I have just read this article about changes in the KRSNA Book. Although I am rarely surprised by anything anymore, still I was surprised by the article’s description about the volume of changes to the literature of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I have heard all the many excuses over the years for making changes, which from the external perspective may seem logical, but these delusions cannot replace the desire of Srila Prabhupada in this connection.
With specific regards to the KRSNA book, during his physical presence, Srila Prabhupada would not even allow so much as a picture to be changed. Why then, when our mundane eyes can no longer perceive him, are so many changes going on?
For many years, I was in close contact with Radhaballabha dasa, who was the production manager for producing Srila Prabhupada’s books. A couple of years after Srila Prabhupada’s departure, around 1980, Radhaballabha Prabhu related to me an experience he had with Srila Prabhupada regarding book changes.
Soon after the intense marathon for completing the publication of Caitanya Caritamrita, Radhaballabha prabhu approached Srila Prabhupada and mentioned that the artists are now completing the paintings in preparation for the second printing. To this, Srila Prabhupada replied “No changes”. A further attempt was made to explain, stating that there were to be no actual changes, but that the same painting would simply be completed because there was insufficient time during the marathon, and that the paintings were actually published in an unfinished state. Srila Prabhupada replied to him again, “NO changes”.
Confused by Srila Prabhupada’s previous responses, Radhaballabha again tried to explain the situation. The short time frame of the publication marathon had prevented the paintings from being completed. They were now to be finished by the artists, re-photographed and in the next printing, the same picture, same size, everything the same except for the finishing touches, would be placed in the exact same spot in the book. Srila Prabhupada now appeared angered and replied again, but this time more forcefully, “NO CHANGES!!!”.