To understand the myths and controversies about revised editions of Srila Prabhupada's books, let's begin by understanding the history of how Srila Prabhupada directed his editors to work. Here are several articles providing this background.
“Don’t add anything. Don’t subtract anything. Don’t change anything.” This was the instruction ISKCON’s founder-acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, many times gave to his disciples. Yet some disciples he engaged to edit his words for publication—that is (by definition) to add, subtract, and change. Here I present a brief history of that editorial work.
After Śrīla Prabhupāda’s disappearance, the BBT has published revised editions of the Kṛṣṇa book, Śrī Īśopaniṣad, Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, The Nectar of Devotion, and Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. In these editions, the editors, after carefully consulting original tapes, manuscripts, and transcripts, restored material the previous editions had lost, obscured, or distorted.
The revisions for the Second Edition of Bhagavad-gītā As It Is were done by Jayādvaita Swami. Jayādvaita Swami had served in Kṛṣṇa conscious book production for nearly ten years during Śrīla Prabhupāda’s physical presence. He served first as a typist (one of his early engagements was to retype the entire edited manuscript of Bhagavad-gītā As It Is). Later he served as a transcriber (he transcribed much of the Kṛṣṇa book). He then went on to typesetting, proofreading, and editing. He served as an editor for Śrīla Prabhupāda until Śrīla Prabhupāda’s very last days on earth.
The brief film Happiness on 2nd Avenue gives a glimpse of what the Hare Krishna movement was like circa 1966, when Hayagriva Prabhu first edited Bhagavad-gita As It Is. (He revised the manuscript a second time circa 1970.) Hayagriva Prabhu first appears in the film at 1:13, a bearded figure chanting. At 4:05 the camera zeroes in on him chanting, and then he gives some short and cogent remarks. The film has nothing to do with book editing, and it certainly doesn't "prove" anything. We offer it just as an item of interest. Enjoy!
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