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

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BY: THE ASSEMBLED DEVOTEES

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

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

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

Jayadvaita Swami stated:

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

“No he did not.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Appendix A

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

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

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

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

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

Jayadvaita Maharaja: Not that I remember.

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

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

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

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

Later in the same conversation:

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

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

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

Appendix B

The following letters show:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

“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

Jayadvaita Swami admits: There is no one original manuscript

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Excerpts regarding the so called “original manuscript” from an article by Govinda Dasi

govinda-dasiGovinda Dasi

“It is unreasonable to consider that Srila Prabhupada would intend to give up the results of two years of editing the book with Hayagriva and go backwards to the original manuscripts.”

“Jayadvaita Maharaja says that he changed the Bhagavad-gita to be more in keeping with the original manuscript.’ I question which manuscript, since nearly two years of editing by Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva had already taken place before Jayadvaita even joined the movement. There certainly were many working drafts and manuscripts in various stages of editing, since Srila Prabhupada spent many hours, weeks and months going over every detail of every single verse of the Gita with Hayagriva. Jayadvaita Maharaja confirmed this in the second Hawaii istagosthi meeting: there is no one original manuscript.’

A writer usually prepares several working drafts before the final draft is polished and sent to press. For example, I made several drafts of this letter, correcting spelling, grammar and style. The first drafts are in my trash bin. I am signing this, the final draft, for publication. If someone took an earlier draft out of my trash bin and published it, I would be greatly annoyed. Similarly, Srila Prabhupada’s signature is on the final draft of the complete Bhagavad-gita As It Is (completed in 1968 but not published until 1972), not on any so-called original manuscripts’ Jayadvaita Maharaja may possess. To assume that Srila Prabhupada was not watching over and scrutinizing this whole process is absurd. His books were most important to him. He knew both internally and externally what was going into his books, and he signed and sealed the work when it was completed to his satisfaction and ready to go to press.”

“Certainly, the few typos that slipped through needed Srila Prabhupada’s correction, but the scope of alterations in Jayadvaita Maharaja’s edited version is far broader. Jayadvaita Maharaja’s version of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita doesn’t just correct typos; it also succeeds in changing Srila Prabhupada’s mood, style and often, his meaning. Indeed, after Srila Prabhupada’s departure, the original Bhagavad-gita was rewritten to suit the taste of the editors, on the plea that it is closer to – in Jayadvaita Maharaja’s opinion – the original manuscript.’ But Jayadvaita Maharaja stated in the second book changes meeting in Hawaii that there were many original manuscripts’ of varying quality and content. There is no one original manuscript.’

In this case, any changes are really unreasonable, when you consider that Srila Prabhupada had the original manuscripts in hand, but chose to sign off on the edited version. Why didn’t he just choose to print one of those manuscripts? Why did he, instead, spend hundreds of hours with Hayagriva, editing his manuscript to flow beautifully in the English language? Moreover, why would Srila Prabhupada sign it and gift it to the world, if he intended that future editors would dig up some so-called original manuscripts’ and try to change it back to the original.’ It is unreasonable to consider that Srila Prabhupada would intend to give up the results of two years of editing the book with Hayagriva and go backwards to the original manuscripts.’”

“When Jayadvaita Maharaja presents his rationale for editing Srila Prabhupada ‘s Bhagavad-gita As It Is to the public, he quotes a few passages from Bhagavad-gita As It Is that are obviously confusing, and claims, “these need to be changed.” For example, he cites “planet of the trees” [Bg. 1972 edition 10.24 P] and “cattle raising” [Bg. 1972 edition 18.44 T]. He uses these isolated examples to justify his wholesale rewriting of the entire Gita. Perhaps no one would object if Jayadvaita Maharaja had noted those few changes authorized by Srila Prabhupada in footnotes or an addendum, instead of making sweeping, unauthorized editorial changes to virtually the entire book. If he feels there are confusing aspects, or as he himself is fond of putting it, “goofs” in Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is, then these portions can be selected and clarified in a published addendum or series of footnotes without changing the meaning of any other part of the book.”

“Jayadvaita Maharaja has rewritten the whole book according to some manuscripts that he believes to be the original – and which Srila Prabhupada did not choose to print. Rather, in both 1968 and 1972 Srila Prabhupada chose to print the edited version, not a manuscript.

