Imperishable Add-on Edit (Bg. 15.1)

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

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

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 15.1

Original and authorised 1972 edition:

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

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

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

Uauthorized 1983 edition:

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

From lectures:

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

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

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

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

No objections from Srila Prabhupada.

Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Holy Bible on Book Changes

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 15.29.54

Thanks to Juan Manuel Ferrera we now know that:

Even in relatively “young” religions like Christianity, tampering with sacred words of prophets carry severe reactions.

Revelation 22.18

18. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

These are the very last words of the Bible.

One Example Out of Many Disproves Editor’s  Own Words (Bg. 13.25)

Bg. 13-25

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN

Jun 21, 2015 — DENMARK (SUN) — 

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 13.25:

Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

That Supersoul is perceived by some through meditation, by some through the cultivation of knowledge, and by others through working without fruitive desire.”

Manuscript: 

That Supersoul is perceived by some through meditation, and by some through the cultivation of knowledge, and by others through working without fruitive desire.”

JAS It Is: 

Some perceive the Supersoul within themselves through meditation, others through the cultivation of knowledge, and still others through working without fruitive desires.”

The original 1972 standard and the so-called manuscript are completely identical. And well articulated. Still the ‘JAS It Is’ model chooses a different phrasing.

As seen many times before.

Here are some important words from the principal editor to Srila Prabhupada’ s books after His Divine Grace’ s departure. On the policy of editing:

“‘Arsa-Prayoga’ is a very important principle. The editor should never have the mentality that he is 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 ruins everything. It is an offense to the acarya. The idea however that this sort of sanctity that the authors’ s has, or that the words of the author has, have, somehow extends to the mistakes of the editors is weird. It is 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. Understandable.”

We advise the reader to ponder the gap between theoretical intent and actual action. This example is by far not an isolated case.

Uneven Edit (Bg. 2.48)

bg-2-48

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN

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

Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

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

Manuscript: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘JAS It Is’:

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

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

There are more irregularities. Check it out.

Ramesvara Prabhu Speaks About the Paintings in Srila Prabhupada’s Books

Ramesvara Prabhu here speaks about the amazing transcendental pastime of creating the many paintings in Srila Prabhupada’s books – especially the Krishna Book.

He explains how Srila Prabhupada often gave personal instructions to each artist regarding the specific paintings they made.

Unfortunately almost all these transcendental paintings have been removed from Srila Prabhupada’s books and replaced with other paintings that were not made under Srila Prabhupada’s supervision and authorization.

Example of a Bona Fide Change to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is

krishna-cows

This is how evidence for bona fide changes looks like:

Room Conversation with the Mayor of Evanston — July 4, 1975, Chicago:

Tamala Krsna: “Farming, cattle raising and business are the qualities…”
Prabhupada: They are not cattle raising, that was…
Tamala Krsna: Cow protection.
Prabhupada: Cow protection. It has to be corrected. It is go-raksya, go. They take it cattle-raising. I think Hayagriva has translated like this.

This change is – contrary to all the post-1977 changes – Prabhupada-approved. It first appeared in a 1976 reprint of the 1968 abridged edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

“Enter Blazing” – Jayadvaita Swami Commits a Grammatical Error (Bg. 11.28)

universal-formThe Universal Form

Bhakta Torben Nielsen recently made me aware of this change to Bg. 11.28:

Original and authorized 1972-edition:

“As the rivers flow into the sea, so all these great warriors enter Your blazing mouths and perish.”

BBT International’s edited 1983 edition:

“As the many waves of the rivers flow into the ocean, so do all these great warriors enter blazing into Your mouths.”

So-called original manuscript:

There is no verse for 11.28 as the page is missing. But verse 30 mentions the words “blazing mouths”.

This is a very interesting change, because it is of a grammatical nature:

  • In Srila Prabhupada’s original 1972 edition the adjective “blazing” describes the plural noun “mouths”.
  • In BBT International’s 1983 edition the adjective “blazing” describes the plural noun “warriors”.

So which translation is grammatically correct – Srila Prabhupada’s or Jayadvaita Swami’s?

