Today marks one year since the passing of Sadaputa
Dasa (Dr. Richard L. Thompson). To honor this occasion, Caranu Renu Dasi, a Krishna devotee with a doctorate in astrophysics, has decided to share some of her memories of him.
She has posted them on her blog, and you can read them (and see some photos) here:
She writes in her concluding sentence:
What are the “original manuscripts” for Bhagavad-gita As It Is? The first of three videos in which I answer that question is now online at BBTedit.com.
This first video, sixteen minutes long, tells especially about the manuscripts for the first six chapters (and shows what they look like).
The video is informative, rather than argumentative. Hare Krishna devotees interested in the integrity of Srila Prabhupada’s books may find the video worth watching.
BBT press release:
The BBT has launched a new website, BBTedit.com, full of information about the editing of Srila Prabhupada’s books.
Among the features:
- More than 80 video clips: BBT editors and other senior devotees offer facts and perspectives on editorial history, myths, and controversies.
- A collection of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions about editing.
- First time ever: Annotated scans of Jayadvaita Swami’s copy of the 1972 Gita show his editing for the second edition.
The scans show practically all the revisions and restorations done for the word-for-word meanings and purports. (The translations were revised separately.) The annotations let you see what the original manuscripts said and tell the reasons for changes made.
On Janmastami I had the pleasure of reading with other devotees from Srila Prabhupada’s “Krishna Book” about Lord Krishna’s advent in this world. In the course of reading, we heard that when the goddess Durga appeared before Kamsa, “in her eight hands she held a bow, lancet, arrows, bell, conchshell, disc, club and shield.”
Wait a second. Lancet? Surely that couldn’t be right.
Changes! Changes! Want to see all the changes made to the purports of Srila Prabhupada’s 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is? The BBT will soon be putting them all online.
When I made my revisions for the second edition, I did them directly on a copy of the book—that is, a copy of the first edition. After the second edition was published, for many years my first-edition copy was lost. But about three years ago, Dravida Dasa found it in a trunk in San Diego. More recently, that copy has been digitized. And soon the BBT will be putting it online.
The BBT has a lot of valuable stuff—books, manuscripts, letters, photos, paintings, audio, videos, and more, some of it in the Bhaktivedanta Archives, some of it elsewhere. A lot of it is in digital form, some of it not.
Following the model for an Open Archival Information System, the BBT has begun a “Digital Repository” project.
Among its purposes:
- To put all the BBT’s stuff (as far as possible) into an up-to-date digital form, with suitable “metatags” to help in finding things.
- To archive all the stuff in one digital repository—one digital “box” (of course with backups).
- To keep all of Srila Prabhupada’s books in digital files we can supply to printers for publishing or use for ebooks and other formats.
- To provide a free, open-source, up-to-date replacement for the Folio VedaBase, both online and for personal computers (Windows, Mac, Linux, and so on).
Enough of those cheery motivational slogans trying to psych us into believing “it’s all in the mind” and whatever we wish will be ours if only we’ve got the right positive attitude. The blessed souls at Despair, Inc., have come out with a series of posters (oh, and T-shirts and mugs and whatnot) designed to deflate us and bring us down to earth (and make themselves a bit of money while they’re at it). Deliciously depressing.
Thank you to my godsister Urmila Devi Dasi
for letting me know about this site.
“At first I couldn’t believe it,” said Rijidatma Dasa. “The books, yes. But who would ever think the BBT would start monkeying with the Vaishnava Calendar?”
35:44 minutes (10.23 MB)
This is a slimmed-down version of a class I gave in March 2008 at the ISKCON center at Soho Street in London. One mistake: I say that “some girls” who wanted Bhisma to marry them asked his guru to oblige him to do so. In fact there was only one such girl—Amba. The other girls, her two sisters, married Bhisma’s half-brother Vicitravirya. In any case, my point concerning Bhisma’s personal integrity remains the same, as do my points concerning our own.
Every year I make my personal finances public. Attached is an accounting of my finances for 2008.
On October 23, while I was stopping briefly at the ISKCON center in New Delhi on the way from Govardhana to Mumbai, an anguished disciple of my godbrother Jayapataka Swami told me that Jayapataka Swami had fallen unconscious while in Mumbai to attend a meeting and had been rushed to the hospital, where he lay still unconscious and in critical condition.
36:53 minutes (25.33 MB)
Here is a class I gave in India last January for a course at the Mayapur Institute for Higher Education. I spoke on this verse from the Bhagavad-gita (9.30):
api cet su-duracaro
bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah
samyag vyavasito hi sah
“Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.”
On Thursday, six days ago, I’d been thinking of a book to send to a cousin, Bill, a semi-retired pediatrician. In response to some points I’d made in talking about the spiritual nature of consciousness, he had asked me if I’d ever read anything by Stephen J. Gould, the Harvard paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, historian of science, and author of popular scientific articles and books.
The unstated message: I doubt whether your ideas about consciousness can stand up in the face of what we know from science.
I haven’t read more than a few brief essays by Gould, so I later wrote to ask that Bill recommend something. Meanwhile, I was thinking about what to recommend to Bill.
My thoughts at once went to Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science, a short book written by my godbrother Sadaputa Dasa, known in the world by his civil name, Dr. Richard L. Thompson.
Three years ago, I published here the article A distant view of 9/11. Its theme, in brief, was that when freedom-hating Islamic terrorists struck on 9/11/2001 and the armies of American democracy struck back, the events rolled out in patterns so exquisitely neat and familiar as to suggest that the entire show had likely been scripted and staged by powerful hands within (and beyond) the United States government itself.
Oh, paranoid conspiracy theories!