Jayadvaita Swami’s “Then it is alright” argument defeated

On BBT International’s website we find this video:

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

In the video Jayadvaita Swami says:

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

 A few points about this story:

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

As Srila Prabhupada said about such stories:

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

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

And as Jayadvaita Swami says:

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

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

Skærmbillede 2013-12-06 kl. 20.59.15

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

3. If Jayadvaita Swami’s anecdote is true, then Prabhupada told him that if he had made the text closer to what Prabhupada originally said, then it was okay.

However, in my previous articles to Jayadvaita Swami I have referred to articles where it is clearly documented that he has:

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

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

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

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

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

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

BBTI makes extreme changes to Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers (22 pages deleted)

VIDEO: The Duty of the Finger (Bg 4.38)

New questions to Jayadvaita Swami and Dravida Prabhu

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Screenshot 2014-02-04 23.14.45

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

So far we have not received any reply.

Dear Jayadvaita Swami and Dravida Prabhu! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

I have been studying more of your changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books, and I here give links​ to some articles I have written about these changes​. I have also given some links to older articles which I have not sent to you before.

 I have ​to give you links, since some or all of the articles include pictures and videos​ which I can’t post inside​ these mails, and if I attach them it will​ be confusing.

Please see the articles here:

TAMPERING WITH PRABHUPADA’S PERSONALLY TYPEWRITTEN SANSKRIT TRANSLATIONS (BG, CHAPTER ONE):
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/tampering-with-prabhupadas-personally-typewritten-sanskrit-translations/

CHANGES TO PRABHUPADA’S PERSONALLY TYPEWRITTEN SANSKRIT TRANSLATIONS (STATISTICS FOR BG, CHAPTER ONE):
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/changes-to-prabhupadas-personally-typewritten-sanskrit-translations-statistics-for-bg-chapter-one/

BBT(I) HAS DELETED THE COMPLETE FOREWORD OF PRABHUPADA’S BHAGAVAD-GITA AS IT IS:
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/bbti-has-deleted-the-complete-foreword-of-prabhupadas-bhagavad-gita-as-it-is/

FRIVOLOUS CHANGE OF CHAPTER-HEADING:
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/frivolous-change-of-chapter-heading/

T​O​ “​ENGAGE” or “​DESTROY”:
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/to-engage-or-destroy-bg-11-32/

COVERS SHOULD BE THE SAME REGARDLESS OF LANGUAGE:
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/covers-should-be-the-same-regardless-of-language/

PRABHUPADA’S INSTRUCTIONS ON FRONT COVERS NOT HONORED:
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/prabhupadas-instructions-on-front-covers-not-honered/

“PHALANX” IN BG. 1.2 AND BG. 1.11 (JAYADVAITA SWAMI’S DOUBLE STANDARD):
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/phalanx-in-bg-1-2-and-bg-1-11-jayadvaita-swamis-double-standard/

NOT BACK TO THE “ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT” (BG. 1.2):
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/not-back-to-the-original-manuscript-bg-1-2/

REMOVING “ETERNAL” FROM BHAGAVAD-GITA, AS IT IS (2.30):
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/removing-eternal-from-bhagavad-gita-as-it-is-2-30/

LORD RAMACANDRA REMOVED FROM BHAGAVAD-GITA, AS IT IS (10.31 PURPORT):
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/lord-ramacandra-removed-from-bhagavad-gita-as-it-is-10-31

​I, and many thousands of devotees world wide, are anxiously waiting for explanations of the many changes I have asked Jayadvaita Swami about several months ago. They can be found here:

To “engage” or “destroy” (Bg 11.32)

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

So far we have not received any reply.

Original and authorized 1972 Macmillan edition:

“Time I am, Destroyer of the worlds, and I have come to engage all people…”

Unauthorized 1983 edition:

“Time I am, Destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to destroy all people…”

Why has Jayadvaita Swami exchanged the word “engage” with the word “destroy”? There is no explanation for this particular change on the BBTI’s website.

