What are "the Bhagavad-gita manuscripts"? Here's a four-part series that explains. (Click to see the full series)
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To understand the myths and controversies surrounding the BBT’s revised editions of Srila Prabhupada’s books, it is important to begin by understanding the history of how Srila Prabhupada directed his editors to work. Here are several articles providing this background.
Fueled by misinformation (and a bit of politics), many myths about BBT editing have entered ISKCON lore. Here are some of the most prominent.
|The myth that Śrīla Prabhupāda ordered, “Not a word of my books should be changed”|
|The myth of the “unedited books”|
|The myth that after an acarya departs his works are never to be edited|
|The myth that Hayagriva and Śrīla Prabhupāda worked extensively, side by side, on Bhagavad-gita As It Is|
|The myth that Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva together carefully reviewed the completed text of Bhagavad-gita As It Is|
|The myth about “softening” Śrīla Prabhupāda’s message|
|The myth that posthumous editing is something scholars deplore|
|The myth that you need to have footnotes|
|The myth of “no consultation”|
|The myth of the "rules and protocols for second editions"|
|The myth of the ultra-close vote|
|The myth that Srila Prabhupada's disciple Madhudvisa Dasa strongly opposes the changes|
|The myth that Jayadvaita Swami physically attacked Madhudvisa Dasa (junior)|
Ever since 1983, when the BBT published the second edition of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is, some readers have strongly objected to the BBT’s editing policies. We present some of the main objections, with responses.
|Editing without direct approval violates the principle of “arsa prayoga,” or honoring the guru|
|Many of the editorial revisions significantly change the meaning of the text.|
|Many changes were unnecessary|
|Śrīla Prabhupāda heard and lectured from a verse and said nothing about a need for further editing|
|How can the editors be so arrogant as to presume to “correct” Śrīla Prabhupāda?|
|Did Śrīla Prabhupāda ever order you to revise his books?|
|Revised editions don’t have the spiritual potency of the originals.|
|The original books are fully authorized and approved by Śrīla Prabhupāda. Anything later is less authoritative, less authentic.|
|Śrīla Prabhupāda’s voice and style|
|The Mona Lisa argument|
|Where does it end?|
|Why aren't scholars praising the second edition of the Gītā, the way they praised the first?|
|What you call an "original manuscript" is really just a draft|
|Shouldn’t the BBT make both editions of the Gītā available—the old one and the new?|