PROOF POSITIVE: AN APPEAL TO JAYADVAITA SWAMI FOR CLARIFICATION (PART 3)

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BY: THE ASSEMBLED DEVOTEES

Jul 28, 2014 — GLOBAL (SUN) — Srila Prabhupada wasn’t involved at any stage of the production?

In the 2003 Honolulu conversation (reposted in the appendix), Jayadvaita Swami stated:

“He [Prabhupada] wasn’t involved at any stage of the production [of the unabridged Bhagavad-gita]”

“all I really wanted to do is contribute to the history of the Gita.”

Yet there appears to be a disconnect between Jayadvaita Swami’s version of history and the evidence on record. It is well known that Srila Prabhupada indicated on many occasions that he wanted to be relieved from management to concentrate on writing. However, due to various shortcomings on our part we saw him take the helm time and time again to correct the course of his mission. We get the vivid impression from Jayadvaita Swami that Srila Prabhupada entrusted all aspects of book production and publishing to his disciples, thus perpetrating the myth that His Divine Grace was a passive author who, once the writing was done, simply handed the ball off to Jayadvaita and a few others to finish everything; that he wasn’t necessarily concerned with or even fully aware of the nuts and bolts of the process and that he didn’t always see the big picture. And that somehow Jayadvaita knew what His Divine Grace would have approved or not approved.

Conversation between Govinda dasi and Jayadvaita Swami- Honolulu, Jan 19, 2003:

“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.”

Might this be a tad presumptuous? Could it be that Jayadvaita wasn’t aware of how involved Srila Prabhupada was in the production and publication of his Bhagavad-gita and that he (Jayadvaita) was not the only person Prabhupada was communicating and interacting with?

The following conversations and correspondence are just a sampling of the communications between His Divine Grace and others from 1969 thru 1972 regarding the publishing of his unabridged Bhagavad-gita As It Is. For the sake of brevity, we have only used excerpts from these communications. We encourage everyone to look at the full text in the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase to understand Srila Prabhupada’s depth of involvement in the details of publishing, and to study the complete history of events to truly appreciate the astonishing number of people, publications and issues Srila Prabhupada was dealing with. These citations show that in addition to writing, His Divine Grace was involved in approving layouts, deciding on book binding, directing artists, corresponding with his editors, studying printing options, contacting MacMillan, reviewing contracts, fund raising and more. Again, these citations only reference his work on the unabridged Gita — Srila Prabhupada was working on several titles simultaneously. And book publishing was but one facet of his mission.

(Emphasis is added in the following)

Letter to Satsvarupa- Los Angeles, June 27, 1969:

“Regarding Madan Mohan…he must continue the work of indexing very nicely the original Bhagavad-gita As It Is. As soon as this indexing is finished, I shall publish another revised and enlarged edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is at my own cost. I was not happy to publish it [abridged edition] through MacMillan as they have crippled the explanations for so many important verses.”

Discussion with BTG Staff- Boston, December 24, 1969:

Srila Prabhupada sets the wheels in motion

There are several existing manuscripts

He tells Jayadvaita, “So whatever is lacking, you ask me. I will supply you.”

He approves the translations edited by Macmillan

Prabhupada: One thing may appear to be very simple and to other, terse, but you do your own duty. Another thing: where is the Bhagavad-gita with my full translation and synonyms? Where is that manuscript?

Hayagriva: I have… There are several existing manuscripts. I have… The manuscript I went over is in Columbus.

Prabhupada: Whole?

Hayagriva: The total manuscript is there.

Prabhupada: So we have to prepare for next publication, revised and enlarged, giving in the same process: original verse, transliteration, synonyms, and translation, and purport….

Jayadvaita: There’s another manuscript of Bhagavad-gita also in New York, the original.

Prabhupada: Oh. You have got?

Jayadvaita: Yes. It’s in New York except for the first two chapters. Everything else is there.

Prabhupada: So first two chapters might be with Janardana. But you have got the whole thing, Hayagriva.

Hayagriva: Yes. That has been… I have gone over that, the one I have. The one that is in New York, no one has gone over that.

Jayadvaita: Some of it has been edited by Rayarama, but you can see around it and go to the original behind it.

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

Hayagriva: Well, I have nothing lacking. But I would like to see that version.

Jayadvaita: That’s with a dictaphone. So it’s…

Hayagriva: I would like to see that in going over mine. I’ll have to go over it chapter by chapter. But I will compare the version I have with that version, and… I know the translations themselves, they were somewhat changed in Bhagavad-gita As It Is as it came out in Macmillan. Did you like those translations?

Prabhupada: Whichever is better, you think. That’s all. You can follow this Macmillan.

Hayagriva: That was the second… They’re good. I think they’re very good.

Prabhupada: Yes. You can follow that translation. Simply synonyms he can add, transliterations.

Hayagriva: And we have all the purports. We can include everything. Nothing will be deleted. Everything will be in there.

Prabhupada: That’s all right.

Letter to Hayagriva- January 14, 1970:

“Regarding our enlarged, revised Bhagavad-gita As It Is, if possible you can conveniently give an enlarged introduction also.”

Letter to Pradyumna- Los Angeles, February 22, 1970:

“I have read the transliteration of Bhagavad-gita verses, but I think you have to do it very carefully because there are some mistakes in some of the verses. But I am sure in your next reading they will be all corrected. So your next compositions shall be Bhagavad-gita As It Is, revised and enlarged edition. Please do it nicely.”

