Hare Krishna!

oldchakra.com

Go to the “Book-Editing Page”

 

 

 

The critic misunderstands things badly. Yes, the original transcriptions were lost. No, we did not have 'nothing to work from.'

JAYADVAITA SWAMI
     Answering critics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite what critics speculate the retyped manuscript "must be," it is not, in fact, "the manuscript that was used by the typesetters." Nor is it "practically identical to the printed [First Edition] book." Far from it. On the contrary, the manuscript is only partly edited, and therefore quite different from the printed book--and quite useful.

Answers to critics to Gita Revisions Web Site
By Jayadvaita Swami

WORDS FROM A CRITIC: "The new BBT book changes web page informs us that the transcripts for the last six chapters of Srila Prabhupada's dictation of 'Bhagavad-gita As It Is' were lost 'sometime before 1972.' Most editors would have some difficulty in editing a book to 'make it closer to the original' if they did not have the original to work from! But it's no problem for our BBT editors! They still managed to make hundreds of changes in these six chapters without any original material from Srila Prabhupada to work from at all. It appears to be all their own work. It seems they had NOTHING to work from except Srila Prabhupada's original unabridged 'Bhagavad-gita As It Is' and the final version of the manuscript that was used by the typesetters to produce the book (which must be practically identical to the printed book)."

COMMENT: The critic misunderstands things badly. Yes, the original transcriptions were lost. No, we did not have "nothing to work from." As explained in an opening text on the Gita Revisions Website, the "original manuscripts" we relied on for the last chapters were "the old retyped manuscripts from which the 1972 Macmillan edition was produced. The 'retyped manuscripts' for the last six chapters were copied from original transcriptions on which much editing had already been done. The typist followed the edited version, adding what the editor had added and deleting what he had deleted."

The deletions, especially, mean that much missing material we might otherwise have recovered for the Second Edition will remain forever lost. (And critics, sadly, thus lose their chance to throw darts at me for restoring it.) Nonetheless, the retyped manuscript still preserves valuable material from Srila Prabhupada that in the First Edition is scrambled or missing. This material (far from "nothing") provided many opportunities to straighten out editorial errors and restore to the book Srila Prabhupada's original words.

Despite what critics speculate the retyped manuscript "must be," it is not, in fact, "the manuscript that was used by the typesetters." Nor is it "practically identical to the printed [First Edition] book." Far from it. On the contrary, the manuscript is only partly edited, and therefore quite different from the printed book--and quite useful.

Here are some examples by which you can see for yourself. The critic says these revisions "appear to have been produced out of the minds of the BBT editors only." I'll let you judge for yourself.

Departing from my usual rule for this conference, I offer here several examples, rather than only one. But they're all from the same 3-verse set and its purport.

                                                16.1-3, translation:

1ST EDITION: compassion

2ND EDITION: compassion for all living entities

MANUSCRIPT: compassion toward every living entity

COMMENT: It's also in the Sanskrit verse, and in the word-for-word meanings: daya bhutesu, "mercy towards all living entities."

                                                16.1-3, purport:

1ST EDITION: If the parents want a child in the godly qualities they should follow the ten principles of the human being.

2ND EDITION: . . . they should follow the ten principles recommended for the social life of the human being.

MANUSCRIPT: So if the parents want a child in godly qualities they should follow the principles of 10 purificatory processes, recommended in the social life of the human being.

COMMENT: The Second Edition leaves intact the First Edition phrase "ten principles" where Srila Prabhupada's original "ten purificatory processes" would have been clearer. An example of under-editing. But "recommended for the social life of the human being" has been restored.

                                                ------------------

1ST EDITION: Then svadhyaya, Vedic study, and tapas, austerity, and arjavam, gentleness or simplicity, are meant for brahmacarya or student life.

2ND EDITION: Then svadhyaya, Vedic study, is meant for brahmacarya, or student life.

MANUSCRIPT: Then the items of avyavasthitih Vedic study and svadhyayas, austerity, and arjavam--gentleness is meant for the brahmacharyas or student life.

