May 27, 2010 — JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, USA — An intelligent person who wants to learn what Srila Prabhupada has to say in his Bhagavad-gita As It Is will immediately note the sub-heading, “Enlarged and Revised”, which appears in the 1983 version. That phrase, “enlarged and revised”, usually rings a bell in the mind of a thoughtful inquirer: “Revised? What, exactly? When? Let’s see what the author himself has to say about his reasons for the revisions.” With a little luck, such an inquirer would discover in the section entitled “The Author” that actually, the author had passed away six years before the book was revised – posthumously – under his name, as if it were the author’s improvement upon his original work!
At this point, the so-called second edition might well provoke our curious investigator to browse the Internet a bit, as he is inclined to do, where he would find out that “revised” also means “omitted”. For example, the Forward, by a distinguished professor, as well as thirty color plates were omitted!
“Hm… apparently the second edition is not as complete as the first. That’s interesting… and look at this: there’s some articles here that demonstrate how the second edition has also been interpolated, reinterpreted. Hm… very interesting.” Etc.
This scenario is not far-fetched. There are a lot of intelligent people out there, especially those with some education, who approach their reading material in a discerning way. For example, in his article, “The Last Days of School“, Bhakta Philip, a champion book distributor, tells how, when he approached a student the student asked, “Are these the edited ones?”
The student explained, “A while ago there were some other people here passing out some books and I looked in the front and it said ‘REVISED’ in it and so I handed it back to them. I told them I don’t want an edited version, I want the original thing!” Bhakta Philip happily explained how all the titles he carried were original editions, and the student took one of each and made a nice donation.
Yes! All power to Sriman Bhakta Philip, as well as Mahajana das, Murti das, Brahmabhuta das, Raghava Caitanya das, Madhudvisa das and others around the world committed to distributing the real thing from Srila Prabhupada’s free press, Krishna Books, Inc.
Srila Prabhupada included the heading “Complete Edition” on the face page of his Gita. The so-called 2nd edition replaces that statement with the words, “2nd Edition, Revised and Enlarged.” “Complete Edition” certainly means definitive. Let the so-called second edition, which bears scant resemblance to the first, keep the self-incriminating phrase “revised and enlarged.” Very good! It helps to distinguish between the real thing and the other thing.