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

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN

May 14, 2015 — DENMARK (SUN) —

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 2.23:

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 13.38.38

Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

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

Manuscript: 

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

JAS It Is: 

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

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

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

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 2.24:

Original, authorized 1972 edition: 

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

Manuscript: 

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

JAS It Is. 2.24:

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

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

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

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

“Enter Blazing” – Jayadvaita Swami Commits a Grammatical Error (Bg. 11.28)

universal-formThe Universal Form

Bhakta Torben Nielsen recently made me aware of this change to Bg. 11.28:

Original and authorized 1972-edition:

“As the rivers flow into the sea, so all these great warriors enter Your blazing mouths and perish.”

BBT International’s edited 1983 edition:

“As the many waves of the rivers flow into the ocean, so do all these great warriors enter blazing into Your mouths.”

So-called original manuscript:

There is no verse for 11.28 as the page is missing. But verse 30 mentions the words “blazing mouths”.

This is a very interesting change, because it is of a grammatical nature:

  • In Srila Prabhupada’s original 1972 edition the adjective “blazing” describes the plural noun “mouths”.
  • In BBT International’s 1983 edition the adjective “blazing” describes the plural noun “warriors”.

So which translation is grammatically correct – Srila Prabhupada’s or Jayadvaita Swami’s?

The context

Here we have the verses from Bg. 11.28-30 (original edition):

“As the rivers flow into the sea, so all these great warriors enter Your blazing mouths and perish.” (Bg. 11.28)

“I see all people rushing with full speed into Your mouths as moths dash into a blazing fire.” (Bg. 11.29)

“O Visnu, I see You devouring all people in Your flaming mouths and covering the universe with Your immeasurable rays. Scorching the worlds, You are manifest.” (Bg. 11.30)

We see that Srila Prabhupada describes the mouths of the universal form as “blazing” (Bg. 11.28) and “flaming” (Bg. 11.30), and compares them to a “blazing fire” (Bg. 11.29). There is no “original manuscript” available for Bg. 11.28-29, but the “original manuscript” for Bg. 11.30 also says “blazing mouths”, as mentioned above.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 11.49.21

Plate 31

The painting above this article is Plate 31 from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Just like all other paintings in the book it was approved by Srila Prabhupada. On the painting we clearly see that the warriors are entering into the blazing mouths of The Universal Form – just like we are told that they are in the Bg. 11.28, 1972 edition.

Srila Prabhupada’s desire

Based on the above, there is no doubt at all that Srila Prabhupada wanted to use the adjective “blazing” to describe the mouths of the universal form. He never meant to say that the great warriors were “blazing”.

What does the previous acaryas say about Bg. 11.28? (as translated on bhagavad-gita.org)

Sridhara Swami’s commentary:

“As unlimited currents of water helplessly flow in innumerable rivers and are propelled from multiple channels into the ocean, the mighty warriors of the Kaurava and Pandava armies are seen to be helplessly propelled into the flaming, gnashing mouths of the visvarupa or divine universal form of Lord Krishna.” ()

Kesava Kasmiri’s commentary:

“How helplessly do the mighty warriors of the Kaurava and Pandava armies enter into the flaming mouths of Lord Krishna’s visvarupa or divine universal form? As helplessly as unlimited currents of water from innumerable rivers are propelled into entering the ocean.”

In his translations of Visvanath Cakravarti Thakura and Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s Bhagavad-gita commentaries Bhanu Swami also translates Bg. 11.28 as follows:

“As many swift currents of rivers flow towards the sea, so these heroes of the world enter Your flaming mouths.”

The sanskrit

Gaura Krishna Dasa, a student of sanskrit, sent me the following analysis of the sanskrit grammar:

Regarding the change in the translation of Bhagavad gita 11.28.

The word “abhivijvalanti” is in the 1972 edition taken as what in grammar is called a verbal adjective or a participle. A participle is basically a derivative from a verb but belonging in the group of adjectives. This particular participle is a participle in present tense, active voice for parasmaipada verbs. It is in neuter gender, plural number and in the accusative case which clearly indicates that it relates to “vaktraani” which is also in neuter gender, plural number and accusative case.

Sridhara Swami, Visvanath Cakravati Thakur and Baladeva Vidyabhusana have the same grammatical conclusion of this word as a participle and therefore in relation to “vaktraani” attributively, “blazing mouths”.

