PROOF POSITIVE: AN APPEAL TO JAYADVAITA SWAMI FOR CLARIFICATION (PART 2)

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BY: THE ASSEMBLED DEVOTEES

Jul 25, 2014 — GLOBAL (SUN) —

No Opportunity for Questions?

In the 2003 Honolulu conversation cited in the first installment of Proof Positive, Jayadvaita Swami stated:

“there was no opportunity to like send Prabhupada back and forth, like sending him the second chapter and getting it back and asking questions; it just didn’t happen.”

In the 15 months prior to Srila Prabhupada approving the 1972 Bhagavad-gita blue-print/galleyproof, Jayadvaita wrote to His Divine Grace on six different occasions regarding book production. Srila Prabhupada replied each time, often with detailed explanations and instructions. Though the statements found in some of these letters (see below) refer to books other than Bhagavad-gita, they are still a definitive indication that Srila Prabhupada had made himself available for final proofreading, questions on editing, and other details of book production, and that he already was communicating and interacting with Jayadvaita on such matters.

And, as indicated below, Srila Prabhupada also went to New York and spent approximately 14 days there in July and August of 1971. The record shows that Jayadvaita had plenty of opportunity to send Prabhupada the Bhagavad-gita blue-prints, manuscripts and queries, as well as to meet personally with His Divine Grace. Srila Prabhupada also made a standing offer directly to Jayadvaita in a meeting in Boston in 1969 regarding publishing of the unabridged Gita:

Jayadvaita: [referring to the “original” manuscript] Some of it has been edited by Rayarama, but you can see around it and go to the original behind it.

Srila Prabhupada: So whatever is lacking, you ask me. I will supply you.

Why, then, did Jayadvaita Swami state there was no opportunity, and why didn’t he ask his questions when he had the chance?

(Emphasis is added in the following letters and some have been abbreviated):

Letter to Jayadvaita- Bombay, March 17, 1971:

“My Dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 21st February, 1971 and noted the contents carefully. I do not know what may have happened to the letter dated 9th January, 1971, but I have not received it.

Regarding your questions:

12:12: The ultimate point is to come to the stage of loving Krsna and all other indirect processes are subsidiary….

14:27: Impersonal Brahman is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness because without coming to the brahma-bhutah platform and remaining engaged in the activities of brahman nobody can be joyful….

I have dictated the missing purports from Chapter IX and they are set enclosed herewith. So far changing the working of verse or purport of 12:12 discussed before, it may remain as it is.”

Letter to Jayadvaita- Los Angeles, July 3, 1971:

“My Dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 30th June, 1971 and have noted the contents carefully. Your report on the progress of Srimad-Bhagavatam, first four cantos, is very much encouraging, so continue this work very seriously. I have again begun translating work and have so far sent Satsvarupa Prabhu three tapes from 4th Canto, 8th chapter, and will be sending many more.”

Letter to Jayadvaita- Los Angeles, July 13, 1971:

“I am in due receipt of your letter dated 10th July, 1971 and have noted the contents. Also I have received the laid-out sheets for tapes no. 1 & 2 and they are very well done. Thank you very much. I was so much pleased to see that already the tapes were edited and laid out and this is encouraging me to translate more and more. You can give Ch. 8 of S.B. canto 4 the title “Dhruva Maharaja enters the forest to meet the Lord”.

…Very soon I am coming to N.Y. and we can discuss further on these matters.

Letter to Jayadvaita- Calcutta, February 18, 1972:

“My Dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of February 5, 1972, and have noted the contents. Yes, because no one else can do them, I shall do the sanskrit synonyms. You simply send me now the manuscripts as required by you, and I shall send back either dictaphone tapes or tape-recorder cassettes.”

Letter to Jayadvaita- Calcutta, March 5, 1972:

“My dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I have also received your letter along with Bali Mardan’s….As I have informed, Pradyumna and Syamasundara will be sending you regularly completed transcriptions of my translation work by post, that will avoid the high cost of sending tapes, which besides are very expensive and may be lost easily in mail, and because I am here if they have questions I can answer and make the final proofreading, and this will expedite everything. One thing, now you say the date for printing by MacMillan Co. is set for August 1st, but last time you said June 1st, so I am wondering how long this delaying business shall go on?”

Letter to Jayadvaita- Los Angeles, May 28, 1972:

“My Dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I have received your letter dated May 26th, 1972, along with the blue-print copies of Bhagavad-gita As It Is from MacMillan Company. It is very nice. So I shall be looking forward to seeing the entire manuscript and book sometime around first July, 1972.”

In summary, Srila Prabhupada stated:

“So whatever is lacking, you ask me. I will supply you.”
(1969 meeting in Boston)

“Very soon I am coming to N.Y. and we can discuss further on these matters.”
(he then spends 2 weeks in New York)

“if they have questions I can answer and make the final proofreading”

“I have received your letter dated May 26th, 1972, along with the blue-print copies of Bhagavad-gita As It Is from MacMillan Company. It is very nice. So I shall be looking forward to seeing the entire manuscript and book sometime around first July, 1972.”

In total, Jayadvaita corresponded with His Divine Grace on six different occasions between February 1971 and May 1972.

Jayadvaita Swami stated:

“there was no opportunity to like send Prabhupada back and forth, like sending him the second chapter and getting it back and asking questions; it just didn’t happen.”

