REGARDING BHAGAVAD-GITA AS IT IS, CURRENT VERSION, also called VERSION NUMBER TWO (V2)
CHAPTER THREE, TEXT SEVENTEEN is incorrect. Absolutely no capital for “self”. This is so glaringly evident from the purport that no one can see it.
“But for one who takes pleasure in the Self, whose human life is one of self-realization, and who is satisfied in the Self only, fully satiated—for him there is no duty.
Should be AND WAS:
But for one who takes pleasure in the self, whose human life is one of self-realization, and who is satisfied in the self only, fully satiated—for him there is no duty.
Even if the Sanskrit word “atma” were meant to refer to the Supreme Self in the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is 3.17 context , the nomenclature “Self” would still represent a dishonest and misleading English presentation. And if that were the case against all odds, why not Self-realization with a capital “S” as well. Whether I consult the Webster, Collins or MacBook dictionary, I can not find one single reference to a Supreme Being under the entry “self”. I therefore suggest herewith that once and for all, we abandon the word “Self” as designation for the Supreme Self, the Super-self or Supersoul and adopt a more appropriate and designative term such as the ones I have just mentioned. The word “self” on its own, always refers to the individual self. Whence no need for a capital letter.
The Original Transcript (OT) gives # 1 “self”, # 2 “Self”and “self-realization”.
But the OT formulation #2 with capital “S” for “self” is different from what it is in BGAII (V2) 3.17. The OT reads “in the matter of Self only”. That is a somewhat different thing.
As it is formulated now in BGAII (V 2) 3.17 , small letter would have to apply in both cases.
In recapitulation, my previous charges that current edition of Srila Prabhupada’s glorious edition of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is is tinged with monism will unfortunately stand. The editors are unable to distinguish between the individual soul and the Supersoul. That is monism in action par excellence, the false philosophy diametrically opposed to Vaishnavism, that the individual soul is equal in all respects to the Supreme Soul. That means that we are all God, Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This sophism may sound flattering and we may therefore like to hear it. This philosophy is reflected in the general madness and chaos of the material world of innumerable competing Gods. No true Acarya has ever accepted this philosophy. Neither will it ever be accepted, because it is an illusion. It is not real. It belongs to the realms of fantasy and / or intoxication. Every living entity is truly a minuscule sample of the Supreme Self and therefore by studying oneself, one is able to make pretty accurate inferences about the nature of the Supreme Self.
Bhagavad-Gita As It Is 15.07 (But for a coma, V1 & V2 coincide):
mama—My; eva—certainly; amshah—fragmental particle; jiva-loke—in the world of conditional life; jiva-bhütah—the conditioned living entity; sanätanah—eternal; manah—with the mind; shashthäni—the six; indriyäni—senses; prakriti—in material nature; sthäni—situated; karshati—is struggling hard.
The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.
Unfortunately again, we may therefore say, that the current presentation of Srila Prabhupada’s glorious Bhagavad-Gita As It Is It (V2) is NOT 100% pure devotional service, as Srila Prabhupada had intended it to be. We may further say that it is at times misleading, confusing, time and energy-wasting and on a tangent. These charges have got absolutely nothing to do with Srila Prabhupada Himself, the initiator of the translation of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Whose integrity, competence, purity, compassion and greatness are above board at all times. Neither does the author of this article, a strict and committed follower of His Divine Grace for many decades and member of and worker within His ISKCON society, question in the least any of the enumerated qualities and all others wonderful and divine qualities and achievements of His Divine Grace. From Srila Prabhupada’s 6000 plus letters, we gather that Srila Prabhupada was extremely liberal towards His editors with His Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. Srila Prabhupada is always liberal in all respects. He is a perfectly learned brahmana, a perfect Vaishnava and a Vaikuntha man.
To the great credit of version one of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is (V1), we may further add that this abominable monistic interpretation of BGAII (V2) 3.17 is conspicuous by its absence in the first edition. Please see pictures below.
Someone may argue: ” Why make such a sweeping generalisation from one single example?” The reply will have to be:” I am confident that many other passages will need attention as well”. But what a misrepresentation and betrayal of Srila Prabhupada this represents! What a disgrace! What a debacle! Hare Krishna.
Let us take BGAII 15.7 for example:
“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.”
Even an elementary grammar student will immediately point out the missing coma between “eternal” and “fragmental”, which BTW again was present in BGAII V1. However one of the respected editors has recently assured me “…if you want “eternal” to modify the unified phrase “fragmental parts”, then the comma shouldn’t be there”. My first observation is that “fragmental parts” is not really a phrase, even less a unified phrase. A phrase consists generally of a subject and a predicate. “Fragmental parts” would then rather have to be called a composite word to satisfy the editor’s speculative exigences. But in its current presentation, this special and hidden intention of the editor is not communicated in any way to the educated readers, who will legitimately ask a million more times were is the coma, where is the coma, where is the coma, thus stealing their attention away from their real business. Mr. Editor, why not be up front with your intentions and make it “fragmental-parts”, with a hyphen? Then everyone will understand your purpose and questions will stop. This is the very defect of current presentation of BGAII (V2) 15.7, the heart of the problem! My humble suggestion will be: Mr Editor, please don’t try to be over-intelligent. It will be best for everyone if you just leave BGAII version one 15.7 AS IT IS! Please leave it alone!
The above considerations may be shattering for some of us. But how can we fight impersonalism, voidism and atheism, as per the second pranam mantra to Srila Prabhupada
namaste sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
“Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvati Gosvami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanya and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism”,
if our foundations are not ironclad. How can we successfully fight this battle, if our understanding of the Krishna conscious philosophy is misconceived, vague or obscured. Instead of aiming at a victory, we are deliberately choosing to become loosers. These are trying times indeed .
It will be much, much better to muster the courage now to settle these matters very nicely and practice every day, rather than being defeated later on the battlefield for lack of proper armour for defence and lack of adequate armament for the offensive. I am speaking figuratively, of course. It will be much, much better to make necessary mental adjustments now, rather than allowing ourselves to be dictated by attachment to some philosophical fallacies in the realm of Krishna consciousness.
Srila Prabhupada clearly states that only the rascal will neglect to prepare for the show. Neither will the director of the show give him a part to play. The director will easily identify the fake or weak actor. So will Maya devi dasi, a powerful and infallible agent of Lord Krishna! Only Krishna bhakta can overcome this divine energy.
BGAII 7.14: “This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.”
In conclusion and notwithstanding the above remarks, Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-Gita As It Is is still the best in the world, among all the other 650 or so presentations of this amazing opus! Let there be no misunderstandings on this point. There is no better Bhagavad-Gita in existence than Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. Phalena paricyate. We judge by the results. Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-Gita As It Is has converted tens and hundreds of thousands of men and women to Vaishnavism all over the world, a phenomenon never seen before. Naturally we should keep on distributing this amazing and transcendental book in increasing numbers and trust that Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will set everything right in due course of time. He has got His plan. We do not know yet what His plan is, but we should be firmly convinced that He has got His plan and that it will come to pass. Om Tat Sat.
Sri Varaha Deva Dvadasi 2018
Sri Nityananda Rama Trayodasi 2018. Nityananda, Nityananda, Nityananda Rama!!!