Sanskrit synonyms says to engage twice:

Screenshot 2014-02-01 12.10.43

The so called original manuscript is missing for this part of the gita, so no claim can be made that this change is “closer to Prabhupada”. On the contrary it seems to be what Srila Prabhupada wanted, since he made no objections when he heard the text to verse 11.32:

Giriraja: (reads synonyms for following verse:) “Translation: The Blessed Lord said: Time I am, destroyer of the worlds, and I have come to engage all people. With the exception of you, the Pandavas, all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain.”

Dr. Patel: Shall I read further, sir, or you want to comment?

Prabhupada: Yes. The process is going on. Although we have got so many plans to save, nobody can be saved. The destination, the bhutva bhutva praliyate [Bg. 8.19], that will go on. Simply vita-raga-bhaya-krodha man-maya mam upasritah [Bg. 4.10], they will be saved. Otherwise all finished.

We would like to hear from Jayadvaita Swami and the BBT International what the explanation for this change is?

The result of unauthorized book changes – broken guru-parampara

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guru_parampara

“Ganesha: Srila Prabhupada, if the knowledge was handed down by the saintly kings, evam parampara-praptam, how is it that the knowledge was lost?

Srila Prabhupada: When it was not handed down. Simply understood by speculation. Or if it is not handed down as it is. THEY MIGHT HAVE MADE SOME CHANGES. Or they did not hand it down. Suppose I handed it down to you, but if you do not do that, then it is lost. Now the Krishna consciousness movement is going on in my presence. NOW AFTER MY DEPARTURE, IF YOU DO NOT DO THIS, THEN IT IS LOST. If you go on as you are doing now, then it will go on. BUT IF YOU STOP…”
( – Room Conversation with Carol Cameron – May 9, 1975, Perth)

Jayadvaita Swami has authorized KBI (Krishna Book Inc.) in a mood of cooperation

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Screenshot 2014-01-20 09.40.04

Recently BBT International (BBTI) and Jayadvaita Swami have been making public announcements about the importance of devotees buying books from the BBT exclusively. In this way they are indirectly saying that devotees should not buy books from Krishna Books Inc. (KBI) who distributes Srila Prabhupada’s original, pre-1978, books. To substantiate their claim they refer to a letter from Srila Prabhupada saying that all centers should buy from the BBT.

There are several problems with the statements of BBTI and Jayadvaita Swami.

First of all BBT and BBT International (BBTI) are not identical. To make such a claim, or to try to give that impression, is to deceive the devotees. BBT International and Jayadvaita Swami have been actively engaging in this act of deception from the inception of BBTI, and most devotees in ISKCON have accepted their claims blindly. But there is a difference between BBT and BBTI.

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Responding to Dravida Prabhu’s “defense” of the book changes (Jan. 2014)

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dravidaDravida Prabhu

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

This a a response to Dravida Prabhu’s article “The Book Changes – A Defense” (posted on the Sampradaya Sun (01.13.2014).

Basically Dravida Prabhu’s attempted defense boils down to two wellknown fallacious arguments often presented by the BBT International:

1. Prabhupada trusted Jayadvaita Swami pre Nov 14th 1977. Therefore the editing Jayadvaita Swami has done after Prabhupada’s disappearance (post Nov. 14th 1977) is also approved.

2. The books are made “closer to Prabhupada” by making them closer to the so called original manuscript (which is really only a draft).

Let us look at each of these fallacious arguments.

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BBT(I) has deleted the complete foreword of Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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

So far we have not received any reply.

Excerpt from a letter called “Please Explain, Jayadvaita Swami, Dravida Prabhu & Company” originally posted on the Sampradaya Sun.

