Hare Krsna! All glories to Srila Prabhupada our most exalted Spiritual Master!
Reflections on Jayadvaita Swami's article "A Response To An Unfortunate Article" brings us to his last sentence of the article, which reads:
"Whichever book you prefer, in a spirit of loving cooperation, let us read Srila Prabhupada's books, live Srila Prabhupada's books, and distribute Srila Prabhupada's books for our own benefit and the benefit of others."
For twelve years, we, disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, all used His 1972 Macmillan edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Then, six years later after Srila Prabhupada had departed, and after the infamous eleven guru take over of ISKCON, (which in itself dismayed most of Srila Prabhupada's sincere disciples), Jayadvaita Swami hit us with his 'revised and enlarged' edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is. This was adding insult to injury since Srila Prabhupada had not signed off or agreed to Jayadvaita's edition. But now we all had it, like it or not.
Jayadvaita Swami circulated a letter to ISKCON centers before his new edition came out, requesting comments, supposedly asking all his God brothers and sisters if the revised book was all right with them. But anyone in the rank and file who was not in a strong management position, who objected to Jayadvaita Swami's proposal for the 'new and enlarged' edition was promptly asked to leave the ISKCON center "in a spirit of loving cooperation."
Once out in print, the new "revised and enlarged" edition was the only one available from the BBT. They no longer printed the original which was so trusted and loved by Srila Prabhupada's many enthusiastic book distributors. And for about 20 years, if anyone asked Jayadvaita for permission to print and distribute the original edition, they were denied "in a spirit of loving cooperation." And there were many devotee's who requested and all but one, a man from India, who Jayadvaita said had asked "politely," were denied access to the original edition.
Over the years since Srila Prabhupada departed, many groups of devotee's outside of ISKCON were denied access to Srila Prabhupada's original books by the BBT. So the BBT, once set up for distributing Srila Prabhupada's books profusely to everyone and anyone, were banning certain groups from receiving Srila Prabhupada's books for reading and distribution. That was Jayadvaita's example to us of how to act "in a spirit of loving cooperation."
It was only after the BBT International lost a lawsuit against devotees in Singapore who had printed 5,000 copies of a Chinese language Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and then later lost a big lawsuit in California (which reportedly cost the BBT a million dollars), that Jayadvaita and the BBT were forced to make available the original 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is "in a spirit of loving cooperation."
Srila Prabhupada requested His disciples: "you please cooperate" with each other. He loved for us to print and distribute His books and thus spread Krsna consciousness for our benefit and the benefit of all humanity. After 25 years of tears, and the monumental loss of a million dollar failed lawsuit to control the books, Jayadvaita Swami now tells us we should accept "in a spirit of loving cooperation" that his "revised and enlarged" edition is closer to Srila Prabhupada's actual meaning!
It is evident by his behavior that Jayadvaita Swami does not know what is the actual meaning of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Nor does he understand Srila Prabhupada's instruction to cooperate with one another, what to speak of "in a spirit of loving cooperation." In spite of doing the opposite, he puts forth Srila Prabhupada's main instructions to distribute books and cooperate. But actions speak louder than words. Were it not for the lawsuit won by Gupta and other devotees, we would today still not have access to the original edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is signed by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.
Jayadvaita Swami recently said that the BBT's next endeavor is to come out with "adapted from" books. In other words, he plans to come out with many more books adapted from Srila Prabhupada's words instead of printing His original books! But Srila Prabhupada set up the BBT to simply print His original books. Yet Jayadvaita Swami seems to have nothing else to do except to change and adapt Srila Prabhupada's words. But we don't want Jayadvaita Swami's revisions, enlargements and adapting of Srila Prabhupada's words.
Jayadvaita Swami says that most devotee's like his revised edition. But that's not true. Most of Srila Prabhupada's disciples do not like the revised editions. But most of all, the most important thing, is that Srila Prabhupada wanted us to print His books -- not revised, edited and adapted books under His name!
After so many years of heartache and struggle due to Jayadvaita Swami's book changes, his is now preaching to everyone that "in a spirit of loving cooperation" we should all be reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books.
It is obvious though that it is Jayadvaita Swami himself who should look closely at his own behavior over the last twenty-five years. With all the politics, manipulations and spin control and all the changes he is personally responsible for, the question he should honestly ask himself is whether he actually understands the real import of the phrase "in a spirit of loving cooperation."
Initiated 1969 by Srila Prabhupada in Boston.
[Ed. Note: This article is an edited summary of a longer essay written by Satyahit prabhu. Readers are welcome to contact Satyahit prabhu directly for the longer version.]