“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.

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!”

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)

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 19.25.48

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?

 

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.