Srila Prabhupadas warnings to so called scholars

June 21, 2022 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Srila Prabhupada warning his disciples NOT to fool with the sanskrit language thinking now “I am a great pandit” and then changing the Acaryas own words to suit their own agenda of (mis)understanding.
It takes at least 12 years of intense study to understand or master the sanskrit language
Jan 21 1970 letter Jayapataka
This is Sankara’s last instruction to his followers, and the purport is that the mayavadi philosophers are very much accustomed to draw favorable meanings from unwanted interpretations by grammatical jugglery. In Sanskrit the grammatical jugglery is a great puzzle, there are many words which can be changed into different meanings by grammatical root derivations and affixing and prefixing pratyayas. So Sankara advised that do not try to exact favorable conclusions by beating the Sastras, but be submissive to Lord Govinda and worship Him. Otherwise, this grammatical jugglery of words will not help you at the time of death. At that time only if you can someway or other remember the Lotus Feet of Govinda, Krishna, that will save you, O’ the fool number-one. Don’t waste your time in misinterpreting the sastras.
I hope this will find you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Adi 8.15 : PURPORT :
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvati Ṭhākura comments in this connection that people in general, in their narrow-minded conception of life, create many different types of humanitarian activities, but the humanitarian activities inaugurated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are different. For logicians who want to accept only that which is proven through logic and argument, it is a fact that without logic and reason there can be no question of accepting the Absolute Truth. Unfortunately, when such logicians take to this path without the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they remain on the platform of logic and argument and do not advance in spiritual lifeHowever, if one is intelligent enough to apply his arguments and logic to the subtle understanding of the fundamental spiritual substance, he will be able to know that a poor fund of knowledge established on the basis of material logic cannot help one understand the Absolute Truth, which is beyond the reach of imperfect senses. The Mahābhārata therefore says: acintyāḥ khalu ye bhāvā na tāṁs tarkeṇa yojayet. (Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma-parva 5.22) How can that which is beyond the imagination or sensory speculation of mundane creatures be approached simply by logic? Logic and argument are very poor in spiritual strength and always imperfect when applied to spiritual understanding. By putting forward mundane logic one frequently comes to the wrong conclusion regarding the Absolute Truth, and as a result of such a conclusion one may fall down to accept a body like that of a jackal.
Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 8: The Author Receives the Orders of Krsna and Guru : Adi 8.32 : PURPORT : rupa-raghunatha-pade haibe akuti kabe hama bujhaba se yugala-piriti : One must be a submissive student of the six Gosvāmīs, from Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī to Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. Not following their instructions but imagining how to worship Gaurasundara and Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa is a great offenseas a result of which one clears a path to hell. If one neglects the instructions of the six Gosvāmīs and yet becomes a so-called devotee of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, he merely criticizes the real devotees of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. As a result of speculation, he considers Gaurasundara to be an ordinary devotee and therefore cannot make progress in serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.
Seattle, September 25, 1968 : 680925LE.SEA :
Tad viddhi praṇipātena. If you want to understand the spiritual science, then you have to approach to a person where you can completely surrender yourself. Because everyone is proud: “Oh, who can teach me? Why shall I go to a spiritual master? I know everything.” That is the general mentality. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā gives us direction that you should go to a person where you can fully surrender. So you have to find out a bona fide spiritual master where you can surrender your pride. Then tad viddhi praṇipātena. Praṇiptena means surrender. Paripraśnena. If you find out such, if you are fortunate enough to find out some person where you can surrender, then you can put questions before him. That Sanātana Gosvāmī is putting, that “What is my position? I think that I am very learned man, I am born of very aristocratic family and so on, so on, but actually, I do not know what I am. What is my position?” This is paripraśna, inquiry. Surrender, inquiry, and sevayā. That answer should be received in service mood

Adi 15.5 purport-
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says that the Lord was given lessons by a teacher named Viṣṇu and another teacher named Sudarśana. Later on, when He was a little grown up, He was under the care of Gaṅgādāsa Paṇḍita, who taught Him grammar of a higher standard. Anyone serious about studying the Sanskrit language should first learn grammar. It is said that simply to finish studying Sanskrit grammar takes at least twelve years, but once one learns the grammatical rules and regulations very nicely, all other scriptures or subject matters in Sanskrit are extremely easy to understand, for Sanskrit grammar is the gateway to education.
April 17 1970
In KRSNA chapter #87, on page 4, the last line, it is said, “known as budbuvasa, which is manifested by Govinda.” I do not know what is this editing. The correct word is Bhurbhuvasvah as it is in the Gayatri mantra and everybody knows it. This “budbuvasa” is an extraordinary word, neither it is Sanskrit nor English, so how it has avoided the vigilance of so many editors? So if none of the editors knew this word, why was it pushed? There should be no such negligences like this, nothing uncertain should be pushed. Now what other discrepancies there may be like this? Or what is the use of such editing? Everything must be done very carefully and attentively.
