The B.L.I.S.S. Editing Project Debate feat. Vidura Mahatma Dasa

All glories and all victory to Vidura Mahatma Prabhu! Jaya! His conclusive realization in the matter of what books we should print will be the guidance for all the sincere devotees for the next 10000 years. This is how the pristine teachings of Srila Prabhupada will be spread. Like a transcendental torchlight this realization will show proper direction so no one gets lost in the ocean and flood of bogus editions such as ours that would plague the understanding of their unfortunate reader.

REPLY TO PURUJIT AND BLISS RE. GOING BACK TO THE MANUSCRIPT

BY: VIDURA MAHATMA DAS

JUNE 18, 2018

Recently a devotee named Purujit das has appeared in a video interview defending his new undertaking to edit some of Srila Prabhupada’s books. The interview, which reads on their website “Purujit Prabhu Smashes PADA´s Book Editing Objections”, is a 45-minute response to PADA, who challenged this maverick editing venture of Purujit’s. In this article, key excerpts of Purujit’s reply to PADA are addressed in connection with the legitimacy behind making further edits to Srila Prabhupada’s books.

BLISS is happy to announce on their website their editing of Srila Prabhuapda’s books, which so far includes the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Sri Isopanisad, and Easy Journey To Other Planets. Their website reads:

​the e-books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

edited by Purujit Dasa according to the original manuscripts, transcripts, lectures and articles

Here is an example of the changes Purujit has made to the Gita:

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized master will initiate you by knowledge because he has seen the truth.” (Purujit’s version of Bg verse 4.34)

Purujit has also added an awkward sentence to Srila Prabhupada’s purport to that verse:

“Neither by self study of the book of knowledge can help one to progress in spiritual life.” (Purujit)

Throughout this article, key excerpts of Purujit’s words from the video will be indented with the author’s comments interspersed.

Purujit: Unfortunately, devotees in general are not aware that Prabhupada’s books have been edited and this is what Prabhupada wanted. Just like Hayagriva was the first editor and Jayadvaita was also the editor in Prabhupada’s times. Prabhupada gave a raw manuscript or transcriptions or dictation tapes and this raw material was edited so these editors would add their own style, their own form of how to present what Prabhupada is saying. So it was a cooperation between Prabhupada and his editors and they’ve done a lot of changes to the original material. So the real question is which changes are wrong and which changes are OK, are fine. This is the real controversy, not whether Srila Prabhupada’s words are changed or not.”

Jayadvaita and now Purujit like to say that they are going back to the “original manuscript” to make changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books. Not only is such a course of action completely unauthorized in itself, but the term “original manuscript” is misleading as it gives the impression that they are going back to the way Srila Prabhupada had “originally” wanted it. The “original manuscript” they use is an early version of the manuscript. The final version of the manuscript that was carefully worked on by Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva and then presented to MacMillan for printing – said to have been nearly identical to the 1972 version of the Gita we use today – may be substantially different from the “original manuscript” we have available from the BBT. For the sake of discussion, though, we will use the general term “manuscript” in this article. No matter what manuscript we are speaking of, the point stands that no where has Srila Prabhupada requested or authorized his 1972 Gita to be “revised” according to “the manuscript”.

So which changes from the manuscript are wrong and which changes are OK? This controversy can be (and has been) easily resolved: any changes made from any version of a manuscript which resulted in the printed edition of a book personally accepted or approved of by Srila Prabhupada are authorized changes.

Purujit: So the thing is, yes Prabhupada actually himself said that the early editors, they have done changes which he did not approve and this was recorded in the Rascal Editors conversation June 22, 1977. There Prabhupada actually confirms that he was not completely aware of the editing process. He just gave them the empowerment and he had faith that they were going to edit nicely.

Purujit appears to be exaggerating the scope of the Racal Editors conversation. He assumes that Srila Prabhupada was referring to changes made directly from a manuscript. However, the changes being discussed in that conversation pertained to the earlier printed editions of his books. In the Rascal Editors conversation, these printed editions themselves were being edited further, and this is what Srila Prabhupada had an issue with.

Prabhupāda: The nonsense, they are… They are correcting my trans… Rascal. […]

Prabhupāda: Now here is “O sages,” and the word meaning is “of the munis.” Just see.

In this conversation, it was not any changes made from a manuscript that Srila Prabhupada had a problem with. Rather, it was changes made to an already printed version of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Srila Prabhupada had it translated one way, and some rascal editor whimsically changed that translation. Therefore, we cannot use this as evidence that Srila Prabhupada took issue with changes made from a manuscript. That the scope of the Rascal Editors conversation pertained to changes made to already printed versions of his books is further evidenced by the following excerpt from the same conversation.

Yaśodā-nandana: In the Gurukula we were teaching Īśopaniṣad class to the children. So we took original, maybe first edition… [break] …Prabhupāda and the words which the recent edition of the Press is wrong. Many changes were brought. They were trying to make better English, but sometimes, to make better English, I think they were making philosophical mistakes also. There is no so much need of making so much better English. Your English is sufficient. It is very clear, very simple. We have caught over 125 changes. They’re changing so many things. We are wondering if this is necessary. I will show you today. I have kept the book.

Prabhupāda: I know that these rascals are doing. What can be done? How they can be relied on?

Again we see that the issue is not with changes made from a manuscript but changes made to an already printed edition of a book, in this case, the first edition of Īśopaniṣad.

Prabhupāda: … Write to Satsvarūpa that “This is the position. They are doing anything and everything at their whim.” The next printing should be again to the original way.

From understanding the actual context of this conversation, we can see that by “the next printing should be again to the original way” Srila Prabhupada is referring to an actual printed edition – not to a manuscript; He considers the earlier printed editions to be the original way. Therefore, when we speak of “original” in this context we refer to the original printing/edition, just as Srila Prabhupada had.

Purujit: Some devotees say that Prabhupada was supervising the editing very minutely, every single word. This is false propaganda. It’s not true. That’s why Prabhupada actually approved editors, because he was just so busy preaching that he could not possibly go over it again…

Whether Srila Prabhupada read every single word or not does not matter. What we are concerned with is the fact that Srila Prabhupada authorized those original printings. It is not our business to question the validity of Srila Prabhupada’s approval of an edition of a book by way of speculating on whether he knew of or read each and every word in it. Srila Prabhupada approved of and blessed the books.

Purujit: The original Bhagavad-gita is the one with the cattle-raising, with the errors. So as soon as you change even a little thing, then you’re entering the realm of non-original or your input and so on.

Yes, the 1972 edition of the Gita has “cattle-raising.” But Srila Prabhupada specifically requests that to be corrected:

Prabhupāda: They are not cattle raising, that was…Cow protection. It has to be corrected. It is go-rakṣya, go. (Room Conversation—July 4, 1975, Chicago)

The issue is over unauthorized changes, not authorized changes. Srila Prabhupada’s order is for the next printing to be again in the original way – obviously save and except any specific changes requested by Srila Prabhupada such as the one above to the Gita.

Purujit: If you compare with the manuscript, the original manuscript, six chapters personally typed by Prabhupada himself, how can we question the authenticity of this document? Then you see that actually it is Hayagriva who has done all these changes, not Jayadvaita. Jayadvaita is bringing it just back to the manuscript.

But where does Srila Prabhupada order for the next printing to be done directly from a manuscript by any editor? Srila Prabhupada orders the next printing to be done in the original way in which it was printed, as has already been shown from the Rascal Editors conversation. And since in the Rascal Editors conversation Srila Prabhupada and his disciples were discussing the editing of all printed editions of his books by numerous “rascal editors”, the instruction by Srila Prabhupada “the next printing should be again to the original way” should be applied on the same scale.

Purujit: Why should we read something that has been changed by Hayagriva? I mean Hayagriva was approved by Prabhupada, he worked with Prabhupada, that’s fine but that doesn’t make him a pure devotee without any mistakes.

That is the nature of a manuscript: it gets changed. Srila Prabhupada deputed editors specifically to make changes to transcripts or manuscripts for the final printing. All this talk of Hayagriva changing things is useless because that was his specific task assigned by Srila Prabhupada. In the case of the Gita, it was the 1972 edition which he approved of, save and except any corrections he requested.

Purujit: I personally have nothing against Jayadvaita’s editing or his understanding or this and that. This is just propaganda. If you have a problem with Jayadvaita, let’s put it aside.

Yes, Purujit is using Jayadvaita’s same arguments to justify changing Srila Prabhupada’s books, and now we’ve dealt with these arguments once again on their own merit.

Purujit: These devotees, they say original way means to the first printing. But it just doesn’t make any sense because that’s the first thing Prabhupada is complaining about: about the first edition. So how can Prabhupada say print it back to the original way, exactly how it was changed in the first place, print the changed version? It doesn’t make any sense. …Original means it originates with Srila Prabhupada. Hayagriva or any editor is not the origin of the writings.

Purujit seems to have completely misunderstood the actual conversation which he is referring to. As demonstrated already in this article, in the Rascal Editors conversation, Srila Prabhupada is referring to an already printed edition, not a manuscript. Srila Prabhupada is not complaining about the first edition, he is complaining about changes made to those first editions/printings. Srila Prabhupada approved of these final works and therefore they are attributed to him as the author. This is how the publishing world works. They are the originally authorized final works of Srila Prabhupada. That is what original means.

Purujit: This is a challenge to all these different people. We challenge: If Prabhupada is in vani, if he is in sound, why can’t he instruct someone like myself to edit his books? What is the difficulty to accept? It means that they don’t have faith in Prabhupada.

Because Srila Prabhupada already gave the order for the next printings to be done in the original way. There’s no need for his books to be edited. We have such faith in Srila Prabhupada that we accept his order as is. If we didn’t have faith, we might disregard that order and attempt to make a new edition/printing.

*

REPLY TO VIDURA MAHATMA PRABHU’S ARTICLE ON THE B.L.I.S.S. BOOK EDITING PROJECT

MAKHANCORA DĀSA JUNE 25th 2018

Hare Krsna, dear devotees, please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada! I would like to address the points Vidura Mahatma Prabhu raised regarding the editing of Srila Prabhupada´s books by Purujit Prabhu.

https://stillinsound.com/2018/06/18/reply-to-purujit-and-bliss-re-going-back-to-the-manuscript/

Let’s not waste time and get straight into it…

Vidura Mahatma Prabhu: Here is an example of the changes Purujit has made to the Gita:

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized master will initiate you by knowledge because he has seen the truth.” (Purujit’s version of Bg verse 4.34)

Reply: this is not a „change“, but it is the way how Purujit Prabhu edited and rendered the translation according to what Srila Prabhupada wrote himself. In his hand-typed manuscript Srila Prabhupada states:

tat – knowledge of different sacrifices, biddhi – try to understand, pranipatena – by approaching spiritual master, pariprasnena – by submissive enquiries, sevaya – by rendering of service, upadeksanti – INITIATES, te – unto you, jnanam – knowledge, jnaninas – the self-realised, tatva – truth, darsinah – the seers.

TRANSLATION: Just try to know the truth of all these by approaching self-realised spiritual master with all submission enquiries and rendering service unto him. Such learned self-realised spiritual master INITIATES knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.

Here Vidura Mahatma Prabhuji is directly claiming that Purujit has changed the word written by Srila Prabhupada, when actually the opposite is the truth. The problem with Vidura Mahatma Prabhu and some other well-intentioned senior Prabhus is that they are most foolishly giving preference to the edited version done by Hayagriva Prabhu than to the words of their spiritual master. Furthermore “initiation by knowledge” is not a made up concept, but a Vedic principle and a core of the rtvik understanding of the initiation as instructed by Srila Prabhupada. If someone thinks that this a secret agenda of Purujit Prabhu to hide the fact that Srila Prabhupada is the direct spiritual master of the Hare Krsna movement, he must be clearly insane. Srila Prabhupada directly writes in his authentic and unedited manuscript: “initiates knowledge unto you” and this matches the translation in the word for word, but Hayagriva thought it awkward just as Vidura Mahatma Prabhu and therefore replaced it by “impart knowledge unto you”, where this extra information (namely that initiation is by knowledge not by physical presence of the acarya or his representatives) is left out. Actually the “ritvik” devotees should rejoice upon this editing by Purujit Prabhu, because he has brought up a meaning which was lost in all the other editions and that is, that the initiation from the spiritual master is by knowledge in the process of surrender, inquiry and service and not by throwing bananas in the fire or by some kind of mystical emanation from the so-called senior rtvik devotee. Srila Prabhupada confirms this concept of initiation many times, here are some references:

And, I have advise your husband to initiate you by tape record hearing for your second initiation. (Letter to: Taittiriya — Vrindaban 15 September, 1974)

Some way or other, if somebody comes in contact with Krsna, then his life becomes successful. So this krsna-yoga, bhakti-yoga, can be practiced even by a child without interfering with his natural propensities. A child naturally wants to play, so he can play with Krsna Deity. We had the opportunity of doing that. My father was worshiping Krsna Deity. So I wanted to imitate him, and he gave me small Deity. That Deity is still worshiped. My sister and myself, whatever we were eating, we were offering exactly the same arcana. And father used to encourage. This Ratha-yatra and Radha-Go.(?) Krsna temple which we are propagating, it was, from the very beginning of our life, was initiated by our parents. So anyone can initiate his child to this Krsna consciousness understanding from the very beginning. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.15 — Los Angeles, June 1, 1972)

We invite every one to our feast and Kirtana but when one comes into the confidence we initiate him in the process and request him to observe four principles of restrictions based on philosophy and morality. (Letter to: Mukunda, Janaki — New York 21 May, 1967)

On the whole, you may know that he is not a liberated person, and therefore, he cannot initiate any person to Krishna Consciousness. (Letter to: Janardana — New York 26 April, 1968)

(q) To initiate members in the rules of the Goswamins above mentioned by controlling over (i) illegitimate connections with woman (ii) intoxicating habit (iii) diets regulated with vegetable dishes (iv) gambling, unnecessary sporting or recreation enterprises. (LD 7: The League of Devotees Prospectus, May 16, 1953)

The Vedanta philosophy is the subject matter for study of the spiritual graduates and only the post graduate spiritual student can enter into the spiritual or devotional service of the Lord. It is a great science and the great professor is the Lord Himself in the Form Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and persons who are empowered by Him can initiate other persons in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. (SB 1.4.25)

In order to initiate people in general for the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, He himself in the incarnation of Vyasadeva putting forward the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. (SB 1.5.21)

The spiritual master is called Acharya or the transcendental professor. Such professors of spiritual science initiate the disciple in the studies of spiritual science and the ceremony observed in this connection is called Upanayan or to bring one nearer the spiritual master. (BTGPY20a: Identity of Lord Chaitanya)

As recommended by Sanatana Gosvami, by the process of initiation and authorized training, any man can become twice-born. The first birth is made possible by the parents, and the second birth is made possible by the spiritual father and Vedic knowledge. (SB 4.12.48)

Initiation means to begin spiritual life. According to Vedic culture, there are two births. One birth is from the grhastha parents, father and mother, and the other birth is between the spiritual master and Vedas. The Vedic knowledge is considered mother, and the spiritual master is considered the father. And by the help of the spiritual master, when one gets into transcendental knowledge, that is called second birth. (Initiation of Hrsikesa Dasa and Marriage of Satsvarupa and Jadurani — New York, September 5, 1968)

So when you enter into the Krsna science you get so much volumes of transcendental knowledge, and we are trying to present before you this knowledge in so many ways, by cleansing your heart from this material contamination. And this initiation is the beginning of cleaning the contamination. (Lecture at Initiation Fire Sacrifice — Los Angeles, July 16, 1969)

Those who are initiated this evening, I have several times explained what is the meaning of initiation. Initiation means beginning of receiving transcendental knowledge. In the Vedas it is enjoined that in order to understand the transcendental science, tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. The human form of life is meant for understanding transcendental knowledge. (Initiation Talk Excerpt — Vrndavana, April 4, 1976)

Diksa. Diksa, initiation, diksa, this Sanskrit word, diksa, means divya-jnanam ksipayati. To ask from spiritual master with service and surrender the transcendental knowledge. The more you ask, you become a man of knowledge. (Morning Walk — June 11, 1974, Paris)

Interviewer: What is the procedure of the movement? Do you initiate yourself all the disciples or do your other disciples also do that?

