Faithful To Srila Prabhupada’s Words
Posted March 11, 2006
Thank you to Vyapaka Prabhu (and internet news sites) for highlighting two excellent examples of how the older editions of Srila Prabhupada’s books differ from the newer, more carefully edited ones.
Here are those examples again (this time followed by the original text from which they came):
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 1972 Edition:
Discharging one’s specific duty in any field of action in accordance with varnasrama-dharma serves to elevate one to a higher status of life.
- 1983 Edition:
Discharging one’s specific duty in any field of action in accordance with the orders of higher authorities serves to elevate one to a higher status of life.
- Srila Prabhupada's original manuscript
(Chapter Two was personally typed by His Divine Grace):
To discharge one’s specific duty in any field of action and as ordered by higher authority is the opportunity for being elevated in higher status of life.
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 19.157:
- 1975 Edition:
If one thinks that there are many pseudo devotees or nondevotees in the Krsna Consciousness Society, one can keep direct company with the spiritual master, and if there is any doubt, one should consult the spiritual master.
- 1996 Edition:
Even if one thinks that there are many pseudo devotees or nondevotees in the Krishna Consciousness Society, still one should stick to the Society; if one thinks the Society's members are not pure devotees, one can keep direct company with the spiritual master, and if there is any doubt, one should consult the spiritual master.
- Original transcript:
If one thinks in the Society there are many so-called devotees or there are so many nondevotees, still one should stick to the Society, and if one thinks the Society members are not pure devotees, he can directly keep company or in touch with the spiritual master. If there is any doubt he should consult the spiritual master.
As you can plainly see, in both cases the later edition sticks more closely to Srila Prabhupada’s originally recorded words.
For both examples, the originals are stored at the Bhaktivedanta Archives. If Ranjit Prabhu is willing to take time out from his other work to scan and post them, that might help ease the doubts of those for whom my mere word on the matter would not be enough.
Of course, this is all old news. The example from the Gita has been on the Gita Revisions Explained website (Part 2) for several years. The example from Caitanya-caritamrta appeared in the BBT's booklet Responsible Publishing, which came out in 1998.
But it’s good that Vyapaka Prabhu has brought the examples up again, because they drive home the main advantage of the later editions: closer fidelity to Srila Prabhupada’s original words.
If you’d like to see well over 200 examples more—with the first edition, second edition, and original manuscript side by side (followed by explanatory comments)—you can turn to this page: Click Here. And you’ll find still more at www.jswami.info/editing.