In these series we show various changes found in the 1972 edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is and how they change the meaning of Srila Prabhupada’s words. It is understood that while editing, sometimes words are changed for clarity. Therefore, in these series of articles, we try to avoid spending too much time focusing on changes that alter the words with the purpose of giving the intended meaning in the original writing more force. With each change discussed we present the original spoken dictation as recorded by Srila Prabhupada on February the 19-20th 1966, the same passage in the 1972 Macmillan edition and finally our humble commentary.
Now, Arjuna says, after hearing Bhagavad-gita from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he accepts Krsna as param brahma, the Supreme Brahman. Brahman. Every living being is Brahman, but the supreme living being or the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Supreme Brahman or supreme living being. And param dhama. Param dhama means He is the supreme rest of everything. And pavitram. Pavitram means He is pure from material contamination. And He’s addressed as purusam. Purusam means the supreme enjoyer; sasvatam, sasvata means from very beginning, He’s the first person; divyam, transcendental; devam, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ajam, never born; vibhum, the greatest.
Introduction to Gitopanisad (Earliest Recording of Srila Prabhupada in the Bhaktivednta Archives) Bhagavad-gita Introduction, New York, February 19-20, 1966.
After hearing Bhagavad-gita from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Arjuna accepted Krsna as Param Brahma, the Supreme Brahman. Every living being is Brahman, but the supreme living being, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the Supreme Brahman. Param dhama means that He is the supreme rest or abode of everything, pavitram means that He is pure, untainted by material contamination, purusam means that He is the supreme enjoyer, divyam, transcendental, adi-devam, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, ajam, the unborn, and vibhum, the greatest, the all-pervading.
In this particular section Srila Prabhupada is explaining the following verse:
param brahma param dhama
pavitram paramam bhavan
purusam sasvatam divyam
adi-devam ajam vibhum
Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty.
(Bg 10.13 1972 edition)
As we see the editor has ommitted the word sasvatam. Although Srila Prabhupada does translate this word in his dictation tape, the editor has simply left it out in the 1972 edition. This word is part of the sloka and it does not make any sense to remove it, especially when Srila Prabhupada himself has translated. Even in the word for word translation of this sloka in the 1972 edition the word sasvatam is translated as “original”. Srila Prabhupada dictates here “from the very beginning” The meaning is the same. Why was the word taken out? The translation of the sloka is incomplete without it. Srila Prabhupada dictated it, it should be kept as it is.
In these series we show various changes found in the 1972 edition of the Bhagavad-gita As…