Sri Sri Radha Ballabha and Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai along with Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladeva and Lady Subhadra at ISKCON Melbourne

Material exploitation, not material advancement.

Here Srila Prabhupada, in a few words, debunks the myth of material advancement.


“Your seventh question, “How is it that there is so much material “advancement” in the USA even though there is no formal demigod worship? Is a man after economic development automatically worshiping Lord Siva whether he is making Yajna or not?” Actually there is no material advancement in the USA. Material advancement means there is amply opportunity for eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Superficially, it appears that in the USA there is sufficient provision of eating, sleeping, mating and defending, but actually nobody is safe even in his good apartment. I have got practical experience in New York. Several times my typewriter and tape recorders were stolen and the police could not take any action. There are many persons in the Bowery street, they have no shelter to live. So if a certain fraction of the people are supposed to be very materially happy at the cost of others, that is not material advancement. Had it been so, then why there are so many persons confused and frustrated? So actually there is no material advancement here. Here, I am seeing practically that Gaurasundara, such a nice intelligent and qualified boy, he has to work hard 12 hours simply for his subsistence. I think there are many instances like that, so this is not material advancement. You can call it capitalist advancement, and the reaction for such advancement is communism. Such movement is simply suppressed in your country, but actually the reaction is this. So the Western type of civilization, industrialism and capitalism, is no material advancement. It is material exploitation. When one gets the bare necessities of life, namely peaceful home, sumptuous eating, necessary sex life, and feeling of security, then it is called material advancement. In the absence of such four preliminary necessities of life, it is not at all material advancement—just try to understand. According to Vedic civilization, a man is supposed to be rich when he has got sufficient grains and cows. Here we have neither sufficient grains or cows, but you have got sufficient quantity of papers only—falsely thinking that it is money. When there is some catastrophe, this bunch of papers will neither supply milk or grain. They will be seen only and the man will starve.” 690314let.Rupanuga


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SANKIRTAN November 2015

10 Nov 2015, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Australia.

Jeanette used to go to the Illawara festival Wollongong  NSW, where she noticed that the Hare Krishna food tent always used to have the longest queue. “As the time of opening approached, people used to line up and the longest queue, composed of even meat eater, could be found at the Hare Krishna food tent….. The food was delicious” she said.

At first she declined to purchase anything. But then she changed her mind and searched me out in the crowd to purchase “With Love” by Raje. She also inquired about asafetida and I was able to supply required information along with two containers of the substance.


NOT ONLY BOOKS. As the post office ladies like them very much, I was on my way to the post office with some mangal aratik sweets, that Ramananda Prabhu had thoughtfully preserved for this purpose. I parked my Sankirtan van next to the dentist’s sign listing a number of serious diseases that may be caused by gum disease. One gentleman was looking at the sign and made some remarks that were seemingly directed at me. We had a brief conversation. I asked him whether he liked sweets. “Yes, very much” was the answer. I uncovered the aluminum wrapping and offered him to take some. He accepted without hesitation. I asked him the vibrate “Hare Krishna”. He replied indeed “Hare Krishna” and we parted for our respective days’ business. There are always preaching opportunities.


On NOV 19 2015, in Lismore, NSW, the second, third and fourth parties I meet in the morning all purchased a copy of With Love, Raje’s vegan cookbook with gluten free options and accepted the complimentary copy of Krishna, the Reservoir of Pleasure by Srila Prabhupada. I knew from previous experience that the first party would not participate in the Sankirtan Movement. I double-checked on them, as businesses sometimes change hands and thus new opportunities arise.




Ballina NSW 20 NOV 2015 about 7.45 AM

At the round about, I noticed how the police officer in the oncoming vehicle was looking at me very disapprovingly. Sure enough he turned around followed me with flashing lights. I stopped. So did the vehicle between us. I felt I had done everything correctly as per road rules and was not sure what was going to follow.

“ I am constable so and so from the New South Wales police force. This conversation is being recorded. You were seen talking on your mobile phone, while driving a motor vehicle……..”

“ I am sorry Sir, but this is totally incorrect, I was chanting

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

instead, which is a form of non-distracting meditation and here is my tally counter. Please have a look”

and further:

“I am going to have to perform a breath test on you. Have you been drinking any alcohol?”

“No Sir, I am a member of the Hare Krishna Movement and as such we never drink any alcohol.”

The officer spared me the breath test, got me to state my name and address into his microphone, went back to his car with my driver’s license to perform some other routine checks, after which I was free to go, the matter being settled on the spot. Jai Sri Krishna.

