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“This year, we have more resolutions than usual that are 'unpublished'...discretion is the better part of valor.”

     Chairman BBT

By Jayadvaita Swami

CHAKRA (Los Angeles, CA, USA) - September 9, 1999: Here are the minutes of the 1999 annual directors meeting of the BBT International. (“The directors” is technically the right name for those whom we’re accustomed to call “the BBT trustees.”)

The meeting took place in Los Angeles on June 22 through 26. We usually have a three-day meeting, but this year we added two days more. On the first of those two days, we focused on issues of managerial concern. On the second day, we focused on topics pertaining directly to publishing and distributing books, especially new ones.

For most of the resolutions, I’ve added explanatory comments.

This year, we have more resolutions than usual that are “unpublished.” Originally we had intended to publish nearly all of them, but we have held off, on the advice of our legal counsel. “Discretion is the better part of valor.”

If you have any questions or comments about this year’s BBT resolutions, please feel free to get in touch with your local BBT trustee or with the BBT chairman, Naresvara Prabhu.

Hare Krsna.

Hoping this finds you in good health,

Your servant,
Jayadvaita Swami
BBT Trustee

Minutes of the 1999 annual BBT meeting
By Jayadvaita Swami

BBTI Directors present: Jayadvaita Swami (Chairman), Gopal Krishna Goswami, Naresvara dasa, Svavasa dasa, Brahma Muhurta dasa (Secretary) (Absent due to a family emergency: Madhusevita dasa)

Others present:

Madhava Puri dasa (President, BBTI) Nimai Pandit dasa (Mediterranean BBT) Ranjit dasa (Bhaktivedanta Archives) (for parts of the meeting) Dravida dasa (BBT English Editor) (for parts of the meeting) Hanuman dasa (BBT Spain) (for parts of the meeting) Navina Nirada dasa (Book Distribution Ministry) (for parts of the meeting) Ekanath dasa (Bhaktivedanta Archives) (for parts of the meeting) Paramarupa dasa (Bhaktivedanta Archives) (for parts of the meeting)

Amarendra dasa (Legal Counsel) (for parts of the meetings)

Present for discussions on June 22 or 23 or both: His Holiness Bir Krishna Goswami His Holiness Tripurari Swami Advaitacandra dasa Agnideva dasa Amita dasa Anuttama dasa Arcita dasa Atmarama dasa (from Sydney) Badrinarayana dasa Kaustubha dasa Niscintya dasa Sura dasa Vicaru dasa Visaka devi dasi Yajnapurusa dasa

 1. (VOTING RIGHTS FOR NIMAI PANDIT DASA) For the duration of this meeting, Nimai Pandit dasa has full voting rights, as a proxy for Madhusevita dasa, as per Madhusevita dasa’s written request.

COMMENT: Madhusevita Prabhu’s father was suddenly hospitalized and lay near death (he later recovered). So Nimai Pandit Prabhu, his BBT right-hand man, served at the meeting in his stead.

2. (SETTLEMENT OF “HAMSADUTA CASE”) We formally place on record here our acceptance of the settlement and license agreements of November 1998 between BBT International and Krishna Books Inc. The Secretary shall keep copies of these documents on file and strictly in confidence as per court order. BBT International and its Divisions or Licensees will adjust their policies as may be required to conform to these agreements.

COMMENT: This is old news. Here we simply make it part of our official records.

3. (RESOLUTION ON “POLICY ON RESTRICTING SALES” RESCINDED) Pursuant to the previous resolution, we hereby rescind resolution 9 of our annual meeting of 1998.

COMMENT: Last year, our Resolution 9 greatly relaxed our restrictions on selling books to devotees out of favor with ISKCON. But as an outcome of the court case, we later dropped nearly all the restrictions that remained. This made Resolution 9 obsolete.

4. (DIRECTOR CONTINUITY) At next year’s annual general meeting we will continue to discuss Director continuity.

COMMENT: Though we are used to the term “trustees,” technically the BBTI is governed by “directors.” A difference in terms. In any case, we recognize that, at least in our present bodies, we directors are not immortal. Like everyone else, we shall gradually be swept aside by time. At our meeting this year, we talked about how to hand over our duties in an orderly fashion to those who will follow us next. This resolution, then, is a reminder to ourselves that we need to continue that discussion.

5. (BRAHMA MUHURTA DASA APPOINTED A DIRECTOR) We reconfirm the appointment of Brahma Muhurta dasa as a BBTI Director. He is responsible for the NE BBT.

