Change — The Western Disease

Prabhupada — By on September 21, 2009 11:53 pm

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)


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