720120 - Letter to Mandali Bhadra written from Jaipur
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Date: January 20, 1972
Camp: ISKCON Bombay
My Dear Mandali Badra,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated December 28, 1971, and with pleasure I have noted that your translation work is going on. This I want, that you shall from now on be the Head of the translating department in German language for all ISKCON literatures. You translate yourself as it is comfortable, but all other translations in German language by other translators must be checked by you, edited, and corrected very strictly for grammar and proper use of German language. It is not our philosophy to print errors. Of course, our spiritual subject matter is transcendental and therefore it remains potent despite mistakes in grammar, spelling, etc. But this type of translation may only be allowed if there is no other way to correct it, then it is all right. But if you know the correct order, then you must make it perfect. That is our philosophy: everything perfect for Krishna.
So far your telling me that some devotees consider that because there may be some grammatical discrepancies in my Srimad Bhagwatam, first canto, then they may also be allowed to translate with errors accepted, that is just like imitating Raslila. When you do all other things like Krishna, they you can do Raslila. So if these other writers can do like me and spread Krishna Consciousness all over the world by becoming big Vedic scholars, then they can do. If one is too big, there is no mistake. Arsapreyo means there may be discrepancies but it is all right. Just like Shakespeare, sometimes there are odd usages of language, but he is accepted as authority. I have explained all these things in my Preface to First Canto.
My first concern is that my books shall be published and distributed profusely all over the world. Practically, books are the basis of our Movement. Without books, our preaching will have no effect. So I am so much engladdened that you are enthusiastic to please me in this way, and that you are very determined to continue translating profusely. If you can increase translating more and more, that will advance you more and more in spiritual life. Krishna will give you all help.
Why you should go to New York? Stay there and seriously edit all translation work as Chief Editor of German language. Your proposal to meet a Hamburg millionaire is very nice, go ahead. Your sincerity will be accepted by Krishna and He will give you intelligence from within. Simply we must be sincere, then everything else will follow automatically.
Your statements by that big big scientist were very much appreciated by me.