Why Srila Prabhupada’s Books Are Authorized
by Yashoda-nandana das —
What is the strength of Srila Prabhupada’s books?
The secret of success.
Why are Srila Prabhupada’s books authorized?
“The description given in these books are not mundane speculations, but they are authorized versions of liberated souls, presented by our humble self. So the strength is not in us, but the strength is in the Supreme Lord. And we have to simply present them without any adulteration. That is the secret of success.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Devananda dasa, September 27, 1968)
The authority of the Acharya.
Srila Prabhupada: “I am surprised how I have written so many, [books] what to speak of them? It is Krsna’s mercy.”
Dhira Krsna: “One professor the other day was trying to convince one of our boys that you were coming in the disciplic succession and were authorized to translate all these books.”
Srila Prabhupada: “Yes, that is right.”
Dhira Krsna: “Because he was dressed and he didn’t know that he was your disciple, so he was saying, “Bhaktivedanta Swami, he is coming in a disciplic line straight from Krsna. That’s why he can speak on all these books.”
Srila Prabhupada: “Yes, that is a fact. That authority I have got. That’s a fact. tasyaite kathita hyarhah prakasante mahatmanah. They become manifest, all the meanings of the Vedic literature. yasya deve para bhaktih.”
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, March 1, 1975, Atlanta)
Prabhupada’s literary contribution to be remembered in history.
Brahmananda: …in the airport. And this caused big sensation, because never, even big Indian gurus have come to South Africa. Never have any whites bowed down. It was the first time whites bowed down to…
Srila Prabhupada: They clapped. After hearing me, they clapped. They purchased books. Now they are selling books. Some think my books are more important. We shall give more concentration for pushing and publishing. What do you think?
Tamala Krsna: Yes. That is our weapon. They are our strength, they are our guidance, and they are our ammunition. Everything is based on these books, everything. We are…
Srila Prabhupada: One Indian, a very learned scholar in Chandigarh, he has given very good certificate. What is that?
Satsvarupa: He said that ‘there have been many commentaries on the Bhagavad-Gita including Ramanuja, Madhava and Sankara’, and then he said, ‘Tilak and Gandhi, but of all of them the commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami is the greatest commentary.’ Punjab University. Then he said later that ‘In this suffering mankind, God has sent His Holiness A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.’
Srila Prabhupada: So, let us do our duty. Our attempt Krsna will see. That gentleman has written, ‘Swami Bhaktivedanta will be remembered for centuries, making history’, is not that?
Satsvarupa: Unsurpassed, this… Not just remembered, it will be unsurpassed.
Srila Prabhupada: And many foreign scholars also, they have. In France… In France one professor has said…the…
Srila Prabhupada: Aurobindo and Dr. RadhaKrishnan, they have compromised with the Western idea, but here is the real tradition of India. Actually it is a fact. All of them, they have tried to make a hodgepodge. And from the beginning my idea was I shall present as it is. That’s all. Therefore I gave this name “As It Is.” Caitanya Mahaprabhu said yare dekha tare kaha krsna-upadesa. Why shall I manufacture idea? Present this As It Is.
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, February 15, 1977, Mayapura)
Not a sentimental movement.
“Everything is there, provided they take it. Everything will be all right. So this is not a sentimental fanaticism, religious movement. That is scientific movement for the good of the whole world. That we have to convince by our character, by our behavior the people will accept it.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, March 13, 1975, Tehran)
“Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. No change. Others they are interpreting in their own way. That is not Bhagavad-Gita. That is something else.”
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, August 5, 1976, Paris)
Follower of parampara cannot change anything.
“So in the parampara system in that disciplic succession, you will find no change. You cannot change anything.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Caitanya-caritamrta, December 1, 1966, New York)
Srila Prabhupada’s books are the ultimate source of knowledge.
“But one thing I may inform you, that the three books which I have already prepared, namely the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Teachings of Lord Caitanya and Srimad Bhagavatam, all these books are the ultimate source of knowledge. If you simply reproduce what I have tried to explain in those books, surely you will come out victorious, even in the midst of so many mundane scholars. The descriptions given in these books are not mundane speculations, but they are authorized versions of liberated souls, presented by our humble self. So the strength is not in us, but the strength is in the Supreme Lord. And we have simply to present them without any adulteration, in humble service spirit. That is the secret of success.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Devananda dasa, September 1968)
Why are Srila Prabhupada’s books so potent?