Letter to Syama, February 23, 1970:

“Please ask Hayagriva Prabhu to finish the Bhagavad-gita As It Is with full explanation and text, and as soon as it is finished I shall send you some new tapes which you shall work husband and wife conjointly and you will be very pleased.”

Letter to Hayagriva- Los Angeles, March 9, 1970:

“I am so glad to learn that the Gita is going on nicely. Perhaps you know that Mandali Bhadra wants to translate into German, so as you finish one chapter you may send one copy to him immediately for being translated into German.”

Letter to Hayagriva- Los Angeles, April 18, 1970:

“So what you are now doing on the Bhagavad Gita manuscript is alright, do it nicely….
Regarding the editing process, I am glad to know that they are improving and doing nicely, but finally you should see each manuscript before printing. That should be the arrangement.”

Letter to Jadurani- Los Angeles, July 11, 1970:

“Regarding the picture for the cover of Bhagavad-gita AS IT IS, revised and enlarged edition, yes, if the painting for the cover is similar to the picture which you sent from the Bhagavad-gita in Pictures that will be alright. Regarding further pictures for the Bhagavad-gita, if you want suggestions from me then I can give you hints with reference to important verses in the Gita;”

Letter to MacMillan Company- Los Angeles, July 18, 1970:

“Regarding my book, THE BHAGAVAD GITA AS IT IS, I beg to inform you that when I had originally submitted the manuscript to Mr. James Wade he informed me that it had to be considerably shortened due to production requirements.

Since the publication of the book in 1968, which I understand is now in its third printing, I desire to publish the GITA according to the original manuscript….Please inform me whether MacMillan wants to publish this expanded version of the GITA. I look forward to receiving your early reply.”

Letter to MacMillan Company- Los Angeles, August 5, 1970:

“If MacMillan does not desire to publish this expanded version, then I will have it published elsewhere immediately.”

Letter to Satsvarupa- Bombay, November 4, 1970:

“I am prepared to give up dealing with Dai Nippon if ISKCON Press can print my books. What is being done with the manuscript of the unabridged Bhagavad-gita As It Is? It should be printed as soon as possible.”

Letter to Hayagriva- Bombay, November 24, 1970:

“Regarding Printing of Bhagavad-gita complete and unabridged edition, it may be printed with our ISKCON PRESS and 5,000 copies may be sent, printed and folded to Bombay because I notice in your ISKCON PRESS newsletter that Advaita has expressed his opinion that if sent by ship without folding first, it would not be possible for the books to be properly folded and printed here in India. Regarding the missing verses, I will see if it is required and will send you at a later date.”

Letter to Advaita- Surat, December 19, 1970:

“I had never considered either closing down our ISKCON Press or removing your responsibility for managing the press affairs. You may immediately resume your former activities and work the press according to your best ability because I am very eager to see our own press printing the majority of our publications. The first thing now should be the printing of the new, enlarged edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is.”

Letter to Satsvarupa- Surat, December 19, 1970:

“I have seen the layout proposal for the first pages of our new edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is and it is fully approved by me…. You may inform Jadurani that the picture she has sent is alright with necessary adjustments. Krsna is of course to be pictured in the same dress in all the scenes of the Kuruksetra delivery of Bhagavad-gita because the episode took place all within about one half hour. Some ideas are: 1) Duryodhana and Dronacarya conferring in a tent just before the battle. 2) A ratha with four horses drawn before the ranks of soldiers and akshouhini carrying Krsna and Arjuna. 3) Arjuna morose; leaving weapons aside he is almost crying. 4) A man pictured dead and also living. Krsna says to Arjuna, “the wise mourn not for the dead or the living.” 5) pictures of an individual from babyhood to youthhood, in manhood and in old age and death. The figure of the soul in each different body remains the same indicating that the body changes, not the soul. 6) Krsna instructing the Sun-god; Vivasvan instructing Manu (his son). I will send you more ideas later if required by you.”

Letter to Satsvarupa- Surat, December 28, 1970:

“You can offer my thanks to Advaita. The dummy Bhagavad-gita sent by him is approved by me. If it is possible it may be improved further.”

Letter to Bali-mardana- Calcutta, January 6, 1971:

“Immediately I want $17,000 for printing Bhagavad-gita As It Is in new enlarged and revised edition, so try to help in this connection.”

Letter to Satsvarupa- Allahabad, January 11, 1971:

“Regarding the Preface to Bhagavad-gita I shall send that as soon as I have got some time to write one. In the meantime you can go ahead with the remainder of layout work.”

Letter to Satsvarupa- Calcutta, February 9, 1971:

“Please accept my blessings. I hope that everything is going on well there with the production of Bhagavad-gita. In this regards please make the following addition to the text:

Chapter IX, The Most Confidential Knowledge, in the purport of the 34th verse you will read “Krishna is not an ordinary human being; He is the Absolute Truth, His Body, Mind and He Himself are One and Absolute”. Immediately therefore you can add the following: In the Kurma Purana, as it is quoted by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami in his Anubhasya comments of Caitanya Caritamrta, 5th chapter Ādi lila, verses 41-48, “deha dehi bibhedo ‘yang nesvare vidyate kvacit” which means that there is no difference in Krishna, the Supreme Lord, between Himself and His body.”