Confidential E-mails From Ramesvara Leaked (Dec. 2014)

Just recently three confidential e-mails were leaked and posted on facebook. They reveal what Ramesvara Prabhu thinks about the changes made the Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita, the editing policies of the BBTI and they shed light on what happened when the GBC and BBT trustees “reviewed” the 83 Gita. ramesvara1 Below are some quotes that will rock the boat, but please visit the website at the end of this article to see all three e-mails in their entirety and thus get the full picture. Quotes From confidential email no. 1:

“The problem with the “Responsible Publishing” paper is that it is simply not the entire body of instruction, and it‘s critics point out that it is one-sided and obviously leaves out many of Prabhupada’s cautionary instructions against unnecessary change,”

[…]

“That analysis with Dravida Prabhu left me with my deepest concern: if the changes didn’t have substantial merit but were made anyway, then regardless of the justification of “making it better” the door, the “change disease” as Srila Prabhupada called it, had been dangerously opened for anything to happen in the future after we are all long gone.”

[…]

“The Lilamrita interviews I found tell of Srila Prabhupada’s direct instructions regarding the size of the books, the artwork to be kept in the books, etc. – things that have already been changed so many times in the past 20 years, without understanding of Prabhupada’s orders, that it makes the “official” opening of this “change” door more ominous for the future, in ways we can’t even imagine.”

[…]

“…an absolute position has to be reached so that before we die, we know that within the BBT and ISKCON there could never again be one single change, for any reason, ever made to Srila Prabhupada’s books.”

From confidential e-mail no. 2:

“The “Responsible Publishing” (RP) paper has either a significant misleading or a significant historical inaccuracy. There are sites which claim to list more than 5,000 changes. Certainly there were thousands of changes. The RP paper states that every change to the translations was reviewed and approved by the Trustees, leading ISKCON devotees, the CBC, etc. Later the RP cites or implies in its endorsements that all the changes were approved. Of course, NO ONE other than the editors ever saw back in 1981 or 1982 ALL the changes.”

[…]

“I have always admitted that my great failure as a trustee was not carefully reading every proposed change, and instead, relying on the endorsement of Hridayananda and Satsvarupa- along with Jayadvaita.”

[…]

“I know that in talking years ago with others on that committee, that they also admitted performing only a cursory review of the proposed changes,…”

[…]

“No one back then did their job or acted with full responsibility for what they were endorsing. l assure you that NO ONE on that Committee ever even asked to see all the changes, and we would have been astounded to have learned in 1981 or 1982 that there were thousands, maybe more than 5,000 changes. I lazily assumed that the work done on manuscripts as close to the original as possible was the only thing that mattered. I failed to consider all the other Prabhupada instructions, the ramifications for making changes if they didn’t ultimately change the meaning; the effect of changes that in some cases loses the flavor of the Gita we had been studying for 10 years, and most importantly, that breaks the etiquette of changing a Sampradaya Acaraya’s books after His disappearance and opens the “change door” for possible future other changes over the decades and centuries to come. The RP paper implies that the changes were carefully reviewed and approved throughout the leadership of the BBT, GBC and ISKCON. I am certain that by interviewing all the leaders of that time, we would find most guilty of the same mistake that i made. It is true to state that the leaders of ISKCON at the time endorsed the changes. However, it is overtly misleading to state or suggest that the leaders actually performed a careful review. And getting back to the fact that there are thousands of changes, no leader, including the BBT Trustees, was ever shown every single change. No one! That is the sad historical fact…”

From confidential e-mail no. 3:

“I find it embarrassing that on the site BBTEdit.com, in the section about editing posthumously, the only quote to support touching the works of a departed Acarya is that Srila Jiva Goswami was working posthumously on Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu. Seriously – how can any living entity compare themselves to Sri Jiva Goswami, or think because he touched the work of Sri Rupa Gosvami, therefore an editor in the lower stages of bhakti, not yet fully situated in the perfected stages of bhava (what to Speak of prema) can touch and change the words of a departed Sampradaya Acarya. Not a good example in my lowly View – it begs the question of What our editors think of themselves and their level of Krsna Consciousness. Oh well…”

Please find all the three e-mails in their entirety here: http://jayasrikrishna.weebly.com (PDF and Word). You can also see and download the e-mails here as PDF and Word.

Response to the author of “No More Cattle Raising on the Planet of the Trees”

Book Change Rebuttal

Response to the author of “No More Cattle Raising on the Planet of the Trees”

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In the following we will discuss the article “No More Cattle Raising on the Planet of the Trees” that was recently posted on the Dandavats website (http://www.dandavats.com/?p=14403).

The author attempts to prove that Srila Prabhupada instructed his editors to make changes and corrections to his books after his disappearance. In support of his conclusions the author quotes from the “Rascal Editors” conversation and from a mail exchange between Ramesvara Dasa and Tamala Krishna Goswami.

A careful analysis, however, reveals that the author’s conclusions are invalid. He is correct when he says that after the “Rascal Editors” conversation Srila Prabhupada approved that further editing could be performed. This is revealed in the mail exchange between Ramesvara Dasa and Tamala Krishna Goswami (see Appendix 2 in the author’s article). But his conclusions about HOW editing could be continued, and FOR HOW LONG it could be continued are fallacious. He specifically commits three logical fallacies that invalidate his conclusions:

  1. SELECTIVE EVIDENCE/CHERRY PICKING
  2. NON SEQUITUR
  3. TAKING A QUOTE OUT OF CONTEXT/CONTEXTOMY

In order to properly understand Srila Prabhupada’s last instructions on editing (that we know of) we have to take a closer look at the letter Tamala Krishna Goswami wrote Ramesvara Dasa (see Appendix 2 in the author’s article), because a crucial sentence has been left out of the author’s analysis (reproduced here in bold):

“Your suggestion that in the future any mistakes which are found can be reported to Satsvarupa Maharaja, Jayadvaita Prabhu, Radha Ballabha Prabhu, or yourself, and after sufficient investigation and confirmation these mistakes can be rectified is accepted. As we are working on this Fifth Canto planetary system, whatever corrections are required to be made, we will get approved by His Divine Grace and then send them on to you so that the new edition will be free from any of these discrepancies.