Prabhupada: Well, initiation or no initiation, first thing is knowledge. [break] …knowledge. Initiation is formality. Just like you go to a school for knowledge, and admission is formality. That is not very important thing. (Press Interview — October 16, 1976, Chandigarh)

Lord Krsna says that in course of time, this yoga system has been lost because the parampara system became broken. Therefore, Krsna said to Arjuna that “I am initiating you to begin that parampara system again because it is now, the link is broken. So I want to begin that system through you.” (Lecture — Visakhapatnam, February 18, 1972)

The editorial change by Purujit Prabhu is therefore authorized on the basis of manuscript, word for word translation and many other quotes as mentioned above. Why is then Vidura Mahatma accusing Purujit of changing Srila Prabhupada’s words and holds unbreakable attachment to the obvious change done by Hayagriva Prabhu? For this reason, he should be given the name Hayagrivanuga.

VMd: Purujit has also added an awkward sentence to Srila Prabhupada’s purport to that verse:

“Neither by self study of the book of knowledge can help one to progress in spiritual life.” (Purujit)

Reply: Again, here we see that Hayagrivanuga becomes disturbed when Purujit Prabhu brings back a sentence removed by his “spiritual master “ Hayagriva Prabhu, whom he holds in so much reverence. It almost looks like he cannot tolerate that Purujit “jumps over“ to the previous spiritual master Srila Prabhupada without going through the current link Hayagriva Prabhu. Serious disciples of Srila Prabhupada however applaud again: well done, well done.

Therefore mental speculation or dry arguments cannot lead one to the right path. Neither by self study of the book of knowledge can help one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach therefore a bonafide spiritual master for receiving the knowledge. (Manuscript hand typed by Srila Prabhupada)

Therefore, mental speculation or dry arguments cannot help one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. (1972 version edited by Hayagriva)

“Neither by self study of the book of knowledge can help one to progress in spiritual life.” (Purujit’s edition)

VMd: “The BBT and Jayadvaita like to say that they are going back to the “original manuscript” to make changes to Srila Prabhupadaˇs books. Not only is such a course of action completely unauthorized, but the “original manuscript“ they claim to be using may not even be the final manuscript that was worked on by Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva, and then presented to MacMillan for printing.”

Reply: Obviously such course of action is completely unauthorized by the Hayagrivanugas, because for them one can only understand Srila Prabhupada through the via medium of Hayagriva Prabhu or other so-called senior rtvik devotees. They have completely forgot that Srila Prabhupada is fully present in his vani and therefore does not need any of such so-called via mediums to be understood by men who are thoroughly honest:

On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world’s misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest. (SB 1.5.11)

To say that Srila Prabhupada’s handwritten manuscript is a “draft” or “not final” etc. is an offense to Srila Prabhupada as Srila Prabhupada is non-different from his writing and is the current link to the disciplic succession. Srila Prabhupada does not draft or brainstorm. Is he a conditioned soul that he has to speculate to write his books? So many times Srila Prabhupada mentioned that his books are dictated by Krsna. Do you think Krsna drafts something and only after consulting with Hayagriva it can be published?

“These Mayavadi sannyasis were fortunate enough to meet the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of a devotee, and certainly they were greatly influenced by the Lord. They knew that since a perfectly advanced spiritualist never says anything false, all his words are reasonable and agree with the Vedic version. A highly realized person never says anything that has no meaning.” (CC Adi 7.105)

Even if the manuscript is unfinished or later on changed by Srila Prabhupada himself, it is still authorized. Whatever Prabhupada writes is holy, divine and authorized. How can anyone claim otherwise? Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati instructed his editors, “Whatever Abhaya Babu writes, even if it is scribbling, you publish it.” (Vyasa Puja 1982 Introduction by Acyutananda Swami)

However, Hayagrivanuga will persist that the version edited by his spiritual master Hayagriva Prabhu is the only authorized and bona fide version despite the fact that Hayagriva inserted some of his own writing into the edition:

The modern material scientist and materialist philosophers also think similarly. According to them, the body is a combination of physical elements, and at a certain stage the life symptoms develop by interaction of the physical and chemical elements. The science of anthropology is based on this philosophy. CURRENTLY, MANY PSEUDO-RELIGIONS – NOW BECOMING FASHIONABLE IN AMERICA – ARE ALSO ADHERING TO THIS PHILOSOPHY, AS WELL AS TO THE NIHILISTIC NONDEVOTIONAL BUDDHIST SECTS. (Bg 2.26 purp.)

– the portion in capitals comes from Hayagriva´s article “Krishna the Chariot driver” published in BTG No.24, 1969). Please see the undeniable resemblence:

„Currently, many pseudo-religions, manufactured by drug-taking messiahs, have become fashionable in America, and they adhere to this philosophy. It is not surprising that they often find themselves sharing much common ground with certain nihilistic non-devotional Buddhist sects (such as Zen) that also deny an Ultimate Controller. Of course, their assertions are directly opposed to Lord Krishna’s instructions in the Gita…“

Another example of a change to what Srila Prabhupada said:

“The modern scientists, they are trying for years and years together for reaching the moon planet, and they have no approach as yet. But here in the Bhagavad-gita, here is a suggestion. Suppose a man lives for another fifty years and he… So nobody tries to elevate himself in the spiritual ideas for fifty years.” (Introduction to Gitopanisad (Earliest Recording of of Srila Prabhupada in the Bhaktivedanta Archives)

In the 1972 version it goes:

“Modern man has struggled very hard to reach the moon, but he has not tried very hard to elevate himself spiritually. If one has fifty years of life ahead of him, he should engage that brief time in cultivating this practice of remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This practice is the devotional process of: …” (Bg-1972: introduction)

The idea that they didn’t go to the moon is completely kicked out by Hayagriva. Why?

So, Prabhupada authorizes Hayagriva to put his own thoughts into his books? Or to omit Srila Prabhupada objections to the so-called moon-landing? These are just a few examples of very obvious differences from the original manuscripts or in this case dictation tapes in Hayagriva’s edition. How are these particular changes authorized by Srila Prabhupada? Should we pretend that the words added by Hayagriva from his own article are Srila Prabhupada’s? Although the Hayagrivanugas will proudly claim that Hayagriva’s editing is absolutely divine due to the fact that he had a good fortune of physical association with Srila Prabhupada, they fail to prove in any way how are these particular instances of Hayagriva’s changes to the meaning of Srila Prabhupada’s words authorized by Srila Prabhupada. And the reason for this is that there is not a single proof. Nowhere Srila Prabhupada ever authorized changes to his words. How can one possibly claim such nonsense especially after we see how Srila Prabhupada actually heavily criticized Hayagriva for the same?

Prabhupada: Arsa-prayoga That is ha… He should not become more learned than the authority. That is very bad habit. Radha-vallabha: He was always wondering how he should think. So I’ll tell him that. He thinks, “If I think I see a mistake, what should I think?” I’ll tell him what you just said. Prabhupada: He cannot see mistake. He is mistake. (laughter) He should… That is being done by this rascal. I don’t want. And the Hayagriva has…, the Easy Journey, he has changed so many things. That… He is now bad character. You should not maintain him. Radha-vallabha: We should stop maintaining him. Prabhupada: No. He has no responsibility even on his family. Radha-vallabha: His wife just came to meet him in L.A. Prabhupada: What she said? Radha-vallabha: Well, she was asking me whether he would want to live with her. I told her that I didn’t think so. Prabhupada: Why? Why did you advise? Radha-vallabha: He’s not very responsible. Prabhupada: Responsible or not responsible, they should live together. Radha-vallabha: Yes, I know. So I’ve… Prabhupada: But actually he’s bad. He has gone out. Radha-vallabha: So after he finishes the philosophy book, no more. Prabhupada: Hm? Radha-vallabha: He is still working on the philosophy book. So when he finishes that, that will be the last. Prabhupada: Why finish it? Whatever is done is done. No more. (Room Conversation — February 27, 1977, Mayapura)

Prabhupada: He’s a rascal. That’s… He’s finding out guru and job for filling the belly. That is the latest news. Tamala Krsna: What is he doing? Prabhupada: To find out some job to fill up the belly. Otherwise he’ll starve if he doesn’t get any job. And he’s finding out guru. Job-guru. Now do the needful. Otherwise everything will be spoiled. These rascal editorial… That Easy Journey, original, this (indistinct) Hayagriva has changed so many things. Tamala Krsna: He actually took out the whole part about their going to the moon being childish. He deleted the whole section. Yasoda-nandana: Also in the Bhagavatam, where Prabhupada was talking about Lord Buddha… You mentioned that if the followers of Lord Buddha do not close the slaughterhouse, there is no meaning to such a caricature. That word was very nice. But in new book that word is not there any more. They have pulled the word. The meaning of the word is not… So many times. Prabhupada: It is very serious situation.(Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk — June 22, 1977, Vrndavana)

One thing that needs to be clearly understood here is that the B.L.I.S.S. devotees DO NOT say that MacMillan edition is bogus or unauthorized or that the devotees who read this version will be misled. Neither we claim our edition to be the only one perfect. BUT the manuscript has a value and if we do an alternative edition just for the purpose of our BLISS society, what is the actual offense? I do not understand. Anyone can read what he likes: the manuscript, 1968, Hayagriva, Jayadvaita, Purujit… We have simply pointed out that there are differences and made our edition. Anyone who likes he can read it, but I doubt that Vidura Prabhu did so. We are not telling people to burn their 1972 Gitas or not to read them. We just made our edition. Is it a big crime? We are not ISKCON that we have the burden to represent ISKCON as Srila Prabhupada set it up. We have an alternative society with an alternative editions of Srila Prabhupada’s books and a completely new set of challenges in our preaching work. Perhaps if you also started your preaching mission instead of just chewing the same old chewed rtvik arguments for the disgruntled ISKCON audience, you could relate to our situation more. Are we bogus just because we have done the exact same thing as Hayagriva, namely we have taken Srila Prabhupada’s manuscripts and edited them into proper English as we think they are the best. If you accept that Srila Prabhupada still lives in sound, shouldn’t you at least give us a benefit of a doubt that we might actually be guided by Srila Prabhupada himself through his vani and through the process of sadhana? Are we completely doomed as we have not approached the so-called senior rtvik authorities (in other words living gurus) to guide us to Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet?

My point is that even if somebody does not go in one line with the rest of the godbrothers, he can remain separately, but it does not mean that he may disobey the principles that I have laid down. So long as one follows the principles, he continues to be my disciple. (Letter to: Madhudvisa: — Bombay 7 November, 1975)

VMd: So which changes from the manuscript are wrong and which changes are OK? This controversy can be (and has been) easily resolved: any changes made from any version of a manuscript which resulted in the printed edition of a book personally accepted or approved of by Srila Prabhupada are authorized changes.

Reply: If this is true, then why Prabhupada objects to Haygriva changing cattle-raising or the knower of the field as one who identifies with the body? And why not revert to the 1968 version of the Gita? According to the logic of Vidura Prabhuji we should not accept the 1972 Gita because compared to 1968 it contains changes like this one for example:

„Those in the modes of passion and ignorance deride the scriptures, deride the holy men, and deride the proper understanding OF THE SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD. They disobey the instructions of the spiritual master, and they do not care for the regulations of the scriptures. One should understand what is duty and what is not duty, by the regulations of the scriptures. And, knowing such rules and regulations, one should act so that he may gradually be elevated.“ (Bg.16.24 – 1968)

Those in the modes of passion and ignorance deride the scriptures, deride the holy man, and deride the proper understanding OF THE SPIRITUAL MASTER, and they do not care for the regulations of the scriptures. In spite of hearing the glories of devotional service, they are not attracted. Thus they manufacture their own way of elevation. These are some of the defects of human society, which lead to the demoniac status of life. (Bg 16.24 – 1972)

VMd: It is not our business to question the validity of Srila Prabhupada´s approval of an edition of a book by way of speculating on whether he knew of or read each and every word in it. Srila Prabhupada approved of and blessed the books.

Reply: He blessed HIS books, not the changes.

