prabhupada inspecting his own books

Srila Prabhupada explains the history of the McMillan 1972 unabridged Gita
Originally I wrote Bhagavad-gita As It Is in the form in which it is presented now. When this book was first published, the original manuscript was, unfortunately, cut short to less than 400 pages, without illustrations and without explanations for most of the original verses of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

In all of my other books — Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Ishopanishad,etc. — the system is that I give the original verse, its English transliteration, word-for-word Sanskrit-English equivalents, translations and purports. This makes the book very authentic and scholarly and makes the meaning self-evident.

I was not very happy, therefore, when I had to minimize my original manuscript. But later on, when the demand for Bhagavad-gita As It Is considerably increased, I was requested by many scholars and devotees to present the book in its original form, and Messrs. Macmillan and Co. agreed to publish the complete edition. Thus the present attempt is to offer the original manuscript of this great book of knowledge with full parampara explanation in order to establish the Krishna consciousness movement more soundly and progressively.
                                                                                                       ————Bhagavad-gita As It Is (1972), Bg: Preface 

Srila Prabhupada – My only credit..
If personally I have any credit in this matter, it is only that I have tried to present Bhagavad-gita as it is, without adulteration. Before my presentation of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, almost all the English editions of Bhagavad-gita were introduced to fulfill someone's personal ambition. But our attempt, in presenting Bhagavad-gita As It Is,is to present the mission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna.

Our business is to present the will of Krishna, not that of any mundane speculator like the politician, philosopher or scientist, for they have very little knowledge of Krishna, despite all their other knowledge. When Krishna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru,etc., we, unlike the so-called scholars, do not say that Krishna and His inner spirit are different. Krishna is absolute, and there is no difference between Krishna's name, Krishna's form, Krishna's quality, Krishna's pastimes, etc. This absolute position of Krishna is difflcult to understand for any person who is not a devotee of Krishna in the parampara (disciplic succession) system.

                                                                                                         ————Bhagavad-gita As It Is (1972), Bg: Preface 

Srila Prabhupada explains his purpose in presenting the current edition of the Bhagavad Gita

Our only purpose is to present this Bhagavad-gita As It Is in order to guide the conditioned student to the same purpose for which Krishna descends to this planet once in a day of Brahma, or every 8,600,000,000 years. This purpose is stated in Bhagavad-gita, and we have to accept it as it is; otherwise there is no point in trying to understand the Bhagavad-gita and its speaker, Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna first spoke Bhagavad-gita to the sun-god some hundreds of millions of years ago.

We have to accept this fact and thus understand the historical significance of Bhagavad-gita, without misinterpretation, on the authority of Krishna. To interpret Bhagavad-gita without any reference to the will of Krishna is the greatest offense. In order to save oneself from this offense, one has to understand the Lord as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as He was directly understood by Arjuna, Lord Krishna's first disciple. Such understanding of Bhagavad-gita is really profitable and authorized for the welfare of human society in fulfilling the mission of life. 

                                                                                                        ————Bhagavad-gita As It Is (1972), Bg: Preface 

Here the Lord informs Arjuna that this system of yoga, the Bhagavad-gita, was first spoken to the sun-god, and the sun-god explained it to Manu, and Manu explained it to Ikshvaku, and in that way, by disciplic succession, one speaker after another, this yoga system has been coming down. But in the course of time it has become lost. Consequently the Lord has to speak it again, this time to Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra.

                                                                                                ————Bhagavad-gita As It Is (1972), Bg: introduction

Srila Prabhupada – We should accept Sri Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Therefore Bhagavad-gita should be taken up in a spirit of devotion. One should not think that he is equal to Krishna, nor should he think that Krishna is an ordinary personality or even a very great personality.

Lord Sri Krishna 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 Krishna 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.

                                                                                                  ————Bhagavad-gita As It Is (1972), Bg: introduction

The word vilasa is very important. Vilasa refers to the activities or pastimes of the Lord. It is a prescribed duty in temple worship that not only should one visit the temple to see the Deity nicely decorated, but at the same time he should hear the recitation of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita or some similar literature, which is regularly recited in the temple. It is the system in Vrindavana that in every temple there is recitation of the shastras.

Even third-class devotees who have no literary knowledge or no time to read Srimad-Bhagavatam or Bhagavad-gita get the opportunity to hear about the pastimes of the Lord. In this way their minds may remain always absorbed in the thought of the Lord — His form, His activities and His transcendental nature. This state of Krishna consciousness is a liberated stage.

Lord Chaitanya, therefore, recommended five important processes in the discharge of devotional service: ​

(1) to chant the holy names of the Lord, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,

(2) to associate with devotees and serve them as far as possible,

(3) to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam,

(4) to see the decorated temple and the Deity and, if possible,

(5) to live in a place like Vrindavana or Mathura.

These five items alone can help a devotee achieve the highest perfectional stage. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita and here in the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

That third-class devotees can also imperceptibly achieve liberation is accepted in all Vedic literatures.

                                                                                                               ————Srimad Bhagavatam 3.25.36 : Purport