[…]

“Although He has certain doubts in regard to the perfectness of our service, He is quite confident that you will do the needful to make any corrections that are required. [handwritten:] I explained the contents of your letter and Satsvarupa’s, and Radhaballabha and He seemed satisfied that things were not being unauthorizedly changed, while at the same time whatever corrections needed to be done were being made.” (Letter to Ramesvara from Tamala Krishna, July 22, 1977)

From these quotes we can understand that Srila Prabhupada did not want any more editing that was not “sufficiently investigated” and “confirmed”. Nothing should be “unauthorizedly changed”. Now, the questions is:

WHO will ultimately confirm and authorize the editing?

We get a hint about whom by looking at the sentence that the author has left out:

“As we are working on this Fifth Canto planetary system, whatever corrections are required to be made, we will get approved by His Divine Grace…”

So it seems the four above mentioned devotees were not just changing the books themselves. They were sending their changes to Srila Prabhupada for final approval. This seems to be the procedure that Tamala Krishna Goswami is talking about.

By leaving the sentence about the edits to the fifth canto out the author commits the fallacy of “selective evidence” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_picking_(fallacy).

Some might argue that MAYBE the changes to the fifth canto were the only changes that were sent to Srila Prabhupada, and not any other changes. But “maybe” is guesswork. And we do not make changes to the books of the acaryas based on guesswork (maybe, I think, perhaps etc). A principle of caution must be observed in editing Srila Prabhupada’s books. Better safe than sorry!

So contrary to what the author argues we find no evidence in the exchange between Ramesvara Prabhu and Tamala Krishna Goswami to support the conclusion that these four above mentioned devotees could edit without having Srila Prabhupada approve or disapprove all their changes.

The author’s conclusion about posthumous editing simply does not follow from it’s premises, and therefore he also commits the logical fallacy “non sequitur” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_sequitur_(logic)) which cover all arguments in which the conclusion does not follow from the premises.

Another very important point is that neither in the “Rascal Editors” conversation nor in the exchange between Tamala Krishna Goswami and Ramesvara Dasa do we find any information about posthumous editing. They were spoken/written within a context where Srila Prabhupada was around to approve or disapprove the editing work of BBT. The conversation and the letters came into existence because Srila Prabhupada and some of his disciples were dissatisfied with some of the editing work done by the BBT – not because anyone asked Srila Prabhupada about how editing should be done after his disappearance.

The burden of proof is on the devotee who states that we can project, extend or expand the instructions given by Srila Prabhupada on book editing from one context (when he was around) into a completely different context (when he is no longer around). In connection with the book changes no one has been able to lift this burden of proof successfully, and the author’s attempt also fails:

The author argues that since the letter written by Tamala Krishna Goswami states that “in the future” the editing should follow the above mentioned procedure, and since Srila Prabhupada never asked them to stop this procedure, therefore this procedure must still be followed after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance. There are several problems with this argument:

  1. The letter was signed by Srila Prabhupada, but was written by Tamala Krishna Goswami. So we cannot know for certain how Srila Prabhupada understood and interpreted the words “in the future”. We cannot even be sure he took special notice of the words.
  1. We humans often use “in the future we should do such and such” in a very unspecified way – and often it is implicit that there is a timeframe involved, or that if certain factors are changed then the procedure must also be changed or stopped. For example, if I tell my wife that “in the future” the procedure is that she should have my breakfast ready at 9:00a.m., then I do not also have to state the obvious fact that if I die today, then she should stop that practice tomorrow. Similarly, based on sastra and Srila Prabhupada’s clear instructions on the arsa-prayoga principle it can be argued that he did not also have to tell his editors that if he leaves his body, then they should stop the editing. At least there is NO PROOF for the contention that the editing should continue.
  1. If one states that the words “in the future” also refers to the time after Srila Prabhupada left his body, then one is clinging to the same faulty reasoning as the ritviks. Ritviks state that the word “henceforward” in the famous July 9th letter (also written by Tamala Krishna Goswami and signed by Srila Prabhupada) should be taken to mean that ritvik initiations should continue after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance. But neither the author nor any other ISKON leader will accept that interpretation of the word “henceforward” in the July 9th letter. Thus they have a double standard – i.e. they apply a different set of principles for similar situations. Unless the author wants to fall prey to the same faulty reasoning as the ritviks, he has to admit that there is no proof that “in the future” refers to the time after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance.

Summing this point up:

Nothing seems to suggest that the instructions on book editing given by Srila Prabhupada in the “Rascal Editors” conversation and in the exchange between Ramesvara Dasa and Tamala Krishna Goswami can be extrapolated into a context where Srila Prabhupada is no longer around. So by insisting on this unjustified extrapolation the author is effectively invalidating his own argument by committing the logical fallacy of quoting out of context/contextomy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_quoting_out_of_context).

We do not have one single instruction from Srila Prabhupada where he allows for posthumous editing of his books. However, he actually taught us how to deal with the transcendental mistakes of the acaryas.

