The Actual, Legal Identity Of The BBT

Accuracy Of These Statements
The Actual, Legal Identity Of The BBT
From: Bhima Das (Malaysia)

Dear Gaura Prabhu, obeisances for you, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Hansadutta has asked me to reply to your email and the statements of Smara Hari Prabhu. I would like to point out that Smara Hari’s account is fraught with inaccuracies, particularly with regard to the actual, legal identity of the BBT. Like the many curious wonders produced by the churning of the ocean of milk, there were several important take-aways from the BBT court case of 1997:

• Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. was not and is not the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.
• The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust created by Srila Prabhupada in 1972 was a valid, legal trust.
• Srila Prabhupada vested it with the copyrights to all his books, manuscripts and other documents written by and translated by himself, including copyrights and publication rights.
• Prabhupada appointed Hansadutta as a lifetime trustee of his trust.
• There were only ever 3 trustees at a time, although provision was made in the trust for 5. Srila Prabhupada was himself one of them, and upon his departure, there remained two.
• There were many people claiming to be BBT Trustees who were never trustees of Prabhupada’s BBT.
• ISKCON GBC had no legal mandate or power to direct or interfere with the operation of Prabhupada’s BBT.
• ISKCON and the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. had taken over the publishing operations of Prabhupada’s BBT and diverted the proceeds from it.
• Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. never owned the copyrights to Prabhupada’s books.

I’d like to clarify here that in this post, ‘BBTstands for Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, whereas ‘BBT International, Inc’ stands for Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. They are not one and the same. In fact, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. is not even a trust — it’s a corporation.

While there are different kinds of trusts, in principle, a trust is established for the benefit of someone(s). The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust created by Srila Prabhupada in California, May, 1972 was Srila Prabhpada’s legal construct to carry out his intentions while still living and afterwards, in perpetuity, and his designated trustees were entrusted to execute the functions of the trust for the benefit of ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada explicitly stated that the BBT was independent of ISKCON, although he needn’t have stated it, because a beneficiary of a trust DOES NOT OWN the trust and has no say in its execution. The trust belongs to the creator of the trust, Srila Prabhupada.

Practically from the time of Srila Prabhupada’s departure in 1977 until 1980 book printing had come to a halt. There were stocks of books that were being distributed, but printing had stopped, and gradually stocks declined. Sometime between 1980 and 1981 a dispute arose between Ramesvara and Hansadutta over funds that Ramesvara claimed were owed to the BBT by temples under Hansadutta’s management. In 1982 Hansadutta published 20,000 sets of Srimad-Bhagavatam in Singapore for distribution through contract sales. He also printed at the same time 10,000 of the black hard-copy Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 10,000 copies of the pocket size black vinyl Bhagavad-gita As It is, and 10,000 copies each of the pocket size newsprint Bhagavad-gita As It Is and hardcover Golden Avatar (Teachings of Lord Chaitanya).  Ramesvara, who was never a BBT Trustee, moved to boycott the books in North American ISKCON centres and in other centres around the world, including Mayapur. Sometime in 1983 ISKCON GBC passed a resolution to remove Hansadutta as trustee of the BBT (and please note that while Hansadutta was sanctioned for lapses in strictly following the regulative principles of devotional life, he was not involved in criminal activity). They also passed a resolution to transfer the copyrights to Srila Prabhuapda’s books from the BBT to a corporation. THEIR RESOLUTIONS DID NOT EFFECT LEGAL REMOVAL OF THE TRUSTEE  AND COPYRIGHTS FROM PRABHUPADA’S BBT because they never had legal standing to do so. 

Shortly afterwards Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. was incorporated and assumed operation of publishing Srila Prabhupada’s books. Legally, however, it had no connection whatsoever to Srila Prabhupada’s BBT. They simply tagged the same name onto their corporation. Prior to this, Ramesvara informed the GBC that ISKCON of California, Inc had been carrying out BBT functions under the fictitious business name ‘BBT’. The rank and file devotees had no knowledge of any of this and for that matter, probably most of the GBC had no clue either. No doubt they thought that the BBT was going on and that ISKCON GBC had authority over it. ISKCON never had legal authority to direct, appoint or remove the trustees or to take over operations of the trust or to seize its assets and properties. They created BBT International, Inc. as a smokescreen, an illusory device for taking over Srila Prabhupada’s trust and bypassing the trustee. BBT International, Inc was a California corporation – not a trust, and had directors – not trustees. Most importantly, it owned neither the copyrights to Prabhupada’s books nor the publishing rights.

Smara Hari Prabhu says that Hansadutta was bootlegging. Who were the real bootleggers? In 1992 BBT International, Inc. sued Bhima das in Singapore for copyright infringement of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. The court case dragged on for several years, but ultimately BBT International, Inc had to withdraw their legal action when they were unable to provide evidence that they owned the copyrights.  Why? Because it came to light that BBT International Inc was not at all the same entity as Srila Prabhupada’s BBT and they were unable to show how the copyrights that had been invested in the trust came to be transferred to BBT International, Inc.

