All changes except philosophical changes are okay?

myth-reality

 

MYTH:

“As long as the BBTI do not make philosophical changes, then their changes are all okay!”

REALITY:

Dear Jaya Krsna Prabhu! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Our previous chat was very messy and unstructured. It was not possible for either of us to present our arguments and points in an orderly way. Therefore let us now start a debate where we focus on some concrete points. I suggest we start with your above request:

Jaya Krsna Dasa (JKD):

“Whenever possible, please share any verse you found which is  philosophically completely against what Srila Prabhupada taught because of this change. I mean only philosophical changes only, not any other type of changes”

Now, there are a few significant things about this request of yours. It has an implied premise, namely that:

“All changes that are not of a philosophical nature are okay.”

The truth of this implied premise can be disproved by quoting Jayadvaita Swami and the BBTI:

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

Now, as we see Prabhupada did not did not only disapprove of philosophical changes to his books. He also disapproved of “needless changes”. Therefore, if we can find any needless changes in his books, we know that Jayadvaita Swami and the BBTI have done something wrong. My contention is that Jayadvaita Swami and the BBTI have made many needless changes. Too many.

Here is one example:

“And the covers, if possible, should always be the same for each respective book regardless of what language it may be printed in.” (Letter to Jadurani, Bombay, January 3, 1975)

So why have the BBTI changed the covers of many of the books? This seems to be completely needless. Prabhupada loved the original cover. It was very special. It was popular. It made devotees. Why change it? We have asked the BBTI and Jayadvaita Swami why the cover was changed. But we have not received any reply.

Maybe you can answer this question, dear Jaya Krsna Dasa Prabhu?

Read more about the changes to the covers here:

https://arsaprayoga.com/2013/09/01/covers-should-be-the-same-regardless-of-language/

And here:

https://arsaprayoga.com/2013/12/24/prabhupadas-instructions-on-front-covers-not-honered/

So now I have:

1. Argued against your implied premise, and therefore against the validity of your question.
2. Presented positive evidence that the changes of the covers are against Srila Prabhupada’s instructions.

Now you have to:

1. Defend your implied premise, or admit that your question is invalid.
2. Argue against my points about the covers, or admit that you either cannot answer it, or that it is in fact against Srila Prabhupada’s instructions to change them.
3. Possibly present further points on the matter of the book changes.

Ajit Krishna Dasa

Deleting “whatever” (Bg. 6.26)

Bg. 6.26:

Srila Prabhupada’s draft (so-called original manuscript):

Screenshot 2014-04-13 12.00.37

Original and authorized 1972 Macmillan edition:

“From whatever and wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self.”

BBT International’s posthumously edited 1983 edition:

From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self.

What did Srila Prabhupada think about the verse?

Visnujana: Verse twenty-six: “From whatever and wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self [Bg. 6.26].”

Prabhupada: This is the process. This is yoga system. Suppose you are trying to concentrate your mind on Krsna, and your mind is diverted, going somewhere, in some cinema house. So you should withdraw, “Not there, please, here.” This is practice of yoga. Not to allow the mind to go away from Krsna. (Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 6.25-29, Los Angeles, February 18, 1969)

The words translated as “whatever and wherever” is “yataḥ yataḥ”. In the 1972 Macmillan edition the word for word looked like this:

 yataḥ-whatever; yataḥ;-wherever

In BBT International’s 1983 edition this is changed to:

yataḥ yataḥ — wherever

Unfortunately these word for word synonyms are missing for 6.26 in the so-called original manuscript. But we do find something in Srimad-Bhagavatam:

yataḥ yataḥ — from whatever and wherever; (SB 7.15.32-33)

As a side note: This verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam in about the same subject as Bg. 6.26:

While continuously staring at the tip of the nose, a learned yogi practices the breathing exercises through the technical means known as puraka, kumbhaka and recaka — controlling inhalation and exhalation and then stopping them both. In this way the yogi restricts his mind from material attachments and gives up all mental desires. As soon as the mind, being defeated by lusty desires, drifts toward feelings of sense gratification, the yogi should immediately bring it back and arrest it within the core of his heart. (SB 7.15.32-33)

Again we left with the conclusion that Jayadvaita Swami and the BBT International are not bringing Srila Prabhupada’s books “closer to Prabhupada”. They are violating Srila Prabhupada’s, sastra’s and their own stated editing guidelines by making both needless and harmful changes in Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Jayadvaita Swami takes a step in the right direction

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

Andrew Whitlock wrote in a mail to Jayadvaita Swami:

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

Jayadvaita Swami replied:

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

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

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

1485908_574307139305587_32311085_o
Of course, eventually we need to have Jayadvaita Swami’s edited version of Bhagavad-gita As It Is (and all other posthumously edited versions of Srila Prabhupada’s books) completely eliminated. But as long as the BBTI insist on violating the sastric rule of arsa-prayoga, they at least should mention it on the books.

 

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.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu on the poetic mistakes of great vaisnavas

Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Adi Lila_1

Caitanya Mahaprabhu said:

Even in the poetic compositions of such great poets as Bhavabhuti, Jayadeva and Kalidasa there are many examples of faults. Such mistakes should be considered negligible. One should see only how such poets have displayed their poetic power.” (Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi-Lila, Ch. 16, Texts 101-102)

Prabhupada’s purport to text 102:

In Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.11) it is said:

tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo
yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api
namany anantasya yaso ‘nkitani yat
srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah

In explaining the glories of the Lord, inexperienced men may compose poetry with many faults, but because it contains glorification of the Lord, great personalities read it, hear it and chant it.” Despite its minute literary discrepancies, one must study poetry on the merit of its subject matter. According to Vaisnava philosophy, any literature that glorifies the Lord, whether properly written or not, is first class. There need be no other considerations. The poetic compositions of Bhavabhuti, or Srikantha, include Malati-madhava, Uttara-carita, Vira-carita and many other similar Sanskrit dramas. This great poet was born during the time of Bhojaraja as the son of Nilakantha, a brahmana. Kalidasa flourished during the time of Maharaja Vikramaditya, and he became the state poet. He composed some thirty or forty Sanskrit dramas, including Kumara-sambhava, Abhijnana-sakuntala and Megha-duta. His drama Raghu-vamsa is especially famous. We have already described Jayadeva in Chapter Thirteen of this Adi-lila.

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:

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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