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

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

Arsa-Prayoga Book

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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

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.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu on the poetic mistakes of great vaisnavas

Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Adi Lila_1

Caitanya Mahaprabhu said:

Even in the poetic compositions of such great poets as Bhavabhuti, Jayadeva and Kalidasa there are many examples of faults. Such mistakes should be considered negligible. One should see only how such poets have displayed their poetic power.” (Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi-Lila, Ch. 16, Texts 101-102)

Prabhupada’s purport to text 102:

In Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.11) it is said:

tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo
yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api
namany anantasya yaso ‘nkitani yat
srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah

In explaining the glories of the Lord, inexperienced men may compose poetry with many faults, but because it contains glorification of the Lord, great personalities read it, hear it and chant it.” Despite its minute literary discrepancies, one must study poetry on the merit of its subject matter. According to Vaisnava philosophy, any literature that glorifies the Lord, whether properly written or not, is first class. There need be no other considerations. The poetic compositions of Bhavabhuti, or Srikantha, include Malati-madhava, Uttara-carita, Vira-carita and many other similar Sanskrit dramas. This great poet was born during the time of Bhojaraja as the son of Nilakantha, a brahmana. Kalidasa flourished during the time of Maharaja Vikramaditya, and he became the state poet. He composed some thirty or forty Sanskrit dramas, including Kumara-sambhava, Abhijnana-sakuntala and Megha-duta. His drama Raghu-vamsa is especially famous. We have already described Jayadeva in Chapter Thirteen of this Adi-lila.

Prabhupada: Rascals are concerned with grammar. Actual workers are concerned with thoughts.

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Re-posted from krishna.org

The thoughts and the effects of such revolutionary literature are required. Not the grammatical. The so-called rascals, they are concerned with the grammatical. But those who are actually worker, they are concerned with the thoughts…

1972 Conversations, January, 1972, Room Conversation Including Discussion on SB. 1.5.11 — January 19, 1972, Jaipur, 720119RC.JAI

Prabhupada: These people or this revolution is meant for killing the sinful resultant actions of the people. This revolution. Janata agha, agha means resultant action of sinful life. Janata agha viplavah. Viplavah means revolution, this very word is used. Tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api[ SB 1.5.11]. Such revolutionary literature, even they are not properly composed. Yasmin prati-slokam abaddham. Not according to the grammatical rules and other rhetorical rules, but the, I mean to say, thoughts and the effects of such revolutionary literature is required. Not the grammatical. The so-called rascals, they are concerned with the grammatical. But those who are actually worker, they are concerned with the thoughts. What is the thought is there? Therefore, it is said that tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api, namany anantasya yaso “nkitani yat[ SB 1.5.11].

If there is simply the attempt is there how to glorify the Supreme Lord, that is a fact. It doesn”t matter whether it is written in correct language or incorrect language, it doesn”t matter. If the whole thought is targeted to glorify the Supreme Lord, then namany anantasya yaso “nkitani yat grnanti gayanti srnvanti sadhavah. Then those who are actually sadhu, even in spite of all these defects, because the only attempt is to glorify the Lord, then those who are sadhu, those who are devotee, they hear it. Srnvanti gayanti grnanti. Not only hear, they chant also the same thing. And not only chant, but grnanti, they apply in their actual life.

This is the Bhagavata sloka. Is it clear now? Yes. Tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo[ SB 1.5.11]. If the thought is revolutionary for transcendental realization, even it is not properly composed from grammatical and literary point of view, because the attempt is there for glorifying the Supreme Lord, all devotees, all great sages, saintly persons, sadhavah, grnanti, they accept. Yes. Grnanti srnvanti, hear with attention, and gayanti, and chant also. This is the principle. The only center is whether it is meant for awakening God consciousness. That is the central point, not the language(?). But it does not mean that it should not be correctly written. Correctly or incorrectly, if it is spoken by realized soul, that is important. Srnvanti gayanti. Somehow or other, if the attempt is to glorify the Supreme Lord; otherwise, if the attempt is to kill the Supreme Lord… Just like Dr. Radhakrishnan, what is the value of such erudition? A rascal. That is called (Sanskrit), jugglery of words. It has no value.