First of all he gave philosophical instructions about the dangers of violating the arsa-prayoga principle:

“If one is too big, there is no mistake. Arsa-prayoga means there may be discrepancies but it is all right. Just like Shakespeare, sometimes there are odd usages of language, but he is accepted as authority. I have explained all these things in my Preface to First Canto.” (Letter to Mandali Bhadra, Jaipur 20 January, 1972)

“So unless one is self-realized, there is practically no use writing about Krsna. This transcendental writing does not depend on material education. It depends on the spiritual realization. You’ll find, therefore, in the comments of Bhagavatam by different acaryas, even there are some discrepancies, they are accepted as arsa-prayoga. It should remain as it is.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.23-24, Vrndavana, March 31, 1976)

Prabhupada: This of should be strictly forbidden.
Radha-vallabha: So no corrections. That makes it simple.
Prabhupada: They can divide the synonyms. That’s all.
Radha-vallabha: Synonyms. So even…
Prabhupada: That is his tendency, to correct. That’s very bad. He should not do that.
Radha-vallabha: So I’ll just forget this, then.
Prabhupada: The system is: whatever authority has done, even there is mistake, it should be accepted.
Radha-vallabha: Oh.
Prabhupada: Arsa-prayoga. That is ha… He should not become more learned than the authority. That is very bad habit….

[…]

Prabhupada: Why finish it? Whatever is done is done. No more….
Radha-vallabha: Well, now that this system of no corrections anywhere, that makes it very simple. Then he can’t do anything. I don’t think he wants to, either. It makes it more simple for him. It makes him very uncomfortable.
Prabhupada: No corrections.
(Room Conversation 27 february, 1977)

Srila Prabhupada also taught us by his own practical example. The article “Srila Prabhupada’s Instructions on editing are in his own books” (by Prahlada Nrisimha Dasa) reveals how Srila Prabhupada himself dealt with the transcendental mistakes made by the previous acaryas (he did not change or touch them). Here are two examples from the article:

“In the Caitanya-caritāmṛita, Madhya-līlā 9.358, Srila Prabhupāda cites his spiritual master Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, who points out that in the seventy-fourth verse of this same chapter there is an apparent error made by Kṛṣṇa dāsa, Kavirāja Gosvāmī. Srila Prabhupāda, just to teach us the principle of arsa-prayoga, [please see quotes from Srila Prabhupāda on “arsha-prayoga” at the end of this article] does not touch the words of Kṛṣṇadāsa Kaviraja Goswami, but leaves this apparent error as it is, out of respect for the transcendental book. Even though Srila Prabhupāda’s own spiritual master, the most pure and intimate confidential devotee and associate of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu himself, had clearly pointed out that this is an apparent error and is apparently wrong.

Furthermore in the purport to that seventy-fourth verse, mentioned above, Srila Prabhupada mentions nothing; only at the end of the chapter, after Srila Kṛṣṇadāsa Kaviraja concludes his narration, does Srila Prabhupāda even mention the apparent mistake.

That Caitanya-caritāmṛita, Madhya-līlā 9. 358 purport is cited here for your reference:

“Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura points out that in the seventy-fourth verse of this chapter it is stated that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited the temple of Śiyālī-bhairavī, but actually at Śiyālī, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited the temple of Śrī Bhū-varāha. Near Śiyālī and Cidambaram there is a temple known as Śrī Muṣṇam. In this temple there is a Deity of Śrī Bhū-varāha. In the jurisdiction of Cidambaram there is a district known as southern Arcot. The town of Śiyālī is in that district. There is a temple of Śrī Bhū-varāhadeva nearby, not Bhairavī-devī. This is Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s conclusion.”

This is a very good lesson to make a clear and prominent note of how Srila Prabhupāda, the teacher by example, has chosen to edit (or rather not edit) the words of the spiritual masters or previous acharyas’ writings.”

[…]

“We will cite another place were Srila Prabhupāda left a seeming mistake as it is, even though it may be considered “wrong.”

“Ambikāvana is situated somewhere in the Gujarat province. Ambikāvana is said to be situated on the river Sarasvatī, yet we do not find any Sarasvatī River in the Gujarat province; the only river there is Savarmati. In India, all the big places of pilgrimage are situated on nice rivers like the Ganges, Yamunā, Sarasvatī, Narmadā, Godāvarī, Kāverī, etc. Ambikāvana was situated on the bank of Sarasvatī, and all the cowherd men and Nanda Mahārāja went there.” (KRSNA Book 1970 edition Volume 1 Chapter 33 / Vidyādhara Liberated and the Demon Śaṅkhāsura Killed)

In this quote from Srila Prabhupāda’s original KRSNA book, Prabhupāda mentions that although it says, “Ambikāvana is said to be situated on the river Sarasvatī, yet we do not find any Sarasvatī River in the Gujarat province…” Prabhupāda does not change the text to correct the seeming mistake.” (Prahlada Nrisimha Dasa, Srila Prabhupada’s Instructions on editing are in his own books)

The article has additional examples and many other interesting points in regard to the topic of book changes.

Sastra also confirms that the mistakes of the acaryas should not be corrected:

“Anyone who finds any fault with a devotee’s description of Krishna is a sinner. If a devotee writes a poem, no matter how poorly he does it, it will certainly contain his love for Krishna. A fool says ‘visnaya’ while a scholar knows the correct form is ‘visnave’, but Krishna accepts the sentiment in either case. If anyone sees a fault in this, the fault is his, for Krishna is pleased with anything the pure devotee says. You too describe the Lord with words of love, so what arrogant person would dare criticize anything that you have written?” (Chaitanya Bhagavata 1.11.105-110)

The conclusion is that there is no mention of posthumous editing in Srila Prabhupada’s teachings other than:

1) The clear statements about not changing the works of an acarya (the arsa-prayoga principle).

