Srila Prabhupada gives very specific instructions to Jayadvaita Swami in a letter (referenced at the end of this article) not to change his books, specifically Bhagavad-gita 12.12.
Unfortunately Jayadvaita disregarded this direct order from Srila Prabhupada and with full knowledge that Srila Prabhupada specifically ordered him not to change the verse or the purport he went ahead and changed it anyway.
One devotee noticed Jayadvaita Swami’s direct disregard for this personal instruction and questioned him as to why he went against the clear and direct order of his spiritual master. (Jayadvaita’s reply is also included at the end of this article for your reference.)
In Jayadvaita’s letter he says that Srila Prabhupada’s words “makes no sense” and are “obviously erroneous” but if this is the case then he must also change the multitude of other places where Srila Prabhupada used this so-called “erroneous” phrase that “makes no sense” to him.
I am no scholar, nor have I been trained in the ever changing materialistic and mundane laws of grammar. But I have a very strong fidelity to Srila Prabhupada. So out of curiosity I looked up how many times Srila Prabhupada used the (according to Jayadvaita – “obviously erroneous “regulated principles” — a term that makes no sense — must be forever preserved, and not revised to the usual and sensible “regulative principles,”) phrase “regulated principals” and it turns out that Prabhupada used this “obviously erroneous” term on a regular basis. In his books, classes, letters and conversations, a multitude of times.
I will now list below for your reference just a very few of the many places where Srila Prabhupada very SENSIBLY used the words “regulated principals”:
One who can control his senses by practicing the regulated principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord and thus become free from all attachment and aversion. (Bg 2.64)
My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot fix your mind upon Me without deviation, then follow the regulated principles of bhakti-yoga In this way you will develop a desire to attain to Me. (Bg 12.9)
As mentioned in the previous verses, there are two kinds of devotional service: the way of regulated principles, and the way of full attachment in love to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (Bg 12.12)
Because a bona fide spiritual master is a representative of Krsna, if he bestows any blessings upon his disciple, that will make the disciple immediately advanced without the disciple’s following the regulated principles. Or, the regulated principles will be easier for one who has served the spiritual master without reservation. (Bg 13-12)
Injunctions of the scriptures are meant not to encourage the eaters of animals, but to restrict them by regulated principles. (SB 1.13.47)
The process of Krsna consciousness is the process of training these senses through regulated principles. (Raja-Vidya chapter 4 Knowledge by Way of the Mahatmas, Great Souls)
It is stated in Bhagavad-gita that if one executes the regulated principles of Krsna consciousness carefully, it is certain that he will reach the supreme destination in his next life. (Krsna Consciousness, The Matchless Gift Chapter 2 Getting Out the Material Mire)
Regarding Pyari Mohan, Ramacarya, and Nanda devi dasi taking second initiation, if you recommend, that’s alright. But now they must keep very clean and never break the regulated principles. (Letter to: Trai – India 4 March, 1973)
Now they must always follow the regulated principles, such as 16 rounds at least each day, attending Mangala Arati, etc. and gradually they will come to the stage of spontaneously loving Krsna.
You also have my permission for the second initiation of Sikhandi dasi and you can obtain an initiation tape and instructions from Karandhar in Los Angeles. Now, keeping very clean, she must never break the regulated principles. (Letter to: Sukadeva – Calcutta 4 March, 1973)
Now you can be an ideal householder and one of our Society’s leaders, so kindly follow the regulated principles strictly. (Letter to: Turya – Calcutta March 8, 1973)
Devotees there or visiting must follow our regulated principles under your direction or they need not stay. (Letter to: Tejiyas – Calcutta 15 March, 1973)
Therefore we have the four regulated principles at the very beginning of practicing devotional life. (Letter to: Sarvamangala – Bombay 6 November, 1974)
Anyone who is unwilling to follow our regulated principles, you should not live or associate closely with such a person. [Since Jayadavita states (in the letter referenced below) “I respectfully disagree” to the “regulated principals” that Prabhupada wanted in his Bhagavad-gita I wonder if that means we are not supposed to “live or associate closely with such a person”]. (Letter to: Kusa – Honolulu 3 February, 1975)
Make sure that everyone is pure by following the four regulated principles and chanting at least 16 rounds daily. Without these things, there is no spiritual life. (Letter to: Sri Govinda – Honolulu 6 February, 1975)
This instance of Jayadvaita Swami changing the word “regulated” to “regulative” is a really good example of a completely unnecessary change which is, in this case, directly against the orders of Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada gave a direct order “So far changing the working of verse or purport of 12:12 discussed before, it may remain as it is.” Again Srila Prabhupada chooses these words AS IT IS, the exact same title he chose to place on his presentation of the Bhagavad-gita “AS IT IS”. So now with the hundreds upon hundreds of changes Jayadvaita has made to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita can we still say that it is AS IT IS? This is a question we must all ask our self…
When Jayadvaita Swami says: “the obviously erroneous “regulated principles” — a term that makes no sense” we must know that this is his opinion only, and it differs with Srila Prabhupada’s. It is a major problem that every time something doesn’t make sense to Jayadvaita Swami he must change it till he can understand it. This is not the behavior of a disciple. “”One can become perfectly successful in the mission of his life if he acts exactly according to the words he hears from the mouth of his spiritual master.” This acceptance of the words of the spiritual master is called srauta-vakya, which indicates that the disciple must carry out the spiritual master’s instructions without deviation. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks in this connection that a disciple must accept the words of his spiritual master as his life and soul.”(Adi 7.72)
But then he gets particularly obnoxious by saying sarcastically “lest we stand in defiance of Srila Prabhupada’s sacred order.”
