Teachings of Lord Caitanya Revisions

Brief history

Two editions of Teachings of Lord Caitanya were published during Srila Prabhupada’s lifetime. Both received his approval. For the first edition, published in 1968, Satsvarupa Maharaja was the transcriber and first editor, Rayarama Dasa the final editor.

Hayagriva Prabhu felt the first edition of the TLC was rough, so in 1974, with Srila Prabhupada’s approval, he worked on a second edition. He extensively revised the TLC in consultation with Nitai Dasa and others in the BBT’s Sanskrit department. Diacritics were added along with a selection of verses from the Caitanya-caritamrta, the TLC’s sourcebook. References were added for quoted verses, and Sanskrit and Bengali spellings brought up to the academic standard Srila Prabhupada wanted for his books. In addition, Hayagriva Prabhu lowercased many words that had been capitalized following an archaic standard Srila Prabhupada had discarded in 1969 in a conversation with his Back to Godhead editors.

The bulk of Hayagriva’s work went into editing the text for smoother reading and concision, and in general doing all the things Prabhupada’s editors did on his other books.

But while this second edition was greatly improved in all these ways, the English was revised entirely from the published text of the first edition without the benefit of the original manuscripts, which had by then been lost.

Some devotees have complained that the 1974 TLC lost some of the flavor of Srila Prabhupada’s original language, which was clear in the first edition. Dissatisfaction with the second edition has led some devotees to purchase the first-edition TLC, from sources outside the BBT. Yet both editions were edited before the Caitanya-caritamrta was published. This means that both have errors that could have been avoided if the editors could have crosschecked with the Caitanya-caritamrta.

It seems that a third edition of the TLC is called for. Dravida Prabhu has now painstakingly produced one. This third edition restores much of the flavor of Srila Prabhupada’s original language and combines that with the proper Sanskrit editing, diacritical marks, verse references, and other improvements introduced by Hayagriva Prabhu. In this new edition, numerous mistakes have been corrected as well, and pieces of text lost in the second edition have been restored. (Following this brief history we show specific examples of the types of corrections Dravida Prabhu has made and explanations of why he made them.) Additionally, the third edition of the TLC will restore Govinda Dasi’s black-and-white illustrations, which Srila Prabhupada very much liked.

Before the BBT proceeds with the printing of this third edition, we’d like your input. Aside from looking at the types of changes listed below, if you would like to see the manuscript of the 1974 edition with all the proposed changes clearly marked, you can download it below.

Please take a look at it and let us know your thoughts. We welcome your feedback. You can leave it here on this site using the "Your Feedback" box, or send an e-mail to us at editorial.decisions@pamho.net. The deadline for feedback is January 1, 2012.

Types of Editorial Changes in the 2011 TLC

1. Substantive omissions from the 1968 edition, or distortions thereof, fixed in the 2011 edition.

A. In the first example, Śrīla Prabhupāda wanted to contrast Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava writings with those of all other religions. That important contrast, lost in the 1974 version, has been restored.

1968: [“Lord Caitanya’s Mission,” p. xxxvii] The elaborations and expositions on the philosophy taught by Lord Chaitanya are in fact the most voluminous, exacting and consistent—due to the unbreakable system of disciplic succession—of any religious culture in the world.

1974: [p. xvii] The elaborations and expositions on the philosophy taught by Lord Caitanya are in fact most voluminous, exacting and consistent due to the system of disciplic succession.

2011: Due to the unbreakable system of disciplic succession, the elaborations and expositions on the philosophy taught by Lord Caitanya are in fact the most voluminous, exacting and consistent of any religious culture in the world.

B. In the second example, Śrīla Prabhupāda is expounding on CC Madhya 19.166-74, in which Lord Caitanya is describing the characteristics of one in pure devotional service. In the paragraph under scrutiny, Prabhupāda is pretty much translating Bhagavatam 3.29.11-12, spoken by Lord Kapiladeva, and he also refers to 3.29.13.

1968: [“Teachings to Rupa Goswami,” p. 30] A pure devotee accepts transcendental loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but does not accept any kinds of liberation for his personal sense gratification. It is stated in the Śrīmad Bhagwatam, Third Canto, Twenty-ninth Chapter, verses 10–12, as follows: Lord Kapiladeva explains in those verses about the pure nature of devotional service: that as soon as a pure devotee hears the Glories and transcendental Qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is seated in everyone’s heart, at once his mind flows towards the Lord, as the water of the Ganges flows down towards the sea. Such spontaneous attraction of the devotee’s mind to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the significance of pure devotional service.