24 Nov2015

I went to the “pub” and talked with the bar lady first. They did not allow me to go around to the patrons, which more than often pubs do, but indicated that the owner was sitting just behind me, having his lunch.

As I approached him, he immediately started blaspheming against religion and made two statements, which I shall not repeat.

To keep the peace, I repeated twice “No comments, Sir” and left the premises, although I was a little shaken inside. I had to wait for a few minutes to regain my normal Sankirtan mood.

One remembers Srila Prabhupada’s words to the effect that religion is a function of human society only, not a function of animal society.

“Civilization without God consciousness scientifically is animal society.” 690216let.Vamanadeva


“Leaving aside the too grossly materialistic persons, who are without any moral principles or social conventions, if we take the right type of civilized man, then we find that he is engaged in some type of religious principle. It doesn’t matter if he is Christian, Moslem or Jew, the symptom of a civilized man is that he must have the recognition of religious principles; that is required for civilized man. But generally men take to religious principles for economic development. Just like in the Christian religiosity the prayers for solving the economic problem or bread problem. Similarly, in the Vedic rituals also different methods of sacrifices are recommended for pleasing the demigods so that they will supply quantity of rain and there will be enough grain for eating. In this way, religious principles are generally practiced by men for some economic development.” 690302let.Janardan



The next stop was another restaurant and the supervisor immediately agreed to purchase “With love” and accepted her complimentary copy of “Krishna, the Reservoir of Pleasure” by Srila Prabhupada. They also allowed me to talk with the patrons.

In this way, the execution of book distribution Sankirtan may lead one from one extreme to the other in just a few moments.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Disappearance anniversary day of the Spiritual Master. November 16th 2015

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my humble obeisances at Your holy lotus feet. All glories to Your unequalled stature in the world of devotional service!

You are called Spiritual Master because You are able to present appropriately the spiritual subject matter of God or Krishna consciousness to anyone and everyone, including the big leaders of society. The opening of Your letter to the then Governor General of Canada, Roland Michener is a good case in point:

“ISKCON (the International Society of Krishna Consciousness) is a non-lucrative organization, whose purpose is to promote the well-being of human society by drawing its attention to God. We are a non-sectarian society, and our members include people from Christian, Jewish and Moslem as well as Hindu faiths. The aim of ISKCON is not to found a new religious sect, but to invoke the living entity’s dormant love of God, and thus provide the human society of all faiths with a common platform of clear theistic knowledge and practice. Members of ISKCON may retain their own respective religious faiths, as ISKCON is meant to establish a clear, practical common formulation of the common ideal of all theists, and to defeat the unnecessary dogmatic wranglings that now divide and invalidate the theistic camp. This common ideal of theism is to develop love of God. ”680824let.GovernorGeneralCanada

Actually You are the center of our lives. Just like today we all come together for the anniversary of Your disappearance. Or when we chant japa, circumambulating Srimati Tulasi Devi, we perform an extra bodily revolution just to acknowledge your presence on the Vyasasana. You control us as much as we agree to follow Your beneficial instructions. It is a matter of love and strength on both sides. It is not a matter of force, even though force entails strength.

Even though You have relinquished your physical form 38 years ago in November of the year 1977, while I was serving in the French army, You are in fact very much with us.

This is confirmed in various ways.

For example:

1) When the reporter asked You who will be the next Acarya after Your passing, delighting all Your disciples and followers, you side stepped the question and your grand and bold reply came as: “I SHALL NEVER DIE.” I write this sentence in capital letter.

In the mood of the exuberant, enthusiastic and sometimes wild early days, collective exclamations of “Jai” along with “Jai Srila Prabhupada” followed.

2) When You noticed how Your pictures were somehow neglected, You clearly explained that the bona fide Spiritual Master, being situated on the absolute platform, is not different from his pictures and they should therefore be treated accordingly. The same reasoning will apply to Your murti on the Vyasasana and therefore I am saying that You are very much here, right now, in front of us.

Let us treat You accordingly with all due respect, consideration and propriety. At times You do indeed reciprocate with us directly from the Vyasasana.

3) Besides that and most importantly anyone can always and under most circumstances directly associate with You through sound vibration by listening to your lectures, which have been so nicely produced by the Bhaktivedanta Archives, read Your books or chant Japa in Your company. You have so kindly, expertly and liberally given us all Your knowledge and realizations. Where is the question of separation?

