7th Nov. 2011
GRAND THEFT ATMA
"...there are many things in that poem (the Gita ) that my poor understanding cannot fathom. There are many things in it many things which are obvious interpolations. It is not a treasure chest. It is a mine which needs to be explored, which needs to be dug deep and from which diamonds have to be extracted after removing much foreign matter." Mohandas K. Gandhi, The Teachings of the Gita (1962)
Although our political sentiments do not line up with those of Mohandas-ji, there is ample evidence to suggest 'foreign matter' prevalent in the purposeful tampering of holy scriptures. Equipped with technology and resolve, academics and seekers of the TRUTH are methodically denuding plagiarists and fabricators who attribute their interpolations and convolutions to the great rishis and sages of old. Why those in a position to do so spend entire lives fudging scriptures is based in the business of cult rooting: effecting profit adoration and distinction in the name of God, as God, being His only true representative with a favored and direct source of knowledge unknown and inaccessible to others.
So what is it that causes BIF to find itself in this area of reporting? Please bear with us, if you will.
ISKCON cult members may recall that A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (ACBS), had two appointments cancelled before finally meeting the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. To this meeting ACBS took along a ten point memo. Besides suggesting that all Government Officers join in kirtan at least twice a day, and the Indian Government lend full support to ISKCON's preaching efforts worldwide, ACBS' memo wanted the PM provide immigrant status to five hundred of his foreign disciples.
Secularists and non-secularists have opined that the memo ( http://www.vina.cc/news/index.php/General/Ten-Points-for-Indira-Gandhi.html ) reads like a first step plan to world domination. Cult scribes declare the plan was never presented to the PM, but there can be no doubt that ACBS did use the meeting to present his views. What else? Indira Gandhi denied the Swami's requests, whatever. Snubbed by the PM, ACBS made statements that remained buried in posterity, and have only recently come to light by researchers. Here is only one example (Bold emphasis by BIF):
Prabhupada (ACBS): So they, the government, they'll be rogues and thieves. And whenever there is necessity of money, then tax. You work hard; they will tax. Organized burglars, organized gundas. And Indira was doing that. Indira and company. Take the power and club them and do whatever you like. She is a prostitute; her son is a gunda. This is the sample of the...But it will be done all round the world. This is a sample of that.
Tamala Krsna: She seems to have been one of the worst leaders so far.
Prabhupada: She is not leader, she is a prostitute. Woman given freedom means prostitute. Free woman means prostitute. What is this prostitute? She has no fixed-up husband. And free woman means this, daily, new friend.
Tamala Krsna: Who is Indira's husband, a congressman?
Giriraja: He died at an early age. (Room Conversation April 5, 1977, Bombay).
The Sangh Parivars and custodians of Hinduism view such statements as abusive, and not in line with Vedic teachings. India has fought for years to remove the 'Devi Dasi' exploitation and degradation of women. Women do not have less intelligence than men. They do not need protection. 'Protectors' are the ones beating, enslaving, and even killing women. What men need to do is protect themselves from themselves and everything else will fall in line. Here we see the correct Vedic perspective from a genuine sanyasi: a sadhu who did not have five wives or 15/20 children before deciding his wife was impious and he was a sunyasi:
"The Vedas state that the most blessed ashram is that of a Grihastha. Why grihastha ? Maharshi Dayanand states that Grihastha Ashram is the foundation of creating a noble, Arya society. it is the duty of the grihastha to bear pious children, and above all else- The mother is the first guru of the child. Mothers play the most vital role when it comes to creating a noble child. Not only should she keep her mind noble, women are one of the most precious gifts given by Shrishti Rachtha (creator) for not only her nature is nourishing and full of love but she is the first. She is the first Goldsmith for the soul. Whatever she thinks or does will burn the soul inside her womb with her fire of knowledge and will turn the child into a shining kundana or gold."
"Devi Dasi is one of the most insulting title or reference for a woman. The Great Bhishma Pitamaha of the Aryavarta once said "The biggest insult for any jiva or soul is to be enslaved by others." Not only was he a Bharat Shiromani but also a very learned personality in the Vedas."
So nice to hear and so easy to assimilate. Swami-ji does not flash a PhD behind his name even though he has earned it. Says a lot doesn't it?
Repulsed by several statements made in Iskcon literature, members of Govt., including some of the most intelligent women on the planet today, are questioning the 'society's' rights to function as a spiritual institution. They will not tolerate a man's harsh words concerning prostitution and vagina licking when referring to our mothers, daughters and sisters. Especially when his only claim to fame* is the founding of a self-centered cult operating beyond the limits of civility and correctness. Crimes against women within the cult has shown the sentiments of the founder to have embedded within the consciousness and beliefs of his inheritors.
