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What are the “original manuscripts”?

“Original manuscripts” means different things, according to different Gita chapters. For the first five or six chapters, it refers to original manuscripts apparently typed by Srila Prabhupada himself. For the middle six chapters, it refers to the original transcriptions of his tapes. And for the last chapters it refers to the old retyped manuscripts from which the first edition, published in 1972 by the Macmillan Company, was produced. In all cases, “original manuscripts” means the oldest and most reliable manuscripts in the BBT files.

The “retyped manuscripts” for the last six chapters were copied from original transcriptions on which much editing had already been done. The typist followed the edited version, adding what the editor had added and deleting what he had deleted. Sometime before 1972, the original transcriptions themselves were apparently lost. (This loss is why the revisions in the last six chapters of the second edition are particularly light.)

The transcription used for the Introduction was done circa 1998. The Introduction (recorded on February 2, 1966) is the only portion of the book for which an audio recording of Srila Prabhupada speaking the unedited text still exists.