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Reflections on “the Transcendental Proofreader”

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 / Published in Recent Media / 4,219 views

By Giriraj Swami

One of my main services is to write, and writing involves much editing and proofreading. Through writing I hope to share my knowledge and realization of Srila Prabhupada, my teacher, and of Sri Krishna, my Lord, and please them. One of my main inspirations in this endeavor has been the description of Srila Prabhupada’s teacher, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, as “the transcendental proofreader”:

“Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati insisted that all published articles be free from spelling mistakes, and would reprimand the disciples responsible if he noticed any. He similarly scrutinized statements and creeds to detect and expose their minutest defects, the basis of each being the same: antagonism toward acceptance of Sri Krsna’s supreme overlordship. He pronounced, ‘I don’t read the book, I read the author. I first check whether the author is authentic. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura trained me in proofreading, so I always look for what is right or wrong. But I am not a proofreader of the press only; I am a proofreader of the world. I proofread men; I proofread religions. I dissect their faults and try to correct them.'” (Bhakti Vikasa Swami, Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava, Vol. 1, Chapter 13, pp. 309-311)

In Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.15) Rsabhadeva advises, “If one is serious about going back home, back to Godhead, he must consider the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the summum bonum and chief aim of life. If he is a father instructing his sons, a spiritual master instructing his disciples, or a king instructing his citizens, he must instruct them as I have advised. Without being angry, he should continue giving instructions, even if his disciple, son, or citizen is sometimes unable to follow his order. Ignorant people who engage in pious and impious activities should be engaged in devotional service by all means. They should always avoid fruitive activity. If one puts into the bondage of karmic activity his disciple, son, or citizen who is bereft of transcendental vision, how will one profit? It is like leading a blind man to a dark well and causing him to fall in.”

Srila Prabhupada’s, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s, and all pure devotees’ clear, incisive statements are meant only for our benefit, our eternal happiness in Krsna consciousness.

Hare Krsna.

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One Response to “Reflections on “the Transcendental Proofreader””

  1. pustakrishna says :

    Important principle in this article: Everything that is written, becomes established in ways that simple speech does not. We see how easy it is to place something in writing for people around the world to read…by placing something out on the internet. There is no cost for publishing, there is no one close by that might chastise you, and there might be some ego satisfaction also in writing so that one can express themselves. But, there is a standard for bhaktas to embrace. YOU SHOULD REALIZE THAT YOUR WRITING, YOUR INSTRUCTION, MUST BE INTENDED TO HELP THOSE AROUND YOU TO COME CLOSER TO KRISHNA THROUGH DEVOTIONAL SERVICE. His Grace Giriraj Maharaj has highlighted this, and further places some appropriate fear within us to consider our inner motives. That is, we are being judged by Krishna, and perhaps by other scrutinizing bhaktas who are placing their efforts to keep the path of Krishna consciousness clean and transparent. This is expressed when Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad says that he is reading other religious concepts and other men to see what is their intention. Thus, the acharyas are both expressing truth and protecting challenges to the truth. Some would criticize Srila Prabhupad ACBSP that he was so forceful in creating distinctions between the true path of Krishna consciousness and other expressions of spirituality that is cheating people from a genuine move in the direction of devotional service. In fact, Srila Prabhupad was protecting the path, distinguishing it from concocted spirituality. Yato mat tato pat, (forgive spelling), a liberal concept of Vivekananda, basically stated that whatever path you choose is as good as any other path. This is the position of an unprincipled and unexperienced teacher. Often such things are said in order to get money from their followers. Thus, without coming into contact with the genuine Guru Parampara, there is little hope of finding the way to Krishna’s heart. Pusta Krishna das

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