(*When BIF members pointed out that ACBS had in fact produced a great body of literary work, we were reminded that the books were cult pressed and sold for donations on the street vis-a-vis manuscripts selected by publisher's choice, marketed via reputed retail outlets, and winning acclaim in an open market by reader preference. Literally, ACBS' works, in substance origin tone and intention, is under intense dissection even as we write. What readers will encounter in this post is a kindergarten version of what is to come. It is the hope and belief of those involved, that final results of research will manifest as a record for posterity rendering cults inoperable in Hindustan, if not on the planet).
Not only was the ten-point-plan for Indira Gandhi made irrelevant, ISKCON (even after displaying its 'dancing white elephants,') was denied the awe and reverence sought by ACBS. The new cult, and in spite of foreign involvement, was left in the wake of popularity and fame awarded to the Ram Krishna Mission in India. As explanation to what he perceived as injustice, ACBS persistently labeled the Ram Krishna Mission's extremely popular leader a low-life. Here is one sample:
Prabhupada: Actually this Vivekananda rascal, what he has done? What is his contribution?
Tamala Krsna: You always add on "rascal" whenever you mention his name.
Prabhupada: No, no, what he has done? He has ruined the Vedic culture.
Hari-sauri: Completely misrepresented it.
Envious? Offensive? Inimical? Sahajya? Kanishta? Mayavad? ApaRadha? No. We are fully conversant and aware of these cult goons. In fact those who come in contact with cults are soon confronted by dark suited strictures with bulges under their armpits. What they protect is of no consequence to newcomers mesmerized by what is on offer, or until screams are heard from beyond the patrolled parameters. Then and only then, some, who have miraculously escaped the unreserved surrender/submissive demands, start fidgeting with possibilities of entrapment via deception. For victims wrapped up in cult gossamer, the prospect that their talents, individuality, intelligence, money, youth, contribution to nation, society, and those they love, is being cunningly siphoned off by mantra touting tarantulas, is inconceivable, unacceptable, devastating, immeasurable and indescribable, ergo easier to defend than confront.
Okay let's peek outside the cult cocoon.
Did you know- 1) The Bhagavad Gita-"As it Is" has 700 verses, but the Bhagavad Gita "As it Was" has only 84 verses?
The Gita is based upon the Karika of Kapila. (Kapila lived (700 BC) 300 years before Vyas (400BC).
"The total number of versus of the original Gita is 84. The original begins with verse number 28 of the Bhagavadgita and ends with verse 43 in Chapter III. Thus, the content of the original Gita is found within the first three chapters of the extant Bhagavadgita. The remaining fifteen chapters (from Ch. IV to XVIII), containing 538 versus, have been interpolated. ...There are 162 verses in the first three chapters of the Bhagavadgita, of which 78 verses are additions and only 84 are original. The sequence is listed as: Chapter I, 28-34, 37, 40, 46, and 47. Chapter II, 3, 11-31, 34-36, 39-41, 48, 50, 53, 56-58, 60, and 64-70. : "Verse 39 explains the difference between Samkhya and Yoga. Upon hearing the inspiring reply of Krishna, Arjuna raises the question in two verses (Ch. III, 1-2) about the superiority of knowledge or action. In answering Arjuna's question, Krishna explains the paramount importance of action in life and the means of performing one's duty, acheiving social justice, and setting an honorable precedent. the teaching of Krishna is based on Samkhya and Yoga and takes up 31 verses of Ch. III, 3-9, 16-21, 23-29, 32-35, 38-40, and 42-43".'
Hmmmm. Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi did have reasons for saying what he did. Don't you think?
Here's a clearer layout in case you want to read for yourself, the Gita..... As it Was.
Ch. I 28-34,37,40, 46-47.
Ch. II 3, 11-31, 34-36, 39-41, 48, 50, 53, 56-58, 60, 64-70.
Ch. III 1-9, 16-21, 23-29, 32-35, 38-40, 42-43.
The original Gita- As it Was, is available on shelves from India to Indonesia. Reach out the cocoon and grab yourself a copy.
Did you know- 2) The ISKCON Gaudiya Mutt (IGM), is considered the least respected by researchers of the Truth?
