From: Madhudvisa dasa [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 8:17 AM
To: Madhudvisa dasa; Bolaji; Kavicandra Swami (GBC Japan)
Subject: RE: Open Letter to Kavicandra Maharaja -- 2
Dear Kavicandra Maharaja
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila
I have seen some of the letters you have been writing recently and it seems you have not comprehended anything I [or the thousands of other devotees who are outraged by the BBTs changes to Prabhupada's books] have written. Somehow the magnitude of the problem does not seem to have registered with you. I would humbly request you to carefully read the following letter at least and consider it with the view that at least theoretically there may be some truth in what we are saying. I am beginning to think that writing to you is a complete waste of time...
Firstly we are not talking about Jayadvaita Swami only. We are talking about the principle of making changes to Srila Prabhupada's books. I think even you must agree that Prabhupada is against changes to his books in principle. He complained that his godbrothers had changed his guru-maharaja's books and that his disciples should not read the changed books, and in the "rascal editors" conversation Srila Prabhupada condemns the changes and the changing mentality which is present in his western disciples. So Srila Prabhupada's principle is "NO CHANGE."
The original books are COMPLETELY AUTHORIZED as Prabhupada himself read from them daily and gave all his classes from them. We know that for certain.
The original books are potent. So many hundreds of thousands of people,
ourselves included, have had their lives transformed by reading Srila
Prabhupada's original books.
Srila Prabhupada's original books are accepted as authorative and authentic by practically all the universities, libraries and scholars worldwide. We have the book reviews of the original books to prove it.
The changed books do not carry the same authority as Prabhupada's original books, they are not authorized as Srila Prabhupada did not given anyone an order to reedit his books [rather he has ordered they not be changed] nor has he personally seen the changed books or approved of them. Also the changed books are not getting the rave reviews by scholars nor are they being purchased by universities and libraries in the way Prabhupada's original books were.
The system the BBT have adopted is that they give a book to an editor and let him change anything he wants to, they do not require the editors to disclose any of the changes they have made, they do not require them to get any authorization for any of the changes, the editors are not even required to keep a record of the changes they have made. This system is totally flawed. The members of any spiritual or religious organization in the world would never tolerate such a thing, it is only possible in ISKCON...
This changing is being done again and again. For example the current BBT
Krsna Book is the forth edition. There is Prabhupada's original Krsna Book,
then a revised edition done by Jayadvaita I believe, then that revised
edition has been revised again by Dravida then that edition has been revised yet again by someone to produce the current BBT Krsna book which has also removed all the original artwork personally supervised by and approved by Srila Prabhupada and replaced it with artwork that is totally hideous. Thus the current BBT Krsna Book is so different from Prabhuapada's Krsna book, it is NOT Prabhupada's Krsna book at all.
Even JAS admits making so many changes to Prabhupada's books with no
documentation whatsoever as to what has been changed and no disclosure of the changes was a mistake. He now at least admits the BBT should have documented the changes. So I think you have to agree the current BBT system which allows a BBT editor to change anything at all he wants in Prabhupada's books without any checks and balances and without even disclosing what he has changed is a completely crazy system which destroys the authority of Prabhupada's books.
It is not just Jayadvaita Swami who is changing Prabhupada's books in this
way. Other BBT editors are doing exactly the same thing. So when we read a modern, changed, BBT book we have no idea if we are reading what was in the original book or something "corrected" as a result of the realizations of one of our great BBT editors.
The editors are standing in the way between Srila Prabhupada and his
disciples. They have dared to presume they can adjust the transcendental
books of Srila Prabhupada according to their own realizations. This is a
great offense and they have no right to do this.
The way the BBT have changed Prabhupada's books has destroyed the authority of the books. The "karmis" have noticed this. It is widely know outside ISKCON that the current books printed by the BBT have been changed by the "followers" of Srila Prabhupada after his disappearance and are therefore no longer authorative.
It is a very clear point that Prabhupada made over and over again, "If you
change the authority is lost." It is such a simply point I can not understand why you are having difficulties grasping it Maharaja. One devotee was researching Prabhupada's books in the Library of Congress catalogue and it is apparently noted there that the current books printed by the BBT have been edited after the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada and are therefore no longer authorative. Apparently many scholars, universities and libraries are no longer prepared to use Prabhupada's books as they are no longer considered authorative. This was knowen by the karmis many years ago. At least 10 years ago I went into a secondhand book store and they had a few JAS gita's and one Prabhupada Macmillan Gita. The JAS's were $2 or less, the old, tattered Macmillan was $45! I asked the owner of the store why this Bhagavad-gita was so expensive, he said, "That is the original book, since the author has died they have change the books..."
This changing of Prabhupada's books is the greatest attack on Srila
Prabhupada and is the greatest problem facing the Hare Krishna movement.
As far as your points:
"Did you read Jayadvaita Swami's explanation of the changes.."
Yes. We have all heard JAS's explanation of the changes. It puts JAS as the ultimate supreme authority on what should be included in Prabhupada's gita and what should be changed and what should be deleted. That is the problem. And his "changes" are based on his opinion as to how Prabhupada's gita should have been edited. JAS does not like Hayagriva's editing. He wanted Prabhupada to select him as the editor, however Prabhupada constantly picked Hayagriva to edit his books. Even though Hayagriva was sometimes having problems in his spiritual life Prabhupada still relied on him for editing his books. Now I have information from eyewitnesses at the time that Jayadvaita was very upset about this. Why was Prabhuapda getting Hayagriva, who Jayadvaita considered fallen in so many ways, to edit the books when he (JAS) was so vastly more qualified and could do a much better job? But the history proves that Prabhuapda continually gave Hayagriva the important editing work.