Letter to Advaita- Gorakhpur, February 10, 1971:

“Please inform me immediately how you stand in the matter of the $17,000 needed to print Bhagavad-gita As It Is. I want that it should be printed by the time I return to the States at the end of March. So if there is any lack of the money, I shall immediately take steps to arrange it for you so the printing can begin at once. We are expecting to remain in Gorakhpur for about one month, so you can reply me immediately to the above address.”

Letter to Karandhara- Bombay, March 16, 1971:

“Yes, you may give the donors an honorable mention page in Bhagavad-gita.”

Letter to Advaita- Bombay, March 18, 1971:

“Regarding Bhagavad-gita As It Is, this book is very urgently required. You had previously quoted a price of $17,000. So why print in Dai Nippon for $20,000 and lose $3,000? If it is possible to print on our press, that is better, but if not then Dai Nippon may do the printing.”

Letter to Hayagriva- Bombay, March 23, 1971:

“I have already sent to you the purports for B.G. Chapter 9, verses 16-25, 27 (no 26). I will send the purport to verse 28 very soon. So far the index is concerned, speed it as far as possible; I am very anxious to print.”

Letter to Jadurani- Bombay, April 1, 1971:

“The philosophy should be illustrated, but everything must be done with clear intelligence according to the Parampara revealation of the Absolute Truth and Krsna will give you good understanding for the purpose. The picture of the upside down tree drawn by Bharadraja as a sample is good. The roots of the trees are like pillars growing large and making the tree strong. Regarding the descriptions in Bhagavad-gita Ch XV in verse 1 the leaves are described as the Vedic hymns and in the 2nd verse, the sense objects or vishaya are compared with the twigs. The jiva in the heart of the living entity appears as a sparkling star along with Supersoul depicted as four-handed Visnu as He appears on the cover of “Isopanisad” or similar.”

Letter to Rupanuga- Bombay, April 9, 1971:

“You say that Bhagavatam printing is going on, but what about Bhagavad-gita As It Is? Some San Francisco Indian friends promised to pay $20,000, for this. So somehow get this money and manage to print Bhagavad-gita as quickly as possible, without stopping. Best thing is to get Bhagavad-gita printed on our own press, some soft bound and some hard bound, regularly sewn.”

Letter to Krsnakanti – Bombay, April 11, 1971:

“Try and get KRSNA book and Bhagavad-gita AS IT IS recommended by the professors.

Letter to Advaita- Bombay, April 17, 1971:

“I have written as you know to Dai Nippon regarding the printing of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, but I do not know what is the actual position of the manuscript. Neither I know whether you want to print this book with Dai Nippon or on ISKCON PRESS. In San Francisco the Indians wanted to pay $20,000 for the printing cost, so what is the position now? Are the pictures ready? the index, Sanskrit and English editing, the missing purports, layout, composition, etc.??”

Letter to Abhirama- Malaysia, May 5, 1971:

“So far as distributing the fifteen thousand dollars, I would advise you to send this money to ISKCON PRESS for printing Bhagavad-gita As It Is enlarged edition. They require about $20,000 out of which I have asked Karandhara Prabhu to send them $5,000 from the Book Fund. Similarly, if Lyndan Prabhu can contribute $15,000 then the present problem of printing this book is solved.”

Letter to Advaita- Calcutta, May 17, 1971:

“My Dear Advaita,
Please accept my blessings and offer the same to all the Press staff. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 27th April, 1971 and have noted the contents carefully. Yes, I have sent off the Preface to the enlarged edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, sent from Sydney, and you should have received it by now…
Yes, very soon I shall go there. In the meantime get busy with the printing of Bhagavad-gita and that will encourage me to come there sooner.”

***ON MAY 12, 1971, SRILA PRABHUPADA SIGNS HIS PREFACE TO THE UNABRIDGED EDITION OF BHAGAVAD-GITA AS IT IS

***Letter to Jadurani- Bombay, June 8, 1971:

“Arjuna was not present when Krishna spoke Bhagavad-gita to the sun god. He was present on a different occasion. So the picture is all right. The painting of the chariot of the body is nice.”

Letter to Rupanuga, Bhagavan, Satsvarupa- Bombay, June 15, 1971:

“The preface to the enlarged edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is was sent to you long ago, from Australia. It was sent on 12th May, 1971 and you should have received it by now. I do not know why it is missing. So I am enclosing a second copy herewith.”

Letter to Kirtanananda- London 22 August, 1971:

“I understand that during the festival Hayagriva Prabhu was not there. How is that? Where he is now? The index of BHagavad Gita is very much delayed. Kindly ask him to send the complete index immediately for which the complete work is suffering.”

Letter to Karandhara- Mombassa, Kenya, September 19, 1971:

“Regarding the MacMillan agreement, Brahmananda says that he left everything with Rupanuga when he left N.Y. So kindly inquire from him. So far I know the agreement was made that my royalty would be paid directly to the society. In the beginning they paid me $1,000. and later on I think I got another $600. Besides this I have never received any money from them. If they paid anything it may have been paid directly to N.Y. ISKCON. So you can inquire and do the needful….