Anyone who is trying to present… Just like Aurabindo, he has no idea what is Krsna and writing so many nonsense things. Vivekananda, he has no idea. Dr. Radhakrishnan. Rabindranath Tagore, he has no idea what is God, but he is writing Gitanjali. That should be tested by life. Caitanya Mahaprabhu speaking apani acari prabhu jivere sikhaya, He behaves Himself perfectly and then teaches how to become a devotee. He is mad after Krsna, He is falling down in the sea. You see? So that is wanted. And the Bhagavata also says, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir [SB 1.2.6], how one has increased his devotion and love for Krsna, that is the test of it. Not these formalities. Another place Krsna says, api cet su-duracaro bhajate mam ananya-bhak. Even suduracarah, even not well behaved but unflinching faith in Krsna, sadhur eva sa mantavyah [Bg. 9.30], he is sadhu. Don”t consider about his misbehaviors. That is not consideration. That will be corrected. Because he has taken to Krsna consciousness, gradually those things, those defects will be corrected. ksipram bhavati dharmatma sasvac-chantim nigacchati, he will become very soon a great religious soul because he has taken to Krsna.

So in the beginning if there is some defect, we should not consider that. We have to see how much his love for Krsna has increased, that is the test. Not the formalities. That is the test, how much he has sacrificed for Krsna, how much he is prepared to sacrifice for Krsna. If one takes Krsna for making business, that is different thing, that is not devotion. Salagrama, my Guru Maharaja used to say salagram bir badam hoy (?). Just like you have seen salagrama. So if somebody takes that and breaks peanuts, so there is no devotion. It is a show during, attracting the visitors, it is nicely decorated, but in their absence, take it and you will have stone. So all this mostly the temple show is going on like that. They have made it a show of business. The devotees will come and pay something and I may have devotion or not devotion, it doesn”t matter. One should be baccha bankaram suci (?), inside and outside perfect.

tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo
yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api
namany anantasya yaso “nkitani yat
srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah
[ SB 1.5.11]

And then against this,

na yad vacas citra-padam harer yaso
(jagat-pavitram) pragrnita karhicit
tad vayasam tirtham usanti manasa
na yatra hamsa niramanty usik-ksayah
[ SB 1.5.10]

Na yad vacas citra-padam harer yasah. You can present a literature very perfect from literary point of view, from metaphor and poetical, rhetorical, very perfectly written, citra-padam, attractive by language. Na yad vacas citra-padam, such kind of literature, if there is no description of the glories of the Lord, na tad vacas citra-padam. Just like there are so many sex literatures, very attractive, it is selling like anything. But we are not interested in those rascal literatures. Tad vayasam tirtham, such literature is considered as the place of enjoyment of the crows. Vayasam means crow. The crow take enjoyment in the garbage, you have seen? They won”t go in a nice place. They will come all together. Just like vultures, they come together to take pleasure in a corpse, dead body. But a white swan, raja-hamsa, he goes to a place where there is nice water, lilies and lotus and nice trees.

You have seen that St. James Park? They will find out such nice place. They won”t go to imitate the crows. The crows-like people will take pleasure in such nonsense literature, sex literature, or any such literature. So many nonsense literatures nowadays they are having good sale. Because people are becoming crows-like, they have no high idea, they have no sense of Krsna consciousness, naturally they will take. Just like hippies, they have become all bad taste, crows-like.

So we have to become swans, raja-hamsa, paramahamsa, paramahamsa. Paramo nirmatsaranam. Then you can understand Krsna consciousness. If you remain crows, then you cannot, that is not possible. By nature”s example we have to see if crows-like and swans-like, pigeons-like, birds of the same feather. Birds of the same feather flock together, is it not? So you have to change your feather, then he will be pleased. If you keep your feather crows-like, then you cannot mix with the swans, that is not possible. This is the test. There are classes of men like crows, and there are classes of men like swans. So we are preparing our devotee… (aside) What is that?
Devotee (1): Is anybody watching?
Devotee (2): No.
Prabhupada: So Krsna consciousness means swan-like, they should be like swans. Their behavior should be like swans. They should live in clean place, at refreshing place. So as soon as somebody will come to the temple, he will be… (aside) You have some papers I shall show?
Syamasundara: I just wanted to check and see if there”s somebody here. It”s Nanda-kumara.
Prabhupada: So keep this principle in view, that you have to become swan, not crows. They say that everyone, every religion is all the same. This is all nonsense. (indistinct) In Bhagavad-gita there are different types of religion, sattvic, rajarsic, tamasic. And our this… If you take it as religion, this is transcendental. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo [SB 1.2.6]. Parah means transcendental, it is not ordinary, aparah.