"I have been meaning to comment on this, but time has not allowed. I will take a few moments now. I think we have to be careful of the translations of the Bhagavata or indeed of any Sanskrit or Bengali text that we use. IGM translations are notoriously crappy and misleading. If we really want to understand the Bhagavata we have to start with a good translation. I recommend the Gita Press translation which does not cover the monistic aspects of the text, aspects that are really there. Beyond that there are the Ramkrishna Mission translation and the five volume translation by G V Tagare. None of these translations are perfect but they all beat the heck out any IGM translation I have ever seen. Look at the nonsense that are in these lines, for instance: 'embodied spirit soul' 'illusion of dreaming' 'material duality' etc.
None of these things are in the text. They are all imported from the presuppositions of the translator and thus cloud the meaning of the text."
".....Let's leave IGM out of it. I am sure there are many things written by IGMers about the authenticity of the Bhagavata of doubtful worth and lame argumentation. Let's not waste our time with that stuff. The hope is to gather together all the best evidence and argumentation we can find and on the basis of that come to some sort of tentative conclusion. In the process we are bound to learn a lot about the text and the history of its transmission and reception.
"This guy sounds a bit nutty. Vedic Empire? That is pretty whacko. He is also clearly IGM through and through. Does he really have any solid arguments? Or, is it all wish-fullfillment?"
"You don't find the very idea of a Vedic Empire repulsive? In the first place Vedic is used in that usual ignorant way the IGMers use it. They say the Vedas say this and the Vedas say that when really they mean the Puranas or Smrtis say this or that. They think that anything in Sanskrit is somehow Vedic. Most of what they say is Vedic is not. The Vedas don't say any of those things and the later texts are not the same as the Vedas."
"Okay...... If you insist. I know these IGMers, though. I was once one, remember. They are convinced they already know the truth and spare no pains to twist the facts to support their claims. They are not in search of the truth. They believe they already have it. They are not really serious about uncovering the truth through research unless it can be made to agree with what they already believe."
"Humm. An IGM site that posts Satyanarayana's work? Does he know about it? It is rather typical of the IGM, though. The GM used to steal Sundarananda Vidyavinode's writings after he left the GM and claim them as their own. His publisher wrote a preface complaining about it. Saragrahi, huh. We steal from everyone, but we only take what we want. I suppose in some twisted sense it is a service."
If you remain unconvinced that books originating in vaisnav beliefs are suspect even among vaisnav themselves why not hear it from the man who founded the IGM. Emphasis added by BIF:
Advaita Prakasa is a hagiography of Sri Advaita Acarya Prabhu which was written around 1560 and it is claimed that its author was Sri Isana Nagara, the servant of Advaita Acarya. However, considering the historical and philosophical inaccuracies in the book it cannot be considered bona-fide.
There are many philosophical defects (apasiddhanta) in Advaita Prakasa which render the book useless for those desiring to advance in Krsna consciousness. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur in his introduction of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta by (sic) has written as follows:
"There are several other new books or books that were written a little later (such as Jayananda's Caitanya-mangala, Govinda Dasa's kadaca, Vamsi-siksa, Advaita Prakasa, and Nityananda-vamsa-vistara). Although it is said that these books are old, we have no interest in them. They are distinct in the way that they are incorrect in their philosophical truths and conclusions. Their narrow-minded, evil intentions are obvious and highly noticeable due to the absence of any effort and proper teachings in them. The Caitanya-caritamrta is said to be the original book and these apa-granthas (bogus books) are not recognized."
Swami B.V. Giri
(It is important to note here, that the Caitanya-caritamrita was penned by Bhaktivinod Thakur, the father of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati who endorses it above. We will look at the authenticity of the Caitanya-caritamrita via scholars and researchers further down this post).
Historians and seekers of the Truth, those who are in no way biased one way or another, have come to conclusions that tear the blinker off a cultist. Here are some comments worth noting:
"The Bhagavad-gita is a fascinating text. Who was it written by and when? And for what purpose? These are important questions in the textual criticism of the work."
"The answers to these questions can reveal a whole new dimension to the Gita and explain some of its glaring anomalies. That it was not written by Vyasa seems rather obvious. It is first of all clearly a post-Buddhist work and it may be that Buddhism played an important role in the reason it was written.
"So when was the Buddha? The traditional answer seems to place him in the 6th century BCE and extending into the 5th century. But, more recent studies have suggested that in actuality he lived in the middle of the 4th century BCE (History of Early Vedanta). The Gita then can be dated to the 3rd century BCE or later. It appears to date from a time when Buddhism was recognized as a real threat to Hinduism and it in many ways was a Hindu response to Buddhism. We shall look at some of the evidence for that as we proceed."