What has happened to the Bhagavad-gita quotation? Mr. Ogata told me to wait due to the fluctuating monetary standard, but for how long? Without the quotation we cannot send the manuscript. So please inquire.”

Letter to Karandhara- Nairobi, October 3, 1971:

“I think you have already advised N.Y. to send the full manuscript for Bhagavad-gita As It Is to Dai Nippon. If not you can advise them immediately.”

Letter to Advaita- Calcutta, November 1, 1971:

“Regarding Bhagavad-gita, if the Morocco binding is as costly as the hard binding, then we will prefer hard binding.”

Letter to Bahulasva- Vrindaban, November 30, 1971:

“You may request the Prof. E. Dimac and Prof. Van Buitenin to review and write a forward for our Bhagavad-gita As It Is. That is very nice. I am very glad that you understand the importance of these books.”

Letter to Rupanuga- Vrindaban, November 30, 1971:

“As far as Bhagavad-gita is concerned, I do not know why it is delayed. For the last three years you’ve been saying Bhagavad-gita is going to be printed and the last deadline was given by Advaita that it would be printed by the 1st October, 1971. Unfortunately, nothing has been done by now. Now it is December, 1971. If for printing one book it takes so much time I do not know how the other 60 books will be printed. I am very much depressed.”

Letter to Rupanuga- Delhi, December 5, 1971:

“…I am very glad to know that MacMillan Co. is enthusiastic to print our Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 30,000 paperback and 10,000 hardback. Now you carry out all negotiations very carefully, and reserve for us all editing rights.”

Letter to Sudama- Bombay, February 4, 1972:

“I will be very glad if you can print Bhagavad-gita As It Is in Japanese version, and that will be sufficient to convince many Japanese boys and girls to become devotees of Krishna.”

Letter to Rupanuga- Calcutta, February 22, 1972:

“I noticed that on the carbon-copy [Macmillan] contract you neglected to initial the last clause (b) of Section XX Special Provisions, although you had done so on the original copy. In addition, I have added the phrase to XII. Competitive Material as follows: “as well as the 48 pages of illustrations for which the Author reserves the right to publish for any purpose he may determine,” as per your instructions in the letter to Syamasundara. dated February 15, 1972.”

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? Our Bhagavad-gita As It Is is so much important to the world for uplifting it from darkest condition of ignorance, but still we cannot give them it, that is our neglect. I shall appreciate if you can help to expedite the printing of BGAII as quickly as possible.”

Letter to Bali-mardana- Bombay, March 22, 1972:

“I have received your letter of March 11, 1972, along with copy of MacMillan contract. Now, first thing is don’t sign any contracts without hearing from me, I am thinking about the matter. There is some opinion that it may not be very much advantageous for us to enter such contracts with Macmillan Company. But first I want to know the opinion of Karandhara and others like Rupanuga and Bhagavan. So far Bhagavad-gita As It Is, that is already signed, so we must continue as we have agreed.”

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.”

***ON MAY 29TH 1972, THE DAY AFTER SRILA PRABHUPADA APPROVES THE BHAGAVAD-GITABLUE-PRINT, HE SIGNS THE BHAKTIVEDANTA BOOK TRUST FOUNDING DOCUMENT THUS CREATING THE BBT.

***Letter to Tejiyas- Los Angeles, June 12, 1972:

“So far Mr. Iswar Puri of Atmaram Book Store, let him make a concrete contract to publish our MacMillan version of Bhagavad-gita in cheap edition. You can send one copy of the contract to me and one copy to Bali Mardan at ISKCON Press in New York. I do not know if we are covered by copyright in India or not.”

In 1973, Brahmananda Svami summarizes the publication of the Macmillan Gita in a Back to Godhead article:

The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

by Brahmananda Svami- Back to Godhead Magazine #52, 1973

“Srila Prabhupada had never been entirely satisfied with Macmillan’s edition of his Gita because they had drastically shortened it for business reasons. However, when the book was well into its fifth printing, Macmillan informed him that they would be honored to bring out the complete edition, including the Sanskrit slokas. All other published editions of the Gita were decreasing in sales, they reported, whereas Srila Prabhupada’s was steadily increasing. Therefore, in the fall of 1972, the Macmillan Company released the complete edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, containing the entire text of Srila Prabhupada’s original manuscript, fully indexed and cross-referenced, along with more than fifty color plates. Finally, this was indeed the complete and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gita that we had hoped for.”

Jayadvaita Swami stated:

“all I really wanted to do is contribute to the history of the Gita.”

“He [Prabhupada] wasn’t involved at any stage of the production.”

Appendix(reposted from the first installment of Proof Positive)

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…

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…

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.”

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

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 19.25.48

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?

 

“Phalanx” in Bg. 1.2 and Bg. 1.11 (Jayadvaita Swami’s double standard)

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Back-To-Godhead-Jayadvaita-Swami

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.

Regarding the word “Phalanx” in Bg. 1.2 Jayadvaita Swami writes on the BBT International’s website:

“In the old edition, the idea of a specific military formation (vyudham) is omitted.”

So we see that Jayadvaita Swami feels free to not only override Prabhupada’s editorial decisions regarding Bg. 1.2, namely to omit “military phalanx”, but also to unnecesarrily add the word “formation” instead of “phalanx” (Prabhupada often used the word phalanx. We find it many times in books like Bhagavad-gita, Krishna Book, Nectar of Devotion, Caitanya Caritamrta, and also in lectures, conversations, earlier essays and poems).