VMd: Yes, the 1972 edition of the Gita has “cattle-raising.” But Srila Prabhupada specifically requests that to be corrected:

Prabhupāda: They are not cattle raising, that was…Cow protection. It has to be corrected. It is go-rakṣya, go. (Room Conversation—July 4, 1975, Chicago)

The issue here is over unauthorized changes, not authorized changes. Srila Prabhupada´s order is for the next printing to be again in the original way – obviously save and except any specific changes requested by Srila Prabhupada such as the one above to the Gita.

Reply: Then why Yasodanandana mentions that the word “caricature” has been pulled from the SB in the Rascal editors conversation? Srila Prabhupada did not complain about it, why is Yasoda suggesting to fix it back to the manuscript/Delhi edition? There are many other such changes, the revered reader can go through this sample and make his own conclusions. You take out one grain of rice from the pot and understand the state of cooking of the whole batch:

“As such the Perfect Personality is addressed in the Srimad Bhagwatam as Vasudeva or One who lives everywhere in full consciousness and in full capacity of His complete energy.” (SB Introduction, Delhi edition)

“Consequently the perfect personality is addressed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam as Vasudeva, or one who lives everywhere in full consciousness and in full possession of His complete energy.”

(SB Introduction 1970,1972)

*

“His merciful short sketch life and precepts are also inserted herewith for specific understanding of the Srimad Bhagwatam. This will help the reader perfectly to understand the real merit of Srimad Bhagwatam.” (SB Introduction, Delhi edition)

“Therefore a short sketch of His life and precepts is inserted herein to help the reader understand the real merit of Srimad-Bhagavatam.” (SB Introduction 1970, 1972)

*

“Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited His transcendental activities for full forty eight years and then He disappeared from this mortal world in the year 1455 Shakabda at Puri.”

(SB Introduction, Delhi edition)

“Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited His transcendental activities for forty-eight years and then disappeared in the year 1455 Sakabda at Puri.” (SB Introduction 1970, 1972)

*

“In the modern age Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu preached the cult of Srimad Bhagwatam by practical demonstration.” (SB Introduction, Delhi edition)

“In the modern age Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu preached the Srimad-Bhagavatam by practical demonstration.” (SB Introduction 1970, 1972)

*the word “cult” has been omitted in several other instances as well.

*

He wanted it and ordered His followers that the cult of the Srimad Bagwatam shall be preached in every nook and corner of the world by every one who happens to take his birth in India.”

(SB Introduction, Delhi edition)

“It was His wish that the Srimad-Bhagavatam be preached in every nook and corner of the world by those who happened to take their birth in India.” (SB Introduction 1970, 1972)

Next example:

“The remedial measure to cure a patient by medical treatment is useless if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. To cross the river or the ocean by suitable boat is no remedial measure if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. The parents cannot protect their children if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. We should know it certainly that the Lord is the ultimate sanctioning officer and we must therefore dedicate our attempts to the mercy of the Lord for ultimate success or to get rid of the obstacles on the path of success.”

(SB 1.5.32 Delhi edition)

“The remedial measure to cure a patient by medical treatment is useless if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. To cross the river or the ocean by a suitable boat is no remedial measure if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. We should know for certain that the Lord is the ultimate sanctioning officer…”

(SB 1.5.32 1970 ISKCON PRESS edition & 1972 – 1st BBT printing – “original”)

Etc. more of the changes made just in the 1st Canto can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/makhancora-d%C4%81sa/bhagavatam-1st-canto-changes-examples/2159410360739276/

Now, what is the original? Is it that which Prabhupada typed himself or which the editors have created (about which Prabhupada complained so vehemently)? In the “Rascal Editors” conversation Srila Prabhupada picked one letter changed – “OH the sages” changed to “OF the sages”… he got angry. “Rascals!” he said. In these purports and slokas the whole sentences are missing… and this is only a small sample. It doesn´t stop here, rest assured…

Yasoda-nandana: Also in the Bhagavatam, where Prabhupada was talking about Lord Buddha… You mentioned that if the followers of Lord Buddha do not close the slaughterhouse, there is no meaning to such a caricature. That word was very nice. But in new book that word is not there anymore. They have pulled the word. The meaning of the word is not… So many times. Prabhupada: It is very serious situation. Ramesvara is in direct… (Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk — June 22, 1977, Vrndavana)

VMd: Purujit appears to be exaggerating the scope of the Racal Editors conversation. He assumes that Srila Prabhupada was referring to changes made directly from a manuscript. However, the changes being discussed in that conversation pertained to the earlier printed editions of his books. In the Rascal Editors conversation, these printed editions themselves were being edited further, and this is what Srila Prabhupada had an issue with.

Prabhupāda: The nonsense, they are… They are correcting my trans… Rascal. […]

Prabhupāda: Now here is “O sages,” and the word meaning is “of the munis.” Just see.

In this conversation, it was not any changes made from a manuscript that Srila Prabhupada had a problem with. Rather, it was changes made to an already printed version of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Srila Prabhupada had it translated one way, and some rascal editor whimsically changed that translation. Therefore, we cannot use this as evidence that Srila Prabhupada took issue with changes made from a manuscript. That the scope of the Rascal Editors conversation pertained to changes made to already printed versions of his books is further evidenced by the following excerpt from the same conversation.

Reply: This simply is not true. The point here is that the “Rascal Editors” conversation unfolds after READING FROM THE FIRST EDITION OF THE BHAGAVATAM, either 1970 by ISKCON PRESS or the 1972 BBT version. ANYONE WHO IS NOT A COMPLETE SHEEP AND A FOOL CAN SEE A SCAN MADE OF THE 1972 BHAGAVATAM WHETHER IT SAYS “OH THE SAGES” OR “OF THE SAGES”!

Only a complete moron will not verify this and make it clear for himself once and for all. As Tamal points out “this is not a new Bhagavatam”. Before these printings there was only the Delhi edition with the correct translation: “Oh the sages” – adressing the munis. The 1970 as well as the 1972 Bhagavatams both have “OF the sages” in them. So when Prabhupada says “the next printing should be again to the original way”, again, does he ask them to print the “original books” for example the 1972 Bhagavatam with this rascal change in them? This is PURE NONSENSE AND THOSE WHO SAY THAT PRABHUPADA WANTS THE SAME TO BE REPRINTED AS “THE ORIGINAL WAY” ARE SIMPLY FOOLS AND RASCALS. The “original way” is his Delhi edition which, according to your logic, can be seen as a draft, because it was not edited by anyone else then Prabhupada. Original is that which comes from Prabhupada, not from Hayagriva or Jayadvaita or anyone. From one point of view, we can call the Delhi Bhagavatam the manuscript for the Bhagavatam edited and printed in the West.

VMd: But where does Srila Prabhupada order for the next printing to be done directly from a manuscript by any editor?

Reply: Prabhupada instructed Rayarama and Hayagriva to edit from manuscript, so why can’t we do like that? What is the great sin there??? So far the Bhagavad-gita is concerned, they both made different versions of the same book. The 1968 is not bogus just because it’s different from the 1972. The important is the meaning. The words can be slightly changed as confirmed by you also. This is called editing. There can be multitude of Gitas all bona fide if the meaning is preserved. We accept all of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions as pertinent to us as he would be physically present. Why are we denying a spiritual guidance of Srila Prabhupada through vani in the matter of editing his books? Why this partiality?

Actually every single translation to a different language is a different edition of the same Gita made by Prabhupada, because when one translates, he can’t translate word by word. This is my personal experience while translating Srila Prabhupada’s books into Slovak language. You have to capture the meaning. Here is an interesting memory from an actual translator of Srila Prabhupada’s books which I would like to submit here simply for reference:

„Sarvabhavana: Regarding translating, Prabhupada gave me some wonderful instructions that I treasure and try to follow. He told me there are two ways of translating. One is literal and the other is bhavartha — to capture the spirit, to convey the deep spiritual and devotional mood of the acharya who wrote the original work. Prabhupada said, “I prefer bhavartha, to translate the spirit and mood of these writings rather than to translate literally. I want you to read the original Bengali or Sanskrit or Hindi, understand it, formulate it in your own words and write it.” Once in Vrindavan when Satsvarupa Maharaj was there, Prabhupada told him, “You should edit Renunciation Through Wisdom, it is a very important book.” And it truly is an incredible book — it’s a gradual unfolding of the philosophy and purport of Bhagavad-gita in which, in the original Bengali writing, Prabhupada excelled himself. In English Prabhupada wrote simply but his Bengali writing was scholarly and erudite. To translate this work was quite challenging and every single day Prabhupada asked me to read the English translation to him while he read the Bengali. He liked my work and that made me blissful. (Ref. VedaBase => Sarvabhavana)

The text has to be accommodated to the language it is translated into. Srila Prabhupada’s vani should be translated never mind he is physically present or not. Similarly, his books can be edited, or translated from Prabhupada’s specific and unique English to more understandable commonly used English for the people on the streets. There is no one to check the new translations of his books, neither was Srila Prabhupada checking a approving every single translation during his manifested lila. Why are we insisting that he should be here physically present to approve our alternative edition? First find a flaw in it, then we can talk about authorized non-authorized. But your conclusion from the very beginning is that we must be bogus, no matter how hard we try. You are biased!

Last but not least, Prabhupada DIRECTLY instructs Hansadutta to use the original Bhagavad-gita manuscript if he likes for translation to German. If the manuscript is incomplete, why would Prabhupada even give such instruction?

My dear Hamsaduta, Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 30, 1975 and have noted the contents. I don’t think that Hayagriva is at fault. He has not changed the meaning or the philosophy in any way. But if you like to use the original manuscript, then if it is possible, you can use it. (Letter to: Hamsaduta — Honolulu 8 June, 1975)

Also he instructs Ramesvara to supply manuscripts to the translators as needed:

„In general, if any translator of my books requires the original manuscripts for his work, he should be supplied them by you.“ (Srila Prabhupada September 18, 1976, letter to Ramesvara Dasa)

Why on earth would Prabhupada allow the translators to go to the manuscript, the „draft“, if the 1972 is perfect and complete and the ultimate and absolute truth? The fact he gives these instructions is a solid proof that the manuscripts are authorized. Of course – THEY ARE DIRECTLY COMING FROM SRILA PRABHUPADA!!!!

VMd: Srila Prabhupada orders the next printing to be done in the original way in which it was printed, as has already been shown from the Rascal Editors conversation.

Reply: Where does he say? Please you show evidence!

VMd: And since in the Rascal Editors conversation Srila Prabhupada and his disciples were discussing the editing of all printed editions of his books by numerous “rascal editors”, the instruction by Srila Prabhupada “the next printing should be again to the original way” should be applied on the same scale.

Reply: So the question is what version of the SB you want to print? With caricatures or without them? 1972 version – the exact one Prabhupada complains about in Rascal editors, the very book that starts this whole controversy? Or you want to print raw edition of Delhi Bhagavatam without editing it? But Prabhupada wanted his books to be edited to nice English. Please you make this clear to us. What is your solution? The “rascal change” is there in the first printing. You want to print that again to satisfy Prabhupada? Please explain, Prabhu, I am thick like a brick, obviously…

MunayahOH the sages, Sadhu—this is just relevant, Pristo—questioned – Delhi edition

munayahOF the sages; sadhu — this is relevant; prstah – questioned – 1972 – the “original” (???)

VMd: That is the nature of a manuscript: it gets changed. Srila Prabhupada deputed editors specifically to make changes to transcripts or manuscripts for the final printing. All this talk of Hayagriva changing things is useless because that was his specific task assigned by Srila Prabhupada. In the case of the Gita, it was the 1972 edition which he approved of, save and except any corrections he requested.

Reply: There is a change of wording and there is a change of meaning. Where does Prabhupada says the editors are approved to changed meaning and we should just accept? Same can be applied to ISKCON, because Prabhupada appointed certain devotees to govern ISKCON after his departure we should follow whatever they say and it does not matter whether they are going against Prabhupada or not, we should not discuss that, because Prabhupada approved them and that’s it. What kind of philosophy is this?

From a letter to Radha vallabha from Tamal:

“So far as who is “authorized” and “unauthorized”, it is the same as when the GBC spoke with Srila Prabhupada about “legal” and “illegal” distribution. Srila Prabhupada’s definition of what is legal is “whatever sells my books.” In the same way, as long as the editors edit everything perfectly they are “authorized” and when they make mistakes, whatever the reason is then they become “unauthorized.” When you do everything nicely you are praised and when some mistake is there, you are a “rascal.” This is true for all of us. … In any case His Divine Grace has not thought about this editing matter since the day of that conversation which was nearly a month ago. Please just TRY TO MAKE ALL CORRECTIONS IN THE NEW EDITIONS and everything will be alright, and of course don’t make any unnecessary changes. Please take Yasodanandan’s letter in a constructive way.” (From: Tamal Krishna to Radha-vallabha, July 22nd, 1977)

VMd: Yes, Purujit is using Jayadvaita’s same arguments to justify changing Srila Prabhupada’s books, and now we’ve dealt with these arguments once again on their own merit.

Reply: Yes we have heard this before. Purujit is like Jayadvaita. Purujit wants to be guru. Yes. That is why everything he does is bogus. Give a dog a bad name and hang it. If somehow or other you establish that Purujit has a guru desire, then you save yourself lots of work, because then you don’t have to deal with tiny little petty arguments like this. Simply say he wants to be a guru and all these disgruntled ISKCONites will understand.

VMd: Srila Prabhupada is not complaining about the first edition, he is complaining about changes made to those first editions/printings. Srila Prabhupada approved of these final works and therefore they are attributed to him as the author. This is how the publishing world works. They are the originally authorized final works of Srila Prabhupada. That is what original means.

Reply: Again, Prabhupada IS complaining about the first editions, Vidura Prabhu, please show how did you come up with this conclusion? Also you have completely misunderstood our purpose of editing. We have never claimed that our edited version is original. That would be simply ridiculous. That is your fight – for the “original “ books, not ours.

VMd: Because Srila Prabhupada already gave the order for the next printings to be done in the original way. There´s no need for his books to be edited.