In other words, Prabhupada told him not to change anything in the verse or the purport, but rather than stay on the safe side, he ridicules Prabhupada’s choice of words and even the notion that Prabhupada’s orders are something other than sacred.
This disregard to his guru’s direct personal instruction is simply an offensive attitude that completely disqualifies him from any ability or empowerment to do the editing work that he was once trusted by Srila Prabhupada to do.
Now let us read further into the purport and examine things more. Did he stop there, or did he continue to change that which he was specifically instructed not to? The second thing we will find is a small change (but still a disregard for the clear order of his guru): A comma was moved, and then farther along we will see the word “ksatriyas” was added, an “a” was changed to “the” and “later” was changed to “last” some words were moved around and the word “state” was changed to “stage”.
So one may claim that these are all small changes and are not drastically changing the philosophy. Okay, fine. Then why change it???
What if we feel that every word Srila Prabhupada has said that doesn’t make sense to our conditioned imperfect mundane mind and senses should be changed? What if we find something Srila Prabhupada said, or is in his books, that may not make sense to the materialistic naradhama’s who are less then sudra’s and are impersonalistic demons and so-called scholars and philosophers of Kali yuga? Then should those words be changed also? But what if we feel that the words of Srila Prabhupada are sacred and not to be simply deleted and replaced with the ever changing whims and mental speculations based on the changing mundane laws and intellect of a conditioned soul and their society (or as I call it “suiciety”)?
It really doesn’t matter what we feel in this regard, if you agree or disagree, or what other devotees think. It is all irrelevant. The fact is that Srila Prabhupada never said that his books should be edited after his disappearance, for any reason. On the contrary Srila Prabhupada said:
Prabhupada: The system is: whatever authority has done, even there is mistake, it should be accepted.
Prabhupada: Arsha prayoga [Arsha-prayoga is a Sanskrit word meaning complete acceptance of what is left by the authorities, as it is, without any change at all] That is ha… He should not become more learned than the authority. That is very bad habit…. Why finish it? Whatever is done is done. No more….
Radha-vallabha: Well, now that this system of no corrections anywhere, that makes it very simple. Then he can’t do anything. I don’t think he wants to, either. It makes it more simple for him. It makes him very uncomfortable.
Prabhupada: No corrections. (February 28, 1977, Mayapura)
So unless one is self-realized, there is practically no use writing about Krsna.This transcendental writing does not depend on material education. It depends on the spiritual realization. You’ll find, therefore, in the comments of Bhagavatam by different acaryas, even there are some discrepancies, they are accepted as Arsha-prayoga. It should remain as it is. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.23-24 – Vrndavana, March 31, 1976)
I know that these rascals are doing. What can be done? How they can be relied on?…It is starting. What can I do? These cannot… These rascals cannot be educated. Dangerous. Little learning, dangerous….alteration. That is his business. That is American business. They take that always. What can I do?… So how to check this? How to stop this?…Very serious feature. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO CHECK, and they are doing all nonsense, freedom. (pause) What to do?…It is very serious situation….So you… What you are going… It is 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… They are doing anything and everything at their whim.” THE NEXT PRINTING SHOULD BE AGAIN TO THE ORIGINAL WAY….So write them immediately that “The rascal editors, they are doing havoc…So what to do?…THEY CANNOT CHANGE ANYTHING….So on the whole, these dangerous things are going on. How to check it?…So they are doing very freely and dangerously. (June 22, 1977, Vrndavana)
When Jayadvaita swami was questioned by Govinda dasi (on January, 19 2003) on whether or not he ever even once got the order from Srila Prabhupada that he should edit Prabhupada’s books after his disappearance Jayadvaita confessed: “I never got an explicit word from Srila Prabhupada to do this work at an explicit time.”
