From: "Jayadvaita Swami"
The new Madhudvisa is right about one thing: For one's own purposes, one can indeed edit a text in such a way as to distort it.
A case in point: My letter to him of 11 March 04.
I wouldn't have published it, but since he has made it public in a cut-down form, here it is in full. (I have marked off with # signs the portions he deleted.)
Letter PAMHO:7929615 (275 lines)
From: Jayadvaita Swami
Date: 11-Mar-04 14:34 (09:34 -0500)
To: Madhudvisa Dasa
Reference: Text PAMHO:7885791 by Internet: Madhudvisa dasa
Subject: Hari Bol
> I humbly admit I found it uncomfortable that you yelled at me so
> much tonight, calling me so many bad names and overall was very
> rough with me.
You deserved it. And more. # Especially for what you did to
# [a devotee he horribly mistreated].
> We are both followers of Srila Prabhupada and we may
> have different opinions on some points but we should be able to meet
> in a gentlemanly manner.
You're twenty years my junior. You claim to be a brahmacari, and I am a sannyasi. You were initiated (if at all) ten years later than me. And yet you think you're perfectly within your rights to broadcast to the whole world, "Jayadvaita Swami [is] disobeying Srila Prabhupada's direct order that he should not change a word in his books" (an order, of course, that Srila Prabhupada never gave me).
And still, after publishing this and other such thoroughly rude insults, you somehow believe you're entitled to be treated "in a gentlemanly manner."
Hmmm. . .
> You are asking me to apologize but I would humbly request some sort
> of apology from you also. You called me "shit head" so many times, I
> really do not think that is appropriate.
You're right. I apologize. If I'd used Srila Prabhupada's language, I would have said you have cow dung for brains.
> I understand you are upset about some of the things I have posted on
> the net, but on close examination you will find that every posting
> contains a significant point which we need to consider.
And lots of garbage we don't. And, by the way, you don't raise any points that BBT editors and consultants with much finer discretion than you haven't considered already.
# Also by the way: Suppose I say, "Krishna is the Supreme Personality
# of Godhead. And Govinda Dasa is an idiot." If Govinda Dasa is not an
# idiot, I can hardly justify myself by saying that my statement (by
# virtue of the line about Krsna) "contains a significant point which
# we need to consider." That would be foolishness.
# > Even the one
# > letter you have picked out in relation to the changes in the last
# > 6 chapters when you only have the retyped manuscripts. I admit
# > that there may be something there in the retyped manuscripts that
# > did not make it into the final book. But the basic point of the
# > article that you do not have much to work on remains true.
# Son, one day you're going to have to grow up and take responsibility
# for your own words and actions.
# Much as you might like to fool yourself, your article did not say
# that I "do not have much to work on." It says, if I may quote you:
# "It seems they had NOTHING to work from. . ." (the caps are yours)
# and "the changes. . . appear to have been produced out of the minds
# of the BBT editors only. . ."
# > Even tonight you say
# > you did it by memory as you were the one who retyped those
# > manuscripts many years ago. We all know memory is not perfect.
# Yours certainly isn't. What you remember me saying is not what I
# said. But, granted, you must have an exceedingly hard time hearing
# straight while you're constantly talking at the same time.
> Just on the few changes we looked at tonight you admitted to three
> errors you have introduced into the new version and surely if one
> did a through study there would be many hundreds of new errors.
Two, if I recall. Both of them petty. And I didn't admit that I introduced them. If you'd been listening, you might have heard that I didn't know whether the errors were mine or those of a typist.
> The point of my website is to show that in so many ways the
> philosophy presented in your gita differers substantially from
> Prabhupada's original gita. And you accept that. I accept that in
> some cases you have recovered missing things, etc. But overall I can
> not personally put my faith in your gita and so many devotees feel
> like this.
I am not in need of your faith, sir. Put it wherever you'd like.
> But your edited gita rests on your authority. You have decided what
> to change and what not to change and as we saw there are so many
> things you could have changed, but have chosen not to, therefore it
> is all according to your opinion. You have decided what to change
> and what not to change.
Son, *every* editor decides what to change and what not to change.
