Open Letter to Sivarama Swami

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

Dear Sivarama Swami. Dandavat pranama. Jaya Srila Prabhupada.

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

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

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

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

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

Open Letter to Sivarama Swami

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

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

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

Arsa-Prayoga Book

Click picture to visit website

From the back cover:

“Arsa prayoga, lit. “rishi’s license,” means to honour the acarya by preserving his teachings in the originally published form, not changing what he has written to make it appear more effective or politically correct. There should be no confusion between the work written by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and edited by Howard Wheeler and the posthumous cent per cent revised copy proposed by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. By changing Prabhupada’s books without explicitly saying so, they do a discredit to Srila Prabhupada, devotees and scholars. At present it appears that the revisions were made by the original author. This book is meant to be the truth about the editing of Prabhupada’s books carefully chronicled for future generations.”

Go directly to download page: arsaprayogabook.com/book

E-BOOK: Blazing Edits

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Click to download the book

Aug 20, 2015 — CANADA (SUN) —  We invite you to download a copy of Blazing Edits, an e-book collection of segments written by Bhakta Torben Nielsen on the topic of the changes to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is. This series has been an ongoing publication on Sampradaya Sun and www.arsaprayoga.com.

This e-book was made in a cooperative effort by Bhakta Torben Nielsen (Author), Bhakta Max Køngerskov (Design and Layout), Ajit Krishna dasa (Idea), and the Sampradaya Sun (Publisher). The book will periodically be updated with new segments.

DOWNLOAD LATEST VERSION

Blazing Edits (16 okt. 2015)

“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.

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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.

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati: “Consider only the spirit”

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Maharaja, Sree Sajjani-Toshani, The Harmonist, June 1927, No.1:

“The kind indulgence of the reader is solicited to overlook shortcomings inseparable from the employment of a foreign language and consider only the spirit irrespective of the defective garb in which she might be clothed”

the-harmonist

The Holy Name Will Destroy the Book Changers

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CAITANYA BHAGAVATA, ADI 11.105-110:

TEXT 105

prabhu bole, — “bhakta-vakya krsnera varnana
ihate ye dosa dekhe, se-i ‘papi’ jana

TRANSLATION

“The Lord replied, “Whoever finds fault in a devotee’s description of Lord Krsna is a sinful person.”

TEXT 106

bhaktera kavitva ye-te-mate kene naya
sarvatha krsnera priti tahate niscaya

TRANSLATION

“Krsna is certainly pleased with His devotee’s poetry, even though it is imperfectly composed.”

TEXT 107

murkha bole ‘visnaya’, ‘visnave’ bole dhira
dui vakya parigraha kare krsna vira

TRANSLATION

“An uneducated person may chant visnaya, while a sober person will chant the proper form, visnave, but the Supreme Lord Krsna will accept both forms when they are chanted with devotion.”

COMMENTARY

“To Lord Krishna, a pandita expert in correct language and someone ignorant of correct language are both equal. Of the two, Krishna bestows more mercy on the one who has more enthusiasm for the service of Krishna. Krishna, the omniscient Supersoul of every living entity, is not guilty of the fault of partiality. So-called learned persons who are devoid of devotion proudly consider themselves learned as they reveal their foolishness by pointing out faults in the transcendental language of the pure devotees. The Supreme Lord and master of Sarasvati confirms the foolishness of the so-called learned offenders who are envious of the devotees at every step. Thus their pride of learning is diminished. Due to the absence of realization in the Absolute Truth, Shri Krishna Chaitanya, they belch forth mundane knowledge of sense enjoyment. This is the cause of their disease and falldown.”

TEXT 108

murkho vadati visnaya dhiro vadati visnave
ubhayos tu samam punyam bhava-grahi janardanah

TRANSLATION

“At the time of offering obeisances to Lord Visnu, a foolish person chants visnaya namah (this is improper due to faulty grammar) and a learned person chants visnave namah (this is the correct form). But both achieve equal piety by their offering of obeisances, because Lord Sri Janardana sees the sentiment of the living being, in other words, He sees the degree of devotion, or in other words, He awards the result accordingly (He does not see one’s foolishness or intelligence).”

TEXT 109

ihate ye dosa dekhe, tahara se dosa
bhaktera varnana-matra krsnera santosa

TRANSLATION

“One who finds fault with a devotee is himself at fault, for a devotee’s descriptions are meant only for the pleasure of Krsna.”

TEXT 110

ataeva tomara se premera varnana
ihate dusibeka kon sahasika jana?”

TRANSLATION

“Therefore who will dare find fault with your devotional descriptions of Krsna’s pastimes?”

CAITANYA BHAGAVATA, MADHYA, 19.209:

ye amara dasera sakrt ninda kare
mora nama kalpa-taru samhare tahare

“My wish-fulfilling holy names destroy one who blasphemes My servant.”

FROM THE COMMENTARY:

“So if gross materialists engage with pride in activities like censuring, blaspheming, and abusing the devotees from the material point of view and through mundane considerations, then the Supreme Lord destroys them.”

Note the word “censuring”. When BBT International deletes Srila Prabhupada own chosen words and sentences, then they are in effect censuring Srila Prabhupada.

(The purports are by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Maharaja, translated by Bhumipati Dasa)

NOT CLOSER TO SRILA PRABHUPADA (BG 8.18: MERGED?)

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MERGED?

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN

Feb 03, 2015 — DENMARK (SUN) —

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 8.18

Authorized Original 1972: 

“When Brahma’s day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma’s night they are all annihilated.”

Science of Self-realization, page 225: 

“When Brahma’s day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma’s night they are all annihilated.”

JAS It Is: 

“At the beginning of Brahmā’s day, all living entities become manifest from the unmanifest state, and thereafter, when the night falls, they are merged into the unmanifest again.”

Manuscript: 

“On the manifest of the Brahma´s day, all living entities, they come into being and when there is arrival of night of Brahma everything becomes annihilated.”

Srila Prabhupada preached heavily against the mayavada concept of ‘merging’. For SURE he did not use the ‘merge’ word in this verse.

A few points from Arsa-Prayoga:

1. Science of Self-Realization was published after the departure of Srila Prabhupada. But it was made on his order. Bhagavad-gita 8.18 was, however, published in Beyond Birth and Death (published while Srila Prabhupada was here) and a Back to Godhead magazine from 1974.

2. Actually Srila Prabhupada used the word “merge” in his original and authorized Gita (like in 2.54). So the most important point here is that Jayadvaita Swami has added words (like merged, manifest, unmanifest, state, falls etc.) to Bg. 8.18 which Srila Prabhupada did not intend to be in Bg. 8.18. Jayadvaita Swami is therefore not telling the truth when he claims he has made the Gita “more faithful to Srila Prabhupada” or “closer to Prabhupada”.

Jayadvaita Swami has made a new translation of the Gita and published it in Srila Prabhupada’a name.

Srila Prabhupada preached heavily against the mayavada concept of `merging´. For SURE he did not use the `merge´ word in this verse.