for ISKCON News on Nov. 11, 2011
The BBT is considering printing a third edition of Teachings of Lord Caitanya (TLC) and we'd like to hear the ISKCON devotees` thoughts.
A 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 1969, Satsvarupa Das Goswami was the transcriber and first editor, Rayarama Dasa the final editor.
Hayagriva Das 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 Das 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.
The Third Edition
It seems that a third edition of the TLC is called for. Dravida Das 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 Das. In this new edition, numerous mistakes have been corrected as well, and pieces of text lost in the second edition have been restored. (On the pages following this letter, Dravida Prabhu has provided specific examples of the types of corrections he has made and has explained them.) Additionally, the third edition of the TLC will restore Govinda Dasi's black-and-white illustrations, which Srila Prabhupada very much liked.
How to See the Revision
Before the BBT proceeds with the printing of this third edition, we are interested to hear the devotees` comments. You can see an explanation of the types of changes made as well as download the entire manuscript of the 1974 edition with all the proposed changes clearly marked at bbtedit.com/TLC-Revision
To comment please use the “Your Feedback” box on the bbtedit.com website or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be accepting feedback on the TLC revision until January 1, 2012.