Answer by His Grace Chaitanya Charan Das, http://www.thespiritualscientist.com
This is a very old and unnecessary controversy, all the points of which have been thoroughly dealt with on the site bbtedit.com
Specifically for the Gita changes, these three links painstakingly explain the hundreds of editing changes done and respond to the critic’s points.
Bhagavad-gita Revisions Explained – Part 1
Bhagavad-gita Revisions Explained – Part 2
Bhagavad-gita Revisions Explained – Part 3
The basic problem is that the critic assumes the unedited book to be a gospel truth, but that unedited first print was based on the manuscript of Srla Prabhupada and that print had some errors.
So the edited book differs from the unedited book not because it distorts Prabhupada’s message but because it returns to that message as it was originally given in his manuscript.
Pl see the example below.
2.8: Consult Krsna through the bona fide representative
PUBLISHED EDITIONS ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT
[Purport (last line of paragraph 4)]
…they can achieve real happiness only if they consult Krsna, or the Bhagavad-gita andSrimad-Bhagavatam—which constitute the science of Krsna—or through the bona fide representative of Krsna, the man in Krsna consciousness.
. . . they can achieve real happiness if they prefee to consult Krsna or the Bhaga vat Geeta or Srimad Bhagwatam which are science of Krsna from the bonafide representative of Krsna or the man in Krsna consciousness.
BY A CRITIC:
It’s only one word changed, but what a difference! In Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita we can understand Krsna by reading the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, after all the books are not different from Krsna!! But Jayadvaita has adjusted everything for us…[The critic ends here.]
BY JAYADVAITA SWAMI:
The critic is right: That one word does make a difference.
In Srila Prabhupada’s original manuscript, one is advised to consult Krsna or the scripturesfrom Krsna’s representative—that is, through him, or with his help. As Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport to Chapter One, text 1, “one should read Bhagavad-gita very scrutinizingly with the help of a person who is a devotee of Sri Krsna. . . ”
In the First Edition one is advised to consult Krsna and the scriptures or Krsna’s representative—an either/or proposition.
I leave it to you decide which advice better matches Srila Prabhupada’s original manuscript and better gets across his intended meaning.