In aparah dharma, the materialistic dharma, there are ritualistic ceremonies how to make one perfect for accepting transcendental religion. But this Krsna consciousness is directly putting oneself in the transcendental. That is the special (indistinct). Caitanya Mahaprabhu… (aside) Why don”t you close it?

Caitanya-caritamrta says, krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya. If you become Krsna conscious, then it is to be supposed that you have finished all other types of religion. My Guru Maharaja used to cite one example that one”s friend was sitting on the high court judge”s bench. So he was speaking to another, “Oh, that Panchu was playing with us naked. He is sitting on the high court judge”s bench. Oh, how he was playing with us naked, how he is seated in the high court bench?” “Yes, I have seen, you have seen actually he is sitting.” “Oh, then he must not be getting salary.” He must not be getting salary. So this is the argument. Familiarity breeds contempt. So he cannot believe that he has become a high court judge. He thinks that “I am a rascal fool and my friend, how he can become high court judge? He must not be getting salary.” But is that very good argument that the high court judge is seated there without any salary? This argument is false(?). That is enviousness. Nirmatsarata. That is the habit of the conditioned soul. So if… (end)

Bhaktivinoda Thakura on unscrupulous men who interpolate the Vedas

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Bhaktivinod-Thakur-7-207x300

Raghunatha dasa Babaji, “In the course of time many unscrupulous men have interpolated chapters; mandalas, sections; and mantras into the Vedas for self-interested reasons. A Vedic text may be discovered somewhere, but that does not mean that all parts of the book are authentic. Texts that have been authenticated through the ages by the acaryas of the bona fide sampradayas are the Vedas. Sections or even entire books rejected by these authorities are unacceptable to us.”

Jaiva Dharma, Part One: Pramana, Evidence, and Prameya, Truth

Jayadvaita Swami has also interpolated, substracted and re-arranged sentences, words, paragraphs, chapters, forewords and paintings from Prabhupada’s already authorized books. His editing work was never approved or authenticated by Prabhupada.

Then, are his edited books authentic?

Lord Ramacandra removed from Bhagavad-gita, As It Is (10.31 purport)

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This article was sent to the BBT International the 17th Oct. 2013. We asked them to comment on the points raised. So far we have not received any reply.

By Ajit Krishna Dasa
rama-nama

Changes have been made to the purport of verse 10.31 in Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita:

Here is a complete comparison of BG. 10.31 in Prabhupada’s 1972-edition and BBT International’s 1983 edition:

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A relevant question

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By Bhakta Torben Nielsen

prab-rupaPrabhupada at Rupa Goswami’s Samadhi (©Bhaktivedanta Book Trust)

Rupa Goswami says in Nectar of Instruction, text 6:

“Being situated in his original Kṛṣṇa conscious position, a pure devotee does not identify with the body. Such a devotee should not be seen from a materialistic point of view. Indeed, one should overlook a devotee’s having a body born in a low family, a body with a bad complexion, a deformed body, or a diseased or infirm body. According to ordinary vision, such imperfections may seem prominent in the body of a pure devotee, but despite such seeming defects, the body of a pure devotee cannot be polluted. It is exactly like the waters of the Ganges, which sometimes during the rainy season are full of bubbles, foam and mud. The Ganges waters do not become polluted. Those who are advanced in spiritual understanding will bathe in the Ganges without considering the condition of the water.”

(So is Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is not as purifying as the Ganges?!

And should we, taking Rupa Goswami’s instructions above to heart, find any faults in it?!)

Greetings from Denmark,
Hare Krishna.

Bhakta Torben Nielsen

Removing “eternal” from Bhagavad-gita As It Is (2.30)

This article was sent to the BBT International the 20th Oct. 2013. We asked them to comment on the points raised. So far we have not received any reply.

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

Bg 2.30 – original and authorized 1972-edition:

“O descendant of Bharata, he who dwells in the body is eternal and can never be slain. Therefore you need not grieve for any creature.”

Bg 2.30 – unauthorized 1983 BBT International edition:

“O descendant of Bharata, he who dwells in the body can never be slain. Therefore you need not grieve for any living being.”

Why has the word “eternal” been removed? What does Prabhupada say? Here are something from his lectures:

“O descendant of Bharata, he who dwells in the body is eternal and can never be slain. Therefore you need not grieve for any creature.”