Jayadvaita Swami continues:

“In the new edition, I revised “phalanx” to “military formation” because a phalanx (originally) is a particular type of formation peculiar to ancient Greek warfare. Greek columns on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra didn’t seem right. Hence the revision.”

Then why did Jayadvaita Swami not remove the word “phalanx” from Bg. 1.11?

“All of you must now give full support to Grandfather Bhisma, as you stand at your respective strategic points of entrance into the phalanx of the army.” (Bg, 1.11, BBT International 1983 edition)

“Phalanx” is also found in the purports to Bg. 1.3 and Bg. 1.11 in BBT International’s 1983 edition.

Something doesn’t make sense!

In retrospect: “Phalanx” has come to refer to any military formation, so perhaps I should have been less picky. But at any rate, the new translation gets in the idea that the old one left out.”

So will Jayadvaita Swami again add the word phalanx to Bg. 1.2? Or will he remove it from Bg. 1.11 and add “formation”? Changing back and forth – again and again and again…ad infinitum?

Is that what Prabhupada expected from his editors? Is this how the world comes to respect Prabhupada’s books and ISKCON?

Not back to the “original manuscript” (Bg. 1.2)

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This article was sent to the BBT International the 22nd Oct. 2013. We asked them to comment on the points raised. So far we have not received any reply.

Read these quotes carefully:

“As you know, and as we kept in mind while doing the work, Srila Prabhupada staunchly opposed needless changes.” (Jayadvaita Swami’s Letter to Amogha Lila 1986)

“Comparing each verse in the book with the text of the manuscript, I made only those changes that to me seemed worthwhile. I tried to be conservative and not make needless changes.”
(Jayadvaita’s letter to senior devotees, October 25, 1982)

From the so called “original manuscript”:

bg-1-2-manuscript

From the original and by Prabhupada approved/authorized 1972 edition of Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is:

bg-1-2-1972

From the BBT International’s 1983 posthumously edited Bhagavad-gita As It Is:

bg-1-2-1983

“PHALANX” – JAYADVAITA SWAMI’S DOUBLE STANDARD

Jayadvaita Swami attempts to justify his changes in this way:

“In the old edition, the idea of a specific military formation (vyudham) is omitted. In the new edition, I revised “phalanx” to “military formation” because a phalanx (originally) is a particular type of formation peculiar to ancient Greek warfare. Greek columns on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra didn’t seem right. Hence the revision. In retrospect: “Phalanx” has come to refer to any military formation, so perhaps I should have been less picky. But at any rate, the new translation gets in the idea that the old one left out.

We see that Jayadvaita Swami feels free to not only override Prabhupada’s editorial decisions regarding Bg. 1.2, namely to omit “military phalanx”, but also to unnecesarrily add the word “formation” instead of “phalanx” (a word Prabhupada often used).

Bg, 1.11 (BBT International 1983 edition):

“All of you must now give full support to Grandfather Bhisma, as you stand at your respective strategic points of entrance into the phalanx of the army.”

According to Jayadvaita Swami: in Bg. 1.2 “phalanx” didn’t seem right on Kuruksetra, because it’s a Greek word peculiar to ancient Greek warfare. But in Bg. 1.11 Jayadvaita Swami did not remove “phalanx”.

What are we to make of it?

Jayadvaita Swami admits that he might have been a little too “picky” regarding the word “phalanx”. This means he is not completely satisfied with his own work.  Maybe we will have a new edition of Bg. 1.2 in his next printing? And what about Bg. 1.11? Change-change back-change-change back? Is that what Prabhupada wanted?

Jayadvaita Swami said he tried not to make needless changes, but only those worthwhile. But which of the changes here are really worthwhile? Which are really needed? None of them! Bg. 1.2 is just fine the way it is in the original 1972 edition.

“BEGAN TO SPEAK”

Jayadvaita Swami continues:

“Srila Prabhupada typically said “began to speak” or “began to say” when the meaning is simply “spoke” or “said.” Such a phrase as “began to speak” is more apt when followed by something like “but was cut off” or “but changed his mind and fell silent.” In later books, the BBT editors routinely trimmed off the “began to.”

The expression “began to speak” is not wrong, and as we can see below Prabhupada did not object to it in Bg. 1.2, but re-confirmed it. Therefore the change is needless and not at all worthwhile. The editors might have trimmed the phrase off in other books, but these books were then approved by Prabhupada. Bg. 1.2 was approved with the phrase “began to speak”. Prabhupada did not approve the 1983 edition.

The shocking fact is that Jayadvaita Swami’s underlying technique is to attempt to mind-read Prabhupada after his physical disappearance and use his mind-reading “discoveries” about Prabhupada’s desires in relation to his books to change them posthumously. I don’t think even the devotees in favor of the changes have the fantasy to imagine that this is an editing methodology actively used by the BBT International.

The fallacy of going back to the so called original manuscript is covered here. But apart from that, what does it even mean to postulate that you are changing back to the manuscript, when there are so many instances where you concoct phrases that Prabhupada never used in relation to the verses under discussion?

