How can the editors be so arrogant as to presume to “correct” Śrīla Prabhupāda?


The BBT editors claim they have brought the translations closer to the original Sanskrit. And they say they could “see their way through perplexities in the manuscript” by consulting the same Sanskrit commentaries as Śrīla Prabhupāda. Here they imply they thought they could interpret the original Sanskrit texts as well as Śrīla Prabhupāda himself, or at least well enough to put their new realizations in his book under his name. And they thought they could understand the same complexities understood by previous acaryas simply by using the same Sanskrit commentaries Śrīla Prabhupāda used. What audacity!



Such criticisms, apart from being deliberately insulting, sadly misconstrue what the editors did. The editors of the second edition never thought they were “better than Śrīla Prabhupāda,” only better informed than the editors of the first edition. A modest thought.
In most cases, the editors for the second edition brought the translations closer to the Sanskrit by bringing them closer to Śrīla Prabhupāda’s original text. And consulting the commentaries of the previous acaryas wasn’t a way to outdo Śrīla Prabhupāda, only a way to understand more clearly what Śrīla Prabhupāda was saying, in order to make double sure that what finally got onto the page was what Śrīla Prabhupāda intended, not what a previous editor had misunderstood.