jayadvaita Swami admits that he might have been a little too “picky” regarding the word “phalanx”. This means he is not completely satisfied with his own work.  Maybe we will have a new edition of Bg. 1.2 in his next printing? And what about Bg. 1.11? Change-change back-change-change back? Is that what Prabhupada wanted?

Jayadvaita Swami said he tried not to make needless changes, but only those worthwhile. But which of the changes here are really worthwhile? Which are really needed? None of them! Bg. 1.2 is just fine the way it is in the original 1972 edition.

“BEGAN TO SPEAK”

Jayadvaita Swami continues:

“Srila Prabhupada typically said “began to speak” or “began to say” when the meaning is simply “spoke” or “said.” Such a phrase as “began to speak” is more apt when followed by something like “but was cut off” or “but changed his mind and fell silent.” In later books, the BBT editors routinely trimmed off the “began to.”

The expression “began to speak” is not wrong, and as we can see below Prabhupada did not object to it in Bg. 1.2, but re-confirmed it. Therefore the change is needless and not at all worthwhile. The editors might have trimmed the phrase off in other books, but these books were then approved by Prabhupada. Bg. 1.2 was approved with the phrase “began to speak”. Prabhupada did not approve the 1983 edition.

The shocking fact is that Jayadvaita Swami’s underlying technique is to attempt to mind-read Prabhupada after his physical disappearance and use his mind-reading “discoveries” about Prabhupada’s desires in relation to his books to change them posthumously. I don’t think even the devotees in favor of the changes have the fantasy to imagine that this is an editing methodology actively used by the BBT International.

The fallacy of going back to the so called original manuscript is covered here. But apart from that, what does it even mean to postulate that you are changing back to the manuscript, when there are so many instances where you concoct phrases that Prabhupada never used in relation to the verses under discussion?

Let us see how Prabhupada dealt with Bg. 1.2:

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

sanjaya uvaca
drstva tu pandavanikam
vyudham duryodhanas tada
acaryam upasangamya
raja vacanam abravit
[Bg. 1.2]

Translation: “Sanjaya said: O King, after looking over the army gathered by the sons of Pandu, King Duryodhana went to his teacher and began to speak the following words:”

Prabhupada: So Dhrtarastra inquired from Sanjaya, kim akurvata: “After my sons and my brother’s sons assembled together for fighting, what did they do?”

Prabhupada continues without objecting to the words “began to speak. In fact a little later in the same lecture Prabhupada says:

“Raja vacanam abravit [Bg. 1.2]. Then he began to speak, to inform Dronacarya.”

(Bhagavad-gita 1.2-3, London, July 9, 1973)

So in this lecture Prabhupada heard the verse, and did not object to to words “gathered” and “began to speak”.  In fact he re-translated the words “raja vacanam abravit” to “began to speak” – the very same words he used in his draft (so called original manuscripts) and which he had approved in his 1972 edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

From a room conversation:

Aksayananda: Acaryam upasangamya raja vacanam abravit [Bg. 1.2].
Prabhupada: Yes. What is the translation?
Aksayananda: “Sanjaya said, ‘Oh king after looking over the army gathered by the sons of Pandu, King Duryodhana went to his teacher and began to speak the following words.’ ”
Prabhupada: Aiye. [break] Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission is to preach. So you join us.

(Room Conversation on New York court case, November 2, 1976, Vrindavana)

Prabhupada continues speaking with no objection to the verse as it was read to him.

The comparison of Bg. 1.2 in the original 1972 edition and BBT Internationals 1983 posthumously edition version is an axample of everything Prabhupada’s editors should NOT do:

  • They changed what was approved by Prabhupada (namely “gathered” and “began to speak”)
  • They added what Prabhupada approved left out (namely “military”)
  • then added something Prabhupada didn’t write (namely “formation” instead of “phalanx” and “spoke” instead of “began to speak”).

Jayadvaita Swami is not at all being conservative in his editing. He is by nature an extreme liberal, since he feels free to rely on a New Age methodology, namely using his feelings and “intuition” to mind-read Prabhupada. Jayadvaita Swami is actively using this liberal New Age methodology to add, substract, concoct and change words in Prabhupada original and authorized books.