Let us see how Prabhupada dealt with Bg. 1.2:

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

sanjaya uvaca
drstva tu pandavanikam
vyudham duryodhanas tada
acaryam upasangamya
raja vacanam abravit
[Bg. 1.2]

Translation: “Sanjaya said: O King, after looking over the army gathered by the sons of Pandu, King Duryodhana went to his teacher and began to speak the following words:”

Prabhupada: So Dhrtarastra inquired from Sanjaya, kim akurvata: “After my sons and my brother’s sons assembled together for fighting, what did they do?”

Prabhupada continues without objecting to the words “began to speak. In fact a little later in the same lecture Prabhupada says:

“Raja vacanam abravit [Bg. 1.2]. Then he began to speak, to inform Dronacarya.”

(Bhagavad-gita 1.2-3, London, July 9, 1973)

So in this lecture Prabhupada heard the verse, and did not object to to words “gathered” and “began to speak”.  In fact he re-translated the words “raja vacanam abravit” to “began to speak” – the very same words he used in his draft (so called original manuscripts) and which he had approved in his 1972 edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

From a room conversation:

Aksayananda: Acaryam upasangamya raja vacanam abravit [Bg. 1.2].
Prabhupada: Yes. What is the translation?
Aksayananda: “Sanjaya said, ‘Oh king after looking over the army gathered by the sons of Pandu, King Duryodhana went to his teacher and began to speak the following words.’ ”
Prabhupada: Aiye. [break] Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission is to preach. So you join us.

(Room Conversation on New York court case, November 2, 1976, Vrindavana)

Prabhupada continues speaking with no objection to the verse as it was read to him.

The comparison of Bg. 1.2 in the original 1972 edition and BBT Internationals 1983 posthumously edition version is an axample of everything Prabhupada’s editors should NOT do:

  • They changed what was approved by Prabhupada (namely “gathered” and “began to speak”)
  • They added what Prabhupada approved left out (namely “military”)
  • then added something Prabhupada didn’t write (namely “formation” instead of “phalanx” and “spoke” instead of “began to speak”).

Jayadvaita Swami is not at all being conservative in his editing. He is by nature an extreme liberal, since he feels free to rely on a New Age methodology, namely using his feelings and “intuition” to mind-read Prabhupada. Jayadvaita Swami is actively using this liberal New Age methodology to add, substract, concoct and change words in Prabhupada original and authorized books.

Jayadvaita undoes Prabhupada’s work on Gita Manuscript

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By Madhudvisa Dasa in 2010 (originally posted on bookchanges.com)

ISKCON now distributes a Bhagavad-gita that contains more than 5,000 unauthorized changes. Srila Prabhupada gave all his classes from his original Bhagavad-gita As It Is and read from this book personally on a daily basis and listened to his disciples read from it, and commented on the philosophical points as they read. With the exception of a couple of obvious typographical errors, Prabhupada never at any point of time ordered that his Bhagavad-gita be changed. He most certainly did not authorize the production of a revised and enlarged edition of his book.

Jayadvaita Swami agrees that Srila Prabhupada did not ask him or anyone else to “revise and enlarge” his Bhagavad-gita As It Is. So how did it happen? Where did the authority come from for ISKCON’s current “Revised and Enlarged” edition? It seems just after Srila Prabhupada left our material vision, Jayadvaita thought it was a good idea to revise and enlarge Prabhupada’s Gita, so he did it.

“Comparing each verse in the book with the text of the manuscript, I made only those changes that to me seemed worthwhile. I tried to be conservative and not make needless changes.”
(Jayadvaita’s letter to senior devotees, October 25, 1982)

And what is his “authority” for this you may ask? As he said in the letter to senior devotees, “the text of the manuscript.” “I have made it closer to the original manuscript.”

And what is this so-called “original manuscript”? You can see it here.

This is not a manuscript at all. It is the first draft of the book. No author intends that the first draft of his book be published. He appoints an editor and together they work on the book to produce the manuscript which will ultimately be submitted to the publishers. In this case,  Prabhupada wrote the first draft and then worked with Hayagriva and other editors to prepare the manuscript for hisBhagavad-gita As It Is, which was ultimately presented to Macmillan & Co. for printing.

Imagine you write the first draft of a book and appoint an editor. You work with your editor on a daily basis for months until together you produce a manuscript you are happy with and your book is published. Your book becomes a worldwide best seller and you are very happy with it. It is a spiritual book and by reading it many of the readers have life-changing experiences. They also become very attached to your book. Your book is praised by scholars worldwide with rave reviews. Then many years later, after you have left your body, somebody finds the first draft of your book and decides to “correct” your published book based on your first draft. Of course you were never intending to publish this first draft. That is why you spent so much time and energy working with your editor on that first draft to transform it into a manuscript you actually wanted to present to the publishers. How angry would you be with this fool who wants to undo your work and your editors’ work by going back to the first draft?

Jayadvaita Swami, by going back to the first draft, is eliminating so many corrections and so much work that Srila Prabhupada personally did on his book with Hayagriva and his other editors. This is a great disservice to Srila Prabhupada.

The Swami is insisting that his version of the history of the editing of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is is correct. And what is his version of the history? He has turned to “smoke and mirrors” to try and bewilder the devotees into believing a false history. In the “history according to Jayadvaita’s imagination”, Srila Prabhupada only typed and dictated the first draft of his Bhagavad-gita As It Is and handed it over to his editors and did not work with his editors on the book. In this way he claims the first draft that he has is authoritative and he is justified in changing the printed book if he can find something different in the first draft.

