BBT Africa has published Srila Prabhupada’s Beyond Birth and Death in Zulu. The book (print run: 10,000 copies) was launched at the Durban Rathayatra festival by ISKCON leaders, members of the BBT publishing team, and Zulu-speaking devotee children from Soweto.
Zulu serves as the primary language for about 10 million people, the vast majority of them in South Africa, and as a secondary language for another 16 million. Since 1994, Zulu has been one of South Africa’s eleven official languages. It is written using the Latin alphabet.
Translator for the book: Akhanda Kirtana Dasa (Agricious Ngcobo). Designer: Khotso Kholopane. Production Manager: Rupa-Sanatana Dasa.
In the works: Beyond Birth and Death in Xhosa, another official South African language, spoken by about 8 million people.
The deadline for the “Open Vyasa-puja book” is April 15. All direct disciples of Srila Prabhupada are warmly welcome to write an offering. Details at www.sptributes.com.
Please spread the word!
You can download it here: VedaBase update 2011.1.
From the Bhaktivedanta Archives
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase Announcement
Coming February 16th, 2011
(Lord Nityananda’s Appearance Day)
The Bhaktivedanta VedaBase 2011.1 update
This update, the first since version 2003.1, will be known as the Bhaktivedanta VedaBase 2011.1.
This is an update to the contents, not an upgrade to the software.
You will be able to download this free update on the Internet from Krishna.com (378 Mb zipped).
Installation instructions are provided in the download.
For those who might find it of interest, I pass along, without comment, the following:
In the Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Srila Vyasadeva says, “When the householder beholds wrinkles on his body and grey hair on his head, and children of his children, he should then retire into the forest. The third part of his life [from 50 to 75 years] he should pass in the observance of the vanaprastha mode.”
From Pradyumna Dasa, the book’s project manager
Deadline: April 15, 2011
Dear Srila Prabhupada disciple,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Last year we launched the Open Vyasa-puja book — “Srila Prabhupada Tributes” — a book in which all of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples are welcome to be included. The success of the book lay in its wonderful offerings — more than 250, from devotees all over the world. Many devotees expressed how they relished the opportunity to write and share their realisations. Based on this success, we plan to publish another Tributes book this year for Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa-puja.
On the passing of Srila B.V. Narayana Maharaja, I sent the message below to his disciples and followers.
Offering my respects at the feet of all the Vaishnavas, I express my condolences at the loss to this world of Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya 108 Sri Srimad B.V. Narayana Maharaja.
I first met Srila Narayana Maharaja more than thirty years ago, before he became world famous. Perhaps I first saw him in Srila Prabhupada’s last days, when he came to visit Srila Prabhupada in Vrindaban. And then from time to time I met him in Vrindaban and Sridham Mayapur.
Sometimes I visited him in Mathura at his humble room in Sri Keshavaji Gaudiya Matha, and once I also had the coincidental good fortune of traveling with him on the same train from Mathura to Delhi.
He was kind to me. I respected him. And I always felt benefited by his association.
I have seen that many of my godbrothers and godsisters, as well as others, received inspiration and guidance from him for their devotional lives, and some he rescued from the very clutches of maya. He made substantial literary contributions. And he spread the sankirtana movement of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
I remember him with fondness and respect.
I pray that in his physical absence those who took shelter of him and felt inspired by him will continue in their devotional lives with full spiritual strength, as he would desire, and in this way honor his memory.
Every year I make my personal finances public. Attached is an accounting of my finances for 2010.
It’s a persistent image: Srila Prabhupada in Los Angeles in December of 1968, working side by side with Hayagriva Prabhu, carefully putting the finishing touches on Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
Govinda Dasi was personally serving Srila Prabhupada in Los Angeles at the time, and she is sure this is what she saw. And even if Srila Prabhupada wrote two weeks later that what he was working on with Hayagriva was the Bhagavatam, then they must have been working on both books—the Bhagavatam and the Gita.
But a careful look at the history shows that this is out of the question.
