Sundar Gopal, Tattvavit das (ISKM) Defend Their Use of Hridayananda’s Translation of Bhagavatam

“Hridayananda was far more conversant of the intricacies of our philosophy.” – Tattvavit das, ISKM

“the translations are very well done and even if Srila Prabhupada translated it, I can bet they won’t be any much different than they actually are.” – Tattvavit das, ISKM


May 1st, 2019

Sundar Gopal Das wrote: 69-02 “It is not surprising that it is taking a little time to begin your actual printing work. In the beginning of everything there is always some difficulty, but when you are accustomed to the process, there will be no difficulty. If no better grammarian is available, the translation of Uttama Sloka may be published. But I think that as many friends are coming to the temple, especially some Bengali Indians, they can help you in doing the translation work.

When a person is willing to help with our mission, he is also a devotee, so there is no question of him being non-devotee. But they must translate as it is, they must not deviate. Anyway, our motto should be to somehow or other express the objectives of Krsna consciousness to the German speaking people. There is a verse in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that a book or poetry in which the holy name of Krsna is depicted; such language is revolutionary in the matter of purifying the material atmosphere. Even though such literature is presented in broken language or grammatical inconsistency or rhetorical irregularity, still, those who are saintly persons adore such literature. They hear such literature, and chant it and adore it, simply because the Supreme Lord is being glorified in this literature.
In other words, we are not meant for presenting any literary masterpieces, but we have to inform people that there is a fire of maya which is burning the very vitality of all living entities, and they should guard against the indefatigable onslaught of material existence. That should be our motto. So even if you do not get any assistance from friends, get it translated by Uttama Sloka, and publish. You can at least publish a 5-10 page edition of German Back to Godhead. That is my request.” (SPL to Krsna dasa, 13th February, 1969)

 


May 1st, 2019

Vidura Mahatma Das wrote: Haribol Sundar Gopal Das prabhu. Please accept my humble obeisances, and all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to your preaching work.

Thank you for your reply.

I hope you do not see me as a mere fault finder, fly on stool, for pointing out the fact that Hrdayanandas translation work is not authorized. Im sure ISKM is doing great preaching work and your temple is a wonderful example of Srila Prabhupada’s ritvik system at work.

Nevertheless, i think it would be wrong to place your temple above any possible criticism by dint of your good service. Every devotee should be open to critique and be able to consider whether a particular thing they are doing is right or wrong.

In this case many devotees have pointed out your use of the 11th and 12th cantos from Hrdayananda. Of course you know Hrdayananda was a bogus guru when he did them and still is. Do you think it looks good for your temple to use the translation work of a bogus guru? Do you think a bogus guru is qualified to translate in the first place?

In your quote Srila Prabhupada said “When a person is willing to help with our mission he is also a devotee, so there is no question of him being a non devotee.”

This proves that all the uninitiated new comer translators from the letters that ive seen to date are all actually devotees by dint of their willingness to help with the movement. Thus my original question was, where did Srila Prabhupada ever allow a non devotee to translate? Surely Hrdayananda cannot be considered a devotee if he was posing as a guru and Blaspheming Srila Prabhupada.

Are bogus imposter gurus devotees?
Was Hrdayananda “very realized” as per Srila Prabhupada’s critieria for a sanskrit translator as of 1977?
Should we read the translation work of someone who is neither a devotee or very realized, two qualifications Srila Prabhupada set for sanskrit translators as of 1977?

Id be interested to hear your answers to these questions when you find some time.

Thanks prabhu.

Sincerely,
Vidura Mahatma das

 


May 4th, 2019

Tattvavit Dāsa wrote: Vidura Mahatma Das Prabhu, the translations of the 11th and 12th canto are very accurate. If you do not know how to check it, then I cannot help. But, with even with my decent Sanskrit knowledge and Indian language background, I can see that the translations are very accurate. You can even cross-check the translations of Sanskrit words with other instances of the same words in Srila Prabhupada’s books. We can clearly see that the translations are pretty accurate.