"I read a book titled 'Early Buddhism and the Bhagavad Gita.' It points out that the Buddha had much more defined explanations of doctrines such as reincarnation and karma than the Upanisads especially when compared to the Gita. So that places the Upanisadas first, the Buddha second, and the Gita as a retaliation to the Buddha to better define the things that the Upanisadas had not."
Did you know- 3) The Mahabharat (of which the Gita is part) was not written 5,000 years ago?
"These are some interesting questions. The problem with that early date is that the Mahabharata is aware of the Greeks which it calls Yavanas (from Ionian). The Greeks were in India from around 330 BCE to about 250 BCE. Thus the Mahabharata was composed after that time. So goes the argument. I suspect that it is valid. The language of the Mahabharata is not that ancient (certainly not 5,000 years old).
"There are a number of theories about how it was written, but the most recent and most plausible is that it was written in three generations, planned by one man, call him Vyasa, if you will, and executed by his disciples. Different disciples wrote different parts according to that overarching, unified plan. The Gita was part of that, I think. It fits so well into the text that I think it was an intended part of the original text, not a later edition.
Here are the words of a Vedanta titan. The writings and records of this colossus and respected Maharishi stand unchallenged and undeniable even to his recent one-hundred-and-twenty-five-year Nirvana Diwas:
"It is plainly written in the same book that Vyasa composed 4'400 and his disciple?s 5'600 slokas, i.e., 10'000 in all, which made up the whole Mahabharata; but it swelled to 20'000 verses in the time of Vikramaditya. Raja Bhoja said that it contained 25'000 verses in his father?s time and at the time of his manhood it contained 30'000. If it went on increasing in that way, it would soon be a camel load. If books or Puranas were written in the name of the sages and philosophers, the Indian people would be deluded, deprived of the true Vedic religion, and destroyed as a nation. This proclamation shows that the raja had some love of the Vedas."
"Vaishnavism came into existence 150 years after Raja Bhoja. It was taught first by (1) Shatakopa who was born of a Kanjar (low caste) family. It was after him preached by (2) Munibanan, born of a sweeper family, and then by (3) Yavanacharya, born of a Greek or Moslem family, then by (3) Ramanuja, a Brahmin by birth, who gave it a great impetus."
Satyarth Prakash. Chapter XI
Did you know- 4) Another cult classic attributed to "Veda Vyas," written 5,000 years ago (?) (remember the story about Ganesh and Vyas?) the Shrimad Bhagavatam (aka. Bhagavat or BGP) may not be as presented, and its plagiarizing of the Vishnu Purana (VP) is easily identified:
"Let the Bhagavata and the VP be now compared. As regards the contents, the Bhagavata is closely connected with the VP with which it often agrees literally and it is undoubtedly dependent on the latter. By comparing the genealogies in both Puranas, Pargiter has come to the conclusion that 'the Bhagavata has used the Visnu in its composition.' Many myths and legends, which are found in a concise and older form in the VP, appear in the Bhagavata in a much enlarged and elaborate version. For instance, the stories of Dhruva, Vena, Prthu, Prahlada, Jada Bharata and others occurring in both Puranas may be compared. The Bhagavata (Book X) contains the biography of Krsna which is here given in much greater detail than in the VP and the Harivamsa. In particular the love scenes with the cowherdesses (Gopis) occupy a much larger space. In the VP a black hair of Visnu is said to be incarnated as Krsna, i.e. Krsna is an incarnation of an exceedingly small portion of Visnu; but in the Bhagavata he is called amsavatara or Bhagavan himself (krsnastu bhagavan svayam). In the Bhagavata there are stories not found in the VP. The story of Kapila (in Bhag. III 24 to 33 Adhy.s) may be cited as an example. From all these it appears that the VP is older than the Bhagavata. If the latter Purana is assigned to the sixth century A.D., then the date of the former should be placed earlier."
- Rajendra Chandra Hazra
"Except Gaudapada (the grand preceptor of Sri Adya Sankaracaryaji), none has any knowledge of the BGP. The time of Acarya Sankara has been given 788-820 AD, so that the time of Gaudapada should not be earlier than the middle of the 8th cent. AD. Hence the BGP is earlier than the 8th cent. AD.
"There is only one factor, which will be helpful to derive the time of the composition of the BGP. Unlike the prose of the VP, that of the BGP presents the prose (given mostly in the Skandha V) nearing to the classical style of the most famous poet Bana, the author of Kadambari (first half of the 7th cent. AD). It means that the time of composing of the BGP is not earlier than the later half of the 7th cent. AD and not later than the first half of the 8th cent. AD."