COMMENT: Brahma Muhurta Prabhu has for many years been directly in charge of the affairs of the Northern European BBT. Last year, he was elected a director until this meeting. Now his ongoing responsibility in that role has been reconfirmed.

6. (JAYADVAITA SWAMI RESIGNS AS CHAIRMAN) We accept Jayadvaita Swami’s resignation as Chairman, effective at the end of this meeting.

COMMENT: After serving as chairman for four years, I submitted my resignation, for several reasons. Among them: (1) I presided as chairman during a long and costly legal case (“the Hamsaduta case”) we now recognize should have been settled swiftly and cheaply when it first arose. Thus, it is fitting I resign. (2) I am keen to focus my energy on editing new BBT books and training other devotees in editorial skills. Administrative duties distract me from this work, and so I wish to cut myself free from them. (3) Many devotees believe that sannyasis can serve more usefully when aloof from management. At least as far as this idea applies to me, I agree with it. Hence my resignation from this major managerial post. Again, I am seeking to have less to do with government and more to do with books.

The other directors kindly accepted my resignation. I shall continue to serve as a director, though not as chairman. Naresvara Prabhu has been elected the new chairman.

7. (CREATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN UNIT) We hereby create a SOUTHEAST ASIAN BBT unit to be responsible for Indonesian, Thai, Laotian, Burmese, Kampuchean and Korean. The unit will function under the guidance of the NE BBT. We request that Ciranjiva dasa take up the responsibility for this new unit.

COMMENT: Our purpose here is to strengthen book production in these languages. That these languages should have their own division was suggested by Gaura Mandala Bhumi Prabhu, who for many years has served in BBT book production in Indonesian. (He suggested that we also include Chinese and Japanese, but we decided that for now the six languages named are enough.) Ciranjiva Prabhu is highly qualified, having served in Northern Europe both in book production and in temple management.

8. (OWNERSHIP OF ORIGINAL MATERIALS AT ARCHIVES) Madhava Puri dasa shall be responsible for obtaining from the Bhaktivedanta Archives a legally binding document acknowledging the BBT’s ownership of the physical original materials residing at the Bhaktivedanta Archives (tapes, manuscripts, images, documents, film, video, letters, etc.), as per a list provided by the Bhaktivedanta Archives.

COMMENT: The idea here is to put on paper what those involved already agree on. A matter of legal housekeeping.

9. (GENERAL POSITION OF BHAKTIVEDANTA ARCHIVES) We hereby recognize the unique position and responsibilities of the Bhaktivedanta Archives in relationship to the preservation of the legacy of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

The Bhaktivedanta Archives shall continue to maintain and preserve the following artifacts in their entirety:

a) All audio recordings of kirtans, bhajans, lectures and conversations of Srila Prabhupada that are in possession of the BBTI.

b) All photographic images of Srila Prabhupada and the art works that are in possession of the BBTI.

c) All original documents of Srila Prabhupada that are in possession of the BBTI, including letters, transcripts, and legal documents.

d) All original motion picture and video footage of Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON during his physical presence that are in possession of the BBTI.

e) All electronic data files of the English BBT books, transcripts, letters, etc. that are in possession of the BBTI.

COMMENT: This resolution, requested by the devotees at the Archives, officially sets forth the role of the Archives as the keepers and preservers of these treasures.

10. (PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS TO ARCHIVAL MATERIAL) We request that our legal department formalize an arrangement regarding productions by the Bhaktivedanta Archives. Here is the arrangement we suggest:

The Bhaktivedanta Archives shall have exclusive production and distribution rights for the following items:

a) All audio presentations of kirtans, bhajans, lectures and conversations of Srila Prabhupada, exclusive of special productions for mass sankirtan distribution, which a BBT unit may undertake after consultation with the Bhaktivedanta Archives. (Exception: The North American BBT will continue to produce the cassette tapes from the SK and SP series for retail sales only.)

b) Any electronic search engine presentation or “Bhaktivedanta VedaBase” presentation of Srila Prabhupada’s books and transcripts in English, except as part of multimedia offerings that would not compete with the VedaBase. As a courtesy, BBT units creating such multimedia offerings will inform the Bhaktivedanta Archives.

COMMENT: This resolution is meant to clarify who does what. To keep a high standard of quality, and provide income for the work of the Archives, the Archives will be exclusively in charge of producing and distributing the archival items mentioned. We made an exception of items for sankirtana so that we can more easily produce and distribute them throughout the world in great numbers. And for the items to be produced and sold by the North American BBT we made an exception because of a long-standing prior arrangement.

11. (NO WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTION BY BTG SERVICE CENTER) We confirm that wholesale distribution of BBT books other than those produced by the Bhaktivedanta Archives is beyond the jurisdiction of the BTG Service Center.

COMMENT: Another matter of who does what. In North America, wholesale book distribution will be handled entirely by the BBT in LA.

12. (SPANISH PUBLISHING) We consider the development of Spanish publishing an urgent matter. We strongly propose a joint meeting of BBTI Directors and GBC representatives involved in Spanish-speaking areas to address this matter. We propose that this meeting take place at Nova Gokula in Brazil in conjunction with the Latin American Festival. During the present BBTI annual meeting, Svavasa dasa will arrange for someone to take responsibility for making sure the proposed meeting happens.

COMMENT: The BBT is woefully behind in producing books in Spanish and organizing their distribution. The purpose of the proposed meeting is to locate devotees who can dedicate themselves to this work.






18. (ANNUAL ACCOUNTS OF PERSONAL FINANCES) Each Director and office holder of BBTI will submit at the Annual General Meeting an annual account of his personal finances in relation to the BBTI, on a prescribed form which will be devised by Jayadvaita Swami and Naresvara dasa for approval by the Directors.

COMMENT: A resolution to make sure that Srila Prabhupada’s funds are properly spent.


20. (ANNUAL EDITORIAL AND MARKETING MEETING) The BBTI will hold an annual meeting of the Directors to focus exclusively on editorial and marketing matters. A small number of devotees will be invited at the discretion of the Directors. We shall hold our first meeting in Vrindavan on November 6-8, 1999.

COMMENT: Our main purpose is to publish and distribute books. And we realized at our meeting that other matters--legal, financial, managerial--leave us too little time to focus on this most important work. Hence the additional meeting. If you have ideas or proposals you think might be relevant for this meeting, or if you wish to attend, please contact your local BBT director or the BBT chairman, Naresvara Prabhu.

21. (COM CONFERENCE FOR BBT COMMUNICATIONS) Brahma Muhurta dasa will create a COM conference for the BBT Communications Department. For the time being, the members will be: the BBTI Directors, Bhagavat-Dharma dasa, Anjana dasi, Ranjit dasa, Navina Nirada dasa, Amita dasa, Hanuman dasa, Nimai Pandit dasa, Nayana Ranjana dasa, Bhanu Swami, Ekacakra dasa and Aniruddha dasa. More members may be added at the discretion of the local BBTI Directors.

COMMENT: This is meant to help our Communications Department get more news and ideas from the BBT offices all over the world.



24. (NO FUNDING OF ISKCON’S DEALINGS WITH DISSIDENTS) In congruence with Srila Prabhupada’s original purposes set forth for the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, the BBTI will not fund ISKCON’s legal, doctrinal or educational efforts to deal with dissident ISKCON members.

COMMENT: This is not an expression of sympathy for dissidents. It’s simply a statement that paying to combat them is not the work of the BBT.

25. (ARBITRATED DISPOSITION OF OUTSTANDING FEES IN HAMSADUTA CASE) We authorize our legal counsel to pursue an arbitrated disposition of the outstanding fees in the Hamsaduta case.

COMMENT: The outside legal firm that represented us in the Hamsaduta case deserves less, we believe, than they are demanding. Formal arbitration is a way to settle this matter without the time and cost of going to court. We have good reasons for believing we shall prevail.

26. (WESTERN INDIAN BBT FUNDS TO EASTERN INDIAN UNIT) For 1998, the Western Indian BBT will give the Eastern Indian BBT Indian Rupees 9,04,067 for language development. . . . Last year’s amount of Indian Rupees 10,64,779 has been changed to Indian Rupees 8,76,315.

COMMENT: Annually, the Western Indian BBT gives the Eastern Indian BBT a sum to aid in producing new books, especially in South Indian languages. The change in last year’s amount was an accounting adjustment.


28. (FULL SET OF PARAMPARA PICTURES IN GITA) Every complete edition of “Bhagavad-gita As It Is” published in English should include a full set of pictures of the members of the disciplic succession found in the original 1972 printing. As far as practical, editions published in other languages should follow this same standard. Our thanks to Mahamaya devi dasi for bringing this matter to our attention.

