Disobedient and Incompetent Editors Must Resign
BY: RASAPREMA DASA
Aug 28, 2010 AUSTRIA (SUN) The difficult job of getting through Jayadvaita's defenses with some good instruction.
Jayadvaita Swami has replied to the question of his knowledge of basic English grammar brought up in our earlier posting, "Sooner Rather Than Later. His e-mail follows in full at the end of this posting. Unfortunately, his reply only serves to further confirm and highlight his grammatical incompetence.
This writer had pointed out in reference to Gita, 2.48:
"A basic grammatical mistake is introduced by Jayadvaita. "Perform your duty equipoised" should actually be "Perform you duty equipoisedly". Thus, Jayadvaita has used an adjective when an adverb would be correct."
Adverbs for Verbs
To further elucidate the nature of Jayadvaita's mistake we might consider an alternate rendition of Krsna's instruction to Arjuna.
Kindly consider which is correct grammar:
"Perform your duty brave." Or "Perform your duty bravely."
The second versions, using an adverb–not an adjective–to condition the verb, is correct obviously. In his e-mail below, Jayadvaita tries to justify his mistake by three quotations and an irrelevant point that an "adjective following verb, is eminently well established". The discussion is not about whether "adjectives can follow verbs" in English syntax. Of course, they can – but such a tangential referral has no immediate relevance to the particular point under discussion.
Actually, what Jayadvaita has failed to recognize is that in the Gita verse, the verb "Perform" is in the imperative tense; therefore the action is at the center of the communication. None of the examples Jayadvaita gives contain a verb in the imperative tense, therefore they are also irrelevant, not at all pertinent. The verbs Jayadvaita quotes are in the present and past tense and the infinitive.
In the imperative tense, verbs convey a request, instruction, order, or such like. It is basic grammar, as illustrated above, that words conditioning the action of the verb should be in the adverbial form.
If Jayadvaita had wanted to use an adjective to condition the subject rather than the action of the verb, which is stressed by usage of the imperative tense, he should have used:
In the above, the concept of equanimity goes to the subject (rather than the verb) in correct grammatical syntax. Interestingly, this is the same structure that the English professor Hayagriva dasa oversaw in the original Macmillan Gita:
"Be steadfast in yoga, O Arjuna."
Perhaps, Jayadvaita thought that to use that grammatical convention was devoid of change; change is apparently Jayadvaita's imperative in editing the verses of the Macmillan Gita.
Therefore, by his earlier editing and irrelevant response in defense, we can only confirm the grammatical incompetence of Jayadvaita Swami. Jayadvaita's feathers are no doubt ruffled by such direct statements. However, the priority is the validity of Srila Prabhupada's books. Jayadvaita is not competent grammatically to edit Srila Prabhupada's books, nor is he obedient to Srila Prabhupada's clear instruction for only minimalistic editing of only grammar and spelling, leaving style, content and philosophy untouched. Therefore, he, and in the similar mode Dravida dasa, should be quickly removed from their posts before they do more damage to Srila Prabhupada's literary legacy, his primary mission.
Putting grammatical incompetence aside, the other big contention with Jayadvaita's editing is the unnecessary changes that he determinedly and disobediently pursues in his activity. This Gita 2.48 verse is a perfect illustration, so while the verse is being quoted, we would like to draw the learned devotees attention to the two versions, with particular reference to the "word for word" translations. In the word for word, one will find that the translations in the original Macmillan synonyms have been changed apparently to justify the change in the final verse translation in the Jayadvaita revised edition. However, the original Sanskrit of the verse does not justify the change of translations in the synonyms or the verse.
Furthermore, why has the verse translation been changed at all? This is the axiomatic question in the whole editing discussion – why the unnecessary changes? The original Macmillan translation is far superior. The Revised edition is awkward and erroneous English. Yet, most importantly there are subtle changes in the meaning. So the conclusion is that this verse been degraded by incompetent and unnecessary changes. This is the real condemnation. Jayadvaita is editing Srila Prabhupada's books without reference to Srila Prabhupada instructions. Therefore, he and Dravida must resign from their role as editors. Indisputably, Srila Prabhupada clearly stated that unnecessary changes were anathema. That is exactly what Jayadvaita and Dravida have been doing for years. While this shameless disobedience on Srila Prabhupada's primary legacy is being enacted, the GBC remains completely impotent.
