Email from Hridayananda Goswami

Sat, 07 Mar 1998

Dear Madhudvisa Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your letter.

I appreciate your intelligent arguments, and your absolute dedication to Srila Prabhupada. I think you have made many good points, and I am not against your viewpoint. [in Open Letter to BBT]

My only hesitation is when it becomes clear that Srila Prabhupada’s original dictation has been changed.

One solution might be to keep Prabhupada’s books exactly as they were published when he was present, but then to put in footnotes explaining what the editors think was really meant. In that way, everyone could be satisfied.

Hoping you are well,

Your servant,

Hridayananda dasa Goswami

Open Letter to Hridayananda Maharaja

USA (VNN) – by Madhudvisa dasa

Dear Hridayananda Maharaja

Haribol! Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila

It is wonderful you are prepared to stand up and fight for Srila Prabhupada’s desire that his original books remain available to the devotees and the fallen conditioned souls of this world as well.

Srila Prabhupada was, as you know, very concerned about the changes, so much so that he asked Satsvarupa Maharaja to do something about it as Praghosa Prabhu has mentioned:

Yasoda-nandana: Sometimes they appeal that “We can make better English,” so they change like that, just like in the case of the Isopanisad. There are over a hundred changes. So where is the need? Your words are sufficient. The potency is there When they change, it is something else.

Swarupa Damodara: That’s actually a very dangerous mentality.

Yasoda-nandana: What’s it going to be in five years? It’s going to be a different book.

Srila Prabhupada: So you…What are you going……It is a very serious situation. You write one letter that “Why you have made so many changes?” And whom to write? Who will care? All rascals are there! Write Satsvarupa that “This is the position. They are doing anything and everything at their whim.” The next printing should be again to the original way.”

(HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada) June 22 1977

So I think if you contact Satsvarupa Maharaja, as Praghosa Prabhu has suggested, he will also surely support you in this project to return Srila Prabhupada’s books to their original state.

Srila Prabhupada has said clearly in the above quote, “The next printing should be again to the original way,” and that is the mood of the devotees also. So many devotees have written but none have been very inspired about the idea of footnotes in the books and many are completely opposed to the idea.

If the BBT simply prints Srila Prabhupada’s books in the original form that will be the best thing. Everyone, including the scholars , will understand the books are the original ones and whatever small typos are there will be accepted in that mood.

If you feel it is necessary to publish a small booklet separately with the notes and corrections in it that would be fine, but, as far as I can see, the devotees want to see Srila Prabhupada’s original books published as he approved of them and used them himself personally and also Srila Prabhupada directly instructed, “The next printing should be again to the original way.”

> All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and your service to him. > I am very excited to see you working to restore Srila Prabhupada’s > Life’s Work, his “Masterpiece” to it’s original state. Would anyone > dare to revise and correct the works of Da Vinci, Issac Newton, > Shakespeare, Mark Twain or any of the Popes? of course not. And > how much greater is the transcendental work of our spiritual master > when compared to them? Unimaginable. Thank you, your servant, Sri > Mukunda dasa

Really, Jayadvaita Swami has “made a mountain out of a mole-hill”. There are not many significant typos at all and whatever typos are there do not in any way distract from the message of the books. Nor do they alter the meaning being presented by Srila Prabhupada at all as Jayadvaita’s changes, revisions and enlargements certainly do.

These original books are completely approved by Srila Prabhupada, used by him personally, and we have seen they have the potency to make thousands and thousands of devotees. If they are re-printed in the original form they will go on to make millions and millions of devotees… The potency is there.

There is no evidence to suggest Jayadvaita’s adulterated version of the Bhagavad-gita has the same potency. Really, since 1983, we have just seen so many problems in ISKCON…

So your proposal to reprint Srila Prabhupada’s books in their original form can end all this. It is all-auspicious, it will make everyone happy…

As far as the petition is concerned, I’m not in a very good position to coordinate it. However, it would be better to get Jayadvaita Swami to take up a petition from devotees who agree he should be able to change anything at all he likes in Srila Prabhupada’s books without anyone’s approval and without notifying anyone what he has done… I don’t think he will get anyone to sign it… So that is the main point. There is NO SUPPORT WHATSOEVER for the BBT’s current program of changing Srila Prabhupada’s books.

I have talked to many devotees from GBC’s and temple presidents and other devotees also, and have never come across anyone who agrees the BBT should change Srila Prabhupada’s books… It’s quite crazy… The BBT have absolutely no support for this program.

If you still think the petition would be effective why not team up with Satsvarupa Maharaja and visit all the ISKCON temples with the petition yourselves? Together I think you can collect signatures from practically all the GBC members, all the Temple Presidents, and almost 100% of the general devotees and most of the congregational members and Hindus as well. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO SUPPORT FOR THESE CHANGES ANYWHERE!!

So I hope you and Satsvarupa Maharaja can take an active part in this, perhaps the most important project ever–restoring Srila Prabhupada’s original books. The responsibility was originally entrusted to Satsvarupa Maharaja and now you have come forward as well so I’m sure that your combined efforts will be very successful.

All glories to your service! Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

Your servant

Madhudvisa dasa

2 thoughts on “Email from Hridayananda Goswami

    1. This IS Hridyananda’s response. He wrote this letter. He does not approve of the BBT making changes to Prabhupada’s books without them notifying the reader in some way [like footmarks] that the changes have been made.

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