Ramesvara Dasa (ACBSP): "The study group was fascinated that the BBT had gone through that process and appreciated it."


 Among my other "come-back" activities, I attend a Bhagavad Gita study meet-up group, organized by a Columbia University graduate and attended by college students and others. Meetings are held once each month at 26 Second Avenue, and I get to subtly preach and point out the true meaning of Bhagavad Gita As It Is, since we use Srila Prabhupada's Gita.

Anyway, this past Sunday we studied the 11th Chapter, and I have to say that I was slightly embarrassed. I brought my old version of Bhagavad Gita (Sanskrit, transliterations, etc). Some students bring their own Gitas translated by nondevotee "scholars."

In the class we always pass out the new edited/corrected paperback Gita (without the Sanskrit and transliterations). We were all reading and analyzing the verses and purports, and came to Text 10-11. The old edition, which the organizer used to type her handouts of what each verse says, was missing words that I saw were right there in the Sanskrit (such as "...bore many divine upraised weapons...").

When one person (who came with his own Gita from some "scholar") commented on the different interpretations that different translators have, I at first thought maybe "ornaments" includes weapons. Then I looked at the Sanskrit and saw that weapons was in the Sanskrit and transliteration but somehow didn't make it into the text. Then I opened the newly edited Gita and saw that Text 10-11 had been beautifully corrected.

I explained to the group that the original devotees at the BBT, perhaps not familiar with Sanskrit, listening to Srila Prabhupada's dictaphone tapes, had somehow skipped over or left out certain words. I told them that through an exhaustive process of listening to those tapes, re-editing, etc. the new edition of the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is has those corrections, or were printed without those omissions. The study group was fascinated that the BBT had gone through that process and appreciated it.

So did I!



[Ramesvara Dasa served for many years as a trustee for the BBT.]