Just like ISKCON rejected the 1972 Macmillan edition of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is for their own reasons, we similarly reject ISKCON’s present official version of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, fabricated by Jayadvaita Swami in the factory of his creative and sometimes crooked editor’s mind, as still representing, strictly speaking, a betrayal and misrepresentation of its author’s, Srila Prabhupada’s, true intentions. That does not mean however that we should stop using or distributing either version to the general public, as we are still giving the best we have. Neither is blind faith study recommended at any stage. And whatever has been achieved over the last fifty years, has been achieved on the basis of both versions. But we can do more and better. As BG 5.26 itself states, it is a matter of constantly endeavoring for improvements: “Those who are freed from all material desires and anger, who are self-realized and constantly endeavoring for such perfection are assured of their liberation in the Supreme in the very near future.”
Not only do we reject Bhagavad-gita As It Is NOT by Jayadvaita, but an attempt is made to propose a positive alternative. It is not that difficult and it is taking shape here:
Please find below a non-exhaustive list of a few good reasons for such leaning:
When your intelligence (in Krishna consciousness) will surpass the dense forest of illusion, at that time you shall become callous to all that has been heard and all that is to be heard.
There are many good examples in the lives of great devotees of the Lord who became callous to the rituals of the Vedas simply by devotional service to the Lord. When a person factually understands Krsna and one’s relationship with Krsna, naturally one becomes completely callous to the rituals of fruitive activities. It is said that an experienced Brahmin becomes callous to the rituals of fruitive activities. Sri Madhavendra Puri, a great devotee and Acharya in the line of the devotees says:
sandhya-vandana bhadram astu bhavato bhoh snana tubhyam namo
bho deva pitarash ca tarpana-vidhau nadham ksamah ksamyatam
yatra kvapi nisadya yadava-kulottamsasya kamsa-dvishah
smaram smaram agham harami tad alam manye kim anyena me
“O my prayers three times a day, all glories to you! O bathing, I offer my obeisances unto you! O demigods, O forefathers, please excuse me for my inability to offer you my respects! At any place where I may sit, I am now able to remember the great descendant of the Yadu dynasty, Krsna, the enemy of Kamsa and thus I can get myself freed from all sinful bondage. I think this is sufficient for me.”
The Vedic rites and rituals are imperative for the beginner in human life, comprehending all kinds of prayer three times a day, taking bath early in the morning, offering respects to the forefathers, etc. But when one is fully in Krsna consciousness and is engaged in His transcendental loving service, one becomes callous to all these regulative principles because he has already reached the perfection of life. If one can reach the platform of understanding and serving the Supreme Lord Krsna, he no longer has any obligation to execute different types of penances and sacrifices recommended in the revealed scriptures. And correlatively, if one has not understood that the purpose of the Vedas is to reach Krsna and simply engages in the rituals, etc., then he is uselessly wasting time in such engagements. Such persons in Krishna consciouness transcend the limit of shabda-brahma, ot the range of the Vedas and Upanishads.
The original transcript can be found here:https:
In this verse 2.52 of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, previous editors have systematically cut out the word “callous” not less than five times and we protest strongly against such unauthorised changes, which represent a betrayal of Srila Prabhupada, the original author. This is illegal! If Srila Prabhupada takes the trouble to use five times the same word “callous” in the same verse and purport, as is the case here, and the editors remove the same word five times, then it is an open and shut case. Srila Prabhupada is right and the editors are wrong. This is flagrant cheating. They cheat Srila Prabhupada. They cheat the world and they cheat themselves. Srila Prabhupada’s version, as above, ought to be restored.
In this verse 2.52, we sense Srila Prabhupada’s nuanced and carefully considered style of expression. In this verse, we sense the majesty and greatness of Srila Prabhupada literary style. The following quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson applies:” I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita. It was the first of books. It was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate pondered and thus disposed of the same questions that exercise us.” Hare Krishna.
Another typical instance of cheating and falsification is the introduction of “self” with a capital letter in BG 3.17, 6.20-23, 6.25, 6.26 in the current edition, BGAII V2. This is monism or advaita-vada, a non-Vaishnava philosophy. The self and the Superself are equal in quality- and even that statement is not one hundred percent true- and the self and the Superself are vastly different in quantity. The Superself is infinite and the individual self is infinitesimal. Therefore the convention is that the ordinary living entity’s “self” is spelled with a small “s”. Please beware, we are being confused and misled by the second editor. The suggested rendition for BG 3.17 is: “One who is, however, taking pleasure in the self on account of his self-realization of human life and is satisfied in the matter of the self only, fully satiated, for him, there is no duty.” The editor goes as far as falsifying the word for word rendition to justify his actions. The Macmillan edition did not have these flaws. The current BGAII version 2 that was supposed to be more advanced is actually setting us back in these respects. In BG OT 4.5, purport, we note Srila Prabhupada’s appropriate use of “Self” with a capital letter in “And because the Lord is identical with His body and Self…” because in this context it refers to the Superself, Krishna. But for the ordinary living entity “self’ in lower case ought to be used.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is is not just some kind of a powerful shout about of well articulated slogans in the ether. It is a lot more than that. It is a philosophical treatise of the highest order, therefore, every detail originally inserted by the author is important and ought to be handled and respected as such. In particular Srila Prabhupada’s parentheses ought to be taken into consideration and reprinted as is the case above and for verses 3.1 and 3.13.
