BBT Reprint Caitanya-caritamrta — Without knowing what was changed!
Although it was decided by the BBT to reprint Srila Prabhupada’s original Caitanya-caritamrta Jayadvaita Swami and Dravida, the devotees who changed the books, have managed to convince the BBT trustees to reverse their decision and print their changed edition instead. However the BBT has no idea at all what changes have been made in the books!!!
So many bad decisions have been made in ISKCON and the BBT simply because devotees are afraid to think. They feel they have to surrender to the gurus, the sannyasis and simply blindly accept what they say. But we should not blindly accept. We have to very carefully consider the proposals by refering to the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and by using the intelligence that Krishna has given us.
As far as book changes are concerned, Srila Prabhupada read his books on a daily basis and did not ask anyone to change them. Jayadvaita Swami was there, if Prabhupada wanted JAS to change the books he would have asked. But he did not ask. He did not want any of his books changed.
We have a practical example with the Caitanya-caritamrta. I have heard from a devotee working in the BBT at the time Ramesvara (then the BBT manager) considered many of the paintings were not finished and he wanted to make so many changes in the text also. But Prabhupada forbade him from making any changes at all. Ramesvara came to Srila Prabhupada many times requesting that he be allowed to make changes and Prabhupada always forbade him. Ultimately Prabhupada refered to him as a demon for wanting to make so many changes. So we know it for sure, Prabhupada forbade Ramesvara from making any changes whatsoever to the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. He was forbidden from even finishing paintings or adding new paintings.
The following is a letter presented to the recent BBT meeting requesting them to reprint Srila Prabhupada’s original Sri Caitanya-caritamrta,
IF YOU CHANGE THE AUTHORITY IS LOST
Dear BBT Trustees
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
CHANGE, CHANGE, CHANGE
“As soon as you interpret or change the scripture, the scripture looses its authority. Then another man will come and interpret things in his own way. Another will come and then another and in this way the original purport of the scripture is lost.” (Srila Prabhupada – Quest for Enlightenment – 6)
I am very surprised that you have reversed your decision to print Srila Prabhupada’s original Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and now plan to print the edition with thousands of changes by Dravida.
Surely by now you realize that a huge percentage of your market are not interested in Prabhupada’s books containing thousands of unknown, unauthorized changes.
THE AUTHORITY OF PRABHUPADA’S BOOKS
We are in the very fortunate position of having the actual books written by Srila Prabhupada, the books he approved as being authorized, the books Prabhupada gave his classes from daily and also read personally on a daily basis. No other spiritual group can match this degree of authority. But if the BBT makes thousands of unknown changes and publish the changed books there is no longer any authority whatsoever.
WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN CHANGED
I spoke with Jayadvaita Swami in New York and he agreed that he has no idea whatsoever what Dravida changed in Srila Prabhuapda’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. He says he knows the “categories” of the changes, but is unaware of the actual changes.
There is no record of what was changed. Dravida simply sat down at New Goverdhana Farm in Australia and changed what he felt needed changing. His changes were not checked by anyone, nor authorized by anyone. He was free to change anything at all that he wanted to.
And he has revealed that his ajenda, at least in part, was to bring Prabhupada’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta more in line with the current understanding of Guru in ISKCON.
SATISFYING PRABHUPADA AND ALL THE BBT CUSTOMERS
Jayadvaita Swami admitted if the BBT simply printed the books authorized by Srila Prabhupada ALL of the BBT customers would be happy. If you print Prabhupada’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, all the BBT customers will be very satisfied. The only people in the world–as far as I am aware–who are interested in reading changed books are the book changers themselves. Only 2 people. JAS and Dravida. Even Dravida says he prefers reading Prabhupada’s original Bhagavad-gita!
JAS admitted if the BBT prints the original Cc. thousands of extra copies will be sold.
The only reason JAS put forward for not printing Prabhupada’s original books is that he “likes” the changed books. But that is bizarre because he has no idea what Dravida has changed in the Cc. He does not know any of the details.
THE AMERICAN DISEASE
Change, Srila Prabhupada, lamented many times, is the American disease. Change, change, and more change….
“Why do you want to change the wheels? This is unnecessary. Don’t do this. Keep the old system strong and if necessary, repair it. Don’t change from this to that. That is your American disease. This is very serious that you always want to change everything.” (Srila Prabhupada letter to Bhakta dasa November 24, 1974.)
There is no need for change in Srila Prabhupada’s books. We have the perfect, authorized books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. We simply need to take advantage of them, print them and distribute them.
WHAT IS DRAVIDA’S QUALIFICATION?
What is the qualification of Dravida which gives him the authority to change anything at all in Prabhupada’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta with no checks and balances? You BBT men have given him this authority. Why? There is no record of what he has changed, even JAS has no idea what he has done to the book. Yet JAS is such a staunch supporter of Dravida’s changed Cc. Without even knowing what the changes are? That is not a very intelligent position to take. His mood is “I trust Dravida…”
That is all right. But we are Prabhupada’s disciples. We do not trust Dravida, and we do not want to read Prabhupda’s books with thousands of unknown changes by Dravida. Such books are completely useless.