All of you who criticize us have to stop seeing the 11th and 12th Cantos as properties of Hrdayananda dasa Gosvami but are the final two cantos of the spotless Vedic literature Srimad Bhagavatam. That is the truth and that is the reason Srila Prabhupada wanted those two cantos to be translated even after his physical departure. There is so much wealth of transcendental knowledge in Uddhava-gita, Aila-gita, and many other parts there. In fact, all the predictions of kali-yuga are there in the 12th canto. So much knowledge is hidden in those two cantos.

We don’t see absolutely anything wrong in quoting from them. They are only complementing Srila Prabhupada’s teachings in his own books. So we are not getting brainwashed by some bogus-guru propaganda.

You say in your message addressed to Sundar Gopal Prabhu that ISKM should not place itself above all criticism. We are not that careless but we don’t mind criticism from someone who is actually doing the fieldwork of preaching. We don’t take criticism from keyboard warriors who don’t actually do the fieldwork of preaching.

As Srila Prabhupada says here: “We are Vaisnava devotees, not politicians. So these things must be stopped, plotting. Your merit stands far above theirs, you have done some tangible work to please me by spreading this Krishna Consciousness message in New Orleans, that is the test. Let them do something first, then we shall see what is their criticism. Simply criticizing and no work, that is the business of inferior men. So do not be disturbed by them, go on with your work, increasing more and more. Never mind the jackals howl.”
Letter to: Nityananda—Bombay, 25 November, 1972

And phalena pariciyate. We are seeing that the 11th and 12th cantos are greatly supplementing and reinforcing what Srila Prabhuapda has taught us. Our faith in Srila Prabhupada is only increasing and solidifying. We are not one bit getting convinced by the bogus gurus of ISKCON. If we are tending to that direction, you can criticize us. But we are actually fighting that system most vehemently among all the Prabhupadanugas especially outside the borders of India by opening temples and training facilities.

 


May 4th, 2019
Vidura Mahatma Das
 wrote: Haribol Tattvavit Dāsa prabhu. Thank you for your reply, which apparently also comes on behalf of Sundara Gopal prabhu who has chosen not to answer personally.

I’m afraid you have missed the point of the whole controversy. It’s actually not whether, in your estimation, the Sanskrit is accurate, or whether you feel inspired by reading it. Nor is it about who is qualified to criticize who – a logical fallacy in any debate. The actual point is whether Hrdayananda was authorized to translate the 11th and 12th cantos to begin with. I argue that he was not. My argument is based on the fact that in 1977 Srila Prabhupada gave a criteria for who can translate from Sanskrit. I reproduce that exchange below.

Satsvarūpa: Next we have a question about the BBT. At present, no translation work is to be published without your seeing and approving it. So the question is, is there any system for publishing works in the future that you may not see? For example, we’ve heard suggested that the Padma Purāṇa or the Ṣaṭ-Sandarbha may be translated. But what would the system be to insure the paramparā if you would not personally see these translations?

Prabhupāda: That you have to examine expertly. […] A realized soul, must be. Otherwise, simply by imitating A-B-C-D will not help. My purports are liked by people because it is presented as practical experience. […] Our translation must be documents. They are not ordinary… One cannot become unless one is very realized. It is not A-B-C-D translation. (GBC Meets with Srila Prabhupada—May 28, 1977, Vrndavana)

I would like to emphasize in this connection that translation from Sanskrit is not A-B-C-D translation, as Srila Prabhupada says above. It’s not a matter of academic scholarship.

