BY: VIDURA MAHATMA DAS
OCTOBER 12, 2018
In the Rascal Editor’s conversation, specifically when Srila Prabhupada gives the order that the next printing should be again to the original way, it is very clear that the discussion is on unauthorized changes made to reprints of books. That is not to say that no reference – direct or indirect – is made to original printings of books in the discussion, but there is no denying the fact that when Srila Prabhupada does give the order, it is within the context of reprinted editions of books.
The simple logic and context of this order has been broken down in a very detailed way in my article titled The Rascal Editors Conversation: Context Defines the Order. There is no fancy use of word jugglery or a false display of logic. Even a simple order can and should be explained in a very detailed, logical manner to shield it from false interpretations. Srila Prabhupada utilized the basic principles of logic to explain Lord Krishna’s clear and simple instructions in the Bhagavad-gita. This is not word jugglery, but a necessary defense against word jugglery and bogus interpretations.
After 3 months of silence, Purujit and Makhancora have come back with yet more word jugglery and rhetorical evasion, this time rejecting the notion that the order given by Srila Prabhupada should be understood according to its context. They have titled their reply: “CONTEXT DOES NOT DEFINE THE ORDER; SRILA PRABHUPADA’S SELF-EVIDENT ORDER TO EDIT OUT CHANGES IN HIS BOOKS.”
Makhancora wants to isolate Srila Prabhupada’s order and interpret it however he wants. He wants to discard the real self-evident aspect of the discussion – the context – because it clearly stands in the way of his false interpretation.
Makhancora cites the following quote in his reply:
“No one can attain the Absolute Truth by argument. One may be very expert in logic, and another person may be even more expert in the art of argument. Because there is so much word jugglery in logic, one can never come to the real conclusion about the Absolute Truth by argument.” (CC Madhya 9.49)
Makhancora’s use of this quote is certainly ironic, and is an example of projection. Purujit and Makhancora’s entire self-appointed project to re-edit Srila Prabhupada’s already-approved books has been based on nothing but out-stretched speculation and extensive word jugglery.
Makhancora writes in his reply:
“Vidura claims here that: “Yasoda-nandana raises issue with the newer edition reprint of Srimad Bhagavatam (1976 edition at the time)” This claim however is irrelevant as the word caricature is removed from both the early edition (1972) and the (1976) edition. […] The assertion of Vidura Prabhu that only newer editions are discussed in the context of the “back to the original way” order is therefore flawed. Both could have been discussed – early editions and later editions.”
Yasoda-nandana’s point regarding the caricature change fits in with the context of the previous seven points because Yasoda-nandana says “in [the] new book that word is not there any more.” So the discussion is still on new books, i.e., the 1976 edition, because that’s precisely the book Yasoda-nandana refers to, regardless of where else that word was removed from. Makhancora has failed to eliminate this point as belonging to the context which truly does define the order. This is another example of how Makhancora engages in word jugglery and obfuscation.
Here are the sequential points made in the Rascal Editors conversation which make up the context with which to understand Srila Prabhupada’s order.
- Yasoda mentions changes made in the reprint of Isopanisad. Srila Prabhupada shares concern.
- Tamal mentions how Jayadvaita edited an original work, a first editing. Srila Prabhupada approves that first editing.
- Tamal mentions how after they print the books they are going over again. Srila Prabhupada wants to stop this.
- Svarupa Damodara suggests that all books already printed should be checked for mistakes before reprinting.
- Tamal suggests that corrections made to all books already printed should be checked by Jayadvaita before they’re reprinted.
- Srila Prabhupada mentions how Hayagriva changed so many things in a reprint of Easy Journey To Other Planets.
- Yasoda mentions a change made in the new reprint of the American Bhagavatam.
- Yasoda mentions changes made in the reprint of Isopanisad again.
- Srila Prabhupada says the next printing should be again to the original way.
This is as clear as it gets. The order to print again to the original way means going back from newer editions (like the 1976 Bhagavatam) to previous authorized editions (like the 1972 Bhagavatam). Are there identical changes found in both versions? Yes. There are also completely unique changes found only in the newer printings, like the 1976 Bhagavatam. The fact remains, though, that Srila Prabhupada ordered a reversion from newer printings to earlier authorized printings. Those who want to question Srila Prabhupada’s judgement and knowledge of the content of his books will try to re-interpret his clear order in a way that basically nullifies it.
Any order or statement must be understood with its context. If there is some confusion as to what the order refers to, we have to look at the context. You cannot isolate an order or statement from its context as Makhancora and Purujit are trying to do. They have appointed themselves as editors of Srila Prabhupada’s books and in order to defend themselves they are even prepared to discard the use of logic and context.