After withdrawing from the Singapore court case,  in 1997 ISKCON and BBT International, Inc. sued Prabhupada’s BBT and Hansadutta in California, asking the court to declare that Prabhupada’s BBT was never valid, that it never held the copyrights to Prabhupada’s books, and that Hansadutta had never been a trustee. The litigation process involves what is called ‘discovery’, wherein both parties seek to obtain information from each other which might shed further light on the facts of the case. As part of this process, ISKCON and BBT International, Inc. declared that Prabhupada had never owned the copyrights to his books because they were ‘works for hire’ that actually belonged to ISKCON. They claimed that ISKCON ‘employees’ had worked on the books and ISKCON had supplied ‘them’ with room and board, paper, pencil and equipment for that purpose. Srila Prabhupada was not even named as the author of his own books! No name! According to their response, he was only one of the employees. Here is the exact wording they used in their answer:

–QUOTEIn answer to Interrogatory No 14:
ISKCON, Inc. did business under the names “Bhaktivedanta Book Trust” and “BBT” from roughly 1971 until 1976. During the relevant time period (1966 through 1976) Srila Prabhupada’s books, including all artwork, glossaries and elaborate purports, were “works for hire” created by ISKCON, Inc. ISKCON, Inc. owned common law copyrights in them from the time they were created, and became the owner of Federal copyrights as soon as they were published with a copyright notice.

In answer to Interrogatory No 19:
BBT* believes that ISKCON, Inc. owned the copyrights outright because the works in question were “works for hire” created by ISKCON, Inc. ISKCON, Inc. supplied the employees who worked on the books with their materials and equipment. ISKCON, Inc. also supplied each of them with room and board and with a stipend for personal or family expenses. Such employees included those who worked in the art department, photography department, Sanskrit editors, Bengali editors, design and layout specialists, and proof readers, among others.

*Note that ‘BBT’ in their response refers to BBT International, Inc.

Smara Hari Prabhu appears to accept their response as valid. Granted, ‘works for hire’ applies where employees create content that belongs to their employer. But Srila Prabhupada is the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON. ISKCON was his creation, and certainly he was never an employee of ISKCON. Their argument amounts to saying the Srila Prabhupada was only a hired worker of ISKCON. Does Smara Hari Prabhu really not understand that this is aparadhabelittling of Srila Prabhupada?

Around the time when BBT International, Inc. sued us in Singapore, devotees who were known to question the GBC’s decisions and authority and argued the merits of ritvik initiation were blacklisted and were not allowed to purchase books from ISKCON or BBT International, Inc. Additionally, Jayadvaita Swami and his team had begun work to revise all of Srila Prabhupada’s books, and both BBT International and ISKCON stopped printing and distributing the original books and made available only the revised books. Many devotees were alarmed at what they regarded as intellectual and spiritual dishonesty of Jayadvaita Swami in presuming to edit Srila Prabhupada’s books, defying Srila Prabhupada’s own directive not to change them. Besides this, the ‘changed books’ were being foisted upon the public without any notice of the many revisions to not only grammar and spelling, but to meaning as well.  So there was concern that the original books of Srila Prabhupada were out of print, as well as grave concern about preserving the integrity of Srila Prabhupada’s books for generations to come. Think about this when you hear devotees speak about how ISKCON and BBT might not have followed the letter of the law but followed the spirit of Prabhupada’s instructions. Did they really?

To illustrate this point, here’s a little story that has been told before, but deserves telling again. At one point during the BBT court case, the judge ordered both parties to enter into settlement negotiation. Amarendra prabhu, who was representing ISKCON, asked Hansadutta why it mattered who did the work of the BBT – why did he care whether it was BBT or BBT International, Inc – since all that really mattered was that Prabhupada’s books were being printed and distributed. Hansadutta replied, ‘Suppose I take your wife and do all the things with her that you do, and maybe even better, why should that matter to you?’ Amarendra was speechless.

Why did Srila Prabhupada decide upon the structure of a trust rather than a corporation for his book publishing mission? Why didn’t he simply incorporate it to begin with? One basic but important principle of a trust is that the trust preserves the intentions and instructions of the trust creator, or settlor — in the case of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, for perpetuity — and while a trust always has a beneficiary, the beneficiary has no direct control over the trust. For example, someone might create a trust for his grandchildren. He appoints a trustee to manage the trust, and the trustee pays out funds to the grandchildren in accordance with the terms of the trust. Sometimes it happens that beneficiaries assert that they are entitled to the trust property and try to seize it illegally. Courts do not look kindly upon beneficiaries who bypass the trustee and hijack the trust. Courts respect and uphold the express wishes of the original creator of the trust and the authority of the trustee(s), unless it’s proven that they have violated their fiduciary duty — but even then, courts do not hand over the trust to the beneficiaries; they appoint a new trustee.  Corporations, on the other hand, change directors by votes and can rewrite articles of constitution as it suits them. Evidently Srila Prabhupada decided that a trust would more effectively safeguard the publishing of his books than a corporation would, and he made it clear that ISKCON, the beneficiary, was to keep its hands off the trust.

When Srila Prabhupada appointed Hansadutta as BBT trustee in 1974, Hansadutta asked him why he had chosen him. Srila Prabhupada answered, ‘The temples may fail, the devotees may fail, but my books will live forever.’

Now, devotees might think that ISKCON and BBT are authorities unto themselves, above man-made laws. ISKCON and BBT told the story that they had to take on the court case in order to protect BBT from the ‘rogue’ Hansadutta. On the contrary, Hansadutta was not acting as a rogue, nor was he trying to be ‘clever’, as Smara Hari suggests, but he stood up to respect and uphold the wishes of Srila Prabhupada, to defend the BBT, and to protect the integrity of Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Devotees around the world owe a debt of gratitude to Hansadutta for continued access to Srila Prabhupada’s original books, which are published by KBI under license. BBT International, Inc has long since ceased publication of Srila Prabhupada’s original books and ISKCON has practically banned them from its premises. If not for Hansadutta’s defence of Prabhupada’s BBT, devotees today would not be able to buy the original books of Srila Prabhupada. So think again if you are of the mind that ISKCON and BBT International, Inc have acted in good faith and executed Srila Prabhupada’s directives.

Let’s look again at the performance of ISKCON and  BBT International, Inc as caretakers of Srila Prabhupada’s mission:

• thwarted the BBT trustee Hansadutta from carrying out his duties
• scuppered Srila Prabhupada’s Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
• belittled Srila Prabhupada as nothing more than one of ISKCON’s employees
• revised his books in direct defiance of his explicit instructions not to
•  infringed and recklessly endangered the copyrights to Srila Prabhupada’s books by publishing without license from the real BBT

If these are the facts – and they are – it would appear that ISKCON and BBT International, Inc. were either grossly incompetent or deliberately trying to subvert Srila Prabhupada’s mission. This does raise questions about leadership of the movement. How do they represent Srila Prabhupada?

As far as KBI is concerned, they tore a sheet from ISKCON’s playbook. Gupta’s deception and manipulation to oust Hansadutta and ourselves from the licensee board was just a twist on ISKCON’s and BBT International, Inc’s hijacking of BBT. To this day they have shown no gratitude for Hansadutta’s defence of Srila Prabhupada’s BBT — which cost us heavily and to which they contributed nothing and instead kicked him out. Many devotees think they’re the ‘good guys’ because they’re printing Prabhupada’s original books, but they took over the license for their personal profit. They opposed Hansadutta’s stated intentions at the time to operate Krishna Books (as the licensee was originally called) as a nonprofit modelled after the BBT. Gupta himself scoffed at the idea. He, Niscintya and Veda believed they were going to make a lot of money, and now they’ll have to spend money to defend their license.

your humble servant, Bhima das

 Gaura Das
Date: May 26, 2017 at 2:41:57 PM PDT
To: Hansadutta Das
Subject: Accuracy Of These Statements

Dear Hansadutta Prabhu,

I do not like to accepts the comments of any godbrother blindly, and I like to hear things from several perspectives to expand my understanding and see the bigger picture. After sifting through everyone’s convictions, In the end, I am most interested in understanding what would Srila Prabhupada want.

In this discussion that is going on about Jitarati prabhu’s right to print pre-1978 Bhagavatam Sets, Smara Hari Prabhu has made the folllowing statements. I am interested in hearing from you what you think to be accurate and true, and what if any is less accurate, in your opinion….

When you have the time, please comment on these following statements. If you so desire, I will NOT quote you on anything publicly, to protect your peace, however, if you have no issue with me quoting you, then I will certainly credit you with whatever you may choose to share with me.

I am not interested in seeing any devotee offended or having any undue stress imposed upon them, however as mentioned, I am really interseted in getting to the bottom of an issue and understanding thins seen through the eyes of Srila Prabhupada, if that is possible.

In my own opinion, the biggest mistake the BBT made was to phase out the pre -78 edition of the Bhagavad Gita and to introduce the edited version of Jayadviata Swami ( JAS ) and Dravida das as the only available Gita which of course created a huge commotion and hundreds of thousands of Srila Prabhupada’s Laksmi has been wasted in court room battles.

Here are Smara Hari prabhu ‘s statments that I have
extracted from a post on godbrother Pita Das prabhu’s FB page

Smara Hari :
Any common devotees’ opinion of him independently printing Bootleg copies of Srila Prabhupada’s books will depend entirely on that devotee’s regard for BBT’s sole right to publish Srila Prabhupada’s books……as per Srila Prabhupada’s will.
In general the devotees loyal to BBT will declare no one but BBT has any right to independently print Srila Prabhupada’s books.
This matter came up during Srila Prabhupada’s time. An Iskcon Temple president in good standing wanted to print his own editions of Srila Prabhupada’s books for distribution. But in the letter preserved within the Archive’s Srila Prabhupada clearly states that no one except BBT has permission from him to print his books. Srila Prabhupada states in this letter that if individual Iskcon Temples independently printed their own books then BBT would quickly go bankrupt.
It is well known that Srila Prabhupada wanted BBT to charge a profit on it’s BBT printings. 50% of this profit would be retained by BBT for overhead and new printings in new languages; and 50% would be used for construction of new temples in India (India presently has 65 Iskcon temples).
Hansadutta, who was no longer a member of Iskcon, independently printed his own Chinese edition of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita.