2) Srila Prabhupada’s own example of not touching the mistakes of the previous acaryas.

3) Sastric injunctions on not to correct the mistakes of the acaryas.

As cited above Tamala Krishna Goswami writes to Ramesvara Dasa:

“Your suggestion that in the future any mistakes which are found can be reported to Satsvarupa Maharaja, Jayadvaita Prabhu, Radha Ballabha Prabhu, or yourself, and after sufficient investigation and confirmation these mistakes can be rectified is accepted.” (Letter to Ramesvara from Tamala Krishna, July 22, 1977)

Besides the obvious problem that none of the changes made post-1977 can be approved by Srila Prabhupada, there is also the problem that HARDLY ANY of the changes made to the Gita have been “sufficiently investigated”. The changes were made by Jayadvaita Swami – more or less alone. And as we see there are many discrepancies in his editing. And most of his changes are directly violating clear instructions from Srila Prabhupada. For example, Srila Prabhupada did not want any needless changes.

“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)

But the Gita (and other books) is filled with thousands of needless changes. Many of these are mentioned in the e-book “No Reply from BBTI” which is easily found by searching the internet.

This e-book shows how the attempted justifications used by the BBTI are very problematic. BBTI usually argue that:

  • We are changing Srila Prabhupada’s books back to what he actually said in his original manuscript.
  • We are making the book “Closer to Prabhupada”.
  • We are only correcting grammar, commas, capitalization etc.
  • We are only correcting the mistakes of previous editors.
  • No unnecessary changes have been made.

But the articles in the e-book documents that the BBTI has needlessly:

  • Deleted many of Srila Prabhupada’s own chosen words and sentences (even those also found in his ”original manuscript”).
  • Added their own words and sentences (which means these words and sentences are also not to be found in the ”original manuscript”).
  • Changed Srila Prabhupada’s own personally typewritten sanskrit translations.
  • Made needless change of syntax (sentence structure).

So even if we – for the sake of argument – accept the conclusion that some changes could be made posthumously (for which there is no evidence), then we would still be in a situation where the BBTI has violated the instructions on how Srila Prabhupada wanted his books edited while he was still around to supervise the work.

All the articles in “No Reply from BBTI” have been sent to Jayadvaita Swami, Dravida Dasa, BBTI and the author of “No More Cattle Raising on the Planet of the Trees”. But so far we have received no replies to the points raised – hence the name “No Reply from BBTI”.

We humbly ask you to read this e-book, and also visit the many different websites made by devotees who are skeptic towards the changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books. The author of this article shall promptly send you links to “No Reply from BBTI” and other relevant websites on your request.

Your servant, Ajit Krishna Dasa

Jayadvaita Swami makes a “mad” change!

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

Original and authorized 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Text 13.1-2 purport:

“Sometimes we understand that I am happy, I am mad, I am a woman, I am a dog, I am a cat: these are the knowers.”

BBT International’s unauthorized 1983 Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Text 13.1-2 purport:

“Sometimes we think, “I am happy,” “I am a man,” “I am a woman,” “I am a dog,” “I am a cat.” These are the bodily designations of the knower.”

Prabhupada’s “original manuscript”:

original-manuscript

The changes are:

1) “we understand” to “we think”

2) “I am mad” to “I am a man”

3) “these are the knowers” to “These are the bodily designations of the knower.”

What we see is that the original editor is true to the “original manuscript” whereas Jayadvaita Swami is not. Here we want to focus solely on the change from “I am mad” to “I am a man”.

Why has Jayadvaita Swami made this change? He gives the following attempted justification on the BBT International’s website:

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 06.17.54

This is not a rational justification, but only an unsubstantiated claim that the words in the original Gita are “straight-out nonsense”, “not sacred” and “not the words of Srila Prabhupada”.

Here is our challenge to Jayadvaita Swami.

First of all it is clear that the words from the 1972 edition are not nonsense. “I am happy” and “I am mad” are both states of mind that humans can identify with. Nothing wrong with that. But Jayadvaita Swami speculates that the previous transcribers must have heard wrong, and that “mad” really must have been “a man” instead. I guess his reason is that “a man” fits with “a woman”. “I am a man, I am a woman” then becomes opposites. Just like “cat” and “dog” can be taken as opposites.

But if Jayadvaita Swami was attentive while reading Srila Prabhupada’s books he would have known that Prabhupada often uses “happy” and “mad” as opposites. Even Krishna presents these two states of mind as opposites:

“The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness, passion conditions him to the fruits of action, and ignorance to madness.” (Bg. 14.9)

The mode of goodness and the mode of ignorance have opposite qualities. Krishna here mentions “happiness” and “madness” respectively.

Prabhupada also uses “happy” and “mad” as opposites in other places. Here are a few examples:

Just like a man — ordinarily we perceive — a gentleman, after working very hard, if he gets some bank balance and nice house, nice wife, and some children, he thinks, “I am very happy.” This is also maya. He thinks, “But I am happy.” What kind of maya? Pramattah tesam nidhanam pasyann api na pasyati. He is in maya, mad, illusion, pramatta. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.22, Bombay, December 31, 1974)

Don’t be very much happy when you are in happy condition of life; neither you become mad in miserable condition of life. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.47, Bombay, January 22, 1975)

You must have perfect knowledge. Then you’ll be happy. Then you’ll be peace. And if you are misguided, bewildered, mad, then how you can be happy? (Rotary Club Lecture, Ahmedabad, December 5, 1972)

