SRILA PRABHUPADA EXPLAINS WHY THE MACMILLAN EDITION
IS THE ONLY BONA FIDE AND AUTHORIZED EDITION
SRILA PRABHUPADA EXPLAINS WHY THE MACMILLAN EDITION
IS THE ONLY BONAFIDE AND AUTHORIZED EDITION
Hare Krsna, all glories to Srila Prabhupada, and all Vaishnavas. The quotes below prove that the only authorized edition of the “Bhagavad Gita As It Is” is the 1972 edition published by Macmillan.
Proof from Srila Prabhupada that Hayagriva Das DID NOT change the BG philosophy in any way in the Macmillan edition
The following letter proves that Hayagriva Das did not change the BG philosophy in any way. What more proof than this is required for us to accept the Macmillan edition? This shows there was no need to make 5000+ changes.
Letter to Hansadutta written from Honolulu
June 08, 1975
My dear Hansadutta,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 30, 1975 and have noted the contents. I don’t think that Hayagriva is at fault. He has not changed the meaning or the philosophy in any way…
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta SwamiACBS/ps
This letter proves everything regarding the confusions that may be caused among some devotees. It is therefore COMPULSORY that we all must accept this statement because it was written by Srila Prabhupada who is not a conditioned soul but a confidential associate of Krsna.
If anyone still hesitates to accept this, then that person is not sane, and does not want to see the truth intentionally.
Therefore, some statements made earlier by ISKCON leaders are now presented which also confirm that Srila Prabhupada’s BG has been established and there is “no room for manipulation”. Now both the following proofs easily convince all that the only Authorized edition is the Macmillan 1972 print. Nothing else.
1.Jayadvaita Swami himself confirms that Bhagavad Gita is established, now what is the need to revise it
A very important conversation where Jayadvaita Swami states that establishment of BG is done by Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupāda: So, this is the position. The whole Vṛndāvana is full of Māyāvādīs. We have to be very, very cautious and careful. I was there. That Brahmānanda protested against that Aurobindo. And then “Don’t speak of Gītā.”
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, that’s what they told him.
Jayādvaita: They shouldn’t speak of Gītā. They should speak of whatever other thing they want.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Then why call it Gītā-pratiṣṭhāna?
Jayādvaita: That’s Prabhupāda’s promise. He’s establishing Bhagavad-gītā.
Srila Prabhupāda: Eh?
Jayādvaita: The actual establishment of Bhagavad-gītā is being done by Your Divine Grace. They should admit that, “We have our philosophy, but as far as Bhagavad-gītā goes, Śrīla Prabhupāda is establishing it all over the world. We have something else, our own idea.” They can say that.
Srila Prabhupāda: Now find out the way how to stop this class of men speaking in our halls.[Room Conversation 1-VRNDAVAN – November 03, 1977]
This shows that the BG is already potent enough and its establishment is already done, so there is no need for its editing.
This is a solid proof that shows the editors themselves knew that the 1972 edition was the only original established edition.
2. Gopala Krsna Goswami confirms that the Macmillan Edition has”No room for manipulation”
In the conversation below, we see GKG saying that this BG has “no room for manipulation”, also in the same excerpt Srila Prabhupada repeats himself twice saying that he is presenting “AS IT IS”
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Each śloka. Each chapter.
Guest (2): No, no. Not inside the book. Different volumes. Like eighteen chapters, but eighteen volumes.
Srila Prabhupāda: No, no.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: No. It’s in one book. Twelve hundred pages.
Indian man (3): And the interpretation is by you yourself?
Srila Prabhupāda: Yes. Not interpretation. I am explaining as it is. You can read one.
Indian man (3): Have you tried to compare with Gītā written by Gyaneshvara, or by Vinoba Bhave or by somebody else?
Srila Prabhupāda: According to Bhagavad-gītā, if you don’t follow the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, you may be very learned scholar, whatever you write, it is lost. We follow that principle. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). (aside) Find out this Fourth Chapter.
Indian man (2): Have these books been reviewed in foreign papers?