Hayagriva Prabhu's editing was very much appreciated by Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada all along selected Hayagriva as his principal editor. Hayagriva was very qualified for the job. He was a university English professor, a poet and an expert writer. Who could find a better editor than Hayagriva? He was sent to Srila Prabhupada by Krishna to edit his books. How can you not see that?
I have had this realization from very early in my Krishna conscious life. I
have heard the original Prabhupada classes Hayagriva produced many of the small books from and read the small books and although they say exactly the same thing the presentation is so much improved by Hayagriva's editing. "Improved" means presenting it very nicely in the English language in a style that is very easy to read and very beautifully composed without actually changing it. Prabhupada combined with Hayagriva's editing is an amazing combination. Of course Hayagriva was not perfect. But Prabhupada empowered him to do the work and Hayagriva was immensely qualified from the material point of view.
Jayadvaita Swami, on the other hand, is a high-school dropout with no
education and no material qualifications to do the work. He was a very good typist. And that skill Srila Prabhupada very much appreciated. Even now Jayadvaita's editing is not very good. His editing in the gita is very
inconsistent and in hundreds of places he has taken clear simple
presentations of the absolute truth and muddled them so much that they are no longer understandable at all. So much of his editing takes very good English and replaces it with something far inferior.
You say: "Have you read "Hare Krsna Explosion" by Hayagriva.. That gives
some insight into the problems that Srila Prabhupada had with Hayagriva.."
Yes. A large part of Jayadvaita's "justification" for changing Prabhupada's
books is based on a character assignation of Hayagriva Prabhu. Hayagriva may have had some problems. But you miss the point. Prabhupada was completely aware of Hayagriva's position, Prabhupada was so much more aware of Hayagriva's position than you or Jayadviata Swami. And it is Prabhupada who engaged Hayagriva in editing his books, it is Prabhuapda who sent devotees out to find Hayagriva and bring him back when he fell into maya, it is Prabhupada who begged Hayagriva to come back and continue his service of editing his books, it is Prabhupada who was even paying Hayagriva a salary at one point to edit his books, even though Hayagriva was not really completely following all the principles. So Prabhupada knew everything in full details, still he wanted Hayagriva to edit his books. All this time when Hayagriva was having problems, etc JAS was there, but still Prabhupada wanted Hayagriva to edit his books.
THE POINT IS PRABHUPADA WANTED HAYAGRIVA TO EDIT HIS BOOKS, HE MADE SUCH A GREAT ENDEAVOR TO GET HAYAGRIVA TO EDIT HIS BOOKS. WHAT RIGHT DOES JAS HAVE TO TRY TO ELIMINATE HAYAGRIVA'S EDITING FROM PRABHUPADA'S BOOKS??? THAT IS NOT SERVICE. THAT IS THE GREATEST OFFENCE.
Prabhupada may have had some problems with Hayagriva, but what was
Prabhupada always trying to encourage Hayagriva to do? EDIT HIS BOOKS. So Prabhupada considered Hayagriva's editing service to be so valuable. We have to respect Prabhupada's choice of editors, even if we do not understand why.
Prabhupada's books are his books, he has a right to choose the editor. He
was intimately involved in all phases of the production of his books and he
read the books and gave all his classes from them for so many years. And he did not ask anyone to make any changes at all. This point you do not seem to understand. THEY ARE PRABHUPADA'S BOOKS AND HE DOES NOT WANT THEM CHANGED.
You say: "I did see a letter, for which I am still searching, where Srila
Prabhupada authorized editing the GITA."
There is no such letter, you are imagining things. Even JAS admits that he
had no authorization from Srila Prabhupada to make the changes.
I am hoping that you will respond to this with a substantial letter that
shows you have actually at least contemplated these issues and considered the possibility that allowing BBT editors absolute freedom to change anything at all in Prabhupada's books they feel like changing with no checks and balances and no documentation and no system to authorize such changes is crazy and has destroyed the authority of Prabhupada's books. Practically the whole world can see this. Surely you can see it Maharaja?
Hope you are well. Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!
From: Kavicandra Swami (GBC Japan) [mailto:Kavicandra.Swami@pamho.net]
Sent: Friday, August 19, 2005 4:21 AM
To: Madhudvisa (das) (ITV Los Angeles, CA - US)
Subject: RE: (no subject)
Did you read Jayadvaita Swami's explanation of the changes..
Hayagriva is one of the "rascal editors", and he did the GITA.. Have you
read "Hare Krsna Explosion" by Hayagriva.. That gives some insight into the problems that Srila PRabhupada had with Hayagriva..
Hansadutta was not trying to print the "original books". He was trying to
be declared as teh sole BBT trustee with full rights to all of the book
sales. He got rights for the pre 78 books and then started fighting with
his co conspirators... etc, etc.
I did see a letter, for which I am still searching, where Srila Prabhupada
authorised editing the GITA. BUt he said not to do it at the expense of the
new books, so it was not done then....