What is important is what Prabhupada wants, what Prabhupada orders and he orders “No corrections” and “they cannot change anything” and there is no one anywhere, even Jayadvaita, who can dispute this. But he has made thousands of completely needless changes. And he will continue to do this because that is his disease.
The changing of the words that Srila Prabhupada approved of is only one side of the story. The other side is the mood that the act of changing the acharya’s works creates. And as far as I can tell this has an equally damaging effect at the roots of our once great society we call ISKCON. This damage is going on on a more subtle level, so many devotee’s may not catch it. For it is not a change to any thing one may see, like words in books, but to something that Srila Prabhupada, our acharyas and the goswamis worked so hard to establish. It is a change to the mood and basic philosophical understanding of how Krishna Consciousness works and was given to us faithful followers of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. it is a lack of respect and fidelity to our acharya:
“One should have complete faith in the guru, who helps the disciple make progress in spiritual life. As soon as the disciple thinks independently, not caring for the instructions of the spiritual master, he is a failure (yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ‘pi).”(SB 8.17.1) So weather we deviate one millimeter or one mile the result is the same – deviation!
“There is a proverb, hira and khira. Hira means diamond and khira means cucumber. It has no value, a few cents. And diamond is very valuable. But if some, somebody steals khira, he’s also criminal, and one steals hira, he’s also criminal. The punishment is equal. If he says: “I have stolen one khira. What is the value of it?” But by law, he’s criminal. Never mind.” (Morning Walk – April 26, 1973, Los Angeles)
So by Jayadvaita Swami’s saying “Lest we stand in defiance of Srila Prabhupada’s sacred order. This is a point of view with which I respectfully disagree.” Clearly reveals his attitude and lack of respect for Srila Prabhupada, for everything Srila Prabhupada says is sacred! It is not for the disciple to choose what the guru says is sacred and what is not! This is a slap in the face of Srila Prabhupada.
“Although one may be well versed in the transcendental science, one should be careful about the offense of maryada-vyatikrama, or impertinently surpassing a greater personality. According to scriptural injunction one should be very careful of transgressing the law of maryada-vyatikrama because by so doing one loses his duration of life, his opulence, fame and piety and the blessings of all the world.” (SB 3.4.26)
So this is a very very very important point that we sometimes forget about in our society due to trying to preach in the westernized world. But without this mood of intense respect and focus on Srila Prabhupada what is the substance to our preaching? What is the substance of our society? On what basis do we even have any connection to Lord Caitanya or Krishna?
In 1977 when everyone knew that Srila Prabhupada was going to disappear from our mundane vision he instructed us “I am great. Don’t Make me small.” So if we disconnect our self from Srila Prabhupada by disrespecting him and making him small by changing his words because our conditioned imperfect minds and senses do not like them, then what is our hope? Everything is based on if we keep Srila Prabhupada in the center or not! If we cannot have as much respect for Srila Prabhupada (in the form of his books, or personal instructions) as vimudhas, naradhamas and karmies do for their mundane heroes and books of knowledge then we must seriously consider what is our position?
So this is a disease in our movement.
Let us examine this point and look at a mundane document, like take for example the U.S. constitution. No one would dare even move one comma in that mundane document, no one would ever even think of it. Let us look at another example, say the writings of Shakespeare. Would anyone dare to grammatically ‘correct’ his writings? Would any respectable gentleman dare to make them more according to the modern laws of grammar?
So why do we, the faithful followers of Srila Prabhupada not afford the same respect or better for our spiritual master?
Jayadvaita’s claim is that he is making things “closer to Srila Prabhupada” but this is a bald face lie, for if we take the changes mentioned in this article and compare them to the original drafts (what Jayadvaita calls manuscripts) of verse 12.12 we will find that the word used there is “regulated” NOT the word Jayadvaita added “regulative”. If we look at the other changes we will find that quite often Jayadvaita Swami is making them farther away from the drafts and closer to his own understandings, whatever that may be. So no, this is NOT closer to Srila Prabhupada it is closer to Jayadvaita.