“In the absolute world there is no distinction as me, or he, and I. Krishna and His representative is the same. Just like Krishna can be present simultaneously in millions of places. Similarly, the Spiritual Master also can be present wherever the disciple wants. A Spiritual Master is the principle, not the body. Just like a television can be seen in thousands of places by the principle of relay monitoring.” 680528let.Malati

The Spiritual Master sets us straight on the path back home, back to Godhead. I want to thank You very much for the reply to the only letter I ever wrote to You in April / May 1977, when, under the direction of H.H. Akshoyananda Swami, I was doubting my position as the temple commander at the Krishna Balaram temple in Vrndavan, India. One of Your favorite disciples H.H. Tamal Krishna Goswami relayed Your words to me. Here they are:

“ There is no difference between management and study in Krishna consciousness. I am studying books and writing also and at the same time attending to your letter. And there is so much management to look to. So I am doing both because there is no difference.”

These represent indeed most important, enlightening, meaningful and direction-giving instructions. Due to our artificial education systems, we tend to see borders and demarcations. These are therefore also artificial border and artificial demarcation shattering instructions. I try to execute my service in that mentality and make these instructions the corner stone of my remaining life in this fragile tabernacle. This non-difference is both enlivening and productive as well. It is also timesaving because practical. These instructions are very much in line with Your insistence on authenticity, as opposed to bluff and blind following.

Srila Prabhupada, I sometimes feel very, very good in devotional service and sometimes not so good, to put it positively. Frankly sometimes a feel miserable, so much so that addressing You, as I do now, becomes a burdensome task. I am then unable to pray to You with sincere feelings. It simply becomes an artificial formality at best. I take the liberty to speak like this and remember the example of Srila Narottama Das Thakura, who says in his Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Sri Nityananda from Prathana

Ha ha prabhu nityananda premananda sukhi

Krpabalokana koro ami boro dukhi

or as per your own translation:

“My dear Lord Nityananda you are always joyful in spiritual bliss. Since you always appear very happy, I have come to you because I am most unhappy. If you kindly put Your glance over me, I may also become happy”

Please hear my wish Srila Prabhupada:

I would like to continually feel very, very happy in devotional service and always be able to remain very active in cultivating and spreading Krishna consciousness to the best of my ability without interruption. Enough time has already been lost.

Sri Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita 3.30 clearly implies that on the transcendental plane one becomes free from lethargy.

Here is the verse: “Therefore, O Arjuna, surrendering all your works unto Me, with full knowledge of Me, without desires for profit, with no claims to proprietorship, and free from lethargy, fight.”

I wish to become like You, who exhibited the greatest steadiness of mind amidst even the greatest disappointments-as for example when Your GBC deputies unexpectedly abandoned their posts. According to Sri Krishna BGAII 2.48, this equanimity is yoga:

“Perform your duty equipoised, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga.”

I that respect, I find Sankirtan book distribution the most edifying and pleasing school of yoga.

In glorification of Srila Prabhupada, I would also like to bring to the attention of the devotees that there is a website which lists individuals who have become tremendously successful after the age of 50 and Srila Prabhupada’s name is also mentioned.

The web site is:

My friend Madhukanta Prabhu found and supplied this information.

In conclusion, I may state that, just like the Vedas, You are an inexhaustible source of both spiritual and material inspiration and will remain the perfect example in all respects. By material inspiration I mean to say that You teach us how to handle the material world for Krishna, which in fact is also spiritual.

Let us therefore follow You closely in all earnestness.

Thanking You Srila Prabhupada.

Your insignificant servant,

Yadavendra Das.

Brisbane, November 16th 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sankirtan October 2015

I must have met the owner of Lady Bird boutique several times over the last years. This time she was comfortably seated between two rows of merchandise and performing what seemed to me some kind of a stock take, when I approached her from behind and handed her a copy of Rajesvari Devi’s excellent and popular “With Love” cookbook. She looked at it carefully and on the whole spend quite a bit of time on the event.

Then she took my portfolio and examined it page after page to which I have no objections. When we arrived at the picture of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and after giving relevant information about Bhagavd Gita As It is, she demanded to see Bhagavad-Gita As Is It. It fetched a copy from my Sankirtan van.

She was then standing behind the shop counter and read the first verse and purport of chapter four, titled “Transcendental Knowledge.” I was wrongly assuming that she was going to buy Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and after some minutes she decided that it was not for her.

Twice she said she didn’t need another cookbook and she also had to serve her own customer, which added some tension to the exchange as the clock keeps ticking in all circumstances. She ended up choosing Kurma Prabhu’s “World Vegetarian Food” along with a complimentary copy of “Reservoir of Pleasure” by Srila Prabhupada and admitted that she had already purchased Great Vegetarian Dishes from the health food shop previously.