Sept 23 1976
My dear Rupanuga,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 13rd September, 1976 and have noted the contents. Regarding the editorial policy of BTG, if the editorial board is not expert enough they should be changedDr. O.B.L. Kapoor also had put a similar complaint. Yes, scientific articles must be published when sent by our men. I cannot see every article, but some of you should examine why nice articles are rejected. See if the board can be changed. If experienced editors are not there it will be unpopular magazine. These things are to be seen to immediately by the GBC. The board should be judged immediately and be changed if required.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
June 22 1977-Rascal editors conversations
NOTE-This famous conversation has been edited to make it shorter so devotee will read the original unedited version-but the main  important points have been left.
Prabhupāda: No? What is that? Sādhu? What is that? Munayaḥ?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Says, “sādhu—this is relevant.”
Prabhupāda: Relevant?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s what it’s translated as, “this is relevant.” May be a mistake.
Devotee (1): It’s a mistake.
Prabhupāda: Munayaḥ?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: “Munayaḥ—of the sages; sādhu—this is relevant…”
Prabhupāda: The nonsense, they are… They are correcting my trans… Rascal. Who has done this? Munayaḥ is addressing all these munis.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Sādhu means they are very pure. What can be done if it goes there and these rascals becomes Sanskrit scholar and do everything nonsense? One Sanskrit scholar strayed, that rascal… He take… What is his…? Śacī-suta? Śacī-sandana?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Jaya-śacīnandana?
Prabhupāda: And they are maintaining them. Different meaning.
Prabhupāda: Now here is “O sages,” and the word meaning is “of the munis.” Just see. Such a rascal Sanskrit scholar. Here it is addressed, sambodhana, and they touch(?) it—”munayaḥ—of the munis.” It is very risky to give to them for editorial direction. Little learning is dangerous. However proper Sanskrit scholar, little learning, dangerous. Immediately they become very big scholars, high salaried, and write all nonsense. Who they are?
Prabhupāda: No, they cannot be reliable. They can do more harm. Just see here
Prabhupāda: So how they can be reliable, so-called, this way…? (background whispering) Hm?
Yaśodā-nandana: In the Gurukula we were teaching Īśopaniṣad class to the children. So we took… [break] …Prabhupāda and the words which the recent edition of the Press is wrong. Many changes were brought. They were trying to make better English, but sometimes, to make better English, I think they were making philosophical mistakes also. There is no so much need of making so much better English. Your English is sufficient. It is very clear, very simple. We have caught over 125 changes. They’re changing so many things. We are wondering if this is necessary. I will show you today. I have kept the book.
Prabhupāda: I know that these rascals are doing. What can be done? How they can be relied on?
Svarūpa Dāmodara: It’s not the responsibility of the BBT trustee, to see these things don’t change without Prabhupāda’s sanction?
Prabhupāda: And Rāmeśvara is indulging this. The great rascal is that Jagannātha? He’s there in Los Angeles.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Jagannātha dāsa?
Prabhupāda: Maybe.
Indian devotee (2): Jagannātha-suta.
Prabhupāda: Jagannātha-suta.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No…
Prabhupāda: And the one rascal is gone.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Nitāi.
Prabhupāda: It is starting. What can I do? These cannot… These rascals cannot be educated. Dangerous. Little learning, dangerous. So how to correct? The leader of these dangerous-Rādhā-vallabha.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Rādhā-vallabha?
Prabhupāda: Hm. He’s a dangerous, who maintains these rascal with this work. He’ll always have questions and alteration. That is his business. That is American business. They take that always. What can I do? Ultimate, it goes for editorial. They make changes, such changes.
Prabhupāda: So you… What you are going… It is very serious situation. You write one letter that “Why you have made so many changes?” And whom to write? Who will care? All rascals are there. Write to Satsvarūpa that “This is the position. They are doing anything and everything at their whim.” The next printing should be again to the original way.
Some Conclusions-The above letters and conversations have been put in this article to show how serious is Prabhupadas words and how and why the Acarya’s bhasyas should NEVER be changed-EVER. They should remain like etched in granite stone.
First of all it takes 12 years to become proficient at just the grammar aspect of sanskrit. Who in iskcon at that time knew anything about sanskrit? So some studied a little, became a little adept at handling this foreign language, at least enough to be able to read it (somewhat) and then were told by Srila Prabhupada to start the work.
When the complaints started coming to Prabhupada from scholars, personal friends of his, professors, who bought the book sets, and devotees alike, he began to see the bad picture emerging about how his books were being mangled by neophytes.
And now some 45 years later, what have these upstarts done to his original books?
They continued to completely change as much as they can, as often as they can and became so arrogant that nobody today can tell any of them anything.
So the best thing at this point in time is to find the originally printed books (as he ordered) and just read those and walk away from iskcon produced changed books. Let your cash do the talking since sane words no longer work.
Hare Krsna
damaghosa das