At one point Srila Prabhupada apparently trusted Jayadvaita and may have even wanted him to be trusted by the devotees. But everyone can change.
We all have our free will and our position to use as we like.
Srila Prabhupada would give his blessings to his disciples on a regular basis. We find in almost every letter Srila Prabhupada begins it by saying “My dear__________ please accept my blessings” and Prabhupada would sign it “Your ever well wisher”
But it is up to the individual soul to accept or reject these blessings. At one point Srila Prabhupada extended his blessings to Nitai (one of the earlier editors of Srila Prabhupada’s books) and even immortalized Nitai’s name by personally thanking him in the concluding words of Srila Prabhupada’s Caitanya-caritamrta. But later on Srila Prabhupada kicked that same Nitai out of ISKCON and called him a black snake.
So does this mean that if someone is once designated as an authorized person and to be trusted, then he must always be authorized and trusted, no matter what he does after that point of being authorized? Could it be possible that someone can go from being authorized and trusted to being unauthorized and untrustworthy?
Let us take a moment to look at the history of those disciples of Srila Prabhupada who he establish as leaders, and asked his junior disciples to follow. Many of which (even those who during the time they occupied the position of Gurus) later became child molesters, LSD mongers, murderers, gun smugglers, money launderers, etc etc. So one may argue that Srila Prabhupada gave the direct instruction for us to totally surrender and follow a particular devotee with our life and soul, and at one time Srila Prabhupada had trusted that devotee. But now that devotee is a child molester or druggie or whatever. So does that mean that we should continue to blindly follow that once authorized devotee that is now deviating from Srila Prabhupada’s orders?
We must consider these points.
Jayadvaita forcefully demands that everyone, all the followers of Srila Prabhupada, accept his changed books as good or better then Srila Prabhupada’s books. Let us examine a few examples of this situation:
He is averse to the sale, distribution, publishing, or even stocking of all Srila Prabhupada’s approved authorized books at ISKCON temples. In fact many devotees have been forbidden from distributing original books (the books Srila Prabhupada authorized and personally himself distributed) on ISKCON property or at ISKCON functions. So if we forbid the authorized books of Srila Prabhupada at our preaching functions then we must very seriously consider what the following statement by Srila Prabhupada implies?
“The success of your preaching will be substantiated by how many books are sold.” (30 September, 1972)
Jayadavita has an extensive campaign of constantly traveling all over the world at an exorbitant expense to our society simply to brainwash the innocent mass of devotees that the books Srila Prabhupada personally approved of and he himself distributed are now obsolete and inferior to Jayadvaitas edited books. As a result of this, presently, if one is seen reading from the original books in public at an ISKCON temple one is immediately looked upon as some type of an insurgent, maverick, deviant, ritvik or just someone dogmatically and irrationally attached to a disused and inferior relic, due them being the pre-Jayadavita books and unapproved and unchanged by him.
What’s next? In another 40 years maybe those that chant Hare Krishna will be ostracized from ISKCON
He has removed Srila Prabhupada’s authorized original books from the Vedabase/folio so devotees are not able to even access them. There is a whole new and revised Srimad-Bhagvatam in the Vedabase/folio and now Dravida (Jayadavita’s editing partner) is going through the folio and actually changing the words of Prabhupada because he does not think Prabhupada selected the correct words.
In a recent meeting a devotee informed Jayadvaita Swami that this summer at the New York Rathyatra 5000 original books were distributed. Upon hearing this Jayadvaita blew his top. Infuriated, he began to yell at this devotee “thats 5000 offenses to Srila Prabhupada” and demanded him to not distribute the original books of Prabhupada. For half an hour Jayadvaita lectured this devotee how his distributing of Srila Prabhupada’s original books is offensive and he should only distribute the revised Jayadvaita versions. When I heard this I could not believe that he had the audacity to make such an insane statement that Srila Prabhupada’s books being unchanged and unauthorized by him are taboo and forbidden and this devotee should not execute his free will but only distribute the Jayadvaita books. Let us take a moment to consider Jayadavita’s viewpoint… According to him During Srila Prabhupada’s personal presence and guidance of this movement, Srila Prabhupada was offensive because Jayadvaita’s changed books had not manifested their divine appearance yet and we poor bewildered souls only had Srila Prabhupada’s inferior books at that time. So according to this premisses, all those books that Srila Prabhupada personally pushed his disciples to distribute, Prabhupada personally read from, gave classes from, and Srila Prabhupada also personally distributed, are all offensive because they were not changed by Jayadavita so are now contraband, forbidden and inferior to Jayadvaita’s versions.