During the chat several points came up.

For example she asked me why onions are tamasic or in the mode of ignorance.

When I mentioned offering the bhoga to Lord Krishna she mentioned that her sister had a child with a foot deformity. With a view to get relief from the bodily abnormality, this lady regularly offered food to some deity and obtained full satisfaction. She could not however remember the identity of the deity but I thought this was quite a revealing story.

This seems to be confirmed in the Bhagavad-Gita as It Is 4.12: ” Men in this world desire success in fruitive activities, and therefore they worship the demigods. Quickly, of course, men get results from fruitive work in this world.”

She had practiced transcendental meditation for some time and I am confident that in the future she will buy Bhagavad-Gita As It Is.

Lately I have also been meeting people who somehow or other had some connection with the Hare Krishna movement and who generally greet me with “Haribol”. First there was a lady whose ex husband used to have a close affiliation with an ISKCON temple. Then a brightly smiling guy in Hastings Street, Noosa, spontaneously greeted me with “Haribol”. He used to frequent the Henley St. Adelaide temple.

The third instance was another lady who personally used to frequent the Graceville (Brisbane) temple in the nineties. She stated that she needs to buy some neckbeads. I met Madan Gopal Prabhu’s niece who runs a flower shop. She qualified it as “the dream of her life”. Happy are those people whose dreams come true sooner or later.

Finally I met Tallula, an enthusiastic and generous young lady who loves Hare Krishna and prasadam. Of all preparations she likes kofta balls most. She purchased Quick Vegetarian Dishes by Kurma Prabhu where in the section “Savouries and finger foods”, the recipe “Kofta in tomato sauce” can be found on page 132 and accepted her complimentary copy of “Krishna, the Reservoir of Pleasure” by Srila Prabhupada. Jai Sri Krishna!













Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vyasapuja 2015



Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my prostrations at Your holy lotus feet.

I am fortunate to be sanatha, with master, and am happy to report that 2014 was one of my best book distribution years.

(Without seeking the author’s assent, the following passage has been erased by the editor Jayadvaita Swami and his agents, for publication in the “Srila Prabhupada Tribute” Vyasapuja book 2015.)

Sometimes however we may get a little discouraged when we see that some changes in your books are contradicting both Your own instructions and those of Lord Caitanya. The best example is purport of BGAII version 2, 10.34 about book reading.

The following passage of letter to Pradyumna Prabhu dated 17 February 1968 would seem to indicate that BGAII version 1 is correct:

“I am glad to know that you are working hard to expand the Krishna Consciousness propaganda in Boston. I may say that this practical devotion is the secret to understanding the Sastras. My Guru Maharaja used to say that for one who is not engaged in devotional service, reading all the books is simply like licking the outside of the honey jar. One who thinks the books is the thing is content in this way. But we should learn the secret to open the jar and taste the honey. In this way, if we can simply understand one book, or one sloka, the perfection is there. Lord Caitanya warned about reading too many books, although I see in America this is very popular to get volumes and volumes of books and not understand one. Anyway by sincerely working by carefully executing the instructions of the Spiritual Master, you will be all successful by Krishna’s Grace. I am always praying to Krishna for your advancement in Krishna Consciousness, all of you, sincere souls. Hope you are all well.”

By regularly hearing Your message, the progressive bhakti-yogi, as mentioned in BGAII 6.47, derives regular and solid spiritual realizations. Not only does he derive new realizations, but by passing on these precious words to others, he will cause others to have similar realizations and advance on the path back home, back to Godhead. This is the parampara process in action. There is no greater welfare activity in this world than this. Just before a full day of book distribution, I discovered the following passage about the repetitive nature of the chanting. If someone challenges or simply asks about the repetitive nature of the chanting, we can very nicely quote from this passage.

“Similarly, we repeat Krishna—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Why we repeat? The more we repeat means we learn to love. That is required. Anything which you do not love, you cannot repeat. It will be disgusting. Anything, any word you take, if you simply repeat, you’ll feel disgusted. Sometimes those who are not in Krishna conscious life, they also feel this repetition as disgusting, hackneyed, because they have not developed love. Rupa Gosvami says that “What shall I chant with one tongue and what shall I hear with two ears? If millions of tongue I would have possessed, then I could chant little.” And they’re tasting… Because they have got love for Krishna, they are tasting the nectar of chanting. They cannot give up. In the material world also, there are many slogans. We repeat because we love.

