Examples of ISKCON’s Bhagavad Gita Changes

Changes, Featured-2 — By on May 30, 2000 11:19 am
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Changes
“Too much editing is not required. If Satsvarupa has already edited it, there is no need of further editing.” (Letter from Srila Prabhupada to Rayarama 21-Dec-67, on Bhagavad Gita editing)“Consequently, Srila Vyasadeva is a guru. He does not misinterpret the words of Krsna, but transmits them exactly as they were spoken. If we send a telegram, the person who delivers the telegram does not have to correct it, edit it, or add to it. He simply presents it. That is the guru’s business.” (Science of Self Realization Chap. 2)Regarding your proposed program of editing, the Bhagavatam First Canto is already edited, so when making final typing, you shall simply see it for proofreading. (Letter to Rayrama 15-May-69)
This is NOT a comprehensive list!
  • Sense Control, Regulative Principles, etc
    • Constant Practice
    • Controling the Mind and Senses
  • Mode of Goodness
    • Acting in Goodness Leads to Knowledge?
    • Acting in Goodness Purifies One?
  • Fruitive Activities
    • Give Up Fruitive Activities?
    • Renouncing Fruits of Action?
    • Devotees are Not Anxious for Fruitive Rewards?
  • Mayavadis, Jnanis and Yogis…
    • Sat-Cakra-Yoga?
    • Reading Many Books?
    • Void Philosophy Causes Frustration?
    • Without Humility Understanding is Harmful?
    • Meditation On Other Than the Visnu Form?
  • Spiritual Master
    • Many Spiritual Masters?
    • Not through the Independent Study of Books…
    • Spiritual Master Can Drive Away All Nescience?
  • More palitable for the public?
    • Fighting for Krishna?
    • Material Existence is Suffering Only?
    • Sacrificing the Material Body For the Sake of Religion?
    • The Soft Line for Ksatriyas
    • Devotees are Liberated and Their Minds are Peaceful?
    • Brahmacaris Are Austere and Simple?
    • Devotees Should Live Simply?
    • “Faithfulness” is one of the Opulences of a Woman?
  • Philosophy
    • The Changeless Soul?
    • Brahma is the “creator god”?
    • We Can’t Create Matter From Nothing? And “Krishna is the supreme creator of all individual souls? “
    • “OM” Eminates From Krishna?
  • Various
    • Swans “Digging into” the Lotus Flower?
    • What Happened to the Purport?
    • Brahma has 4, 8, 16, 32, etc heads?

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Changes
Sense Control, Regulative Principles, etc.
Constant Practice?
Bg 3.32 Original Version
But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do not practice them regularly, are to be considered bereft of all knowledge, befooled, and doomed to ignorance and bondage.”
Revised & Enlarged Version
“But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do not follow them, are to be considered bereft of all knowledge, befooled, and ruined in their endeavors for perfection.”
Bg 6.35 Original Version
The Blessed Lord said: O mighty-armed son of Kunti, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by constant practice and by detachment.”
Revised & Enlarged Version
Lord Sri Krsna said: O mighty-armed son of Kunti, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by suitable practice and by detachment.”
Controlling the Mind and Senses
Bg 2.66 Original Version
“One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor a steady intelligence, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?”
Revised & Enlarged Version
One who is not connected with the Supreme [in Krsna consciousness] can have neither transcendental intelligence nor a steady mind, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?”
Bg 3.34 Original Version
“Attraction and repulsion for sense objects are felt by embodied beings, but one should not fall under the control of senses and sense objects, because they are stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization.”
Revised & Enlarged Version
There are principles to regulate attachment and aversion pertaining to the senses and their objects. One should not come under the control of such attachment and aversion, because they are stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization.”
Bg 3.6 Original Version
One who restrains the senses and organs of action but whose mind dwells on sense objects certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender.
Revised & Enlarged Version
One who restrains the senses of action but whose mind dwells on sense objects certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender.
Bg 3.7 Original Version
On the other hand, he who controls the senses by the mind and engages his active organs in works of devotion, without attachment, is by far superior.
Revised & Enlarged Version
On the other hand, if a sincere person tries to control the active senses by the mind and begins karma-yoga [in Krsna consciousness] without attachment, he is by far superior.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Changes
Mode of Goodness
Acting in Goodness Leads to Knowledge?
Bg 14.6 Original Version
O sinless one, the mode of goodness, being purer than the others, is illuminating, and it frees one from all sinful reactions. Those situated in that mode develop knowledge, but they become conditioned by the concept of happiness.
Revised & Enlarged Version
O sinless one, the mode of goodness, being purer than the others, is illuminating, and it frees one from all sinful reactions. Those situated in that mode become conditioned by a sense of happiness.
Acting in Goodness Purifies One?
Bg 14.16 Original Version
By acting in the mode of goodness, one becomes purified. Works done in the mode of passion result in distress, and actions performed in the mode of ignorance result in foolishness.
Revised & Enlarged Version
The result of pious action is pure and is said to be in the mode of goodness. But action done in the mode of passion result in misery, and actions performed in the mode of ignorance results in foolishness.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Changes
Fruitive Activities
Devotees are Not Anxious for Fruitive Rewards?
Bg 5.12 Original Version
…The person who is attached to Krsna and works for Him only is certainly a liberated person, and he is not anxious for fruitive rewards.
Revised & Enlarged Version
…The person who is attached to Krsna and works for Him only is certainly a liberated person, and he has no anxiety over the results of his work.
Give Up Fruitive Activities?
Bg 2.49 Original Version
O Dhananjaya, rid yourself of all fruitive activities by devotional service, and surrender fully to that consciousness. Those who want to enjoy the fruits of their work are misers.
Revised & Enlarged Version
O Dhananjaya, keep all abominable activities far distant by devotional service, and in that consciousness surrender unto the Lord. Those who want to enjoy the fruits of their work are misers.
Renouncing Fruits of Action?
Bg 2.51 Original Version
The wise, engaged in devotional service take refuge in the Lord and free themselves from the cycle of birth and death by renouncing the fruits of action in the material world. In this way they can attain that state beyond all miseries.
Revised & Enlarged Version
By thus engaging in devotional service to the Lord, great sages or devotees free themselves from the results of work in the material world. In this way they become free from the cycle of birth and death and attain the state beyond all miseries [by going back to Godhead].

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Changes
Mayavadis, Jnanis and Yogis…
Sat-Cakra-Yoga
Bg 8.10 Original Version
In this verse it is clearly stated that at the time of death the mind must be fixed in devotion the Supreme Godhead. For those practiced in yoga, it is recommended that they raise the life force between the eyebrows, but for a pure devotee who does not practice such yoga, the mind should always be engaged in Krsna consciousness so that at death he can remember the Supreme by His grace. This is explained in verse fourteen.
Revised & Enlarged Version
In this verse it is clearly stated that at the time of death the mind must be fixed in devotion on to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For those practiced in yoga, it is recommended that they raise the life force between the eyebrows (to the ajna-cakra). The practice of sat-cakra-yoga, involving meditation on the six cakras, is suggested here., but for a pure devotee whoA pure devotee does not practice such yoga, but because he is always engaged in Krsna consciousness, so that at death he can remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead by His grace. This is explained in verse fourteen.
Bg 8.10 Original Version
The particular use of the word yoga-balena is significant in this verse because without practice of yoga one cannot come to this transcendental state of being at the time of death. One cannot suddenly remember the Supreme Lord at death unless he is practiced in some yoga system, especially the system of bhakti-yoga. Since one’s mind at death is very disturbed, one should practice transcendence through yoga during one’s life.
Revised & Enlarged Version
The particular use of the word yoga-balena is significant in this verse because without practice of yoga–whether sat-cakra-yoga or bhakti-yoga–one cannot come to this transcendental state of being at the time of death. One cannot suddenly remember the Supreme Lord at death; one must have practiced some yoga system, especially the system of bhakti-yoga. Since one’s mind at death is very disturbed, one should practice transcendence through yoga during one’s life.
Bg 8.11 Original Version
Lord Krsna explains that Brahman, although one without a second, has different manifestations and features. For the impersonaliststhe syllable om is identical with Brahman. Krsna here explains the impersonal Brahman in which the renounced order of sages enter.
Revised & Enlarged Version
Lord Sri Krsna has recommended to Arjuna the practice of sat-cakra-yoga, in which one places the air of life between the eyebrows. Taking it for granted that Arjuna might not know how to practice sat-cakra-yoga, the Lord explains the process in the following verses. The Lord says that Brahman, although one without a second, has various manifestations and features. Especially for the impersonalists, the aksara, or omkara– the syllable om is identical with Brahman. Krsna here explains the impersonal Brahman, in which the renounced order of sages enter.
Reading Many Books?
Bg 10.34 Original Version
One need not read many books on different subject matters; the ability to remember a few and quote them when necessary is another opulence.
Revised & Enlarged Version
And the ability not only to read many books on different subject matters but to understand them and apply them when necessary is intelligence (medha), another opulence.
Void Philosophy Causes Frustration?
Bg 4.10 Original Version
…One has to get rid of all three stages of attachment to the material world: negligence of spiritual life, fear of a spiritual personal identity, and the conception of void that underlies the frustration of life.
Revised & Enlarged Version
…One has to get rid of all three stages of attachment to the material world: negligence of spiritual life, fear of a spiritual personal identity, and the conception of void that arises from frustration in life.
Bg 4.10 Original Version
…So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage, being freed from all material attachment, from the fearfulness of one’s individual spiritual personality, and from the frustrations resulting from void philosophy. Then one can ultimately attain to the abode of the Supreme Lord.
Revised & Enlarged Version
…So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage, being freed from all material attachment, from the fearfulness of one’s individual spiritual personality, and from the frustrations that result in void philosophy. Then one can ultimately attain to the abode of the Supreme Lord.
Without Humility Understanding is Harmful?
Bg 13.8 Original Version
…If anyone wants to compete with God and at the same time make advancement in spiritual knowledge, he will be frustrated. It is clearly stated that without humility understanding is harmful. To think oneself God is most puffed up. Although the living entity is always being kicked by the stringent laws of material nature, still he thinks, “I am God” because of ignorance. One should be humble and know that he is subordinate to the Supreme Lord.
Revised & Enlarged Version
…If anyone wants to compete with God and at the same time make advancement in spiritual knowledge, he will be frustrated. It is clearly stated that without humility understanding is not truely possible. To think oneself God is most puffed up. Although the living entity is always being kicked by the stringent laws of material nature, still he thinks, “I am God” because of ignorance. The beginning of knowledge, therefore, is amanitva, humility. One should be humble and know that he is subordinate to the Supreme Lord.
Meditation On Other Than the Visnu Form?
Bg 2.61 Original Version
…The so-called yogis who meditate on something which is not the Visnu form simply waste their time in a vain search after some phantasmagoria. We have to be Krsna conscious–devoted to the Personality of Godhead. This is the aim of the real yoga.
Revised & Enlarged Version
…The so-called yogis who meditate on something which is not on the Visnu platform simply waste their time in a vain search after some phantasmagoria. We have to be Krsna conscious–devoted to the Personality of Godhead. This is the aim of the real yoga.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Changes
Spiritual Master
Many Spiritual Masters?
Bg 4.34 Original Version
Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.
Revised & Enlarged Version
Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.
Not through the Independent Study of Books…
Bg 4.34 Original Version
…Therefore, mental speculation or dry arguments cannot help one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge.
Revised & Enlarged Version
…Therefore, mental speculation or dry arguments cannot help lead one to the right path. Nor by independent study of books of knowledge can one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge.
Spiritual Master Can Drive Away All Nescience?
Bg 5.16 Original Version
Therefore, one has to seek out such a bona fide spiritual master and, under him, learn what Krsna consciousness is. The Spiritual master can drive away all nescience, as the sun drives away darkness.
Revised & Enlarged Version
Therefore, one has to seek out such a bona fide spiritual master and, under him, learn what Krsna consciousness is,for Krsna consciousness will certainly drive away all nescience, as the sun drives away darkness.

More palitable for the public?
Material Existence is Suffering Only?
Bg 13.29 Original Version
The living entity, by accepting his material existence as just so much suffering, can become situated in his spiritual existence.
Revised & Enlarged Version
The living entity, by accepting his material existence, has become situated differently than in his spiritual existence.
Fighting for Krishna?
Bg 3.20 Original Version
…Being a great devotee of the Lord, he was transcendentally situated, but because he was the king of Mithila (a subdivision of Behar province in India), he had to teach his subjects how to fight righteously in battle. He and his subjects fought to teach people in general that violence is also necessary in a situation where good arguments fail.
Revised & Enlarged Version
…Being a great devotee of the Lord, he was transcendentally situated, but because he was the king of Mithila (a subdivision of Bihar province in India), he had to teach his subjects how to perform prescribed duties. Lord Krsna and Arjuna, the Lord’s eternal friend, had no need to fight in the Battle of Kuruksetra, but they fought to teach people in general that violence is also necessary in a situation where good arguments fail.
Sacrificing the Material Body For the Sake of Religion?
Bg 2.18 Original Version
…Arjuna was advised to fight and to sacrifice the material body for the cause of religion.
Revised & Enlarged Version
…Arjuna was advised to fight and not sacrifice the cause of religion for material, bodily considerations.
The Soft Line for Ksatriyas
Bg 16.1 Original Version
The word tejas used here is meant for the ksatriyas. The ksatriyas should always be very strong to be able to give protection to the weak. They should not pose themselves as nonviolent. If violence is required, they must exhibit it.
Revised & Enlarged Version
The word tejas used here is meant for the ksatriyas. The ksatriyas should always be very strong to be able to give protection to the weak. They should not pose themselves as nonviolent. If violence is required, they must exhibit it. But a person who is able to curb down his enemy may under certain conditions show forgiveness. He may excuse minor offenses.
Devotees are Liberated and Their Minds are Peaceful?
Bg 6.27 Original Version
The yogi whose mind is fixed on Me verily attains the highest happiness. By virtue of his identity with Brahman, he is liberated; his mind is peaceful, his passions are quieted, and he is freed from sin.
Revised & Enlarged Version
The yogi whose mind is fixed on Me verily attains the highest perfection of transcendental happiness. He is beyond the mode of passion, he realizes his qualitative identity with the Supreme, and thus he is freed from all reactions to past deeds.
Brahmacaris Are Austere and Simple?
Bg 16.1 Original Version
Then svadhyaya, Vedic study, and tapas, austerity, and arjavam, gentleness or simplicity, are meant for brahmacarya or student life. Brahmacaris should have no connection with women; they should live a life of celibacy and engage the mind in the study of Vedic literature for cultivation of spiritual knowledge. This is called svadhyaya.
Revised & Enlarged Version
Then svadhyaya, Vedic study is meant for brahmacarya or student life. Brahmacaris should have no connection with women; they should live a life of celibacy and engage the mind in the study of Vedic literature for cultivation of spiritual knowledge. This is called svadhyaya.
“Faithfulness” is one of the Opulences of a Woman?
Bg 10.34 Original Version
I am all-devouring death, and I am the generator of all things yet to be. Among women I am fame, fortune, speech, memory, intelligence, faithfulness and patience.
Revised & Enlarged Version
I am all-devouring death, and I am the generating principle of all that is yet to be. Among women I am fame, fortune, fine speech, memory, intelligence, steadfastness and patience.
Devotees Should Live Simply?
Bg 16.1 Original Version
As far as simplicity is concerned, not only should a particular order of life follow this principle, but every member, be he in the brahmacari asrama, or grhastha asrama, or vanaprastha asrama or sannyasa asrama. One must live very simply.
Revised & Enlarged Version
As far as the brahminical quality of simplicity is concerned, not only should a particular order of life follow this principle, but every member, be he in the brahmacari asrama, grhastha asrama, or vanaprastha asrama or sannyasa asrama. One should be very simple and straightforward.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Changes
Philosophy
The Changeless Soul?
Bg 2.25 Original Version
It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable, immutable and unchangeable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.
Revised & Enlarged Version
It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable, and immutable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.
Bg 7.24 Original Version
Unintelligent men, who know Me not, think that I have assumed this form and personality.Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is changeless and supreme.
Revised & Enlarged Version
Unintelligent men, who do not know Me perfectly, think that I, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, was impersonal before and have now assumed this personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is imperishable and supreme.
The Eternal Soul?
Bg 2.30 Original Version
O descendant of Bharata, he who dwells in the body is eternal and can never be slain. Therefore you need not grieve for any creature.
Revised & Enlarged Version
O descendant of Bharata, he who dwells in the body can never be slain. Therefore you need not grieve for any living being.
Brahma is the “creator god”?
Bg 8.17 Original Version
…Then the process is set rolling again. These four yugas, rotating a thousand times, comprise one day of Brahma, the creator god, and the same number comprise one night. Brahma lives one hundred of such “years” and then dies.
Revised & Enlarged Version
…Then the process is set rolling again. These four yugas, rotating a thousand times, comprise one day of Brahma, and the same number comprise one night. Brahma lives one hundred of such “years” and then dies.
We Can’t Create Matter From Nothing?
And “Krishna is the supreme creator of all individual souls”?
Bg 7.6 Original Version
…A fragmental part and parcel of the Lord, namely the living entity, may by manipulation of material energy construct a skyscraper, a factory, or city, but he cannot create matter out of nothing, and he certainly cannot construct a planet ora universe. The cause of the universe is the Supersoul, Krsna, the supreme creator of all individual souls and the original cause of all causes, as the Katha Upanisad (2.2.13) confirms . Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam.
Revised & Enlarged Version
…A fragmental part and parcel of the Lord, namely the living entity, may be the cause of a big skyscraper, a big factory, or even a big city, but he cannot be the cause of a big universe. The cause of the big universe is the big soul, or the Supersoul And Krsna, the Supreme, is the cause of both the big and small souls. Therefore He is the original cause of all causes. This is confirmed in the Katha Upanisad (2.2.13) Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam.
OM Eminates From Krishna?
Bg 7.8 Original Version
Similarly pranava, or the omkara transcendental sound used in the beginning of every Vedic hymn to address the Supreme Lord also emanates from Him.
Revised & Enlarged Version
And pranava, or the omkara transcendental sound in the beginning of every Vedic hymn, addresses the Supreme Lord.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Changes
Various
Swans “Digging into” the Lotus Flower?
Bg 8.2 Original Version
Now the word prayana-kale in this verse is very significant because whatever we do in life will be tested at the time of death. Arjuna fears that at the time of death, those who are in Krsna consciousness will forget the Supreme Lord beause at such a time bodily functions are disrupted, and the mind may be in a panic-stricken state. Therefore Maharaja Kulasekhara, a great devotee, prays, “My dear Lord, may I die immediately now that Im healthy so that the swan of my mind may enter into the stem of Thy lotus feet.” The metaphor is used because the swan often takes pleasure in entering the stem of the lotus flower–similarly, the mind of the pure devotee is drawn to the lotus feet of the Lord. Maharaja Kulasekhara fears that at the moment of death his throat will be so choked up that he will not be able to chant the holy names, so it is better to “die immediately. Arjuna questions how one’s mind can remain fixed on Krsna’s lotus feet at such times
Revised & Enlarged Version
Now the word prayana-kale in this verse is very significant because whatever we do in life will be tested at the time of death. Arjuna is very anxious to know of those who are constantly engaged in Krsna consciousness. What should be their position at that final moment? At the time of death all the bodily functions are disrupted, and the mind is not in a proper condition. Thus disturbed by the bodily situation, one may not be able to remember the Supreme Lord. Maharaja Kulasekhara, a great devotee, prays, “My dear Lord just now I am quite healthy, and it is better that I die immediately so that the swan of my mind can seek entrance at the stem of Your lotus feet.” The metaphor is used because the swan, a bird of the water, often takes pleasure in digging into the lotus flowers; its sporting proclivity is to enter the lotus flower. Maharaja Kulasekhara says to the Lord, “Now my mind is undisturbed, and I am quite healthy. If I die immediately, thinking of Your lotus feet, then I am sure that my performance of Your devotional service will become perfect. But if I have to wait for my natural death, then I do not know what will happen, because at that time the bodily functions will be disrupted, my throat will be choked up, and I do not know whether I shall be able to chant Your name. Better let me die immediately.” Arjuna questions how a person can fix his mind on Krsna’s lotus feet at such a time
What Happened to the Purport?
Bg 10.31 Original Version
Of all the aquatics the shark is one of the biggest and is certainly the most dangerous to man. Thus the shark represents Krsna. And of rivers, the greatest in India is the Mother Ganges. Lord Ramacandra, of the Ramayana, an incarnation of Krsna, is the mightest of warriors.
Revised & Enlarged Version
Of all the aquatics the shark is one of the biggest and is certainly the most dangerous to man. Thus the shark represents Krsna.
Brahma has 4, 8, 16, 32, etc heads?
Bg 10.33 Original Version
Among the creators and living entities, Brahma is the chief. The various Brahma’s exhibit four, eight, sixteen, etc., heads accordingly, and they are the chief creators in their respective universes. The Brahmas are representatives of Krsna.
Revised & Enlarged Version
Among the living entities who are creators, Brahma, who has four heads, is the chief. Therefore he is a representative of the Supreme Lord, Krsna.
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5 Comments

