Under the direction of ISKCON Founder-Acharya A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust became one of the world’s largest publishers of any kind, although publishing only literature related to ancient Indian culture. Printing runs of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is alone numbered in the millions, and Srimad-Bhagavatam (completed up to 10 cantos) rolled off the presses beginning with more than 990,000 of the first volume alone. Then followed the 17-volume Chaitanya-charitamrita. Meanwhile, many smaller books, such as Science of Self Realization, Beyond Birth and Death, Perfection of Yoga, Life Comes from Life and many others were printed and distributed in the millions worldwide in English and 28 languages. But the printing of the Srimad-Bhagavatam was a stupendously enormous undertaking. It has been reprinted several times in English and other major languages. In 1982, distribution shifted from moving single volumes to entire sets. The Bhagavatam was then reprinted in Singapore, and the job took up the space equivalent in size to a football field, with 30 volumes simultaneously going to print.
One reason for the explosive growth of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust at the time was that the arrival of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and beginning of the Hare Krishna movement coincided with the 1970’s cultural revolution among the youths of the West, who were newly fascinated with all things Oriental, and here were these intriguing books resplendent with full-color illustrations, original Sanskrit text, romanized transliteration, poetic translations and compelling purports—the ancient Vedic literature of India, which had never been available before in the West, all at once became accessible to anyone and everyone. So partly it was the novelty and exotic appeal of the books that made them so attractive.
But more than that, the books sold on the merit of substance, the more so as people observed that the disciples of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada were serious about implementing his teachings in their own lives and were diligently laying the groundwork to set up practical, living models of the Vedic way of life as a positive alternative to the materialistic way of the West.
Scholars and dignitaries around the world took note and appreciated Srila Prabhupada’s books as the most authoritative, scholarly and bona fide presentations of Indian philosophy, literature and religion. The books of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada have been widely used in college courses and seminars in diverse subjects, including philosophy, religion, world literature, history and the social sciences. The following reviews, written by Indian as well as Western scholars renowned in their fields, provide clear testimony. Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, is the leading ambassador of genuine Indian culture to the world at large.
View a listing of the literary and spiritual legacy of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Click on the links below to view Institutions of Higher Learning, Public Libraries and Private Libraries and Others worldwide who have placed orders for whole sets of Srimad-Bhagavatam and/or Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. These lists are by no means complete.