Published on July 24th, 2023 | by Madhudvisa dasa


Installing Original Books Prabhupada Vedabase on your Computer

What is the Vedabase?

Older devotees will remember the “Vedabase”. Vedabase, a computer database of the books, letters and audio transcripts of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was released by Bhaktivedanta Archives originally in the 1990s.

Previously, before the Vedabase, if one wanted to find Prabhupada quotes on a particular subject that was quite difficult. One would need to read through all of Prabhupada’s books and letters and conversations and compile the quotes in that way.

However, once the Prabhupada Vedabase was released devotees could just type in their search queries and immediately get a list of Prabhupada quotes relevant to their keywords.

This was truly a revolution, empowering devotees to quickly search for and find all the relevant quotations from Prabhupada on the topics they wanted to research.

History — The MS-DOS Vedabase

Initially the Prabhupada Vedabase was released as an MS-DOS application using the Folio Views program. Folio Views was developed by the Mormans to store all their church teachings and make them easily accessible to their members. And it turns out that Folio Views was a uniquely perfect application for searching within the teachings of Srila Prabhupada also.

Although we have searched widely, we have never been able to find any other software application that comes close to the power and flexibility of Folio Views for searching within the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.

It takes a little while to get used to how the searching works. It is quite different from a Google search. Folio Views does not really search in documents, it searches in “folios” and for the purpose of the Vedabase folios are generally paragraphs of text.

The default action of a Folio Views search is it returns all the “folios” that contain all the words you type in a search query. So you can type as many words as you need to to refine the search results down to a reasonable number.

This is not meant to be an instruction book, how to use it, I will provide a link to that below in the description of the Windows version.

From the beginning Bhaktivedanta Archives, instead of actually providing the original books of Srila Prabhupada, as you would imagine an archive would, they included the most up-to-date unauthorized changed versions of Prabhupada’s books hot off  the BBT editors desks. They were publishing such modern versions of Prabhupada’s books in the Vedabase that the versions appearing in the Vedabase had more changes than even the most recently printed BBT books…

Of course the devotees interested in the original teachings of Srila Prabhupada were not very happy about that so we immediately released an MS-DOS Vedabase containing the original books of Srila Prabhupada, or at least the closest we could get at that time to the original books. If you have a Windows computer you can still run that original MS-DOS program we released in the 1990s:

MS-DOS vedabase

This is the final version of MS-DOS Vedabase that we released in 1998. After you install it you will find two new applications in your programs list:

  • Vedabase
  • Vedabase Diac

They are identical except Vedabase has got plain text and Vedabase Diac will display the diacritical characters. It is more practical to use the Vedabase version for searching because searching becomes very difficult with the diacritical version.

It is quite self explanatory. Basically you just press the space key to do a search and search window pops up and you start typing words and the result will include all the folios [paragraphs] that contain all the words you have typed. There are more advanced search options, but this is the basic idea: press the space key and type in your search words.

The Windows Vedabase

After Windows was introduced Vedabase was updated to use the Folio Views windows application.


Expanding Vedabase to Include Prabhupada Disciples

Bhaktivedanta Archives expanded the idea of Vedabase. Originally Vedabase was a database of the teachings of Srila Prabhupada but they expanded it to a database of all of Prabhupada’s disciples teachings, and Prabhupada’s teachings all bundled up together.

So now, when you search in the Vedabase, you get so many results, but there is no way to see who is speaking, if the results are from Prabhuapda, or the results are from Prabhupada’s disciples…

Our argument was that, “Sure, there may be some benefit in some of these extra books you have added, but please keep it in a separate database.” So for some time Bhaktivedanta Archives did that, they released a Prabhupada Vedabase and a Disciples Vedabase. But after some time they decided to merge everything. So when you do a search in the Vedabase now, you will not get just Prabhuapda results, you will get all his disciples results mixed up.

The Original Prabhupada Books Vedabase

So a need was felt among many of the disciples of Srila Prabhupada to produce a Prabhupada only Windows Vedabase with the original first edition books and teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Madhusudana Prabhu from UK has been working very hard on this over the years and the version of the Vedabase in the download below is his most recent “Original Books Vedabase”.