“BY: A GROUP OF SRILA PRABHUPADA DISCIPLES & FOLLOWERS

Dear Jayadvaita Swami, Dravida Prabhu & Company, please explain why you have done the following:

(1) Why is it in the revised edition of the Bhagavad-gita, you and company have completely removed the foreword by Professor Edward Dimock that was printed in the original Macmillan version of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is which Srila Prabhupada regularly read from?

Readers, please visit the website and see the video on YouTube of Srila Prabhupada lecturing on the Bhagavad-gita.

There, in the very immediate beginning (very first few minutes) of this video, you will find Srila Prabhupada praising the foreword by Professor Edward Dimock. This particular video clip is taken from one of the 19 Double layer DVD’s produced by Nrsimhananda Prabhu and his associates at ITV. It is the particular DVD named Bhagavad Gita as It Is, with Krishna and Arjuna on the chariot, and sky background, and is in the very first part, called “Introduction”.

Srila Prabhupada is reading the foreword himself, praising it, mentioning Edward Dimock’s name, and praising Edward Dimock for a particular comment that he had made, as follows:

“Swami Bhaktivedanta comments upon the Gita from this point of view, and that is legitimate. More than that, in this translation the Western reader has the unique opportunity of seeing how a Krsna devotee interprets his own texts”

Srila Prabhupada in the video explains this particular statement by Edward Dimock, on how a Krsna devotee interprets his own texts, by explaining that just as a family member only is qualified to give the best knowledge to others about his own family, similarly, only a Krsna devotee can properly explain to others about Krsna. Srila Prabhupada appreciates this particular point made by Edward Dimock in the video.

Thus, not only has Srila Prabhupada authorized this particular foreword in the Macmillan Bhagavad-gita, but had himself read, it, and praised certain points made by the person who wrote this foreword. Yet you, Jayadvaita Swami, Dravida Prabhu & Company, have the audacity to remove this foreword completely in your revised version. The proof of how you have offended your Spiritual Master is on public video record, as those who watch will sadly but easily be able to understand this particular deviation of yourselves in either revising or omitting your Spiritual Master’s works and words by using your fertile imaginations.”

[End of excerpt]

Below there are several instances where Prabhupada shows appreciation for the foreword by Edward Dimock. Please note that Prabhupada said that this foreword will “appeal to the scholarly class”. And we see here that Prabhupada in fact used the foreword to preach to professors, scholars, cardinals and journalists. As can be seen from the below quotes Prabhupada appreciated the foreword because it underscored some of his own points about this specific edition of the Bhagavad-gita, namely the As It Is version.

But the BBT International under the leadership of Jayadvaita Swami have now removed this foreword by Professor Dimock without ever explaining why. Certainly Prabhupada never asked for its removal.

Prabhupada: That’s all. So this Bhagavad-gita, at least, should be introduced in all colleges. And Professor Dimock has recommended. Just…
Professor: Well, it is quite widely read, the Bhagavad-gita.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Professor: The Bhagavad-gita is quite widely read.
Pradyumna: This is an introduction by Professor Dimock.
Professor: Yes, I’ve seen it. I read it. But it is quite widely read, you know. I mean the translations… (Room Conversation with Sanskrit Professor, Dr. Suneson — September 5, 1973, Stockholm)

Prabhupada: That has been written by Professor Dayal, Dimock, that “Sanskrit scholars should get good opportunity, and nobody, I think, will deny Swamiji’s scholarship.” He has said that. (Room Conversation — September 21, 1973, Bombay)