The overriding fact is that Srila Prabhupada never told Jayadvaita Maharaja or anyone else to edit his books after he left. I repeat, Srila Prabhupada never gave Jayadvaita Maharaja or anybody authority to edit or change his books after his departure. Instead, he said, “Print the books the original way.” By late 1976, he was acutely aware of the American disease’ of compulsively changing things, so he chose the safest route to protect his books: “NO CHANGES.””

In The Early Days (Govinda Dasi)

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Govinda Dasi

A number of devotees attended the recent (January 2003) series of meetings in Hawaii on the book changes. Jayadvaita Maharaja attended the first two meetings, and Nischintya Prabhu attended the third one (Jayadvaita Maharaja was out of town). I attended all three meetings and believe that much was accomplished. Many valuable points were gleaned from these sessions – both inspiring as well as grueling. These meetings are being transcribed, and are available on adi-vani.org for those who are interested.

We held the meetings in Srila Prabhupada’s room at New Navadvipa Dham, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Memorial Tirtha (the Honolulu ISKCON temple), where Srila Prabhupada lived, worked and translated his books. His presence is very strong at our Hawaii temple. We all prayed for Srila Prabhupada’s divine presence at these meetings, and humbly requested that he inspire us to reach understandings based on his transcendental viewpoints, rather than our own limited ones. In my heart, I feel that Srila Prabhupada has urged me to speak out on this issue. I usually do not get involved in controversial matters unless the issue is of great importance. And the issue of Srila Prabhupada’s books, in my opinion, is of paramount importance. I have had many realizations and wish to share them here.

It is unreasonable to consider that Srila Prabhupada would intend to give up the results of two years of editing the book with Hayagriva and go backwards to the original manuscripts.

First, it seems that Jayadvaita Maharaja takes this matter too personally.

Continue reading

Prabhupada did the proofreading of the entire Bhagavad-gita As It Is

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

Brahmananda Prabhu as quoted in ”Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta”:

“Macmillan Company was publishing Bhagavad-gita, and Prabhupada himself was publishing Teachings of Lord Caitanya through Dai Nippon in Japan. Because Brahmananda had contacted the editors at Macmillan Company, Prabhupada credited him with the success of the Gita’s being published by such a famous company. Brahmananda was also Prabhupada’s man for dealing with Dai Nippon. Both books were on tight printing schedules, and Brahmananda had to return quickly to New York with the corrected proofs.

Brahmananda: “I came up to show Prabhupada the galley proofs for both Teachings of Lord Caitanya and Bhagavad-gita, As It Is. I just happened to have both galley proofs that had arrived. So it was a wonderful thing to bring these galley proofs to Prabhupada for checking. I was there only for a few days, maybe a weekend or so. Prabhupada personally read through the entire galleys and made notations in his own hand. He did the proofreading of the galleys. Everything was done by Srila Prabhupada. It was a very personal kind of thing. Of course, that gave Prabhupada great pleasure because he wanted his books published, and we had started to do it. So Prabhupada took great pleasure in proofreading those galleys. And he handed them to me, and it was very wonderful.” (SPL 7-4: A Summer in Montreal, 1968 / http://vedabase.com/en/spl/7/4)

prabhupada-gita-smiling

For those who are not familiar with the term “galley proofs” here is a definition from wikipedia:

“In printing and publishing, proofs are the preliminary versions of publications meant for review by authors, editors, and proofreaders, often with extra wide margins. Galley proofs may be uncut and unbound, or in some cases electronic. They are created for proofreading and copyediting purposes, but may be used for promotional and review purposes also.”

These memories from Brahmananda Prabhu informs us that Prabhupada read through the complete Bhagavad-gita, As It Is before it was sent to be printed in late 1968. This means that Prabhupada read through all 700 verses and their purports.

An interesting point in this regard – which serves as an example of unauthorized editing – is that the word ”coward” was in verse 2.35, and that the word ”brimming” was in verse 2.1 both in the 1968-edition and the 1972-edition. But still the BBT International took the liberty to remove and change these words on their own initiative in their 1983-edition. Prabhupada saw and approved these two words. He did not change them to ”insignificant” og ”full of tears” respectively, even though he had from 1968-1972 to do so if that was what he wanted. Even after 1972 he could have ordered them changed. But just like with all others words and sentences in his Bhagavad-gita, As It Is (except 2-3 instances) he did not give any order to change them. And therefore we also do not have the right to do it.