29. (SALES OF FULL SETS OF SB AND CC PRINTED IN INDIA) Any office of the BBT outside India may sell full English sets of Srimad-Bhagavatam and Caitanya-Caritamrta printed in India, subject to the following provisions:

For each title, the office may sell to each customer a number of Indian sets that matches the customer’s present order of Western sets. For example, a temple that places an order for 100 Western Srimad-Bhagavatam sets could buy 100 Srimad-Bhagavatam sets printed in India. Additionally, customers who now have Western sets in stock may buy from their local BBT office an equal number of Indian sets.

COMMENT: For sankirtana distribution at a lower price.


31. (ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN) Naresvara dasa is elected Chairman for the unexpired portion of Jayadvaita Swami’s term--that is, until June 2001.

32. (DIALECTICAL SPIRITUALISM) We approve of publishing the summary “Philosophers Book.” We also agree that we shall publish the full “Dialectical Spiritualism” in two volumes, properly edited. We shall further discuss the second project in November.

COMMENT: The North American BBT plans to come out with a 300-page book of Srila Prabhupada’s discussions on these biggest-name philosophers: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Origen, Augustine, Aquinas, Kierkegaard, Mill, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Sartre, Darwin, Marx, Freud, and Jung. The book is nearing the end of production, and should be a winner for sankirtana. At the same time, we are committed to publishing Srila Prabhupada’s entire “Dialectical Spiritualism.” More on that at our November meeting.

33. (BOOKS BY SIVARAMA SWAMI) We authorize Jayadvaita Swami and Brahma Muhurta dasa to pursue with His Holiness Sivarama Swami the prospects for publishing books by him under the BBT imprint.

34. (CORPORATE IDENTITY) Each Director will bring to our November meeting one or more proposals for a corporate identity package. The package should demonstrate how we would handle the BBT logo, the name, the cities from which we publish, and a letterhead. The letterhead must include the founder-acarya line.

COMMENT: For books, BBT letterhead, and so on, we want to have one standard way to present the BBT name and logo.

35. (REORGANIZATION OF THE BBT REVIEW BOARD) Arcita dasa will be in charge of reorganizing the Review Board and the review process. Jayadvaita Swami and Dravida dasa are excused from taking part in the reorganized board.

COMMENT: This concerns the editorial board that examines new books for the BBT to publish. Our present review process, slow and cumbersome, needs to be revamped. Dravida Prabhu and I are staying out of the review process so that we can focus on editing.

36. (ART REVIEW BOARD) Dravida dasa will be the pro-tem organizer of the Art Review Board.

COMMENT: This board oversees new artwork for BBT books.


38. (AUDIT) This year Dwarkadhish dasa shall audit the NE BBT.

COMMENT: Every year, our professional auditor carefully examines the accounts and records of one or more of our BBT offices. This year, in the rotation, he will audit the Northern European BBT.

39. (CHINESE & JAPANESE TRANSLATION QUESTIONS) This Body chooses not to intervene in translation questions regarding Chinese or Japanese. We leave this matter in the hands of Naresvara dasa and Svavasa dasa respectively.

COMMENT: Naresvara and Svavasa Prabhu are the local BBT directors for Chinese and Japanese.

40. (INTERACTIVE SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM CD-ROM) The NE BBT will go ahead with the production of a Srimad- Bhagavatam multimedia CD-ROM.

41. (AUDITOR’S REPORTS) When a report of the auditor points out a defect in an audited BBT unit, the responsible Director shall ensure that the defect is cured. He will be responsible to report at the next annual general meeting what has been done to cure the defect. The Secretary will bring to the annual general meeting the auditor’s reports in which such defects are pointed out so that the Board of Directors can conclude the matter at its meeting.

COMMENT: It’s great that we conduct annual audits and that all the BBT directors receive copies of the audit reports. But when a report points out a defect, what do we do about it? This resolution provides for follow-up.


43. (VENUE AND DATE FOR NEXT ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING) The next Annual General Meeting will be held at New Govardhan (Murwillumbah), Australia, on June 19-21, 2000.

44. (THANKS TO HOSTS) We thank Svavasa Prabhu and all the wonderful devotees at New Dvaraka for their hospitality and the excellent prasadam.

© CHAKRA 08-Sep-1999

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His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami
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