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The attempt to broadcast the news of the great Temple of the Vedic Planetarium is praiseworthy. All the devotees who are working so hard and participating in the manifestation of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda's prediction, the building of this temple and dream of Srila Prabhupada, are to be thanked wholeheartedly and the dust of their feet placed on all of our heads.

However, I think it quite a bit negligent in the film, "The Temple Out Of The Rice Fields," which was just produced as an official representation of the project, to address the divine personality who inspired the idea in the devotees of this temple, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, as simply some "old Hindu monk". Since when has it been on record that any of our great acaryas are addressed in such a way, what to speak of the world's greatest Acarya, Srila Prabhupada? The way he is depicted by such language does not give the viewer any insight of his importance nor of his divine commission as being the one sent personally by Sri Caitanay Mahaprabhu to break open the storehouse of love of Godhead, giving it freely to all the world. The way he is casually mentioned is as if to almost lessen his importance, although I am sure that was not the intention of the creators of the film, and definately not the idea or opinion of all the devotees who are sacrificing their lives to build this extraordinary mandir.

The err or misplacement of Srila Prabhupada's accurate and true title in the film would not be a very difficult thing to correct, and should be done so. I have heard other senior Srila Prabhupada disciples also mention this. What is the wrong with saying, "His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who was a pure devotee of Lord Krishna since birth, at an elderly age, set sail to America aboard the Jaladhuta ship"? Why do we have to minimize him in reference in any way, as if he is just some other "monk"? We may be monks, or devotees, but he is the spiritual master of the universe! Srila Prabhupada should get the highest credit (mention in film) for the divine mission of starting ISKCON, as well as inspiring all the devotees to work together to help make the prediction of our predecessor acaryas come true.

Besides that point, anyone whoever has heard Srila Prabhupada speak, either personally or on tape, knows that he preached so much against India's spiritual culture being classified as Hindu. And then we turn around and call him Hindu? Would Srila Prabhupada personally ever say, that the temple of the Vedic Planetarium will be the largest Hindu temple in the world? To say that this will be the largest "Vedic" temple in the would, he might give it that designation. It is not a Hindu or hodge-podge temple of any sort, and it never will be. And none of our acaryas were Hindus. They are all pure Vaishnavas,

It's only words, but choice words eloquently spoken should take every and any opportunity such as this, to properly glorify Krishna's pure devotee to the world, and thus receive his blessings more upon our own heads. We should also be giving the more proper understanding to India's so-called Hindus. The temple will stand on its own divine merits and the grace of Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, without our public relations department needing to fabricate or continue a misnomer handed down in history by non-aryan people apart from the Vedic culture. The knowledge passed down in guru parampara, disciplic succession, as well as the Vedic culture, speaks for itself.

Again, my humble respects and gratefulness to all the members and leaders of Iskcon for taking up this great task. By it, Srila Prabhupada is glorified. Jai Ambarish prabhu!

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The first phase of the Baladeva Vidyabhusana Project was highly successful and digital copies of nearly 90 editions of Srila Vidyabhusana’s books were acquired, including as some important manuscripts. Their front pages can be seen here: www.vidyabhusanaproject.blogspot.com

For several months, I travelled around Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Odisha, visiting many relevant places. The main acquisition was soft copies of two manuscripts so far unknown to the world: “Tattva-dipika” and “Brahma-sutra-karika-bhasya”. This last work is a concise commentary on the Vedanta-sutra written by Srila Vidyabhusana at the request of King Jai Singh. Important contacts were also made, among which is Sri Avadesh Acharya, the Mahanta of the Galta temple, the place where Srila Vidyabhusana wrote the Govinda-bhasya, and where they still have a manuscript library. Another great contact was Ram Kripalu Sharma who owns the largest manuscript collection in the world with around 125 thousand titles, most still unclassified. He enthusiastically promised to put at our disposal any of Srila Vidyabhusana’s work he might locate there. Also among the supporters of the project is Sri Krishna Gopalananda Goswami, the head pujari of the Sri Sri Radha-Syamasundara Temple the home of Srila Vidyabhusana in Vrndavana. He belongs to the Syamananda-parivara, the same as Srila Vidyabhusana, and has taken the initiative of mobilizing the members of his line to locate the lost manuscripts.

The Baladeva Vidyabhusana Project has the following primary objectives:

1. Search for lost manuscripts. (Such as the commentaries on nine Upanisads, Srimad Bhagavatam, etc.)

2. Digitally preserve manuscripts currently existing in different libraries.

3. Digitally preserve all editions of Vidyabhusana’s books.

4. Digitally preserve articles written about Vidyabhusana.

5. Type all the original texts in digital unicode system, which can be converted into Devanagari, Bengali and Oriyan characters.

6. Prepare a critical edition for each work.

7. Translate all the works into English.

8. Publish all translations with the original Devanagari text.

9. Investigate and verify existent biographical data of Vidyabhusana, including historical evidences of the conflict between the Gaudiyas and the Ramanandis of Rajasthan.

