Prabhupada had instructed him to chant Hare Krishna before he read poetry, and Allen used to do that. He gave Prabhupada a harmonium, which he had brought from India. He also gave donations, and he was helping with Prabhupada's immigration papers. Allen sent Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita manuscript to his publishers, but they rejected it. He sent it to some other publishers, and they also rejected it. After about six months of trying, he lost interest.
Prabhupada gave the manuscript to Rayrama, who was the editor of Back to Godhead magazine. Rayrama sent it to academic publishers, and again everyone rejected it. He gave up. Then Prabhupada gave the manuscript to me. By that time I could see that this book had no commercial value. Every page was Krishna consciousness. I thought, "If you are not Krishna conscious and you are not interested in Krishna consciousness, you are not going to be interested in this commentary." There was no fancy poetry, no scholarly footnotes, no academics, and no esoteric things. I had no faith, and I didn't know what to do. I went to bookstores and the library to learn how to get a book published.
In the meantime, Prabhupada had recorded the Hare Krishna record, which the Beatles eventually got interested in, and the record was doing well. One alternative radio station, WBAI, played it over and over again for ten hours.
I used to get the mail, bring it to Prabhupada, and he and I would go over it together. He would dictate the answer, and I would take notes. One day an order came for the record front he world-wide publishing company, MacMillan. The order was on MacMillan letterhead, and a check was included. I rushed to Prabhupada and said, "Prabhupada, someone's written from MacMillan!" I didn't know what to do. I was helpless. Prabhupada had to tell us everything. Prabhupada thought for a while and then said, "You personally bring the record tomorrow. Tell the person that you have a Bhagavad-gita that you want to publish." I said, "Okay. Should I bring the manuscript with me?" He said, "Just tell them." I said, "Okay. But I have to say something about you as the author. Maybe I should bring some of the books you published in India." He said, "No. Just tell them that you have a Bhagavad-gita to publish." I said, "Okay."
The next day I dressed in a suit and tie and went uptown to the MacMillan Company skyscraper. The person who bought the record was an accountant. He added numbers and had nothing to do with publishing. I was thinking, "How am I going to tell him? What am I going to tell him?" We were talking about the record and the mantra and I was bewildered. Then the door opened and all of a sudden the accountant said, "This is James Wade. He is our senior editor." I shook hands with Mr. Wade, looked him right in the face, and said, "I have a Bhagavad-gita to publish." He said, "A Bhagavad-gita?" I said, "Yes. Yes." He said, "That's exactly what I am looking for to fill out our religion section. I've got Buddhism, the Koran ... We have everything, but we don't have a Bhagavad-gita. We will publish it."
I couldn't believe what had happened. He agreed to publish it without seeing the manuscript. Everyone else had rejected it for whatever reason, and here he accepted it without even seeing it. I flew back to Prabhupada and told him the news. I was so excited. Prabhupada nodded as if he had expected it.