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770624 - Letter to Satsvarupa from Yasodanandana

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Vrindavan, 24th June, 1977.
From: Tamal Krishna
To: H.H. Sri Satsvarupa Goswami
Chief Editor BTG
BBT GBC member
Los Angeles, California,

Dear Satsvarupa Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, Who is delivering the three worlds by His Beautiful presentation of the Srimad Bhagavatam, the cream of all Vedic literatures…

On the morning of the 22nd June, 1977, at 7:00 a.m. in Vrindavan, Prabhupada told Tamal Krishna Goswami that He wanted to give class in His garden. He called for Swarup Damodar.

Swarupa Damodara Prabhu came and Satadhanya Maharaja, Bhakti Caru Maharaja, Upendra Prabhu, two Gurukula teachers and myself. First Prabhupada talked with Swarupa Damodara on the subjects of “Darwin’s theory”, “transmigration of the soul”, “importance of preaching to the scientists”.

Then after a few minutes, His Divine Grace requested Tamal Krishna Maharaja to read from the Srimad Bhagavatam, from the first canto, second chapter, fifth verse (1.2.5.). This was being read from a Srimad Bhagavatam edition dating 1972.The text is:


The whole Sanskrit verse was read and the synonyms were read

MUNAYAH…O sages SADHU… this is relevant

Prabhupada: “Sadhu prsto ‘ham” “repeat this”

TKG: “Sadhu. This is relevant”

Prabhupada: “Relevant”…

TKG: “It’s translated.”

Prabhupada: “This is nonsense. Who has done this? “Sadhu” means “remain pure”. What can be done?” (Later Prabhupada said they have subtracted the word “just”)

The English translation was read and Prabhupada remarked:

Prabhupada: “Now here it is “O Sages” and in the word meaning “of the sages”. Such a rascal Sanskrit scholar. Here it is an address (sambhodhana vocative) and it is respectful. Our so called Sanskrit scholars. They have little learning and immediately they become big scholars.”

Prabhupada was upset with this. He was very concerned with these corrections and changes which have been made in the Bhagavatam and other books.”

TKG: “We are finding that in the fifth canto there are words which are so far off, the meanings are changed. Bhakti Prem Maharaj has found at least one dozen mistakes.”

Sva. Dam: “First of all there are many mistakes in the numbers and figures.” At that point I mentioned to Prabhupada that in the original edition of Sri Isopanisad, many words had been changed in the subsequent reprints.

Prabhupada: I know that these rascals are doing this, but what can be done”

Swarupa Damodar asked Prabhupada if [it] was not the responsibility of the BBT press staff to check these mistakes.

Prabhupada: “The great rascal. Who is that? Jagannatha Dasa. And the other rascal is gone (pause) Nitai…What can I do. This rascal can’t be editor. Dangerous. So how to correct. The leader of this dangerous movement is Radha Ballabha. He is dangerous. He is maintaining these rascal editors”. Tamal Krishna Maharaja remarked that the original work is edited by Jayadwaita das.

Prabhupada: “He is good”.

TKG: “But even when they reprint the books, they make changes”

Prabhupada: “So how to stop it. They’re doing it without an authorization”.

At that point Prabhupada strongly condemned Nitai and said that “he was a rascal and he was trying to find out another guru. But now he is simply looking for a job to feed the belly. He’s simply looking for a job and if he doesn’t get a job he’ll starve. And he’s trying to find out a guru. Simply ‘job guru’. Prabhupada then again looked at Satadhanya and myself and said “How to change? How to stop it? They [are] doing this without an authority.”

Swarupa Damodara then suggested that all of Prabhupada’s books already printed should be reviewed again before reprinting to see if there are any mistakes or changes from the original. He expressed that all of the scholars are now appreciating Prabhupada’s books and if they find changes between the original editions, then their appreciation may reduce.

Prabhupada: “This is a very serious situation. It is not possible for me to check and they are doing this nonsense”. Prabhupada referred to many words which had been changed or taken off His original Bhagavatam especially in the first canto.) Tamal Krishna Goswami suggested that a revision committee composed of Satsvarupa Maharaja, Jayadvaita Prabhu and Bhakti Prem Maharaja be established. Prabhupada nodded His head and approved of it.

Prabhupada: “And this rascal Hayagriva, he has changed so many things from the original ‘Easy Journey to Other Planets’. He has changed many things I said about not going to the moon.”…..“This is a very dangerous situation. But who to write there. All rascals are there. The next printing should begin in the original way. So write to them immediately.”

At that point He looked straight at me and mentioned it twice. “These rascal editors are doing havoc. And they are maintained by Rameswara.

At that point Svarupa Damodara mentioned that he once submitted an article to BTG and many points were taken off his article. When Prabhupada heard this He mentioned “Just see. They are changing my writing and yours also. Just see these rascals. You tell them that they cannot change anything.”

This was like a thunderbolt. Prabhupada was very concerned with this issue all day and later in the afternoon He remarked: “It does not matter if the authorized acarya makes a mistake. It should not be changed. Just to honor Him they should leave His words as it is.”

As per His Divine Grace’s order to write to Your Holiness regarding this serious matter it is evident that He wants the few following points:

1. He does not want any change in His books.

2. Whatever has been printed up to now has to be revised and mistakes should be corrected. (Prabhupada was especially referring to the many changes occurring in the reprints of the first canto.)

3. Further printing to be done “in the original way”.

4. A revision committee consisting of Bhakti Prema Maharaja, Your good self and Jayadvaita Prabhu to check all the books and see any Sanskrit or English mistakes.

Yasodanandan Swami

After talking with Pradyumna Prabhu, he has mentioned that many of Prabhupada’s original words and verbs used in His original translation of Chaitanya Caritamrta and Bhagavatam are changed. In other words the translation that Prabhupada makes “off the tape” should be printed as nearly as possible to the original.

PS – This was read before His Divine Grace on 24.6.77 at 7:30 AM. approved by him Regarding the Madhva article, I’m preparing a more comprehensible introduction and a presentation of his contributions to Vaishnava literature as well as the link of the Madhva and Gaudiya Sampradaya. If you feel the article has any printing potential (the original idea was to combine it with a photographic report on Udupi) you may let me know so that the labor which I’m undertaking will not simply end up in the corner of a shelf.

I do not really mind what happens to it. However if you could kindly let me know what you intend to do, it would be greatly appreciated.

I hope this finds you in good Krishna Consciousness.

Hare Krishna,

Your humble servant,
Yasodanandan Swami