BY: SUN STAFF
Jun 28, CANADA (SUN) A comparative view of text changes made to Srila Prabhupada's books.
"The all-pervading Brahman, the impersonal
glowing ray of Sri Krsna, exists in the spiritual world with the Vaikuntha planets."
Original Original Edition of Caitanya-caritamrta, 1975, Adi lila 5.14 Purport
"The all-pervading Brahman, composed of the impersonal
glowing rays of Sri Krsna, exists in the spiritual world with the Vaikuntha planets."
New BBT Revised Edition of Caitanya-caritamrta, 1975, Adi lila 5.14 Purport
In response to reader requests that we add a postscript to the "Changes" series, offering our thoughts on the significance of each specific word or phrase revision, we offer the following comments. We are not Sanskrit scholars, and can only point out what appear to be the grammatical, rhetorical or contextual issues raised with respect to the changes, as follows:
In today's example, from Srila Prabhupada's purport to Adi lila 5.14, we see that the BBT editors have made two changes to the text. In the first instance, they have added the words "composed of" to further describe Brahman, and in the second they have made plural the term 'ray', thus further changing the definition of Brahman.
These two changes appear to be closely related to one another, rather than being independent revisions. The term "compose" often (but not always) relates to a plurality of items that are included or contained within a thing. Srila Prabhupada's statement, taken on its own, in no way suggests that the 'glowing ray of Sri Krsna' is but one of a plurality of elements making up Brahman. Rather, by use of the singular term "ray", the opposite is indicated: that the 'glowing ray of Sri Krsna' is the singular element of which Brahman is comprised.
The BBT editors, for whatever reason, appear to have changed this purport text so as to suggest that Brahman is comprised of more than one element. And by their revision in the pluralization - 'rays' -- they seem to infer that the elements Brahman is comprised or "composed" of are a plurality of Sri Krsna's rays.
The obvious result of this editorial revision is that it opens the door to discussion on what those elements of Brahman might be. As followers of Srila Prabhupada, we are committed to accepting the statements of the Spiritual Master as being absolute, whatever they are. What we see indicated by this change to Srila Prabhupada's purport is that the BBT editors wished to open the door to, or to validate a discussion of, what plurality of elements Brahman is comprised of.
If such a discussion were to occur, and if one were to look up this original statement of Srila Prabhupada's, they would be obliged to accept the way it was originally stated in his purport - that Brahman is a glowing ray of Sri Krsna. They would find no specific invitation in this phrase to expand the inquiry into the constituent parts of Brahman, beyond defining what, precisely, Sri Krsna's 'glowing ray' is.
So the reader's ability to discover what is the truth by looking at the statement of the most recent Sampradaya Acarya, by whom we are directly connected to the disciplic succession, has clearly been complicated and degraded by the editorial tinkering of the BBT editors.