Some of Srila Prabhupada’s well placed key-words in the text, such as engineer, logician (2.27), time serving mentality (7.16 p.), imaginative brain (7.15), transcendental performances (7.19p) and subversive (6.10) have unceremoniously been censored for no legitimate reason. Another typical Prabhupada expression that the editors have almost systematically expunged is “persons with a poor fund of knowledge.” In BG 3.29 the expression can still be found in the word for word: akritsna-vidah – persons with a poor fund of knowledge. But it has been dropped from the verse.
Other words have simply been added without authority:
The word “bestial” of Bg 6.40, purport, cannot be found anywhere in the original transcript (OT). It is an editor’s speculation and unauthorised addition. Please kick it out.
In Bg 4.1 the word “son” is suppressed twice. This is an expression of the anti-family sentiments and “callous” policies of ISKCON’s immature renunciates leaders (Sannyasis). Here is what Srila Prabhupada intended: “The Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, said: I instructed this imperishable science of the relationship with the Supreme to the sun-god of the name Vivasvan and Vivasvan instructed the same to his son Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in his turn instructed the same to his son Iksvaku.” Again, this ought to be corrected ASAP.
In BG 7.15, purport, both versions decline to credit the ashram bhavam asrita class of an “imaginative brain”, as Srila Prabhupada does in the OT. Another misrepresentation of Srila Prabhupada! In OT 7.19 there is no mention of death (after many, many births ) and here again Jayadvaita seems to falsify the word for word to suit his purposes. Plain cheating!
Srila Prabhupada always uses “Brahmin” not “Brahmana.” “Brahmin” sounds much better because of the presence of two different vowels “a” and “i” and is accepted by the dictionary as a variant spelling of “Brahman”. No problem there. Because these words and expressions are Srila Prabhupada’s very own, by making such unauthorized alterations, we are actually pushing Prabhupada out of His own rendition of Bhagavad-gita. This is a form of offensive “nirvisesa-vada” or impersonalism and must be avoided at all costs. We must be able to accept and present to the world Srila Prabhupada in full, as He is.
Moreover, in the Original Transcript (OT), Srila Prabhupada repeats the expression “Krishna Consciousness” over and over again. But in many cases, such as 2.52, 2.53, 2.68, 3.31, 4.10, 4.15, 4.22, 4.23, 4.41, 5.7 (2X), 5.11, 5,12 (2X), 5.18, 5.29 (2X), 6.10, 6.28, 6.29 (2X), 7.1, 7.30 and 3.18 purport, to give a few only, the editors have simply and shamelessly suppressed this wonderful expression. Krishna consciousness represents, in fact, the object of our samadhi, the basis of our lives, the very stuff everyone of us is made from, and not least the name of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada has gloriously created on the 13th of July 1996, in New York City. Why is this so ??? This is both an affront to Srila Prabhupada and a great disservice to all those souls who are seriously interested in self-realization. I had previously noticed this anomaly and on March 25, 2018, had alreday written the article titled KRISHNA MISSING. ONE MILLION DOLLARS REWARD, which can be seen by scrolling down the home page. In OT 5.29 the expression “the person in Krishna consciousness” was obliterated with one single penstroke. I wonder if Krishna’s body bled on the occasion, as in the story. It is done so manifestly that one can sense some envy here, envy of Krishna and envy of His bona fide representative, Srila Prabhupada.
Krishna consciousness is all we have and Krishna consciousness is all we are about. Srila Prabhupada wants to increase our Krishna consciousness and by removing the expression “Krishna consciousness” innumerable times, the editors automatically decrease the readers’ Krishna consciousness. This is a deliberate and impudent affront to Srila Prabhupada – at best a foolish affront – and a great disservice to all fallen souls. This is all about sense gratification and we may challenge the editors and all those who support them and ask them whose senses are they trying to please by making such omnipresent, whimsical and fake alterations? Are they trying to please the public’s senses? Are they trying to please their own senses? We know that neither Srila Prabhupada, nor Krishna will be pleased by such fake activities.
On the positive side one cannot but admire how perfectly Jayadvaita Swami has expressed verse 3.34: “There are principles to regulate attachment and aversion pertaining to the senses and their objects. One should not come under the control of such attachment and aversion, because they are stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization.”
MISLEADING DISTORTIONS AND FALSE STATEMENTS.