So these are all mad condition. So when he turns to God… Service he must give. Nobody can say, “I’m not serving anybody.” That is not possible. You must be serving somebody. Just like you are serving government, he is serving some office, because service is our nature. So we are not happy because the service is misplaced. (Room Conversation and Interview with Ian Polsen — July 31, 1972, London)

Prabhupada: Even the father, mother is not crying. The mother’s baby dies. She cries, she becomes mad. But when the child gives up that childhood body, accept another body, she’s happy because she knows: “My son is there. (Room Conversation with Anna Conan Doyle, daughter-in-law of famous author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, August 10, 1973, Paris)

Pradyumna: It’s Canto Five, Chapter Five, verse number seven. “Even though one may be very learned and wise, he is mad if he does not understand that the endeavor for sense gratification is a useless waste of time. Being forgetful of his own interest, he tries to be happy in the material world, centering his interests around his home, which is based on sexual intercourse and which brings him all kinds of material miseries. In this way one is no better than a foolish animal.” (Room Conversation, February 16, 1977, Mayapur)

Because the mad son is loitering in the street without any information of the father, to bring him back before the father. That is the best. He will be happy. (Room Conversation, March 26, 1977, Bombay)

We are just like a criminal who has dirty things within his heart. He thinks, “If I get such-and-such thing, I’ll be happy.” And at the risk of his life he commits a crime. A burglar, a thief, knows that if he is captured by the police he’ll be punished, but still he goes and steals. Why? Nunam pramattah: he has become mad after sense gratification. (BTG, 1983, The Self And Its Bodies)

CONCLUSION

There is ample evidence to support the claim that the purport of the original Gita has things right. And we see how the original editor is true to Prabhupada’s “original manuscript”. Jayadvaita Swami is changing something that is absolutely perfectly correct from the point of view of grammar, spelling, composition, logic, etc., and at the same time exactly follows the ‘original manuscript’, to something else dreamt up in his mind from his imagination and speculation only. In other words, Jayadvaita Swami here shows no concern for the so-called ‘original manuscript’ and certainly no concern for Srila Prabhupada’s original and authorized 1972 Complete Edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

This is not how an editor is supposed to work. To do what Jayadvaita Swami is doing here is totally unauthorized and completely destroys the authority of Prabhupada’s books.

The “Book Changes” Conflict (Parasurama Dasa)

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BY: PARASURAM DAS (From Sampradaya Sun)

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

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

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

“So unless one is self-realized, there is practically no use writing about Krsna. This transcendental writing does not depend on material education. It depends on the spiritual realization. You’ll find, therefore, in the comments of Bhagavatam by different acaryas, even there are some discrepancies, they are accepted as asat-patha. It should remain as it is.” (Lecture, Vrindavana, March 31,1976)

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

Proof Positive: An Appeal to Jayadvaita Swami for Clarification (Part 1)

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BY: THE ASSEMBLED DEVOTEES

Jul 22, 2014 — GLOBAL (SUN) — Let us first offer our obeisances to our Spiritual Master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
Also, let us extend our respects to H.H. Jayadvaita Swami. We pray he will understand the concerns expressed in this essay and not construe our presentation as something other than a quest for truth.

In a conversation with Govinda dasi in 2003 (see Appendix A), H.H. Jayadvaita Swami repeatedly denied that Srila Prabhupada saw the galley proofs for his 1972 MacMillan edition of Bhagavad-Gita, indicating there were mistakes Prabhupada would not have allowed, implying this is why the book needed re-editing.

Jayadvaita Swami stated:

“He [Srila Prabhupada] never saw the proofs in 1972.”

“No he did not.”

“Prabhupada didn’t see the galley proofs of the 1972 edition.”

“But he didn’t see the galley proofs for the 1972 one…”

“there was no opportunity to like send Prabhupada back and forth, like sending him the second chapter and getting it back and asking questions; it just didn’t happen.”

“I could tell you that some of the verses that some of the BBT staff questioned, Prabhupada would never have approved. I can say with confidence, Prabhupada would never have approved.”

“And the unabridged edition he really didn’t see in its preparation for its, um, pre-publication stages”

The above statements appear to be in stark contradiction to the following letter from Srila Prabhupada to Jayadvaita found in the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase (Prabhupada regularly referred to galley proofs as “blue-prints” – see Appendix B).

SP Letter to Jayadvaita- Los Angeles, May 28, 1972:

“My Dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I have received your letter dated May 26th, 1972, along with the blue-print copies of Bhagavad-gita As It Is from MacMillan Company. It is very nice. So I shall be looking forward to seeing the entire manuscript and book sometime around first July, 1972.”

After receiving the blue-print copies, Srila Prabhupada states “it is very nice”, gives no indication that he found any mistakes, and expresses anticipation to see the completed book. It would oppose reason to argue that the above letter does not indicate Srila Prabhupada’s approval of the blue-prints/galley proofs. In absence of evidence to the contrary, the May 28th letter proves that not only did Srila Prabhupada see and approve the blue-prints/galley proofs but that Jayadvaita himself sent them to His Divine Grace.

The printing of Bhagavd-gita As It Is in 1972 was to be the very first publication of Srila Prabhupada’s unabridged version of the book and it was about to be printed by a world-renowned publishing house. This was a very important event and a very significant milestone in Srila Prabhupada’s literary corpus—presumably something a disciple involved at responsible levels of the book production process would not take lightly or easily forget. Taking all these factors into consideration, is it unreasonable to wonder how Jayadvaita Swami not only forgot he had sent Prabhupada the blue-prints, but also forgot Prabhupada personally acknowledged receipt of them and had indeed approved them? In addition, it seems Jayadvaita Swami never came across the digital copy of the above letter in the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase during his otherwise scrupulous research regarding BBT editing.

