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When Road Signs Are Wrong

From: "Seshagiri Das" Subject: When Road Signs Are Wrong Date: 01 Jul 2009 09:26:46 To: Baba "Sakal bha'ver a'dha'r tumi, toma'r na'me ja'i go mete..." - P.S. no. 787 Purport: Baba, You are the base of all ideations. By Your grace I am divinely intoxicated in Your name and song. Within my lonely eyelids I have an incessant desire to get You. Baba, the whole universe is filled with Your form. My mind is resonating in Your tune and melody. In fact, all the rhythms and all the songs have come on this earth to sing Your glory. Baba, the whole sky is filled with Your effulgence. Your august arrival has changed darkness into effulgence. And the iron door of the jail is pulverized into dust. All the dogma has disappeared. The whole universe is filled with Your divine effulgence. Baba, everyone is ensconced in singing Your name...
Namaskar, "“I am that Vireshvijay Vasumallik,” he replied. Saying this, he threw himself into the water. The rapids flung his body around violently and carried him off towards a deep cavern. After that his body sank and disappeared from sight. A sudden strong gust of wind blew at my back from the direction of the forest. Then the gust of wind started blowing towards the mountain in front of me. All around me I could hear the sound; son, son, son. If someone else had been there they would not have heard anything else, but in the middle of this son-son sound I could hear Vireshvijay’s last words ma'-ma'-ma' go [mother, mother, oh my dear mother]. With steadfast eyes I looked at the rapids. Unknowingly, my eyes lighted on a few drops of water. In all directions one could hear the hills reverberating with the sound – ma'-ma'-ma' go." (SC-1, Disc: 4) The above is the concluding paragraph of Baba's dramatic story about the great revolutionary Vireshvijay Vasumallik in Shabda Cayanika part 1. Baba, being the supreme storyteller extraordinaire, narrates this history about Vireshvijay's epic confrontation with the British invaders in riveting fashion. Anyone not familiar with the story should certainly take time to read it.
Unfortunately there is one serious mistake in the translation and publication of this story, and in particular in the last paragraph, noted above. At one point, Baba is describing how the wind is blowing. The publishers wrote: "A sudden strong gust of wind blew at my back from the direction of the forest. Then the gust of wind started blowing towards the mountain in front of me." Baba narrates the scene further. And the publishers wrote, "All around me I could hear the sound; son, son, son." According to this translation, it appears to the reader that the sound or word reverberating in the wind is "son, son, son", which of course would refer to the male child of a mother or the cherished son of one's homeland. And since Vireshvijay is the courageous native son of that land, and since Vireshvijay is about to meet his tragic death, and since in that final moment Vireshvijay himself calls out, ma'-ma'-ma' [mother, mother, oh my dear mother], then it certainly seems like someone or something is crying out for her son - whether it be some type of spirit, a ghost or goddess of that land, or mother nature; and in response, our tragic hero is replying back: Mother, mother, oh my dear mother. It might even seem to the reader that Vireshvijay leaped to his death in response to the call of some ghostly or ethereal motherly figure. That is the way the story reads. But that is not at all what is going on. Due to a critical error in translation / publication, the entire meaning is skewed, altered and the reader is led astray.
In that culminating scene of this most dramatic story, Baba is artfully describing the sound of the wind. The publishers wrote: "A sudden strong gust of wind blew at my back from the direction of the forest. Then the gust of wind started blowing towards the mountain in front of me." That part is ok. But then the publishers wrote: "All around me I could hear the sound; son, son, son." This is where the problem lies. When the publishers wrote, "son, son, son," it seems that a ghost or mother nature or some ethereal mother is calling out to her native son, Vireshvijay. That is the impression that any reader would get based on what the publishers printed. But in reality, something entirely different is going on. In His colourful manner of narration, Baba is making and describing the sound of the wind itself. In Hindi or Bengali, the phonetic spelling of the sound a large gust of wind makes when it is rushing through the mountains or forest is: shon', shon', shon' (with a nasal "n" at the end). Or there may be a better way to write it, perhaps shoun', but the sense is that Baba is actually making the sound of the wind as one would do in Hindi or Bengali. That is what is meant and indeed stated. In which case the translators / publishers should have written: "Whoosshh, whoooshh, whooshh", or some other term or phrasing in English that would denote that Baba is describing or emulating the sound of the wind as it rushes through the forest. And then the word could be italicised as well, further indicating that Baba is describing an actual sound. But the translators missed this point entirely. They misunderstood Baba's divine way of storytelling. And they took it literally that the wind was speaking the English word "son, son, son", as in the case of a male child of one mother. Thus any reader will be terribly confused and led astray. Because again, in reality, Baba is describing the way the fast blowing wind is howling through the forest landscape, rustling all the leaves. We have all heard such sounds before. And the phonetic way of writing that sound in Hindi would be something like: shon', shon', shon', with nasal sounding "n" at the end. So that sound is not at all the English word "son", as in "son" or "daughter" or "male offspring". Unfortunately, our publishers - albeit their intentions were innocent in contrast to their blatant and manipulated distortion in AM Revolution discourse about margii rights - could not properly nor accurately depict what Baba was telling. In result, this great story from Shabda Cayanika about the revolutionary hero Vireshvijay is tainted and ends in confusion as if some ghost or other-worldly being is crying out for her lost native son to commit suicide etc. And that Baba is glorifying such acts. Such is the extent of the misportrayal of the current English edition of this book, Shabda Cayanika part 1. A truly dharmic and unique history has been severely tainted.