The context

Here we have the verses from Bg. 11.28-30 (original edition):

“As the rivers flow into the sea, so all these great warriors enter Your blazing mouths and perish.” (Bg. 11.28)

“I see all people rushing with full speed into Your mouths as moths dash into a blazing fire.” (Bg. 11.29)

“O Visnu, I see You devouring all people in Your flaming mouths and covering the universe with Your immeasurable rays. Scorching the worlds, You are manifest.” (Bg. 11.30)

We see that Srila Prabhupada describes the mouths of the universal form as “blazing” (Bg. 11.28) and “flaming” (Bg. 11.30), and compares them to a “blazing fire” (Bg. 11.29). There is no “original manuscript” available for Bg. 11.28-29, but the “original manuscript” for Bg. 11.30 also says “blazing mouths”, as mentioned above.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 11.49.21

Plate 31

The painting above this article is Plate 31 from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Just like all other paintings in the book it was approved by Srila Prabhupada. On the painting we clearly see that the warriors are entering into the blazing mouths of The Universal Form – just like we are told that they are in the Bg. 11.28, 1972 edition.

Srila Prabhupada’s desire

Based on the above, there is no doubt at all that Srila Prabhupada wanted to use the adjective “blazing” to describe the mouths of the universal form. He never meant to say that the great warriors were “blazing”.

What does the previous acaryas say about Bg. 11.28? (as translated on bhagavad-gita.org)

Sridhara Swami’s commentary:

“As unlimited currents of water helplessly flow in innumerable rivers and are propelled from multiple channels into the ocean, the mighty warriors of the Kaurava and Pandava armies are seen to be helplessly propelled into the flaming, gnashing mouths of the visvarupa or divine universal form of Lord Krishna.” ()

Kesava Kasmiri’s commentary:

“How helplessly do the mighty warriors of the Kaurava and Pandava armies enter into the flaming mouths of Lord Krishna’s visvarupa or divine universal form? As helplessly as unlimited currents of water from innumerable rivers are propelled into entering the ocean.”

In his translations of Visvanath Cakravarti Thakura and Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s Bhagavad-gita commentaries Bhanu Swami also translates Bg. 11.28 as follows:

“As many swift currents of rivers flow towards the sea, so these heroes of the world enter Your flaming mouths.”

The sanskrit

Gaura Krishna Dasa, a student of sanskrit, sent me the following analysis of the sanskrit grammar:

Regarding the change in the translation of Bhagavad gita 11.28.

The word “abhivijvalanti” is in the 1972 edition taken as what in grammar is called a verbal adjective or a participle. A participle is basically a derivative from a verb but belonging in the group of adjectives. This particular participle is a participle in present tense, active voice for parasmaipada verbs. It is in neuter gender, plural number and in the accusative case which clearly indicates that it relates to “vaktraani” which is also in neuter gender, plural number and accusative case.

Sridhara Swami, Visvanath Cakravati Thakur and Baladeva Vidyabhusana have the same grammatical conclusion of this word as a participle and therefore in relation to “vaktraani” attributively, “blazing mouths”.

The “anti” ending in “abhivijvalanti” could preliminarily appear as a finite verb 3rd person in the plural number and present tense related to “nara-loka-viira” (the kings of human society), but this conclusion is in the least very strange. It would, if accepted, be a distortion of historical facts and it must be concluded faulty because this sentense already has a finite verb namely “visanti” meaning entering. So if we for the sake of example maintain “abhivijvalanti” as a finite verb, as it is done in the 1983 edition it would translate “as the many waves of the rivers flow into the ocean, so all these great warriors enter and blaze your mouth”, since “abhivijvalanti” can also not be taken as an adverb describing “visanti” attributively.

Conclusion:

“abhivijvalanti” must be taken as a participle – as done by the previous acaryas and the original 1972 edition – and not a verb as done in the 1983 edition.

Conclusion

The evidence against Jayadvaita Swami’s change is overwhelming:

1. Srila Prabhupada is very clear in his original Gita and his manuscripts – the mouths are blazing. Not the warriors.

2. Srila Prabhupada follows the previous acaryas who says that the mouths are blazing (flaming, gnashing).

3 The painting depicting this event (Plate 31 in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is) shows that it is the mouths of The Universal Form that are blazing.

4. According to sanskrit grammer it is the “mouths” that are “blazing”. Not the “warriors”.

Even if both translations could be correct (which they cannot), there would still be no justification – based on the above analysis – to change Srila Prabhupada’s translation of the verse.

It would not be possible to do this without overriding his own editorial decisions and thus violating the arsa-prayoga principle.

Please see additional evidence here.