Prabhupada: Dehi nityam avadhyo ‘yam dehe sarvasya bharata. Dehe, dehe means body, within the body. This topic began, dehino ‘smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara. Deha, dehi. Dehi means one who possesses the body. Just like guni. Asthate in prata. The grammatical. Guna, in, deha, in, in prata. Dehin sabda. So the nominative case of dehin sabda is dehi. Dehi nityam, eternal. In so many ways, Krsna has explained. Nityam, eternal. Indestructible, immutable. It does not take birth, it does not die, it is always, constantly the same. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire. In this way, again he says nityam, eternal. (730831BG.LON)

Another lecture:

Devotee: 30: “O descendant of Bharata, he who dwells in the body is eternal and can never be slain. Therefore you need not grieve for any creature [Bg. 2.30].”

Prabhupada: Now, after putting forward all definitions and arguments from different angles of vision, of different philosophers, thesis, now Krsna concludes, “My dear Arjuna, take it for certain that the soul within is eternal.”

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 2.27-38 — Los Angeles, December 11, 1968

Even in Srimad Bhagavatam Prabhupada writes that BG 2.30 confirm the eternality of the soul:

“The living entity is unborn and eternal, and as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (2.30),…”

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 2.7.49

Then why take “eternal” out the of the Bhagavad-gita, As It Is?

BBTI attempts to give this justification:

“The words “is eternal” (First Edition) do not appear in Srila Prabhupada’s original manuscript. The word nityam here means “eternally” — or, as Srila Prabhupada gives it, “always.” It modifies avadhyah. Thus, “always unfit for being slain.” Putting that negatively, as the original editor chose to do, the “always” becomes “never” — “he can never be slain.”

>>> Ref. VedaBase => GRV: 2.31: “Editing varnasrama-dharma out of the books?

There a quite some problems with this proposed justification:

  • We do not know what Hayagriva Prabhu and Prabhupada agreed upon while carefully working together on the Bhagavad-gita. Prabhupada might have wanted the word “eternal” to be there. We do not know and therefore we can’t change anything. Why? Because we can’t change in Prabhupada’s books based on “maybe”, “perhaps”, “I think” etc.) This “principle of caution” ought to implemented in ALL editing work.
  • Prabhupada himself used the word “nityam” in lectures and said that meant that the soul is eternal. In one of the above lectures Prabhupada even says that “Krsna concludes, “My dear Arjuna, take it for certain that the soul within is eternal.” So Krishna says in BG 2.30 that the soul is eternal. But BBT International thinks otherwise and overrides Prabhupada’s own words and corrects his sanskrit. 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)

  • The result of these changes and their proposed justification will make it seem – for new devotees and scholars – that Prabhupada’s sanskrit was not good enough. Imagine that a new bhakta or bhaktin heard or read one of the above lectures by Prabhupada were he says that nityam in BG 2.30 means the soul is eternal. And then the new bhakta or bhaktin later reads that this is actually not correct sanskrit, and now the BBT International has corrected it by removing it from the translation. What kind of impression will this new bhakta or bhaktin get of Prabhupada and his knowledge of sanskrit? Will it increase their respect for him? Of course not! What will it say about the way we honor the acaryas in our sampradaya? Is this arsa-prayoga – to respect the authoritative sages?

Debate with Kancana-valli Devi Dasi on the book changes

This debate was posted on the Sampradaya Sun Dec. 15 2012 : http://www.harekrsna.com/sun/editorials/12-12/editorials9486.htm

Exchange with the BBT’s Kancana-valli dd

BY: SUN STAFF

Dec 15, 2012 — CANADA (SUN) — Following is a recent exchange between Ajit Krishna dasa and the BBT’s Kancana-valli devi dasi regarding changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books. The thread of discussion began with this inquiry from Ajit Krishna dasa on November 25, 2012:

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We are not meant for presenting any literary masterpieces

Prabhupada: “There is a verse in Srimad-Bhagavatam that a book or poetry in which the Holy Name of Krishna is depicted, such language is revolutionary in the matter of purifying the material atmosphere. Even though such literature is presented in broken language or grammatical inconsistency or rhetorical irregularity, still, those who are saintly persons adore such literature. They hear such literature, and chant it and adore it, simply because the Supreme Lord is being glorified in this literature. In other words, we are not meant for presenting any literary masterpieces, but we have to inform people that there is a fire of maya which is burning the very vitality of all living entities, and they should guard against the indefatigable onslaught of material existence. That should be our motto.” (Letter to Krsna dasa  —  Los Angeles 13 February, 1969)

sb-delhi-arsa