Book Interpolations - The Hidden Agenda
This ‘Book Changing Debate’ is certainly a hot topic. Initially when I first became more fully conscious of the ‘editorial’ changes to Bhagavad Gita As It Is, in 1993. I was so annoyed. Now, I can see that some of the changes like adding the reference points to quotes, which were missing in the original edition, is an improvement which I’m sure Srila Prabhupada would approve of his editors doing. Also in the second edition there are many corrections of mistakes. HH Jayadvaita Swami has a whole (seemingly unending) list of them. He also intelligently challenges us all, are we to perpetuate these mistakes in the name of ‘arsa prayoga’? I for one think not, after all this is what Srila Prabhupada had his editors for!
What still causes me concern is when the meaning of the text is changed. I expressed this concern to a rather naïve devotee once, as I was trying to sell him a Bhagavad Gita. I tried to impress upon him why the original edition was the better edition to have. To my surprise he innocently asked me why the editors made the changes. This raised the issue of motivation. He concluded that the editors did what they did with good intentions, to serve Prabhupada, and therefore even if they made a mistake by changing some things, “well it is still Bhagavad Gita Prabhu!” At that point in time due to certain distracting circumstances, I was unable to think of a reply to his blind assertion and was unable to sell the book. Sometimes such a failure is the pillar of success in some other way. In this case it made me ponder over this devotees position and what I should have pointed out to him.
This brings me now to my main reason for writing this ‘2 cents worth’. This whole issue of book changing, serious as it is, is in my humble opinion not of paramount importance. It is like a diversion, a distraction from the really insidious issue of book interpolations.
What I am referring to here is the additions to the books. Usually to be found at the end of the books. These additions are in several disguises but their common characteristic is that their main theme is to establish in the readers mind, (after all it is in the book prabhu!) that Srila Prabhupada appointed his disciples as his initiating guru successors.
As anyone knows who has been following the Guru Tattva issue over the years, this is just rascally lies. Since Srila Prabhupada has made it abundantly clear (as in the quote below) that he wanted to be the initiating guru and his disciples were yet to come to the platform of being instructing guru.
"This is the function of the GBC, to see that one may not be taken away by maya. The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am in the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This I want." (Letter to Madhudvisa 75-08-04- emphasis added)
Please note the above. Srila Prabhupada clearly says:
1) I am (in) the initiator guru
2) GBC should be the instructor gurus
3) This I want
Yet in Srila Prabhupada’s books we now have the reverse stated. Now we have Srila Prabhupada is the instructor guru and his disciples (mostly GBC) are the initiating gurus and then they round of the lie by telling us that this is what Srila Prabhupada wants. As anyone who has two eyes in his head and can read the English language can see in the above quote. That Srila Prabhupada says he wants something different to what is currently being presented in some of his books. Also please note that this is in writing and just 2 years before his departure with no counter statements of any kind from Srila Prabhupada to justify the lying statements, which are now in his books. If His Divine Grace had said anything between the years 1975 and 1977 to the effect that his disciples had made tremendous advancement in just two years. So much so that he was appointing his disciples as initiating gurus, and that he would be instructor guru, then the accusations, which are made here, would be baseless.
So my point is the BBT have to prove their case. They are the ones who are making the changes by inserting unauthorized and unverifiable statements (or to use the vernacular - lies) in His Divine Graces books. Shame on them, I say!
Who ever thought of putting such lies in Srila Prabhupada’s books is surely an agent of Kali and causing incalcuble harm to the fallen conditions souls chances of deliverance from the samsara of birth and death. So I beg this forum not to be misled by any barking back and forth about this change and that change. We can deal with that latter. First let’s get the outright lies and deception out of the books.
When HH Jayadvaita Swami is pressed about changes in meaning to the books he invariably replies by saying that he was making the second edition more close to the original manuscript. Incidentally, he and the other BBT editors are the only ones who are privy to this original manuscript. That would be acceptable if we could trust HH Jayadvaita Swami and the BBT editors but as I have just explained these are the same rascals who are printing lies in His Divine Graces books. Yet he expects everyone to believe him when he chimes in with his syndrome answer “ It was in the original manuscript prabhus”.
Which returns me to the sankirtan story and how I failed to sell a book because I was unable to impress on someone the motivation for the book changes. So it is very clear what the motivation for the book changes is, by the book insertions. They have been inserting this nonsense in His Divine Graces books now for the past 10 years or more to bolster up their fledging guru business. The book changes were in themselves, obviously not enough.
However please do not wallow in unfathomable oceans of despair my dear Godbrothers and sisters. For we are seeing some rays of hope amongst this unfortunate situation in the shape of Krishna Books Inc. They are slowly getting some books out now and are aware of the situation. If the BBT insist on printing lies in Prabhupada’s books and will not give any attention to these words of protest. Then we should boycott them entirely, and support Krishna Books Inc. in whatever capacity we can. Let the salaried workers at BBT, at least, feel the pain of no salary. This will be a most sobering experience for them.
Please forgive any offense in this presentation, I am such a lowborn wretch, but as Srila Prabhupada says
"Devotees always humbly offer respect to everyone, but when there is a discussion on a point of sastra, they do not observe the usual etiquette, satyam bruyat priyam bruyat. They speak only the satyam, although it may not necessarily be priyam." (letter to Sumati Morarjee 76-08-07)
Jaya Srila Prabhupada!