We here at Chakra are committed to telling you the whole truth. We don't hide anything, although we have our own perspective, which is independent and not dictated to us by the GBC. At CHAKRA, although we are friends with the GBC, we only present our own views. We speak of our own free will.

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BBT Online Newsletter No. 1

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Welcome to the BBT Online Newsletter No. 1
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Contents
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1. Editorial

2. Creating a Sankirtan-Friendly World

3. Back To Godhead Update

4. The BBT Trustees and Their Work

5. Protecting Srila Prabhupada's Copyrights

6. Responsible Publishing

7. Opportunities for Service

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1. Editorial
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We can imagine how pleased Srila Prabhupada would have been to hear India's new Prime Minister praising "the printing of millions of copies of Bhagavad-Gita in scores of languages" at the recently opened Delhi temple. The BBT was, and still is, a crucial part of Srila Prabhupada's global mission. Our new bimonthy newsletter will keep you up to date with what is currently happening with the BBT. Our aim is to create a positive exchange between ISKCON's publishing arm and ISKCON's members.

We hope you will find this newsletter informative. We really would like to know what you think. We believe it is essential for devotees to have a dialogue about issues that are important to them. Then, even if there are disagreements, we can work towards a solution. We hope to hear from you soon. Thank you, prabhus.

Your humble servants

Editor: Anjana Dasi

Consultant Editor: Bhagavat Dharma Dasa

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2. Creating a Sankirtan-Friendly World
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Vaishnava Training Course in Book Distribution
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A revolution has quietly swept through the world of Book Distribution. Sparked by Saunaka Rsi Dasa, Rohini Suta Dasa and Anuttama Dasa, and funded by the BBT, a team of educators and writers headed by Rasa Mandala Dasa compiled the Book Distribution Syllabus. The basic idea was a course for all book distributors that would help them to realise the principles and values that underpin sankirtan. The course emphasizes long-term vision, devotee welfare, honesty and sound spiritual practice. The course also aims to improve cooperation and integration of book distribution with other ISKCON preaching efforts. So far, more than fifty courses have taken place worldwide, with over 1000 devotees successfully graduating.

Success in the USA

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Having heard that book distribution is on the increase in the USA, we contacted Aisvarya Dasa, a travelling sankirtan party leader. Here are two extracts from his sankirtan diary.

15th-16th April: I will always remember a wonderful Mormon gentlemen named Curtis E. Smout, the Director of Salt Lake Community College Center. He performed devotional service by allowing us to legally distribute books inside the Student Center on two snowy days. It was ecstatic to be able to wave at the Security Officers on campus with them knowing exactly what we were doing.

17th April: Last year in Salt Lake City, Utah, we held a program at the house of Karta Singh and his wife Jaap Kaur, along with his yoga students (they are initiated into the Sikh faith but are very attracted to Lord Krishna). This year they invited us again. After prasadam we had a question-and-answer session that went on till 1.30 am. By this time Karta Singh was so fired up that he began excitedly introducing everyone to the books. They promptly all pulled out wallets, purses and checkbooks and bought sets of books. Even Mom! Afterwards they asked us to come back next year and do the same thing again.

Kaustubha Dasa also gave us some news about his travelling sankirtan program. Six customised vans travel throughout the country during the summer. Last year more than 50,000 big books per month were distributed. The devotees deal with people in a very straightforward way. They describe the books, say they are monks and ask for donations on the merit of the book. "We find ourselves selling books to people that have bought books previously all the time," Kaustubha Dasa said. We will bring you more information about this program in our next newsletter.

US Publishing Figures
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Hot news for 1998 is that the BBT is printing fifty thousand copies of the Srimad-Bhagavatam 1:1 for mass distribution. The North American BBT are scheduled to reprint "Quest for Enlightenment," as the previous printing of fifty thousand copies sold out in four months. Fifty thousand copies of a new book called "Dharma: The Way of Transcendence" will be printed. It consists of Srila Prabhupada's lectures on the First canto, Second Chapter, of Srimad-Bhagavatam. In 1997 the BBT's North American division printed a total of 944,698 books and distributed a total of 864,783.

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3. Back To Godhead Update

by HH Jayadvaita Swami
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Fifty-four years have gone by since Srila Prabhupada published the first Back to Godhead magazine. The BTG is an effective publication for strengthening devotees, cultivating and training congregational members and Nama Hatta groups, and reaching out to spiritual seekers and other new people.

The main countries distributing the English-language BTG are the USA, the UK, India and South Africa.

South Africa has nearly 7,000 subscribers.

The South African program: Subscribers pay about $10 a month. They know they can get the magazine for only $30 a year, but they understand that they're also donating to the temple. By a debit-order system, the monthly payment comes right from the subscriber's bank to the temple accounts. Hmmm. That's 7,000 subscribers at $10 a month.Back Home

Go ahead: Do the arithmetic!

This year the Indian BTG team launched BTG in Marathi (the language of the state of Maharashtra, where Bombay is located). More than 6,000 paying subscribers signed on before the appearance of the first issue. The next edition planned: Gujarati, later this year.

