Small Word, Big Difference (Bg. 12.2 p.)

sp_dictating_p

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN (From Sampradaya Sun)

Aug 11, 2014 — DENMARK (SUN) —

An essential esoteric point is lost in this speculative edit:

“For one in such Krsna consciousness there are no material activities because everything is done BY Krsna.”
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Original 1972 Macmillan 12.2 purport)

“For one in such Krsna consciousness there are no material activities because everything is done BY Krishna.”
(Original manuscript)

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 20.47.25

“For one in such Krishna consciousness there are no material activities because everything is done FOR Krishna.”
(The changed Bhagavad-gita by Jayadvaita Swami)

This video clip with the Prabhupada-disciple Bhagavat prabhu further illustrates the point:

“When I sit here to write, Krsna comes personally. He dictates to me what to write. I take dictation from Krsna and I write these books.” ~ HDG Srila Prabhupada
(As told by Bhagavat das)

There is also this popular quote:

Guru Das: “Prabhupada, you’re laughing at your own books.”

Prabhupada: “I did not write these books, Krsna wrote them!”

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:

Prabhupada on Brahma-Samhita: It should be left as is!

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Sri_Brahma-Samhita-cover

In Brahma Samhita by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Introduction, page xvi (page 7 in the PDF):

“…As per Srila Prabhupada’s instructions regarding the publication of this volume, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s somewhat technical and sometimes difficult prose has been left intact and virtually untouched. Fearing that any editorial (grammatical and stylistic) tampering with Bhaktisiddhanta’s text might result in inadvertant changes in meaning, Prabhupada asked that it be left as is, and the editors of this volume have complied with his wishes…”

Ramesvara Prabhu remembers regarding that same publication og Brahma Samhita:

“What about the incorrect grammar? “Prabhupada’s reply, “You cannot change one comma, not even a comma, not even a punctuation mark, that is the etiquette.” So that was just another one of those super heavy instructions that the etiquette in dealing with a great acarya’s books is that whatever he has done it’s eternal and it can never be changed. And I believe that all of this was part of Prabhupada’s training us . He wanted to train people who would be entrusted with his books.” (Ramesvara, Interview 1979)

The Brahma-Samhita was published with only very slight editing done:

  • Typographical errors was corrected.
  • Capitalization was standardized.
  • Sanskrit terms in devanagari script appearing within the English text was transliterated.
  • Already transliterated terms have been adjusted to international standards.
  • The original devanagari text was added for each verse. It was followed by roman transliteration, and then by a word-for-word translation into English (none of these appeared in the original edition).

This very limited editing of Brahma-Samhita were made under the instructions of our Sampradaya-Acarya, Srila Prabhupada, who is a pure unalloyed devotee of the Lord. No mistakes and no offenses would be made as long as he supervised and approved the work. In addition, the editors were honest and wrote in the introduction precisely what they did to the original work. The BBT International should also be honest by letting the readers know what they did to Prabhupada Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Something like this ought to be written:

Despite the fact that Srila Prabhupada educated us in the vedic principle of arsa-prayoga that state that the words of the acarya should not be corrected, we, the editor’s, have made extensive posthumous changes and corrections to Prabhupada’s personally typewritten sanskrit translations. We have also added completely new words, sentences and paragraphs and made re-arrangement of words and sentences. Original paintings and pictures have been removed and exchanged with new ones. We have also removed the foreword and changed the cover. All editing is done without the approval of the author. We can’t guarantee that our editing is free from mistakes, or that the author would be pleased with the editing.

New video with Ramesvara Prabhu from “Prabhupada Memories” about the book changes

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Question to Jayadvaita Swami: What would Prabhupada say to you?

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This letter was sent to Jayadvaita Swami the 6th Dec. 2013:

Dear Jayadvaita Swami! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Some weeks have passed since our last e-mail exchange. I hope  you are in the process of answering the questions I linked to in my first two e-mails to you? Otherwise they are here:

E-mail 1: https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/letter-to-jayadvaita-swami-23rd-oct-2013/

E-mail 2: https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/e-mail-exchange-between-jayadvaita-swami-and-ajit-krishna-dasa/

These are questions that thousands of devotee’s around the world would like to see answered as soon as possible.

While awaiting your promised answers, I am constantly researching the changes made to Prabhupada’s books. Recently I saw this video posted on BBT International’s website:

Direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlqbnzzL_28

In the video you say:

”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. Your 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 your 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 you yourself say:

“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)

You started circulating your 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. You seem to conclude that since Prabhupada approved the verses that you brought him, then he also approved that you could change all his books using the same method – even after his disappearance. But this is an unwarranted extrapolation, because you 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 your story no justification for such an extrapolation can be found. The only conclusion to be deduced (if your anecdote is at all true) is that what you did to the very specific verses you brought Prabhupada was okay.  No more, no less.

