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This year, we have more resolutions than usual that are 'unpublished'...discretion is the better part of valor.
|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)
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
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RESCINDED) Pursuant to the previous resolution, we hereby rescind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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
© CHAKRA 08-Sep-1999
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