Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Purujit's "Newly Edited" Gita And Rejecting the 1972 Gita

Update Here:


At least we all agree not to use Jayadvaita's version!



PADA: Purujit das (BLISS society, Spain) has edited his own version of the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, using the original manuscripts. There was a discussion going on, on this topic, but it seems to have disappeared. Thus, a few people asked me to make a comment on this issue, to present what is my opinion.

First of all, the 1972 Gita edition is the edition Srila Prabhupada personally approved of, and he used that book extensively for his classes and lectures, and he had that version printed in hundreds and thousands of copies for mass distribution. Therefore, the first problem is -- "another version" is not going to match up to what he is personally approving of, and he is personally using for his classes and so on. Ajit Krishna dasa says, we might come to the point of having many versions eventually, once the book becomes public domain. OK, but should that be done now already?

We don't think so. 

The first problem is, who will be accepted as "the new editor" and how will we know this person -- or his work, has been approved? And what happens when one self-appoints oneself to the post of "the new editor"? Well, if there is one thing we do not have a shortage of, its self-appointed authorities! 

Some of the Purujit's team said to me "anyone can edit the books of Srila Prabhupada, its just a question of moving a few commas and punctuation points." Not really, Srila Prabhupada said he wanted a scholarly editing of these books, which is why they were edited in the first place. He never used "anyone" for an editor, he wanted scholarly edits. Purujit himself said it took him three years to make his edits, that is not simply moving a few commas around? Of course, no other famous writer who has approved of his books being printed -- has had the books edited posthumously "using the manuscripts"? Its considered as disrespecting the author, everywhere! Of course -- this is Jayadvaita's argument, lets go back to the manuscript!

Then again if someone was going to make a new version of the Bible for example, using manuscripts, a group of certified Bible scholars would assemble together to try to compare all the existing translations and so forth. One person on his own would never be designated to the task without any consulting with the other scholars on the topic. Nor would one independent person's version of the Bible be accepted by the mass of Christians in any event, and in sum -- none of these changes would ever be approved except on a very limited scale by a few people. 

Gaurahari das has the same problem. He wants to revive "the nectar of Krishna consciousness." OK sign me up, good idea, but his party's physically embracing of (unmarried) male and (married?) females, and kissing each other's feet etc. is not going to be approved on a wide scale. Ever! Anyway! The only wide scale approved book, which is approved by a large group of devotees now, is that same book that Srila Prabhupada personally gave classes from and used himself. We now have even a few ISKCON people using the 1972 books for book distribution. Why would we tell them to stop doing that at this stage, or try to give them yet another version? That will simply compound the confusion? 

At the very least, senior people should be consulted to double check the editing work, especially if there are people living who had associated with the saint. OK one person CAN do everything, if he is a pure devotee, or he has been empowered and approved by a pure devotee to do the job (as Srila Prabhupada empowered people to do various services including editing).    

There are other problems, for example Purujit's team is actually attacking the 1972 version as the false version, even -- the "rascal edited" version. Why would Srila Prabhupada accept and / or use ANY "rascal" edited books, and use such books for his classes, at all? That does not make a heap of sense. So it seems to some of us, the Purujit team are trying to say, only Purujit's version of Srila Prabhupada's books are going to be the accepted and non-rascal version. Ooops, and that is basically what the Jayadvaita team also says? Never mind they have no explanation why a so-called 1972 rascal edition would have been used -- whatsoever? 

Then the Purujit folks said to me, Hansadutta has solved all this, he declared we have to go back to re-edit from the manuscript. Nope, Hansadutta still advertises the 1972 edition himself. When Srila Prabhupada says -- we have to print the original way, we  accept that means -- print the existing books as they were originally printed in the early 1970s. Notice, no new editor was named when he said that? If he had wanted extensive re-edits, he would have designated that task to a specific person -- or group of persons. 

If the Purujit team wants to use another version from the 1972, that's actually fine with me, use whatever version of anything you like. Its a free world out there -- but to attack ALL the other Srila Prabhupada centered programs as "using a rascal book" is not going to produce much common ground in the Prabhupada centered camp. Its another attempt to chop the legs off of everyone else's preaching efforts as bogus, rascal, foolish and etc. ... which is what the GBC does to us as well? 