Srila Prabhupada: “Thank you. You have read some of my books?”
Srila Prabhupada: “They are not my books. I am simply translating. They are written by Vyasadeva, the original Vedic scholar.”
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, February 26,1973, Jakarta)
Ramesvara: “The only hope is to read your books.”
Srila Prabhupada: “Not my books, Krsna’s books.”
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, June 8, 1976, Los Angeles)
Not humanly possible to write so many books.
Srila Prabhupada: Are you reading sometimes my books? Which one?
George Harrison: Mainly Krsna.
Srila Prabhupada: That is the main book. [laughs]
George Harrison: Mukunda gave me the new books, but there’s so much to read.
Srila Prabhupada: Philosophy.
George Harrison: I don’t know how anybody could have written it, it’s difficult to read all that amount.
Srila Prabhupada: Sometimes they are surprised how one man can write so many books, but it is Krsna’s grace. Otherwise, not possible. Human being, it is not possible.
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, July 26, 1976, London)
As it is. No addition. No alteration.
Aksayananda: …preach more, then that would help. Because he was previously a principal of a school.
Srila Prabhupada: No, how he is preaching? Have you heard? No you cannot understand in Hindi.
Srila Prabhupada: Anyone?
Dhananjaya: We have been told he preaches nicely.
Srila Prabhupada: I have told him that, ‘You simply read My books
and reproduce it. That’s all. That will be preaching.
Aksayananda: At least when he speaks to me in English, it is always very nice.
Brahmananda: He can memorize Prabhupada’s books and then just speak it.
Srila Prabhupada: That is preaching. Our process is anusrnuyat. We hear from the superior and reproduce it. That is sravanam-kirtanam. Then perfect. If I add something, my own imagination, then it will spoil. No addition, alteration; as it is. As it is you hear from your spiritual master, reproduce. That’s all. yare dekha tare kaha krsna upadesa. This Krsna-upadesa is coming by parampara, so you reproduce. That’s all. Even a child can reproduce what he has heard from his father. It is not at all difficult.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, August 29, 1975, Vrindavana)
What will your three minutes preaching do?
“If you sell a book to someone, that is better than your speaking to them, what will your three minutes’ preaching do? But if they read a book [Srila Prabhupada’s original books] it may turn their life.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 3, 1972)
How to associate with the Sampradaya Acharya, Srila Prabhupada.
Indian man: …[we] like your company very much in Toronto and we feel like talk you so much, but we don’t have so much time to talk with you. You have so much mercy, so we have not…know much about Krsna from you.
Srila Prabhupada: So in my absence you read the books. What I talk, I have written in the books. That’s all.
Indian man: Personally we think more greater.
Srila Prabhupada: That’s all right. But still, you can associate with
me by reading my books.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, August 7, 1975, Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
CHANGING THE SACRED WORDS AND PURPORTS OF THE ACARYA.
Devotee: But sometimes to make better English, I think they were making philosophical mistakes also. There is not so much need of making so much better English. Your English is sufficient. It is very clear, very simple. We have caught over 125 changes. They’re changing so many things. We are wondering if this is necessary. I will show you today. I have kept the book.
Srila Prabhupada: I know that these rascals are doing. What can be done? How can they be relied on?
Svarupa Damodara: It’s not the responsibility of the BBT trustee, to see these things don’t change without Prabhupada’s sanction.
Srila Prabhupada: So how to check this? How to stop this?
Tamala Krsna: They should not make any changes without consulting Jayadvaita.
Srila Prabhupada: But they are doing without any authority.
Svarupa Damodara: I think we should make whole survey, all books already printed, before printing the next batch and check any mistakes so that it should be corrected. Otherwise, if the scholars find out that there are so many mistakes in the books, then the quality and the appreciation will be reduced….Yes, we find so far that they are appreciating so much within the scholarly circle, and we want to maintain that actually.
Srila Prabhupada: Very serious feature. It is not possible for me to check, and they are doing all nonsense, freedom.
