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A Glimpse Into Some of the Changes to
Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-Gita As It Is


The changing of Srila Prabhupada's books has been an ongoing and ever-increasing concern in the devotee community particularly since his original 1970 unabridged Macmillian Bhagavd-gita As It Is was revised and enlarged in 1983 - six years after he left this world.  Even while he was physically present, much to his displeasure, increasingly unauthorized corrections and changes were showing up in reprints of his already published books.  While some of his editors at that time were taking inches and even yards, we now have editors who are taking spectacular miles.  The following presentation shows just a fraction of the nearly five thousand changes made to Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

In preparing the working manuscripts for the first printed edition of his books, Srila Prabhupada engaged his editors in finding and correcting typographical errors and grammatical irregularities.  After the book was published and printed, still to a limited degree, he expected his editors to root out further technical errors in the next reprints of his books, but never without his consent.  Srila Prabhupada also personally requested a few additional changes and corrections.  Despite his instructions, however, many unauthorized changes were showing up in his books.

By 1976-77, Srila Prabhupada was closing the doors to any further editings of his books.  This can be seen from some of Srila Prabhupada's lectures, letters recorded conversations and anecdotal accounts from devotees who directly heard from him.  Most imoportantly, it should beknown that he never appointed anyone to independantly re-edit any of his books after his physical departure.  In fact, it was publicly admitted by Jayadvaita Swami in the 1998 BBT booklet, Responsible Publishing, that no one was ever given an order by Srila Prabhupada to re-edit his Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

It is an essential and enlightening lesson for us all to understand that despite the best efforts of Srila Prabhupada's editors, he was fully aware that there remained technical discrepancies in his books.  At the same time he assures us in his preface to the Srimad Bhagavatam:
"I must admit my frailties in presenting Srimad Bhagavatam, but still I am hopefull of it's good reception by the thinkers and leaders of society on the strength of the following statement of Srimad Bhagavatam (1.5.11):
Tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo
yasmin prati-slokam abadhavaty api
namany anantasya yaso nkitani yac
chrnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah

"On the other hand, that literature which is full with descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, form and pastimes of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a transcendental creation meant to bring about a revolution in the impious life of a misdirected civilization.  Such transcendental literatures, even though irregularly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest."  Therefore, devotees are guaranteed all spiritual success by exclusively reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's original and personally approved books.

In addition, please refer to the section in this presentation which shows thirty-seven paintings from the original  Bhagavad-gita that were entirely excluded in the new and revised edition.  Is it possible that Srila Prabhupada would be pleased by this?

If you wish to explore this subject of book changes, there are some excellent internet websites that provide detailed information.  Simply type into your search engine:  Adi-vani.org or Changes to Srila Prabhupada's books.  There you will find many related listings.  please be sure to click on all the links and categories that appear on each website.  These websites are constantly updated,  so it is a good idea to check them at least once a month.  Thanks to the efforts of the devotees who have submitted so many excellent and informative articles to them, there is now great awareness of how Srila Prabhupada's books are being changed.  

This presentation was conceived and written by a group of concerned devotees , 2008.


There was an earlier and highly-abridged Bhagavad-gita by Srila Prabhupada that was published in 1968.  It was a paperback edition with a purple cover and a black and white illustration of four armed Visnu on the cover.  This edition had no Sanskrit, color paintings or photos.  It was also decided by the publishers (Macmillan) to leave out many of the purports that Srila Prabhupada had written.  This is technically the origin edition.  However, he was not very happy with this edition and so this more complete and unabridged version (first published in 1972) is what is referred to as the original Bhagavad-gita.  The Krishna consciousness in this book was beautifully manifested, in a manner never before seen in this world.  Srila Prabhupada signed his name to this book and lectured on close to every single verse from it for over seven years.  This book was distributed by the millions and has touched more lives than anyone could calculate.

Bhagavaad-gita Revised and Enlarged edition:

This edition of the Bhagavad-gita was first published in 1983, about six years after the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada.  The book has been through some revisions since, particularly the paintings.  This the version as it appears now.  If you examine this presentation carefully and converse with other devotees who are enlightened about these book changes, you will begin to discover the full scope of how Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita has been changed.

Please note that on the original cover of the Bhagavad-gita (which is shown on the previous page)  Krsna is holding his personal conchshell Pancajanya.  The sounding of this conch, combined with those of the Pandavas, hold great significance.  For upon hearing this tumultous roar, the hearts of the sons of Dhratarastra where shattered, indicating their certain defeat.  That being said, please note on the cover of this revised and enlarged Bhagavad-gita, Krsna's conchshell has been replaced by a whip.

Bhagavad-gita Original Edition:

This picture of Srila Prabhupada and pictures of the three previous spiritual masters - Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja, Srila Gaura Kisora Das Babaji and Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode - were in the original edition.

Bhagavaad-gita Revised and Enlarged edition:

In this edition, the pictures of all three previous spiritual masters have been removed and only this changed picture and caption of Srila Prabhupada remains. Please note in this changed caption that greatest exponent of Krsna consciousness in the western world has been deleted.

Bhagavaad-gita Revised and Enlarged edition:

Srila Prabhupada was highly pleased with alll the paintings that were in the original Bhagavad-gita.  He never requested that any of them be repainted or deleted.  Srila Prabhupada was closely involved with the artists as they produced these paintings.  He would even pose, for instance to show how Krsna holds his flute.  The level of bhakti, the innocent freshness, the bright colors and sheer craftsmanship that went into these paintings were absolutely wonderful and astounding especially considering these young devotee artists had only been in the movement a short time.  Srila Prabhupada has empowered them.  This accomplishment alone speaks volumes for the potency and purity of Srila Prabhupada.

The following pages show a total of thirty-seven full color paintings from the original Bhagavad-gita which have been entirely deleted from the printing of the revised and enlarged edition.  They were not even replaced with new paintings.  In addition, there are eleven paintings which were replaced with new ones as is shown in this one example below.  Whether these paintings are improvements over the originals is not the point here.  These original paintings were fully approved by Srila Prabhupada.  There is not the slightest evidence that he wanted these paintings, as they appeared in his Bhagavad-gita to be repainted, much less deleted.






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