- Prof. K.K. Shastree
"It is clear that whoever the author or authors of the Bhagavata was, he or they were deeply steeped in the Vedic texts (I am not using Vedic ignorantly here. I really mean the Vedas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanisads). In that sense the Bhagavata is an interpretation or commentary on those ancient texts. That is why I think the Bhagavata was written in a community of brahmanas in the South among whom memorization and use of the Vedic hymns in rituals was (and is) still active and alive, a community like the Nambudiri brahmanas of Kerala which is the community that Sankara came from. They were in his time mostly Vaisnava and, i think, still are today. Anyway, their level of learning and engagement with the Vedic texts and practices is a good match, in my opinion, for what we see in the Bhagavata."
"The Bhagavata was written by a Vaisnava southerner (who did not know the geography of Vraja at all). The Nambudiris are Vaisnava southerners."
"The Bhagavata espouses a theistic-advaitism that is very similar to that of Sankara and he was a member of that same Nambudiri community. This, of course, depends on one's acceptance of the recent research on Sankara done by Paul Hacker, Nakamura, and Mayeda which argues that most of the works of Sankara were not really by him and that those that probably are by him are all Vaisnava and are not atheistic or mayavada. If this is true this invalidates most of what has been said about Sankara by both IGM and CV. They misunderstand Sankara as an incarnation of Siva, a Saivite, who accepted the vivarta form of Advaita. Actually, he was a Vaisnava for whom Brahman=Visnu. This is very close to the position of the Bhagavata."
"So what else can the Bhagavata tell us about itself?"
"Its use of the word yavana tells us that it was composed after the incursion of Alexander the Great into India in 326 BCE. Now that may not apply to all of the text because it is obviously a composite text. Here are the parts of the text that should be regarded as separate parts added perhaps at different times and from different sources."
"The first skandha and the last skandha are the most recent additions. Because of the way Sanskrit books were bound in the old days it was easy to add leaves on to the front and the back. To put them in the middle was problematic. The first skandha is clearly an advertisement of the main text. It and the last are like the blurbs found in modern books on the front flap of the cover and the back flap of the cover. They mostly tell us what a wonderful book the Bhagavata is and praise and substantiate its author. These are certainly not by Vyasa no matter how you conceive of him. They fall well outside the portion of the text represented as spoken by Suka. They are high quality, no doubt, but clearly presuppose the existence of another text called the Bhagavata."
"The Third and Fourth Skandhas seem also to form a unit distinct from the rest of the work. Those likely came from another source. It is as if the story starts over again at the beginning of three. We are plunged back into creation and eventually presented with the dialogue between Devahuti and Kapila which is not found in the VP or Harivamsa. If these are later additions then it is likely that two is too. Skandha Two is one of the places where the word yavana (from ionian) occurs as well as the word huna (for Huns)."
"One has to wonder, however, how the form of the text might change in its various manifestations. Does it take a form that fits into each historical context in which it manifests? So in the form before us, it mentions the Greeks (yavana) and the Huns (huna), the Buddha and Mahavira, and even, it would appear, the Tamil saints known as the Alvars, in order to fit into the historical place in which it appears. Surely these accidents of history are temporary and impermanent and would not figure in an eternal text. Maybe they are like lint that is drawn and attached to the fabric of the text whenever it manifests, in which case we need to separate the fabric of the text from its lint to get to the eternal part."
Did you know-5) Outside Gaudiya literature there is no mention of Krishna stating He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead? The scriptures clearly identify Sri Krishna as the eighth incarnation of Vishnu. Also, neither Krishna nor Balaram went into the forest with the wives of their cowherd friends; Krishna never rubbed his feet on the naked kum kum covered breasts of 7/8-year-old cowherd girls. He never stole their clothes and made them come before Him; He never had thousands of wives and produced thousand of children. These literatures albeit imagined by cult members to be world read and acknowledged, have never really come under scrutiny, because, surprise surprise, the Gaudiya cult never did make an impact on Hindu society. Now it is being studied and identified as an early attempt at fabricating erotica for conversions. Ask Iskcon members who recently approached Baba Ramdev (seen daily on Indian media) and requested he place a picture of ACBS on his campaign banner. The aspiring propagandist were surprised when the Rashtra Guru frowned and asked- "Chaitanya? Prabhupada? Who is Iskcon?"