Bhagavan: There are many copies of Bhagavad-gita, but the unusual happening with this version is until this was presented, there was no devotee…
Prabhupada: Professor Dimock has said very nicely.
Monsignor Verrozano: Yes, we have also many translations. Yes.
Prabhupada: You have not brought by the fruit?
Nitai: Yes, Satsvarupa Maharaja did.
Monsignor Verrozano: We have here one translation of the commentary of Professor Zehner(?) from Oxford.
Prabhupada: Here is my foreword by Professor Dimock.
Yogesvara: This is a professor from Chicago University who wrote the foreword to this edition. He makes an interesting comment.
Prabhupada: You read, read it.
Dhananjaya: Yes.
Prabhupada: Professor Dimock’s.
Cardinal Pignedoli: It’s very strange and famous. That’s the gospel.
Prabhupada: Read it.
Dhananjaya: (reading) “Swami Bhaktivedanta comments upon the Gita from this point of view. And that is legitimate.”
Prabhupada: Yes. That is legitimate.
Dhananjaya: “More than that, in this translation the Western reader has the unique opportunity of seeing how a Krsna devotee interprets his own texts. It is a Vedic…”
Cardinal Pignedoli: Yes.
Prabhupada: A Krsna devotee interpreting on Krsna, and a nondevotee interpreting on Krsna. There is far difference. (Room Conversation with Catholic Cardinal and Secretary to the Pope — May 24, 1974, Rome)

The introduction by Mr. Dimock is nice and it will appeal to the scholarly class. (Letter to: Rupanuga — Sydney 4 April, 1972)

Krishna is the source of all human cultural contributions, and His book is the most widespread read all over the world. So if you can convince this education minister that this KC Movement is cultural. One big, big Professor Dimock has given in his introduction to my Bhagavad-gita As It Is that every college student should read this book. Syamasundara. can send you a copy of his statement if you require. So if in other colleges beyond India it is so recommended, why not in India. So the education minister must advise this books should be read. This will give us example for approaching central government. There are so many things to be done. (Letter to: Giriraja — Sydney 12 April, 1972)

Speculators cannot have definite knowledge. Therefore our Professor Dimmock has said, “Here is definite definition of Gita.” What is that? Just see. Then it is so. He has appreciated it. You cannot see, of the…
Devotee: They only put two lines of what he said in there. He says this…
Prabhupada: Yes. That is his word.
Devotee: Oh.
Prabhupada: Read it all.
Devotee: “Definitive English edition of Bhagavad-gita. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of the text already known to many, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has increased our own understanding manyfold.”
Prabhupada: That is a definite, not vague, speculative. That is the difference between my translation and others. Therefore I have given the name “As It Is.” So we will be no spoke or speculation. As soon as you speculate, you are rejected. Therefore others are seeing some danger that “This Bhaktivedanta’s…, this Bhagavad-gita As It Is accepted, then where we are?” (George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel)

Prabhupada: “Dimmock. He has given very good appreciation. And gradually it will be printed in other languages. German, French, Spanish, Denmark, Holland…” (Conversation with Dai Nippon — April 22, 1972, Tokyo)

Prabhupada: “Somehow or other.” This is science. “Somehow or other,” “maybe,” “perhaps.” This is their science. [break] …speculation. The whole Western countries, their all knowledge simply speculation. Nothing definite. [break] …Professor Dimmock has “Definitive…” What is that translation, or something like?
Harikesa: Definitive.
Prabhupada: Definitive, then translation of Bhagavad-gita, like that. [break] (Morning Walk — June 30, 1975, Denver)

Prabhupada: Yes, yes, yes. You just read one big professor’s remark here. You see?
Faill: Yes.
Prabhupada: Professor Dimmock of Chicago University.
Faill: “A new and living interpretation.” This is you, is it?
Prabhupada: This is…? Yes.
Faill: That’s you.
Prabhupada: Yes. If you read these books and write regular articles on the basis of my talk with you, it will be actually great benefit to the public. (Room Conversation with Bill Faill (reporter) — October 8, 1975, Durban)

Pusta Krsna: In the United States… These are many letters we have, just some of them, from different professors who are actually using Prabhupada’s books, professors from respectable universities such as Harvard, Yale, Duke. Professor Dimmock, who is the leading scholar of southeastern languages at the University of Chicago, he very much appreciates Prabhupada’s books.