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:

Govinda Dasi


Srila Prabhupada never authorised a complete revision of Bhagavad Gita ... any posthumous revision should have an editor byline on the cover or inside facing page... 

To quote Prof Graham M. Schweig..." This academic exercise will demonstrate the nominal degree of editing that would have been necessary and proper to bring the 1972 Bhagavad-gītā to unimpeachable academic and publishing standards. Such minimal editing stands in contrast to the current edition, which turns to earlier drafts and transcriptions to impose major textual restructuring upon the 1972 edition. We hold that this re-envisioning, however well-intentioned, reflects editorial judgments that challenge ethical publishing standards, as well as explicit instructions from Śrīla Prabhupāda. Once the analysis is completed, the findings will be submitted to our academic panel for review. The results will then be made public and presented to the BBT trustees / executives. Should they find our results compelling, we anticipate the BBT would appropriately present the revised edition and reinstate Śrīla Prabhupāda’s 1972 Macmillan Bhagavad-gītā As It Is as the preeminent edition."


Anyway, here is my last personal letter to Purujit's folks:

Dear Purujit prabhu, Sorry! You are not supported by the Prabhupada devotees? 
My best support, and actually only support, for many years was the Berkeley police, the FBI and the media. Lack of support is also what Srila Prabhupada himself experienced from his God brothers. Its sad, but that is the way of the world, we are sometimes not given much support from others, including devotees. 

And you get bad mouthed? And yes, as a matter of fact, I get bad mouthed all the time from so-called devotees, and worse, I have been chased with baseball bats, given death threats, been assaulted and etc. 

At the same time, I have experienced my own individual relationship with Krishna, and no one on this planet can have any ultimate effect on that, its an internal process mainly. 

As for re-editing or creating another version of the BBT copyrighted books, from what we have seen over the past 35 years, any book that does not have a legal licence will not be mass distributed for long -- without the GBC's lawyers eventually stepping on the people doing that. If someone has a better fix for that issue, well fine, I have not been able to come up with any up to now. For you to imply that I should recommend people to begin to distribute a non-licensed book means, I would be encouraging people to possibly get into legal trouble. Why would I do that? 

Anyway, I wish everyone good luck with their endeavors of service to Krishna, and hope they attain Krishna in the end. For my personal self, if I was going to print a non-licensed edition of any already licensed book, including any famous author's, I'd do that without making a whole lot of advertising. That's like asking for legal action? 

And I should implicate others in these actions? Nope! But that's just me, everyone is free to try their own way of service, and lets see how it all works out. Of course if everyone printed their own book, that would make too many people for the GBC to sue, it would overwhelm them, but -- we are not going to get everyone to print any other than the 1972? 

So! I did what I did, its had various results, some like it, some don't, but Krishna is the goal and that is all that ultimately matters to me. For now, our Prabhupada centered temples -- here and there -- and just about everywhere -- are using the licensed 1972 edition. Again! It would not be practical for us to tell them to introduce another edition, nor would they want an un-licenced version that could get them into legal troubles. Its not practical, apart from other considerations.

I simply do not think "another edition" is going to get much support in any event at this point, there is no consensus for that which I can see. That's just the way it is, and most of us are just moving ahead as best as possible under our current circumstances. 

I am sorry if anyone has been offended by my comments here, lets move ahead and make progress and let everyone do their service, and things that work will work, and things that don't work won't. Overall, I am getting more people reading and distributing my stuff, and agreeing etc. and even more folks asking to translate it and etc. Meanwhile I am being consulted on yet another professional book etc. Anyway, I think that more people are getting into the idea of accepting Srila Prabhupada as their acharya, that was my intent all along and its happening gradually. Haribol! ys pd


  1. Persons connected to the Purujit program said -- they no longer wanted to read Srila Prabhupada's original 1972 books. That is the result of his preaching, he is discouraging people from reading the books of the acharya, the same books that saved us. More than a few people would say that is demoniac, but you can judge that for yourself. No, Purujit's books will never be a big distribution. That is not the really essential issue, the really important issue is -- he is discouraging people from connecting to the acharya's books. Of course, the next problem is, he is encouraging maverick editing of these books, which may cause a landslide of these problems later on when anyone and everyone starts to do that. ys pd