10. Publish a comprehensive biographical work.

There is still much to do, but I am practically struggling alone in this project and I seek your assistance. There are many libraries, research institutes, scholars and temples to visit all over India, however this will take several months and the lack of funds restricts the extent of my endeavour. I have chalked out an estimated schedule I hope to achieve with your support. Ideally I would like to visit a minimum of four places per month, spending 5 to 7 days in each place, possibly more depending on what is discovered and how cooperative the local mahanta’s and libraries are. The estimate expenses are as follows:

1. Travel in India (by train as far as possible): US 150 per month

2. Lodging boarding expenses during travel: US 210 per month

3 Photocopying, scanning, library charges: US 80 per month

4. Miscellaneous (mail, courier, phone, etc.) : US 50 per month

Assistance in the following ways is also requested:

1. Contacting libraries and research institutes in India and abroad.

2. Locating and acquiring texts.

3. Typing devanagari and Bengali texts in transliterated Roman script.

4. Proofreading transliterated texts.

5. Editing and publishing.

I also request the help of anyone expert in website development to build a definitive and dedicated website to host all the collected material so that it may be available online for free.

This is a unique project which has been undertaken for the first time after several centuries of negligence, and I humbly beg from all those who understand its importance to kindly contribute to make it thoroughly successful. All those who wish to contribute to this project may contact me at: bkdemian@sify.com

by New BBT Communication Officer
Posted January 12, 2012

Have you thought about moving further into the techological fray and buying yourself an eReader? Even though it might seem daunting to face yet more new technology, there are reasons why you should – the most compelling being that you can easily store all of Srila Prabhupada’s books (and so many others!) on one handheld device (storage capacities vary). Many eReaders can also read the books to you as well as play mp3 files. This device is the pinnacle of convenience and is relatively inexpensive. eReaders are

• Portable – take it with you anywhere and everywhere. Show it to others (great if you are on book distribution, on an airplane, in a car, preaching away from home – the possibilities are endless).

• Space-saving, lightweight, comfortable – much smaller and lighter than carrying a volume of Srimad-Bhagavatam, eReaders allow you to read anything anywhere anytime (even at work).

• Multi-taskers – search for specific phrases, look up words in the built-in English dictionary, or use the translation dictionaries and get your definitions in your own language.

• Mini-computers – many eReaders have built in Wi-Fi to give you internet access to download books and browse your favorite websites.

• Economical – books are cheaper to download than to buy in hard copy. (It’s also possible to find free ebooks.)

• Eco-friendly – 1 cord (2 tons) of wood yields only 1/2 to 1 ton of paper, so lots of trees are saved when you use an eReader – not to mention that you avoid the processes and chemicals used to create paper, which are also harmful to the environment.

Additionally, eReaders have become much more affordable this year than last, as there are many electronics manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon to produce them. They are undoubtedly the future of reading, especially for our children. Check out ebook-reader-review.toptenreviews.com/ for a comparison of the most popular eReaders on the market today.

Now that you are sold on why you should buy an eReader, I will reiterate the main point: You can load the entire Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta, the Bhagavad gita As It Is, Krsna book, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Sri Isopanisad, Teachings of Lord Kapila, The Nectar of Instruction, and many other of Srila Prabhupada’s books onto your eReader. Imagine having all those books in one place at your convenience anytime and everywhere you go.

The BBT realizes that eReaders are the future, and they have been working diligently to make Srila Prabhupada’s books available for all eReader platforms. The minute you get your reader in hand, log onto www.bbtmedia.com to download any of the above titles for free. More titles are becoming available in different languages every day, so check back often.

By having the nectar to hear or read at your fingertips, this device will improve your life.

“Lost Sentence” to be Included in Future Gita Printings
by Lilasakti dd
Posted January 11, 2012

As you might recall, some months ago the BBT announced a new discovery: a manuscript page for Bhagavad-gita As It Is, chapter 10, text 36, with a sentence handwritten by Srila Prabhupada but never published, in any edition.

The sentence reads, “The unfortunate commentator, who wants to cheat Krsna and the public by saying that there is something greater than Krsna, is cheated by Krsna and the commentator cannot understand Krsna at any length of time.”

We asked the devotee community for their thoughts: Should we keep the book as is and leave the new discovery aside? Should we lightly edit the newly discovered sentence and include it in future printings? Should we add a footnote? And what reasons might you have for your choice?

After going through the responses, we have decided to include the sentence, without a footnote, in the future printings of the book.

We received about 40 responses, with disciples of Srila Prabhupada, other initiated devotees, and devotees not yet initiated all represented.

Of these, about 31 devotees said, “Just put it in,” whereas about seven preferred a solution involving a footnote. No one (or perhaps there was one person?) said, “Don’t change anything. Just leave it out.” One devotee, bless his heart, wrote, “I trust you to know more than I do and to make the right decision.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, none of the devotees who have campaigned on the internet for “No change!” sent us any response.

From the outset, our plan was to “get the word out there” before making any change and to give devotees an opportunity to share with us any thoughts they might have. Our thanks to all who responded.

Though the devotees we heard from preferred “Just put it in” by a wide majority, for us what was important was to get your thoughts, not to get the numbers. In an informal poll like this, the numbers cannot be relied on:

1. Given that we have thousands of devotees, forty responses (or even two or three times as many) is too small a number for a statistically representative sample.