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4. The BBT Trustees and Their Work
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The Trustees responsible for the printing and publishing of Srila Prabhupada's books are Jayadvaita Swami (this year's chairman), Gopal Krishna Goswami, Harikesa Swami, Madhusevita Dasa, Naresvara Dasa and Svavasa Dasa.

Srila Prabhupada instructed that the profits from his books should be "fifty percent for printing new books and fifty percent for construction of temples," and the BBT Trustees continue to carry out Srila Prabhupada's mandate. The BBT funds expansion of the Mayapur project, and helped to build both of Srila Prabhpada's Samadhis. The BBT financially supports the Bhaktivedanta Institute, enabling important scientific research and preaching programmes to continue. BBT loans continue to help purchase temples, and BBT grants are preserving invaluable tapes, photos, manuscripts, and film and video footage of Srila Prabhupada.

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5. Protecting Srila Prabhupada's Copyrights
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In a letter to all ISKCON centers dated 14 March 1974, Srila Prabhupada stated, "I specifically formed the BBT to invest in it exclusive rights for the printing of all literature containing my teaching, writings and lectures."

Srila Prabhupada wanted his books protected legally by copyright, and that was one reason he formed the BBT. Srila Prabhupada set up two BBT trusts -- first one in India and then another in America -- but this resulted in certain legal ambiguities. For this and other reasons, the BBT trustees formed the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, with the blessings of the ISKCON GBC. The BBTI serves mainly as the owner of the BBT copyrights and trademarks and licenses the use of this property by various BBT divisions around the world.

Devotees sometimes ask, "Why can't I print my Spiritual Master's books?" Yet Srila Prabhupada didn't even want his own ISKCON temples to print independently. He stated clearly that all printing "must be by the BBT or under their sanction and approval." He gave specific instructions as to where the profits from his books should go and he was determined to achieve this. Temples have an automatic blanket license to use photos and short articles from BBT publications for their cards, newsletters, and so on. No problem.

The BBTI office in Sweden monitors unauthorised use of text and artwork from Srila Prabhupada's books. If you do come across any unauthorised use of Srila Prabhupada's books please notify:

Madhavi Puri Dasa, BBTI, Farboret 101. 24297 Hoerby, Sweden.

e-mail:
mats.olausson@com.bbt.se

Currently Akruranath das, the BBTI lawyer has filed a case against Hansadutta dasa for publishing bootleg copies of Srila Prabhupada's books in SE Asia. Hansadutta has filed a countersuit that claims he is the owner trustee of Srila Prabhupada's books. He claims that he and two of his followers are the actual owners of legal title to Srila Prabhupada's copyrights. He wants the beneficiary to be changed to enable them to use BBT money for non-ISKCON projects, at their discretion. The trial is scheduled for September.

Any devotees who were involved with Hansadutta Dasa, please contact Akruranath Dasa (Adam Bernstein) at (408) 297-9982.

E-mail:
akruranath.acbsp@com.bbt.se

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6. Responsible Publishing
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Why does the BBT sometimes publish Srila Prabhupada's books in revised editions, with text that in places differs from the first edition published? A new BBT pamphlet offers a comprehensive explanation. The pamphlet, "Responsible Publishing," written by Dravida Dasa and Jayadvaita Swami, has been published online at <http://oldchakra.com>. The printed version, if not already out, should be available soon. If you wish to have a copy please contact:

For North America:

The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
3764 Watseka Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034, USA

Elsewhere:

Anjana Dasi
Mayapur House
Station Road
Radlett, Herts. WD7 8JX,
UK

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7. Opportunities for Service
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The BBT is a frugal organisation that depends on voluntary service by many devotees around the world. However, we offer full time support to devotees who are qualified translators.

Youth
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We need young devotees who are willing to be trained in editing and publishing. Former gurukula students are already engaged in the writing, editing, and publishing departments of the BBT throughout the world.

Please contact:

NET:
bbtco@netcomuk.co.uk

COM:
anjana.acbsp@com.bbt.se

or: Anjana Dasi,
Mayapur House,
Station Road,
Radlett, Herts.,WD7 8JX
UK.

Ladies
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Matajis, whether you have no children or your children are now at Gurukula or have finished their education, you can join the many ladies already working with the BBT. We need artists, computer operators and programmers, and writers and editors as well.

Translators.
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There is always a need for more devotees to perform this valuable service. If you speak English fluently as a second language and would like to translate Srila Prabhupada's books into your language, then contact us at the address above, or via your local BBT.

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COPYRIGHT.
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This is an internal newsletter for devotees and supporters of ISKCON. The copyright holder of this newsletter is the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Permission for reproduction is hereby given to all publications, e.mail lists and web-sites that have as their primary purpose the promotion of the ISKCON mission of His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, under the direction of the ISKCON Governing Body Commission. Permission for repoduction in all other circumstances should first be sought from the copyright holder.

Enquiries may be directed to

bbtco@netcomuk.co.uk

or
anjana.acbsp@com.bbt.se

CHAKRA 17-Jun-98

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