So real thing is to develop love for Krishna. That is the Vrindavan standard.” 690210le.LA

Shri Krishna says in BGAII 9.5 and 11.8:”pasya me yoga aisvariam” “Just behold my mystic opulence.” But Your own mystic opulence, Srila Prabhupada, is factually second to Sri Krishna only, the Supreme Personality of Godhead because You have taken full shelter of Him.

I miss U Srila Prabhupada in the sense that I cannot find anyone who can explain the philosophy of Krishna consciousness the way U do, nor can anyone answer Krisna conscious questions as well as U do.

Thank You very much Srila Prabhupada, for Your constant inspiration.

Your insignificant servant,

Yadavendra Das










Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“The black dog that deserves a post on”


Brisbane. Australia

June 24,
For two non-consecutive days one black dog named “Isi” offered outright obeisances to the Holy Name. Each time the dog saw me on my morning Japa walk, in a first move she rubs the left side and back of her head on the floor and then would just lie down on her belly as if offering obeisances, with front leg outstretched. Even if coincidental, the Holy Name will take it that way, just as Krishna made a mother of Putana even though she approached Him with evil intentions. What to speak of this friendly dog, that did not show any malicious intentions whatsoever toward the Holy Name or the carrier of the Holy Name!

August 7,
This morning on my Japa walk I again met Isi, the dog. According to Isi’s master, Isi is short for Isabella. Isi sure enough paid her obeisances to the Holy Name. This is the third time I meet Isi and Isi never failed to pay her obeisances to the Holy Name even once. What a pious bitch she is! Actually today it looked as if she were going to forget the procedure and was already walking away, pulled and controlled by her master. But then sure enough, at the last minute, she put down her head and the rest of the body followed. I gave her a big pet too. After that one is rewarded with a big lick in the face, which I always avoid by moving out of her reach very quickly. I offered the lady master a pamphlet about the Janmastami celebrations as I did to so many other walkers and joggers.

August 21,
This morning again I met Isi on my morning Japa walk for the fourth time. She offered obeisances to the Holy Name 3 times. First she made an attempt to pay obeisances but she was restrained by her lady master through the means of the leash. The procedure always follows the same pattern as described in the June 24th entry. Today I noticed how responsive she is to the chanting of the Holy Name. She is a two year old black bitch endowed with a quite tall and strong body and Raktak Prabhu from Punjab, India says that black dogs are auspicious dogs. They are called kalu in his home town, from the word kala meaning “black”. Ghee from black cows is also more auspicious for sacrifices, Raktak Prabhu asserts.

After offering obeisances, she almost jumped on a passing cyclist as many cyclists train in these suburb streets. She was half a meter away, when her master fortunately restrained her. It was a close call and being in a dog’s body she has no choice but to act like one indeed. I made an effort to chant clearly, distinctly, loud enough and regularly and we traveled together for a distance. I could see her ears moving to the sound of the Holy Name and she responded by paying obeisances three times. I requested the master to not refrain her from going down. I explained to her that, in her last life, she would have probably been a human being chanting Hare Krishna mantra but committed some major mistake and had therefore to take up a dog’s body. I also asked her whether she believed in the transmigration of the soul. She answered negatively. Another favorable lady, regular morning walker, happened to pass the scene, noticed it and she commented:” Oh look, she (the dog) likes to be with him (me). I shall try to post Isi on the dandavats. com. She really deserves it. The title shall be: “The black dog (bitch) that deserves a post on”

Param Vijayate Sri Krishna Sankirtanam!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bhagavad-Gita As It Is questions.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, more familiarly known as “Srila Prabhupada”, is the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna consciousness (ISKCON) – originally incorporated under the religious act of the state of New York in July 1966 – and is the institutor of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT), as well as the translator and commentator of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is.

“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” is a most powerful, fascinating and redemptory book, being the words of God or Krishna Himself, as well as the words of His accredited representative and current link in the chain of disciplic succession, called “parampara” in Sanskrit language. 
To this effect verse 24 of chapter 13 states that:
“One who understands this philosophy concerning material nature, the living entity and the interaction of the modes of nature is sure to attain liberation. He will not take birth here again, regardless of his present position.”