Recently another interesting instance of Jayadvaita’s dictatorship had taken place with an official ISKCON initiating guru. Jayadvaita took a very senior devotee in a private room and impertinently lectured him for two hours because he (being a very influential person in ISKCON) would not keep his mouth shut about his faith in Prabhupada’s original books and his disagreement with all the thousands of changes Jayadvaita has made. This ISKCON guru and GBC member humbly tolerated Jayadvaita’s rantings and did not changed his standpoint. All glories to him! A real disciple of Srila Prabhupada and a shining example for the rest of us to follow!
Having learned from the unfortunate plight the BBT is currently in, Bhakti Vikas Swami, Just to prevent persons like Jayadvaita Swami from unauthorizedly changing his books after he has departed from this world, has established his own Book Trust for all his books. He has made very specific rules for this Book Trust that no one, no matter who they may be, at any time, is ever permitted to change anything whatsoever throughout all his books.
NOTE: The specific changes to the purport of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is 12.12 that this article focuses on may be small but there are many that are not small, they are major. The specific change this article focuses on does not make it closer to the Bhagavad-gita drafts, as Jayadvata claims, “closer to Srila Prabhupada”, it makes it closer to Jayadvaita and Dravida, that’s all. There are thousands upon thousands of changes to Srila Prabhupada’s once pure and transcendental books. If one wishes to make a thorough study of both the small and big changes of Srila Prabhupada’s books please refer to the website bookchanges.com. There one may find many unbiased and in-depth articles on this matter.
Letter to Jayadvaita from Srila Prabhupada to not change verse 12:12 or purport:
17 March, 1971
My Dear Jayadvaita,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 21st February, 1971 and noted the contents carefully. I do not know what may have happened to the letter dated 9th January, 1971, but I have not received it.
Regarding your questions:
12:12: The ultimate point is to come to the stage of loving Krsna and all other indirect processes are subsidiary. We are concerned here with approaching Krsna by the direct process of devotional service. Independent of Krsna consciousness, the cultivation of knowledge, work, meditation and renunciation are of no value or the proud achievements of the atheist or less intelligent class of men. In this connection, the term “knowledge” is mental speculative theorizing up to the stage of brahmajnana or impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth. Especially such knowledge as it is concerned with various views of the causal and effective material phenomena is of no importance in the matter of spiritual realization or God-consciousness which is transcendental to the realm of sensual, mental and intellectual activities. So the order of supercession of these various indirect processes for approaching the Absolute Truth is not as much important as fixed understanding of the exalted position of devotional service rendered directly to Krsna.
14:27: Impersonal Brahman is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness because without coming to the brahma-bhutah platform and remaining engaged in the activities of brahman nobody can be joyful. To realize that aham brahmasmi is the first step of transcendental life. After one is in full knowledge that he is not this body, but is spiritual soul, he can effectually engage himself in the transcendental service of the Lord. It is not that one develops any other identity, but the soul in its liberated existence is Brahman or pure spirit always. You know that each of the successive realizations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead includes the earlier realizations in the order of Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. If you want to go into the sun planet, you have first to go into the sunshine; then you remain in the sunlight. It is not that when you reach the sun planet you will no longer be in the sunlight. I have dictated the missing purports from Chapter IX and they are set enclosed herewith. So far changing the working of verse or purport of 12:12 discussed before, it may remain as it is. Hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Letter from Jayadvaita Swami trying to justify his direct disobedience to his spiritual masters personal order and direct instruction:
“The story on 12:12:
I asked Srila Prabhupada whether the sequence of items mentioned in the verse (which to me seemed inconsistent with the Sanskrit) should be changed. He said no. Respecting his order, I left the verse as is.
Srila Prabhupada gave a very specific answer to a very specific question.
Someone now wants to extend Srila Prabhupada’s specific answer to make it a general order to the effect that not a word of the purport should be changed. And so the obviously erroneous “regulated principles” — a term that makes no sense — must be forever preserved, and not revised to the usual and sensible “regulative principles,” lest we stand in defiance of Srila Prabhupada’s sacred order.
This is a point of view with which I respectfully disagree.”