In these series we show various changes found in the 1972 edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is and how they change the meaning of Srila Prabhupada’s words. It is understood that while editing, sometimes words are changed for clarity. Therefore, in these series of articles, we try to avoid spending too much time focusing on changes that alter the words with the purpose of giving the intended meaning in the original writing more force. With each change discussed we present the original spoken dictation as recorded by Srila Prabhupada on February the 19-20th 1966, the same passage in the 1972 Macmillan edition and finally our humble commentary.
Therefore Bhagavad-gita should be taken up in a spirit of devotee of Lord Sri Krsna. One should not think that he is equal, on the same level of Sri Krsna, or one should not think that He is an ordinary personality, maybe a very great personality. No. Lord Sri Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So at least theoretically, on the statement of Bhagavad-gita or on the statement, assertion of Arjuna, the person who is trying to understand the Bhagavad-gita, we should accept Sri Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and then, with that submissive spirit… Unless one receives this Bhagavad-gita in a submissive spirit and aural reception, it is very difficult to understand Bhagavad-gita because it is a great mystery.
Introduction to Gitopanisad (Earliest Recording of Srila Prabhupada in the Bhaktivednta Archives) Bhagavad-gita Introduction, New York, February 19-20, 1966.
Therefore Bhagavad-gita should be taken up in a spirit of devotion. One should not think that he is equal to Krsna, nor should he think that Krsna is an ordinary personality or even a very great personality. Lord Sri Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, at least theoretically, according to the statements of Bhagavad-gita or the statements of Arjuna, the person who is trying to understand the Bhagavad-gita. We should therefore at least theoretically accept Sri Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and with that submissive spirit we can understand the Bhagavad-gita. Unless one reads the Bhagavad-gita in a submissive spirit, it is very difficult to understand Bhagavad-gita because it is a great mystery.
Here Srila Prabhupada clearly says that Krsna is the supreme personality of Godhead and we should accept this at least theoretically since this is the verdict of the Bhagavad-gita and Arjuna, a person who is trying to understand the Bhagavadgita. The early editors however made it appear that according to the statements of the Bhagavad-gita, Krsna is the Godhead only theoretically. This is a huge discrepancy in the meaning. The conclusion of the Gita is very clear. Nowhere it is said in the Gita that Krsna is the supreme Godhead only theoretically. Why was this passage edited like this?