Below Srila Prabhupada defines what personal realization is, what to speak of the realization required to translate from Sanskrit:

“Personal realization does not mean that one should, out of vanity, attempt to show one’s own learning by trying to surpass the previous ācārya. He must have full confidence in the previous ācārya, and at the same time he must realize the subject matter so nicely that he can present the matter for the particular circumstances in a suitable manner. The original purpose of the text must be maintained. No obscure meaning should be screwed out of it, yet it should be presented in an interesting manner for the understanding of the audience. This is called realization. The leader of the assembly, Śaunaka, could estimate the value of the speaker, Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī, simply by his uttering yathādhītam and yathā-mati, and therefore he was very glad to congratulate him in ecstasy. No learned man should be willing to hear a person who does not represent the original ācārya. So the speaker and the audience were bona fide in this meeting where Bhagavatam was being recited for the second time. That should be the standard of recitation of Bhagavatam, so that the real purpose can be served without difficulty. Unless this situation is created, Bhagavatam recitation for extraneous purposes is useless labor both for the speaker and for the audience.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam SB 1.4.1 purport)

Note that “He must have full confidence in the previous ācārya.” Can you say that Hrdayananda has full confidence in Srila Prabhupada, having usurped his position as diksa guru and participated in the theft of the movement and its assets? Hrdayananda is also known for making incredibly offensives remarks against Srila Prabhupada, such as how Srila Prabhupada has “exceeded his authority in contradicting the principles of modern science.” Is this a sign of full confidence in the acharya?

“No learned man should be willing to hear a person who does not represent the original ācārya.”

Should we be hearing from Hrdayananda, and purchasing his books with his translations and commentaries?

In addition to this, Srila Prabhupada never allowed nondevotees to translate whatsoever. Persons who came wanting to help with translation work, in whatever language, Srila Prabhupada considered devotees, a quote Sundar Gopal prabhu has produced already.

So my question is: was Hrdayananda actually authorized to translate the 11th and 12th cantos from Sanskrit? It seems you are avoiding answering this question. If he was authorized to translate, please explain how that is. After this question is answered we can continue further with the matter.

 


May 4th, 2019


Tattvavit Dāsa
 wrote: Vidura Mahatma Das Srila Prabhupada asked Pradyumna Prabhu to do it but ISKCON threw him out. And then, it was not just Hridayananda but also Gopipranadhana Prabhu. In fact, it was more of him than Hridayananda. Gopipranadhana Prabhu was already on the editorial board since 1972, much earlier than Hridayananda who came after the departure of Srila Prabhupada. So Gopipranadhana Prabhu was more experienced and had worked under Srila Prabhupada’s guidance. He did most of the work but the credit was taken by Hridayananda. Of course, he was also a scholar in Sanskrit.

In any case, in the quote you mentioned above, Srila Prabhupada says that the original purpose of the text should be maintained and no obscure meaning should be taken from it. This was totally adhered to in the translations. We are not talking of his purports. But the translations are very accurate. And Srila Prabhupada did encourage non-devotee but favorable people to translate although they might not have been familiar at all with the intricacies of Vaisnava siddhanta. Compared to that, Hridayananda was far more conversant of the intricacies of our philosophy. But our whole point of contention is not his merit. Whoever has done it, the translations are very well done and even if Srila Prabhupada translated it, I can bet they won’t be any much different than they actually are. I’m not talking about the purports. And even for the purports, most of them were translations of the purports of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Occasionally, I have seen some not so convincing parts which are definitely the concoctions of the editor and we don’t accept that but largely, I would say, 98%, it is highly accurate. Moreover, Srila Prabhupada wanted them translated for the benefit of everyone. You are neglecting this order of Srila Prabhupada. If you neglect this part of the discussion, there is no point continuing it. This is the underlying principle in our accepting those cantos. We are not quoting from every book out there. Just these two cantos. If you just can’t get it or are not confident in quoting it but you can’t change our viewpoint on the accuracy of the translations and they perfectly align with Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. He himself quoted so much from the 11th canto. Nectar of Devotion is full of that, for example. We will continue to use them and we are sure that our yukta-vairagya in the matter of accepting the cantos but not the gurus is blessed by Srila Prabhupada. Otherwise, our faith and enthusiasm to push on Srila Prabhupada’s original movement strongly on a practical level will not be increasing. Anyway, my Dandavat Pranam to you, Prabhu. Hare Krishna!

 


May 4th, 2019

Vidura Mahatma Das wrote: Hare Krishna Tattvavit Dāsa. Thank you for your reply.

You still managed to dodge the main question:

Was Hridayananda authorized to translate the 11th and 12th cantos?