Reply: If this was so, why Svarupa Damodara is suggesting to go over all the books and fix all the changes? Why Prabhupada suggested Jayadvaita and Satswarupa to be the heads of editing board? If it was as Vidura says they would just take the first editions and print again without even looking at them. Xerox style. So this is obviously a speculation by Vidura Prabhu.In the Rascal editors conversation Srila Prabhupada says, “The next printing should be again to the original way.” Then he asks: “What to do?” and Tamal suggests, that they “have to go over all of the books and make sure that they’re perfect before they’re printed again.” I want to emphasize the word ALL. All the books, no exclusion. Srila Prabhupada doesn’t exclude for example the Bhagavad-gita from the list. All the books means all the books and there is a reason for this. Now, this exchange takes place in June 1977, not long before Srila Prahubpada´s final lila. As the knower of past, present and future, Prabhupada was very well aware of the upcoming course of happenings. Still, he does not protest against Tamal´s suggestion for going over all the books and re-editing them to perfection, in a “slow but sure” manner. Prabhupada might have just directly cut him by saying:

WHAT NONSENSE STOP IT, CUT IT, I KICK ON YOUR FACE. TAKE THE FIRST EDITION AND XEROX DON’T FIX THE CHANGES. I AUTHORIZE THE CHANGES. “OF THE SAGES” CHANGE IS DIVINE AND I HAVE MADE AN OFFENSE TO THE EARLY EDITORS WHEN I POINTED OUT THAT THEY HAVE CHANGED MY BOOK IN THE BEGINNING OF THE CONVERSATION. PRINT THE 1972 AGAIN WITHOUT TOUCHING IT!

That just didn’t happen. Your conclusion is completely flawed. Please be a gentleman and admit your mistake.

Hare Krsna.

*

REPLY TO MAKHANCORA AND PURUJIT (BLISS)

BY: VIDURA MAHATMA DAS

25 JUNE, 2018

I’m going to spare readers the headache of having to go through a trivial chain of replies-to-replies and try to briefly present the core arguments presented by BLISS, which they have basically reiterated in various ways throughout their reply.

BLISS’ words in quotations.

Srila Prabhupada’s Gita 1972 is not authorized?

“So, Prabhupada authorizes Hayagriva to put his own thoughts into his books? Or to omit Srila Prabhupada objections to the so-called moon-landing? These are just a few examples of very obvious differences from the original manuscripts or in this case dictation tapes in Hayagriva’s edition. How are these particular changes authorized by Srila Prabhupada?”

BLISS has the authorized Gita?

“The editorial change by Purujit Prabhu is therefore authorized on the basis of manuscript, word for word translation and many other quotes as mentioned above.”

Contradiction to save face

“…the B.L.I.S.S. devotees DO NOT say that MacMillan edition is bogus or unauthorized…”

Straw-man argument

“Srila Prabhupada does not draft or brainstorm. Is he a conditioned soul that he has to speculate to write his books? So many times Srila Prabhupada mentioned that his books are dictated by Krsna. Do you think Krsna drafts something and only after consulting with Hayagriva it can be published?”

A multitude of Gitas?

“There can be multitude of Gitas all bona fide if the meaning is preserved. We accept all of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions as pertinent to us as he would be physcially present.

More straw-man arguments

“Why are we denying a spiritual guidance of Srila Prabhupada through vani in the matter of editing his books? Why this partiality?”

Missing the point

“In the Rascal editors conversation Srila Prabhupada says, “The next printing should be again to the original way.” Then he asks: “What to do?” and Tamal suggests, that they “have to go over all of the books and make sure that they’re perfect before they’re printed again.” I want to emphasize the word ALL. All the books, no exclusion. Srila Prabhupada doesn’t exclude for example the Bhagavad-gita from the list. All the books means all the books and there is a reason for this.”

My simple reply to BLISS

BLISS has no right to pick and choose which of Hayagriva’s editorial work Srila Prabhupada wanted or did not want in his books. We give preference to the 1972 Gita that Srila Prabhupada approved of, mass distributed, read from and lectured from for FIVE YEARS up to his disappearance. Whatever is there in the 1972 Gita, Srila Prabhupada approved of. Claiming otherwise is speculation and an insult to Srila Prabhupada.

As for the Rascal Editors conversation, the issue being discussed is changes made from earlier printings of the books – not from manuscripts. It’s logically impossible to conclude from the Rascal Editors conversation that Srila Prabhupada is asking for all of his books to be reedited according to manuscripts, transcriptions, lectures, “other quotes”, etc. Rather, Srila Prabhupada is simply requesting their original printed forms to be printed again. Despite a lengthy reply, BLISS has fallen short of proving otherwise.

Challenge to BLISS

  1. Show where Srila Prabhupada requests that his 1972 edition Gita be reedited from manuscripts, lectures, etc.
  2. Show how the Rascal Editors conversation pertains to reverting changes made from a manuscript (your premise) as opposed to reverting changes made from already-printed editions of books (my premise).

*

VIDURA’S SILENCE PROVES HIS DEFEAT

MAKHANCORA DĀSA JULY 2nd 2018

Hare Krsna dear devotees and Godbrothers. Please accept my humble dandavats. Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Recently a lengthy debate took place and still goes on under my note

“REPLY TO VIDURA MAHATMA PRABHU’S ARTICLE ON THE B.L.I.S.S. BOOK EDITING PROJECT”.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/makhancora-d%C4%81sa/reply-to-vidura-mahatma-prabhus-article-on-the-bliss-book-editing-project/2140049676008678/

The root cause of the “book changes“ controversy is that on the 22nd of June 1977 Srila Prabhupada spots a book change in the first (also known as original) edition of the Srimad Bhagavatam. An exchange follows on the topic of “rascal editors “, where Srila Prabhupada claims that:

  1. He cannot check the editorial work and they are editing without any authority

“It is not possible for me to check, and they are doing all nonsense, freedom.” (Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk — June 22, 1977, Vrndavana)

2.That Hayagriva has changed “so many things “ in the original edition of Easy Journey to Other Planets:

“That Easy Journey, original, this (indistinct) Hayagriva has changed so many things.” (Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk — June 22, 1977, Vrndavana)

  1. Devotees with philosophical grounding should be appointed to supervise future editing:

Prabhupada: So on the whole, these dangerous things are going on. How to check it? Tamala Krsna: There has to be strong philosophical leaders who can check this, like Satsvarupa and Jayadvaita. Prabhupada: Hm. Tamala Krsna: They have to also be included in the decisions of the BBT. It can’t simply be that managers make decisions. Prabhupada: Yes. Without their sanction, there will be… Let them… These all rascals…(Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk — June 22, 1977, Vrndavana)

  1. Next printing should be again to the original way:

“You write one letter that “Why you have made so many changes?” And whom to write? Who will care? All rascals are there. Write to Satsvarupa that “This is the position. They are doing anything and everything at their whim.” The next printing should be again to the original way.” (Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk — June 22, 1977, Vrndavana)

It is very clear from this conversation that Srila Prabhupada complains about unauthorized changes in the first editions of his books. The question is: should these books be printed and distributed anyway as they are the books Srila Prabhupada himself used in his lila for preaching and the editing is done by devotees Srila Prabhupada himself approved of at certain time? Or should the changes be corrected with the original words of Srila Prabhupada put back in place despite the fact that Srila Prabhupada is not here physically to approve such new editions?

In the above mentioned debate, Vidura Mahatma Prabhu shares his idea:

“Yes I am serious. I’m sorry to say that a lot of what you said was unnecessary. It was not the point. Please try to explain to us the exact fundamental basis for your editing of Srila Prabhupada’s books. From your previous writing, that basis appears to be the Rascal Editors conversation. But in that conversation Srila Prabhupada does not refer to going back to a manuscript TO EDIT THE BOOKS, BUT SIMPLY TO PRINT EARLIER EDITIONS OF ALREADY PRINTED BOOKS.”

“But where does Srila Prabhupada order for the next printing to be done directly from a manuscript by any editor? Srila Prabhupada orders the next printing to be done in the original way in which it was printed, as has already been shown from the Rascal Editors conversation. And since in the Rascal Editors conversation Srila Prabhupada and his disciples were discussing the editing of all printed editions of his books by numerous “rascal editors”, the instruction by Srila Prabhupada “the next printing should be again to the original way” should be applied on the same scale.”

“That is the nature of a manuscript: it gets changed. Srila Prabhupada deputed editors specifically to make changes to transcripts or manuscripts for the final printing. All this talk of Hayagriva changing things is useless because that was his specific task assigned by Srila Prabhupada. In the case of the Gita, it was the 1972 edition which he approved of, save and except any corrections he requested.”

“Because Srila Prabhupada already gave the order for the next printings to be done in the original way. There’s no need for his books to be edited. We have such faith in Srila Prabhupada that we accept his order as is. If we didn’t have faith, we might disregard that order and attempt to make a new edition/printing.” (VMd)

Srila Prabhupada suggested on various occasions concrete examples on how to correct his books. For example he stated that the word “cattle raising “ (raising cows for slaughter) should be replaced for “cow protection “ in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, in the verse where Krsna prescribes the occupational duty of a vaisya in the varnasrama system (Bg 18.44). Vidura Prabhu claims that only these corrections should be made and nothing else. He claims that correcting anything more than this would be surpassing Srila Prabhupada’s authorization of the early editors. Thus an offense would be made to the early editors and to Srila Prabhupada as well. He also explains Srila Prabhupada’s statement: “The next printing should be again to the original way“ as referring to the already published editions. All these theories break apart when examined on the basis of the Rascal editors conversation and Srila Prabhupada’s own statements and we would like to highlight this for the benefit of advancing this controversy into a resolution. We have challenged Vidura Prabhu to answer 5 questions to back up his argument.

His inability to answer these 5 questions pertaining to the “Rascal editors” conversation shows that he has no clear answer on what books should actually be printed. Thus his arguments against our “back to the original way“ project ultimately only resort to personal attacks on devotees, calling Purujit Prabhu “The B.L.I.S.S. guru maharaja” (as though Purujit was some kind of guru wannabe) and similar slanders showing his hopeless position. I hereby challenge Vidura to either answer the questions and explain his solution to the matter, so that the discussion can continue in a Vaisnava manner, based on guru-sadhu-sastra and not on sentiments and personal likes/dislikes or apologize for unjust accusations against the B.L.I.S.S. Otherwise he proves himself to be a frustrated rascal whose only purpose of entering into these debates is to plant seeds of dissention into Srila Prabhupada’s movement. Silence to these questions, proves his defeat. Srila Prabhupada says:

“So when the (indistinct), but exposes you, what answer you have got? Why you are silent? Silent means acceptance. Maunam (indistinct). If I say, “You are rascal, you are thief,” and if you don’t reply that means you accept it.” (Morning Walk — December 28, 1976, Bombay)

“Just directly charge him. Directly. That “You are a mudha, you are a rascal,” immediately. Let him speak. And send it to the newspaper that this letter we have sent challenging this rascal, let him reply. If he does not reply, silent, that means he’s accepts he’s a rascal.” (Room Conversation — September 11, 1976, Vrndavana)

Therefore to save his honor and credibility as a preacher we ask Vidura Prabhu to answer the following:

1: If Prabhupada wants to reprint the 1972 Bhagavatam edition and only fix a few typos like „of the sages“ to „oh, sages“, why is he agreeing on setting up an editing board of philosophically erudite devotees like Satsvarupa and Jayadvaita? What is there to philosophize?

„Prabhupada: So you… What you are going… It is very serious situation. You write one letter that “Why you have made so many changes?” And whom to write? Who will care? All rascals are there. Write to Satsvarupa that “This is the position. They are doing anything and everything at their whim.” The next printing should be again to the original way. Tamala Krsna: They should have a board of Satsvarupa and Jayadvaita. Prabhupada: Hm. Tamala Krsna: Those two men are both in Los Angeles now. Prabhupada: So write them immediately that “The rascal editors, they are doing havoc, and they are being maintained by Ramesvara and party.” (Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk — June 22, 1977, Vrndavana)

2: Why Prabhupada doesn´t protest when Tamal Krsna suggests to go through all the books and re-edit them? Prabhupada simply concludes: „They cannot change anything.“

Prabhupada: So WHAT TO DO? Tamala Krsna: So I think we just have to be slow but sure. We have to GO OVER ALL OF THE BOOKS and make sure that they’re perfect before they’re printed again. Not be in such a rush, print, print, and print all nonsense. Svarupa Damodara: One time I had a strong talk with Ramesvara Maharaja about our article for printing in the Back to Godhead. I didn’t want them to be printed in Back to Godhead because they made so many changes… Prabhupada: Oh, he has dared to change yours also? Svarupa Damodara: Oh, yes. They change so many things in our article. And it was on the telephone. I was speaking to him in Atlanta from Los Angeles. And I told him that “This article should not be printed because they have made so many changes.” And I didn’t like that. Then they answered that “It has already been offset, and BBT policy is always to be rushing. It’s always BBT policy.” Then I told him that “If you sacrifice quality on the strength of rushing, then it is your business, but that’s not my way, so please don’t print it.” But in any case, they have printed anyway that article. And we all had a bad reaction. Prabhupada: So you bring this to Satsvarupa. They cannot change anything.” (Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk — June 22, 1977, Vrndavana)

Here Tamal clearly suggests to go over ALL THE BOOKS (including the Bhagavad-gita As It Is). Can anyone with a sane mind think that Srila Prabhupada would calmly let this suggestion pass if it was such an offense? He clearly asks for a solution. Tamal gives the solution: Go over all the books and fix whatever changes have been done by the editors. The fact that Srila Prabhupada does not protest, does not reject, does not in any way disprove such an idea means it is at least a good idea to consider. There is also a follow-up correspondence between Tamal Krsna and Radha-Vallabha (who is being criticized by Prabhupada in the conversation), where Tamal paraphrases Srila Prabhupada on who is authorized to edit the books (the one who does not make mistakes a.k.a. change things) and that the editing process should continue („all the corrections in the new editions“ without „unnecessary changes“):

“So far as who is “authorized” and “unauthorized”, it is the same as when the GBC spoke with Srila Prabhupada about “legal” and “illegal” distribution. Srila Prabhupada’s definition of what is legal is “whatever sells my books.” In the same way, as long as the editors edit everything perfectly they are “authorized” and when they make mistakes, whatever the reason is then they become “unauthorized.” When you do everything nicely you are praised and when some mistake is there, you are a “rascal.” This is true for all of us. … In any case His Divine Grace has not thought about this editing matter since the day of that conversation which was nearly a month ago. Please just try to make all the corrections in the new editions and everything will be alright, and of course don’t make any unnecessary changes. Please take Yasodanandan’s letter in a constructive way.” (From: Tamal Krishna to Radha-Vallabha, July 22nd, 1977)

Note: someone may argue that letters from Tamal are no argument or evidence, cuz he is a demon or whatnot. Mind, that the July 9th Letter was also written by Tamal… the letter from Tamal to Radha-Vallabha makes perfect sense in the light of what was discussed in the “Rascal editors” conversation and has to be taken into account as Tamal is a direct witness to conversations that took place off the record on this topic. The editing is to continue but in a proper manner – no changes and correct all the nonsense that has been printed previously.