1974: [p. 32] A pure devotee accepts the transcendental loving service of the Lord but rejects all kinds of liberation for his personal sense gratification. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.29.11-13) Lord Kapila explains that as soon as a pure devotee hears the glories and transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is seated in everyone’s heart, his mind immediately flows toward the Lord, just as the waters of the Ganges flow toward the sea. Such spontaneous attraction to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is most important to pure devotional service.

2011: A pure devotee accepts the transcendental loving service of the Lord but rejects all kinds of liberation for his personal sense gratification. This is stated by Lord Kapila in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.29.11–14), in His explanation of the nature of pure devotional service. As soon as a pure devotee hears the glories and transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is seated in everyone’s heart, his mind at once flows toward the Lord, just as the waters of the Ganges flow down toward the sea. Such spontaneous attraction of the devotee’s mind to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead signifies pure devotional service.

Explanation: Śrīla Prabhupāda begins by referring to SB 3.29.13, in which Lord Kapila says that a pure devotee rejects all kinds of liberation devoid of devotional service. Next Śrīla Prabhupāda says “It is stated in the SB . . .” Usually that locution simply means “SB states,” or in this case it would be “In SB . . . Lord Kapila explains.” But if you understand the context, here “It is stated in SB” means “The fact that a pure devotee rejects all kinds of liberation is stated in SB.” Hence in the 2011 edition we have “This is stated,” which provides critical continuity between the first and second sentences. Furthermore, Prabhupāda’s “about the pure nature of devotional service” has been excised. Maybe it’s that misplaced “pure” that threw Hayagrīva Prabhu, but when restored and set right, this phrase performs the essential role of setting the context. Hence “in His explanation of the nature of pure devotional service” appears in the 2011 edition.
Next we have a couple of minor touches that restore Prabhupāda’s word choice to good effect — “at once” instead of “immediately” and “flow down” instead of just “flow.” And finally the most significant change: In the original version we find “Such spontaneous attraction of the devotee’s mind to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the significance of pure devotional service.” It’s understandable that Hayagrīva Prabhu would render this “Such spontaneous attraction to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is most important to pure devotional service.” After all, “significance” means “importance.” But Hayagrīva Prabhu took a wrong turn here because, again, he lost sight of the context — a description of the characteristics of the pure devotee — and also because Prabhupāda used the phrase “is the significance of” in a nonstandard way. What he really meant was “signifies,” as in “to be a sign of.”
One final note: I extended the reference from Bhāgavatam to 3.29.11–14 because two paragraphs later Prabhupāda will give a translation of text 3.29.14 (as cited in the text of the CC at Madhya 19.174).

2. Restorations of “Prabhupāda flavor” from the 1968 edition.

A. The following example shows several types of revisions, mostly a restoration of the unique “flavor” of the original TLC:

1968: [Chapter 1, “Teachings to Rupa Gosvami,” p. 21] Śrīla Rupa Goswami, the younger brother of Sanatan Goswami, went to Prayag, the modern Allahabad, with his younger brother Ballabha, and when they heard that Lord Śrī Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was staying there, both of them became very much pleased. They went to see Lord Chaitanya and saw that the Lord was going to visit the temple of Bindumadhava. While the Lord was going, chanting and dancing, thousands of people were following Him and some of them were crying, some were laughing, some were dancing, and some singing. Some of them were fallen on the ground, offering obeisances to the Lord. And all of them were roaring with the Holy Name of Krishna, Krishna.

1974: [p. 23] Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, the younger brother of Sanātana Gosvāmī, went to Prayāga, the modern city of Allahabad, with his younger brother Vallabha. When the two brothers heard that Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was staying there, they both became very happy and went to see the Lord. At that time the Lord was on His way to visit the temple Bindumādhava. On the way to the temple, the Lord was chanting and dancing, and thousands of people were following Him. Some of these people were crying, and some were laughing. Some were dancing, and some were singing, and some were falling on the ground, offering obeisances to the Lord. In all cases, all of them were roaring the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.