Prabhupada: He has written one foreword.
Pusta Krsna: So these books are being accepted as the authority, at least in America and England, so far as studies of Indian culture are concerned, philosophy, sociology. And you can see the beautiful presentation. Each Sanskrit is there, transliteration so that anyone can chant, word-for-word Sanskrit to English translation, translation in English, and then the purport, a commentary.
Prof. Olivier: That’s right. This is a good edition. Good edition.
Pusta Krsna: Professor Dimmock, he says that there are many, many translations of Bhagavad-gita, and he says that “By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has increased our understanding manyfold.” So although it’s been prevalent in America… I know that when I was studying Humanities in college in the University of Florida, Bhagavad-gita was required. And we read one edition, but it was very much limited. Until we come in contact with Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the understanding is very much limited. But it’s not a sectarian approach. It’s purely scientific and realistic. There are many such reviews.
Prof. Olivier: Well, this is a good letter. (Room Conversation with Professor Olivier — October 10, 1975, Durban)

Prabhupada: Therefore rascal. (laughter) Therefore rascal. We definitely know Krsna, the origin of everything. That is definite, not “It may be.” We don’t say “Krsna may be.” No. Definitely. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. Here is Bhagavan. Here is God. That is definite. Therefore our professor…
Hamsaduta: Svarupa Damodara?
Prabhupada: No, no. Who has written foreword to my Bhagavad-gita?
Harikesa: Dimmock.
Prabhupada: Dimmock. “Here is definitive…”
Hamsaduta: Version.
Nitai: “Definitive edition.”
Prabhupada: “Definitive edition.” That is the credit. Not “may be.” No “maybe,” sir. That is rascaldom. (Morning Walk — November 26, 1975, New Delhi)

Prabhupada: Dimmock said that “Here is the commentation who has practiced devotion in his life.” (Morning Walk — December 17, 1975, Bombay)

The BBT(I) doesn’t follow Prabhupada’s orders on using honest book distribution techniques

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Prabhupada:

“Regarding the controversy about book distribution techniques, you are right. Our occupation must be honest. Everyone should adore our members as honest. . . These dishonest methods must be stopped. It is hampering our reputation all over the world.” (Letter to Rupanuga, 1-9-75)

The way in which Prabhupada’s books are presented to the public is also part of the book distribution process. To hide the fact that the 1983 edition has hidden co-authors that have made extensive additions, subtractions and changes to the book is not honesty. It will hamper ISKCON’s reputation.

In fact, this has already hampered ISKCON BBT International’s reputation as a trustworthy publishing company, as the scholarly community has begun to voice their opinions on the deceptive practices used in the post-humous publications. Factors such as using scholarly reviews from the original 1972 edition (when those scholars never saw, nor reviewed, the vastly edited later edition) have clouded the authenticity of Srila Prabhupada’s sacred books. Respectable scholars would never do such a thing.

Using the 1971 signature of Srila Prabhupada on the posthumously edited 1983 edition also calls to question the integrity of the BBT International. Srila Prabhupada never saw the posthumous edition–yet his signature is there as if he had. This is certainly deceptive on the part of BBT International.

Not clearly disclosing the fact that the 1983 edition has hidden co-authors has greatly damaged the reputation of ISKCON BBT International, and will continue to do so unless responsible remedial action is taken by those entrusted with this important work.

The fact that there is no dating of the posthumous editions also calls to question the integrity of the BBT International. It has been noted that the posthumous editions began to appear perhaps six years after Srila Prabhupada’s demise. This tends to indicate, according to some, that the author had no interest or inclination towards a re-editing of his Bhagavad Gita.

And since there is no record of the author ordering or approving such edited work, it leaves the posthumous edition hanging in mid-air, with no reliable data to show who did it, when they did it, and where it came from. This is a grand deception.

Below is an example of a revised book where honest means have been used. As long as the BBT International insists on publishing their edited 1983 Bhagavad-gita As It Is it must meet the same criteria of honesty to the be accepted in scholarly circles.

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