As disciples of Srila Prabhupada, we feel duty bound to petition Jayadvaita Swami to explain these discrepancies to the Vaisnava community. At the same time we caution our readers notto rush to judgment without allowing Jayadvaita Swami a chance to respond. We concede that there may have been extenuating circumstances that we are yet unaware of. Perhaps Jayadvaita Swami has letters from Srila Prabhupada that never made it to the Bhaktivedanta Archives or other evidence that could shed light on this issue. If so, we hope he will share them with the assembled devotees and uproot our reasonable doubts. Under the circumstances, we trust he will understand why we would consider physical evidence much more compelling than personal recollection. When all the evidence is presented, if our assessments prove wrong, an apology on our part would certainly be warranted.

We conditioned souls have four defects. Our senses are imperfect, we fall prey to illusion, make mistakes and have a tendency to cheat. From the evidence available thus far, one would conclude that Jayadvaita Swami is also a victim of the four defects. Even if we assume the alleged error was an honest mistake, it is nonetheless, a grave mistake and it could cast doubt on his credibility as an impartial editor of the sanctified words of our Spiritual Master. It may even raise the greater question: Is it appropriate for any conditioned soul to edit the books of an empowered and fully realized nitya-siddha devotee after their departure andwithout their express approval or direct oversight?

Jayadvaita Swami Letter to Amogha Lila, quoted in Responsible Publishing:

“To my knowledge, Srila Prabhupada never asked us to re-edit the book” [1972 MacMillan edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is]

Appendix A

Conversation between Govinda dasi and Jayadvaita Swami – Honolulu, Jan 19, 2003(emphasis is added):

Jayadvaita Maharaja: …It differs in uh, [inaudible] uh, in addition to that, of course, Prabhupada did see the galley proofs in 1968 of the abridged edition. He never saw the proofs in 1972. He wasn’t involved at any stage of the production, except, um, mainly for expressing impatience at how slow it was being turned out—a slowness for which I was partly responsible. Um, but he didn’t go over, didn’t go over the manuscript…

Govinda dasi: Srila Prabhupada didn’t see the galley proofs?

Jayadvaita Maharaja: No, he did not. [inaudible] Prabhupada didn’t see the galley proofs of the 1972 edition. But he did see the galley proofs, and we have galley proofs with Prabhupada’s handwriting and directions, just in very few places, for the original edition. But he didn’t see the galley proofs for the 1972 one…

Govinda dasi: There must be some preliminary, something that he went over, if he didn’t see the final galley proofs.

Jayadvaita Maharaja: Not that I remember.

Govinda dasi: Then he had to have… I mean, I…

Jayadvaita Maharaja: As far as I remember, he didn’t. He was just… the main thing that he was asking was, “Where is it? I’ve been hearing, ‘Just now coming, just now coming;’ I’ve been hearing that for some time now—where is the book?” The main thing that we were hearing from Prabhupada was, “Where is it?” And, um, Prabhupada at that time was already traveling extensively, um, around the world, and, uh, there was just none of this, there was no opportunity to like send Prabhupada back and forth, like sending him the second chapter and getting it back and asking questions; it just didn’t happen.

Govinda dasi: Hayagriva was living with Srila Prabhupada in ’68, and they were going over things, and that was after this book [the abridged edition] was printed. So that must have been for the ’72 one.

Jayadvaita Maharaja: He may have, for some brief time, spent some time with Prabhupada. It’s possible. Um, but the final product was certainly not, um, something that Prabhupada, um, you know, pored over the original, he just didn’t have, couldn’t possibly have the… I could tell you that some of the verses that some of the BBT staff questioned, Prabhupada would never have approved. I can say with confidence, Prabhupada would never have approved. Some of the very few verses that we had issues with, there’s no question in my mind that Prabhupada didn’t see them.

Later in the same conversation:

Jayadvaita Maharaja: Just all I really wanted to do is contribute to the history of the Gita and say that, um, what Prabhupada saw and signed off on, um, in 1968, was the abridged edition. And the unabridged edition he really didn’t see in its preparation for its, um, pre-publication stages, except perhaps there were some meetings at some point, you were there to…

SP Letter to Jayadvaita- Los Angeles, May 28, 1972:

“My Dear Jayadvaita, Please accept my blessings. I have received your letter dated May 26th, 1972, along with the blue-print copies of Bhagavad-gita As It Is from MacMillan Company. It is very nice. So I shall be looking forward to seeing the entire manuscript and book sometime around first July, 1972.”

Appendix B

The following letters show:

Srila Prabhupada regularly referred to galley proofs as blueprints
was consistent in his oversight of the editing
was meticulous in his scrutiny regarding errors

Letter to Pradyumna- Los Angeles, April 20, 1970:

“Please accept my blessings. I have just received the blueprint copy of KRSNA, the Reservoir of Pleasure and I have begun to read it through. But I notice that there are some points you should correct before the final printing.”

Letter to Brahmananda- Los Angeles, April 20, 1970:

“P.S. There are some editorial mistakes in the blueprint of The Topmost yoga.”

Letter to Brahmananda- Los Angeles, April 22, 1970:

“Please accept my blessings. Regarding the Topmost Yoga, in the blueprint there are many mistakes. I am pointing out some of them as follows:”

Letter to Brahmananda- Los Angeles, June 2, 1970:

“I have received the blueprint from Uddhava and I have already corrected 180 pages and sent it to Boston, and the balance will be sent tomorrow.”