2011: Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, the younger brother of Sanātana Gosvāmī, went to Prayāga, the modern city of Allahabad, with his younger brother Vallabha. When the two brothers heard that Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was staying there, they both became very much pleased and went to see the Lord. At that time the Lord was on His way to visit the temple of Bindu Mādhava. On the way to the temple the Lord was chanting and dancing, and thousands of people were following Him. Some were crying and some were laughing, some were dancing and some were singing, and some were falling on the ground, offering obeisances to the Lord. And all of them were roaring the holy name: “Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa!”

Explanation: Śrīla Prabhupāda used the phrase “very much pleased,” which is a perfectly grammatical way of saying “very happy.” Though not in wide use today, the phrase is one of Prabhupāda’s signature locutions, so we restored it here and in other places in the TLC, as we had in the Kṛṣṇa book.
“The temple of Bindhumadhava,” not “the temple Bindumādhava,” is the standard way of expressing the name of a temple — “the temple of Rādhā-Gokulānanda,” “the temple of Rukmiṇī-Dvārakādhīça.” So I restored the phrase and inserted the standard spelling for the Deity: Bindu Mādhava.
For the description of the Prayāgīs’ ecstatic response to seeing Lord Caitanya, I went mostly with Hayagrīva Prabhu’s editing, discarding the unnecessary “of these people,” nipping unnecessary commas, and combining the whole list into one sentence. The drama of the passage calls for that.
Finally, I looked up the original passage in the CC, at Madhya 19.39, and saw that restoring Prabhupāda’s “Krishna, Krishna” was called for. Prabhupāda had used italics for emphasis, and I saw that the quote marks in the original Bengali and the use of the word bali (“said”) called for quotation marks. Hayagrīva Prabhu had drained some of the excitement out of the original with his plain vanilla “were roaring the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.” I restored it with the repetition of “Kṛṣṇa,” the quote marks, and the exclamation points.

B. In our next example we restored several instances of “Prabhupāda flavor” (one by literally restoring the word “flavor”) and made a few other necessary adjustments.

1968: [“Teachings to Rupa Goswami”, p. 34] Attachment for Krishna is also of two kinds: One kind of attachment is with awe and veneration. There is a lack of freedom in such attachments, which are exhibited in Mathura and the Vaikuntha planets. In such Abodes of the Lord, the flavor of transcendental loving service is restricted. But in the Gokula, Vrindaban, the exchange of loving is freely done, and the cowherd boys and the damsels of Vrindaban, although they know that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, do not show awe and veneration on account of their thick and thin relationship in great intimacy with Him.

1974: [p. 36] Attachment to Kṛṣṇa can also be broken down into two categories. On one platform there is attachment with awe and veneration. This type of attachment might be characterized by a certain lack of freedom, and it is exhibited in Mathurā and in the Vaikuṇöha planets. In these abodes of the Lord, the spirit of transcendental loving service is restricted. However, in Gokula Vṛndāvana, love is freely exchanged, and although the cowherd boys and damsels of Vṛndāvana know that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they do not show awe and veneration because of the great intimacy of their relationship with Him.

2011: In general, attachment to Kṛṣṇa is of two kinds. The first kind is attachment with awe and veneration. Characterized by a lack of freedom, such attachment is exhibited in Mathurā and on the Vaikuṇöha planets. In these abodes of the Lord, the flavor of transcendental loving service is restricted. But in Gokula (Vṛndāvana) love is freely exchanged, and although the cowherd boys and damsels of Vṛndāvana know that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they do not show awe and veneration, because of the great intimacy of their relationship with Him through thick and thin.

Explanation: The context is that Śrīla Prabhupāda, following Lord Caitanya’s teachings to Rūpa Gosvāmī in CC Madhya 19, has just described the five primary rasas and seven secondary rasas in some detail. Next Lord Caitanya gives a twofold division of bhakti, with reverent bhakti on one side and spontaneous, intimate bhakti on the other. I thought we could stick with Prabhupāda’s simpler “of two kinds” rather than Hayagrīva’s “broken down into two categories” — and also dispense with the “also” — if we started with “In general.” We could then also avoid the stuffy “On one platform there is” and stick pretty much with Prabhupāda’s “One kind is,” with our “The first kind is.” There is no justification for the wordy “This type of attachment might be characterized by a certain lack of freedom,” which Prabhupāda said straightforwardly with “There is a lack of freedom in such attachments” and we rendered “Characterized by a lack of freedom, such attachment . . .” Then we reverted to Prabhupāda’s “flavor of transcendental loving service” over “spirit of transcendental loving service” — a different meaning, actually — and used his simpler “But” rather than the stodgy “However.” And finally, there is a major restoration of Prabhupāda flavor with the return of his endearing “[through] thick and thin” to describe the intimate relationship between Kṛṣṇa and His Vṛndāvana devotees.

