Editing the Books of the Guru (01/06/19)
Yes, ‘society consciousness’ has definitely been an influence during the editing process. Śrīla Prabhupāda gave clear instructions regarding the books that only grammar was to be edited and nothing else. That instruction has unfortunately been ignored.
As for the book, “In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life“, it was never a book in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s time, it was a very rough manuscript only. So in that case you could say that there was a heavy edit on grammar and some sentence reconstructions. Otherwise we kept what Śrīla Prabhupāda had written in the manuscript as it was.
You may also like to know that all of the books of Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja are composed in the same way and by some of the same editors that edited “In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life“. All of Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja’s English books were compiled by excerpting from numerous recorded lectures.
In the case of editing the books or manuscripts of the spiritual master, one must follow the instructions of the spiritual master very closely and the disciple must know the topic about which the spiritual master is speaking. In other words, a neophyte disciple cannot properly edit the words of the spiritual master without making mistakes. This was true of the original books of Śrīla Prabhupāda (“planet of the trees” etc) and it is still true today. The recent editors are every bit as neophyte now as the editors were in the 1970s. In fact, the editors today also seem blinded by false ego, society consciousness and even aparādha, whereas the original editors were just neophyte and not carrying any extra baggage, so to speak.
Wishing you well,