On his website he debunks “The myth that Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva together carefully reviewed the completed text of Bhagavad-gita As It Is“. He does this by debunking a statement by Govinda dasi, who saw Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva working together on editing Prabhupada’s books in 1968 in Los Angeles. Prabhupada and Hayagriva were actually working together on editingSrimad-Bhagavatam at that time. And according to Jayadvaita, that “proves” that Prabhupada and Hayagriva did not work together on editing the Gita. Strange logic, but we are expected to believe the Swami anyhow.

In a recent blog post [“Book Changes: History Really Does Back the BBT“] Jayadvaita continues to try and distort and change the history:

“And so the image of Srila Prabhupada sitting with Hayagriva in December of 1968 carefully going over every verse of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, seeing to the finishing touches, is a persistent image of something that never took place. That’s the truth. Here’s the timeline. See for yourself.” (Jayadvaita Swami)

Then he goes on to present many quotes from Srila Prabhupada that are supposed to prove that Srila Prabhupada did not work with his editors on the Bhagavad-gita As It Is at all. However, Krishna slipped one quote into his article that completely blows his cover:

December 14, 1967: Srila Prabhupada writes Rayarama, “I have already sent you the purports of each and every sloka that you sent me for correction. . . . As soon as you finish the Gitopanisadbusiness and the matter is handed over to the Macmillan Co. we begin on the Bhagavatam work without delay.”

Here Jayadvaita is letting us know that Rayarama, while he was editing Bhagavad-gita, was in constant contact with Srila Prabhupada and was asking many questions about the editing, which Srila Prabhupada was answering. “I have already sent you the purports of each and every sloka that you sent me for correction.” So even with Rayarama’s editing he was asking Prabhupada many questions and Prabhupada was sending him many corrections to his “first draft”. None of these corrections by Srila Prabhupada are present in what Jayadvaita refers to as “the original manuscript.” This alone completely destroys any justification for using this document as any sort of authority, as it does not include the many corrections that Srila Prabhupada made to it while Rayarama was working on editing his Bhagavad-gita.

The real world is quite different from Jayadvaita’s imaginary world. Even though the Swami constantly says, “It’s not true!” Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva did work together for almost three months in 1967 editing Bhagavad-gita As It Is, during this period Hayagriva Prabhu was consulting Srila Prabhupada daily on almost every verse in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It’s not a myth, it’s history, and this history completely destroys any justification at all for changing Prabhupada’s Gita based on Prabhupada’s first draft of the book (or the “original manuscript”, as the Swami calls it).

If you ask Jayadvaita about this he will lie and tell you: “It could not have happened. Prabhupada and Hayagriva were never living together. It’s an Internet myth…” All lies and deception, unfortunately. It is frightening to think that such a deceptive, dishonest character has been given full authority to change anything at all he wants to change in Prabhupada’s books without any system of checks and balances at all. He can change anything, print the changed books without even disclosing what he has changed. And he smiles and says, “You just have to accept it…”

The proof that Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva worked together daily editing Bhagavad-gita for almost three months in 1967 can be found in Hayagriva Prabhu’s wonderful book, “The Hare Krishna Explosion”:

The_Hare_Krishna_Explosion-cover

January 17, 1967: Prabhupada arrives in San Francisco from New York. Hayagriva Prabhu is there to meet him. Prabhupada is still translating Bhagavad-gita and Hayagriva is there with him:

“Swamiji continues translating Bhagavad-gita. He is so eager to print it that we begin negotiations with a local printer. Prices are very high. In New York, Brahmananda continues his pursuit of publishers.”

So Hayagriva is negotiating on Srila Prabhupada’s behalf with a local printer to print Prabhupada’sBhagavad-gita As It Is. Finishing his translation of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, working with Hayagriva Prabhu to edit it and getting it printed are clearly the most important projects on Srila Prabhupada’s agenda at this time.

Hayagriva is still in San Francisco on January 29th, two weeks later, for the big concert featuring the Grateful Dead.

Hayagriva is still with Srila Prabhupada in San Francisco in February:

“The days of February are beautiful with perfect temperatures in the seventies, fog rolling off early, skies very blue and clear, sun falling bright and sharp on the lush foliage of Golden Gate Park. The park encloses the largest variety of plant and tree life to be found in any one spot on earth. We are at a loss to identify plants for Swamiji.”

Hayagriva has settled down in the ISKCON San Francisco temple (a storefront near Golden Gate Park) and he is working there:

“I rent an electric typewriter, set it up in the back temple room, and continue typing up stencils forBack To Godhead, writing and editing [Bhagavad-gita] while Harsharani sends people after food, and cooks noon prasadam.”

Hayagriva is the only devotee living in the San Francisco temple and is the “Temple Commander”:

“Being the only person living in the temple proper, and one of the senior devotees besides, I’m naturally looked to as the temple commander, a role I often find myself regretting.”

All this time Hayagriva is living with Srila Prabhupada and his main service is editing Bhagavad-gita:

“Apart from kirtans, I find myself spending many sunny hours in the park, walking past the tennis courts to large, quiet bowers surrounded with hybiscus and eucalyptus. And at times I sit in the shade beneath the white and pink rhododendrons and edit Bhagavad-gita. After editing, I sometimes visit the museum and stroll through the replica eighteenth century gardens, chanting my daily rounds while perusing the curlicues of rococo art.”