3. Sanskrit fixes or dictation mishearings:

A. Our first example shows a fix of an almost comical mishearing, and getting straight which Bharata we’re talking about.

1968: [“Service to the Lord”, p. 101] This is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagwatam, Fifth Canto, Eleventh Chapter, spoken in connection with the meeting of the King Rohugana of the Sind province in Siberia with King Bharata.

1974: [p. 116] This is also confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.12.12) in a conversation between King Rahūgaṇa of the Sind province in Siberia with King Bharata.

2011: This also is confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.12.12), in a conversation between Jaḍa Bharata and King Rahūgaṇa, ruler of the Sindhu and Sauvīra provinces.

Explanation: The “also” is justified because earlier in the paragraph something else was confirmed in the Bhāgavatam. But “also” belongs before the “is,” not after. The latter placement would indicate that the statement about Jaḍa Bharata and Rahūgaṇa had been confirmed earlier, rather than that earlier some other statement had also been confirmed in the Bhāgavatam. “King Bharata” became “Jaḍa Bharata” to avoid confusion, and “the Sind province in Siberia,” which doesn’t exist, became the proper “Sindhu and Sauvīra provinces.”

B. The next example shows how we cleared up a misunderstanding concerning two members of the Païca-tattva.

1968: [“Lord Caitanya, the Original Personality of Godhead,” p. 158] Out of these five diversities of the Absolute Truth, the Form of Lord Chaitanya is the Original Personality of Godhead, Krishna. The identity of Krishna as Lord Nityananda is as the manifestation of the first expansion of the Supreme Lord. And, similarly, Adwaita Prabhu is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord. All these three belong to the category of Vishnu Tattwa, or the Supreme Absolute Truth. Srivas is the representation of a pure devotee, and Gadadhara is the representation of the internal energy of the Lord for advancement in the cause of pure devotion. Therefore Gadadhara and Srivas, although within the category of Vishnu, are diverse energies of the Supreme Lord. In other words, they are not different from the energetic, but, still, for relishing transcendental relationships, they are manifested diversely.

1974: [p. 185] Out of the five diversities in the Absolute Truth, the form of Lord Caitanya is that of the original Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. Lord Nityānanda is the manifestation of the first expansion of the Supreme Lord. Similarly, Advaita Prabhu is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord. These three—Caitanya, Nityānanda and Advaita—belong to the category of Viṣṇu-tattva, or the Supreme Absolute Truth. Śrīvāsa represents the pure devotee, and Gadādhara represents the internal energy of the Lord for the advancement of pure devotion. Therefore Gadādhara and Śrīvāsa, although included in Viṣṇu-tattva, are dependent, diverse energies of the Supreme Lord. In other words, they are not different from the energetic, but they are manifest diversely for the sake of relishing transcendental relationships.

[2011:] Out of the five diversities in the Absolute Truth, the form of Lord Caitanya is that of the original Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. Lord Nityānanda is the manifestation of the first expansion of the Supreme Lord. Similarly, Advaita Prabhu is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord. These three—Caitanya, Nityānanda and Advaita—belong to the category of viṣṇu-tattva, or the Supreme Absolute Truth. Śrīvāsa represents the pure devotee, and Gadādhara represents the internal energy of the Lord for the advancement of pure devotion. Therefore Gadādhara and Śrīvāsa, although on the Viṣṇu platform, are dependent, diverse energies of the Supreme Lord. In other words, they are not different from the energetic, but they are manifested diversely for the sake of relishing transcendental relationships.