The “anti” ending in “abhivijvalanti” could preliminarily appear as a finite verb 3rd person in the plural number and present tense related to “nara-loka-viira” (the kings of human society), but this conclusion is in the least very strange. It would, if accepted, be a distortion of historical facts and it must be concluded faulty because this sentense already has a finite verb namely “visanti” meaning entering. So if we for the sake of example maintain “abhivijvalanti” as a finite verb, as it is done in the 1983 edition it would translate “as the many waves of the rivers flow into the ocean, so all these great warriors enter and blaze your mouth”, since “abhivijvalanti” can also not be taken as an adverb describing “visanti” attributively.

Conclusion:

“abhivijvalanti” must be taken as a participle – as done by the previous acaryas and the original 1972 edition – and not a verb as done in the 1983 edition.

Conclusion

The evidence against Jayadvaita Swami’s change is overwhelming:

1. Srila Prabhupada is very clear in his original Gita and his manuscripts – the mouths are blazing. Not the warriors.

2. Srila Prabhupada follows the previous acaryas who says that the mouths are blazing (flaming, gnashing).

3 The painting depicting this event (Plate 31 in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is) shows that it is the mouths of The Universal Form that are blazing.

4. According to sanskrit grammer it is the “mouths” that are “blazing”. Not the “warriors”.

Even if both translations could be correct (which they cannot), there would still be no justification – based on the above analysis – to change Srila Prabhupada’s translation of the verse.

It would not be possible to do this without overriding his own editorial decisions and thus violating the arsa-prayoga principle.

Please see additional evidence here.

NOT CLOSER TO SRILA PRABHUPADA (BG 8.18: MERGED?)

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MERGED?

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN

Feb 03, 2015 — DENMARK (SUN) —

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 8.18

Authorized Original 1972: 

“When Brahma’s day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma’s night they are all annihilated.”

Science of Self-realization, page 225: 

“When Brahma’s day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma’s night they are all annihilated.”

JAS It Is: 

“At the beginning of Brahmā’s day, all living entities become manifest from the unmanifest state, and thereafter, when the night falls, they are merged into the unmanifest again.”

Manuscript: 

“On the manifest of the Brahma´s day, all living entities, they come into being and when there is arrival of night of Brahma everything becomes annihilated.”

Srila Prabhupada preached heavily against the mayavada concept of ‘merging’. For SURE he did not use the ‘merge’ word in this verse.

A few points from Arsa-Prayoga:

1. Science of Self-Realization was published after the departure of Srila Prabhupada. But it was made on his order. Bhagavad-gita 8.18 was, however, published in Beyond Birth and Death (published while Srila Prabhupada was here) and a Back to Godhead magazine from 1974.

2. Actually Srila Prabhupada used the word “merge” in his original and authorized Gita (like in 2.54). So the most important point here is that Jayadvaita Swami has added words (like merged, manifest, unmanifest, state, falls etc.) to Bg. 8.18 which Srila Prabhupada did not intend to be in Bg. 8.18. Jayadvaita Swami is therefore not telling the truth when he claims he has made the Gita “more faithful to Srila Prabhupada” or “closer to Prabhupada”.

Jayadvaita Swami has made a new translation of the Gita and published it in Srila Prabhupada’a name.

Srila Prabhupada preached heavily against the mayavada concept of `merging´. For SURE he did not use the `merge´ word in this verse.

PROOF POSITIVE: AN APPEAL TO JAYADVAITA SWAMI FOR CLARIFICATION (PART 2)

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 19.25.48

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.”

Jayadvaita Swami – the Nitpicker

By Robert Jasmin Rintoull

nitpick

“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)

Speaking of needless changes to Prabhupada’s Gita, I found the silliest change of all in chapter 4 vs 22

1972 Gita reads:

“He who is satisfied with gain which comes of its own accord, who is free from duality and does not envy, who is steady BOTH IN success and failure, is never entangled, although performing actions.” (Bg. 4.22, 1972 edition)

Sounds ok doesn’t it?

JAS had ONE small alteration in his 1983 version:

“He who is satisfied with gain which comes of its own accord, who is free from duality and does not envy, who is steady IN BOTH success and failure, is never entangled, although performing actions.” (Bg. 4.22, 1983 edition)

He decided that “IN BOTH” sounded more grammatically or aestethically correct than “BOTH IN”. This is what we would call a nitpicking, pedantic editor!