Needless to say, this error in translation or publication should be corrected at the earliest. If those publishers wait for the publication of the next edition of Shabda Cayanika part 1 in order to correct the error, then that may take decades and over that time the correction will ultimately be forgotten. And the book will be reprinted in its current faulty state - leading readers astray. Best then is if an errata page is made today itself and a formal statement issued by the Publications Dept in order to clarify the error. Then everyone will be properly informed and there will no longer be confusion about this wonderful passage.
We must remember that our AM sha'stra or scripture is like a divine road sign, clearly indicating to us where to go and how to proceed in life. In our AM books, Baba tells us so many things: How to take a bath, what food to eat, the cycle of brahmacakra, what is sin and what is virtue, the history of so many lands, and yes, so many beautiful stories like that of the great ideological revolutionary Vireshvijay. In turn, we believe and follow those divine precepts: Paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, and word by word, thinking them to be true to Baba's spoken discourse. His printed teachings - the books of A'nanda Ma'rga - are our road sign in life. By following the word and spirit of His every teaching we are able to progress. Baba says, "Do this, don’t do this – to prescribe these dos and don’ts of life is the duty of sha'stra. And why does the sha'stra prescribe those things? For salvation and liberation sha'stras prescribe these dos and don’ts of life." (SS-21) It is Baba's boundless grace on us that He has given us the pathway to success in the form of a written scripture. Now it is the duty of those at the helm to ensure our AM publications are done properly. Because when our AM books are not proper, then our entire Marga society will get the wrong road sign in life and be led astray, even harmed. In the notes below the signature are further examples where those in charge have wrongly printed our AM scripture, thereby misguiding readers and sadhakas alike.
By Baba's grace He has beautifully recounted the life and history of the spirited revolutionary Vireshvijaya. That epic story is told with so much passion and force - the reader can tangibly feel the efforts, trials, and courage of this great young man who bravely gave his life for ideology. It is a great story for us all. Yet it is undermined by the fact that in the culminating last paragraph, the story is wrongly printed thereby sending a confusing if not misguiding message to the reader. This mistake must be corrected at the earliest. Baba says, "The scriptures containing spiritual injunctions must be totally flawless." (NSS, Disc: 14) Namaskar, Seshagiri
Each and every AM discourse must be perfectly transcribed from the original audio file into the original language and from there translated into other languages. So a discourse originally delivered by Baba in Hindi should be perfectly transcribed into Hindi directly and then from that source document be translated into other languages. At present, often times the English edition is looked upon as source material for translation work. And that is fine when the original discourse has been given by Baba in English. But when when the original is in Hindi, Bengali, Telgu, or Spanish, then English should not be used as the source. But it happens. This might be because no one is able to translate directly from Hindi to Japanese or Swahili etc. Thus the English edition is used as a stepping stone. So the English edition has a big role to play at present. Unfortunately, when the English version is incorrect, distorted or wrong, then that error will be transferred to so many other editions. That is a major problem. Again, the ideal manner is to have every book translated directly from the original language. That should be our aim. Otherwise when there are mistakes in translation into English, then those mistakes will multiply and grow when other translations are made from the English text.
Tragically, there are countless publication mistakes and errors in our AM books. The above problem with the last paragraph about the story of Vireshvijay is not at isolated incident. Here are other grave problems to be aware of:
A) In Baba's historic AM Revolution discourse, Baba has clearly declared that family margiis are to be respected and given equal right. Yet this special paragraph has been deleted by Publications personnel.
B) Baba has clearly stated in English that AM is the first time that the philosophy of yoga has been given. But this historic proclamation was deleted from the printed discoruse.
C) Baba has clearly guided us that we are to be involved in all kinds of noble deeds and high-minded work, yet the Publication department wrongly printed that we are to be engaged in war, not work.
D) And like this there are dozens and dozens, or more correctly, hundreds and hundreds, of critical errors in our AM scripture. Proper effort needs to be made to catalog these errors and then those in Publications must sincerely work to correct them, not falsely justify their wrongdoing as in the case of the AM Revolution discourse.
******************************************** Unique Quality of Human Beings Baba says, "The human mind has two functions--thinking and memorizing. The more the thinking capacity increases the more the power of memory develops. The nerve cells also change, leading to a corresponding change in the nerve fibres. These changes create a stir and a revolution in the world of thought." (PNS-8, p.17) ********************************************

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