Whether he translated more or less than Gopiparanadhana is irrelevant.

And besides, are you saying that Gopiparanadhana, a supporter of the guru hoax and book changes, was very realized and authorized to translate the Bhagavatam?

Can you answer any of these questions, or will you continue to dodge them?

Now I will get to the other part of your reply.

Tattvavit das: Srila Prabhupada says that the original purpose of the text should be maintained and no obscure meaning should be taken from it. This was totally adhered to in the translations.

My reply: Says who? You? You are the authority now? We have to take it on faith in Srila Prabhupada’s words that if someone is found to have deviated to the degree that Hrdayananda has, and still is today, blaspheming Srila Prabhupada, then that person is not anywhere near realized enough to translate from Sanskrit. Tattvavit keeps insisting it’s ABCD translation. Srila Prabhupada says NO.

Tattvavit das said: Srila Prabhupada did encourage non-devotee but favorable people to translate although they might not have been familiar at all with the intricacies of Vaisnava siddhanta. Compared to that, Hridayananda was far more conversant of the intricacies of our philosophy.

My reply:

  1. Srila Prabhupada did NOT encourage non-devotees to translate. Favorable people were NOT to be considered non devotees according to Srila Prabhupada. This is another attempt by you to legitimize Hrdayananda’s (a non devotee) translation.

“When a person is willing to help with our mission, he is also a devotee, so there is no question of him being non-devotee.” (Srila Prabhupada letter to Krsna dasa, 13th February, 1969)

  1. I’m shocked that you would say Hridayananda was far more conversant with the intricacies of our philosophy. Is that why he stole Srila Prabhupada’s position as diksa guru? Is that why he says we need a living guru? Is that why he says gurus can sometimes fall down? Is that why he says Srila Prabhupada exceeded his authority in contradicting the principles of modern science? You are beginning to reveal YOUR OWN familiarization (or lack of) with our philosophy, Tattvavit das!

 

Tattvavit das said: Whoever has done it, the translations are very well done and even if Srila Prabhupada translated it, I can bet they won’t be any much different than they actually are.

My reply: Wow! So Srila Prabhupada couldn’t have done a better job than Hridayananda and Gopiparanadhana guru hoaxer/supporter? What an intelligent comment from Tattvavit das and ISKM! Is this borderline blasphemy?

Tattvavit das said: I would say, 98%, it is highly accurate.

My reply: Sorry, you clearly aren’t qualified to be making statements like that. You’ve already shown your complete lack of discrimination when it comes to guru hoaxers and blasphemers of Srila Prabhupada. Maybe you’ve been associating with Hridayananda through his books too much.

 


May 4th, 2019

Tattvavit Dāsa wrote: Vidura Mahatma Das Prabu, so you keep dodging the point yourself. Srila Prabhupada wanted the books translated. I have not the slightest respect for Hridayananda for what he has done to the movement and how he has usurped Srila Prabhupada’s position. Don’t put those damn words of yours in my mouth.

So you have become the authority to judge whether the translations are accurate or not? When you have not carefully and scrutinizing read Srila Prabhupada’s books?

Obviously you don’t know any Sanskrit, looks like. And don’t put your damn words in my mouth. Your reply that the people whom Srila Prabhupada asked to translate were devotees is your thought. But they were just favorable only. That was the plain truth. And they amwere definitely not realized devotees, for sure, on the level of Srila Prabhupada. So if they actually went ahead and translated, would it not be ABCD translation because they did not come from Srila Prabhupada? They were nowhere close to leading a devotee lifestyle yet. I have come to understand that I’m wasting my time talking to an envious person who cannot appreciate tangible preaching.

In fact, people like you are supporting the guru hoax and letting them flourish by not opening temples and training devotees under the rtvik order and you have the nonsense audacity to say that we support them? Shame on you, Vidura Prabhu? Although you give lip service to Srila Prabhupada, practically what is your contribution except for criticism of those that are pushing on the movement having given up everything else in their lives? You are absolutely unqualified to talk about these subjects. Criticism without any tangible work. It is the work of inferior men.

