Book Changes And The Disciplic Succession
Vidura Mahatma dasa — October 10, 2015
Disciplic succession scattered by personal whims of demonic persons
“Certainly Bhagavad-gītā was never meant for the demonic persons, who would dissipate its value for no one’s benefit and would devise all types of interpretations according to personal whims. As soon as the original purpose was scattered by the motives of the unscrupulous commentators, there arose the need to reestablish the disciplic succession.” (Bg As It Is 4.2 purport by HDG Srila Prabhupada — Original, Unrevised, 1972 edition)
Srila Prabhupada’s Gītā fulfills the purpose that was scattered
“Since there is a great need of an edition of the Gītā in English, as it is received by the paramparā (disciplic succession) system, an attempt is made herewith to fulfill this great want.” (Bg As It Is 4.2 purport)
No use of consulting a lost version
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.
Guest: So you just give it as it is.
Prabhupāda: That is… Therefore my Bhagavad-gītā is named Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. No interpretation.
Disciple: Each word 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.
Guest: Do you believe that the Gītā should be followed as it is or interpretation…
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. If you read somebody’s book, you must read the author’s version. Why should you bring interpretation? This is… You have no business. If you want to say something of your philosophy, you can say, but why do you take Bhagavad-gītā and give your own interpretation? That is very bad. (Room Conversation—December 29, 1976, Bombay)
Useless to listen to a broken, concocted version of the gita
“To follow in the footsteps of the Mahatmas means to give submissive aural reception to the words and instructions of the bona fide Spiritual Master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself. When the Lord appeared on this earth 5,000 years ago, He instructed Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna, and this purely transcendental message of Krishna has been passed down for the past 5,000 years by the media of sincere disciples giving submissive aural reception to the words of Krishna via the medium of the bona fide Spiritual Master. This acts like electricity, and if you touch a wire anywhere which is connected to the powerhouse, then you will be in contact with the electric current. But if the wire is broken or separated from the powerhouse, then there will be no electric current. Similarly, if we hear the unadulterated message of Lord Krishna from the authorized source, we will immediately be in contact with the transcendental atmosphere; but if we listen to someone who is presenting a broken, concocted version of Bhagavad-gita, that will be useless.” (Letter to: Yamunacarya — Tittenhurst 21 October, 1969)
As soon as personal whims come in, the message is lost and becomes offensive.
“As soon as there is some personal interpretation, the message is lost and the instructions become offensive. A person who interprets the scriptures according to his own whims should be immediately rejected.” (Elevation to Krsna Consciousness: Taking to Krsna Consciousness)
Rascals changing Srila Prabhupada’s books at their whim
Yaśodā-nandana: Sometimes they appeal that “We can make better English,” so they change like that, just like in the case of Īśopaniṣad. There are over a hundred changes. So where is the need? Your words are sufficient. The potency is there. When they change, it is something else.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: That’s actually a very dangerous mentality.
Yaśodā-nandana: What is it going to be in five years? It’s going to be a different book.
Prabhupāda: So you… What you are going… It is very serious situation. You write one letter that “Why you have made so many changes?” And whom to write? Who will care? All rascals are there. Write to Satsvarūpa that “This is the position. They are doing anything and everything at their whim.” The next printing should be again to the original way. (Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk — June 22, 1977, Vṛndāvana)
Teaching spoiled by self-made, unauthorized guru’s trying to explain it
“Sa kāleneha yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa. But as soon as it began to be explained to others, without being in the disciplic succession, in the chain of disciplic succession, speaking the same truth, it becomes broken. Sa kāleneha yogo naṣṭaḥ. Yoga naṣṭaḥ. It is spoiled. If one does not come in the disciplic succession, he’ll spoil the teaching. That is being done. So-called commentator, teacher of Bhagavad-gītā, he does not come in the disciplic succession. He is self-made guru. Therefore he’s not guru. Self-made guru cannot be guru. He must be authorized by the bona fide guru. Then he’s guru. This is the fact.” (The Nectar of Devotion — Vrndavana, October 31, 1972)
As soon as the discipline is broken, everything is lost.
Disciple: “This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.”
Prabhupāda: That’s it. As soon as the discipline broken, then everything is lost. Now you can dance like a dog. That will not affect. Nobody can do that unless there is spiritual strength. Now, last night Madhudviṣa Mahārāja was singing, and so many men became enthused to dance. So unless there is spiritual strength, it cannot be done. Others cannot ask and dance. No, that is not possible. That is not possible. Unless there is spiritual strength, you cannot enthuse others. So we should have to acquire spiritual strength by following the regulative principle. Sanātana Gosvāmī has therefore forbidden. Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇam pūta-hari-kathāmṛtam śravanām kartavyam: “Those who are not following Vaiṣṇava principles, one should not hear from him.” Why? It is Kṛṣṇa-kathā, Kṛṣṇa’s. Now sarpocchiṣṭa-payo yathā: “Milk is very good, but as soon as it is touched by a serpent, it is no more good. It is harmful.” So one must be Vaiṣṇava. Unless one is Vaiṣṇava, there is injunction, “Don’t hear from him. It will be poisonous.” So one who is not following Vaiṣṇava principle, he cannot speak about Vaiṣṇava principle. It is harmful. That is forbidden by ācāryas, Sanātana Gosvāmī. If somebody says, “What is the harm? He is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa…” He cannot chant. That is a show-bottle chant. That is not effective. (Room Conversation with Bhurijana dasa and Disciples — July 1, 1974, Melbourne)
There is presently an urgent need to protect and preserve the authorized disiplic succession. Srila Prabhupada is the current and bona fide link in the parampara. His books fully represent him, being non-different from him. Srila Prabhupada lives through his books. As we preserve Srila Prabhupada’s authorized books, we are preserving the original purpose of Krsna’s words, which is to induce the fallen conditioned souls to surrender unto Him as per His instruction in the Bhagavad-gita (18.66). In this way we must all act as bona fide spiritual master successors in the disciplic succession. To act as a successor means distributing the pure message, without adulteration. This is the whole scheme of disciplic succession. All of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples are expected to act in this capacity by distributing his authorized books and presenting everything exactly how Srila Prabhupada has presented it. This makes a perfect disciple.
ISKCON and BBTi are systematically scattering the parampara on a two-fold basis: they are posing themselves as bona fide diksa gurus and changing Srila Prabhupada’s books. Both acts are completely unauthorized by Srila Prabhupada. BBTi editors are making thousands of dubious changes to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is and without any possibility for Srila Prabhupada to approve of the changes or the final printing, as had been the situation with Srila Prabhupada and his editors while Srila Prabhupada was physically manifest. Therefore, today these changes are unauthorized. The rascal editors conversation is relevant to today’s circumstances because it contains principles which may very well be applied to the book changes going on still to this day. As with any devotee acquainted with even some of the many changes done, it is clear that they have been done most whimsically, often times changing the philosophy in subtle ways. With such whimsical editing being done today, Srila Prabhupada’s books should just be printed again the original way.