The Spin Doctor Has Gone Too Far!

Jayadvaita Swami -- The changer of Srila Prabhupada's books

In his rebuttal of Mother Govinda dasi’s letter, “Book Changes: History Backs the BBT“, Jayadvaita Swami asserts that history supports his very strange claim that Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva did not work together on the editing of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita.

He claims that Mother Govinda dasi was wrong and that she did not ever see Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva working together on Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita. He very much respects his godsister, but still claims she could never have seen this… She is just plain wrong.

And as the master of spin, he has quoted Srila Prabhupada to “prove” that Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva never worked together on the editing of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita. And what is that quote?

    “Recently, Hayagriva came from Columbus, and he remained with me for more than a fortnight. He was assisting me in editing Srimad-Bhagavatam. Now he is married with Syama Dasi and has returned to New Vrindaban with his many responsibilities.”
    (Letter to Rupanuga, January 15, 1969)

So Jayadvaita is trying to “spin” this quote where Prabhupada clearly says he and Hayagriva were working together editing Srimad-Bhagavatam to “prove” that Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva did not work together editing the Bhagavad-gita… You have to laugh… or cry. Who could accept this “logic”?

If Prabhupada and Hayagriva were working together at the end of 1968 on the Bhagavatam then surely that would indicate they worked together similarly on the Bhagavad-gita in 1967?

We know that Hayagriva was working on editing the Bhagavad-gita in August of 1967.

Srila Prabhupada’s Letter to Hayagriva, August 29, 1967:

    “… am very glad to receive your first letter to me in India. So far Gita is concerned, please get it completed as soon as possible; it must be published now,…”

This work was disturbed by Kirtanananda, who returned from India to New York with a strange philosophy and convinced Hayagriva to go off with him to start another spiritual center that turned out to be the New Vrindavan Farm community. So Hayagriva was out of the picture for a couple of months.

Srila Prabhupada’s Letter to Brahmananda, November 18, 1967:

    “As he [Rayarama] is now engaged in finishing Gita Upanisad, it is understood that he cannot work. The editing of Gita Upanisad is already much delayed. I think it was in this month of November last year [1966] my compilation of Gita Upanisad was finished. The editing work was first entrusted with Rayarama, but as he could not finish it the work was transferred to Hayagriva. In this way even within one year the editing work could not be finished. This is not very encouraging. Now it must be finished within three weeks and hand it over to MacMillan Co. Today I shall go to the travel agent’s office for booking my seat and may start by next Monday or Tuesday. In my next letter I shall let you and Mukunda know of my journey from Calcutta to San Francisco, via Bangkok, Hong Kong etc. Hope you are well.”

So we can see Srila Prabhupada finished writing the Bhagavad-gita As It Is in November 1966. Editing was given to Rayarama, who could not complete it, and then editing was transferred to Hayagriva sometime in 1967 [before Prabhupada went to India]. Then Hayagriva left with Kirtanananda for a couple of months and in this time Prabhupada tried to get Rayarama to complete the editing, but it seems again he could not finish it and it was again handed back to Hayagriva to complete.

Srila Prabhupada’s Letter to Hayagriva, March 17, 1968:

    “I thank you very much for your letter dated March 9, 1968. I have come back to San Francisco on the 8th March, and while I was in Los Angeles for two months, I received the balance portion of Bhagavad-gita edited by you. I am expecting the foreword also, but I can understand that it was not yet dispatched. So, when it is prepared you can send it to me here in S.F. I am so glad to understand that you are missing the atmosphere of S.F. which you so nicely enjoyed last year, and similarly, I am also missing your company which I enjoyed last year here.

    Whenever I go to the class, I remember you, how joyfully you were chanting in the Temple, and whistling the bugle so nicely. Whenever I see the cornet lying idle because nobody can play on this particular instrument, I remember Hayagriva Brahmacari immediately.”

