UPDATE - "For those following the debacle in India regarding the impounding of a box-set of the original Srimad Bhagavatam, there has been further discussion amongst the participants that we want to share."
To summarize, Jitarati Prabhu, negotiating through an intermediary, Tattva Darshan das, 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:
Prayed for settlement and release of Srila Prabhupadas
Srimad Bhagavatam sets from seizure by High Court
Tattvadarshan wrote: 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 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 sock [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.
Letter to BBT Trustees re. impounding Srimad Bhagavatam boxset
By: Vyapaka das
Dear BBTI Trustees,
Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
This is an open letter regarding BBT India’s legal attack against Jitarati Prabhu, who printed a box-set of the original Srimad Bhagavatam, resulting in the books being impounded. It is being sent to Bhima das for distribution to all the BBTI Trustees.
Recently, it has come to light that Jitarati 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.
In addition, he would dovetail his 40+ years of successful business experience into marketing the Bhagavatam sets globally.
This offer was turned down because you stated that you had no interest in seeing future printings of the Srimad Bhagavatam sets.
The exact words are: "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 sock [sic]." (email from Bhima das, BBT India)
Your logic escapes many rank-and-file devotees as this seemed to be a win-win situation for the Archives, book distribution and the spreading of Krishna Consciousness.
Another one of Jitarati’s printing efforts was the pocket Bhagavad Gita As It Is, beautifully printed on Bible paper. He sold 250,000 copies and it was widely accepted and appreciated among devotees worldwide. To condense the contents to pocket-size, the word-for-word and transliteration needed to be eliminated. The BBTI’s reaction was a resolution prohibiting future publications employing this format.
However, it soon came to light that other BBTI publications employed this same setup with no adverse reaction from the Trustees. This double standard strikes many of the 250,000 readers of the pocket Gita as underhanded and reflects poorly on your group.
Thirty cases of the pocket Gita were delivered to the BBT and Delhi temple. You obviously appreciated the printing as your reaction was to take out the page listing KBI as the publisher and then replace it with the name of the BBT before distribution. Doing so is illegal, immoral, improper, hypocritical and corrupt. Shame on you!
Perhaps your reaction was because you are against the publication of the original books. If so, this raises two questions:
1. Why did the BBTI grant a license to Krishna Books International (KBI) to print the originals, if this is your frame of mind?
2. And, why did the BBTI recently print Prabhupada’s original Bhagavad Gita?
Perhaps you feel Jitarati, at heart, is against the BBTI. If so, then:
1. Why did he give the BBTI the complete digital format of the original Gita?
2. Why did he introduce you to all of his printers in China in the hope that it might be beneficial to the printing of Srila Prabhupada’s books?
3. Why did he give a generous $10,000 donation to the Bhaktivedanta Archives to improve their facilities and service to Srila Prabhupada?
4. Why has he donated monthly to the Archives for years?
5. Why does he continue in his efforts to support Srila Prabhupada’s Archives by donating the profits from this and future printings of the Srimad Bhagavatam boxset?
6. Why did he advise BBT India on the best way to print their original Gita on Bible paper, based upon his research and experience with the pocket Gita?
7. Etc., etc., etc.
You seem to have quite a chip on your shoulder regarding a devotee, who has gone out of his way, to assist you in the mission of distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books.
Your reaction was to impound them and drag it into the corrupt India legal system. The alleged crime was that he paid for the printing from his business account rather than funnelling it through KBI. To many this seems to be an overly harsh reaction.
What does it take to satisfy you? It causes many of us to question your motivation? Do you think Srila Prabhupada would be pleased with all this; or does that even matter to you?
Jitarati is personally financing the project, will single-handedly arrange distribution and then dedicate profits to the Bhaktivedanta Archives and further book printing.
To summarize, many, many devotees are deeply disappointed with your action. You are supposed to be leaders of the movement, entrusted to protecting Srila Prabhupada’s most important contribution to humankind, his books.
And look at what you do.
We pray that you change direction and embrace Jitarati’s generous offer. It is a win-win situation for BBTI, BBT India, Jitarati, the Bhaktivedanta Archives, and most importantly, the countless conditioned souls needing the knowledge and direction found in Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental literatures.
Email sent for distribution to:
GBC Executive Committee
We welcome any comments / information from devotees which will be posted in future updates.
If you have any questions to Jitarati Prabhu please write to his email:
Jitarati Das (John Hanton)
Download Word Document: Bombay-BBT.doc
Please also see:
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
Concerning The Actual, Legal Identity Of The BBT
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