BGAII, current version 2, 4.5 p., “the best Vedic scholars do NOT understand Krishna” is a false statement, according to Srila Prabhupada, Who writes in OT :” Such eternal, blissful, all knowledge forms of the Lord are usually understood by the best Vedic scholars, but they are always manifest to pure, unalloyed devotees.” The correct statement is found in the Macmillan edition. The same may apply to BG 1.43. and about who is sent to hell. And there is the false and intellectually twisted rendition of “nivrittim” in word for word of BGAII V2 16.7.
In BG 6.2 Jayadvaita trumpets that one can NEVER, NEVER, NEVER become a yogi. Hayagriva does not do it. Another setback! What a sanctimonious attitude and statement! Kick it out. Srila Prabhupada with much more humility simply says:” For without giving up the desire for sense gratification, no one becomes a yogi”
And then there is sexism. At least on a dozen of occasions, Srila Prabhupada’s use of “person” has been replaced with the word “man.” Granted Srila Prabhupada uses “man” quite a bit, that is the judgement of the Acharya. Our position is to respect it. My suggestion is that as soon as the editors replace Srila Prabhupada’s “person” with “man”, it falls under the heading of sexism. The latest find is in BGAII 7.26, purport: OT’s “millions and millions of people” becomes in both versions “millions and millions of men.” That’s sexist millions and millions of times! Don’t you think we ought to revert to Srila Prabhupada’s wisdom? From practical experience we find that Srila Prabhupada gave equal rights to men and women not only to join His movement but to stay comfortably and practice self-realization.
At last a funny anecdote to relax the atmosphere.
In purport of OT 6.17, the transcriber typed : Thakur Haridas would not even accept prasadam, and would not even sleep for a moment without finishing his daily routine work of chanting with his beads three hundred thousand rounds.” Fortunately someone who was a bit of a lesser chantoholic crossed out “rounds” and added in hand writing the correct “names.” Param vijayate Sri Krishna sankirtanam !
In the two last sentences of 7.28 purport two important half sentences (and the greatest condition of sinful activity. Forgetfullness of one’s constitutional position is the greatest violation of law) have been dropped, which cheapens things very much. OT7.28 “The impersonalists do not know that to forget one’s constitutional position as subordinate to the Supreme Lord is the greatest violation of God’s law and the greatest condition of sinful activity. Forgetfullness of one’s constitutional position is the greatest violation of law and unless one is reinstated in his own constitutional position, it is not possible to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead or fully engage in His ranscendental loving service with determination.”
BGAII 8.11 is misrepresented in both versions. Here is Srila Prabhupada’s OT: “Learned persons who utter Omkara and great sages in the renounced order enter into Brahman. Desiring such perfection of life, one practices the life of celibacy. I shall explain to you this process as the means for attaining salvation.”
The mood of the current edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is lacks deference and consistency. It lack respect because many capital letters used by Srila Prabhupada in the original transcript have been banned. Under the guise of using Sanskrit words, the editor avoids capitals. For example, Srila Prabhupada personally always capitalizes “Yajna” and the pronoun”who” when it refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The same applies to the word “Acharya”, or teacher.
It lacks consistency because Jayadvaita Svami made it a point to introduced a capital letter for “self” in 3.17. Why then is there no capital for “self” in 4.41 and elsewhere? We are talking about the same individual self. This again really looks like a cheap, farcical expedient on his part. Or is it that his secret and mischievous purpose and mission is the play with the readers’ mind and confuse and mislead them? This is a dangerous game indeed.
Concisely and conclusively, Bhagavad-gita As It Is Not by Jayadvaita Swami is NOT a first class presentation to Srila Prabhupada, who is very fond of first class work. We are being manipulated by an an imperfect Sannyasi. To be appointed as the custodian of Srila Prabhupada’s literary legacy, does not grant one the right to alter whimsically the transcendental message. Doing so represents a breach of trust and is an indictable offense.
It is essential that both the message and the style of writing it is conveyed in appeals to the widest possible audience, and because out of millions and billions, Srila Prabhupada was especially deputed by Sri Krishna to deliver His message, we postulate that the most universally appealing style of writing for this purpose will be Srila Prabhupada’s own. Srila Prabupada is a true mover and shaker and what has Jayadvaita Swami accomplished in comparison? Therefore we dont care for Jayadvaita’s language. We care for Srila Prabhupada’s language. Here is a telling example. In BGAII 8.9, purport, Srila Prabhupada writes “This is very troublesome job.” But Jayadvaita with his offensive mentality felt the need to” better” the expression to “That is very difficult.” In this way, Jayadvaita Swami has the audacity to usupt Srila Prabhupada position! Down with him and his Bhagavad-gita As It Is NOT! Srila Prabhupada is a most towering Acharya or teacher in the history of the world. So let us therefore stick to Him. Let us therefore stick to the Prabhupada mood and be successful in our attemps. Om tat sat.