Through the treacherous intervention of His editors, both version 1 (V1) AND version 2 (V2) of Srila Prabhupada’s exalted Bhagavad-Gita As It Is (BGAII) have become sexist! Srila Prabhupada Himself however, being fully Krishna conscious, is NOT sexist. As always, Srila Prabhupada is fully situated in transcendence. But due to His editors’ betrayal, He sometimes and unjustly becomes the subject of criticism in this respect. I clearly remember an instance on Book Distribution Sankirtan, where a lady accused Srila Prabhupada of sexism. I was both surprised and disappointed for such an unfair accusation. But now I begin to understand the dynamics at play.
Here is the evidence:
Srila Prabhupada’s own typing of the Original Transcript (OT) of Bhagavad-gita As It Is 4.23 reads:
“Work done in full Krishna consciousness by a person who is unattached to the modes of material nature, fully situated in transcendental knowledge, merges entirely into transcendence.”
Let me fist of all say that, to our great loss, there are many passages in the OT that have been plainly massacred by stupid, unqualified and petty editors. “Stupid” is a strong word, yes. But the last word of Original Transcript page 136 is a good example. It has been crossed out to the point that it has as become illegible. There are many more such examples. I would call such action stupid at the best and malevolently treacherous at the worst. Offensive to Srila Prabhupada’s intelligence in any case. And radical offensiveness demands more radical countermeasure, whence “stupid.” If any of you, my dear readers, manage to decipher this word please report your finding at “email@example.com.” That shall represent a valuable and highly appreciated contribution. Thank you very much!
The punctuation is difficult to decipher in this passage, as it has been scribbled upon. The expression “by a person” has clearly been crossed out. An editor’s hand written attempt to restore “by a person” after “work done” is clearly visible on the left hand side. The end result in both versions one and two is however “man.” This is sexism at its best and a gross and offensive misrepresentation of both Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Srila Prabhupada Himself, the person . Thank you very much Mr. Editor(s)! And please let us know what happens to a lady advanced in Krishna consciousness and the work she is performing. What could happen to her anyway? She is already a non entity as per this verse BGAII 4.23 V1 and V2. A non-entity remains a non-entity, remains a non-entity, remains a non-entity, is it not!
Additionally, one may not only question, but thoroughly condemn all unnecessary and whimsical changes introduced to this verse BGAII 4.23. Srila Prabhupada’s rendition is just fine. It should therefore be left alone. Let the ignorant exercise some circumspection and show some respect to the extremely and superlatively learned and qualified! It is symptomatic that the most important element of the verse 4.23 of Srila Prabhupada’s exalted Bhagavad-gita As It Is i.e. “in full Krishna consciousness” has been dropped in version 1 (V1) and version 2 (V2). It would seem that the ultimate goal of the editor (s) is not “full Krishna consciousness.” If the editors’ ultimate goal is not “full Krishna consciousness”, then what is? And why mislead and waste the time of the whole world in this manner? Please beware the word is no fool and will fight back! The Supersoul is present in the heart of all living entities, including hogs and dogs. That does however not mean that Vishnu becomes hoggish or doggish. Similarly Srila Prabhupada, although a very great personality, is very kind and makes Himself available to us. Let us never forget His exalted position. And let us remember the position of Guru, especially the position of Guru of the caliber of Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of ISKCON, the institutor of the BBT, the Founder of BTG in 1944 and finally translator and commentator of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad Bhagavatam and Caitanya Caritamrita. Here is the quote from 730505SB.LA:
“Then is spiritual master as good as God? The next line is, kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya. A spiritual master is not God. He is… The distinction is sevya-bhagavaan. Sevaka-bhagavaan. Sevya means one who is worshiped, and sevaka means one who is worshiper. The spiritual master is God and Krishna is God, but Krishna is worshipable God and spiritual master is worshiper God. He’s God, but he’s worshiper God. That is explained.” (From this perspective, it will be easy to understand the Christian statement that Christ is God.”
On Youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NXRHNXd2_w&t=172s., Her Grace Jahnavi Jivana Devi Dasi so gracefully, uniquely and intelligently relates a conversation between Srila Prabhupada disciple, HH Bhakti Bringa Govinda Swami Maharaja (BBGS) and Srila Prabhupada God-brother, HH Ankincana Krishna Das Babaji Maharaj (AKBM), who gives also a nice estimate of Srila Prabhupada’s exalted position.
AKBM: I would like to tell you something.
BBGS: What is that?
AKBM: I am an old man. I have had a lot of experience in this world. From my experience I can honestly tell you there has never been a greater Acarya than your spiritual master.