Hayagriva is still in San Francisco together with Srila Prabhupada on February 27th. This is now six weeks in the personal association of Srila Prabhupada, working with him editing his Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

He is still there with Srila Prabhupada in March:

“Golden Gate Park is redolent with March flowers. The morning fog disperses early, and the days are cloudless and blue. Thousands continue to flock to San Francisco from the midwest and east, and our Sunday kirtans attract big crowds… On Tuesday evenings, we go to the beach with Swamiji and hold unforgettable Pacific Ocean sunset kirtans. Sitting on the sand, we watch the tide roll in, or chant and wait for the sun to dip below the horizon. After chanting, we roast potatoes and smear them with melted butter. Swamiji eats with us, sitting on a big log. And after potatoes, we roast marshmallows, and red apples stuffed with raisins and brown sugar.”

All throughout this time (now over two months) Hayagriva is working editing Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is, consulting Srila Prabhupada on almost every verse:

“Although I write on the Lord Chaitanya play through the spring days, my primary service is helping Swamiji with Bhagavad-gita. He continues translating, hurrying to complete the manuscript but still annotating each verse thoroughly in his purports. Daily, I consult him to make certain that the translation of each verse precisely coincides with the meaning he wants to relate. “Edit for force and clarity,” he tells me. “By Krishna’s grace, you are a qualified English professor. You know how grammatical mistakes will discredit us with scholars. I want them to appreciate this Bhagavad-gita as the definitive edition. All the others try to take credit away from Krishna.”

“I am swamped with editing. Since much of the text is equivocal due to grammar, I find myself consulting Swamiji on nearly every verse. It seems that in Sanskrit, Hindi, and Bengali, phrase is tacked onto phrase until the original subject is lost.”

March 21: Hayagriva is still in San Francisco working daily with Srila Prabhupada on editingBhagavad-gita As It Is… So far this is almost nine weeks constantly with Srila Prabhupada…

April 9:

“Swamiji leaves for the airport. Before entering the car, he stops, cane in hand, and gives a long look at the little storefront temple. It is a look that says a great deal. Gurudas snaps a photo at that very instant. ‘That’s a farewell look,’ I think to myself.”

So Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva worked together on editing the Bhagavad-gita daily during the almost three months while Hayagriva Prabhu was living with him in the San Francisco temple, from Janurary 17, 1967 until April 9, 1967.

Jayadvaita Swami [desperately]: “IT JUST DID NOT HAPPEN!!!”

The history is the history. Srila Prabhupada worked on the first draft of Bhagavad-gita As It Isextensively with both Hayagriva Prabhu and Rayarama Prabhu. In the three months Hayagriva went through practically every verse with Srila Prabhupada and Prabhupada also sent many corrections to Rayarama Prabhu later on.

At that time Macmillan were only able to print 400 pages, so Rayarama abridged Prabhupada’sBhagavad-gita As It Is. Prabhupada was not happy with this and wanted to publish the complete edition. Hayagriva was again called on by Srila Prabhupada for producing the manuscript, which was submitted to Macmillan for the publication of the complete 1,000 page edition in 1972. At this time there were at least exchanges of letters between Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva and Prabhupada was still giving him many instructions related to the editing and answering the questions he had in regard to the editing.

So Jayadvaita’s “history” that Srila Prabhupada did not work with his disciples on editing Bhagavad-gita is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. It is a dishonest attempt to mislead the devotees and cover-up the real history.

The authoritative edition of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is is the final published 1972 “Complete Edition.” Not the first draft that Jayadvaita calls the “manuscript.” Srila Prabhupada spent considerable time, energy and effort working with his editors Hayagriva Prabhu and Rayarama Prabhu to take his first draft to the real manuscript — the manuscript which was submitted for publishing to MacMillan.

Changes to the final published book cannot be justified by referring to the first draft. This is a great mistake.

People are not so foolish. The truth is the truth. Eventually Jayadvaita’s smoke and mirrors will stop working and the blind followers will wake up and see the truth.

Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

Your servant,
Madhudvisa dasa

Govinda dasi and Jayadvaita Swami in Honolulu on Jan 19, 2003 (Part 2)

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(Originally posted on adi-vani.org. Part 2 of 2. Read Part 1 here)

hawaii-govinda-dasi

Govinda dasi: …that in 1966, ’67 and ’68, Hayagriva spent many, many hours alone with Srila Prabhupada, discussing the different aspects of the editing work. They went over each verse extensively, and Srila Prabhupada was actually quite clear in expressing what he wanted. He, even in the case of legal matters, or something else that he might not know how things worked, he knew what he wanted. So he had an uncanny ability to see through any situation. That’s an understatement, and I’m putting that so that people can appreciate it.

So, when the later Gita was edited, the manuscript had already been gone over, how many times? We don’t really know, I don’t really believe, I mean, joined after Hayagriva. I joined in Frisco as soon as Srila Prabhupada came to Frisco, and then I went back to LA with him. I think, Javadvaita Maharaja, didn’t you say you joined in Boston in…

Jayadvaita Maharaja: New York.

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