Srila Prabhupāda: It is very widely read.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: For example, in the Fourth Chapter Lord Kṛṣṇa says:
evaṁ paramparā-prāptamimaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥsa kāleneha mahatāyogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa(BG 4.2)
Srila Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa says that this Bhagavad-gītā has to be received by the disciplic succession. And sa kālena yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa. Because that disciplic succession is now broken, that yoga system is now lost. So, all these interpreters, they are interpreting in their own way. Therefore, it is lost. So, there is no use of consulting this lost version.
Indian man (3): So, you just give it as it is.
Srila Prabhupāda: That is . . . therefore my Bhagavad-gītā is named Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. No interpretation.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Each verse is the original Sanskrit śloka, English transliteration, word-by-word meaning, so there’s no room for manipulation. There’s a translation and purport. Every book that Śrīla Prabhupāda has written has the same format, and each book is illustrated.[Room conversation, December 29,1976, Bombay]
“The authorized edition of Bhagavad-gita will help to stop the terrible cheating of ‘gurus’ and ‘yogis’ who are false and unauthorized.”
Letter to: Svarupa, Ranadhira
Mayapur-3 February, 1976
The reviews have very much encouraged me. Especially those of Prof. Bhatt and Prof. Vajpeye. I have personally written a letter of thanks to Dr. Bhatt, that he has so much encouraged me. Dr. Vajpeye’s review we are going to print and widely distribute, especially in Bombay and Madras, where there is so much propaganda from these bogus gurus and yogis. He has got practical experience of how they are cheating the innocent people in foreign countries and he has written; “The authorized edition of Bhagavad-gita will help to stop the terrible cheating of ‘gurus’ and ‘yogis’ who are false and unauthorized.
‘One, it will help to stop the terrible cheating of false and unauthorized gurus and yogīs; and two, it will give an opportunity to Spanish-speaking people to understand the actual meaning of Oriental culture.”
Devotee (1): . . .in Mexico, and he’s been asked to actually take charge of the Oriental Studies, specifically on Hinduism. And he’s done a review on the Spanish Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.
Srila Prabhupāda: This is Spanish language?
Devotee (1): No, English.
Rāmeśvara: Printed in the Spanish Gītā.
Satsvarūpa: Shall I read it?
Rādhāvallabha: It’s very nice.
Srila Prabhupāda: Yes.Satsvarūpa: “As a native of India now living in the West, it has given me much grief to see so many of my fellow countrymen coming to the West in the role of gurus and spiritual leaders. Just as any ordinary man in the West becomes conscious of Christian culture from his very birth, any ordinary man in India becomes familiar with the principles of meditation and yoga from his very birth. Unfortunately, many unscrupulous persons come from India, exhibit their imperfect and ordinary knowledge of yoga, cheat the people with their wares consisting of mantras, and present themselves as incarnations of God. So many of these cheaters have come, convincing their foolish followers to accept them as God, that those who are actually well versed and learned in Indian culture have become very concerned and troubled. For this reason, I am very excited . . .”
Srila Prabhupāda: Send this copy to Indira Gandhi.
Devotee (2): Indira Gandhi.
Srila Prabhupāda: Yes, and request him stop, to send . . . give passport to all these nonsense. Do this. Yes.
Satsvarūpa: “For this reason I am very excited to see the publication of Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, by Śrī A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīla Prabhupāda, from his very birth, was trained in the strict practice of bhakti-yoga, and he appears in a succession of gurus that traces back to the original speaking of Bhagavad-gītā by Śrī Kṛṣṇa. His knowledge of Sanskrit is impeccable. His penetration into the inner meaning of the text is befitting only a fully realized soul who has indeed perfectly understood the meaning of Bhagavad-gītā. Personally, I intend to use this book in the courses which I am directing by invitation of the Mexican government on the language, culture and philosophy of India. This authorized edition of the Gītā will serve a double purpose in Spanish-speaking countries. One, it will help to stop the terrible cheating of false and unauthorized gurus and yogīs; and two, it will give an opportunity to Spanish-speaking people to understand the actual meaning of Oriental culture.”