The popularity and attraction of this transcendental opus is evidenced by the more than 650 versions and translations in existence throughout the world. Bhagavad-Gita was also Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite book. We are however concerned with Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, not Bhagavad-Gita as some unauthorized and upstart mundaner, seeking name and fame, has interpreted. We are not interested in its foreign, indirect, empiric and speculative interpretation. We are interested in the direct meaning of Bhagavad-Gita. Bhagavad-Gita is like the sun, which does not require help from any other light.
“I wish that the American people may try to understand Bhagavad-Gita in terms of its direct meaning. Let it not be unnecessarily misunderstood by the empiric speculative method for making a show of the vanity of so called learning without any living experience. Such academic erudition has nothing to do with the living reality.
I wish to present an analytical study of Bhagavad Gita as it is. If your people can grasp the direct meaning of Bhagavad-Gita it will be possible for us all to know the basic principle of cosmic harmony. When that is done we shall know that all adjustment of our existence is not only peaceful but an eternal bliss distinguished from the ephemeral temporary sensual satisfaction. We shall then only know that here is a world where there is no struggle for existence and every living entity, never mind what it is, is fit to exist.” Srila Prabhupada letter dated at Allahabad, 14 September 1951 to Mr. Bailey of The American Reporter. (Typed version as opposed to handwritten version.)

Because these are the words of God or Krishna Himself, liberally and affectionately inviting the living entity to resolve its hopeless and complex entanglement within this material world, it is important that this communication be presented verbatim, as well as strictly according to the letter and the spirit of the authorized commentator, without any unauthorized changes, accidental or intended, as to completely fulfill the meaning of the expression AS IT IS found in its title and intently placed there by the commentator.
It is also important of course, that such eminent text be presented in proper language, be it English or non-English.

There is an ongoing confusion and discord, as to which Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, hereunder abbreviated as BGAII, is the better and more faithful presentation. Recently, while on book distribution on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, during a conversation with a lady aspiring for ISKCON initiation, I was again reminded of this fact. Thanks to her, I have come to realize the need to extend the scope of the present article. I was going to start the third previous sentence with “unfortunately” but there is absolutely nothing “unfortunate” about Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. Everything is transcendentally fortunate about it, including confusions and discords. Such is the nature and power of Bhagavad-Gita!
The current version two (V2) edition of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, also called “Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged”, replaced version one (V1), also called “Complete Edition”, in 1983. V 1 was originally introduced to the market in 1972 in New York.
By careful and informed comparative analysis of the two Gitas, the investigating reader will progressively come to a conclusion, which I may personally phrase as follows:

Bhagavad Gita As It Is version 1, also called “Complete Edition”, is not only riddled with a myriad of mistakes but also innumerable elements of information contained in the original Sanskrit text are lost in its English rendition. To put it frankly and succinctly: Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, version one is simply and truly an embarrassment to Srila Prabhupada. This state of affairs is due to the early rush-and-confusion foundational days of the Hare Krishna Movement.
Please allow me to back up my statements with relevant evidence:
Text 18.44 of BGAII V1 still reads “… cattle raising..”, whereas Srila Prabhupada, while still present with us, clearly requested some forty years ago that this asuric expression be replaced with the Vedic concept of cow protection. To say it positively, this is an indication of the competence of proponents of BGAII V1.
There are innumerable other mistakes. For illustration purposes, let me mention just a few of them as follows:
Edition 1, 4.20, word for word, gives: nirashrayah- without any center.
Clearly someone has been misled by Srila Prabhupada’s Bengali accent. In ISKCON circles it is common knowledge that “ashraya” means shelter. His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami has corrected this mistake: “without any shelter.”
Translation 4.28 of version 1 is misleading and proposes an impossible task. It gives the reader the false impression that there are only two classes of endeavoring transcendentalists, when in fact there are four classes enumerated in this verse, as nicely explained in version 2.
8.2 Purport. The first sentence in V1 is meaningless. Version 2 has corrected, “Lord of sacrifice” may refer to either Indra or Vishnu.” which is unequivocally confirmed by the following sentences of the purport.

The long list goes on. But perhaps the worst mistake of all in BGAII V1 is the rendition of 6.47, which makes the commentator look inconsequent.
He clearly writes in the purport that: “The English word “worship” cannot be used in the same sense as bhaj.”
But V1 gives: “worshiping Me in transcendental loving service.” This rendition is NOT Srila Prabhupada’s, Who is eminently consequent. It makes Him look like an ordinary, careless word juggler under the influence of the three modes of material nature, instead of the transcendental personality that He really is, situated above the four defects of the conditioned souls and planning and implementing the salvation of humankind. One may argue that “worship” is qualified as “worship in transcendental loving service.” That is true. But the best policy is to remove the word “worship” altogether, as HH Jayadvatia Swami has so wisely done.
Besides that V1 omits “ antah-atmana” or “thinks of Me within himself”, as well as “matah” or “is considered”. It is therefore incomplete as well. Similar omissions are found throughout the whole of version one. If this particular example is not sufficient to convince that version two is the better version, then I do not know what will convince.
Version 1 protagonist’s claim that V1 is the original, Prabhupada-faithful version has no real foundation and can therefore not be taken seriously. The time has come to archive version 1 of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and replace it with version 2!
As far as we understand, His Holiness Jayadvaita Maharaja is the main force behind the revision. Let us remember that Srila Prabhupada Himself gave him a strong editor’s endorsement in a letter dated September 7th 1976: “Concerning the editing of Jayadvaita Prabhu, whatever he does is approved by me. I have confidence in him. Your changes which I have seen of the Sanskrit synonyms are also approved by me.” 760907let.Radhaballabha
We clearly owe a debt of gratitude to His Holiness for the excellent improvement he has contributed to the formulation of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is version 2. All glories to his service!

