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A flood of books for Prabhupada’s pleasure.

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Vedavyasa Dasa: "As soon as I became involved in temple management, my translation work ground to a halt. Anyway, I was not inspired to continue because we had enough material to publish more than a dozen books. So there seemed to be no rush. But now, with the court case only a year away and Prabhupada's health deteriorating, printing as many new books as possible became a top priority.

"I informed Harikesa Maharaja about our attempt to work in Los Angeles. Working in Germany was impractical. We had no production facilities, and depending on outsiders, as we had done before, was cumbersome. Nobody had the special fonts to meet our needs, and the Sanskrit diacritics had to be put in by hand with a ruler. To set up our own operation would take time, and time was short. So we contacted the BBT in Los Angeles and learned that the fonts we'd ordered were ready.

"In the beginning of 1977, Harernamananda Dasa, Taponidhi Dasa, Silpakarini Dasi, Revati Dasi, and I went to Los Angeles. We were determined to focus on producing as many titles as possible.

"Revati transcribed, Silpakarini and Taponidhi took turns working shifts on the Redactron composing machine, Harernamananda translated the general index and alphabetized it, and I coordinated everything while also learning layout from Yamaraja Dasa and designing the covers in consultation with Navadvipa Dasa and devotees in the art department.

"The devotees at the American BBT were going out of their way to help us, except for Radhavallabha Dasa, the production manager. He wasn't happy to have us intrude on his domain and upset the routine. And we mostly depended on him to authorize someone's helping us. When Harikesa Swami made a short visit to L.A. in April, I explained the situation to him, and he informed Srila Prabhupada. Soon afterward Radhavallabha received a letter:

As you probably know, our society is facing a very serious court case in Germany. It is understood that if we have difficulty in this court case, we may not get further chance to print our German books. Whatever German books you have lying with you ready for printing should be immediately printed. This work should be given priority as our society's well-being there depends upon it.

"From that point on, it was as if the floodgates opened. Radhavallabha gave us all facilities, and thus we managed to send a set of films to Germany every three or four weeks. As soon as the first new title came of the press at the end of June- the German edition of The Nectar of Devotion – we sent a copy to Srila Prabhupada in Vrindavana. A few weeks later, we received a letter from Srila Prabhupada's secretary, Tamal Krishna Maharaja."

I have been instructed by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada to reply your letter dated July 14, 1977, sent along with the German translation of The Nectar of Devotion.

When His Divine Grace was handed Der Nektar der Hingabe, he immediately held it to his head and offered obeisances. Then Srila Prabhupada's lotus-eyes moved over the cover and throughout the book just like a bee attracted to honey.

After looking through the book, Srila Prabhupada declared, "This is a very important translation and it is very nicely made. I am very, very glad to see this. People will immediately purchase it. Such a nice presentation. It is more than first-class. It is undoubtedly better than the English publications. The pictures in the middle are more attractive than putting them at front.

"Jaya Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati – it is his blessings. Oh, he was so anxious to print books. It is his life and soul. He would say, 'I have desire to print some books. I wish to sell the marble. If you get some money, use it to print books.'

"Everything is very nicely done. My heartfelt thanks to all the devotees of German BBT. And just see, they have given such a nice picture of me, just like a submissive Vaishnava."

To please the Supreme Lord is certainly the perfection of life, but higher than that is to please the Supreme Lord's pure devotee. This you have all done by this first, most important translation of The Nectar of Devotion. My obeisances at all of your feet for such outstanding work. Hoping this meets you all well, floating in the ocean of transcendental book printing and distribution.

As soon as Harikesa Maharaja began acting as the GBC and BBT trustee for Northern and Eastern Europe, he organized the translation of Srila Prabhupada's books into the major East European languages. This fulfilled a desire Srila Prabhupada had expressed to Hamsaduta as early as 1973.

From "Srila Prabhupada and His Disciples in Germany" by Vedavyasa dasa

 

 


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