Devotees: Jaya![Morning Walk – Mayapur- March 13.,1976]
Srila Prabhupada gives PROVEN RESULT on Original Macmillan Bhagavad Gita As It Is: “The proven result I would like to share with you.”
However, if we do not want to understand, concoct our own meaning, destroy the Bhagavad-gītā and give it to people. Neither are the people going to understand, nor will you. You perhaps know, that the Bhagavad-gītā we distribute and preach is called Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. There is no need to distort the meaning, we have to present it exactly the way the Supreme Person has spoken.
The proven result I would like to share with you. Our Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, is being published by the MacMillan company. They are printing 50,000 copies every year. This started in 1968. ’68, ’69, ’70, ’71 – there are four editions. Now it is the fifth edition. People in America and England are eagerly accepting it. Even though there are many English editions, written by reputed scholars from India, as well as scholars of other countries.[Lecture Bengali RV – Calcutta – – March 12, 1973]
Srila Prabhupāda: Ācāryas will never say: “I think,” “It is in my opinion.” No. Such things are not accepted. No personal opinion. It must be supported by Vedic evidences. That is called paramparā system, genuine system of understanding. As Kṛṣṇa says, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). No change.
Therefore, we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. We do not change. We have no power to change. Then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? I am a third-class man, and if I change the statements in the Bhagavad-gītā, then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā?That is going on. Therefore, it is practically . . . you have got experience that there are hundreds of Bhagavad-gītā edition in the Western countries, but because we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is, our sale is better than all others.
There is the report from the trade manager of Macmillan Company. He says: “While other editions are dwindling, going down, this edition is coming up.” They published our this present enlarged edition of Bhagavad-gītā, fifty thousand in the month of August. They are going to print again, second edition, August, September, October. So, the reason is that if we present things as they are, it will be accepted. Without any adulteration.
Sometimes, you know, people say that I have done miracles. They say everywhere. But I do not know anything miracles or magic. If there is any miracle, that miracle is that we present things as they are, that’s all, without any adulteration. So that should be the principle. Present as it is: it will be accepted.[Lecture SB 01.02.11 – Vrndavana – October 22,1972]
Srila Prabhupāda: You all will be relieved to learn that our Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, is selling in large numbers. We have just had the first edition printed. Earlier, the abridged edition was printed. Last August, the un-abridged edition was printed. So, August, September, October, November, December, January, February, and now it is March . . . in these seven or eight months, one lakh books have been sold . . . in seven or eight months. The McMillan Company (publisher) has said that we have to wait until July for the next supply because there is no stock. The McMillan company’s trade manager has himself written that the sale of our Bhagavad-gītā As It Is constantly increasing, and the other editions are decreasing. This is reality, and this is our success because we do not concoct.This is what I have taught them (my disciples) . . . you heard them speak . . . they only repeat what they have heard through the disciplic succession, and through this they are experiencing love for devotional service. Have you noticed this about them (my disciples)? They are all very young girls. Four year back, they were indulging in all kinds of wild activities that would not be appropriate to mention here. This girl, Kauśalyā, I brought her from Honolulu. The poor girl used to offer her obeisances to me. She had a dehydrated face and would roam the streets alone. I told her, “You come along with us.” I gave her initiation, and got her married. Now she worships the deities very nicely.[Lecture Bengali – Mayapur – March 16, 1973]
Ātreya Ṛṣi: A new edition is coming out by Macmillan, which is . . .
Srila Prabhupāda: A new edition. Oh, very good.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: A new edition, not . . . (indistinct)
Srila Prabhupāda: (indistinct) . . . it is very detailed and elaborate. .
Reporter lady: Does this contain all this . . . this . . . this . . .
Srila Prabhupāda: Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness proposal. Now it is coming out in this bigger edition, Macmillan.
Viṣṇujana: It’s a bigger edition, with original Sanskrit texts, roman transliteration, word-for-word and translation . . .