Explanation: This one was tricky, since it’s perfectly understandable how Hayagriva Prabhu had Gadādhara and Śrīvāsa “included in Viṣṇu-tattva,” since Prabhupāda had said that Lord Caitanya, Nityānanda Prabhu, and Advaitācārya “belong to the category of Viṣṇu-tattva” and that Gadadhara and Śrīvasa are “within the category of Viṣṇu.” But we know that Gadādhara and Śrīvāsa are not viṣṇu-tattva, so what to do? I decided to put them “on the Viṣṇu platform,” avoiding “Viṣṇu-tattva” and “Viṣṇu category,” which in this context are synonymous. The immediate explanation — they’re “dependent, diverse energies of the Lord” who “are not different from the energetic” — instantly dispels any confusion that might arise from the statement that they’re “on the Viṣṇu platform.” And, in fact, the idea that the Lord’s intimate devotees are on the same platform or level as the Lord finds lots of support elsewhere in the literature. A few examples from NOD:

“Persons who have achieved eternal, blissful life exactly on the level of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and who are able to attract Lord Kṛṣṇa by their transcendental loving service, are called eternally perfect.”

>>> Ref. VedaBase => NoD 25: Eternal Perfection

“[The vayasyas of Kṛṣṇa] are fearless, and on a level equal with Kṛṣṇa they discharge their transcendental loving devotional service.”

>>> Ref. VedaBase => NoD 41: Fraternal Devotion

“The gopīs were not ordinary women. In essence they were on an equal level with Kṛṣṇa. They are His eternal associates.”

>>> Ref. VedaBase => KB 29: The Rasa Dance: Introduction

4. Miscellaneous

Our final example has a little of all three categories given above.

1968: [Chapter 1, “Teachings to Rupa Gosvami”, p. 34] . . . Arjuna prayed, “My Dear Krishna, I have sometimes insulted You, calling You my dear Friend Krishna, without knowing the greatness of Your inconceivable power. Therefore, please forgive me, because I was mad to address You like a common friend or a common man.” Similarly, when Lord Krishna was playing jokes on Rukmini, she thought Krishna might leave her, and therefore she was very much afraid, and became perturbed. At that time Rukmini was fanning Krishna, and as soon as she was afraid that Krishna would leave, the fan fell down from her hand and the hairs on her head became scattered. As a plantain tree falls by a blast of windy air, so she became almost unconscious and fell down.

1974: [p. 37] Arjuna said:

sakheti matvā prasabhaṁ yad uktaṁ
he kṛṣṇa he yādava he sakheti
ajānatā mahimānaṁ tavedaṁ
mayā pramādāt praṇayena vāpi

yac cāvahāsārtham asatkṛto ’si
vihāra-śayyāsana-bhojaneṣu
eko ’thavāpy acyuta tat-samakṣaṁ
tat kṣāmaye tvām aham aprameyam

“I have in the past addressed You as ‘O Kṛṣṇa,’ ‘O Yādava,’ ‘O my friend,’ without knowing Your glories. Please forgive whatever I may have done in madness or in love. I have dishonored You many times while relaxing or while lying on the same bed or eating together, sometimes alone and sometimes in front of many friends. Please excuse me for all my offenses.” (Bg. 11.41-42)
Similarly, when Kṛṣṇa was playing jokes on Rukmiṇī, she feared that Kṛṣṇa might leave her and became so perturbed that she dropped the fan with which she was fanning Him and fainted, falling unconscious on the floor.

2011: Arjuna said:

sakheti matvā prasabhaṁ yad uktaṁ
he kṛṣṇa he yādava he sakheti
ajānatā mahimānaṁ tavedaṁ
mayā pramādāt praṇayena vāpi

“My dear Kṛṣṇa, sometimes I insulted You by calling You ‘my dear friend Kṛṣṇa’ without knowing the greatness of your inconceivable power. Please forgive me. I was mad to address You like a common friend or a common man.” (Bhagavad-gītā 11.41)
Similarly, when Kṛṣṇa was playing jokes on Rukmiṇī, she feared that He might leave her and became so perturbed that she dropped the fan with which she was fanning Him and fainted. As her hair scattered she fell unconscious to the floor, like a plantain tree blown down by a blast of wind.

Explanation: Śrīla Prabhupāda quoted BG 11.41 in his original dictation and gave a loose translation. Hayagrīva Prabhu added 11.42, with Sanskrit, and then plugged in the translation of both verses from the Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Prabhupāda’s 1967 translation of the Gītā verse for the TLC is perfectly fine for a summary study, and it has the great value of retaining the sweet flavor of the original. Adding the transliteration for 11.41 was ok — Prabhupāda approved that for the 1974 revision of TLC — but there was no need to add 11.42.
By contrast, the description of Rukmiṇī’s reaction to Kṛṣṇa’s joking was unjustifiably truncated. I restored substantial detail from the original.

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