Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
The topic of this letter "Prabhupada's Books" really could some up the whole thing in a nutshell when we get right down to it. Because they are originally Prabhupada's special blessings upon us, particularly his disciples, we value how he put them to us like love letters and don't want to change his expressions of love and truth even in the slightest way.
Who would want a personal letter from a dear friend to be dissected and edited by someone far removed from our personal relationship? These are matters of the heart and very personal.
It is not so much that those of us who feel this way are guided by some supra mentality and we are therefore superior, being somehow the only ones who can really appreciate or accept Prabhupada's perfection even amidst seeming imperfections of language or grammatical detail. Of course, we feel that way, but these ego things that intrude on our interchanges aren't the point but only external by-products of the issue at hand. To pit one intellectual arguement or understanding of the devotees against another as if this is politics and see who should win out by brain power or hierarchial power has no positive conclusion (and as far as I have seen, we of the heart will lose these battles every time due to unfair playing field and the fact that we can't access our tools of transcendent emotional depth while forced to play in a political arena with political language.)
Actually, it is that these are two different view points that do not coincide so they cannot be argued. It is that this is really not at all an intellectual argument or a question of linguistics or scholarship for those of the heart rather, it is a matter purely of individual heart connections with Prabhupada and it is how many of us hear him speak to us. So never the twain shall meet in such arguements. To us of the heart, a cold intellectual approach to Prabhupada's words and therefore a view to fix his 'broken language', by all standards of mellows and emotion are opposed to our essential take on the philosophy of bhakti. Feeling and loving without mental or brain interference or judgement on the mental plane is actually wanted by us and evokes a wonderful spontenaity of devotion vital to our Vaisnava culture and philosophy. So some of us, (though often spoken of by the intellectuals as overt sentimentalists) have this type of affection for our guru's words. But who is to say our feelings are not real? When we, in our darkest moments, cry out for him to be present and to comfort us with his words through his Gita as it is, we know he is there in the old one but not quite the same presence in the revised one. This awareness of Prabhupada's presence cannot be over rided by intellectual arm chair philsophizing or in this case editing. It is a matter of personal awareness and awareness cannot be legislated.
There is a blossoming of our simple hearts when we are warmed and lit by the grace of Prabhupada's pure poetic attempt to bring us Krishna. Prabhupada's compassionate expression, even if coming through the earthly medium of paper and ink and English language obviously spills over the pages with sublime humility love and devotion. It is the feeling, the loving vibration of his voice to me, that awakens my sleeping heart not any superficial intellectual attempts at scholarship to reach my brain. We don't totally use the brain to accept transcendental knowledge. In fact more often than not for me at least, it is somewhat in the way and so must be dealt with as best possible.
But overall, it is the heart that needs to be opened then the brain will be cleansed also and that is done by Prabhupada with all simplicity in even irregular verse of poetic and succulent nectar praising Krishna and melting our cold resistance to Him with the ease of angelic song...even though the mediums he was empowered to use might look to others as somewhat irregularly composed or inferior.
I have realized as I write like this such a letter cannot be understood unless preaching to the choir. So take these words to heart and know that what you feel, what Govinda dasi feels, what Sruti Kirti and Kusa, and Satyahit and so many other Prabhupada disciples feel when they drink in the nectar of Prabhupada's loving devotional works is what we hear by our great fortune the blessings of Prabhupada upon us. Maybe others do not hear this music the same way, maybe the vibration of understanding that pierces into the core of the heart does not infiltrate the same way into the hearts of those who stay externally arranging forever over and over the intellectual presentation to the brain. Maybe they are reached another way. It is such a vast and compassionate science this bhakti.
So, therefore, we are in essence speaking completely different languages on the subject matter. When that is the case no difference or conflict can be settled as the understandings are not communicating even with the same intentions. If one believes this is a heart matter of transcendental mood and sentiment then so be it for that Vaisnava and if one believes this to be an arguement of the scholarly intellect then never the twain shall meet. Why there even be discussion in this vein? The outcome can only be brought to a goood and loving fair solution by making sure that BOTH parties are allowed to have their Prabhupada Books as they want them to be presented and as they may want to hear them. We are not mundane communists we are variegated bhaktas and we have different particular taste for poetic devotion. So we should all have the right to the vibrational diet that is healthy for us.
Everybody peace and goodwill, yours in service to Srila Prabhupada,