2. Our cover letter itself, though it tried to be balanced, wasn’t as rigorously neutral as strict statistical protocols should require.

3. We know that different groups of devotees have differing views on editorial matters, and though we tried to get the word out as widely as possible, we took no steps to make sure these groups would be heard from proportionately.

4. We guess that our survey has a “friendly” bias. The devotees most likely to have responded, we suppose, are the ones with the most positive feelings towards the BBT.

So even though “Just put it in” won a wide majority, again it’s not the numbers we were after but your thoughts. And again, to all who responded, our thanks.

Lilasakti dd

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On the auspicious day of Guru (Vyasa) Purnima (July 3rd) the Bhaktivedanta Archives Releases Original Audio of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada for 1977 along with a VedaBase® 2012.1 update.

In our continued commitment to make all the recorded material of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada available, the Bhaktivedanta Archives is presenting the Bhaktivedanta VedaBase® 2012.1 update and original audio for 1977 (387 files, 237 hours).

The new Bhaktivedanta VedaBase® 2012.1 update has a new layout. The current 3000+ transcriptions have been arranged chronologically and are sub-divided by year. The 1977 transcriptions have been reverified against the original audio and will be released simultaneously with the VedaBase® update 2012.1. Also, 250+ new transcriptions have been added under the Heading, “Fidelity Check Pending”. These files still need to be checked for accuracy but have been included to show the completed transcriptions from all the audio on file in the Archives. These 250+ files will eventually be folded into the main body of the NFO (VedaBase® database) once the fidelity-checking is completed. In previous updates, and in this 2012.1 update, spelling errors, omitted or incorrect words and dates will continue to be addressed. For those who already own the “Folio” Bhaktivedanta VedaBase® software version 2003.1, there is no charge for this update nor will there be for any future NFO (only) (Bhaktivedanta VedaBase® database) releases.

In addition to the Bhaktivedanta VedaBase® 2012.1 update, you can also obtain an “Archival copy” of the original 1977 audio (MP3). Krishna.com will make these audio files available on a flash-drive along with PDF transcription texts that also contain imbedded audio for a nominal fee plus shipping and handling. Prabhupadavani.org will host streaming audio for on-line listening along with transcription texts. The 1977 audio files can also be downloaded individually. There is no cost to download these single files. Our next release will be the year 1976, then 1975 and so on until 1966.

What is an “Archival Copy”?

The MP3 “Archival copy” is a direct facsimile of the original recording with very minor, if any, audio quality enhancements that may remove or reduce artificially induced sounds such as 50-60Hz hum, excessive tape hiss, and in extreme cases, the raising of volumes for those recordings made at very low levels. These ARE NOT sonically cleaned up, edited and packaged “for sale” recordings like the previous Ministry releases, but reflect the “as is” nature of the both good and poor original recordings.

Why “MP3”?

Digital files are useless if they cannot be accessed now and in the future. Therefore, in order for the general devotee community to act as a backup for this audio (secondary preservation), the digital files must be in a common format. MP3 is the most universal consumer-compressed format which is easily readable. The original lossless WAV (broadcast) files, along with the cassette and reels, will always remain at the Bhaktivedanta Archives as the source of reference.

Why not “cleaned up” recordings?

An Archival recording is an original copy or closest copy as possible to the original. As an Archive, the Bhaktivedanta Archives’ responsibility is to preserve these original recordings so the integrity and provenance of the original can be retained. If a recording is very poor, the Archival primary recording will remain very poor. This assures the integrity of the actual recording without subsequent changes–now and in the future. The 1977 MP3 files are taken directly from these “as is” files and are, in a few cases, slightly enhanced so you can follow along with the Bhaktivedanta VedaBase® text.

In accepting these free MP3 Archival secondary files, we request that you not alter the files in anyway, either with editing the content, length of time or sonically. They must remain "as is" from the Bhaktivedanta Archives, thus maintaining the provenance, integrity and legacy of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

We at the Bhaktivedanta Archives look forward to sharing more MP3 audio (1976 thru 1966) and Bhaktivedanta VedaBase® updates in the near future. If you would like to make a donation to help us further our service, please click here: donation. Please download the Bhaktivedanta VedaBase® 2012.1 here: VedaBase 2012.1 update (donation page).

In the service of Srila Prabhupada, we remain your servants at the Bhaktivedanta Archives.

The staff

PS. Our websites are vedabase.com, prabhupada.com or bhaktivedantaarchives.blogspot.com. For more information please contact: ekanatha @ prabhupada.com

TLC Review
by Lilasakti devi dasi
Posted January 31, 2012

The BBT would like to sincerely thank everyone who responded to our invitation to give us your thoughts on the proposed third edition of Teachings of Lord Caitanya. We received about thirty-five comments and some good advice on how to handle presenting the third edition. The majority of devotees who wrote support the third edition, while others offered some cautions. While our polling of the devotee community was not done scientifically, we did try to reach as many devotees in as many places around the world as possible. Thank you for helping us serve you better.