There are still, however, quite a number of unresolved questions that one may have about the current presentation of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-Gita As It Is V2.
On innumerable occasions, the author of this article has tried to engage in a dialogue with relevant ISKCON and Bhaktivedanta Book Trust authorities but on most occasions it ended with silence and / or status quo and these matters remain unresolved to this date. This is not a healthy state of affairs.
Srila Prabhupada writes in Purport to Text 1 of “Nectar of Instruction” “Silence may appear helpful for some time, but ultimately it proves a failure.” He also writes in Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.18, purport: “The Vedic system of acquiring knowledge is the deductive process. The Vedic knowledge is received perfectly by disciplic succession from authorities. Such knowledge is never dogmatic, as ill conceived by less intelligent persons. The mother is the authority to verify the identity of the father. She is the authority for such confidential knowledge. Therefore, authority is not dogmatic.”

I do not wish to burden my exalted readers with too many technicalities and shall restrict myself to a few prominent points only as follows:
We may for example ask: Did Sri Krishna 5000 years ago, on the battlefield of Kurushetra, say dharmyamritam or did He say dharmamritam (12.20). Gita Press version says Dharmyamritam. BGAII V1 says the same. BGAII V2 says dharmamritam. Which is correct and how does it affect the meaning? To a Sanskrit scholar this question may seem elementary and the answer self-evident. But for a layperson such as this humble self, it is legitimate. HH Jayadvaita Swami answered this question by saying: It doesn’t really matter. It makes no difference. The counter question will then be: “Why then change it in the first place?”
We may ask: Why does V2 title chapter six “Dhyana Yoga”, when there is ample evidence that Srila Prabhupada, the commentator, wanted this particular chapter to be called “Sankhya Yoga”?

CAPITALIZATION. As far as the spelling of Bhagavad-Gita goes both “Bhagavad-Gita” and “Bhagavad-gita” seem to be accepted, even though my MacBook Pro computer demands Bhagavad-Gita with capital letter for “Gita”. Srila Prabhupada Himself writes “Bhagwat-Gita” with a capital “G” a dozen times or so in letter dated June 22nd 1951 to Sri R .Prakash, as well as seven times in 510914let.Bailey, which leaves no doubt about the desired spelling. There are other issues regarding restrictive use of capital letters and it would appear that the editor has misinterpreted Srila Prabhupada’s directive in this realm. Why should “who” in the expression “the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who….” be lower case? To show due respect, it should be capital letter! The current presentation of BGAII 8.22 illustrates this contradictory use of capital letters very well. “Him”, “His” and “He” are capitalised, but “who” is lower case. In such instances, Srila Prabhupada Himself or His secretaries would use capital letter for “Who”. Please see 670314let.Brahmananda for example. The same will apply to pronouns and possessives referring to the Spiritual Master, as “the Spiritual Master is to be honored as much as the Supreme Lord” (Gurvastaka, stanza 7.) And if, as the editor has stated, the preferred editorial policy is “down style”, then why do we find “Grandfather” in BGAII 1.8; 1.10 & 1.11, why do we find “Sankhya” in BGAII 5.4, all with capital letters?