  1. In an instance before ordering the next printing to the original way by Prabhupada, Yasodanandana Prabhu mentiones that the word „caricature“ was left out from the text in that Srimad Bhagavatam:

Prabhupada: To find out some job to fill up the belly. Otherwise he’ll starve if he doesn’t get any job. And he’s finding out guru. Job-guru. Now do the needful. Otherwise everything will be spoiled. These rascal editorial… That Easy Journey, original, this (indistinct) Hayagriva has changed so many things. Tamala Krsna: He actually took out the whole part about their going to the moon being childish. He deleted the whole section. Yasoda-nandana: Also in the Bhagavatam, where Prabhupada was talking about Lord Buddha… You mentioned that if the followers of Lord Buddha do not close the slaughterhouse, there is no meaning to such a caricature. That word was very nice. But in new book that word is not there any more. They have pulled the word. The meaning of the word is not… So many times. Prabhupada: It is very serious situation. Ramesvara is in direct… Svarupa Damodara: I think they’re working too independently without consulting properly. Yasoda-nandana: Sometimes they appeal that “We can make better English,” so they change like that, just like in the case of Isopanisad. There are over a hundred changes. So where is the need? Your words are sufficient. The potency is there. When they change, it is something else.Svarupa Damodara: That’s actually a very dangerous mentality. Yasoda-nandana: What is it going to be in five years? It’s going to be a different book. Prabhupada: So you… What you are going… It is very serious situation. You write one letter that “Why you have made so many changes?” And whom to write? Who will care? All rascals are there. Write to Satsvarupa that “This is the position. They are doing anything and everything at their whim.” The next printing should be again to the original way. (Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk — June 22, 1977, Vrndavana)

Yasodanandana points out the change, saying that it was unnecessary indicating that it should be there in the text. Prabhupada doesn´t approve or disapprove, he doesn´t address the point directly. Let´s say, theoretically, that you are now in charge of the BBT; would you print the new Bhagavatam with the „caricature“ or without it? And why?

  1. Easy Journey to Other Planets…

Prabhupada says on 2 different occasions that Hayagriva has changed MANY things:

„Now do the needful. Otherwise everything will be spoiled. These rascal editorial… That Easy Journey, original, this (indistinct) Hayagriva has changed so many things.“ (Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk — June 22, 1977, Vrndavana)

„Prabhupada: He cannot see mistake. He is mistake. (laughter) He should… That is being done by this rascal. I don’t want. And the Hayagriva has…, the Easy Journey, he has changed so many things. That… He is now bad character. You should not maintain him.“ (Room Conversation — February 27, 1977, Mayapura)

And another indication is here:

Tamala Krsna: They think the animals don’t have any feelings or soul. Prabhupada: No, they think in so many way, nonsense rascals. What is the value of their thinking? Rascals, all number one rascals. They say, “Why do you…?” But they, how they can believe? Their whole life is belief, no factual knowledge. Tamala Krsna: How they will believe that man didn’t go to the moon? When Srila Prabhupada wrote that in Easy Journey, Hayagriva took it out of the book, saying that “How will they believe this?” Prabhupada: Believe. “I believe.” You can say also, “I believe.” You can say, “I believe.” Where is the standard? Tamala Krsna: Krsna. Prabhupada: This is their life. “I believe.” Whatever he believes, that’s all right. This is going on. (Room Conversations Bangladesh Preaching/Prabhavisnu Articles by Hamsaduta — August 11, 1977, Vrndavana)

One significant change made by Hayagriva against what Prabhupada originally wrote in the Easy Journey is that in the version printed by Srila Prabhupada in India there is the following description of one of the five essential items preparing one for the journey back home, back to Godhead:

“3. One should hear the transcendental topics enunciated in the Bhagwat. This hearing is made possible through platform lectures as well as through press propaganda. And this item includes the other two items as above mentioned.” (EJtOP Delhi edition)

The “above mentioned” items are associating with devotees and chanting of the holy name of the Lord.

However, in the 1972 first western printing, it says:

“3. One should hear the transcendental topics enunciated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. This hearing is made possible through platform lectures by bona fide devotees and by authorized translations of the Bhagavatam. (EJtOP 1: Antimaterial Worlds, 1972)

In other words Srila Prabhupada clearly writes here that one can associate with devotees through hearing and reading. This information has been removed by Hayagriva for no reason!

In the rascal editors conversation Srila Prabhupada simply expresses his dissatisfaction with the editing of Easy Journey done by Hayagriva, but he doesn’t point out any specific things to be fixed. “He changed so many things.” That’s all there is to it. Now, if the Easy Journey to Other Planets is to be reprinted for distribution, how would you do it to satisfy Prabhupada? Would you reprint the Easy Journey again as it was printed „originally“ in 1972, edited by Hayagriva, or would you re-edit the Indian version of Easy Journey and print that with this important point about associating with devotees through the sound in it, as written originally by Srila Prabhupada, although Srila Prabhupada doesn’t give such order directly? Yes/no, why?

  1. What about the Sri Isopanisad? Which version should be reprinted? Yasodanandana is complaining about the Isopanisad, Prabhupada concludes the whole exchange with “the next printing should be again to the original way.”

Yasoda-nandana: Sometimes they appeal that “We can make better English,” so they change like that, just like in the case of Isopanisad. There are over a hundred changes. So where is the need? Your words are sufficient. The potency is there. When they change, it is something else. Svarupa Damodara: That’s actually a very dangerous mentality. Yasoda-nandana: What is it going to be in five years? It’s going to be a different book.Prabhupada: So you… What you are going… It is very serious situation. You write one letter that “Why you have made so many changes?” And whom to write? Who will care? All rascals are there. Write to Satsvarupa that “This is the position. They are doing anything and everything at their whim.” The next printing should be again to the original way. Tamala Krsna: They should have a board of Satsvarupa and Jayadvaita. Prabhupada: Hm. (Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk — June 22, 1977, Vrndavana)

Please let us know which one is the correct version:

To follow the regulative principles one must have gone under the shelter of a bonafide spiritual master. The transcendental message comes down from the spiritual master to the disciple in the regulative principles and not in the hazardous way of nescient education.” (Iso mantra 10 – BTG 1960)

To follow the regulative principles, one must go under the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. The transcendental message comes down from the spiritual master to the disciple with the regulative principles, and not in the hazardous way of nescient education.” (Iso mantra 10, 1969)

To follow the regulative principles, one must take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. The transcendental message and regulative principles come down from the spiritual master to the disciple. (Iso 10-1974)

Again, this is very important to deal with: in the case of Easy Journey to Other Planets Prabhupada simply expresses his dissatisfaction with the editing done by Hayagriva and wants the books back to the original way. He doesn’t point out any specific word or sentence to be fixed. How would you satisfy Srila Prabhupada in this case?

Your servant Makhancora dasa. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada! Hare Krsna!

*

THE RASCAL EDITORS CONVERSATION: CONTEXT DEFINES THE ORDER

BY: VIDURA MAHATMA DAS

8 JULY, 2018

On June 22, 1977, in a discussion on unauthorized changes being made to his books, Srila Prabhupada ordered: “The next printing should be again to the original way.” Of course, this statement, like any other instruction from Srila Prabhupada, should be understood according to its context. The context begins when, in the conversation, Srila Prabhupada detects a faulty change made to verse 1.2.5 in the Srimad Bhagavatam by an editor.

A little background information on this verse: The Dehli Bhagavatam which Srila Prabhupada brought with him from India to America contains the word-for-word translation “Oh the sages”, which is addressing an assembly of sages. The same appears in the translation afterward. It’s not a mistake; it’s Srila Prabhupada’s wording style (equivalent to “O sages”). These words are addressing all the assembled munis or sages (“Munayaḥ is addressing all these munis”).

Srila Prabhupada wanted his Dehli Bhagavatam revised, which eventually led to the 1972 “American” printing of the Bhagavatam – authorized, distributed and lectured from by Srila Prabhupada. In the 1972 edition, as well as later in the 1976 edition of the Bhagavatam, “Oh the sages” from the Dehli Bhagavatam was wrongly corrected in the word-for-word to “Of the sages”. Inconsistently, the translation that followed contained the correct translation (albeit different style): “O sages…”. The incorrect word-for-word translation “Of the sages” was what Srila Prabhupada was upset with since it deviated from the “addressing” nature of the verse and thus made no sense. Overall, in the “Rascal Editors” conversation the discussion on unauthorized changes is of two types: unauthorized changes found in earlier editions of books (type 1), and unauthorized changes found in newer editions/reprints of books (type 2). It is these two types of changes in the discussion which we highlight in order to show the gradual development from type 1 to type 2. We do so not to take away the importance of one type from the other, but as a guide to understanding the defining context within which the concluding order to “print again to the original way” was given.

Rascal Editors conversation – June 22, 1977

Prabhupāda: Where are others? Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Shall I get other people? Śatadhanya Mahārāja? [long pause] Prabhupāda: That… Find this verse, munayaḥ sādhu pṛṣṭo ‘ham… [SB 1.2.5]. Devotee (1): Munayaḥ sādhu pṛṣṭo ‘ham. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: [aside:] There’s no index. It’s not a new Bhāgavatam. There’s no index in this Bhāgavatam. Munayaḥ sādhu…? “The Effects of Kali-yuga” chapter? Is that the verse, about the effects of Kali-yuga? No. [background talking, looking for verse] munayaḥ sādhu pṛṣṭo ‘haṁ bhavadbhir loka-maṅgalam / yat kṛtaḥ kṛṣṇa-sampraśno yenātmā suprasīdati [SB 1.2.5]. munayaḥ—of the sages; sādhu—this is relevant; pṛṣṭaḥ—questioned; aham…Prabhupāda: No? What is that? Sādhu? What is that? Munayaḥ? Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Says, “sādhu—this is relevant.” Prabhupāda: Relevant? Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s what it’s translated as, “this is relevant.” May be a mistake. Devotee (1): It’s a mistake. Prabhupāda: Munayaḥ? Tamāla Kṛṣṇa:Munayaḥ—of the sages; sādhu—this is relevant…” Prabhupāda: The nonsense, they are… They are correcting my trans… Rascal. Who has done this? Munayaḥ is addressing all these munis. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It’s addressing the munis? Prabhupāda: Yes.

So far the issue is with an unauthorized change appearing in both the 1972 (earlier edition) and 1976 (newer edition) printings of the first canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam at the time.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Sādhus, great sages. Prabhupāda: Yes. Sādhu means they are very pure. What can be done if it goes there and these rascals become Sanskrit scholar and do everything nonsense? One Sanskrit scholar strayed, that rascal… He take… What is his…? Śacī-suta? Śacī-sandana? Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Jaya-śacīnandana? Prabhupāda: And they are maintaining them. Different meaning. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa:Bhavadbhiḥ—by all of you; loka—the world; maṅgalam—welfare; yat—because; kṛtaḥ—made; kṛṣṇa—the Personality of Godhead; sampraśnaḥ—relevant question; yena—by which; ātmā— self; suprasīdati—completely pleased.” Translation = “O sages…” Prabhupāda: Now here is “O sages,” and the word meaning is “of the munis.” Just see. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: “Which is relevant.” Prabhupāda: Such a rascal Sanskrit scholar. Here it is addressed, sambodhana, and they [indistinct] it—“munayaḥ—of the munis.” It is very risky to give to them for editorial direction. Little learning is dangerous. However proper Sanskrit scholar, little learning, dangerous. Immediately they become very big scholars, high salaried, and write all nonsense. Who they are? [pause] Then? Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: “O sages, I have been…” Prabhupāda: No, they cannot be reliable. They can do more harm. Just see here the [indistinct]. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah. We’re finding out in the Fifth Canto that there’re words that are so off, the meaning is completely changed, completely changed. I mean, in the three chapters that we read, Bhakti-prema Mahārāja made at least half a dozen corrections, of serious corrections. They had changed the meaning. Svarūpa Dāmodara: Some of the mistakes in the numbers, the figures. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yeah, they’re all… Prabhupāda: So how they can be reliable, so-called, this way…? [background whispering] Hmm? Yaśodā-nandana: In the Gurukula we were teaching Īśopaniṣad class to the children. So we took original, maybe first edition… [break] …Prabhupāda and the words which the recent edition of the Press is wrong. Many changes were brought. They were trying to make better English, but sometimes, to make better English, I think they were making philosophical mistakes also. There is no so much need of making so much better English. Your English is sufficient. It is very clear, very simple. We have caught over 125 changes. They’re changing so many things. We are wondering if this is necessary. I will show you today. I have kept the book. Prabhupāda: I know that these rascals are doing. What can be done? How they can be relied on?

At this point in the conversation the issue has expanded to numerous unauthorized changes in newer edition reprints of various books.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: It’s not the responsibility of the BBT trustees, to see these things don’t change without Prabhupāda’s sanction? Prabhupāda: And Rāmeśvara is indulging this. The great rascal is that Jagannātha…? He’s there in Los Angeles.Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Jagannātha dāsa? Prabhupāda: Maybe.Indian devotee (2): Jagannātha-suta. Prabhupāda: Jagannātha-suta. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No… Prabhupāda: And the one rascal is gone. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Nitāi. Prabhupāda: Distorting. What can I do? These cannot… These rascals cannot be educated. Dangerous. Little learning, dangerous. So how to correct?
The leader of these dangerous—Rādhā-vallabha.Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Rādhā-vallabha? Prabhupāda: Hmm. He’s a dangerous, who maintains these rascal with this work. He’ll always have questions and alteration. That is his business. That is American business. They take that always. What can I do? Ultimate, it goes for editorial. They make changes, such changes. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Your original work that you’re doing now, that is edited by Jayādvaita. That’s the first editing. Prabhupāda: He is good. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He is good. But then, after they print the books, they’re going over. So when they reprint… Prabhupāda: So how to check this? How to stop this?