BBT legally sued him in court for bootlegging.
Hansadutta cleverly claimed he has a BBT trustee with a right to print Srila Prabhupada’s books. Indeed Srila Prabhupada had made him a BBT trustee three decades earlier during Srila Prabhupada’s lifetime. But Iskcon GBC removed him when Hansadutta Prabhu stopped following the disciplines of devotional regulation and became involved in criminal activity for which he went to court in California.
However Hansadutta’s being removed from BBT Trustee responsibility was only recorded in GBC Resolutions, and never conveyed to the California Government Authorities where BBT was legally registered .

So Hansdutta had a legal loop-hole by which he extracted rights. Technically he was still a BBT Trustee who had never been rescinded. So in a costly court case , Hansaditta extracted from BBT the permission to print his own editions of Srila Prabhupada’s books.
It is under Handadutta’s licence that Jiturati , who has not been a member of Iskcon for 30 years, presumed he had a right to also publish independently from BBT’s authority.
So the legal situation is clear and obvious. Jitarati does not have authority to print. Thus the India Court’s decision to block delivery of a counterfeit product to an illegitimate publisher.
This is a clear outcome under existing Indian Copywrite Laws.
The emotional ploy , intended to infuriate uninformed rank and file community devotees, that BBT intends to destroy the Bhagavatam Boxed Sets is dramatic fiction.
– BBT will recommend that these bootleg copies of Srila Prabhupada’s BBT books will be freely distributed to schools and colleges in India.

If the Books are allowed to be delivered to the counterfeiter Jitarati, on account of an uninformed emotional appeal from the devotee community, then this opens the doors for every Tom, Dick, and Hari das, to print their own Editions of Srila Prabhupada’s books, and indeed BBT will quickly go bankrupt, just as Srila Prabhupada predicted 45 years ago.

I am not aware if you know I went to law school to study for a degree in Law.
Thus the legal aspects of this copywrite infringement case entrigue me.
The temperature of emotive feeling is not a factor I ever pay heed to.
There are clear legal issues being tested.

I have had a friendly relationship with Hansdutta for decades. Since mid 70’s … 40+ years.
In California he personally told me that he was very displeased by the outcome of the BBT Trustee case that he was involved in on account of the devotee lawyer having written in to the small print of his retainer contract that he would be richly remunerated if the case was won by Hansadutta, tho on the surface it appeared that the lawyer was working pro bona (without fees).
Thus Hansadutta lost all the money from the damages he was awarded … part of the BBT settlement.

So an aspect of this case that intrigues me is the degree to which Hansadutta is willing to support Jitarati in his claim for legitimacy in printing.

Hansadutta being somewhat estranged from the group that presently claim to hold the license to print BBT books…….which seems to be a point that BBT strongly protest.

Unless I am entirely misinformed the court case, in which Hansadutta was given permission to print was created by BBT legally objecting to Hansadutta’s scanning and printing of a book in Chinese language.
There has not been … my knowlege …..a ‘wholesale editing’ court case…….but please do keep me informed as to updates in this area.

Hansadutta made much of this point saying it was claimed that Prabhupada was given pencils and paper as a hired writer.

The legal point is by whom the copywrite of the books are retained.
For example does all of the programmers at Microsoft legally own their output ?
Or do the artists who work for Disney own the characters they create ?
In legal parlance these are designated as ‘workers for hire’ and the cppywrite is held by their employer ……in this instance BBT.

Just as strict measures are taken to prevent pirating of DVDs etc (indeed there is a warning prior to the film content) so too BBT seek to uphold their legal copywrite, as do all owners of intellectual property.
It seems this present legal challenge in Mumbai is regarding the nature of the licence agreement to print. And of course a ruling for India will not be valid anywhere else in the world.

If Jitarati had printed on China none of us would be involved in this present discussion.

Srila Prabhupada’s laws. But I, one of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, believe that Srila Prabhupada clearly wanted BBT to be sole publisher of his books. As you know I hold no post or office in Iskcon. I receive no type of gain, or advantage, or remuneration (the legal term is ‘consideration’) from Iskcon. So my opinions are entirely independent. But I do not believe that dividing into numerous splinter groups……however well intended….. was ever Srila Prabhupada’s intentions for his disciples. Rather we should support his Iskcon preaching movement and show our love for him by our co-operation.

Since all of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples are simply students and aspiring Vaishnavas , most probably there are none who have never made mistakes.

No one is arguing that there have not been bad policies, or unreasonable decisions.
Its so hard for any of us to get it right all the time…..every day.
So certainly there are valid reasons for criticism of various management policies.
However some individuals seriously animical to the very existence of the GBC body do not always argue fairly or accurately.

For often the object is simply to dishonour the GBC in the spirit of ‘the end justifies the means’.
So often a distorted picture of events or actions is deliberately depicted.
As is said in journalism ‘Why let the truth get in the way of a good story.
And as to your mention of splintering …….

the emergence of a Rit Vic notion of discilpic continuation took place years before Hansadutta was in legal conflict with BBT over his independent printing of Prabhupada’s books.
The issues discussed in his case were not the reason for the splinter.
The splintering had taken place years before.