7.18 states “My own self”.
The possessive article “My” is capital but the possessor “self” to whom the article refers, is lower case. This will be a contradiction to any person with some common sense. We don’t find such contradiction in BGAII 9.5 though, which contains the expression “My Self” as well.
In the first sentence of purport 13.3, clearly “knower” should be plural, if only from a grammatical point of view. There are two knowers: the soul and the Supersoul. The soul and the Supersoul are never one in all respects. Advaita philosophy falsely claims that the soul and the Supersoul are one. This conclusion is firmly rejected by the Vaishnava school. The Vaishnava school espouses the spiritual dialectism of simultaneous oneness and difference of the soul and Supersoul, one in quality and vastly distinct in quantity. The editor often seems to have difficulty to differentiate between the individual soul and the Supersoul. We often find such confused tinge of monism in version 2.
 And why not use plural for “knowers” in the translation as well? “…to understand this body and its knower(s) is called knowledge…” However the opposition may argue, there is something wrong here.
7.2 V1 reads: “I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and noumenal…”
7.2 V2 reads:” I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous…”
Which is correct and why? We know that generally “phenomenal” and “noumenal” are associated in philosophical (con) texts but “phenomenal” along with “numinous” together is a new creation indeed.

9.34, 11.55 and probably other verses as well: why does the English text not follow the Sanskrit order of enumeration?

10.34 Purport. Here we seem to have a deliberate departure from Srila Pabhupada intentions and spirit, a kind of a betrayal.
BGAII V1: One need not read many books on different subject matters; the ability to remember a few and quote them when necessary is also another opulence.
BGAII V2: And the ability not only to read many books on different subject matters, but to understand them and apply them when necessary is intelligence (medha), another opulence.
“In this way, if we can simply understand one book, or one sloka, the perfection is there. Lord Caitanya warned about reading too many books, although I see in America this is very popular to get volumes and volumes of books and not understand one.” 680217let.Pradyumna

Just read Srimad-Bhagavatam, our three volumes, regularly and repeatedly. It is no use reading many books, it is better to assimilate one book and that is sufficient. 680610let.Harivilasa

16.7 How are we to be believe that in the word for word, “pravrittim” and “nivrittim” have a similar meaning (two negations equal a positive affirmation), whereas the meaning is rightly opposite in the translation? (These two words are properly translated as opposites in both word for word and translation in 18.30)
We may ask why in verse 18.66 the Sanskrit word ekam has no equivalent in either English version? Not only is the emphasis in the Sanskrit text existent and self-evident, but Srila Prabhupada also gives the following translation in 741228let.MyDearSons:
” Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, chapter 18; sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo, moksayisyami ma sucah [Bg. 18.66]. So why you want to worship someone else? Krsna, Himself, recommends mam ekam, he alone.“
We may therefore infer that he following English rendition will be most appropriate and most pleasing to the Supreme Personality of Godhead as suggested by His representative, Srila Prabhupada:
” Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me alone. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”
Finally we have practical experience that the General Index of V 2 needs substantial improvement and so does Vedabase to some extend.

As far as the great Caitanya Caritamrta by Krishna Das Kaviraja Goswami is concerned, translated and commented upon by Srila Prabhupada, it would appear that the cautious and wisest approach would be to stick with version one. (V1)
CCM 15.106, purport, original version says:
“…The name Krishna is the personification of sound perfectly transcendental and eternally liberated from material contamination…”
This is a passage of perfect eloquence!
Unfortunately it has been changed it to:
“That name is Krishna personified in sound and is therefore perfectly transcendental and eternally liberated from material contamination.”
According to the logic of the rice cooking where one need only examine one grain of rice to test the cooking’s advancement, we may conclude that the better version will be version one.

In conclusion and for the sake of a united next wave of assault on the forces of Maya Devi in this material world, I appeal herewith to the good sense and faithfulness of all followers of Srila Prabhupada in all countries of the world, who are still unduly and overly attached to BGAII V1, to archive BGAII V1 and progressively switch now to BGAII V2. By the Lord’s inconceivable arrangement BGAII is a work in progress and BGAII V 2 is undoubtedly the best rendition we have at this point of time.
“The yogi who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. One who sticks to a particular point and does not make further progress is called by that particular name: karma-yogi, jnana-yogi or dhyana-yogi, raja-yogi, hatha-yogi, etc. If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all other yogas. Therefore, to become Krishna conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as, when we speak of Himalayan, we refer to the world’s highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination.” BGAII 6.47, purport.
“Prabhupadanugas of all countries, please unite under the one banner of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Second Edition Revised and Enlarged!”
(My own appeal)
“In this present day, people are very much eager to have one scripture, one God, one religion, and one occupation. Therefore, ekam shastram devaki-putra-gitam: let there be one scripture only, one common scripture for the whole world-Bhagavad-Gita. Eko devo devaki-putra eva: let there be one God for the whole world – Sri Krishna. Eko mantras tasya namani: and one hymn, one mantra, one prayer—the chanting of His name:
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Karmapy ekam tasya devasya seva: and let there be one work only—the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
(Final words of introduction, BGAII.)
All glories to Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtana Movement! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment