We acknowledge our debt of gratitude to HG Madhudvisa Prabhu, who made the Original Transcript (OT) available to the world by establishing the bookchanges.com website.
First of all, if some of those original typists or editors would have had any decency, respect, circumspection and professionalism, they wouldn’t have scribbled all over the manuscript, thus making some of the passages completely unreadable. Judging by the thoroughness and great determination they crossed them out, leaving just one black mark on the white paper, it would appear that those typists or editors were extremely concerned and determined that some of Srila Prabhupada’s spoken words would never be readable again and this is what’s happening in some cases.
Bhagavad Gita As It Is is really divided into three parts because the original transcript (OT) is constituted of three distinct parts as follows:
1 ) The introduction plus the first five chapters have been typed by Srila Prabhupada Himself. For reviewing purposes, we shall, therefore, concentrate on the introduction and these initial five chapters first.
2 ) Chapters six to eleven have been typed by another party or parties from Srila Prabhupada’s tape dictation. “Neal, the typist,” may have been one of them. Please see Prabhupada Lilamrta Vol 2 page 267 New York City November 1966
3 ) Chapters twelve to eighteen have not only been typed by another party or parties from Srila Prabhupada’s tape dictation, as were chapters six to eleven, but have also undergone a first process of editing by HG Hayagriva Prabhu, who is mostly responsible for version one of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is.
In other words, there is here a progression of five, six and seven chapters, which form the complete Bhagavad-gita of eighteen chapters.
The most astounding feature is that the original audio dictation is lost. In His transcendental pastimes, Srila Prabhupada carefully erased the tapes in order to reuse them again and again.
This information has been provided by HG Dravida Prabhu of ISKCON San Diego, USA, and is considered reliable.
In other words, in the first part, introduction and chapters 1 to 5, we are dealing with Srila Prabhupada Himself directly. For the second part, chapters 6 to 11, we are one brain away from Srila Prabhupada and in the third part, chapters 12 to 18, we are two brains away from Srila Prabhupada. The more brains away from Srila Prabhupada, the more chances for deviation and (mis) interpretations.
In many instances we also feel that Srila Prabhupada’s simplicity of expresion and more systematic language have been violated in the name of so-called more elaborate or snappy English. Simplicity has got its own virtues and sometimes complexity is created irrespectively in order to create a monopoly. This is to be avoided. Bhagavad-gita, the message of Lord Krishna, is for everyone from the illiterate to the most learned and everyone in between.When I say illiterate, I am not exagerating. In Lord Caitanya’s times, in India, there was an illiterate brahmana who would feel love for Krishna and cry by simply looking at the pictures of Bhagavad-gita, especially the picture where Krishna accepts the subordinate position of charioteer. It is therefore essential that the style of writing appeals to everyone and because Srila Prabhupada was appointed by Krishna to deliver His message, we postulate that the most universally appealing style of writing is Srila Prabhupada’s own. So let us therefore stick to Him. Let us therefore stick to the Prabhupada mood. Om tat sat.
For more info please go to https://krishnaculture.org/bhagavad-gita-as-it-is-version-3/