Srila Prabhupāda: This is the basic principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Viṣṇujana: We all accept this . . . (indistinct)
Srila Prabhupāda: This edition does not contain the original Sanskrit. The other edition contains the original Sanskrit, verse, and transliteration in roman type. Word meaning, translation and purport. So you popularize this book by your religious…. what is it? You are religious . . .[Interview – San Diego – June 30,1972]
Srila Prabhupāda: Hmm. So, I shall speak on Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. The purpose of saying Bhagavad-gītā as it is, explained, that there are many editions of Bhagavad-gītā, they have interpreted in their own way, giving up the spirit of Bhagavad-gītā. So, this particular name, “As It Is,” significant.
Perhaps there is no other edition of Bhagavad-gītā where it is written, “As It Is.” In this connection, Professor Dimock of Chicago University has written a foreword, and he very much appreciates the thing. He says, “Swami Bhaktivedanta comments upon the Gita from this point of view, and that is legitimate.” So, he accepts that Bhagavad-gītā As It Is is legitimate presentation of the great book of knowledge.
And he also says more than that. “In this translation the Western reader has the unique opportunity of seeing how a Kṛṣṇa devotee interprets His own text.” So, about Kṛṣṇa, the devotees actually can interpret about Kṛṣṇa book. Others, if they are not devotee, how they can interpret on Kṛṣṇa? Just like a member of a family can say very nicely about the head of the family. How outsiders can say about the family? That is not possible. Similarly, about Kṛṣṇa a Kṛṣṇa devotee can speak nicely, not others. Others have no right to speak about Kṛṣṇa.[Srila Prabhupada’s Lecture on Bhagavad Gita 07.01 – Los Angeles – August 1,1972]
imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁproktavān aham avyayamvivasvān manave prāhamanur ikṣvākave ‘bravīt(BG 4.1 ) evaṁ paramparā-prāptamimaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ . . .(BG 4.2)
Srila Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa says: “Long, long ago, many millions and millions of years ago, first I spoke this philosophy to the sun-god. And the sun-god, he explained this philosophy to his son, Manu. And Manu explained to his son, Ikṣvāku.” In this way there is the param . . . disciplic succession. Disciplic succession means the original lessons which was given by Kṛṣṇa, that should be transmitted from the original person to his disciple. So, our, this Bhagavad-gītā, we have named it Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. As it is. And here, Professor Dimmock, he has also written, “The definitive English edition of Bhagavad-gītā.” So, we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. This is called disciplic succession. We don’t say—not like the rascals—we interpret. No. No interpretation. The rascals, they interpret. He is a rascal, as if Kṛṣṇa left Bhagavad-gītā for this rascal’s interpretation. How much rascaldom it is. It is not . . . (indistinct) . . . Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Kṛṣṇa, as He says . . . Kṛṣṇa says:
mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyatkiñcid asti dhanañjaya (BG 7.7)
“My dear Arjuna, I am the Supreme. There is no more better authority than Me.” So, we are presenting this, that Kṛṣṇa is the original authority. So, this is paramparā system. We are not changing, that “Kṛṣṇa means this; Kṛṣṇa means that.” We don’t commit such rascaldom. Kṛṣṇa is the supreme authority. And.. . (aside) What is that?[Lecture BG 09.01-2 – Melbourne- June 30,1974]
Srila Prabhupāda:”Now, this paramparā system being lost, I am again reviving the Bhagavad-gītā again to you, Arjuna.” That means the author says if one does not understand Bhagavad-gītā through the paramparā system, then the whole thing is lost. So, you cannot interpret Bhagavad-gītā in your own way. Then the authority and the purport of Bhagavad-gītā is lost. So, we are trying to revive this paramparā system, and fortunately we have sold millions copies of this edition of Bhagavad-gītā. We are printing five hundred thousand, three hundred thousand, like that, and all over the world. There are many Bhagavad-gītās. There are about six hundred and forty different editions. But still our, this Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, it is being accepted very widely, and therefore we are very much hopeful.
And as practical example you can see so many European, American, they have taken to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness very seriously. And before this movement, many svāmīs, yogīs and scholars went to the foreign countries, but not a single person became a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. That’s a fact. Not a single person. But now, because Bhagavad-gītā is being presented as it is, so many thousands, they are becoming devotees of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So, this movement has practical effect, and both in the scholarly and people in general circle. And as advised by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, India should take this movement very seriously and send many trained teachers so that India’s glories will be enhanced. People will take it very seriously.[Interview – Chandigarh- October 16,1976]
Devotee (2): Many people are looking at the Bhagavad-gītā this evening,
Srila Prabhupāda: Oh.