We now present some well known facts on Bhaktivinod Thakur's Caitanya-caritamrta. The reason why this tome is ascribed to Bhaktivinod and not Krishna Das Kaviraja, will become apparent. But first, there is need for some minor clarification. Bhaktivinod Thakur, or Kedarnath Datta, was not a magistrate. He was a deputy magistrate. A significant difference in rank. For A. C Bhaktivedanta Swami (ACBS), a man promoted as pure/faultless, to make such an oversight has not slipped past those who see the attempt at securing foreign credence for an author whose work had no more right to historical fact than Vikram Seth, Lewis Carroll, Brothers Grimm, or Aesop.
"A similar rasa-lila was going on. You know that story? Bhaktivinoda Thakura was magistrate, and one person in Orissa, he declared himself that "I am Visnu,"....(ACBS).
In defense of Bhaktivinod, scribes have recognized the strong need to influence colonizers among the Bengali intelligentsia. This spirit touched Kedarnath Datta, who sent an English biography of Chaitanya's he had authored in 1896 to numerous Western Universities. So the Gaudiya idea of cracking the Western market with spiritual concepts was not new. But why was literature, its authenticity challenged in India, being pedaled as genuine in the West? Could it be that Westerners would finally succumb to the product if it was shaped and reshaped until everything was perfectly yogic, smelt of incense, and sounded like exotic truth? From reading Gaudiya literature it becomes apparent that they believed so; even claiming divine prediction. So when finally, near exhaustion, bankruptcy, and on their last legs, the Gaudiyas hit paydirt with A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami, who renamed and retailored the Gaudiya product that was never sellable in India, it was an opportunity to validate their vagaries and flood the world with Gaudiya stories... for a donation.
Okay. Did you know- 6):
"They do not accept the Caitanya Upanishad: recently there was a discussion on that Upanisad instigated by babaji's party and they had argued that this Upanisad was invented by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura to promote his cause of the discovery of Navadvipa-dhama. Many of the other opposite parties such as Sri-vaisnavas and Tattva-vadis are now taking advantage of the doubts on the legitimacy of this Upanisad raised by the Gaudiya-vaisnava camp himself."
"Let us consider why they don't accept Caitanya Upanisad. The evidence that we have is that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura published it from a single manuscript. That manuscript has never been seen by no one else but him. This is not an encouraging proof of authenticity of an Upanisad. One should observe that not all Gaudiya-vaisnavas are in Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's preceptorial line, some are actually his adversaries regarding many points of tattva and siddhanta. They would not accept an Upanisad revealed by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura as bona fide due their countless divergences with him. Can you imagine what the other opposite parties who aren't even Gaudiya-vaisnavas would say of a proof like that?"
"This a a short Upanisad counted among the apocryphal Upanisads. It recognizes Sri Caitanya as the supreme, but it seems to borrow or imitate well known passages from other older Upanisads. It looks like another contribution to Vaisnava literature from the pen of Thakur Bhaktivinoda. He is as far as I know the only one to publish it or write a commentary on it."
Had Alice in Wonderland been penned by Gaudiya scribes, Westerners would be worshipping the little white rabbit:
THE AUTHENTICITY of the CAITANYA-CARITAMRITA-MAHA-KAVYA and other Gaudiya Fairy Tales:
In an article entitled "Chaitanya-caritAmrita-mahA-kAvya," which appeared in the Bengali periodical Caturanga of May 1985, the late Dr. Tarapada Mukherjee raised a number of questions about the authenticity of CCMK, casting doubt on both the date of its composition and the name of its author. Basing the greater part of his argument on a study of the colophons of a number of old manuscripts, Mukherjee concluded that the work is a forgery dating probably from the seventh or eighth decades of the seventeenth century.
That he felt there was a problem is not altogether surprising. We have already encountered a number of forgeries and doubtful dates in the study of Gaudiya Vaishnava literature. Some of these attempts have been quite sophisticated. The most celebrated, which still has some people mystified, is GovindadAsera KadacA, an account of Chaitanya's travels in South India in 1510-12. The first manuscript of this book was apparently discovered by a descendant of Advaita Acharya, Jay Gopal Goswami of Shantipur. It was then published several times, accepted and promoted by many reputable scholars, including Dinesh Chandra Sen. (13) This book has since been vehemently discredited, primarily on account of anachronisms in language and geographical names. (14)
Some other works, not entirely spurious, are also controversial. The Prema-vilasa, for instance, is attributed to Nityananda Dasa, a disciple of Nityananda's wife, Jahnava. Nityananda Dasa would have been a Contemporary of Krishnadasa Kaviraja, a three-time visitor to Vrindavan in Jahnava's company, as well as an associate of Virabhadra on his mission to East Bengal. (15) As such, one would judge him to be an authoritative chronicler of the early post-Chaitanya period. Nevertheless, much of what he says has raised the eyebrows of modern historians. Some has been proved completely impossible and false, with the result that Prema-vilasa has been almost completely discredited.
