Myths

The myth of the ultra-close vote

Argument: 

The GBC approved the second edition only by a razor-thin majority. (The usual story is “by only one vote.”)

Response: 

Though all the GBC men were well informed about the second edition, the BBT did not ask them to vote on whether they approved. Asking the GBC’s formal approval in editorial affairs had never been part of the BBT’s usual way of working.

Nonetheless, Jayadvaita Swami did inform all the GBC members of the proposed revisions and ask for comments. And at the 1982 annual GBC meeting Kirtananada Swami (rather than respond to Jayadvaita Swami directly) proposed to the GBC that the planned second edition be rejected. The proposal failed, and therefore no record was kept either of the proposal or of the number of votes for and against it. Who then could remember, years later, the number of votes?

In 2004 Balavanta Prabhu recalled, “The vote was close.” But since he’d forgotten that the GBC had even been informed, his memory of the vote (taken more than twenty years earlier) may understandably be less than dependable.

Turning to Google, the earliest version of the “one vote” myth turns up in 2002, when Govinda Devi Dasi posted a letter on Chakra.org saying “the GBC did approve by a one-vote margin Jayadvaita Maharaja’s editing proposal.” (Govinda Dasi had not, of course, attended the 1982 GBC meeting.) Gupta Dasa, in a letter posted in January of 2003, repeated the “one vote” story, citing Govinda Dasi. And the internet did the rest.
 

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The myth that Srila Prabhupada's disciple Madhudvisa Dasa strongly opposes the changes

Argument: 

Srila Prabhupada very senior and respected disciple Madhudvisa Dasa strongly opposes the revisions made to Srila Prabhupada's books.

Response: 

This is a case of mistaken identity. The Madhudvisa who is so outspoken on the internet is not Srila Prabhupada's disciple at all. He is a different man.

For the full story — including biodata and pictures — see Is this Madhudvisa that Madhudvisa?

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The myth that Jayadvaita Swami physically attacked Madhudvisa Dasa (junior)

Argument: 

In 2004 in Mayapur, the BBT's senior editor, Jayadvaita Swami, chased down the junior Madhudvisa Dasa, got him into a room, and physically attacked him—that is, beat him up.

Response: 

It’s true that in Mayapur Jayadvaita Swami met the junior Madhudvisa Dasa (not Srila Prabhupada’s disciple) and spoke with him strongly. But that’s about as far as the truth of the story goes. Nearly all the rest of the tale, posted online by Madhudvisa himself, is (can we find a gentle way to say this?) an exercise in unrestrained creative imagination. Fortunately for history, the entire encounter was witnessed by a third party, a young man named Gauranga Kishore Dasa, the son of Srila Prabhupada’s disciple Narada Muni Dasa. Gauranga Kishore, a former Gurukula student who has since finished grad school and married, was traveling with Jayadvaita Swami at the time. Here’s Gauranga Kishore’s account, written on September 27, 2010:

Dear Jayadvaita Swami Maharaj, Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhuapada. You asked about my recollection of your meeting with Madhudvisa in Mayapura that took place sometime during the 2004 Mayapura Festival. Since that was over six years ago I do not recall the specific details of the conversation, but I do remember my basic impression of Madhudvisa, and I remember enough to know for sure that Madhudvisa's account of the encounter is largely false. At no point did you physically assault him as he claims you did. That would be something I would certainly remember if it were true. Although I hesitate to even comment because it seems so ridiculous, I guess I should also mention that I don't have any recollection of you screaming curse words. Although you may have used one such word, the claim that you used them repeatedly in the manner of a raving lunatic is really absurd. After reading his story my honest impression is that he is either suffering from some kind of paranoid schizophrenic delusion or that he is a psychopath, or possibly both. And that was pretty much my impression of him at the time as well. And I would just add that we were just getting to know each other at that time and I later went on to spend the summer traveling with you, and my impression of you was not at all lowered by observing your behavior in that instance. I mention this to offer a piece of evidence that could be verified, if anyone is actually interested in doing so, in regards to my impression of your behavior that day. If I was appalled, as I should've been if his story is true, then certainly I would not have been interested in spending more time with you and certainly not traveling with you for an indefinite period of time. I hope that helps to clarify that situation. Your Servant, Gauranga Kishore Das

For the junior Madhudvisa, truthfulness seems a problem. Elsewhere on this site, you can see this for yourself in a video of Madhudvisa meeting with the BBT trustees.

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