Why? Because even though Hayagriva worked on the Gita manuscript until October of 1967, by November of ’67 he was off the job and Srila Prabhupada handed over the task of finishing the Gita to another editor, Rayarama Dasa (Raymond Marais). When Hayagriva came to Los Angeles in December of 1968, that first Gita—the abridged Macmillan edition—had already been published. And work on the next edition—the unabridged—didn’t begin until 1970.
What Hayagriva was editing in December of 1968 was Srimad-Bhagavatam.
And so the image of Srila Prabhupada sitting with Hayagriva in December of 1968 carefully going over every verse of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, seeing to the finishing touches, is a persistent image of something that never took place.
That’s the truth. Here’s the timeline. See for yourself.
“Rascal editors!” Srila Prabhupada said. He had come upon an editorial mistake in a verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam, and so he strongly denounced “rascal editors” who make unauthorized editorial changes.
This incident, which took place in Vrindavan on June 22, 1977, has been known to Hare Krishna devotees for more than thirty years. And for more than thirty years, most devotees have been wrong about what mistake he had found.
This makes no difference to Srila Prabhupada’s point. Rascal editors are rascal editors.
Still, we might as well get straight what the editorial error was.
In a recent exchange of letters online, I wrote that as a result of the well-known “Rascal Editors” conversation, Radhavallabha Dasa, the BBT production manager, sent a sample of my second-canto editing to Srila Prabhupada, who replied, on September 7, 1976, “Concerning the editing of Jayadvaita Prabhu, whatever he does is approved by me. I have confidence in him.”
My godbrother Yasodanandana Prabhu has pointed out that the sequence here makes no sense, since the “Rascal Editors” conversation took place almost a year later, on June 22, 1977.
He is entirely right. Obviously, there’s no way a letter written in September 76 could have been a reply to a conversation held in June 77. My mistake.
The conversation led, rather, to an exchange of letters between Ramesvara Swami and Tamal Krishna Goswami. Though clearly not on the same level as a letter from Srila Prabhupada, these do have historical interest. I’ll gather and post them when I can.
I’ve sent this letter to news sites where the letter it replies to was published.
I have a very soft spot in my heart for my senior godsister Govinda Dasi. In 1968, right after I was initiated, she was serving as Srila Prabhupada’s cook, and for a couple of weeks in Boston I got to assist her. I will always fondly remember those days of being with her and Gaurasundara in serving Srila Prabhupada. She was (and is) such a nice example of a devoted disciple! But as for Govinda Dasi the historian, well. . .
A letter from her to Yashoda Dulal Prabhu, lately being circulated on the internet, gets several points wrong. But I’ll just mention two of them.
BBT press release
“Activities such as hearing, seeing, speaking, evacuating, etc., are actions of the senses meant for work.” Really? Wait a second—aren’t hearing and seeing what we do with our knowledge-gathering senses, not our working ones?
But the quotation comes right from Bhagavad-gita As It Is, from the purport to 5.9. So how could it be wrong?
It’s wrong because it’s the first edition and a typist left something out.
See for yourself in the annotated scans for chapter five, now online at www.BBTedit.com/changes.
BBT press release
“The changes” for chapter four of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is are now online at www.BBTedit.com/changes.
- Several purports where missing text has been restored. In the purport to Text 6, restored to the book are more than forty words left out when a typist skipped from one instance of “causeless mercy” to the next.
- Spelling errors corrected, both for Sanskrit (texts 5, 11, and 12) and for English (text 10).
- In the word meanings for text 31, a word meaning left out by Srila Prabhupada and replaced by the editor with a meaning that was totally wrong. Fixed for the second edition.
- In text 12 you’ll see “hrt-anjana” (“heart ointment”?) properly restored to “hrta-jnana” (“deprived of knowledge”).
- In text 10 you’ll see how “negligence of spiritual life” wrongly came to be one of the “three stages of attachment to the material world.” And you’ll see for yourself whether Srila Prabhupada meant to say that the conception of void “underlies” frustration or arises from it.
Also included is the complete manuscript page for text 34.
Check it out.