COMMENT: As stated later in the purport, "Tapas, or austerity, is especially meant for the retired life." And as for arjavam, simplicity, "not only should a particular order of life follow this principle, but every member, be he in the brahmacari asrama, grhastha asrama, vanaprastha asrama or sannyasa asrama." Following these indications from Srila Prabhupada, the revised version removes a needless contradiction. Checking with the commentary of Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana made doubly sure the revision was correct.

                                                ------------------

1ST EDITION: As far as simplicity is concerned, not only should a particular order of life follow this principle, but every member, be he in the brahmacari asrama, or grhastha asrama, or vanaprastha asrama or sannyasa asrama. One must live very simply.

2ND EDITION: As far as the brahminical quality of simplicity is concerned, . . . One should be very simple and straightforward.

MANUSCRIPT: So far simplicity is concerned not only a particular order of life should follow the principle of simplicity, but all th members either he is in Brahmacharya ashram or Grihastha ashram or Varnaprastha ashram, he must be very simple. He should not make any confidential to persons who are advanced or who are in confidence.

COMMENT: The word "arjavam" has nothing to do with "living simply"--that is, living a plain, austere life, with a minimum of conveniences, down on the farm. It means "simplicity" in this dictionary sense: "freedom from deceit or guile; sincerity; artlessness." Srila Prabhupada explains precisely the same word--arjavam--in the purport to 13.8-12: "Simplicity means that without diplomacy one should be so straightforward that he can disclose the real truth even to an enemy." For further confirmation, see also Bg. 18.42, as well as Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.26-30, 7.11.8-12, and 8.20.19.

For those who carefully study this Bhagavad-gita purport and wish to match the qualities to the varnas and asramas--which is clearly Srila Prabhupada's intention--the word "brahminical," inserted near the beginning of the first sentence, signals that all the qualities from "simplicity" through "steady determination"--which would otherwise be unidentified as to varna--are brahminical. The commentary of Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana confirms that this is correct. I leave it to you to decide whether inserting this word violates Srila Prabhupada's intention or fulfills it.

                                                ------------------

1ST EDITION: They [the ksatriyas] should not pose themselves as nonviolent. If violence is required, they must exhibit it.

2ND EDITION: They should not pose themselves as nonviolent. If violence is required, they must exhibit it. But a person who is able to curb down his enemy may under certain conditions show forgiveness. He may excuse minor offenses.

MANUSCRIPT: He should not pose himself as nonviolent. If violence is required he must exhibit that. When forgiveness is meant for persons who can actually curb down his enemy, but for certain condition if he thinks he may not take steps on some minor thngs and excuse.

COMMENT: The new version restores Srila Prabhupada's explanation of "ksama," which would otherwise have stayed lost. Reference to the commentators ensured that the restoration was correctly done.

                                                ------------------

1ST EDITION: All these sixteen qualifications mentioned are transcendental qualities. 2ND EDITION: All these twenty-six qualifications mentioned. . . MANUSCRIPT: All these 16 qualifications. . .

COMMENT: After having so diligently noted the other places in this purport where the First Edition differs from the Second, how could our critic have missed this one? And perhaps, crusader for Srila Prabhupada's word that he is, he'd like to enumerate for us precisely what the "sixteen qualifications mentioned" might be.

It takes only one wrong keystroke to set the count off by ten. Commenting on this verse, both Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana mention that the divine qualities are "sad-vimsati"--twenty-six. Count them yourself.

                                                ------------------

COMMENT: By the way, critics, in this purport kindly note Srila Prabhupada's statement about another godly brahminical quality: "Apaisunam means that one should not find fault with others or correct them unnecessarily. Of course to call a thief a thief is not faultfinding, but to call an honest person a thief is very much offensive for one who is making advancement in spiritual life."

Hare Krsna.

© CHAKRA 10-Aug-99

Go to the “Book-Editing Page”

copyrite.gif (21756 bytes)

Hare Krishna 
Hare Krishna 
Krishna Krishna 
Hare Hare 
Hare Rama 
Hare Rama 
Rama Rama 
Hare Hare

© Copyright November, 2003 by oldchakra.com. All rights reserved.

For information about this website or to report an error, write to webmaster@oldchakra.com