In a paper called “The Revision of Bhagavad-gita As It Is: Answers to a Courteous Inquiry” regarding Bhagavad-Gita 2.1, Jayadvaita Swami says: “Have you ever had to explain the last sentence of this purport? ‘This realization is made possible by working with the fruitive being situated in the fixed conception of the self.’ It’s just an editorial mistake, and it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.”
In an Editorial Quiz by Jayadvaita Swami the question is posed:
“Please explain the meaning of ‘This realization is made possible by working with the fruitive being situated in the fixed conception of the self.’” (2.1, purport)
Jayadvaita Swami answers: “Forget it. The sentence is meaningless.”
I am just a Bhakta, I am not a big Swami, nor the head editor for the BBTI. I also never underwent any special education, training in editing or the use of, or manipulation, of the English language. But I love Srila Prabhupada and don’t question his authority. Some time ago someone brought up the fact that this sentence is very different in Srila Prabhupada’s Gita and Jayadvaita’s Gita and asked me how I felt about it. I read it with the devotee that asked me and it was clear to me what Srila Prabhupada says. Recently someone showed me the above public comments by Jayadvaita Swami about Srila Prabhupada’s books. So I will recap the conversation that I had with that devotee, if it is helpful to any one.
First of all, Srila Prabhupada says, “This realization”. If one simply reads the previous sentence in the purport it outlines what “This realization” is. Srila Prabhupada says very clearly “self-realization by an analytical study of the material body and the spirit soul”. Then Srila Prabhupada goes on to say that this realization “is made possible by working with the fruitive being”. Now this is also perfectly clear to me, the fruitive being is just that, a fruitive being/someone (a being) that is still on the furtive platform of existence, someone that is not yet a yogi or a sadhu. So this is the process. We all start where we are, as a fruitive being, that is the position of everyone in the beginning, and by working in Krishna consciousness we, the fruitive beings, can come gradually to higher understandings of the real self. So here Srila Prabhupada finishes the very clear sentence by giving the process by saying, “situated in the fixed conception of the self.” This is the process of Krishna consciousness – the conditioned soul, who is a fruitive being, must gradually become more and more, as Srila Prabhupada clearly says, ‘situated in the fixed conception of the real self’. This is the process and the end. This is Krishna consciousness. The process at the beginning and at the end are the same but one gradually progresses within this realization. It is all perfectly clear to me, I don’t know what the difficulty is in understanding this?
With all due respect to the BBTI’s staff, editorial practices, scholarship and realizations, if Jayadvaita Swami is saying that Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-Gita is “meaningless” and he feels “doesn’t make a damn bit of sense” to him, and can’t understand such a simple point as this, then how is it he is freely editing Srila Prabhupada’s transcendentally perfect books?
This reminds me of a billboard I recently saw in front of a church that read, “We don’t change God’s words to fit us, we change ourselves to fit Gods words.”
Srila Prabhupada said in a Bhagavad-gita lecture on 10.4-5, in New York, January 4, 1967:
“You can speculate in any damn thing, and you can write volumes of books. That does not mean that you are a man of knowledge.”