E-BOOK: Blazing Edits

blazing-edits

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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.

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Blazing Edits (16 okt. 2015)

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E-Book: ISKCON’s Changes to Srila Prabhupada’s Bg. and PQPA

Click to download the book

Click to download the book

ISKCON’s Changes to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers (by Madhudvisa Dasa).

Perhaps the first book on the book changes. So old it was made with a typewriter. Definitely of both present day and historical value. It contains a lot of good evidence against the changes, good arguments and historical documentation (like mails).

Download the book here: ISKCON’s Changes to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers (by Madhudvisa Dasa).

Imperishable Add-on Edit (Bg. 15.1)

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

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

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 15.1

Original and authorised 1972 edition:

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

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

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

Uauthorized 1983 edition:

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

From lectures:

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

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

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

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

No objections from Srila Prabhupada.

Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Desire for Needless Change Fulfilled (Bg, Introduction)

vancha-kalpa

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Introduction:

Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

vāñchā-kalpatarubhyaś ca kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord who can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and who are full of compassion for the fallen souls.”

JAS It Is:

vāñchā-kalpa-tarubhyaś ca
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.”

Jayadvaita Swami, Letter to Amogha Lila, 1986:

“Srila Prabhupada staunchly opposed needless changes.”

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

Bg. 13-25

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN

Jun 21, 2015 — DENMARK (SUN) — 

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 13.25:

Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

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

Manuscript: 

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

JAS It Is: 

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

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

As seen many times before.

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

“‘Arsa-Prayoga’ is a very important principle. The editor should never have the mentality that he is better than the author, that he has something more to contribute than the author does, that the author really doesn’t know what he is doing, but he knows what he is doing. That’ s offensive and that ruins everything. It is an offense to the acarya. The idea however that this sort of sanctity that the authors’ s has, or that the words of the author has, have, somehow extends to the mistakes of the editors is weird. It is an offense to correct the mistakes of previous editors! Are they acaryas? Are they paramahamsas? Are they infallible? They are wonderful devotees, they did wonderful service, but they made mistakes. Understandable.”

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

Uneven Edit (Bg. 2.48)

bg-2-48

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN

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

Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

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

Manuscript: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘JAS It Is’:

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

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

There are more irregularities. Check it out.

Failed De-Sexing Edit Attempt (Bg. 2.23 and 2.24)

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN

May 14, 2015 — DENMARK (SUN) —

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 2.23:

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 13.38.38

Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

“The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.”

Manuscript: 

“The soul can never be cut into peices by any kind of weapon, neither can he be burnt by fire, nor can He be moistened by water, nor can he be dried up by the wind.”

JAS It Is: 

“The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.”

Although both the manuscript and the original says he about the soul, the JAS It is-version has, for unknown reasons, dropped the pronoun.

Paradoxically, however, ‘Jas It Is’ version in the ensuing verse, 2.24, does NOT drop the pronoun ‘he‘ for the soul:

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 2.24:

Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

“This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.”

Manuscript: 

“This individual soul is unbreakable, cannot be burnt, insoluble, nondriable, everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.”

JAS It Is. 2.24:

“This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.”

So the ‘JAS It Is’ edit-strategy seems to be pretty fickle. “Should we, or shouldn’t we?”

Anyway, why not just stick to the original? It is pretty clear.

In London, 1973, BOTH of the original’s verses were read aloud to Srila Prabhupada.