“As nitpicking inherently requires fastidious, meticulous attention to detail, the term has become appropriated to describe the practice of meticulously searching for minor, even trivial errors in detail (often referred to as “nits” as well), and then criticising them (see hypercriticism).” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitpicking)

But not only that, by this change Jayadvaita Swami changed Srila Prabhupada’s words and brought the Gita further away from Srila Prabhupada. Here is the “original manuscript”:

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 09.20.21(Click to enlarge)

Don’t change from this to that. That is your American disease. This is very serious that you always want to change everything. (Srila Prabhupada, Letter to Bhakta dasa, Nov 24, 1974)

Hare Krishna.

Jayadvaita Swami makes a “mad” change!

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

Original and authorized 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Text 13.1-2 purport:

“Sometimes we understand that I am happy, I am mad, I am a woman, I am a dog, I am a cat: these are the knowers.”

BBT International’s unauthorized 1983 Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Text 13.1-2 purport:

“Sometimes we think, “I am happy,” “I am a man,” “I am a woman,” “I am a dog,” “I am a cat.” These are the bodily designations of the knower.”

Prabhupada’s “original manuscript”:

original-manuscript

The changes are:

1) “we understand” to “we think”

2) “I am mad” to “I am a man”

3) “these are the knowers” to “These are the bodily designations of the knower.”

What we see is that the original editor is true to the “original manuscript” whereas Jayadvaita Swami is not. Here we want to focus solely on the change from “I am mad” to “I am a man”.

Why has Jayadvaita Swami made this change? He gives the following attempted justification on the BBT International’s website:

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 06.17.54

This is not a rational justification, but only an unsubstantiated claim that the words in the original Gita are “straight-out nonsense”, “not sacred” and “not the words of Srila Prabhupada”.

Here is our challenge to Jayadvaita Swami.

First of all it is clear that the words from the 1972 edition are not nonsense. “I am happy” and “I am mad” are both states of mind that humans can identify with. Nothing wrong with that. But Jayadvaita Swami speculates that the previous transcribers must have heard wrong, and that “mad” really must have been “a man” instead. I guess his reason is that “a man” fits with “a woman”. “I am a man, I am a woman” then becomes opposites. Just like “cat” and “dog” can be taken as opposites.

But if Jayadvaita Swami was attentive while reading Srila Prabhupada’s books he would have known that Prabhupada often uses “happy” and “mad” as opposites. Even Krishna presents these two states of mind as opposites:

“The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness, passion conditions him to the fruits of action, and ignorance to madness.” (Bg. 14.9)

The mode of goodness and the mode of ignorance have opposite qualities. Krishna here mentions “happiness” and “madness” respectively.

Prabhupada also uses “happy” and “mad” as opposites in other places. Here are a few examples:

Just like a man — ordinarily we perceive — a gentleman, after working very hard, if he gets some bank balance and nice house, nice wife, and some children, he thinks, “I am very happy.” This is also maya. He thinks, “But I am happy.” What kind of maya? Pramattah tesam nidhanam pasyann api na pasyati. He is in maya, mad, illusion, pramatta. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.22, Bombay, December 31, 1974)

Don’t be very much happy when you are in happy condition of life; neither you become mad in miserable condition of life. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.47, Bombay, January 22, 1975)

You must have perfect knowledge. Then you’ll be happy. Then you’ll be peace. And if you are misguided, bewildered, mad, then how you can be happy? (Rotary Club Lecture, Ahmedabad, December 5, 1972)

So these are all mad condition. So when he turns to God… Service he must give. Nobody can say, “I’m not serving anybody.” That is not possible. You must be serving somebody. Just like you are serving government, he is serving some office, because service is our nature. So we are not happy because the service is misplaced. (Room Conversation and Interview with Ian Polsen — July 31, 1972, London)

Prabhupada: Even the father, mother is not crying. The mother’s baby dies. She cries, she becomes mad. But when the child gives up that childhood body, accept another body, she’s happy because she knows: “My son is there. (Room Conversation with Anna Conan Doyle, daughter-in-law of famous author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, August 10, 1973, Paris)

Pradyumna: It’s Canto Five, Chapter Five, verse number seven. “Even though one may be very learned and wise, he is mad if he does not understand that the endeavor for sense gratification is a useless waste of time. Being forgetful of his own interest, he tries to be happy in the material world, centering his interests around his home, which is based on sexual intercourse and which brings him all kinds of material miseries. In this way one is no better than a foolish animal.” (Room Conversation, February 16, 1977, Mayapur)