In this very revealing letter we find that Rayarama again did not complete the editing and again the job of finishing the editing of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is was given to Hayagriva, and by sometime in February 1968, Srila Prabhupada received the “balance portion” of Bhagavad-gita edited by Hayagriva. Now Prabhupada is only waiting for the edited foreword to come from Hayagriva and the manuscript will be complete.

The most important point: “I am also missing your company which I enjoyed last year here. Whenever I go to the class, I remember you, how joyfully you were chanting in the Temple, and whistling the bugle so nicely.”

Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva were living together in San Francisco in 1967, which is the time when Hayagriva did most of the Bhagavad-gita editing. So this would be the time when Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva sat together regularly and discussed the editing of Bhagavad-gita As It Is. How can anyone think that in 1967, when Srila Prabhupada had just finished writing his Bhagavad-gita As It Is in December of 1966, and now he was living in San Francisco with Hayagriva Prabhu, that they did not discuss the editing of Bhagavad-gita, which was the most important project in ISKCON at that time?

Hayagriva also remembers, in his Hare Krishna Explosion book, consulting with Srila Prabhupada daily on the editing work for Bhagavad-gita As It Is. How does spin-doctor Jayadvaita Swami deal with this?

    “Hayagriva does speak of consulting Srila Prabhupada “daily” throughout the spring of ’67. But Hayagriva’s memory must have been tricking him: In the time he speaks of, he was in San Francisco, Srila Prabhupada in New York.”

Strange. Both Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva and Govinda dasi all remember being together in 1967. But our spin doctor is saying “No no no. It’s not true. It’s not true… Hayagriva imagined it, Govinda dasi imagined it and Prabhupada imagined it…”

Jayadvaita Swami, I think everyone can agree, is great at spinning things. But here he has overstepped all reasonable boundaries. To try and spin Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva working together editing the Bhagavatam and use this to “prove” that Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva did not work together on editing the Bhagavad-gita is JUST TOO MUCH…

And we have the testimony now of Srila Prabhupada, Hayagriva Prabhu and Govinda dasi, who all recall Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva working together daily on the editing of Bhagavad-gita in 1967 in San Francisco.

So the conclusion: Jayadvaita Swami is “just plain wrong…”

One visitor to left a very nice comment a couple of days ago:

    Submitted on 2010/08/22 at 8:42am

    Dear Prabhujis

    I have been listening to this controversy around the edited books, and I would like to make a suggestion/statement. If I had an employee that cost my business one million dollars through a lawsuit that I didn’t win I would fire that employee. Pure and Simple.

    His Holiness JaiAdvaita Swami Maharaj should be “put out to pasture” and preach the glories of Lord Caitanya throughout the world. That is his job as a Sanyasi. He is now old like the rest of us, and sufficiently realized in his Krishna Consciousness to have a profound preaching result.

    His work as Editor of Srila Prabhupada’s books has now come to an end, and it will cost millions more to reverse this mess. Send him on the road as a senior devotee. Hari Bol!

PS: Dravida’s post does not deserve a reply. We all admit that there are some genuine typographical errors in the Bhagavad-gita and no one is complaining about correcting genuine typographical errors. Dravida is trying to use the tactics Jayadvaita Swami was using ten years ago. We have gone past that stage now. Some of the changes he mentions also should not have been changed. But I am not going to go down that path. For further information, please refer to

5 thoughts on “The Spin Doctor Has Gone Too Far!

  1. Thank you very much prabhu When I read perfect verses ruined by unnecessarily changing them it makes me very very depressed and angry I can only hope and support these efforts to return verses 2:20 3:39 as example to there former poetic ,powerful and authorized Glory !!!

  2. Srila Prabupadas translations must be maintained/distributed in original text. Meaning has been significantly changed by new Swami editing! This is hurt to Srila Prabhupada. Please honor Srimad Madhudvisa as well.

  3. Hare Krishna Madhudvisa Prabhu

    Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    I think Lord Krishna has chosen you to distribute Original (Unedited)books of Srila Prabhupada…

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