Devotee (2): Many, many. They like the pictures.
Srila Prabhupāda: There is no such Bhagavad-gītā in the English language, or any language.
Devotee (2): I’m already arranging with the Collier-Macmillan that when Bhagavad-gītā comes to England, there will be a big publicity drive . . .
Srila Prabhupāda: Oh.
Devotee (2): . . . for the book, uh, reception of it.
Srila Prabhupāda: Yes.
Śyāmasundara: Are they going to print it here, or print it in the US and bring it on the boat?
Devotee (2): Bring it over on the boat.
Śyāmasundara: How many copies?
Devotee (2): Many, many. Actually, Collier-Macmillan, they will distribute them to the bookshops, and that will be very good for us.
Śyāmasundara: You do have to give them a little push.
Devotee (2): Yes, that’s right.
Srila Prabhupāda: We have got our basic principle of Vedic knowledge, so there is no comparison with our edition with any other. Theirs, mental spec . . . how long they will speculate?
(pause) (break)[Conversation – London – August 8,1972]
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: In the United States . . . these are many letters we have, just some of them, from different professors who are actually using Prabhupāda’s books, professors from respectable universities such as Harvard, Yale, Duke. Professor Dimmock, who is the leading scholar of southeastern languages at the University of Chicago, he very much appreciates Prabhupāda’s books.
Srila Prabhupāda: He has written one foreword.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: So, these books are being accepted as the authority, at least in America and England, so far as studies of Indian culture are concerned, philosophy, sociology. And you can see the beautiful presentation. Each Sanskrit is there, transliteration so that anyone can chant, word-for-word Sanskrit to English translation, translation in English, and then the purport, a commentary.
Prof. Olivier: That’s right. This is a good edition. Good edition.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Professor Dimmock, he says that there are many, many translations of Bhagavad-gītā, and he says that, “By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda has increased our understanding manyfold.”So, although it’s been prevalent in America . . . I know that when I was studying Humanities in college in the University of Florida, Bhagavad-gītā was required. And we read one edition, but it was very much limited. Until we come in contact with Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, the understanding is very much limited and stunted. But it’s not a sectarian approach. It’s purely scientific and realistic. There are many such reviews.
Prof. Olivier: (looking at review) Well, this is a good letter.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: All of our different books, just offhand. These are some of the colleges as of several months ago who placed standing orders for our books. Now the professors, as we go from college to college in America, in the universities they are using our books as textbooks, standard textbooks. They are seeing that the cost of the book is not the real criterion. The criterion is the quality of the teaching. Someone may be attracted by the cover of the books . . . (break) . . . transliteration is pronounced, different words, glossary for words which may not be so well understood by the neophyte, references. And for the different pictures, plate numbers and explanation. It’s a complete edition. Nothing has ever been seen like this in the Western world. So, there’s great authority behind it.
[Conversation – Durban – October 10, 1975]
Devotee (2): Many people are very anxious for the French Bhagavad-gītā. We’ve already received many letters in the mail asking for copies of it.
Umāpati: One advanced order for Bhagavad-gītā, eighty copies from a bookshop.
Srila Prabhupāda: Here?
Umāpati: In Africa.
Srila Prabhupāda: You can advertise in paper here. You will get good orders.
Bhagavān: They have said that this Aurobindo copy, this is almost out of print now.
Umāpati: There is no edition of Bhagavad-gītā like your edition ever in France. This is the first time.
Srila Prabhupāda: Aurobindo is hodgepodge. It is simply vocabulary. No concrete contribution. Simply words. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). In order to learn the science, one must go to the bona fide guru. Otherwise it is not possible. In the Bhagavad-gītā: find this verse:
tad viddhi praṇipātenaparipraśnena sevayāupadekṣyanti te jñānaṁjñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ(BG 4.34)[Conversation – Paris-August 12,1975]