Rather efforts were made to identify sound bites from the trial environment such as Prabhupada was given ‘ paper and pencils’ and deliberately employ these sound bites to alienate lapsed devotees away from Iskcon affiliation , bolster the ranks of a rit vic group long since in existence…… and of course create a market for sales of the new printing of the old editions.
Exaggerated claims against Jay Advaita were created to provide a market for non BBT books.
Just like today’s allegation of the burning of 5000 sets of Bhagavatam is a fiction deliberately designed to produce greatest emotional results. It has no basis in facts.

The case will be decided in court… all cases are….and the court will decide if Jitarati’s printing is illegal, and if so what is thefate of the books. The decision is not BBT’s to make.

Our discussion on this thread will have absolutely no bearing on the court case outcome.
That this Facebook strategy is being employed seems to me to indicate that this Ritvic group do not like the case been assembled against them by BBT India and somehow pray that a number of devotees haranguing the BBT will influence the outcome, in their favour.”

Thank you in advance for your insights and how you think Srila Prabhupada would have wanted things to go.

Your friend and servant,
Gaura dasa


From: Gaura Das
May 29th 2017

Dear  Hansadutta Prabhum, Bhima Prabhu and Diane Chan,

Please accept my respectful obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Thank you very much for responding to my questions and the various statements made by Smara Hari Prabhu about the legalities surrounding the BBT / KBI and sharing with me  your perspective on the complexity of this entire issue. It is a lot to ponder 

You made the statement " they tore a sheet from ISKCON’s playbook ". Did you mean ISKCON's Lawbook ?

I understand and appreciate your concern for maintaining the integrity of the pre-1978 editions of Srila Prabhupada's books, as we all knew them during his manifest time with us, yet it seems that actual mistakes in the book was overlooked

 I am trying to understand how Hansadutta Prabhu and yourselves would have dealt with the reality regarding any of the  essential and neglected edits that were overlooked by his editors in any of his books ?

eg. In the Bhagavad Gita we have "cattle - raising " a term used by beef ranchers. When I asked Acyutananda prabhu about this, he informed me that Srila Prabhupada originally translated "go raksha" as it clearly means which is "cow protection", however Hayagriva prabhu told Srila Prabhupada that this will be a foreign concept to westerners and they will relate more to "cattle raising". So even though Srila Prabhupada approved this cattle ranchers term, we know that this was not Srila Prabhupada's intention. We could say that Srila Prabhupada signed off on this and that even though this was not his original intention, that he took the council of Hayagriva Prabhu, so the decision is cast in stone.  Do you think it is ?

Other responses I have received for your consideration:

This is a comment from Roy Richard on FB, our godbrother Rsabhadeva prabhu former TP of Laguna Beach:

Gaura Prabhu; maybe save it somewhere. I've worked professionally in publishing since 1984 – first at Computerized Publishing Services (CPS) as an editor/proofreader, proofreading college textbooks and editing devotional works (the equipment was the Spanish BBT's). After four years there, I worked fourteen years at a law firm (Loeb&Loeb), fixing elaborate entertainment contracts and readying patent applications. I also worked the first year of Torchlight Publishing's existence. In 2010, in Rishikesh, India, I did the final copy edit of the 11-volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism. What I call patch editing is the correct way to edit – for typos; sometimes syntax; rarely for meaning. Any wholesale editing job would lose the voice of the author, even if it was a very wanted collaboration such as His Divine Grace and Hayagriva Prabhu."

Niscala Devi Dasi:  Prabhu, I got interested in the book change issue years ago, and from the website of those protesting the changes, acquired the original manuscript, the Hayagrivs edition and Jayadvaitas edition. I painstakingly went through every gita verse, and to my shock, apart from grammatical changes which didn't alter the meaning, all the changes were back to the original manuscript. I was shocked, as they were present it like the changes were Jayadvaitas speculations. So I gave up that endeavor to expose changes in meaning.

Danakeli Dasi: Disregarding spelling, grammar & punctuation mistakes, as well as "planet of trees" (10.29) & "cattle raising" (18.44), several ( esential edits ) we've noticed are...

• Text 2.1, purport, last sentence: "...possible by working with the fruitive being situated..." should read "...possible by working without the fruitive mentality, being situated..."

• Text 4.5, purport, last sentence of first paragraph: "...forms of the Lord are usually understood by the best..." should read "...forms of the Lord are usually not understood by the best..."

• Text 8.2, purport, first sentence: "The Lord of sacrifice accepts..." should read "The 'Lord of sacrifice' refers to..."

• Text 10.1, purport, first sentence: "The word paramam..." should read "The word bhagavan..."

• Text 13.1-2, purport, first paragraph: "Now, the person who identifies himself with the body..." should read "Now, the person who does not identify himself with the body..."

• Text 13.8-12, purport, first paragraph: "...point is described in the first line of the tenth verse" should read "...point is described in the first line of the eleventh verse."

" mentioned in the seventh verse..." should read " mentioned in the eighth verse..."

• Text 13.21, purport: "...victims who present different pleasures to the body" should read "...acquire different pleasures for the body."