At this point the issue being pointed out is that after a book is printed, editors are going over it and making unauthorized changes in the reprints. Srila Prabhupada wants to stop this.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They should not make any changes without consulting Jayādvaita. Prabhupāda: But they are doing, without any authority. Svarūpa Dāmodara: I think we should make whole survey, all books already printed, before printing the next batch, and check any mistakes so that it should be all corrected. Otherwise, if the scholars find out that there are so many mistakes in the books, then the quality and the appreciation will be reduced.

The issue being discussed still is unauthorized changes in reprints of the books.

Girirāja[?]: [indistinct] Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes. We find so far that they are appreciating so much within the scholarly circle, and we want to maintain that actually. Prabhupāda: Very serious feature. It is not possible for me to check, and they are doing all nonsense, freedom. [pause] Yaśodā-nandana: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. Prabhupāda: What to do? Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I think Svarūpa Dāmodara’s point, that all the books should now be checked before they’re reprinted again. And they have to be checked not by some so-called learned Sanskrit man but by a learned devotee. Just like you always favored Jayādvaita because of his Kṛṣṇa consciousness… Prabhupāda: Jayādvaita, Satsvarūpa… Yaśodā-nandana: Bhakti-prema; Satsvarūpa is there. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So Bhakti-prema… That’s a good solution. Prabhupāda: Yes.

The discussion is still on unauthorized changes in reprinted editions of books.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You know, the real point is that the Sanskrit is often not translated properly in the translation, what Nitāi and others have done. Prabhupāda: He’s a rascal. That’s… He’s finding out guru and job for filling the belly. That is the latest news. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What is he doing? Prabhupāda: To find out some job to fill up the belly. Otherwise he’ll starve if he doesn’t get any job. And he’s finding out guru. Job guru. Now do the needful. Otherwise everything will be spoiled. These rascal editorial… That Easy Journey, original, this [indistinct] Hayagrīva has changed so many things. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He actually took out the whole part about their going to the moon being childish. He deleted the whole section. The whole thing. He said it is [indistinct]. Yaśodā-nandana: Also in the Bhāgavatam, where Prabhupāda was talking about Lord Buddha… You mentioned that if the followers of Lord Buddha do not close the slaughterhouse, there is no meaning to such a caricature. That word was very nice. But in new book that word is not there any more. They have pulled the word. The meaning of the word is not… So many times. Prabhupāda: It is very serious situation. Rāmeśvara is in direct…

Srila Prabhupada raises issue with the newer edition reprint of Easy Journey To Other Planets edited by Hayagriva. Yasoda-nandana raises issue with the newer edition reprint of Srimad Bhagavatam (1976 edition at the time). The newer edition reprint of Sri Isopanisad is also scrutinized in the following text. Thus discussion on newer editions/reprints of books continues.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: I think they’re working too independently without consulting properly. Yaśodā-nandana: Sometimes they feel that “We can make better English,” so they change like that, just like in the case of Īśopaniṣad. There are over a hundred changes. So where is the need? Your words are sufficient. The potency is there. When they change, it is something else. Svarūpa Dāmodara: That’s actually a very dangerous mentality. Yaśodā-nandana: What is it going to be in five years? It’s going to be a different book.Prabhupāda: So you… What you are going… It is very serious situation. You write one letter that “Why you have made so many changes?” And whom to write? Who will care? All rascals are there. Write to Satsvarūpa that “This is the position. They are doing anything and everything at their whim.” The next printing should be again to the original way.

Analysis

Soon after Srila Prabhupada raised issue with the unauthorized change appearing in the earlier edition and newer edition of the Bhagavatam, the issue expanded to the many unauthorized changes in the newer editions/reprints of books. Srila Prabhupada then expressed that he wanted to stop this. The issue of changes in newer editions/reprints continued in discussion for what comprised the major remaining portion of the whole topic.

Suggestions were made as to how to make sure the next printings contained authorized changes and Srila Prabhupada acknowledged these suggestions. However, the actual order or solution Srila Prabhupada ended up giving was: “Write to Satsvarūpa that ‘This is the position. They are doing anything and everything at their whim. The next printing should be again to the original way.’” Despite even further suggestions to implement a process of approved changes, Srila Prabhupada repeated: “So you bring this to Satsvarūpa. They cannot change anything.”

Following the discussion within which the order is given (the context), it is evident that Srila Prabhupada is ordering to print the earlier editions of books again, as opposed to newer editions/reprints.

To illustrate this point even further, we present the matter in another format as follows.

Discussion on changes found in earlier edition (Condition 1)

  • Srila Prabhupada detects a rascal change appearing in the earlier 1972 edition of the first canto Srimad Bhagavatam as well as in the newer 1976 reprinted edition (“Of the sages”).

Discussion on changes found in newer editions/reprintings (Condition 2)

  • Yasoda mentions changes made in the reprint of Isopanisad. Srila Prabhupada shares concern.
  • Tamal mentions how Jayadvaita edited an original work, a first editing. Srila Prabhupada approves that first editing.
  • Tamal mentions how after they print the books they are going over again. Srila Prabhupada wants to stop this.
  • Svarupa Damodara suggests that all books already printed should be checked for mistakes before reprinting.
  • Tamal suggests that corrections made to all books already printed should be checked by Jayadvaita before they’re reprinted.
  • Srila Prabhupada mentions how Hayagriva changed so many things in a reprint of Easy Journey To Other Planets.
  • Yasoda mentions a change made in the new reprint of the American Bhagavatam.
  • Yasoda mentions changes made in the reprint of Isopanisad again.
  • Srila Prabhupada says the next printing should be again to the original way.

Once again, following the context within which the order is given, it is evident that Srila Prabhupada is ordering to print the earlier editions of books again, as opposed to newer editions/reprints.

Merriam Webster online dictionary defines context as:

1 : the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning

2 : the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs

Context simplified even further

Discourse: Unauthorized changes in the books

Condition 1: Unauthorized change in an earlier printing of a book (beginning 1/3 of conversation)

Condition 2: Unauthorized changes in newer printings of books (remaining 2/3 of conversation)

Order: The next printing should be again to the original way

Meaning: The conditional discourse within which the order occurred was unauthorized changes in newer printings of books (condition 2).

Logical fallacy: To conclude that Condition 1 was the conditional discourse within which the order occurred is incorrect. It is unnatural in following the course of the conversation to claim that the ending order is defined by condition 1 rather than condition 2. Some interpreters have concluded so in an attempt to invalidate the authenticity of earlier editions like the 1972 Gita or 1972 Bhagavatam. Thus, they say, there is need to go back to manuscripts and transcripts. But this is a complete fall out with the natural context of the conversation. Nor does Srila Prabhupada mention anything about going back to manuscripts or transcripts, undoing all the work that culminated in those earlier printings. This would be an implied order of monumental proportion. It’s a far-fetched and exaggerated interpretation that can only be expected from one so desperate to extract support for their speculative activities, which they undertake for reasons entirely in their own interests.

Conclusion: The order, understood in its proper context, is a reversion from newer printings of books to earlier printings of books.

So what do we do with the unauthorized change in the earlier edition?

Unauthorized changes in newer printings (Condition 2) were given a systematic rectifying order: the next printing should be again to the original way.

But in the case of earlier editions (condition 1), there is no such systematic rectifying order given. Therefore, similar to the 1972 Gita, unauthorized changes in the 1972 Bhagavatam should be rectified on a self-evident basis: That is, only unauthorized changes which have been specifically pointed out by Srila Prabhupada should be corrected, so as to retain authority. Otherwise, if we do-away with the entire 1972 edition of either the Gita or first canto Bhagavatam, we do so without any authority.

Whereas doing-away with the newer editions, e.g., 1983 Gita or 1976 Bhagavatam, carries full authority.

*

CONTEXT DOES NOT DEFINE THE ORDER;

SRILA PRABHUPADA’S SELF-EVIDENT ORDER TO EDIT OUT CHANGES IN HIS BOOKS.

By Makhancora Dasa

July 7th 2018

Vidura Prabhu has recently written so far his most objective and balanced paper on the issue of The B.L.I.S.S. editing project and we must congratulate him for his level of dedication and work he invested into this. For those of you who have not followed the debate between Vidura Prabhu and myself, we may shortly explain that a controversy arose over the issue of unauthorized changes in Srila Prabhupada’s books on the June 22nd 1977, when Srila Prabhupada himself spotted a mistake in the early edition (first American printing) of the Srimad Bhagavatam First Canto. After Srila Prabhupada complains about an unauthorized change in this edition, the conversation extends to the discussion about many other books where unauthorized changes had been found. Srila Prabhupada finally orders that the next printing should be again to the original way.

The whole crux of the problem is that the corrections were never made during Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence. After Srila Prabhupada departed in November 1977, the rtvik-representatives appointed by Srila Prabhupada to initiate on his behalf have unauthorizedly took up the position of zonal acaryas with grave consequences and the trust amongst the various disciples has been shattered. When Jayadvaita and others took up the order and started revising Srila Prabhupada’s books initially with the idea to bring the books back to the original way, their endeavor has been met with great suspicion and criticism. Various devotees have expressed their fear that Srila Prabhupada’s original words are being changed in favor of the new gurus and thus the parampara is being destroyed. Even if the present editors working under the ISKCON’s guru system were simply correcting unauthorized changes, those who do not accept the present ISKCON’s leadership would find it hard to trust them. Thus there was a conclusion made by various devotees around the world that the books should be kept as they are, as they were distributed during Srila Prabhupada’s manifested presence never mind the changes.

The B.L.I.S.S. (The Bhaktivedanta Lives in Sound Society) devotees contend this conclusion and claim that whether the changes have been done to the early editions or later editions has no relevance. Change is a change and simply because the present ISKCON editors might have altered some meanings does not exclude a possibility that a bona fide edition can be made even now when Srila Prabhupada is no longer here to personally approve such edition. If the new editions are simply based on Srila Prabhupada’s original unedited words contained in his early BTG publications, early India-printed publications, his audio lectures, conversations, etc., there can be no doubt about their authority. Also, since these various materials are becoming more and more freely available on the internet and elsewhere, devotees can now independently examine whether the new edition is faithful to Srila Prabhupada’s original words or not. In other words, there is no danger in this endeavor. With this idea, Purujit Prabhu to this day edited the Sri Isopanisad (brought back to the original unedited BTG articles written by Srila Prabhupada himself), Easy Journey to Other Planets (brought back to the original unedited publication written and published by Srila Prabhupada himself) and the Bhagavad-gita As It Is (brought back to the original manuscript [first 6 chapters hand typed by Srila Prabhupada himself] and transcripts of Srila Prabhupada’s dictation tapes, corroborated by various excerpts from Srila Prabhupada´s audio classes on the Bhagavad-gita and other books). Vidura Prabhu and various other devotees have expressed concern over these editions claiming that Purujit Prabhu might be of the same feather as the editors in ISKCON with a personal ambition. Without debating the issue on personal basis with the B.L.I.S.S. devotees, they have most immaturely launched into a public defamatory campaign against Purujit Prabhu and the B.L.I.S.S. society. To defend the work of Purujit Prabhu and the B.L.I.S.S. society we have written several responses to the accusations of these various devotees showing how our editing project is in accordance with the instruction of Srila Prabhupada, namely that his books should be printed again to the original way.

In Vidura’s last article, he argues that the order “again to the original way”, does not apply to the early editions. Rather, he claims Srila Prabhupada in this conversation means to address the later reprints. In other words, Vidura proposes that only the first American editions of the books should be considered bona fide. All subsequent printings and editions should be discarded and all the books should be printed in the way they were edited and printed by Srila Prabhupada’s disciples for the first time. This is how he understands Srila Prabhupada’s order “the next printing should be again to the original way”

He gives a rather complex explanation of how the context of the conversation changes from the first editions (when Srila Prabhupada spots a change in the first American edition of the Srimad Bhagavatam) to the later editions (when Yasodanandana informs Srila Prabhupada about the changes in the later editions of Sri Isopanisad). Therefore, Vidura claims, when Srila Prabhupada orders to print the books again to the original way, he refers to the later editions, not the early editions.

To this we have to say, that even though it is true the disciples discuss about the early and later editions, nothing from what Srila Prabhupada himself says implies that the changes in the early editions are approved by Srila Prabhupada. Nor does Vidura’s article clearly prove that Srila Prabhupada makes such differentiations between the unauthorized changes in the early and newer editions.

It might be a sensible theory and valuable argument. Unfortunately sufficient evidence is lacking to back it up. We cannot interpret the order of the spiritual master simply by the use of logical arguments. Additional statements from Srila Prabhupada would be needed to confirm Vidura’s logical assertion.

“Although the use of thoughts and arguments is a most suitable process for inducing an uninitiated person to become a devotee, neophytes in devotional service must always alertly understand Krsna through the vision of the revealed scriptures, the bona fide devotees and the spiritual master.” (CC Adi 2.117)

No one can attain the Absolute Truth by argument. One may be very expert in logic, and another person may be even more expert in the art of argument. Because there is so much word jugglery in logic, one can never come to the real conclusion about the Absolute Truth by argument. (CC Madhya 9.49)

When speaking in spiritual circles, one’s statements must be upheld by the scriptures. One should at once quote from scriptural authority to back up what he is saying. (Bg 17.15)

For example, Vidura quotes the following excerpt from the 22nd of June 1977 conversation:

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Your original work that you’re doing now, that is edited by Jayādvaita. That’s the first editing. Prabhupāda: He is good. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He is good. But then, after they print the books, they’re going over. So when they reprint… Prabhupāda: So how to check this? How to stop this?

Here Vidura implies that when Srila Prabhupada says: “So how to check this? How to stop this?” He wants to stop revisions of the “first editing” for good. However, nothing in this segment shows that this must be necessarily so. According to our analysis, all Srila Prabhupada says here is that if the editor is good, there is no need to unnecessarily re-edit his work. In other words, the real focus is whether the edition preserves Srila Prabhupada’s original words or not, not whether it is the early or later edition.