  1. Harinamananda says:

    Hare Krishna!

    Thankyou for this excellent work showing the changes made by the bogus-iskcon…the other day I had a controverse with the former temple-president in Finland, he claims iskcon has made Srila Prabhupada’s books better, because before they were full of type writing mistakes and other similar…I will not take his excuse no way. Besides the original Bhagavad-Gita As It Is is now undergoing translation to Finnish language here in Finland, it’s a friend of mine who is doing the work. Best regards, Harinamananda das, Finland

  2. Lynne says:

    There are some very major changes to the purports, and it is wrong! I became familiar with ISKCON at the age of 40, and I like to observe. I have seen a lot of devotees that are so smart, but a smugness and pride has overcome that intelligence. One cannot say he worships God and play him at the same time. Thank you for your devotion and dedication to Srila Prabhupada.

  3. Lynne says:

    I feel so badly that there is such a tear in the society. Some people…we all…have been hurt. I remember having the original Gita at a book study, and others did also, and when we were to turn to a certain page, the pages didn’t add up to the new edition, and it caused a stir, and the class was disrupted, and the original book was no longer allowed.

    It doesn’t have to be this was, and it shouldn’t. All the the different copies of the book should be allowed at the temple, but especially the original. Srila Prabhupada was so proud to have authenticated these great books so that if people questioned, there would be no mistake.

    We all love Prabhupada. Can we please just think of him and back down on the issue a little? Please.

  4. Pietro Impagliazzo says:

    Thank you for this!

    This is a great service, the original version should become again the standard version.

    Looking at these changes I can clearly see where several faults from ISKCON arised from.

    Hari Om Tat Sat!

  5. I am a university-trained translator and I am aghast at the nature of some of these translations; certainly at the nature of the translations above.

    The changes are significant, and they change and/or omit the meanings. Steps have been taken that proofreaders and translators are taught not to take!

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