• Text 14.17, translation: "...from the mode of passion, grief develops" should read "...from the mode of passion, greed develops"


The two changes (recorded on audio) of Srila Prabhupada requesting a specific correction were "cattle raising" to "cow protection" & that mentioned above for 13.1-2.

There are more, but I was simply pointing out those that are blatantly obvious by a reading of the unrevised edition. Others are discerned by going back to the "manuscript", which I haven't done. 

The purport you're referring to, Gaura Prabhu, is likely 8.18 which had 8.19's purport instead. As a clarification, the ones I pointed out were not Srila Prabhupada's words or mistakes. They were mistakes done in typesetting, transcription, & production by others. "

From Akruranatha das to me :

Srila Prabhupada did not dictate a Purport to 18.31. The editors of the 1972 edition modified the Purport to 18.32 (which described understanding in the mode of ignorance), and made it into the Purport to 18.31, substituting "passion" for "ignorance".

The editors of the Second Edition caught the mistake and restored it to its original place, describing understanding in the mode of ignorance as the Purport to 18.32.

Or you might be thinking of the Purport to 7.18, which in the 1972 edition reads:

"In the Srimad Bhagavatam (9.4.57), the Lord says:

aham bhakta paradhino hy asvatantra iva dvija
sadhubir grasta-hrdayo bhaktair bhakta-jana-priya

'The devotees are always in My heart..."

The problem with this is, Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.57 actually says:

ahaṁ sanat-kumāraś ca / nārado bhagavān ajaḥ
kapilo ’pāntaratamo / devalo dharma āsuriḥ

which can be translated as "Me [Lord Śiva], Sanat-kumāra, Nārada, the most revered Lord Brahmā, Kapila [the son of Devahūti], Apāntaratama [Lord Vyāsadeva], Devala, Yamarāja, and Āsuri ..."

If you look in your Ninth Canto you will see that this is part of verses 9.4.57-59, which Srila Prabhupada translates together, in which Lord Siva is describing various persons to whom past, present and future are known.

There is a verse that says "aham bhakta-paradhino..." It is S.B. verse 9.4.63. However, the translation is not "The devotees are always in My heart..." The actual translation of verse 9.4.63 is:

"I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me."

The verse Srila Prabhupada actually quoted in this Purport is verse 9.4.68. The Second Edition quotes the right verse with the right translation, thus:

"In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (9.4.68), the Lord says:

sādhavo hṛdayaṁ mahyaṁ / sādhūnāṁ hṛdayaṁ tv aham
mad-anyat te na jānanti
/ nāhaṁ tebhyo manāg api

'The devotees are always in My heart, and I am always in the hearts of the devotees. The devotee does not know anything beyond Me, and I also cannot forget the devotee. There is a very intimate relationship between Me and the pure devotees. Pure devotees in full knowledge are never out of spiritual touch, and therefore they are very much dear to Me.'”

Another example given by Akruranatha das to show the speculations of the edits who did the best they could because of limited access to books like Gita Mahatmya at the time  :

At the end of the Introduction, Srila Prabhupada concludes his lecture (anyone can listen to the recorded lecture from 1966) by citing and explaining the verses of Sankaracarya's Gita Mahatmya.

This conclusion of the Introduction begins on p. 27 of my siftbound 1972 MacMillon-Collier edition. 

In the recorded lecture, Srila Prabhupada says, "In conclusion, Bhagavad-gita is a transcendental literature which one should read very carefully. Gita-sastram idem punyam yat pathet prayatah puman..."

But the 1972 editors did not have access to the Gita Mahatmya, so they just substituted a verse from Bhagavad-gita, as follows:

"In conclusion, Bhagavad-gita is a transcendental literature which one should read very carefully. It is capable of saving one from all fear.

nehbhikrama-naso 'sti pratyavayo na vidyate ...

All of the Sanskrit verses from Gita Mahatmya that Srila Prabhupada quoted and explained in the lecture were left out of this concluding climax of Srila Prabhupada's lecture.

That is another major mistake (or it may be counted as 7 to 10 major mistakes, though they are all the same category of mistake, for the same reason.) The editors in the early days did not know how to deal with the Gita Mahatmya because they did not know where to find it and did not know Sanskrt."

( It sounds fanatical to keep speculations and not what Prabhupada intended, doesnt it ?  )

The funny part is, "sea journey". You must have read about the churning of the milk ocean in the Eighth Canto. Srila Prabhupada dictated "churning", someone transcribed it as "journey", and the editors did not notice the mistake. The later editors fortunately corrected it. The second edition says:

"The devotee demigods and the demons (asuras) once took part in churning the sea. From this churning, nectar and poison were produced, and Lord Siva drank the poison." 

Thank you very much for your responses. I am trying to come to some conclusions and to be well infomred when others ack me for my understnading. I understand the necessity of keeping the older editions in print, but I have also been shown many examples of neglect or blunders in the older editions. There is a market for both, so it seems that both editions need to always be kept in print. What do you think ?