Moreover, in September 1976, Jayadvaita did re-edit the early edition of the Srimad-Bhagavatam with the intention to bring it closer to the Delhi edition and he sent the proposed changes to the BBT staff. Because the changes were so extensive, the BBT forwarded them to Srila Prabhupada himself just to ensure Jayadvaita is not doing something unauthorized. To this Srila Prabhupada wrote the famous:

“Concerning the editing of Jayadvaita Prabhu, whatever he does is approved by me. I have confidence in him. Your changes which I have seen of the sanskrit synonyms is also approved by me. Tanmayataya refers to the fact that the trees and the father were absorbed in the same feelings.” (Letter to: Radhavallabha — Vrindaban 7 September, 1976)

Here we see Srila Prabhupada approves the proposed changes of the sanskrit synonyms and Jayadvaita’s revising of the first edition. Why would then Srila Prabhupada on June 22nd 1977 express a desire to stop the revising policy and at the same time claim that Jayadvaita is a good editor? This seems highly unlikely.

The weakness of Vidura’s argument is also shown when he claims that the books discussed prior to the order “the next printing should be again to the original way” are the new reprints. Besides, the 1972 early version of Srimad-Bhagavatam where Srila Prabhupada personally spots a change, there is also a discussion of the early edition of the Fifth Canto. The fact that it is the first printing of the 5th Canto discussed is corroborated by this evidence:

Gopala Krsna: “Bhaktivedanta Book Trust tentative printing schedule: Vyasa-puja.” This is first the title, then the printer and the delivery date. “July: 2,000 copies, very early August. Nectar of Instruction goes to the printer in late July, 100,000 copies to be ready by early September. Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Part 2, reprint, goes to the printer in late July: 50,000 copies ready by September. Srimad-Bhagavatam Eighth Canto, Part 1, goes to the printer in August: 20,000 copies ready by late September. Bhagavad-gita reprint goes to the printer in August: 500,000 copies ready by late September. Then there’s a book by one of Prabhupada’s disciples, Satsvarupa Goswami, goes to the printer in late August. Krsna trilogy paperback goes to the printer early September: 100,000 copies each and ready by late September. Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Part 3, being reprinted, goes to the printer in early September: 50,000 copies ready by late October. And three catalogues go to the printer early September: 55,000 copies ready early October. There’s another new book by Prabhupada: Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers, goes to the printer in September: 100,000 copies ready late October. Srimad-Bhagavatam Eighth Canto, Part 2, goes to the printer late September: 20,000 copies ready early November. Srimad-Bhagavatam Second Canto, Part 2, reprint, goes to the printer late September: 20,000 copies ready November. Srimad-Bhagavatam First Canto, Part 1, reprint, goes to the printer in early September: 50,000 copies ready in November. Srimad-Bhagavatam Eighth Canto, Part 3, goes to the printer in late October, ready early December: 20,000 copies. Srimad-Bhagavatam Second Canto, Part 1, reprint, goes to the printer early November: 50,000 copies ready early December. Srimad-Bhagavatam Ninth Canto, Part 1, goes to the printer in late November: 20,000 copies ready early January. Srimad-Bhagavatam Ninth Canto, Part 2, goes to the printer early January: 20,000 copies ready late February. Krsna book, hard-bound, Volume 1, reprint, goes to the printer early January: 100,000 copies ready late February. Srimad-Bhagavatam Ninth Canto, Part 3, goes to the printer early February: 20,000 copies ready late March. Krsna book, hardbound, Volume 2, reprint, goes to the printer in February: 100,000 copies ready early April. Krsna book, Volume 3, reprint, goes to the printer in February: 100,000 copies ready early April.” Prabhupada: We are the biggest publisher in the world about religious and philosophical. Gopala Krsna: This schedule is only till next March. (Evening Darsana — August 14, 1976, Bombay)

Here we see that the first reprints scheduled until March 1977 were the 1st and 2nd Cantos. To assume that the entire 3rd, 4th and 5th Cantos were then reprinted till June 1977 so that Tamal may lodge a complain about the reprint of the 5th canto is not very laudable. On top of that, we have been forwarded an e-mail by our friend from Finland, bh. Charles where Yasoda-nandana Prabhu in 2008 confirms that the 5th Canto was not revised during Srila Prabhupada´s manifested presence. He says:

Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 5.

This book was not revised during Srila Prabhupada’s manifested presence but Srila Prabhupada wanted that this book should be properly edited to correct some of the mistakes in the calculations of the distances between the planets (SP June 1977). The GBC never did this.” (Yasoda-nandana dasa, On Thu, Oct 2, 2008 at 12:38 PM. The e-mail itself can be forwarded upon request.)

Another mishap on the part of Vidura is seen when he quotes the following excerpt from the 22nd of June 1977 conversation:

Yaśodā-nandana: Also in the Bhāgavatam, where Prabhupāda was talking about Lord Buddha… You mentioned that if the followers of Lord Buddha do not close the slaughterhouse, there is no meaning to such a caricature. That word was very nice. But in new book that word is not there any more. They have pulled the word. The meaning of the word is not… So many times. Prabhupāda: It is very serious situation. Rāmeśvara is in direct…

Vidura claims here that: “Yasoda-nandana raises issue with the newer edition reprint of Srimad Bhagavatam (1976 edition at the time)” This claim however is irrelevant as the word caricature is removed from both the early edition (1972) and the (1976) edition. Please see examples bellow:

“We are glad that people are taking interest in the non-violent movement of Lord Buddha. But will they take the matter very seriously and close the animal slaughter house altogether? If not there is no meaning in such caricature.” (SB 1.3.24 Delhi edition)

(SB 1.3.24, 1972 first printing)

“We are glad that people are taking interest in the nonviolent movement of Lord Buddha. But will they take the matter very seriously and close the animal slaughterhouses altogether? If not, there is no meaning to the ahimsa cult. (SB 1.3.24 – 1976)

If the order “next printing should be again to the original way” is to be taken according to Vidura’s interpretation (namely to print the early editions), Yasoda-nandana’s complaint will not be given any justice. The assertion of Vidura Prabhu that only newer editions are discussed in the context of the “back to the original way” order is therefore flawed. Both could have been discussed – early editions and later editions.

Now without unnecessarily indulging in logical speculations, let us look at the direct evidence from Srila Prabhupada’s own words which will clearly indicate that Srila Prabhupada would not approve and would not want the unauthorized changes in the earlier edition (1972) of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. For this, we have to go a little back in history and look at the original instruction to the early editor Hayagriva Dasa on how to edit the First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Srila Prabhupada writes:

“So far Srimad-Bhagavatam is concerned, now Pradyumna and yourself immediately revise the 3 volumes already published. My next attempt will be to get them in 1 volume, as I have already suggested. And we shall now avoid the Sanskrit slokas, but simply give the transliteration, translation, and the purport. Pradyumna is there he will help in transliterating the verses, and translation is there, and purport is there; there is no use of giving synonyms and equivalent of Sanskrit word in English, simply transliteration and translation, as it is now adopted in Dr. RadhaKrishnan’s Bhagavad-gita, and purport. In this way, we want to print each canto a book. So you begin preparing immediately. The present three volumes shall only be revised to see the spelling mistakes or if there is any grammatical discrepancy, otherwise there is nothing to be added or subtracted. (Letter to: Hayagriva — Seattle 7 October, 1968)

After comparing the two editions, namely Srila Prabhupada’s personally typed Delhi edition and the 1972 edition edited by Hayagriva, we have detected things subtracted. For example:

When He was five years old He was initiated for learning and He showed Himself a naughty boy. And When He was a mere baby crawling on the yard, one day it so happened that a snake appeared before the baby and the Lord began to play with it.” (SB Introduction, Delhi edition)

“When He was a mere baby crawling in the yard, one day a snake appeared before Him, and the Lord began to play with it.” (SB Introduction 1972)

Here we see that the first sentence about how Lord Caitanya has been initiated has been removed from the 1972 version. This is contradictory to what Srila Prabhupada ordered (no subtractions). More examples:

“The remedial measure to cure a patient by medical treatment is useless if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. To cross the river or the ocean by suitable boat is no remedial measure if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. The parents cannot protect their children if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. We should know it certainly that the Lord is the ultimate sanctioning officer and we must therefore dedicate our attempts to the mercy of the Lord for ultimate success or to get rid of the obstacles on the path of success.” (SB 1.5.32 Delhi edition)

“The remedial measure to cure a patient by medical treatment is useless if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. To cross the river or the ocean by a suitable boat is no remedial measure if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. We should know for certain that the Lord is the ultimate sanctioning officer…” (SB 1.5.32 1972 edition)

Here the whole sentence about the parents being unable to protect their children has been unecessarily removed. This is again in contradiction to the order given by Srila Prabhupada.

“Lord reveals His identity gradually to one who has unflicnching devotional mode both upon the spiritual master as well as the Lord. “(1.5.39 purp. Delhi edition)

“The Lord reveals His identity gradually to one who has unflinching faith, both in the spiritual master and in the Lord.” (SB 1.5.39 purp. 1970, 1972)

Here the words “unflinching (with Srila Prabhupada´s transcendental typo) devotional mode” has been taken out. This sort of editing is contrary to what Srila Prabhupada ordered.

“The atmosphere is already polluted with corruption of all description and everyone knows it well than we can describe herewith. There are so many unwanted literatures full of materialistic ideas of sense gratification. In many countries there are census-body appointed by the state to detect obscene literatures. This means both the Government, and the saner section of public do not want that such unwanted literatures should it be publised but still they are in the market place because the people want it for sense gratification. The people in general want to read that is a natural instinct but because their mind is poluted they want such literatures. (SB 1.5.11 Delhi)

“The atmosphere is already polluted with corruption of all description, and everyone knows it well. There are so many unwanted literatures full of materialistic ideas of sense gratification. The people in general want to read (that is a natural instinct), but because their minds are polluted they want such literatures. (SB 1.5.11 – 1972 edition)

Here a whole passage about the census-body appointed by the government to detect obscene literature has been removed. Such removal is in direct opposition to Srila Prabhupada’s order on how to edit the very book.

Therefore it is self-evident from the instruction of Srila Prabhupada that is available to us that the early edition of the Srimad-Bhagavatam contains unauthorized changes. If the removed passages are edited back in, we remain faithful to Srila Prabhupada’s clear and self-evident order expressed in the above letter: “there is nothing to be added or subtracted”.

Vidura concludes his article by saying that “…only unauthorized changes which have been specifically pointed out by Srila Prabhupada should be corrected, so as to retain authority.” To retain Srila Prabhupada’s authority is of course an applaudable attitude from Vidura Prabhu’s side, but to conclude that subtractions from Srila Prabhupada’s original text as seen above should be kept as they are, despite Srila Prabhupada’s clear order not to subtract anything, in order to “retain authority” is illogical to say at least. Where is the evidence that Srila Prabhupada approved such additions and subtractions?

Prabhupada: So, when you change, then the authority is lost. Just like in our society, sometimes they do something nonsense and they say, “Prabhupada said.” (laughter) They are doing that. We know that. It is deteriorated like that. Therefore Krsna said, sa kaleneha mahata yogo nastah kaunteya: “And in due course of time, this yoga was lost. Therefore I am repeating the same thing, old philosophy to you.” So it requires like that. (Room Conversation with Carol Cameron — May 9, 1975, Perth)

“Of course, there should be no change. But, anything spoken by God or His son or His representative, that cannot be changed. It is not that Christ said two thousand years ago, “Thou shall not kill,” now it can be changed. That is rascaldom. They are doing that. If you do that, then, as it is said here, then it becomes lost. Then there is no meaning. If we take the instruction of God and His representative as temporary, then he is not representative, He is not God. Whatever is spoken by God and His representative, that is eternal. You cannot change by your whims. So that is going on. We…, I do not wish to discuss very much, but that is actually going on. As people they, by votes in the Parliament, they pass any nonsense thing, so they want to do that in the case of Bible also. Then where is the authority of Bible? If Christ says that “Thou shall not kill,” and if people, say ten thousand people in a meeting pass resolution, “No, this is wrong,” then where is the authority of Bible? Then you become authority.” (Interview with Mike Darby — June 30, 1976, Wheeling, W. Virginia)

In addition to the above mentioned articles, we may add that the conclusion of the B.L.I.S.S. about what the order “again to the original way” truly means was also shared by Yasodanandana Prabhu himself. At least according to the e-mail exchanges (already quoted in this paper) that took place between him and bhakta Charles in 2008. Specifically, at one point in these exchanges Bh. Charles asks: “ When Prabhupada says The next printing should be again to the original way. Does the original mean the first printing within ISKCON or the very first printing done in India?

Yasodanandana’s answer to this very clear question is:

“We do know that Srila Prabhupada liked the new covers of the first American print edition in 1972 and the color pictures in the books. However in his last known recorded comments in June of 1977 in Vrindavana, India, He wanted the first canto be as close as possible to the original Indian edition the “original way”. So far the BBT has not done this.” (full text of the e-mail available upon request)

Here, Yasodanandana Prabhu clearly states how he himself understands the order given to him by Srila Prabhupada – the First Canto 1972 should be printed as close as possible to the original Indian edition. In other words, he considers the Indian edition directly typed by Srila Prabhupada himself authoritative and the 1972 edition as subjected to correction, which is in opposition to the conclusion presented by Vidura Prabhu.

At last, we should indeed consider the order of Srila Prabhupada in the context of the conversation. After Srila Prabhupada says: “The next printing should be again to the original way.”, Tamal gives a suggestion: They should have a board of Satsvarupa and Jayadvaita.” to which Srila Prabhupada answers: “Hm.”

When we speak of a “board”, it is a group of devotees who would consult with each other and discuss how to edit. If the order “again to the original way” meant simply to re-print the first editions as they are, what would be the use of an “editorial board”? Reprinting the editions would be a mechanical procedure of taking the first editions and without any change reprinting them. There would certainly be no need for any “board”. It is therefore clear that “again to the original way” means to re-edit the books according to the original edition and not reprinting changed books. This is evident when we look how the conversation continues later on:

Tamala Krsna: I think in addition to Satsvarupa and Jayadvaita checking the English, that Bhakti-prema Maharaja has to check all the Sanskrit of all of the books… He’s translating now, so as he’s translating, he can check. He’s going, starting from the First Canto. Svarupa Damodara: I think this is very appropriate, because checking English doesn’t have any meaning without checking the Sanskrit, the original. Tamala Krsna: There was one verse in the Fifth Canto. From the way that they translated it, there was no way that anyone could possibly have understood what the verse meant. I mean, it was made unintelligible by the translation. So we were reading. Finally Bhakti-prema says, “Wait a minute. This translation is wrong. They have edited an extra statement here that is not there, and it makes it completely not understandable.” Then suddenly, when he corrected the Sanskrit, it was easy to understand. It was very clear.

