Change — The Western Disease

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. (Letter to Bhakta dasa, Nov 24, 1974)

There is no change. Therefore sastra means it is for all the time, not that sastra was meant in the past for something else, and now something else. That is not the fact. That is, means, sastra, that it does not change. The time, place and atmosphere, according to that, everything is the same. (Bhagavad-gita Class Feb 7, 1975)

That is the trouble with you westerners, always changing. No changes should be made without first consulting with my GBC representative. So, the children should immediately be allowed to chant on their japa beads. (Letter to Yadunandana, May 14, 1975)

So Bhagavad-gita, the lessons of Bhagavad-gita, cannot be changed by the whims of rascals. This is not possible. Aham avyayam. Imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam. Avyayam. This yoga is avyayam, not that with the change of time, the meaning would be changed. That is not possible. The meaning would remain the same thing. The millions of years ago Krsna said, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. That does not mean that the meaning has changed. “Because it has become old, now I can change.”  (Srimad-Bhagavatam class Jan 9, 1975)

First the student must be able to repeat exactly the words of the guru and then after some time he may be qualified to apply the principles he has learned word-for-word to personal situations. It is not that we are a dry philosophy of dogmas and slogans. No. The language of Krishna Consciousness is ever-fresh and we can explain everything by it, just like my Guru Maharaja once lectured for three months on one verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam. But every precaution must be taken to preserve our basic guiding principles as they are and not change them because we want to hear something new. (Letter to Bhakta dasa, Nov 20, 1971)

I am not much fond of the idea of changing things to accommodate the public–better to change the public to accommodate us. Therefore I suggest wherever there is Sanskrit used there should also be English spelling in brackets. In this way, the public will become accustomed to Sanskrit language so that in future we may use only Sanskrit and they will understand. (Letter to  Bali-mardana Dec 28, 1971)

It is not that we should change to accommodate the public, but that we shoud change the public to accommodate us. (Letter to Yogesvara Dec 28, 1971)

You mentioned in your letter that you had read many other Bhagavad-gitas before you read mine and that none of them revealed as much to you as Bhagavad-gita As It Is. The reason is because we do not change the actual meaning of the gita at all. Many other commentators due to poor fund of knowledge tamper with the lines of Bhagavad-gita and twist the meaning for their personal motives, but we do not do like that. We present it exactly as it is; without any additions or subtractions. That is perfect in every way and therefore it is actually having a tremendous effect all over the world. The original words of Lord Krishna have unrivalled potency and anyone who is fortunate enough to hear those words and tries to apply them to his life becomes perfect. (Letter to Mr. Dennany, Mar 14, 1975)

4 thoughts on “Change — The Western Disease

  1. What ever you say is 100% correct, Prabhupada always say correct no change.
    but you have not mentioned any changes done.

    Yes Prabhupada is instruction westerners not to change, he has made hippies to happy this is the process of instruction. what is wrong?

    1. Hare Krishna Abhishek

      The problem is that ISKCON did not follow this clear instruction of Srila Prabhupada that he repeated over and over again, “Do not change my books…”

      Instead they have made at least 5000 changes to his Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and in 99.9% of the changes there is no error in the original book to correct. So why have they made these changes against the clear orders of Srila Prabhuapda not to change?

      You say I have not mentioned any changes, I have mentioned almost 100 specific changes that significantly change the meaning of what Srila Prabhuapda says at:

      And I have provided a complete computerized comparison of the original “Bhagavad-gita As It Is” and ISKCON’s “Revised and Enlarged” edition at:

      Here you can clearly see all the changes that ISKCON has made to Prabhuapda’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is. So please spend some time studying these changes. Particularly read the original book and see if there is any error in the original book that needs to be “fixed.” And keep in mind that Prabhupada’s instruction is “They can not change anything.”

      Of course if there are real errors in the English and Sanskrit then no one will complain if they are corrected. That is proof-reading not changing. If I fix a spelling mistake or a grammar mistake that is not changing. But you will not find many of this sort of bona fide correction, there are some, but the huge bulk of the changes to Prabhuapda’s Gita, thousands of changes, have been made when there is absouletly no problem at all in the original book that needs to be “fixed.”

      This has been the greatest mistake ISKCON have made. And they have made a lot of mistakes. But nothing comes close to this attack on Srila Prabhupada’s books.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      1. Ya. Its really unfortunate to see these things in so called ISKCON. But in Bangalore’s Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON they are selling only the original edition of BG, not the changed one.

        They made changes so that this multiple guru system can authorized…!

  2. Dear Madhudvisa prabhu,

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    For the last twenty years I have felt that the changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books were also a threat.

    Whenever I tried to point this out to the authorities, my objections fell on deaf ears. The main excuse was – oh, they are just fixing the typographical errors! This is absolute bull dust as they have gone far beyond just fixing typo errors.

    We both know that a small change here and there will eventually destroy the original meaning.

    You have my full support and I am so glad that the original books are available through your store.

    Your servant,
    Vasudama das.

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