Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Nanda Kumar Relates the 1972 Bhagavad Gita Story (With Notes)

Some folks are happy to see Srila Prabhupada bless his books: 
some -- are not. =================

Original story here:



[PADA: When we first started to more actively complain in public about the over the top "editing" of Jayadvaita swami, around the mid 1980s, many people thought we were "being offensive" and we "just wanted to edit these books ourselves." What!

Yep, what the world needs now is: the PADA edited version; the Purujit / BLISS program edited version; and did we forget to mention -- that Narayana Maharaja also made his own Gita version, Kirtanananda also made his own Gita summary edition, Krishna Balarama swami also made his own version, and the list of wanna-be Gita editing folks is almost endless, and so on, and so on, and so forth? 

Yep! There are many "real edition" wanna be folks out there, already. So later on in the mid-1990s, when we proposed the 1972 edition should be used, many of our God brothers thought -- that might be a good idea, but the GBC will never accept. 

Well the God brothers were right, the GBC did not agree. The courts however did agree, that the 1972 version could be used. Indeed, the courts agreed that the 1972 edition was used extensively by the founder and therefore this is the "known quantity" and / or proven, and certified edition.     

Someone just called to tell me that both Purujit and Jayadvaita (and others?) are DEMONIZING the 1972 edition in order to prop up their own self-made editions, they are both using the same techniques, to push DOWN the 1972 version down -- in order to promote their own version. Same technique? Unfortunately, it looks that way. The good news is, even the karmi courts know what version was used by the acharya and what versions were not. Even the karmis know better on this topic than a whole pile of "advanced devotees." The conversation below is very typical, and I could easily find dozens more just like it with little effort. This is the direction things are going whether some people like it, or accept it, or not. ys pd]   


Krishna Priya Devi Dasi: I would like to study Srila Prabhupada's books in depth; but I am confused ... from which books to study from? The first printed books, the books printed before 1977, or rather the books edited by Jayadvaita swami....

Bastien (Comprehensive study of Srila Prabhupada books forum) 1972 edition!

Krishna Priya Devi Dasi: Why?

Bastien: Original Gita of Srila Prabhupada (1972).

Krishna Priya Devi Dasi: But it is said to contain many errors...

Bastien: You can have the original version here


Bastien: Krishna Priya Devi Dasi if it's typing error its nothing. The (original) form is there ...

Krishna Priya Devi Dasi: Thank you. I shared the link on my page. Is that okay?

Bastien: Krishna Priya Devi Dasi Yes for sure! Jay Jagat-Guru Srila Prabhupada ki Jay !

Rakesh: Use the 1972 editions, because those are the ones Srila Prabhupada read and lectured from. "Mistakes" may be there but ...

tad vag visargo janatagha viplavo
yasmin pratislokam abaddhavaty api
namany anantasya yaso ankitani yac
srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah

"On the other hand, that literature which is full with descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, form and pastimes of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a transcendental creation meant to bring about a revolution in the impious life of a misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though irregularly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest."

"...even though imperfectly composed..."

Srila Prabhupada specifically indicated that our editing should only be minor spelling and grammar. Acharya's writing is not to please the kali yuga population but to please and glorify the Supreme Lord.


Srila Prabhupada Receives the First Big 1972 Original Bhagavad Gita As It Is
by Nanda Kumar Das

One day, when I was first with His Divine Grace in L.A., Brahmananda Prabhu came from New York and they were talking about the printing of a Bhagavad Gita with Sanskrit included. Evidently, there was a question as to whether the western people could pronounce the transliteration with diacritic marks.

Srila Prabhupad rang his bell, and I came into his room. Brahmananda was there. Srila Prabhupad handed me a paper with Sanskrit transliteration and said “Read this!” I have been able to read since I was three, so evidently, I made the pronunciations close enough. Srila Prabhupad said to Brahmananda, with great enthusiasm, “See! I told you they could do it!” He was very happy.

