Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Tirtha-yatra, Part 30

BY: SUN STAFF

Lord Caitanya embraces Sanatana Goswami


Jun 04, 2013 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial exploration of the holy sites visited by Lord Caitanya.


Naya-tripadi

Today we continue our exploration of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's South India preaching excursion with a survey of Naya-tripadi tirtha. While we did not mean for this Feature series to digress into a running complaint about the editorial changes made to Srila Prabhupada's books, it has unfortunately slid sideways into that arena. This segment illustrates the frustrating mash to be found in the various BBT editions of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.

We begin, as usual, with the Summary to Madhya Lila 9:

    Madhya Lila 9 Summary

    "Then the Lord went to Setubandha and took His bath at Dhanus-tirtha. He also visited Ramesvara, where He collected some papers connected with Sitadevi, whose illusory form was kidnapped by Ravana. The Lord next visited the places known as Pandya-desa, Tamraparni, Naya-tripadi, Ciyadatala, Tila-kanci, Gajendra-moksana, Panagadi, Camtapura, Sri Vaikuntha, Malaya-parvata and Kanya-kumari. The Lord then met the Bhattatharis at Mallara-desa and saved Kala Krsnadasa from their clutches."

This Madhya 9 Summary text comes from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's Amrta-pravaha-bhasya. The above version is from the BBT's revised edition of Madhya Lila. In the original edition, the spelling of this place name is not "Naya-tripadi", but "Nayatripadi" (un-hyphenated).

Later in Madhya Lila 9, we find additional information about the Lord's visit to Naya-tripadi:

    Madhya Lila 9.219 (Revised edition)

    tamraparni snana kari' tamraparni-tire
    naya tripati dekhi' bule kutuhale

    SYNONYMS
    tamraparni -- in the Tamraparni River; snana kari' -- taking a bath; tamraparni-tire -- on the bank of the Tamraparni River; naya tripati -- the place named Naya-tripati; dekhi' -- after seeing; bule -- wandered on; kutuhale -- in great curiosity.

    TRANSLATION
    "There were nine temples of Lord Visnu at Naya-tripati, on the bank of the river Tamraparni, and after bathing in the river, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw the Deities with great curiosity and wandered on.

    PURPORT
    The nine Visnu temples known as Naya-tripati (Nava-tirupati) are situated in and around Alvar Tirunagarai. This is a town about seventeen miles southeast of Tirunelveli. All the Deities of the temples assemble together during a yearly festival in the town."

In the revised edition of Madhya Lila 9, we find that the spelling has been changed from "Naya-tripadi" to "Naya-tripati", which seems understandable, since that spelling is given in the 9.219 sloka. Unfortunately, the other bolded items represent revisions that are not so understandable.

Following is the so-called 'original edition' version of this verse, from PrabhupadaBooks.com:

    Madhya 9.219

    tamraparni snana kari' tamraparni-tire
    naya tripati dekhi' bule kutuhale

    SYNONYMS
    tamraparni—in the Tamraparni River; snana kari'-taking a bath; tamraparni-tire—on the bank of the Tamraparni River; naya tripati—the Deity named Naya-tripati; dekhi'-after seeing; bule—wandered on; kutuhale—in great curiosity.

    TRANSLATION
    There was also a temple of Lord Visnu at Naya-tripati on the bank of the river Tamraparni, and after bathing in the river, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw the Deity with great curiosity and wandered on.

    PURPORT
    This Naya-tripati is also called Alwar Tirunagarai. It is a town about seventeen miles southeast of Tirunelveli. There are nine temples there of Sripati, or Visnu. All the Deities of the temples assemble together during a yearly festival in the town.

Here we find several very significant discrepancies, in the Synonyms, Translation and Purport of the verse.

    #1 The BBT revised edition Synonyms states:

      "the place named Naya-tripati"


    while the so-called original (Prabhupadabooks.com) version Synonyms states:

      "the Deity named Naya-tripati"

    #2 The BBT revised edition Translation states:

      "There were nine temples of Lord Visnu at Naya-tripati, on the bank of the river Tamraparni, and after bathing in the river, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw the Deities with great curiosity and wandered on."

    while the original (Prabhupadabooks.com) version Translation states:

      "There was also a temple of Lord Visnu at Naya-tripati on the bank of the river Tamraparni, and after bathing in the river, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw the Deity with great curiosity and wandered on."

    #3 The BBT revised edition Purport states:

      "The nine Visnu temples known as Naya-tripati (Nava-tirupati) are situated in and around Alvar Tirunagarai. This is a town about seventeen miles southeast of Tirunelveli. All the Deities of the temples assemble together during a yearly festival in the town."

    while the original (Prabhupadabooks.com) version Purport states:

      "This Naya-tripati is also called Alwar Tirunagarai. It is a town about seventeen miles southeast of Tirunelveli. There are nine temples there of Sripati, or Visnu. All the Deities of the temples assemble together during a yearly festival in the town."

    We can further add to this confusion the fact that even the Prabhupadabooks.com so-called "original version" differs from the hardcopy first edition, first printing (1975) of Madhya Lila, Volume 4, Chapter 9, verse 219, in which the Purport states:

      "Alovara Girunagari… southeast of Tinebheli"

      Not "Alwar Tirunagarai… southeast of Tirunelveli" as in the Prabhupadabooks.com version

      Or "Alvar Tirunagarai... southeast of Tirunelveli" as in the BBT revised edition.

What could be more frustrating?!

As we pointed out in the recent segment on Camtapura, even slight changes to place names can make an enormous difference to a student of Caitanya-caritamrta who is attempting to research the places where Lord Caitanya preached. It is difficult enough dealing with great passages of time, shifting rivers, changing dynasties and governments, temples being re-named and Deities moved and re-installed. Having to deal on top of that with multiple versions of Srila Prabhupada's books is maddening, to say the least.

On that note, we will bring this segment to a close, as a show of our frustration, disheartenment and protest. We will continue tomorrow in a better spirit, and unwind what the reader will find is a complexity of names, places and anecdotes that become rather more complicated. At the heart of it, however, is the enduringly beautiful preaching sojourn of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in South India, which no editor can ruin by nonsense word jugglery and unauthorized changes.


Caitanya-caritamrta - Bhaktivedanta Book Trust


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