It is believed that Bhaktivedanta Swami’s most significant contribution are his books.
Within the final twenty years of his life, Bhaktivedanta Swami translated over sixty volumes of classic Vedic scriptures (such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam) into the English language.
For their authority, depth, and clarity, his books have won praise from professors at colleges and universities like Harvard, Oxford, Cornell, Columbia, Syracuse, Oberlin, and Edinburgh.
His Bhagavad-Gita As It Is was published by Macmillan Publishers, in 1968 and unabridged edition in 1972, and is now available in over sixty languages around the world and some other books by Bhaktivedanta Swami are available in over eighty different languages.
The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust was established in 1972 to publish his works, it has also published massively researched multivolume biography, Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta, that in opinion of Larry Shinn will “certainly be one of the most complete records of the life and work of any modern religious figure”.
Prabhupada reminded his devotees before his disappearance that he would live forever in his books, and through them would remain present as a spiritual master or guru. Bhaktivedanta Swami had instilled in his followers an understanding of the importance of writing and publishing not only with regard to his works, but also their own initiatives. His early disciples felt Prabhupada had given them Back To Godhead for their own writings from the very start.
A prominent Gaudiya Vaishnava figure, Shrivatsa Goswami, who as a young man had met Bhaktivedanta Swami in 1972, affirmed the significance of book publishing and distribution in spreading the message of Caitanya in an interview with Steven Gelberg: