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.
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.
I still remember very clearly when I opened the book Raja-Vida by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, back in the early 70’s and read the first page…and Srila Prabhupada described very simply the definition of God…
śrī bhagavān uvāca
idaṁ tu te guhyatamaṁ
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ’śubhāt
“The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.” (Bg. 9.1)
The opening words of the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā indicate that the Supreme Godhead is speaking. Here Śrī Kṛṣṇa is referred to as Bhagavān. Bhaga means opulences, and vān means one who possesses. We have some conception of God, but in the Vedic literature there are definite descriptions and definitions of what is meant by God, and what is meant is described in one word—Bhagavān. Bhagavān possesses all opulences, the totality of knowledge, wealth, power, beauty, fame and renunciation. When we find someone who possesses these opulences in full, we are to know that he is God. There are many rich, wise, famous, beautiful and powerful men, but no one man can claim to possess all of these opulences. Only Kṛṣṇa claims to possess them in totality. (Raja-Vidya, Chapter One)
This was my first real introduction to Krishna Consciousness, and it was enough to convince me that Krishna was God. And that Srila Prabhupada was my spiritual master.
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