Jayadvaita and Dravida must resign as editors. They have not improved Srila Prabhupada's books, but rather created a situation whereby two or more versions of Srila Prabhupada's books are now on the market. Thus the validity of Srila Prabhupada's books, as his personal creations, is commonly in dispute. Yet, Jayadvaita and company refuse to acknowledge their role in this fiasco. However, theirs has been the leading role. Their editing is the embodiment of the exact opposite of Srila Prabhupada's instructions. They have no authorizing statement from Srila Prabhupada. Nor have they proved any competence or sincerity in following the widely-known directions of Srila Prabhupada in regard to editing. Therefore, if they will not resign voluntarily, they must be removed by force. Sincerely obedient editors may be put in place and the "original" books of Srila Prabhupada should be proof read with minimalistic editing of clearly necessary changes and grammatical and spelling errors. This, as practically all ISKCON inmates know, is the expressed stipulation of Srila Prabhupada. Jayadvaita and Dravida have proved themselves to disobedient. Therefore they must go.
Invitation to Jayadvaita
We invite Jayadvaita to justify the changes in Gita 2.48 below. Plainly the changes are unnecessary and incompetent. The result is degradation in the quality of the translation. Srila Prabhupada's books are brought into disrepute. The devotees are disturbed. But all this means nothing to Jayadvaita and Dravida. Recently, in the article by Yasoda Nandana dasa we saw that Jayadvaita's justification is a complete fabrication.
So it is time for Jayadvaita and Dravida to resign. Yes, their egos will be bruised, albeit deservedly. However, the priority is the validity and integrity of Srila Prabhupada's books. It is plain to see that as long as Dravida and Jayadvaita remain entrenched and oblivious to the valid criticisms of the wider body of devotees, then this editing disobedience will only fester and exacerbate the ghastly situation.
Srila Prabhupada's primary legacy, his books, is under attack by disobedient and incompetent persons. These disobedient incompetents must be removed, sooner rather than later.
Note the Erroneous Changes in the Synonyms to Justify the Changed Translation:
yoga-sthah—steadfast in yoga; kuru—perform; karmani—your duty; sangam—attachment; tyaktva—having abandoned; dhananjaya—O Dhananjaya; siddhi-asiddhyoh—in success and failure; samah—the same; bhutva—having become; samatvam—evenness of mind; yogah-yoga; ucyate—is called.
Be steadfast in yoga, O Arjuna. Perform your duty and abandon all attachment to success or failure. Such evenness of mind is called yoga.
yoga-sthah—equipoised; kuru—perform; karmani—your duties; sangam—attachment; tyaktva—giving up; dhananjaya—O Arjuna; siddhi-asiddhyoh—in success and failure; samah—equipoised; bhutva—becoming; samatvam—equanimity; yogah-yoga; ucyate—is called.
Perform your duty equipoised, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga.
The result is that the verse translation has been degraded. The synonyms have been revised to justify the change in translation. In the revised synonyms, three words have been erroneously equated with equipoise or equanimity. These changes are not justified by the original Sanskrit of the verse.
Dear Jayadvaita, would you kindly explain yourself in regard to these changes.
***** ***** ******
Jayadvaita's original response e-mail in full:
Note to busy devotees:
This note concerns itself entirely with grammar. Feel free to skip it.
>the incompetence of the editors is plainly revealed; a basic
>grammatical mistake is introduced by Jayadvaita. "Perform your duty
>equipoised" should actually be "Perform you duty equipoisedly". Thus,
>Jayadvaita has used an adjective when an adverb would be correct.
"Equipoised" here functions properly as an adjective, modifying the unstated
but understood subject "you."
The grammatical structure, adjective following verb, is eminently well
Well may it sort, that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch; so like the king
That was and is the question of these wars.
--Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, Scene 1.
"[H]is muscles seemed to grow firm as iron, his blood flowed calm and cool..."
--Louisa May Alcott,
(Not "calmly and coolly.")
from "An Hour,"
in "Hospital Sketches, and Camp and Fireside Stories" (1871)
"When the veil is allowed to perform its duty undisturbed during the whole of
his visit, the physician may be sure that the wearer's beauty is on the wane."
--from The Dublin Journal of Medical and Chemical Science, Vol IV (1834)
Aum Tat Sat