Tuesday, February 27, 2018

RE: Impounding Srila Prabhupada's books (update)

For those following the debacle in India regarding the GBC's using the courts for impounding a printing of box-sets of the original Srimad Bhagavatams, there has been further discussion amongst the participants that we want to share.

To summarize, Jitarati Prabhu, negotiating through an intermediary offered to donate the entire printing of the 5,000 sets held by court order to the BBT Archives. The profits from their sale would be split between future printings of the Bhagavatam and building a world-class facility for the Bhaktivedanta Archives.

This flies in the face of a recurring reprimand by many devotees that half of the funds be dedicated to the printing of books, with the remainder devoted to Iskcon construction -- an instruction levelled by Srila Prabhupada towards the BBT -- but not being followed by the publishers of the original books. This pledge invalidates that criticism.

Indeed, Bhima Prabhu, head of BBT India, has admitted that no funds have ever been directed for construction projects in India from his organization. So Jitarati’s 50/50 pledge is groundbreaking and respects Prabhupada’s instruction while simultaneously highlighting the lack of fidelity to Srila Prabhupada by the BBT(s).

In addition, Jitarati offers to set up a distribution network to sell the books and pledges to continue for future printings; to begin printing the books with the BBT; not to keep any of the profit for himself; and to take responsibility for marketing the books throughout the world. What more could a legitimate follower of Srila Prabhupada ask for?

Excerpts from the original emails follows:

Subject: Re: Prayed for settlement and release of Srila Prabhupada's Srimad
Bhagavatam sets from seizure by High Court.

One possible proposal by Jitarati is that he donates all the 5,000 sets already printed to the Bhaktivedanta Archives and that in order for the Archives to achieve its goal of building a proper Archive and Prabhupada museum building and other important archival work to preserve Prabhupada's legacy, that this becomes a special Archive fund raising project with full BBT participation. We will always print with BBT and Jitarati's service will be to set up a sales force and manage the printing to ensure the standards are kept. 

The Archives can also sell to ISKCON which will ensure that ISKCON supply its own market and reduce the chance of conflict with our other outside sales force. Jitarati can help train the ISKCON devotees also to sell in high volume and the overall goal to support the Archives will be the driving factor for all. The profits on sales will be divided one half to the Archives and one half back to printing more books which is exactly the formula that Prabhupada gave. Jitarati will take nothing and cover his own expenses involved.

The following is (BBT's) Bhima's response:

“The above sounds interesting and funding for the archives is needed. Can we explore more of this proposal by asking some questions? Can Jitarati and myself talk today?” Ys Bhima Das

However, after consulting with the BBT Trustees, Bhima's optimism fizzled:
"Well the BBT devotees are ready to have the donation to the Archives. They will take care of the distribution and make sure that the proceeds go to the Archives. They are not interested in having a perpetual arrangement. Where the Archives keep this set in stock. But agree bbt should keep the pre 78 in stock [sic]."

Currently, the BBTI has undertaken only one printing of the original Bhagavad Gita As It Is, and has shown no interest in 25 other literatures produced by KBI, all undeniable, bonafide, original works of Srila Prabhupada. They want the funds from the sale of the Bhagavatam box-set, without committing to future reprints or continued funding of the Bhaktivedanta Archives.
This induced the following comment from Jitarati:

“I had held a glimmer of hope, but now it is clear that you people will not even help your own Archives because of silly politics or perhaps something even more sinister. This was the last chance of cooperation as I have surrendered everything and you are not willing to give even a pinhead. At least now the world can see without a shadow of doubt the agenda of the BBT trustees, even if you cannot see it yourself. Thanks for trying. Hare Krishna!”
It is inconceivable that Srila Prabhupada would have refused such an offer. Where is the downside? Jitarati will invest hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to cover printing costs, supervise the printing and direct sales, take nothing for himself, place thousands upon thousands of Prabhupada’s books in the hands of countless conditioned souls, while funding the Bhaktivedanta Archives. 

There certainly is something wrong here and the fault seems to fall squarely on the shoulders of Bhima and the BBT Trustees. Let us pray they come to their senses as this is ridiculous and void of Krishna consciousness.

[PADA: Right, the GBC has in a number of their locations NO original books of Srila Prabhupada. They simply have not shown a whole lot of interest in this item for now or for the future. It does look like our independent devotees, those "outside the framework of the ISKCON institution" will have to keep interest in the original books printings alive, since the desire to have the original edition books is apparently dying within the institutional structure. 

Anyway its another indication of the deteriorated state of the upper levels managers of ISKCON, they do not care if bogus people are substituted to become their "2/3 show of hands voted in" gurus and they apparently do not care if bogus books are substituted for real books either. Its just adding more and more water to the milk, eventually there is no longer any milk, its another product. Its really sad that these people hold the legal and financial controls over so much of Srila Prabhupada's legacy, when they are squandering it over trifles and foolishness. ys pd]  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.