It has always been a little difficult to install this and generally, these days, devotees are not able to install any version of the Vedabase, even the Bhaktivedanta Archives version, on their computers. So the purpose of this post is to provide you an easy way to get Prabhupada’s Original Books Vedabase running on your computer.

How to Install the Windows Original Books Vedabase on your Computer

Vedabase is a Windows application and it is not very easy these days to install it on Mac computers. The only real way would be to install windows using some sort of virtual machine platform then install Vedabase in Windows on your Mac.

We are using Vedabase 2003 install system so to make it work the Original Books Vedabase has been renamed to:

Bhaktivedanta Vedabase 2003.nfo (this is actually Original Books Vedabase Version 3.)

All you need to do to install it on Windows is download and unzip the following two files:

Original Books Vedabase


If you have any version of Windows Vedabase already installed you need to uninstall it.

If you have got other infobases [.nfo files] you should be able to open them also in this version of Folio Views.

First unzip “Original Books Vedabase” and find the setup.exe file and double-click on it. That will launch the Vedabase Installer:

Then you go through the install screens accepting the defaults.

That will install Original Books Vedabase on your computer in the folder:
c:/Bhaktivedanta VedaBase 2003

Then you need to install the Vedabase Fonts. So just unzip that file and open up the fonts in Windows explorer and open the fonts control panel and drag the Vedabase fonts onto it to install them.

Then it is recommended that you restart your computer.

The installed program is called “Bhaktivedanta Vedabase 2003”. So just launch this program:

So everything should be displaying correctly as long as you have installed the Vedabase fonts on your computer EXCEPT in the left column the table of contents font is not correct.

To fix this you need to go to Tools > Options and change the Infobase View Font to ScaHelvetica:

So now everything should be installed and working.

If you have any problems let me know in the comments on this post and we can sort it out.



About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna." I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can. That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental! That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!

10 Responses to Installing Original Books Prabhupada Vedabase on your Computer

  1. A says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

    Please accept my humble obeisances.
    Would you happen to know how to download Vedabase 2003 for MacBook?

    Thank you for your help, Prabhuji

    Hare Krishna!

    • You can check out the Bhaktivedanta Archives site []

      There may be issues with trying to us it with newer Macs. It is a PC program actually. So you can always run the PC version on a Mac using some virtual machine platform, so you install Windows in a Virtual Machine on your Mac and then install the Windows Folio there…

  2. Chaitanya Metrani says:

    Hare Krishna Prb,

    There is no 11th and 12th cantos in this Veda base.

    • Prabhupada did not translate the 11th and 12th cantos. So there is no Prabhupada 11th or 12th canto and if anyone is trying to sell you a “Prabhupada” Bhagavatam set that contains the 11th and 12th cantos THEY ARE CHEATING YOU. DON’T HAVE ANYTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH SUCH CHEATERS!

      Everything is in Prabhupada’s books, so just read what Prabhupada has given us. You don’t need anything else.

      Only a pure devotee of Krishna can understand Krishna actually, and without understanding Krishna it is impossible to write or translate Vaisnava literature, so all these other books, including Srimad-Bhagavatam 11th and 12th cantos translated by persons who are not pure devotees of Krishna are useless and will only confuse you and will be great obstacles for your advancement in Krishna consciousness if your are so unfortunate to read them.

      And anyone selling such poisonous nonsense, and presenting it as “Prabhupadas Bhagavatam”, they are the greatest cheaters and your should have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with them.

  3. Anish Bhaskaran says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu

    Setup pops up error message as “please make sure disk in drive
    Following file cannot be found

    Despite downloading; MSDOS Vedabase
    Original Books Vedabase
    Vedabase Fonts

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      There are 2 versions Prabhu. MS-DOS version is very old version and may not be compatible with current windows. I don’t know. I have not tried to install it for some time.

      So please try installing the Windows version which is further down on the page. I think you will find that will work.

      IF not please let me know.

  4. Pranay Tony says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

    Is,, a reliable authorized site?

  5. N.J.Vignesh says:

    Very Nicely Working. All Glories to You Prabhu. You will be blessed with Srila Prabhupada and Lord Sri Krishna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Jai Srila Prabhupada.

  6. Hrishikesh says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    Please accept my humble obeisances.
    Thank ypu for uploading a new version of Vedabase. The previous version of Vedabase software which was uploaded was not working after windows 7 OS.

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