E-mail exchange between Jayadvaita Swami and Ajit Krishna Dasa

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JSportraitJayadvaita Swami

I sent this e-mail to Jayadvaita Swami (23rd October 2013):

Dear Jayadvaita Maharaja! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Prabhupada!

I have written several times via the contact form on the BBTedit.com website. But I have not received any replies.

I have done studies of some of the changes made to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and my conclusion is that there are some problems. I would very much like your reponse to some of the articles on my new blog:

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/

The amount of devotees concerned with the editing of the BBT International increases. Information is being spread like wildfire via facebook and other social medias.

Here are the 5 articles I have sent via the contact form on BBTedit.com. I hope we will receive your replies to all the points raised in all the 5 articles:

https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com/category/no-reply-from-bbt-international/

Our intention is to publish your answers along with our comments (if we have any). If we do not get answers that will also be posted.

Everything will be shared using facebook, twitter, pinterest, e-mails, google+, linkedin and more.

This e-mail will also be posted and shared!

We hope you will have time to reply!

Hare Krishna
​Your lowly servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa

Jayadvaita Swami’s preliminary reponse (25th Oct. 2013):

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
Not for publishing, quoting, forwarding, etc.

Dear Ajit Krishna,

Please accept my best wishes. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I wish to acknowledge receiving your letter.

I have 70 letters now in my in-box, more come every day, and during Kartika I spend more time reading and chanting. So I may not respond quickly. But I *will* look at what you wrote and respond.

As a general note:

Rather than first write me directly, you have chosen first to express your concerns through propaganda on the internet. I regard this as a sort of rowdy, uncultured behavior. I doubt that any competent Vaisnava spiritual guide has advised you to act in this way.

The approach you have chosen complicates communication. It conveys a poor impression of your worth. And it sends your letter down, not up, my priority list.

I do value critical input, but I value it more when given personally, in a gentlemanly fashion.

Anyway, as I said, I will look at what you wrote and respond.

Hare Krsna.

Hoping this finds you in good health,

Yours in Srila Prabhupada’s service,
Jayadvaita Swami

PS:

My apologies for your not receiving replies to the messages you sent to BBTedit.com. I am not the person to whom messages sent there automatically go. And I don’t have control over that part of the site’s infrastructure. When time allows, I’ll write to the person who controls it and try to break the jam.

Hare Krsna.

Ajit Krishna Dasa (28th October 2013):

Dear Jayadvaita Swami! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Prabhupada!

Thank you very much for your kind reply to my e-mail! Very nice to
hear from you!

As I wrote in my first e-mail this correspondence will be made public.
The debate about the book changes ought to be in full disclosure,
exposed to as much light as possible. Prabhupada’s books are, after
all, our law books for the next ten thousand years, so we want
complete transparency when changes to the books are being made.

I know thousands of devotees would love if you would prioritize this
debate more than any other topic. But if you do not agree to my public
approach and find it “rowdy” and “uncultured” you are, of course, free
not to engage in the debate. But before you do that, kindly consider
that BOTH sides of this debate for years have been making “propaganda”
(a term Prabhupada mostly used with positive connotations) on the
internet and elsewhere for years.

For example, BBTedit.com use typical propaganda tools like claiming
they dispel the “myths” promoted by those opposed to the book changes.
They also publish videos with small, carefully selected snippets of a
long video with Madhudvisa Prabhu aiming at creating doubts about his
personality and statements (Why can’t we see the full video?).

You are yourself publishing articles wherein you use sarcasm as a
propaganda tool. Examples are these articles:

http://www.jswami.info/images_planet_trees

http://www.jswami.info/content/bbt_calendar_unauthorized_changes

I try my best to not use sarcasm and other such tricks on my blog
https://arsaprayoga.wordpress.com and I will guarantee you a nice
treatment if our exchange continues.

My plan is that I will systematically go through the complete gita and
send you all my questions. I will post them on my blog with the
following notice:

“This article was sent to the BBT International through their website
(http://www.bbtedit.com/contact) and to Jayadvaita Swami’s personal
e-mails (jswami@pamho.net and jayadvaita.swami@pamho.net) the
date-month-year. We asked them to comment on the points raised. So far
we have not received any reply.”

Everything will be spread through social media like facebook etc.

The picture that the BBT International tries to paint is that:

1. You are authorized by Prabhupada to change his Bhagavad-gita.

2. You are only making corrections back to the so called original manuscript.

3. That you have made no unnecessary changes.

4. That you honor the arsa-prayoga principle by not correcting
Prabhupada’s sanskrit and personally chosen words, but only the words
of the previous editors.

However, in my studies I (and others) have found:

1. Corrections made to Prabhupada’s sanskrit translations and chosen words.

2. New words which are not to be found in the so called original
manuscript or in the 1972 edition being added to the gita.

3. Words that are both found in the so called original manuscript and
in the 1972 edition being removed from the gita.

4. Unnecessary change of syntax (sentence structure).

There are thousands of devotees following this debate and eagerly
awaiting your comments to all the points raised both in this e-mail
and in all the blogposts I have previously sent to you and the BBT
International.

What other topic ought to be prioritized higher than this?

We all hope you will find time to answer these important questions!

Have a wonderful day,
Your lowly servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa (Denmark)

PS: I forgot to mention a 5th point, namely that I also found in my studies of the book changes that Prabhupada never authorized you (or anyone else) to re-edit the Bhagavad-gita.

Ys, Ajit Krishna Dasa

We are now awaiting Jayadvaita Swami’s reply.

Read PART 2 here