Because the mad son is loitering in the street without any information of the father, to bring him back before the father. That is the best. He will be happy. (Room Conversation, March 26, 1977, Bombay)

We are just like a criminal who has dirty things within his heart. He thinks, “If I get such-and-such thing, I’ll be happy.” And at the risk of his life he commits a crime. A burglar, a thief, knows that if he is captured by the police he’ll be punished, but still he goes and steals. Why? Nunam pramattah: he has become mad after sense gratification. (BTG, 1983, The Self And Its Bodies)

CONCLUSION

There is ample evidence to support the claim that the purport of the original Gita has things right. And we see how the original editor is true to Prabhupada’s “original manuscript”. Jayadvaita Swami is changing something that is absolutely perfectly correct from the point of view of grammar, spelling, composition, logic, etc., and at the same time exactly follows the ‘original manuscript’, to something else dreamt up in his mind from his imagination and speculation only. In other words, Jayadvaita Swami here shows no concern for the so-called ‘original manuscript’ and certainly no concern for Srila Prabhupada’s original and authorized 1972 Complete Edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

This is not how an editor is supposed to work. To do what Jayadvaita Swami is doing here is totally unauthorized and completely destroys the authority of Prabhupada’s books.

Not “Closer to Prabhupada” (Bg. 18.2)

Jayadvaita Swami and BBTI’s claim to fame:

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Let us (again) take a look at this claim.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Text 18.2:

Original and authorized 1972 edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is: 

“The Supreme Lord said, To give up the results of all activities is called renunciation [tyaga] by the wise. And that state is called the renounced order of life [sannyäsa] by great learned men.”

BBTI’s unauthorized 1983 edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is:

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: The giving up of activities that are based on material desire is what great learned men call the renounced order of life [sannyasa]. And giving up the results of all activities is what the wise call renunciation [tyaga].”

“Original Manuscript”:

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 14.23.28 

This is NOT an example of Jayadvaita Swami bringing us “Closer to Prabhupada!” On the contrary, he has (again) taken the Bhagavad-gita As It Is further away from Srila Prabhupada. In other words, we are not reading Srila Prabhupada. We are reading what the hidden co-author, Jayadvaita Swami, wrote.

Their claim to fame is a falsehood.

The “Book Changes” Conflict (Parasurama Dasa)

Parasurama_leading_kirtan_in_Oslo

BY: PARASURAM DAS (From Sampradaya Sun)

Aug 05, 2014 — UK (SUN) — We arrived in Scandanavia for the Rathayatra tour (7 Rathayatra festivals). The first words I heard from a local devotee were “thank you for defending Srila Prabhupada’s original books”. Then I noticed devotees wearing T-shirts promoting BBT printing. Yep, we have a conflict.

In this age of Kali there are few things we can agree on. At least we all agree on the Mahamantra being chanted, and we used to be able to agree on the purity of the books. It was an argument that set us above other “religions” who had watered down their books. But now we are in danger of disunity again over something that could have been avoided. Even the famous barking dog video revolved around the book changes.

All the deviations in our history had one thing in common: the concept that Srila Prabhupada was inaccessible or insufficient. Zonal Acharyas, Gopi Bhava Club, Narayana Maharaj, Hinduism, etc. Some groups still remaining within ISKCON still believe that Srila Prabhupada’s books are not Sabda Brahman. Not one word nor one full stop should be changed. Srila Prabhupada taught us this principle:

“So unless one is self-realized, there is practically no use writing about Krsna. This transcendental writing does not depend on material education. It depends on the spiritual realization. You’ll find, therefore, in the comments of Bhagavatam by different acaryas, even there are some discrepancies, they are accepted as asat-patha. It should remain as it is.” (Lecture, Vrindavana, March 31,1976)

It was Krishna’s arrangement that Jayadvaita Swami and Dravida prabhu made so many mistakes and unnecessary changes, as it has highlighted our offence of seeing Srila Prabhupada’s books in a relative way. Even though Srila Prabhupada said that discrepancies should remain unchanged the BBT ignore this, and even worse, make changes when there is no discrepancy. There are many cases where the manuscript and the original edition are in agreement, and with perfectly good grammar. One example is the many times that “owner of the body” has been changed to “knower of the body”. The BBT conveniently avoids talking about this.

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?