Monday, 31 January 2011

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Twisting Things

Toronto, Ontario

I opened randomly to a page from Hari Sauri Dasa's book, "A Transcendental Diary", and came upon a passage that I had found interesting at my first read of it. Our guru, Srila Prabhupada, of whom the book is all about, raised an objection about the way in which his rendition of the "Bhagavad-gita" had been edited.

The following passage from Mellbourne in '76 indicates that he wanted proper and responsible editing to be applied to his book. You might call this an inside story.

"On the way back in the car, Srila Prabhupada told Pusta Krsna Maharaja (his assistant) to have the BBT in Los Angeles correct and editor's mistake in the Bhagavad-gita" he has detected during a conversation in his room yesterday. While talking about cow protection, he had asked Pusta Krsna to look up verse 18.44. When Pusta Krsna read the verse aloud, Prabhupada noted a mistranslation of an important word. So today he told him, "Immediately inform Ramesvara (the publisher-in-charge). In the "Bhagavad-gita" yesterday, they have edited 'cattle raising'. But it is not cattle raising. Cattle raising means to grow and killing. That means the rascals, they have edited. Hayagriva edited. He thought, ''cattle raising'. Not 'cattle raising'. It is mistranslation. It is go-raksya, 'giving protection to the cows.' It is expecially mentioned go-raksya, not otherwise."

Here is a prime example of how editing was irresponsibly handled. You want to be especially careful with regard to a classic text like the 'Bhagavad-gita'. Fortunately, thereafter, editors did as was ordered - to change the definition to the original meaning of the Sanskrit words, go-raksya. It goes to show that a misinterpretation can distort something fundamental as the word 'protection' to the twisted meaning of 'raising for the slaughter'.

6 KM

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