And your complaint seems to be that my opinions differ from yours. Your opinion is that perhaps fifty of the revisions are justified, the rest not.
# And, meanwhile, you reject the authority of the manuscripts, you
# reject the authority of the BBT trustees, you reject the authority
# of the GBC, you reject the authority of my bona fide godbrothers who
# have years of editorial experience. You reject Vaisnava etiquette
# and manners. You reject the standard process of disciplic
# And so you reject me too.
Should I feel crushed?
Yes, after due deliberation and consultation, I decided what to change and what not to change.
# As my spiritual master trained me to.
> The point I have made is this is a very dangerous precedent for the
> future. We have to preserve the original teachings of Srila
> Prabhupada. And the original MacMillan gita was accepted by
> Prabhupada, he did not request anyone to reedit it. That is the main
> point. If Prabhupada wanted his books reedited that would be a
> different matter.
> TKG put this exact question to Srila Prabhupada in the rascal
> editors conversation, "Can JAS go through and reedit the books?" and
> Prabhupada's conclusion was, "No, the next printing should be the
> original way." So that is a clear order from Srila Prabhupada NOT to
> reedit the books. Your interpretation of this is not honest. The
> original way clearly means the original way the books were printed.
Not honest? Dear Mr. Honesty: I'm sitting here in front of my
VedaBase, and I'll be hog-tied if I see anywhere in that
conversation, "Can JAS go through and reedit the books?"
You can take your brand of honesty and shove it.
> I think you are a little unfair in so heavily criticizing the
> articles I have written,
I haven't criticized them heavily enough.
# > have you forgotten the letters/articles you
# > and Dravida had written to me?
# Yes, of course. Are you so important?
# > Have you forgotten the persecution
# > from Harikesh?
# If it ever existed, and if I was ever aware of it, yes.
# > So overall I hope we can come to some sort of solution to this
# > problem.
# Let's see. . . . If I recall from last night:
# 1. You're going to apologize to [the devotee he mistreated, as
# mentioned above] for the grievous Vaisnava aparadha you committed
# against him.
# 2. You're going to issue a public apology for your false and
# self-righteous and insulting public accusation that I had "NOTHING
# to work from" and that the revisions "appear to have been produced
# out of the minds of the BBT editors only. . ."
# Well, you can start by making good on your word. And perhaps we can
# make further progress from there.
> Hopefully when we meet again it can be on more gentlemanly terms.
Hopefully when we meet again you will deserve it.
> I am not anything special
# On the contrary. You're what people here in India call a "special
> but I am sincerely trying to serve Srila
> Prabhupada with all my energy
# But unfortunately you are doing it under the delusion that you are
# Prabhupada's personally initiated disciple and need no one else's
# guidance. And therefore you are screwing up royally.
> and I do not really find it very
> comfortable if you just want to yell at me and call me names.
Oh, you're uncomfortable, are you? Dear, dear! You can dish out insults to your seniors in public, but when your seniors dish it out to you in private, you can't take it. Poor baby!
> is the point of this? My points are valid, and you have agreed to
> that, you have agreed to three errors in just the few verses we
> looked at tonight, so I humbly submit that all the faults are not on
> my side. You have to admit that there are some faults on your side
> also then we can make some progress.
Sir, I don't have to negotiate with you. You can make progress on your own.
# > Maybe on the next version of "Teachings of Lord Caitanya" we can
# > work together and openly and produce a corrected version of the
# > first edition of the book. That I believe would be a great step
# > forward and if it works out nicely and everyone is happy with the
# > resulting book it could be a great thing for the future.
# You have no editorial qualifications I can discern, so I see no
# reason to work with you on an editorial project.
# Apart from that, why do you want to produce a "corrected version"?
# Don't you think that the book--as Srila Prabhupada accepted it--is
# Did Srila Prabhupada ever authorize you to change it?
# There's only one way I'm interested in publishing "Teachings of Lord
# Caitanya." As it is. As published during Srila Prabhupada's
# You're doing very valuable service for ITV, and I hope that you'll
# continue it, and continue to distribute books with full enthusiasm.
# And stop your nonsense. And rectify your past mistakes.
Yours in Srila Prabhupada's service,