Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Professor Dimock
(Click to enlarge back cover of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Macmillan edition, 1972)

"By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda has increased our understanding manyfold."

(Professor Edward C. Dimock, Jr., Bhagavad-gītā As It Is back cover)

"Regarding MacMillan agreement, whatever is done with MacMillan company is done, so that can remain. The introduction by Mr. Dimock is nice and it will appeal to the scholarly class."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 4, 1972)

"One big, big Professor Dimock has given in his introduction to my Bhagavad Gita As It Is that every college student should read this book."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 12, 1972)

Prabhupāda: Speculators cannot have definite knowledge. Therefore our Professor Dimock has said, "Here is definite definition of Gītā." What is that? Just see. Then it is so. He has appreciated it. You cannot see, of the...

Devotee: They only put two lines of what he said in there. He says this...

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is his word.

Devotee: Oh.

Prabhupāda: Read it all.

Devotee: "Definitive English edition of Bhagavad-gītā. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of the text already known to many, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda has increased our own understanding manyfold."

Prabhupāda: That is a definite, not vague, speculative. That is the difference between my translation and others. Therefore I have given the name "As It Is." So we will be no spoke or speculation. As soon as you speculate, you are rejected. Therefore others are seeing some danger that "This Bhaktivedanta's..., this Bhagavad-gītā As It Is accepted, then where we are?"

Hayagrīva: Everybody wants to speculate.

Prabhupāda: That's all. We are, I have stopped it. They cannot speculate on the words of Bhagavad-gītā. That is our mission. Won't allow you to speculate. You are finite, imperfect. How you can by speculation give the unlimited, infinite? How it is possible? That is reasonable. Waste of time, misleading others. Aṇḍhā yathāndair upanīyamānāḥ. You are blind; how you can show others, blind men? They are already blind. You open your eyes, then take the leadership of the blind. Ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā. That is our process. That's all right.

(Srila Prabhupada Philosophy Discussion on George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel)

"So, I shall speak on Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. The purpose of saying Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, explain, that there are many editions of the Bhagavad-gītā. They are interpreted in their own way, giving up the spirit of Bhagavad-gītā. So this particular name, 'As It Is' significant, perhaps there is no other edition of Bhagavad-gītā where it is written 'as it is.' In this connection, Professor Dimock of Chicago University has written a foreword, and he very much appreciates the theme. He says, 'Swami Bhaktivedanta comments upon the Gita from this point of view, and that is legitimate.' He accepts that Bhagavad-gītā As It Is is legitimate presentation of the great book of knowledge. He also says, 'More than that, in this translation the Western reader has the unique opportunity of seeing how a Kṛṣṇa devotee interprets his own texts.'

So, about Kṛṣṇa... The devotees actually can interpret about Kṛṣṇa, book. Others, if they are not devotee, how they can interpret on Kṛṣṇa? Just like a member of a family can say very nicely about the head of the family; how outsiders can say about the family? That is not possible. Similarly, about Kṛṣṇa, a Kṛṣṇa devotee can speak nicely. Not others. Others have no right to speak about Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa also, admits Arjuna as the right student of Bhagavad-gītā. In the beginning, Kṛṣṇa says that, 'I have selected you as my student because you are my friend and you are my devotee.' So, in other words, we can understand that Bhagavad-gītā can be understood, who has intimate relationship with Kṛṣṇa. This is, Kṛṣṇa says, 'You are my dear friend.' That he has intimate relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Without becoming a devotee, nobody can be intimately related with Kṛṣṇa. These are the factors to be understood."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture BG Introduction, Los Angeles, May 29, 1972)

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