BBGS: When he said that I became stunned, because he was a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Maharaja. Then he looked up and said:” There has never been an Acarya in history who performed miracles like your spiritual master.”
Then he posed and looked at me. He said:” Do you know why?” I was stunned. I could not say anything. He said:” Because in history there was never a greater servant of Sri Krishna’s Holy Name than your spiritual master. Because your spiritual master had so much absolute understanding of Sri Krishna’s Holy Name and so much absolute faith in Krishna’s Holy Name that he personally carried Sri Krishna’s Holy Name throughout the length and breadth of the world. Therefore he is the greatest Acarya who has ever existed.
BGAII V1 & V2, 4.23 coincide and unfortunately read as follows :
“The work of a man who is unattached to the modes of material nature and who is fully situated in transcendental knowledge merges entirely into transcendence.”
We have here on display, the undue pride of being covered by a male human body, whereas to be covered by any type of material body is an embarrassment for the soul, the soul proper being spiritually constituted. The pure existence of the soul is fully independent from any material covering and simultaneously blissful, eternal and full of knowledge or in Sanskrit language respectively: ananda, sat and cit. There is however no sexual activity in the spirit soul, whereas sex is considered the highest bliss in the conditioned stage. The conditioned soul is situated in a state of rebellion against and competition with God. Its condition is characterised by suffering, impermanence and ignorance. The intelligent and informed person will therefore ask the questions: “Where is the interest in staying in the prison house of the material world, covered by a material body? Why not adopt the pre-fabricated and authorised path of escape from this material world, Krishna consciousness as presented by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada?”
Besides that Srila Prabhupada clearly states that there is only one purusha, enjoyer, and that is Krishna. All others are prakriti or female, to be enjoyed by The Adi Purusha, Krishna.
The same reasoning would have to apply to Bhagavad-gita As It Is 4.18. The Original Transcript (OT) by Srila Prabhupada Himself, with minor adjustments, reads:
“One who sees inaction in action and action in inaction is intelligent in the human society and he is in a transcendental position although engaged in all sorts of activities.”
Whereas the sexist editor (s) want (s) us to believe that:
“One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities.”
There is here clearly at work on the part of the editor(s), a policy of embarrassing and perpetuating prejudice against women. No need to say, this must be rectified at all costs back to Srila Prabhupada’s original, pure and non-discriminatory Bhagavad-gita As It Is message. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
The Original Transcript (OT) can be found here: http://bookchanges.com/bhagavad-gita-as-it-is-manuscript/.
As per His Grace Sriman Dravida Prabhu’s authoritative statements, we assume and accept that Srila Prabhupada personally typed the first five chapters of the Original Transcript (OT) of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, that chapters 6 to 11 are a transcription of Srila Prabhupada’s lost tape dictation and that chapters 12 to 18 are a one time edited version of Srila Prabhupada’s words.
In other simple words, for the first 5 chapters of Original Transcription (OT) of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, we are right with Srila Prabhupada. Chapter 6 to 11 we are separated from Srila Prabhupada by one brain. That’s one brain to many. And assuming that chapters 12 to 18 went through the same process of dictation and transcription we are here two brains away from Srila Prabhupada. That’s two brains too many!
This is, by Lord Krsna superior arrangement, the closest we get to Srila Prabhupada’s original rendition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
PS Another instance of sexism on the part of the editors.
BGAII OT 3.18:
A self realized person (in Krsna consciousness) has no purpose for acting the prescribed duties nor has he any discrepancy for not acting such work. Neither he has any purpose for taking shelter of any other living being.
A self-realized Krsna conscious man has no more any obligation to any prescribed duties (unreadable 3.8, whether plural or singular cannot be seen positively, but because of the length, we may assume plural) save and except the activities in terms of Krsna consciousness. Such Krsna consciousness is not inactivity also as it will explained in the following verses. A Krsna conscious man has nothing to do with any person-man or demigod-for taking their shelter. Whatever does he do in terms of Krsna consciousness is sufficient in the matter of discharging his obligation.
BGAII V2. 3.18
A self-realized man has no purpose to fulfill in the discharge of his prescribed duties, nor has he any reason not to perform such work. Nor has he any need to depend on any other living being.
A self-realized man is no longer obliged to perform any prescribed duty, save and except activities in Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness is not inactivity either, as will be explained in the following verses. A Krishna conscious man does not take shelter of any person—man or demigod. Whatever he does in Krishna consciousness is sufficient in the discharge of his obligation.