HOW CAN WE TRUST DRAVIDA?
As far as trusting Dravida and JAS how can we do that? I am sure you are aware of the BBT publication, “Hidden Glories of India” by Steven Rosen, a known follower of Naryana Maharaja. I do not know if you have read the section “Krishna Consciousness Goes West,” but if you have you will know that we have a BBT book edited by JAS and Dravida which does not give credit to Srila Prabhupada for bringing Krishna consciousness to the Western world. It does not even mention Prabhupada until the last couple of paragraphs. It goes through so many “great souls” from the Gaudiya Matha who brought Krishna consciousness to the West, it even glorifies Ms. Bowtel in England who even today still offers a garland to a Pancha-Tattva picture… And when it finally comes to mentioning Srila Prabhupada they say he was only successful because the US changed the immigration laws and Prabhupada was able to stay in the US longer than the aforementioned great Gaudiya Matha saints. In any case they say Prabhuapda was simply continuing the work started by the GM. The book gives no credit whatsoever to Srila Prabhupada for bringing Krishna consciousness to the West. The whole book is a Hindu hodge-poge. A disgrace to the BBT and an affront to Srila Prabhupada. And who edited this book? Dravida and JAS.
So this is proof 100% that we can not trust Dravida and JAS.
JAS’s “WARM, FUZZY FEELING”
None of us, including JAS, know what Dravida has changed, all we have is JAS’s “warm fuzzy feeling” that he trusts Dravida.
So based on the warm fuzzy feeling only he has convinced you to print a book that you have no idea whatsoever what has been changed in from Prabhupada’s original. Such a book is completely useless and will not be accepted by anyone at all as authorative.
What would you think if some Christian priest took the King James Bible and went through it changing whatever he liked to bring it more in line with the current teachings of the Christian church? He makes all the changes without consulting anyone else at all and without anyone checking his work. He presents his book to the people who publish the “King James” Bible and says “print my King James Bible.” Of course they will not do it and if they do the whole Christian world will protest. The King James Bible is a standard and you can not change the standard. This is just what you have done in the BBT. You have given Dravida the Cc., he has made whatever changes he thinks are nice, and you have printed that completely unauthorized book with thousands of unknown changes in it, and you expect Prabhupada’s disciples to accept it?
YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT HAS BEEN CHANGED IN THE Cc. Yet you are spending so much money to print a book which is completely unauthorized.
SCRAP THE CHANGED PRINTING
Brahma Muhurta Prabhu has let me know that some printing of the inside pages of the books has been started. My suggestion is that you scrap all these inner pages and restart the project of printing Srila Prabhupada’s original Cc.
There is no point waiting money binding a book with thousands of changes by Dravida…
WHERE IS THE INTELLIGENCE IN THE BBT?
Is there anyone with any intelligence in the BBT? Are you all just dancing dogs in the hands of JAS? Can any one of you see the craziness you are involved in here.
This will go down in the history of Vaisnavism. You will never be forgotten for this craziness. Just as Srila Prabhupada has warned over and over again, “Do not read the books of my Guru Maharaja published after 1936, my godbrothers have changed them…” You are repeating history. You will go down in history as the men who tried to destroy Srila Prabhupada’s books by introducing so many unauthorized changes.
So surely it would be better to go down in history as one fighting to preserve the original teachings of Srila Prabhupada?
So my humble plea to the BBT trustees is that you please wake up and no longer dance to the tune of JAS.
In my conversion with JAS in NY he could not give any reason whatsoever to print the changed Cc. In fact he agreed if we print Srila Prabhupada’s original Cc. ALL the BBTs customers will be happy and you will sell thousands of extra Cc. sets right away. But he wants to print the changed books, even though the only real supporters for the changed books in the universe are himself and Dravida. JAS admits he has no idea what changes Dravida has made, he is simply working on a “warm fuzzy feeling” that he trusts Dravida. And he does not care that his decision will cost the BBT hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales.
There are thousands of devotees out there waiting to purchase Prabhuapada’s original Cc now and there will be a very strong market for the books for a long time. There is no one at all waiting to purchase Dravida’s books and if you print it we will do a study of the changes and restart the book changes campaign with full force.
We have not been publically campaigning about the BBT’s changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books in the past few years as we have had some success in working cooperatively with the NA BBT. However, if you go ahead and print this completely unauthorized edition of the Cc. simply based on JAS’s “warm fuzzy” feelings for Dravida what option do you leave us?
I am hoping for some sanity. Even if you have started printing the inside pages of the changed books scrap them. They are useless. Worse than useless.
And communicate. If you would communicate with us these ideas before you do anything we can at least give some input before it is too late.
For more information on the changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books please visit:
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!