Some of the misinformation that Nityananda Dasa puts forth seems to have clear propaganda purposes, but not all has yet been explained. The most famous of the concocted accounts in this book is the supposed suicide of Krishnadasa Kaviraja, said to have jumped into Radha Kunda upon hearing of the loss of the only existing manuscript of CC, which had been sent to Bengal with Gopala Bhatta's disciple, Srinivasa. (16) The story is anachronistic and it is hard to imagine that an author living so close to the actual events would have been able to convince anyone that Krishnadasa had sent the Chaitanya-caritamrita back to Bengal as early as 1575 (the most probable date of Srinivasa Àcarya's important trip with the writings of the Gosvamis) when the book itself was not written until 1612.
(17) Another title, Karnananda, written by Yadunandana, the grand-disciple of the above mentioned Srinivasa, is said by the author to have been written in 1529 Saka, i.e. AD 1607. This is disproved by the great number of quotations from the Chaitanyacharitamrita, the date of which seems to have been established beyond any doubt. (18) The inability to establish definitively the authenticity of books in the Gaudiya tradition extends even to the first complete work written about the life of Chaitanya. All the biographies of Chaitanya refer to Murari Gupta's kadaca or notebook (MGK) as one of the most important sources of information about the great saint's early life. The printed edition of this work goes by the name of Sri- Krishna-chaitanya-charitAmritam. In the introductory verses, this simple poem in quasi-Puranic style purports to be a maha-kavya, not a collection of notes as the word kadacA itself implies. Furthermore, in the first printed editions of this work, a date 1425 Saka (A.D. 1501) is given in the colophon, which would be completely impossible. In later editions this date was changed to 1435 (A.D. 1511). Since Chaitanya's life covers the span from A.D. 1485-1533, this date for a biography which mentions even the death of its subject is not believable even to its editor. (19) Murari apparently received the permission of Chaitanya to write this biography in 1508-9 just prior to Chaitanya's renunciation. It has therefore been suggested that the latter portions dealing with his life outside Nabadwip were added later.
It is clear from a reading of the book that the portions covering Chaitanya's life after his renunciation are less detailed and less informed than those to which Murari would have been an eyewitness. Only two manuscripts of this book have ever been found and no critical reading has been able to clarify these problems. From the standpoint of internal evidence also, certain problems present themselves in the MGK, both to the devotee and the historian. Nevertheless, the existence of other works which give direct credit to MGK for source materials and whose debt to that work are demonstrable tend to support its authenticity. In the course of our discussion we shaîl be obliged to return to some of the problems related to Muran's biography, for CCMK is both the closest to MGK in date and in content.
Last, but not least in the litany of problematic texts in the Gaudiya line, are the numerous spurious Sahajiya works ascribed to Krishnadasa Kaviraja, Narottam Dasa, Rupa and Sanatan and other reputable authors of the sampradaya. (20) These are easily identifiable by their espousal of doctrines that are clearly heterodox.
Dr. Mukherjee spent many years researching the Gaudiya manuscripts found in the Vrindavan Research Institute, most of which came from the Radha Damodar temple library. He prepared the catalogue of Bengali manuscripts held by the VRI, a critical edition of Chaitanya Charitamrita based on its holdings, as well as taking up extended research into legal documents related to the Gaudiya sampradaya. In this case, he based his arguments on certain unusual features of the manuscript evidence found in the Vrindavan Research Institute.
Since Dr. Mukherjee's article appeared in Bengali in a periodical that may not be easily available to the reader, and as his evidence is quite interesting in its own right, I will summarize the main points of his argument here.
(i) Mukherjee's suspicions were first raised by the claim that Rupa Gosvami had copied the text of CCMK by his own hand. Krishnadasa Kaviraja writes about the beauty of Rupa Gosvami's hand writing. (21) At this date, such a great interest in an author's handwriting is unusual and consequently very little of the personal handwriting of any medieval Bengali writer has survived. Nevertheless, the Vrindavan Research Institute has received certain manuscripts from the Radha Damodar temple, some of which are ostensibly in Rupa's own handwriting. These manuscripts can be divided into three categories:
(a) Those which are attested by the scribe, e.g. have something like vyAlekhi rUpeNa, e.g., Vaisakha-mahatmyam (dated 1457 Saka), no. 7688. This work contains Padmapurana Patalakhanda, chs. 84-95. The colophon states: samAptam idam vaizAkhamAhAtmyam. zri-madhusUdanAya namaH. svarazara-zakre sAke mAse tapasye tathAngi tapanasya | mAdhava-mAhAtmyam idaM sundara-rUpaM vyAlekhi rUpeNa || zrIgovardhanAya namaH zrI-gopAla-caraNAya namaH. zrI-harAya namaH.
