AS IT WAS
ADVOCATING FOR THE ORIGINAL
BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ AS IT IS
To call for reconsideration of the presumption that Srīla Prabhupāda’s 1972 Macmillan Bhagavad-gītā As It Is required extensive editing and revision to comply with academic and publishing standards.
We aspire to work with all Vaishnavas in a respectful manner, and hope our efforts will reduce the strife that has arisen from this divisive issue. We also pray our efforts are informed and blessed by Śrīla Prabhupāda and our Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradāya.
As It Was will feature regular presentations of our editorial findings as described below in “Our Approach”, along with select articles and interviews, live biweekly podcasts, progress updates, and other relevant information.
Committed to the principle that posthumously revising an author’s work mandates a minimalist editorial approach, Garuda Das and Bhutatma Das are conducting an analysis of the English translations of the verses from the 1972 Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. This academic exercise will demonstrate the nominal degree of editing that would have been necessary and proper to bring the 1972 Bhagavad-gītā to unimpeachable academic and publishing standards. Such minimal editing stands in contrast to the current edition, which turns to earlier drafts and transcriptions to impose major textual restructuring upon the 1972 edition. We hold that this re-envisioning, however well-intentioned, reflects editorial judgments that challenge ethical publishing standards, as well as explicit instructions from Śrīla Prabhupāda. Once the analysis is completed, the findings will be submitted to our academic panel for review. The results will then be made public and presented to the BBT trustees/executives. Should they find our results compelling, we anticipate the BBT would appropriately present the revised edition and reinstate Śrīla Prabhupāda’s 1972 Macmillan Bhagavad-gītā As It Is as the preeminent edition.
Garuda Das, Bhutatma Das, Nrsimhananda Das, Paratrikananda Das
Our core group is comprised of four disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda headed by Garuda Das, PhD (Harvard University) and Bhutatma Das, PhD (University of California, Irvine). We are working in conjunction with a panel of six academic consultants—three scholars who are practicing Vaishnavas and three scholars of Vaishnavism. In addition, the project is assisted by persons in the fields of publishing, law, research, IT, social media and other professional services.
We operate as an unaffiliated entity and present our work in that context.