  2. They made a video? Ok so they deleted or blocked our conversation, and made a video. And the video does not address the points we had discussed in our conversation? And that is why people asked me to reply here on the blog? Prabhu, if you want to know why this has to be on the blog, ask them, they erased or removed our conversation? So if they erase or block our conversation and do not allow a reply, that is what the GBC folks do all the time? I have been on so many erased conversations with GBC and Gaudiya Matha people, I lost track already? Since 1978, hundreds, easily. They did not address what we were discussing, that's all. And no, they did not make a few edits to the 1972, which I could have done in three days because we know what needs are there already. They spent 3 years writing their own version, that is not a few minor edits to the 1972? Again, this is another mis-representation. One of their own people said they are not going to read the 1972 anymore, that means they are telling people not to read Srila Prabhupada's approved books. That was the first point, and no, they have not addressed it. ys pd

  3. No, for the past 3-4 years Purujit prabhu never mentioned that he was writing his own edited version of the Gita, using the manuscript. He hid that agenda from all of us -- for all this time. We only found out when he sort of sprung it on us by surprise. Surprise, welcome to the newly edited new Gita!

    He was also criticized for using his own photo in another "Prabhupada book" that he printed. And he lost one of his most important supporters over this issue, the supporter thinking he was "self promoting" by adding his own photo while using the writings of Srila Prabhupada. That person is now burnt to toast over all this. I don't think he realizes how badly this affects the victims of these things.

    Again, this also happened because he does not consult with anyone on the etiquette process. So yes, this was his hidden agenda. You are right, it does appear he used all of us to get himself some sort of post, while in the back ground writing his Gita with a plan to spring it on us unsuspecting innocent fall guys later on. Look, I got a rabbit in my hat, surprise! Hee hee! Yes! This is how the GBC does things too, they do not consult or report to others, they just do things in the back ground and spring it out ... bang!

    So anyway, the real point now is, his version will never be accepted widely. It will be like many other teeny little sect's books. The 1972 edition will not be eclipsed by any other books or editions, plain and simple. That means we did the right thing getting it established as we did since 1978, because at this point it is too widely used and accepted to be really challenged by a competing version. Its just not going to happen. Anyway yes, this was all a big surprise to us, he never reported his plan to us this whole time, so yes, it does rank as "a hidden agenda" -- no kidding! ys pd

  4. What? Purujit now says he has "no trouble with using the 1972," after he made the most elaborate attack on that book in the history of ISKCON? He even out-performs Jayadvaita in attempting to nullify that book which is personally read and used by the acharya. No! He has all sorts of trouble with us using the 1972. Can he at least be honest about this, he wants us to jettison the 1972 and read HIS editing, its simple. His followers were posting "the 1972 is not authorized" "Purujit version is authorized" and so forth. Srila Prabhupada is not authorized? What are they trying to accomplish here? ys pd

    "Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gitä as it is. No change. Others, they are interpreting in their own way. That is not Bhagavad-gitä. That is something else. [to devotee:] Keep it there. He will take. In the words of God there is no question of changing. You cannot change. As soon as you make a change, immediately it is material; it has nothing to do with spiritual world."

    Room Conversation
    with Professor Francois Chenique
    August 5, 1976, New Mayapur

  5. Its very obvious Purujit was hiding his Gita editing program from us, because he knew PADA and many / most others would object. I think this is also why they blocked me from the conversations, because many other people were agreeing with PADA, he should not self-appoint himself as the new editor.

    At the same time, there has been an epidemic of various people declaring themselves as the next guru, editor, and / or the only proper reformers and revisionists of the Krishna religion. There seems to be little cooperative spirit.

    The good news is, this makes it almost impossible for the GBC to stop or even hinder so many independent programs, there are simply too many targets to attack all at once. The bad news is, there is little integrity to mass independent programs, which makes book printing and coordinated preaching programs difficult if not impossible.

    Anyway, I am not too worried, we have had some success already getting a good number of people to agree to: the bogus guru appointment, the book changes, using the 1972 edition, the molesting issue, and of course the poison issue. There are a lot of people who agree with us on these main issues and that will increase and is increasing. Anyway, Purujit's re-edited editions will never fly very far over the long haul, just like many other Gita renditions that were made by various other people never got too far off the ground. Its just not destined to fly very far, plain and simple. ys pd


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