3. If your anecdote is true, then Prabhupada told you that if you had made the text closer to what Prabhupada originally said, then it was okay.

However, in my previous e-mails to you I have referred to articles where it is clearly documented that you have:

  • Deleted many of Prabhupada’s own chosen words and sentences (even those also found in his ”original manuscript”)
  • Added your 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 you think Prabhupada would have said if you 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 are now ”accomplished sanskrit scholars” we have gone through some of your own typewritten sanskrit translations and changed them.”

What do you, honestly, think Prabhupada would have answered? Then try to extrapolate that answer to the changes you have made to Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Your servant, Ajit Krishna Dasa

Prabhupada: “It is not the ornamentation, it is the ecstasy.”

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From “Srila Prabhupada and His Disciples in Germany” (emphasis by Arsa Prayoga staff):

sp-disciples-germany

“On September 9th, Asoka-kumara and I arrived in Los Angeles. Asoka-kumara came along to transcribe and compose the translations, but unfortunately he could not use the BBT typesetting equipment immediately. Special fonts for German, with diacritic marks for the Sanskrit transliteration, had to be ordered, and that took a couple of months.

“Dr. Wolf, a friendly gentleman in his late sixties, was glad to have us there. He was fluent in six languages, and he was eager to help us to bring the translation of Prabhupada’s books up to a more academically acceptable level. But his involvement turned out to be a double-edged sword. He had many valuable suggestions to improve the style, but his vision was flawed by mundane considerations. He found many of Srila Prabhupada’s original English expressions objectionable and wanted to change them in the German edition. For example, he felt it was simply unacceptable to compare Krsna’s legs to elephant trunks.

“In the following weeks, we had several heated discussions, and when Dr. Wolf saw that I was not prepared to change Prabhupada’s words just because a description didn’t fit his conception, he began to question Prabhupada’s position. Having fled Nazi Germany, he felt that our vision of Prabhupada’s authority was dangerously similar to the inflated image of Hitler in the 1930s. Finally he stopped coming. But he sent me a letter explaining his stand on the way our books should be presented. He mailed a copy to Prabhupada, who replied to him as follows.”

I beg to acknowledge receipt of a copy of a letter sent to Sriman Vedavyasa dated January 14,1976.

Mundane books are written by imperfect persons. Everyone has his own theory, which means he is imperfect. The Srimad-Bhagavatam says if there is a real presentation of spiritual understanding, then, even if it is presented in broken language, it is accepted by high, saintly persons, because it glorifies the Supreme Person. On the other hand, if literature is highly metaphorically composed, if it does not glorify the Lord, it is compared to a place inhabited by the crows.

Actually, if some literature doesn’t carry any real knowledge, what is the use of ornamental language? We are not interested in presenting ornamental language.

In India the system is that people go to see the Jagannatha Deity. The Deity is not very beautiful from the artistic point of view, but still people attend by the thousands. That sentiment is required. Similarly with our kirtana we are only using drums and karatalas but people come to the point of ecstasy. It is not the ornamentation, it is the ecstasy. This ecstasy is awakened by sravanam kirtanam by devotees. I hope this makes everything clear.”

The actual letter from Srila Prabhupada:

Letter to: Dr. Wolf

Mayapur
29 January, 1976
76-01-29
Los Angeles
My dear Dr. Wolf,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of a copy of a letter sent to Sriman Vedavyasa dated January 14, 1976.
Mundane books are written by imperfect persons. Everyone has his own theory, which means he is imperfect. The Srimad-Bhagavatam says if there is a real presentation of spiritual understanding, then even if it is presented i broken language, it is accepted by high, saintly persons, because it glorifies the Supreme Person. On the other hand, if literature is highly metaphorically composed, if it does not glorify the Lord, it is compared to a place inhabited by the crows.
Actually, if some literature doesn’t carry any real knowledge, what is the use of ornamental language? We are not interested in presenting ornamental language.
In India the system is that people go to see the Jagannatha Deity. The Deity is not very beautiful from the artistic point of view, but still people attend by the thousands. That sentiment is required. Similarly with our kirtana we are only using drums and karatalas, but people come to the point of ecstasy. It is not the ornamentation, it is the ecstasy. This ecstasy is awakened by sravanam kirtanam by devotees. I hope this makes everything clear.
Hoping this meets you well.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
ACBS/tkg