Devotee: Jaya Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada: What to do?
Tamala Krsna: I think Svarupa Damodara’s point, that all the books should be checked before they’re reprinted again… And they have to be checked not by some so-called learned Sanskrit man but by a learned devotee.
Srila Prabhupada: It is a very serious situation. R…. is in direct…
Svarupa Damodara: I think they’re working too independently without consulting properly.
Devotee: Sometimes they appeal that ‘We can make better English’, so they change like that, just like in the case of Isopanisad. 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.
Svarupa Damodara: That’s actually a very dangerous mentality.”
Devotee: What is it going to be in five years? It’s going to be a different book.
Srila Prabhupada: So you…What are you going… it is a 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 Satsvarupa that, ‘This is the position. They are doing anything and everything at their whim.’ The next printing should be again the original way.
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, June 22, 1977, Vrindabana)
Later on in the conversation Srila Prabhupada summarizes the whole mentality of changing his words.
Srila Prabhupada: “So you bring this to Satsvarupa. They cannot change anything.
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, June 22, 1977, Vrindavana)
THE RESULT OF CHANGING THE ACARYA’S BOOKS IS THAT THE AUTHORITY IS LOST.
Paramahansa: People… I’ve talked to professors who know the original Hebrew and the original tongues that the Bible was written in. They say that it has changed so much that you can hardly…
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, they are changing. Just like he said, ‘Thou shall not kill.’ They are now changing, ‘Thou shall not commit murder.’ They are doing that.
Paramahamsa: Yes. They have a modern Bible, using all modern terminology.
Srila Prabhupada: SO WHEN YOU CHANGE THEN THE AUTHORITY IS LOST. Just like in our society, sometimes they do something nonsense and they say, ‘Prabhupada said’… We know that it is deteriorated like that.
Ganesa: Srila Prabhupada, if the knowledge was handed down by the saintly kings, evam parampara praptam, how is it that the knowledge was lost?
Srila Prabhupada: When it was not handed down. Simply understood by speculation. Or if it is not handed down as it is. They might have made some changes. Or they did not hand it down. Suppose I handed it down to you, but if you do not do that, then it is lost. Now the Krishna Consciousness movement is going on in my presence. Now after my departure, if you do not do this, then it is lost. If you go as you are doing now, then it will go on. But if you stop…
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, May 9, 1975, Perth)
The vikara-vadis [change advocates] and its leading editors should take serious note of the above warnings by Srila Prabhupada. Changing the words of the acarya is a very serious offense with serious consequences.
DISOBEDIENCE OF THE ACARYA’S ORDER?
“You can tell them [the GBC] that if they change one word from my books, it will spoil everything I have done.”
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, June 23, 1977, Vrindavana)
Srila Prabhupada presented the transcendental knowledge of the parampara or preceptorial disciplic succession in his books. The proponents of on-going changes after the departure of the acharya (the vikara-vadis) have yet to present verifiable evidence from His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada himself where he specifically and directly authorized these post departure changes.
As of the compilation of this article, none of the vikara-vadis and their leading editors have shown evidence for their unauthorized. Post-departure changes.
Result of unauthorized changes.
“Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad Gita as it is. No change. Other they are interpreting in their own way. That is not Bhagavad-Gita. That is something else. In the words of God there is no question of changing. You cannot change. As soon as you make a change, immediately it is material; it has nothing to do with spiritual world,”
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, August 5, 1976)
Result of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books
“We are therefore presenting Bhagavad-Gita as it is, no change. We do not change. Anybody serious reading our book, he will be liberated. There is no doubt….”
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, Bombay, India, April 31, 1977)
You cannot change by your whim.
“Of course there should be no change. But, anything spoken by God, or His Son, or His representative; that cannot be changed. It is not that Christ said two thousand years ago, “Thou shalt not kill”, now it can be changed, that is rascaldom. They are doing that. If you do that as it said here, then it becomes lost. Then there is no meaning. If we take the instruction of God and His representative as temporary, then he is representative…. Whatever do God and His representative that is eternal. You cannot change by your whims…”
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation. New Vrindavana, West Virginia, June 30, 1976)
Param vijayate sri krsna sankirtanam
Om tat sat