Hiatus in Prīti Sandarbha video posts.

Śrī Rādhe! It has now been three weeks since I posted anything from Prīti Sandarbha, so I thought I would write something to my audience to explain myself. After all, it is for you that I post. 

gopa-rāmā-jana-prāṇa-preyase'tiprabhūṣṇave | 
tadīya-priya-dāsyāya māṁ madīyam ahaṁ dade || 

To the love of the cowherd women's lives, to the most powerful Lord, and to the service of those who are dear to him, I give myself and all that is mine. 

I have been reflecting on what I am doing and how to do it more effectively. If it is worth doing at all, it should be done intelligently. So I would like, in the interest of organizing my thoughts, to review a little bit of what has been dancing through the dust of my disorganized brain. 

My first priority right now is the Prīti Sandarbha editing work that I am doing on behalf of Satyanarayana Dasa Baba. That is my work and I am proud to be playing a role in the production of this work, however defective or inadequate it has been. I bow down a thousand times to Satyanarayana Dasaji for engaging me and having confidence in me to allow me to participate. As this is an important document for our sampradāya, it is a great honor. 

It is also important for me to finish this work and to do it in a timely fashion. I still have plenty of other things that I want to get done in this lifetime, and Prīti Sandarbha represents, in several important ways, a kind of graduation. Any work one does always reveals 

In the light of this, the videos were beginning to take more and more of my time. In fact, I found it a bit exhausting and difficult to maintain. The result was that the actual fundamental aspect of the work, which is the editing, etc., of the Prīti Sandarbha, was suffering. I need to speed up. 

The videos were a motivator at first, and it worked, but now that this preliminary goal has been achieved I have to make sure that it does not interfere with the prime directive. The most demanding aspect of the videos is the ability to understand and explain, and that is always difficult when one is in the process of understanding.

I spoke several times in the videos about śravaṇa, manana and nididhyāsana, and the "manana problem." This is the human element in translation. In discussion related to the subject of translation, one person suggested that translation takes place on the level of words and so human interpretation was not a factor but inevitably leads to interpretation and distortion. This is not the case.

Machine translation is based purely on the words on paper, and is getting quite good, and I assume that tone and register are all being programmed into AI technology in order to get more precision. But for the time being, and especially so in matters related to the purposes of human life, the human element is necessary, precisely because of the almost unlimited subtleties of the phenomenon of language itself. 

And of course, if one does the work for one's own spiritual benefit, one has to engage with the text. For me, there is frankly no point in doing the Prīti Sandarbha if it were to remain purely on the level of words and not understood on a profound level. That understanding is based on both quantity and quality of knowledge that is processed (śravaṇa and manana), but also by the application of the knowledge, which is nididhyāsana. In a way, the situation is similar to the one I discussed in relation to the work I did on Yoga-taraṅgiṇī. [See "The Story of this Translation" (Part I, Part II, Part III)]

My way of working is not altogether efficient. I spend at least 12 hours a day in the library. I am not working ALL the time, I am still watching a lot of Youtube. The work is really slow and painstaking. I study every verse that comes up, examining the commentaries and previous translations carefully, and also looking at the context of each verse from the Bhāgavatam and frequently the other source texts used by Jiva Goswami. 

Besides, I have become painfully aware of my limited knowledge of the Bhāgavatam. I don't think I have ever read it completely from beginning to end and there are plenty of nooks and crannies that still need exploration. [Bhāgavata chapters]. 

Since the Grantha Mandir has gotten reactivated, that has made me spend a lot of time editing the GGM Bhāgavata text, as well as others that I come across in the research. I have several searchable electronic editions of other Purāṇas also. So I try to read at least ten verses before and ten verses afterward, cleaning up any mistakes and formatting, etc., in the GGM document each time. That is a current goal.

The transliterated Bhagavatam with several commentaries (10 in Canto X) is almost finished in the first draft. The other files are constantly being updated, so anyone who uses those files should download them again every few weeks or months until the magic day when they reach their divine and archetypal ideal form for all eternity. Anyway, this is all just excuse number one. It is hard work and I was worried about the quality and effectiveness of my presentation.

At any rate, this work is very time-consuming, but I am including it in my duties.

But something else has also happened and I will talk about that in a following article.


Anonymous said…
Jagat-ji, there seems to be some text missing after "Any work one does always reveals..." Unless you're going for something mystical there ;)
Julyan said…
Really pleased to read the above update and to hear that your team is making further progress. We are extremely fortunate to have access to all the available Sandarbha presentations from you at the Jiva Institute thus far.
Anonymous said…

Dearest Jagadananda Das,

Don’t spread yourself thin by doing too much (it’s not good for your health). One is sure in saying that your regular followers are only too happy to wait.

With love and light.


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