[Advaita-l] What does "Hare Krishna" Mean?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun Jan 4 20:52:49 CST 2004

On Sat, 3 Jan 2004, Aravind Mohanram wrote:

> tasmât sañkîrtanam visnor
> jagan-mañgalam amhasâm
> mahatâm api kauravya
> viddhy aikântika-niskrtam
> Úukadeva Gosvâmî continued: My dear King, the chanting of the holy name
> of the Lord is able to uproot even the reactions of the greatest sins.
> Therefore the chanting of the sañkîrtana movement is the most auspicious
> activity in the entire universe. Please try to understand this so that
> others will take it seriously.

A literal translation would be:

That chanting of the name of Vishnu is a great blessing for the world
and also oh descendent of Kuru destroys sins at once.

As you can see Prabhupadas' is not a translation but a loose paraphrase.
While something like "my dear king" instead of "descendent of Kuru" is
harmless poetic license in other places he has deviated substantially from
the plain meaning (what on earth is a sankirtana movement?)  If Prabhupada
was a run of the mill kathakar it would be ok.  I've said Bhagavata katha
in public before and it is usual, even expected, to digress from the text.
But it is hypocritical in the extreme for someone who claims to be
translating works "as it is" and that other interpretations are incorrect
to do such things.

This is not the place to discuss all the errors, omissions, and
half-truths in Prabhupadas' work.  What I want to show is that one is on
very shaky ground if one relies on others without a thorough personal
understanding.  You should learn to read the Bhagavata in Sanskrit.  You
should compare it with the other 17 puranas.  You should learn the
historical context.  Then and only then can you know what Bhagavan intends
for you.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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