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See! I told you they could do it! Print it!

Nanda Kumar: Brahmananda Swami came from New York where the press was to see Srila Prabhupada at his home in Beverly Hills, a few miles from the temple, which was on La Cienega Blvd. at that time. He brought some of the initial work with him of Srila Prabhupada's new Bhagavad Gita they were working on.

He was in Srila Prabhupada's room going over various details of the printing, when Srila Prabhupada rang his bell, which was the method he used to call his servant. I went in, and after paying my obeisances and sitting up, Srila Prabhupada handed me a piece of paper with Sanskrit and the English transliteration of one of the Bhagavad Gita verses, and said, "Read this!" None of us had seen the Sanskrit and transliterations yet, since it was not even decided yet whether to put it in the upcoming Bhagavad Gita. Brahmananda Swami had been of the opinion that it should not be included, saying he thought the western devotees wouldn't be able to chant properly.

I was an early reader as a child, and had a natural ability somehow to put letters into sounds. I still remember the first word I read one Sunday morning while sitting in bed with my parents. I was three at the time, and must have heard the word somehow, like in the news, I don't remember. As I sat between my parents in their bed while they looked at the newspaper, I said to my mother, "Mommy, does that say Czechoslovakia?" Both of my parents were so surprised that I was able to read like that. We all have different blessings from Krishna, that was one of mine, to read at a young age.

Anyway, when His Divine Grace gave me the sloka to read, I'm sure it wasn't perfect, but it was good enough for Srila Prabhupada to say very enthusiastically to Brahmananda Swami, "See! I told you they could do it! Print it!" So Brahmananda took the manuscript back to New York and they continued to work on publishing Srila Prabhupada's new edition of Bhagavad Gita As It Is.

When the first copy was printed, Brahmananda Swami came to see Srila Prabhupada again and brought that first copy to offer him. He was very kind and said to me, "Since you were the guinea pig on the issue of to use or not to use the Sanskrit and English transliteration, you should give this to him." He handed me the copy in the picture, and we went into Srila Prabhupada's room, along with a photographer to document this most wonderful moment.

After we all paid our obeisances, I said, "Srila Prabhupada, here is your first Bhagavad Gita As It Is with Sanskrit." and handed him the book. He took it and immediately paid his obeisances as seen in the picture, along with a resounding, "JAI!"

Reference: Facebook post of Nanda Kumar Dasa