Your servant,
Gaura dasa


From: Das Dasanudas devi dasi
To: Gaura Das

Dear Gaura Prabhu, please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

By the phrase ‘tore a sheet from ISKCON’s playbook’ Bhima is comparing KBI’s manoeuvres in bypassing Hansadutta and taking over the publishing license to ISKCON’s manoeuvres in bypassing the trustees and taking over operations of BBT.

Much has been said about Jayadvaita’s revisions on both sides. What did Srila Prabhupada say about it? Listed below are some articles on the subject that may interest you. But the main point is given in Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.20.25:

‘My dear Lord, You are glorified by the selected verses uttered by great personalities. Such glorification of Your lotus feet is just like saffron particles. When the transcendental vibration from the mouths of great devotees carries the aroma of the saffron dust of Your lotus feet, the forgetful living entity gradually remembers his eternal relationship with You. Devotees thus gradually come to the right conclusion about the value of life. My dear Lord, I therefore do not need any other benediction but the opportunity to hear from the mouth of Your pure devotee.’

Extracts from the purport by Srila Prabhupada:
‘It is explained in the previous verse that one has to hear glorification of the Lord from the mouth of a pure devotee. This is further explained here. The transcendental vibration from the mouth of a pure devotee is so powerful that it can revive the living entity’s memory of his eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. … A pure devotee always engages in the service of the Lord, taking shelter of His lotus feet, and therefore he has a direct connection with the saffron mercy particles that are strewn over the lotus feet of the Lord. Although when a pure devotee speaks the articulation of his voice may resemble the sound of this material sky, the voice is spiritually very powerful, because it touches the particles of saffron dust on the lotus feet of the Lord. As soon as a sleeping living entity hears the powerful voice emanating from the mouth of a pure devotee, he immediately remembers his eternal relationship with the Lord, although up until that moment he had forgotten everything.’

Srila Prabhupada’s books are sound-bytes captured in print. They are non different from his voice. Over-editing obscures his voice. And substituting one meaning with another, as Jayadvaita Swami has taken the liberty to do (you can see in the article 'Revisions to Srila Prabhupada’s Books Documented’), totally covers Srila Prabhupada’s voice.


Srila Prabhupada on Changes to His Books
Arsha Prayoga
Revisions to Srila Prabhupada’s Books Documented
History of Changes
BBTI has deleted the complete foreword of Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is
Improving on the finished works of the master

Of course Jayadvaita Swami and BBT International, Inc have justified the edits by pointing out some of the more ridiculous instances of errors that took place in transcribing. Proofreading corrections could be justified, but Jayadvaita Swami and the BBT International, Inc have not stopped there. I don’t know how familiar you are with editing. There are different kinds of edits that publishers make:

• Developmental editing – This is concept level editing. Concepts or ideas may be redefined. Normally, developmental editing takes place during the formation of a story or article. 

• Substantive editing – This is paragraph level editing. Entire paragraphs are reworked to add information or remove information, to reorganise the ideas, revise sentence structure and organisation.

• Copy editing – This is sentence level editing. Sentences may be revised, though not to change the meaning of the text. Copy editing checks for repetition of unnecessary words, replacing repetitive words with equivalents or substituting some words with better word choices and revising sentence structure to improve flow.

• Fact/Accuracy checking – This is information level editing. The substance of the copy may be changed while verifying the facts or information.

• Proofreading – This is word level editing: Words and phrases may be revised to correct sentence structure to improve clarity, typos, grammar errors, spelling inaccuracies, punctuation errors, capitalisation errors, incorrect spacing and formatting inconsistencies.

The kinds of changes that Jayadvaita Swami has made to Srila Prabhupada’s books range from mere proofreading to substantive. Some devotees have taken the trouble to dig into all the changes that were made to various books. A couple of websites that have done so are:

Your servant, Das Dasanudas devi dasi


Smara Hari Prabhu's Response

From: Bhima (Malaysia)
To: Smarahari Das / cc. Gaura Das

Hare Krishna
Dear Smara Hari Prabhu, please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

'The order of the spiritual master is the active principle of spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless.’ — CC Adi Lila Chapter 12 Text 10

‘When an offence is done to the devotee of the Lord, it is very difficult to overcome the reaction. … The Lord never forgives a person who condemns his pure devotee.’ — purport, SB 1.18.47

I don’t know, perhaps I misread your words, but it also seemed to me that you thought that Hansadutta made too much of ISKCON’s and BBT International, Inc’s statement that Srila Prabhupada’s books were ‘works for hire’. I hope you do see the seriousness of the offence. On top of deliberately disrespecting his instructions pertaining to BBT and actually gutting it and then perpetrating a scheme of lies in order to cover their asses, they have insulted Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON Founder-Acharya, their spiritual master. I don’t know how anyone can make light of the situation. By making that assertion - that Srila Prabhupada was only one of the employees of ISKCON and that he did not own the copyrights to his own books - how could they expect the blessings of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Chaitanya? It baffles me that no one seems to see how grave this is and that they should apologise unconditionally for it

Sundar Gopal of Singapore is the one who instigated BBT International to take the court case against us in Singapore. Of course he – like so many devotees – no doubt believed that BBT International held the copyrights, but his motivations in stirring up the trouble and accusing Hansadutta of bootlegging were not exactly spiritual. He has done many reprehensible things to devotees over the years in order to keep them away from his turf, and although I don’t care to discuss his actions here, I will say to you that you were mistaken to listen to him.

