“There is also a planet of trees presided over by Aryama, who represents Krsna.”
—Bhagavad-gita As It Is, first edition, purport to 10.29
Turning many heads at last year’s Ratha-yatra festival in Los Angeles was a colorful sight: a man on stilts and dressed as a tree, lushly adorned with leaves and branches. Apparently he is a well-known figure at Venice Beach.
Spotting him, my godbrother Svavasa Prabhu, the president of the Los Angeles ISKCON temple, called out to me, “Look! The planet of the trees!”
I was too late to snap a picture of the tree-man. But I picked up pictures of him and other “tree people” from the internet.
Once, a few years before, in Long Island, I’d had a — well, I guess you could call it a chat — with a bold young fellow from Bangalore who proudly declared that since “the planet of the trees” was in the original edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the edition Srila Prabhupada had personally approved, at least he (that bold young fellow from Bangalore) had full faith that there really is such a place.
So for those who would accord a special sacred status to “planet of the trees” and other such editorial errors (and for anyone else who might find such curious matters interesting), here you have them: images from… … . The Planet of the Trees!
Please don’t get me wrong. The first edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is is a marvelous transcendental book, full of spiritual potency. So if that’s the edition you prefer, fine. In that case — if you’re sincere and honest about wanting to follow Srila Prabhupada’s instructions — please buy it from the BBT.
Every year I make my personal finances public. Attached is an accounting of my finances for 2012.
A 24-page illustrated report on the work of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust in Africa.
People, programs, and publications. Vision, challenges, and accomplishments. Books published in Zulu, Xhosa, Swahili, and more.
You can download the report (2.7 MB) and find out what has been going on.
The 2012 edition of “Srila Prabhupada Tributes”—the “open Vyasa-puja book”—is now available for downloading as a PDF file here: www.sptributes.com.
The 2012 update for the content of the Bhaktivedanta VedaBase is now available to download. If you already have the VedaBase, the update is free. You can download the VedaBase update here.
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!
Every year I make my personal finances public. Attached is an accounting of my finances for 2011.
BBT press release
The BBT is pleased to announce the release of the annotated scans for chapter seven of Bhagavad-gita As It Is. They are now online at www.BBTedit.com/changes.
This is a historic chapter because here is where Srila Prabhupada switched from typing manuscripts himself to using a dictaphone.
What sort of difference did that make? Included with the scans are twelve sample pages from the manuscript, including both typed and dictated portions. So you can see for yourself.
Do I obsess about 9/11? At least I try not to. In short: The official story of the “terrorist attacks” appears to me a fraud; the fraud has apparently succeeded in accomplishing its objectives; and so goes yet another small chapter in the endless history of the material world.
But though I have better things to think about than 9/11, I do sometimes think about it, especially on the anniversary of the event, or when I’m subjected to extra searches by airport security, or when something about 9/11 I didn’t know before comes to my attention as particularly striking.
Today, two such special items.
On the occasion of Lord Krishna’s appearance day, the African BBT has released its first book in Xhosa, one of the eleven official languages of South Africa. Xhosa is the native language for about 8 million people. The book is a translation of Srila Prabhupada’s Beyond Birth and Death. First printing: 5,000 copies. The translator: Tota Gopinatha Dasa. The graphic designer: Khotso Kholopane.
The 2011 Open Vyasa-puja Book is printed and in the mail. You can also download a pdf copy right now from http://www.sptributes.com.
The book consists of offerings to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada by his disciples.
In a separate posting I’ll express my thanks to all involved. For now, I just want to let you know quickly that the book is online.
BBT Africa has come out with a two-page newsletter telling of new books and current projects. You can download the newsletter and see what’s going on.
BBT press release
A sentence handwritten by Srila Prabhupada for a purport of Bhagavad-gita As It Is but never included in any edition of the book has come to light at the Bhaktivedanta Archives.
The sentence, written on a newly discovered transcribed page for Chapter 10, text 36, disparages “the unfortunate commentator who wants to cheat Krsna and the public by saying that there is something greater than Krsna.”
A letter from Jayadvaita Swami discusses the question, What should the BBT do with the newly discovered sentence?
You can see the page and the letter.
BBT press release
Why so few revisions for this chapter? And why the change for the title?
See for yourself in the annotated scans for chapter six, now online at www.BBTedit.com/changes.
You’ll see all the revisions done for the purports, along with explanatory notes. And for nearly all the changes you’ll see images from the earliest manuscripts in the BBT’s files.
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.