BY LOCANANANDA DAS – 11-01-04
While planning to print the unabridged version of the Bhagavad-gita, Srila Prabhupada often referred to it as the revised and enlarged edition. When the BBT published its unauthorized adulterated Gita years later, they would henceforward refer to the 1972 printing as the original edition while calling theirs the revised and enlarged edition. This appears to be a subtle act of deception meant to validate the irreverent practice of changing Srila Prabhupada’s Books.
The remainder of this article will focus mainly on the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, which contains the essence of Vaishnava philosophy. Srila Prabhupada said that the Krishna consciousness movement is genuine, historically authorized, natural and transcendental due to its being based on the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It was his conviction that the entire human society could embrace one God, Krishna, and live harmoniously by practicing one religion, devotional service to God, by chanting one mantra, the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, and by following one scripture, the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Because the Bhagavad-gita is so vitally important to the spreading of Krishna consciousness, the adverse effect of changing its original wording without the approval of the Acharya can hardly be estimated.
Arsha Prayoga Part II
By Sriman Locanananda Prabhu
Srila Prabhupada’s desire was to see his books translated into all of the major languages of the world. By 1970, numerous centers had opened in countries outside of the United States and translation work had begun in Germany, France, Canada, South America and Japan. When the German devotees undertook the translation of the Srimad Bhagavatam, they discovered what they thought were grammatical discrepancies in the original English. The translators reasoned that if their spiritual master could publish his books with flaws included, then their own translation work could also contain mistakes and no harm would be done. In a very strongly-worded letter, Srila Prabhupada chastised his disciples for thinking they could imitate their spiritual master and explained that to avoid this offense, they must follow the principle of arsha prayoga.
One should not see mistakes in the books written by his spiritual master, nor should one think he is able take the same liberties taken by him. His Divine Grace warned his disciples that only if they were able to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world as he had done could discrepancies in their translation work be overlooked, otherwise not.
This will be a four part series which I will post over the next few weeks. Worthwhile reading. -Vyasasan das
Arsha Prayoga Part (I) – Resistance To Change
By Locanananda Prabhu
Let me first offer my prostrated obeisances unto the lotus feet of that supreme swan-like devotee of the Lord, our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, by whose mercy the fallen souls of Kali Yuga may taste the sweetness of the narrations of the pastimes of the Lord and His pure devotees. As the bonafide representative of Sri Vyasadeva, he composed a mountain of transcendental literature to enlighten the entire human society, explaining even the most confidential truths regarding vaisnava philosophy.
His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada displayed all of the symptoms of an empowered jiva soul, working tirelessly to distribute the transcendental message of love of Godhead throughout the world. It is therefore the duty of his followers to preserve the legacy and protect the honor of such a great spiritual personality whose every moment was dedicated to the spreading of Krishna consciousness.
To guarantee that his teachings would not be forgotten in the oblivion of time, Srila Prabhupada created the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and, assisted by his disciples, he astounded the academic community with his literary output. What follows is a brief account of Srila Prabhupada’s struggle with the BBT staff to keep the final version of his books intact by resisting what he called the “American disease” of always wanting to change things. As will be seen from the letters and conversations cited in this article, Srila Prabhupada would finally insist on an “absolutely no change” policy based on the principle of “arsa prayoga”.
This series of papers (in four parts) written by Locananda Prabhu, is amongst the most compelling of arguments, for not changing the books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. At the bottom of post are the links to the other parts of Arsha Prayoga, as well as links to other papers written on the subject of Book Changes.
Arsha Prayoga – Part IV
By Sriman Locanananda Prabhu
For those who saw the Hare Krishna movement spread from city to city and from country to country, it was clear that the original version of Srila Prabhupada’s books was full of spiritual potency and did not require to be changed in any way for his words to act upon the hearts of the conditioned souls.
The question as to whether the writings of the Acharya may or may not be revised by his disciples after his disappearance is answered by the rule of arsha-prayoga.
The following is a letter I read some years back by one of my God brothers; Bhagavat das. Very interesting account of the Importance of Srila Prabhupada’s books, and the need to have them remain in their original state. I am personally opposed to the changing of Srila Prabhupada’s books by the present editors of the BBTI.
Leave the books alone!
by Bhagavat das
My Dear Godbrothers and Godsisters:
Please accept my most humble obeisances! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
I am very glad that we as disciples of Srila Prabhupada are finally doing something about this great offense to our Spiritual Master. I would like to tell three stories that are personal experiences of mine with Srila Prabhupada and his books. It is my earnest hope that these stories will once and for all lay to rest the controversy of anyone ever editing Srila Prabhupadas books.
The first story takes place in Mayapur where Srila Prabhupada was talking about why he came to the material world.