I have tried to carefully lay out the facts without calling names and spewing emotional vitriol. Many years have passed, and many more years will pass and who knows how many more lives we are destined to live out in this material world — it is not even the span of one breath of Maha Vishnu. That’s how insignificant we are, yet I feel that we have let down Srila Prabhupada and I feel rage in my heart on account of the situation. Kali-yuga is accelerating. And whatever time we have left is rapidly running out. Even so, hope lingers in my heart that Srila Prabhupada’s mission will not be extinguished in my lifetime nor in the next, that his books will be preserved, that one day perhaps in the next life we may again all come together as foot soldiers in Lord Chaitanya’s great sankirtan army equipped with Srila Prabhupada’s unadulterated, transcendental books. 

I know about the gun incident, but it did not result in a felony charge. Hansadutta is not a criminal, nor is he a liar or a cheat. That he spoke to you so unreservedly ought to show you that he’s not duplicitous or cunning. He may have disappointed many devotees, and many devotees have blamed him for many things, but he is a Prabhupada man cent per cent. I’d like to know how many people would remain devotees, keep on chanting the holy names continuously, talking day and night of nothing but Prabhupada and Krishna consciousness after having been disgraced and driven away from ISKCON and painted as a demon. He has remained humble, and detached, disciple of Prabhupada first, and a friend to devotees.

The financial settlement was engineered by Gupta, and he claimed that it triggered a clause in the lawyer-client contract that affected his fees, although the money was not meant for Hansadutta but for the licensee. Gupta directed BBT International and ISKCON to pay it into an account in the Bahamas, and immediately paid himself from it, then claimed the remainder. He was reprimanded by the State Bar for breach of fiduciary duty, though it amounted to little more than a 6-month suspension.

But the worst treachery was Gupta’s collusion with Veda Guhya, Bhagavan and Niscintya to take over the licensee and vote Hansadutta and ourselves off the board.

Thank you for your email. Thank you for your honesty and apologies. I wish you well. May we serve Srila Prabhupada together one day. - Bhima das


Dear Bhima Prabhu,
My obeisances to you. Jai Srila Prabhupada !

I shared your response on behalf of Hansadutta prabhu with Smara Hari prabhu, and this is his reply that he wished to convey to you. I have also CCd him on this correspondence if either of you wish to converse :

Dear Bhima das, please accept my obeisances and unreserved apologies for libelling Hansadutta Prabhu your guru and long time friend.

In the light of your careful and articulate portrayal of the actual facts regarding the history of Hansadutta's legal dispute with BBT (or BBTI) I wish to amend the following statements I printed on this thread.

1) That Hansadutta bootlegged BBT books.
2) My portrayal of Hansadutta Prabhu as a criminal.
3) My description of his award in the settlement of the BBT court case as 'legal trickery'.

I unreservedly apologise for any discomfort I may have cause either Hansadutta Prabhu or you.

A) I had mistakenly held on to long held accusations by Sundar Gopal in Singapore that Hansadutta had illegally printed Chinese language copies of BBT books.

B) The criminal charges were on account of Hansadutta prabhu personally informing me that he faced charges in California for discharging a gun in a public place.

C) My description of Hansadutta having gained a settlement from BBT (or BBTI) was on account of Hansadutta personally telling me that Gupta das his lawyer had diverted the financial part of the settlement to his 'fees' for the case.

It had been entered into the fine print if the contract he had Hansadutta sign prior to the case.

On account of Hansadutta's characterisation of him having been 'tricked' by his lawyer (on went on to become a part owner of the profit motivated KBI ) I concluded his entire act of gaining permission from BBT (or BBTI) was also 'legal trickery' (as I had described it).

Bhima Das ACBSP, the BBT person in India had said that the case revolved around whether, at the time of printing, Jitarati had permission from KBI for the print run. I had said that Hansadutta would not bless their endeavours owing to the shoddy way he had been dealt by them. Although of course he is a solid supporter of the printing of Srila Prabhupada's books having personally printed thousands of books in German and other European languages, as well as in Asian languages, and of course also in English language.

Your servant
Smara Hari dasa

If you have any questions to Jitarati Prabhu please write to his email:

Jitarati Das (John Hanton)


Please also see:
Bombay BBT to destroy Srila Prabhupada’s Books!
ISKCON/ BBT Degrades the Pure Srimad Bhagavatam!
Bhima Das (BBT Bombay) infringes on copyrights!
Only demons would destroy Prabhupada's books
The Lies of BBT and Mood of Cooperation
Srila Prabhupada's beautiful Srimad Bhagavatam - as it is
Srimad Bhagavatam invading the ISKCON Sales Market
Dandavats hypocrites against distribution of unchanged Srimad-Bhagavatam
Essential Edits and Jayadvaita’s Re-Writing Srila Prabhupada’s Books
Class Action Lawsuit for saving Srila Prabhupadas Original Books

BBT India Impounding Srila Prabhupada’s original books