We are preaching, taking all risks, to reinstate Srila Prabhupada as the sole diksa-guru of ISKCON.

Prabhu, you absolutely don’t understand the application of the yukta-vairagya principle.

I’m fascinated by the amount of ignorance so-called Prabhupadanugas have of the philosophy of Krishna consciousness!! I’m baffled!!

Do the 11th and 12th canto deviate from the philosophy? They are completely congruent with Srila Prabhupada’s writings. Do they say that Krishna is not the Supreme Personality of Godhead? In what way they are wrong? Point out some examples of where the purpose of Srimad Bhagavatam was not maintained and some obscure meaning screwed out of it. Show me if you dare!! If you can’t show, then please don’t comment! You’re unqualified in every respect to argue on these points.

Love means action. Where is your action for Srila Prabhupada! We don’t respect the opinions of non-preachers, those who don’t have the love for Srila Prabhupada to dedicate their life for his cause.

 


May 4th, 2019


Vidura Mahatma Das
 wrote: Hare Krishna. It’s one thing if Srila Prabhupada wanted them translated. It’s another thing to be qualified to translate them. Srila Prabhupada said that only a very realized soul could translate Sanskrit, that it was not simply ABCD. You accept Hridayananda’s translations of the Bhagavatam, so you accept him as being very realized. It’s really that simple. Your words not mine.

Tattvavit said: Your reply that the people whom Srila Prabhupada asked to translate were devotees is your thought. But they were just favorable only. That was the plain truth.

My reply: You are directly contradicting Srila Prabhupada once again:

“When a person is willing to help with our mission, he is also a devotee, so there is no question of him being non-devotee. But they must translate as it is, they must not deviate.” (Srila Prabhupada letter to Krsna dasa, 13th February, 1969)

Srila Prabhupada says they are devotees, and Tattvavit says they are not devotees, but only favorable. Anybody can see the contradiction.

Tattvavit said: And they were definitely not realized devotees, for sure, on the level of Srila Prabhupada. So if they actually went ahead and translated, would it not be ABCD translation because they did not come from Srila Prabhupada?

My reply: You’re confused. Srila Prabhupada set the “very realized” criteria for translating from Sanskrit. The new devotees that came to help were translating in other languages, not from Sanskrit. And by the way, Srila Prabhupada didn’t say the Sanskrit translators have to be on the same level as him. He said they must be very realized. You’re introducing straw-man arguments.

The rest of your reply is character assassination, another logical fallacy in debate. Whether I’m opening temples or distributing books really has nothing to do with the argument at hand. The fact that you and others from your group constantly have to resort to such character assassination is another indication of your flawed position. Otherwise why use such desperate tactics? I won’t be baited into diverging from the topic at hand.

So was Hridayananda authorized to translate from Sanskrit? Was Gopiparanadhana authorized to translate from Sanskrit? I wouldn’t say any of these guru hoaxer / supporters meet the qualification Srila Prabhupada gave for Sanskrit translators in 1977 – being very realized – so the answer must be no, Hridayananda and Gopiparanadhana were definitely NOT authorized to translate from Sanskrit the 11th and 12th cantos of the Bhagavatam. It’s not ABCD translation or academia.

Clearly Tattvavit das and ISKM believe Hridayananda and Gopiparanadhana were qualified/authorized to translate from Sanskrit. This means they accept their authority. And any Prabhupadanuga that doesn’t accept guru hoaxer Hridayananda’s authority to translate is derided as a “fly on stool”, “inferior man”, “envious fault finder”, etc, etc. These are all insults the bogus gurus and their followers have always used on us from day one! It’s sad that ISKM has taken such a polarizing position and decided to accept a bogus guru’s authority on translating. Actions like these are what make it so hard for Prabhupadanugas to cooperate with each other on a global scale. I guess having a temple and a small congregation gives you the full power of acharya to do whatever you want. Not to mention the bragging rights and the ability to call everyone else who disagrees with you an inferior, envious fault finder! Boy, i’d like a temple of my own please!

 

 

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