Letter to Brahmananda- Los Angeles, June 19, 1970:

“Regarding Bhagavatam printing, I have received the blueprint copy of 1st chapter, 2nd Canto, and it is very nicely done. The style is to the standard of my previous books.”

Letter to Uddhava – Los Angeles, July 11, 1970:

“Please accept my blessings. I beg to thank you for your letter dated 6th July, 1970, along with the blueprint copy of the Lord in the Heart. Thank you very much. It is alright to go ahead with the printing of this second chapter. I have approved all the questionable points noted by Pradyumna, so it is alright.”

Letter to Uddhava- Los Angeles, July 14, 1970:

“Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 12th July, 1970, along with the blueprint for the third chapter of Srimad-Bhagavatam Second Canto, entitled “Pure Devotional Service: the Change in Heart.” I have looked over the blueprint and noted a few points to be corrected, so I am sending back the blueprint to you for seeing the necessary changes as they are in the text.”

Letter to Uddhava- Los Angeles, July 24, 1970:

“Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge your letter dated 20th July, 1970, along with the blueprint for chapter 4 Second Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam. I have gone through the blueprint and I am also sending the necessary Sanskrit corrections to Pradyumna. So when these corrections are made then you can print immediately.”

Based on the above letters, one might ask: If Srila Prabhupada had wanted any corrections made in the blue-prints of the ’72 Gita, would he not have stated so?

 

BBTI is changing Srila Prabhupada’s transcripts

Changing of Srila Prabhupada’s Transcripts (from Sampradaya Sun)

BY: KRISHNA DASA

Jun 03, 2014 — USA (SUN) — It is one thing to edit a book posthumously, but what seems more egregious is the editing of a transcript of a conversation. Such editing is found in the book Journey of Self Discovery, supposedly by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, which was first published in 1990 as we see from a search of the U.S. Copyright records.

That book includes a conversation between Srila Prabhupada and a Dr. S. P. Oliver, Rector of the University of Durban, in Westville, South Africa, on October 10, 1975. The book is available online through http://www.prabhupadabooks.com and the relevant page can be seen here or in the e-book on page 23, where we see that during the conversation, Srila Prabhupada asks a devotee to read some verses and purports from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Then we see that the transcript uses totally text from the version of the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is that was edited and published after the departure of Srila Prabhupada. For example, during that conversation a devotee supposedly was reading the verse and purport to Bg 4.34. We can see the 1972 version and the later “Revised and Enlarged” version side by side.

It is not possible that a devotee with Srila Prabhupada in 1975 was able to read the version of the Bhagavad-gita that did not exist until the 1980s.

Screenshot 2014-06-07 16.38.25

This conversation took place in 1975, and the verse quoted was from the 1972 editionof Bhagavad-gita As It Is. But here we find that the verse has been changed by the BBTI to fit the 1983 edition.

At that time your position is different! (BBTI’s main argument defeated)

sp-painting1

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN (From Sampradaya Sun)

Apr 18, 2014 — DENMARK (SUN) — The common arguments from the so-called BBT, “BBTI”:

“And in the conversation where Srila Prabhupada complained so strongly about “rascals editors,” Srila Prabhupada said about Jayadvaita, “He is good.”

“Of course, regarding Jayadvaita Swami, the BBT’s chief editor, Srila Prabhupada wrote, “Concerning the editing of Jayadvaita Prabhu, whatever he does is approved by me. I have confidence in him.” (letter to Radhavallabha, 7 September 1976)

(From BBT International’s website)

NOW LISTEN PLEASE:

Prabhupada: I have given you charge of this BBT, millions of dollars you are dealing, but it is not for your misuse. As soon as you misuse, that is your responsibility.

Ramesvara: Yes, but he says but still, you’ll know that I’m going to misuse it.

Prabhupada: No. That Krsna knows, when something charge is given. But because you are independent, I know that “Ramesvara is very good boy; let him be in charge.” But you can misuse at any moment, because you have got independence. You can misuse at any moment. At that time your position is different.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk — June 3, 1976, Los Angeles

(Morning Walk — June 3, 1976, Los Angeles)

This very important snippet is from a missing audio exchange, from a not properly (actually cutout) transcribed morning walk conversation. (That´s another issue in itself).

So the conclusion MUST be that the above two arguments for the continued post-samadhi editing of Jayadvaita Swami & Co. are CONDITIONAL. They are NOT absolute green lights from Srila Prabhupada to Jayadvaita Maharaj, at all.

ys. Bhakta Torben, Denmark.

PS: Instead of the missing audio, there is ANOTHER audio, which is also very interesting, but not transcribed. Check it out.

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.

Jayadvaita Swami takes a step in the right direction

It seems that finally the BBT International has been listening to the arguments presented by many concerned devotees and is now taking a step in the right direction by putting Jayadvaita Swami’s name in the edited edition:

Andrew Whitlock wrote in a mail to Jayadvaita Swami:

“Firstly I noticed that Your name does not appear on the re edited version.”

Jayadvaita Swami replied:

“It will appear in the “Note about the Second Edition” in upcoming printings.”

To be completely honest, transparent and follow academic rules Jayadvaita Swami’s name ought to appear on the front cover of the book, so everyone – in advance – will know that this is a posthumously edited book.

An example of how it is supposed to be done is here:

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Of course, eventually we need to have Jayadvaita Swami’s edited version of Bhagavad-gita As It Is (and all other posthumously edited versions of Srila Prabhupada’s books) completely eliminated. But as long as the BBTI insist on violating the sastric rule of arsa-prayoga, they at least should mention it on the books.