“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 Prabhupada” (Bg. 18.2)

Jayadvaita Swami and BBTI’s claim to fame:

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 21.27.05

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.

All changes except philosophical changes are okay?

myth-reality

 

MYTH:

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

REALITY:

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

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

Jaya Krsna Dasa (JKD):

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is one example:

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

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

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

Read more about the changes to the covers here:

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

And here:

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

So now I have:

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

Now you have to:

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

Ajit Krishna Dasa

BBTI is changing Srila Prabhupada’s transcripts

Changing of Srila Prabhupada’s Transcripts (from Sampradaya Sun)

BY: KRISHNA DASA

Jun 03, 2014 — USA (SUN) — It is one thing to edit a book posthumously, but what seems more egregious is the editing of a transcript of a conversation. Such editing is found in the book Journey of Self Discovery, supposedly by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, which was first published in 1990 as we see from a search of the U.S. Copyright records.

That book includes a conversation between Srila Prabhupada and a Dr. S. P. Oliver, Rector of the University of Durban, in Westville, South Africa, on October 10, 1975. The book is available online through http://www.prabhupadabooks.com and the relevant page can be seen here or in the e-book on page 23, where we see that during the conversation, Srila Prabhupada asks a devotee to read some verses and purports from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Then we see that the transcript uses totally text from the version of the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is that was edited and published after the departure of Srila Prabhupada. For example, during that conversation a devotee supposedly was reading the verse and purport to Bg 4.34. We can see the 1972 version and the later “Revised and Enlarged” version side by side.

It is not possible that a devotee with Srila Prabhupada in 1975 was able to read the version of the Bhagavad-gita that did not exist until the 1980s.

Screenshot 2014-06-07 16.38.25

This conversation took place in 1975, and the verse quoted was from the 1972 editionof Bhagavad-gita As It Is. But here we find that the verse has been changed by the BBTI to fit the 1983 edition.

At that time your position is different! (BBTI’s main argument defeated)

sp-painting1

BY: BHAKTA TORBEN (From Sampradaya Sun)

Apr 18, 2014 — DENMARK (SUN) — The common arguments from the so-called BBT, “BBTI”:

“And in the conversation where Srila Prabhupada complained so strongly about “rascals editors,” Srila Prabhupada said about Jayadvaita, “He is good.”

“Of course, regarding Jayadvaita Swami, the BBT’s chief editor, Srila Prabhupada wrote, “Concerning the editing of Jayadvaita Prabhu, whatever he does is approved by me. I have confidence in him.” (letter to Radhavallabha, 7 September 1976)

(From BBT International’s website)

NOW LISTEN PLEASE:

Prabhupada: I have given you charge of this BBT, millions of dollars you are dealing, but it is not for your misuse. As soon as you misuse, that is your responsibility.

Ramesvara: Yes, but he says but still, you’ll know that I’m going to misuse it.

Prabhupada: No. That Krsna knows, when something charge is given. But because you are independent, I know that “Ramesvara is very good boy; let him be in charge.” But you can misuse at any moment, because you have got independence. You can misuse at any moment. At that time your position is different.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk — June 3, 1976, Los Angeles

(Morning Walk — June 3, 1976, Los Angeles)

This very important snippet is from a missing audio exchange, from a not properly (actually cutout) transcribed morning walk conversation. (That´s another issue in itself).

So the conclusion MUST be that the above two arguments for the continued post-samadhi editing of Jayadvaita Swami & Co. are CONDITIONAL. They are NOT absolute green lights from Srila Prabhupada to Jayadvaita Maharaj, at all.

ys. Bhakta Torben, Denmark.

PS: Instead of the missing audio, there is ANOTHER audio, which is also very interesting, but not transcribed. Check it out.