Why is the edited BBT Gita different from Prabhupada’s unedited original Gita?

by Chaitanya Charan dasApril 22, 2014

Answer Podcast

This is a very old and unnecessary controversy, all the points of which have been thoroughly dealt with on the site bbtedit.com

Specifically for the Gita changes, these three links painstakingly explain the hundreds of editing changes done and respond to the critic’s points.
The basic problem is that the critic assumes the unedited book to be a gospel truth, but that unedited first print was based on the manuscript of Srla Prabhupada and that print had some errors.
So the edited book differs from the unedited book not because it distorts Prabhupada’s message but because it returns to that  message as it was originally given in his manuscript.
Pl see the example below.
2.8: Consult Krsna through the bona fide representative
PUBLISHED EDITIONS ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT
[Purport (last line of paragraph 4)]…they can achieve real happiness only if they consult Krsna, or the Bhagavad-gita andSrimad-Bhagavatam—which constitute the science of Krsna—or through the bona fide representative of Krsna, the man in Krsna consciousness. . . . they can achieve real happiness if they prefee to consult Krsna or the Bhaga vat Geeta or Srimad Bhagwatam which are science of Krsna from the bonafide representative of Krsna or the man in Krsna consciousness.
COMMENT
BY A CRITIC:It’s only one word changed, but what a difference! In Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita we can understand Krsna by reading the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, after all the books are not different from Krsna!! But Jayadvaita has adjusted everything for us…[The critic ends here.]
COMMENT
BY JAYADVAITA SWAMI:The critic is right: That one word does make a difference.

In Srila Prabhupada’s original manuscript, one is advised to consult Krsna or the scripturesfrom Krsna’s representative—that is, through him, or with his help. As Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport to Chapter One, text 1, “one should read Bhagavad-gita very scrutinizingly with the help of a person who is a devotee of Sri Krsna. . . “

In the First Edition one is advised to consult Krsna and the scriptures or Krsna’s representative—an either/or proposition.

I leave it to you decide which advice better matches Srila Prabhupada’s original manuscript and better gets across his intended meaning.

 

About The Author
Chaitanya Charan das
2 Comments
  • K. Jayadev Das
    April 22, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Making changes is not the issue, but it should have been approved by the Acharya Srila Prabhupada. Now how does one know whether the changes are authorized? Leaving the decision to the readers is not acceptable, because we are not pure devotees.

    The book should have been left “As it is” because even without those so called ‘corrections’ the potency of a pure devotee Srila Prabhupada’s words will never be diminished and there is no doubts that the readers’ heart will be cleansed in spite of the absence so called corrections.

    If at all the changes were made, it should NOT have been marketed in the original name used by Srila Prabhupada, instead it should have been sold with Bhagavad Gita with the devotee who made the changes as the author.

    Between the first release of the MacMillan edition and the year 1977 in which Srila Prabhupada disappeared there would have been many reprint of Bhagavad Gita As it is, why these changes were not incorporated at those times?

    Where is the documentary evidence that Srila Prabhupada wanted those changes made to his Bhagavad Gita As it is?

    Now justifying the changes is like argument between lawyers where the more powerful in arguing wins no matter what the truth is.

    We don’t need sophisticated flowery language nor the best use of the English language. For us the words come out from a pure devotee is enough that will do everything required spiritually. Please leave us with the original manuscript, we don’t want the book written in your best Language.

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