(b) Those, which have someone else's attestation: e.g. zrImad-rUpa-sva-hasta-likhitanRsiMha- paricaryA; zrImad-rUpa-gosvAmi-likhita-jagannAtha-vallabha-nATakam , etc.
(c) Those with handwriting which resembles the above two, such as Karnamritastotra, KramadïpikA (Gopaladhyana), MukundamAlA, etc.
Rupa stayed at Radha Damodar in his last days and his samadhi is on the temple grounds. One would naturally expect that he should give his collection of manuscripts to his successor, Jiva. From several dalils (testimonials) of the period, it is clear that the official library (pustak thaur) of the school was there. Furthermore, the use of quotations from most of the above texts in various works by Rupa lends credence to these ascriptions. Nevertheless, there are several reasons for doubting the claims of the colophons. First, the date written in VaisAkha-mAhAtmya raises a doubt. Rupa did not write the date of completion of all the books that he himself authored, so why should we believe that he would do so after simply copying a manuscript? Perhaps it was another, later Rupa (Kaviraja) who could have copied it.
(ii) A manuscript of CCMK belonging to category (b) above is the Vrindavan Research Institute's MS No. 7686. It is written in Bengali letters on 45 folios of which two are missing. At the end of the text is found the verse which has already been quoted above, and another date written in numbers, 1467 = 1545. This is presumably the date of the copying, but the scribe has not given his name or any other information. However, at the head of the manuscript, CaitanyAmrita 2 is written in Nagari script and to its side, zrI-rUpa-gosvAmi-hasta-likhitaM zrI-caitanyAmRta-kAvyam
in Bengali letters. Mukherjee supposes that the Nagari dates to the attested 1665 indexing of the contents of the Radha Damodar library (the writing matches) and that the Bengali postdates it. He poses the question: who at this late date, long after the deaths of Jiva and Kaviraja, would be able to identify Rupa's handwriting? The writer of this anonymous attestation unfortunately did not give his sources.
In this MS the date in numbers is supplemented by the tithi: day one of the dark fortnight of Asharh, 1545, and this closely resembles the date of composition written in the verse (see section ii above). In view of the similarity one may assume that we are merely looking at versions of the same date (given the latitude which is commonly experienced when civil dates are being rendered into tithis), and that the weekday, had there been room for it, would again have been Monday. Mukherjee's suggestion seems to be that the date written in numerals is perhaps only a mistaken reading of the date given in the colophon verse.
(iii) In order for the CCMK to have been copied by Rupa in the short space of three years, the following would have had to have taken place. Karnapura is said to have written his maha-kavya in 1542. Before being sent from Karnapura in Bengal to Rupa Gosvami in Vrindavan, it must presumably have to have been copied by someone else. The journey itself would have taken six to eight weeks on foot. Upon receiving the MS Rupa would have had to drop everything, in particular his important work of composing the Ujivalanilamani which one assumes was absorbing his attention at this time, in order to copy it.
(22) Of course Rupa would have been interested in Chaitanya's life, but would he not rather have had someone else do the copying? Although it would not have been a physical impossibility for the above events to have taken place, it does seem an uncommonly quick succession of events for those slow moving times. (23) (iv) These then are the preliminary doubts which are raised by Mukherjee. He concludes that the authenticity of the claim that Rupa had written this manuscript ought to be rejected unless an impartial external witness were to be found. Unfortunately, though such a witness has indeed been forthcoming, Mukherjee finds that his evidence has simply magnified his suspicions.
The evidence referred to above is found at the end of at least three manuscripts, the first of which comes from Dhaka University and is mentioned in S. K. De's edition of Padyavali
To our readers who have persevered through this article- kudos. For BIF team contacts in Bengal, Gaudiyaism came as a big surprise. They had no idea the group even existed until running into the Gaudiya Mutt's last stand- ISKCON. What will follow soon (hopefully) is a declaration of fallacies and abuses contained in ISKCON literature after meticulous investigation and research being completed by Bharat Ratna Scholars. We will post their finding here, if and when permitted.
In service to TRUTH