Book Changer Makes Further Blunders


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 48, Summer 2015

All BTP subscribers will have received our book entitled: The Book Changer: The Life and Teachings of His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami (Please write to for a free copy if you have not). In this, we exposed the long history of HH Jayadvaita Swami ("JAS") continually disobeying and not understanding Srila Prabhupada's teachings, despite a sweeping claim made to the contrary. And, given this history of deviation, we called for JAS to offer a comprehensive "audit trail" for all the many thousands of changes he has made to Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Now it emerges that JAS has made more blunders regarding Srila Prabhupada, further strengthening the case for such an audit.

The bogus claims

JAS gave a "Kirtan Standards Seminar", in which he took it upon himself to educate ISKCON devotees in the "correct" way one should conduct kirtana according to Srila Prabhupada's standards. As part of this seminar, he stated that two practices were wrong, emphatically insisting that Srila Prabhupada never did them.

Bogus claim - 1

"This is the version in which you cut out all the spaces: 'Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare' No spaces. [...] Prabhupada never did it. 10 lakhs (1 million rupees; $16,000) to anyone who can give me a recording of Prabhupada chanting that way. He never did it. Ever."
(JAS, Kirtan Standards Seminar, ISKCON Juhu, November, 2014)

JAS refers here to chanting the Hare Krishna mantra without any pauses between the words.

Bogus claim – 2

"But the mantra is Sanskrit and the name consists of two syllables -- Rama. And personally hearing it dropped because we have to fit the format of 'Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare...' disturbs me. [...] all I can report to you is that Prabhupada never did it."
(JAS, Kirtan Standards Seminar, ISKCON Juhu, November, 2014)

JAS here refers to chanting the word "Rama" as "Ram", with the final "a" sound dropped.

Admits blunders

"I gave a seminar in Bombay on kirtan and Srila Prabhupada's standards for kirtan, [...] I objected to, or expressed my dislike, of compressing, taking the space out of kirtan. [...] And I said, "Prabhu­pada never did that." And I think I offered 10 lakhs [...] for anyone who would, you know, produce a recording of any time when Prabhupada did that. [...] And another objection I made was how typically when that's done, we cut off the ends of the syllables. So we get instead of "Hare Rama, Hare Rama, [...]", we get "Hare Ram, Hare Ram". [...] And Prabhupada never did that. [...] So subsequently my Godbrother Srutadeva Prabhu sent me not one, but two, recordings of Srila Prabhupada doing exactly those two things. [...] And so I have to retract those two statements, and thank Srutadeva Prabhu for bringing those mistakes of mine to my attention."
(Posted as Video recording, 21/5/15)

So, despite JAS's confident boasts -- even offering a large sum of money to prove him wrong -- he was wrong regarding Srila Prabhupada's kirtana standards.

Evidence of personal bias

JAS's blunders involved him conflating his own personal biases against these practices, with a false belief that Srila Prabhupada must support his biases:

"All I can tell you is: Number one: Prabhupada never did. Number two: I hate it. [...] So not only do I hate the fact that there's no space [...] from my point of view, all the beauty of the tune is destroyed, all the meditative quality. [...] You're short-changing the devotees, because when you chant this way, inevitably you shorten the mantra. [...] this sort of butchery that is involved with the speed-up and dropping spaces, and making everything fit [...] That beautiful mangala-arati tune, (sings slowly) Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, becomes in part 2 (speeds up chant) Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram -- YUK!" [...] And personally hearing it dropped because we have to fit the format of 'Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare...' disturbs me."
(JAS, Kirtan Standards Seminar, ISKCON Juhu, November 2014, emphases added)

Thus, JAS objects to practices that he admits he does not like, and then falsely assumes that Srila
Prabhupada must also share his opinion. But these blunders could have been avoided if JAS first determined exactly what Srila Prabhupada's position is and then just followed that regardless of his personal preferences. And, as a result of these blunders, JAS is effectively stating of Srila Prabhupada's chanting that: it is "butchery"; "Yuk"; and he "hates" and is "disturbed" by it.

More reason for audit

We have established that:

1) JAS is prone to making mistakes when it comes to understanding Srila Prabhupada.
2) JAS's blunders appear to have been caused in part by his personal biases influencing his understanding of Srila Prabhupada.
3) JAS has so much unwarranted faith in his infallibility that he even bet a large amount of money that he was not wrong.

These facts may be relevant in understanding JAS's editing of Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita -- i.e. JAS could also have made mistakes in this editing, fuelled by his tendency to let his personal biases cloud his judgement in regards to understanding Srila Prabhupada. All underpinned with overconfidence in regards to his own infallibility. Especially since he has already admitted to blundering in this editing:

"Here the critics have detected a genuine error. The text should read "not the Visnu form." The First Edition has it right, the Second Edition wrong. I don't know how the error came about. "
(JAS, Gita Revisions Explained)

However, there is a simple way to check if JAS has erred in this way. JAS simply needs to supply an audit trail listing every single change he has made with the evidence for why each change was made. If JAS has not made mistakes, then he has nothing to fear from such an audit, as it will simply establish that all his changes are bona fide. Indeed, such an audit is in his interest, as it will restore confidence in his edited Gita for those who may have had doubts. And if the audit does reveal mistakes were made, then again it is in JAS's interest, as these mistakes can be corrected, and his work improved. Either way, JAS has no reason to object to such an audit, if he is only genuinely concerned about how best he can serve Srila Prabhupada.


JAS may have proclaimed himself an expert, whether in how kirtana should be performed, or how Srila Prabhupada's books should be edited. But he can display humility and be open to providing all the devotees with such a detailed audit trail for the many thousands of changes he has made to Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Return to IRM Homepage

Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!