Here we see that the devotees have detected editorial changes in the first edition of the Fifth Canto and they suggest re-edition of the translations of the slokas. Why would Srila Prabhupada ordered re-printing, if the first edition itself has been unauthorizedly changed? The conversation continues:

Svarupa Damodara: One time I had a strong talk with Ramesvara Maharaja about our article for printing in the Back to Godhead. I didn’t want them to be printed in Back to Godhead because they made so many changes… Prabhupada: Oh, he has dared to change yours also? Svarupa Damodara: Oh, yes. They change so many things in our article. And it was on the telephone. I was speaking to him in Atlanta from Los Angeles. And I told him that “This article should not be printed because they have made so many changes.” And I didn’t like that. Then they answered that “It has already been offset, and BBT policy is always to be rushing. It’s always BBT policy.” Then I told him that “If you sacrifice quality on the strength of rushing, then it is your business, but that’s not my way, so please don’t print it.” But in any case, they have printed anyway that article. And we all had a bad reaction. Prabhupada: So you bring this to Satsvarupa. They cannot change anything. Tamala Krsna: (indistinct) Svarupa Damodara: So we stopped writing article for Back to Godhead since then because… Tamala Krsna: Now, I think, with Satsvarupa there, you won’t have that problem of changing like that. He wrote a letter saying that one of his first things is that he will not change what is given there unless… He will not make changes. Svarupa Damodara: No, if they consult us, even with changing, that’s all right. But they just edit here and there and cut it out, certain things. They’re changing the whole meaning. And that makes sometimes nonsense instead of making sense. Prabhupada: So on the whole, these dangerous things are going on. How to check it? Tamala Krsna: There has to be strong philosophical leaders who can check this, like Satsvarupa and Jayadvaita. Prabhupada: Hm. Tamala Krsna: They have to also be included in the decisions of the BBT. It can’t simply be that managers make decisions. Prabhupada: Yes. Without their sanction, there will be… Let them… These all rascals…

Here Svarupa Damodara complains about changes being done to his own articles for the BTG. Srila Prabhupada suprisingly notes down: “Oh, he has dared to change yours also?” Tamal Krsna then explains that if Satsvarupa is on the editing board, there will not be any danger of the books being changed. Svarupa Damodara then adds: “…if they consult us, even with changing, that’s all right. But they just edit here and there and cut it out, certain things.” This is the real issue here. The real problem is changing, not editing itself. To avoid this, Tamal suggests there should be strong philosophical leaders in the editing board to distinguish whether the editing changes the meaning or not. To this Prabhupada affirms: “Hm.” and later on: “Without their (bona fide editors) sanction, there will be… (unauthorized editing and changing). Let them (the editorial board should have the authority to decide what is approved editing and what is not) These all rascals (editors who change the meaning without any reason). They cannot change anything without the sanction of the editorial board with strong philosophical leaders.

To summarize, the next printing should be again to the original way, namely again according to Srila Prabhupada’s original words. We should not print changed books. The order is self-evident and there is no need to interpret it. I humbly beg Vidura Prabhuji to kindly consider our perspective with an unbiased mind for the sake of preserving Srila Prabhupada’s original writings.

PURUJIT AND MAKHANCORA DISPLAY SIGNS OF DEFEAT

BY: VIDURA MAHATMA DAS, OCTOBER 12, 2018

In the Rascal Editor’s conversation, specifically when Srila Prabhupada gives the order that the next printing should be again to the original way, it is very clear that the discussion is on unauthorized changes made to reprints of books. That is not to say that no reference – direct or indirect – is made to original printings of books in the discussion, but there is no denying the fact that when Srila Prabhupada does give the order, it is within the context of reprinted editions of books.

The simple logic and context of this order has been broken down in a very detailed way in my article titled The Rascal Editors Conversation: Context Defines the Order. There is no fancy use of word jugglery or a false display of logic. Even a simple order can and should be explained in a very detailed, logical manner to shield it from false interpretations. Srila Prabhupada utilized the basic principles of logic to explain Lord Krishna’s clear and simple instructions in the Bhagavad-gita. This is not word jugglery, but a necessary defense against word jugglery and bogus interpretations.

After 3 months of silence, Purujit and Makhancora have come back with yet more word jugglery and rhetorical evasion, this time rejecting the notion that the order given by Srila Prabhupada should be understood according to its context. They have titled their reply: “CONTEXT DOES NOT DEFINE THE ORDER; SRILA PRABHUPADA’S SELF-EVIDENT ORDER TO EDIT OUT CHANGES IN HIS BOOKS.”

Makhancora wants to isolate Srila Prabhupada’s order and interpret it however he wants. He wants to discard the real self-evident aspect of the discussion – the context – because it clearly stands in the way of his false interpretation.

Makhancora cites the following quote in his reply:

“No one can attain the Absolute Truth by argument. One may be very expert in logic, and another person may be even more expert in the art of argument. Because there is so much word jugglery in logic, one can never come to the real conclusion about the Absolute Truth by argument.” (CC Madhya 9.49)

Makhancora’s use of this quote is certainly ironic, and is an example of projection. Purujit and Makhancora’s entire self-appointed project to re-edit Srila Prabhupada’s already-approved books has been based on nothing but out-stretched speculation and extensive word jugglery.

Makhancora writes in his reply:

“Vidura claims here that: “Yasoda-nandana raises issue with the newer edition reprint of Srimad Bhagavatam (1976 edition at the time)” This claim however is irrelevant as the word caricature is removed from both the early edition (1972) and the (1976) edition. […] The assertion of Vidura Prabhu that only newer editions are discussed in the context of the “back to the original way” order is therefore flawed. Both could have been discussed – early editions and later editions.”

Yasoda-nandana’s point regarding the caricature change fits in with the context of the previous seven points because Yasoda-nandana says “in [the] new book that word is not there any more.” So the discussion is still on new books, i.e., the 1976 edition, because that’s precisely the book Yasoda-nandana refers to, regardless of where else that word was removed from. Makhancora has failed to eliminate this point as belonging to the context which truly does define the order. This is another example of how Makhancora engages in word jugglery and obfuscation.

Here are the sequential points made in the Rascal Editors conversation which make up the context with which to understand Srila Prabhupada’s order.

  • Yasoda mentions changes made in the reprint of Isopanisad. Srila Prabhupada shares concern.
  • Tamal mentions how Jayadvaita edited an original work, a first editing. Srila Prabhupada approves that first editing.
  • Tamal mentions how after they print the books they are going over again. Srila Prabhupada wants to stop this.
  • Svarupa Damodara suggests that all books already printed should be checked for mistakes before reprinting.
  • Tamal suggests that corrections made to all books already printed should be checked by Jayadvaita before they’re reprinted.
  • Srila Prabhupada mentions how Hayagriva changed so many things in a reprint of Easy Journey To Other Planets.
  • Yasoda mentions a change made in the new reprint of the American Bhagavatam.
  • Yasoda mentions changes made in the reprint of Isopanisad again.
  • Srila Prabhupada says the next printing should be again to the original way.

This is as clear as it gets. The order to print again to the original way means going back from newer editions (like the 1976 Bhagavatam) to previous authorized editions (like the 1972 Bhagavatam). Are there identical changes found in both versions? Yes. There are also completely unique changes found only in the newer printings, like the 1976 Bhagavatam. The fact remains, though, that Srila Prabhupada ordered a reversion from newer printings to earlier authorized printings. Those who want to question Srila Prabhupada’s judgement and knowledge of the content of his books will try to re-interpret his clear order in a way that basically nullifies it.

Any order or statement must be understood with its context. If there is some confusion as to what the order refers to, we have to look at the context. You cannot isolate an order or statement from its context as Makhancora and Purujit are trying to do. They have appointed themselves as editors of Srila Prabhupada’s books and in order to defend themselves they are even prepared to discard the use of logic and context.

*

ALL VICTORY GOES TO VIDURA MAHATMA PRABHU!

BY MAKHANCORA DASA, OCTOBER 15TH, 2018

We, the members of The Bhaktivedanta Lives in Sound Society want to express our sincere and deep awe and reverence for the unique display of learning, realisation and comprehention on the side of Vidura Mahatma Prabhu exhibited in the debate we had with him on the issue of re-editing Srila Prabhupada´s books “back to the original way”. With his bullet-proof logic and contextual analysis he butchered our misconceptions and delusions about the order of Srila Prabhupada and with his dedication to the original, unadulterated vani of Srila Prabhupada he illuminated the darkened obscure niches of our hearts where the desires for name, fame, followers and recognition relentlessly lurk like hellish beasts ready to devour whatever tiny and immature sprout of the creeper of devotional service that may appear by the mercy of the bona-fide guru.

All glories and all victory to Vidura Mahatma Prabhu! Jaya! His conclusive realization in the matter of what books we should print will be the guidance for all the sincere devotees for the next 10000 years. This is how the pristine teachings of Srila Prabhupada will be spread. Like a transcendental torchlight this realization will show proper direction so no one gets lost in the ocean and flood of bogus editions such as ours that would plague the understanding of their unfortunate reader.

You have written rightly, Prabhu. “Purujit and Makhancora Display Signs of Defeat”. Indeed, Purujit and Makhancora humbly bow down at your feet. We are defeated, you are victorious. We accept and we glorify our savior Vidura Mahatamji Prabhu.

Now let us conclude this debate with great jubilation, resembling dancing peacocks and let’s take a few minutes to simplify the matter for those who find it difficult going through the various arguments and counterarguments in the debate we have been having over the last few months. This is how Vidura Mahatmaji sees things:

A

“We are glad that people are taking interest in the non-violent movement of Lord Buddha. But will they take the matter very seriously and close the animal slaughterhouses altogether? If not there is no meaning in such caricature.”

(SB 1.3.24 unedited version personally typed and printed in India in the years 1960-1963 by Srila Prabhupada)

please note the presence of the word “caricature“

B

“We are glad that people are taking interest in the non-violent movement of Lord Buddha. But will they take the matter very seriously and close the animal slaughter house altogether? If not there is no meaning to the ahimsa cult.” (SB 1.3.24 the 1972 edition of the same book)

please note the word “caricature“ removed

A

“The remedial measure to cure a patient by medical treatment is useless if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. To cross the river or the ocean by suitable boat is no remedial measure if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. The parents cannot protect their children if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. We should know it certainly that the Lord is the ultimate sanctioning officer and we must therefore dedicate our attempts to the mercy of the Lord for ultimate success or to get rid of the obstacles on the path of success.” (SB 1.5.32 unedited version personally typed and printed in India in the years 1960-1963 by Srila Prabhupada)

Please note the sentence : “The parents cannot protect their children if it is not sanctioned by the Lord “ still present.

B

“The remedial measure to cure a patient by medical treatment is useless if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. To cross the river or the ocean by a suitable boat is no remedial measure if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. We should know for certain that the Lord is the ultimate sanctioning officer…” (SB 1.3.24 the 1972 edition of the same book)

Please note the same sentence removed.

WHAT DID YASODANANDANA PRABHU SAY IN 1977 ABOUT THIS VERY SAME BOOK?

Yaśodā-nandana:…in the Bhāgavatam, where Prabhupāda was talking about Lord Buddha… You mentioned that if the followers of Lord Buddha do not close the slaughterhouse, there is no meaning to such a caricature. That word was very nice. But in new book that word is not there anymore. They have pulled the word. The meaning of the word is not… So many times. Prabhupāda: It is very serious situation. (conv. June 22nd 1977, Vrndavana)

WHAT DID YASODA NANDANA PRABHU SAY IN 2008?

“Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Volumes 1, 2, and 3, originally printed in New Delhi, India in 1961 and 1962 as three brown volumes with a wrap around jacket personally planets. These three volumes were edited and reprinted in 1971 and 1972, the first western edited version. All of the edited version from 1971 to 1977, besides the original New Delhi edition had objectionable material and edited words.

In June of 1977, Srila Prabhupada objected to these editorial changes and wanted the books to be returned to the “original way” i. e., as close as possible to the first printed editions. (email to bhakta Charles on Oct 2nd, 2008 at 12:38 PM – available on request)

WHAT DID SRILA PRABHUPADA SAY ON HOW TO EDIT THIS VERY SAME BOOK?

The present three volumes shall only be revised to see the spelling mistakes or if there is any grammatical discrepancy, otherwise there is nothing to be added or subtracted. (Letter to: Hayagriva — Seattle 7 October, 1968)

„I am glad that you are not omitting anything, but just making grammatical correction, and phrasing for force and clarity, and adding Pradyumna’s transliteration, that is very nice.“ (Letter to: Hayagriva — Los Angeles 18 November, 1968)

WHAT DID SRILA PRABHUPADA SAY WHEN HE SPOTTED A CHANGE IN THE SAME BOOK?

The nonsense, they are… They are correcting my trans… Rascal. Who has done this? (conv. June 22nd 1977, Vrndavana)

SO VIDURA MAHATMAJI? WHAT IS THE ORIGINAL BOOK?

Vidura says: “B, the 1972 edition, because we cannot change Srila Prabhupada’s books.”

BUT, BUT VIDURAJI, WE HAVE SEEN, THAT FROM THE 1972 EDITION:

A/ SRILA PRABHUPADA’S WORDS HAVE BEEN REMOVED

B/ SRILA PRABHUPADA COMPLAINS HIS WORDS HAVE BEEN REMOVED

C/YASODANANDANA PRABHU SAYS WORDS HAVE BEEN EDITED AND IT CONTAINS MANY OBJECTIONABLE CHANGES.

Yes, because we need to “retain the authority”.

WHAT DOES MAKHANCORA SAY?

Bravo Viduraji! Congratulations, the victory is yours indeed! Perfect logic.

HARE KRNSA!

Makhancora Dasa is an initiated disciple of His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who in 2014 renounced his occupation of a psychologist to dedicate his life to preaching Krsna consciousness. Since that time, he has travelled all around Europe, to Canada, USA and Mexico, took part in running different preaching centres, gave guidance to countless souls and is a founding member of the Bhaktivedanta Lives In Sound Society.

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