So the printing went on, and in New York, when His Divine Grace was there, Brahmananda brought in the first edition of the big Gita with all the Sanskrit in it. Remembering the LA experience, he very kindly gave the Gita to me, and said “Here, you can give this to Srila Prabhupad.” I was overjoyed, and went to His room to offer it to Him, followed by a photographer. I gave it to Him and said “Here is the first copy of Your new Bhagavad Gita, Srila Prabhupad.”

In His amazing way of innocence and childlike excitement, He took it and held it to His head, saying “Jai! Jai!” It was awesome to be present for such an important and empowering moment. Srila Prabhupad was so kind to me. Even though I was/am a deeply entrenched rascal, He has engaged me so many times in wonderful service. All Glories to Srila Prabhupad!

Nanda Kumar Das

[PADA: Yep, not everyone shares the joy and excitement Srila Prabhupada has for his books. These books saved my life, for anyone to attack them is very odious, that's the best word we can use in a public forum. And these books STILL ARE saving lives all over the place, we should never minimize that process. ys pd]



Puranjan prabhu

Please accept my humble obeisances all glories to Srila Prabhupada

This is a nicely presented article here Puranjan prabhu. Well done. Maybe sometime in the future you could present a lengthy article on home schooling for the Gita to ease new people through the 1972 edition of the Gita. Why so many people are spending their time and money trying to present a "new edition" when so many billions of souls are already suffering from want of understanding the Gita that Srila Prabhupada taught from? 

The answer is self interest only. If you are ever interested in our monthly Gita Study Guide classes then let me know.

Ys Hasti Gopala dasa

You stated:

"If we are going to send other Prabhupada centered devotees to other centers, and they are going to be told they are carrying "the rascal edited book" -- how can we have a unified preaching effort? They won't even be able to read from the same book?

Lest we forget, these early 1970s books have produced more devotees than anyone else's books have ever done, period. They are very potent as they are. I was reading my 1968 version of the Teachings Of Lord Chaitanya, and its just as ecstatic now as it was when I first got it in 1970.

Meanwhile, other senior devotees like Govinda Dasi and a number of other senior devotees tend to agree with PADA on this issue, posthumous edits are not a good idea:


  1. "But, unfortunately, people want to show their scholarship, that "I understand Bhagavad-gītā from this angle of vision." Why should you try to understand Bhagavad-gītā from a different angle of vision? The first preference should be given to the author. The author has given you some knowledge, so he has got some particular aim and objective. So why should you change that? You have no right to change that. If you want to speak something from your side, you write your own book. Why should you take advantage of the popular book of Bhagavad-gītā and misrepresent it? That is the fun. You see? There are about six hundred different types of editions commenting on Bhagavad-gītā. But according to Bhagavad-gītā, all these six hundred editions in different, studied from different angle of vision, they are all absurd and nonsense. It is very difficult. People have been misled by the so-called commentaries. There is no need of unnecessarily commenting on certain things. There is no necessity. Commentary or interpretation required when things are not very clear. Then you can suggest, "The meaning may be like this." But when the things are clear, why should you comment? There is no necessity of comment.

    Town Hall Lecture

    Auckland, April 14, 1972

  2. "If you want to become overintelligent, to present something, to interpret something, whatever over you have heard from spiritual master you can make some further addition, alteration, then you'll spoil whole thing. Then you'll spoil whole thing. Don't make addition or alteration. Simply present as it is. Therefore, we have begun Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Don't try to become over spiritual master. Then you'll spoil. Remain always a servant of your spiritual master and present the thing as you have heard."

    Śrī Vyāsa-pūjā Lecture

    London, August 22, 1973

  3. [Thanks for this quote!] Paramahamsa: My question is, a pure devotee, when he comments on Bhagavad-gita, someone who never sees him physically, but he just comes in contact with the commentary, explanation, is this the same thing?

    Srila Prabhupada: “Yes, you can associate with Krishna by reading Bhagavad-gita. And these saintly persons, they have given their explanations, comments. So where is the difficulty?”


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