SP takes a walk thru his LA BBT warehouse

April 5, 2022 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

April 17 1971 letter to Vrndavan chandra

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 18th February, 1971 and have noted the contents. You write to say that this Hare Krishna Movement is perfect in all respects. Thank you very much. And it is a fact that “Sankirtana will keep you happy and the books will keep you convinced”, so make your program in that way and become fixed up in Krishna Consciousness.

Feb 24 1977 conversations
Prabhupada:This is very improved.

Rādhāvallabha: For the next printing of Bhagavad-gītā, so much paper was ordered that it would take seventysix train cars to carry it. (laughter)
Rāmeśvara: They’ve written us a letter about this. They have never received such a large paper order at one time for one bookWe have a letter glorifying the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust from the paper company, and another letter from the printer. This is the largest.

Now let us take a walk thru with Srila Prabhupada of the BBT warehouse at THAT time…..
Feb 10 1975 Morning walk thru LA BBT Warehouse
Hṛdayānanda: Right here. See on the left there?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. [break] (inside)
Rāmeśvara: …admire your books, Śrīla Prabhupāda. Sometimes they sit here and they pull books to examine the quality of the printing, and they always read the Back to Godhead magazine while they wait.
Prabhupāda: Harer nāma harer nāma… [Cc. Ādi 17.21]. Ah. Latest publication?
Haṁsadūta: Yes.
Rāmeśvara: The Back to Godhead printer frames these for us. He brings them over after every issue.
Prabhupāda: Oh. They are giving good service.
Rāmeśvara: They are very fond of us. They spend more time on our magazine than anyone else.
Prabhupāda: What is the picture?
Rāmeśvara: This is Sītā, the wife of Advaita Ācārya receiving…
Prabhupāda: Oh, Lord Caitanya.
Rāmeśvara: It is in Ādi-līlā, Volume Three.
Prabhupāda: Who has painted?
Rāmeśvara: Jadurāṇī.
Prabhupāda: Jadurāṇī has got good talent. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (chuckles)
Rāmeśvara: This is the office where I work.
Prabhupāda: This is developed photo.
Rāmeśvara: It is a drawing by a boy in New York named Peter Hawkins.
Prabhupāda: Drawing?
Rāmeśvara: A drawing.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Harer nāma harer nāma… [Cc. Ādi 17.21].
Rāmeśvara: We have two warehouses… [break] …to the wall and up to the ceiling.
Prabhupāda: So they are going or simply stock?
Rāmeśvara: No. It is greatly reduced since they have arrived.
Prabhupāda: So Haṁsadūta, he has to make a go-down(book warehouse) like this.
Haṁsadūta: Yeah.
Prabhupāda: Then he’ll defeat these charges. Eh? When the nation, German nation, will accept these books, then that will be proper reply, charges.
Rāmeśvara: This forklift lifts these pallets high up to the ceiling.
Prabhupāda: Oh.
Hṛdayānanda: Does Prabhupāda want to see how it work? Śruta-śravā, you can show him how it works? Quickly.
Rāmeśvara: These racks we purchased for storing the books that will be sent to the libraries and colleges. When Satsvarūpa Swami gets the orders, they are reserved over here, five hundred copies of each book, and then, when we run out, another five hundred copies goes in the rack. So that way, we always keep books. Even if we sell out, we always have books reserved for the libraries. Śruta-śravā manages our warehouse. (engine started)
Hṛdayānanda: Make it go up.
Prabhupāda: I first saw this machine in the Commonwealth Pier, Boston. (machine moving around, crashing sound)
Jayatīrtha: What are you doing, Śruta-śravā?
Rāmeśvara: Sometimes because of that roof you can’t see what you’re doing.
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Rāmeśvara: So usually he’s very careful.
Prabhupāda: Sometime they are breaking also. (laughter)
Rāmeśvara: So far, no accidents.
Kirtirāja: Just today.
Rāmeśvara: He’s a little nervous. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: What is the rent?
Rāmeśvara: 1,800 dollars each month for all the offices in the warehouse. It’s considered a good price in this area. We have a speaker system, so during the day, while they work in the warehouse, they’re always hearing your lectures.
Prabhupāda: Ācchā? (chuckles)
Rāmeśvara: This is the other warehouse.
Hṛdayānanda: Back to Godhead.
Prabhupāda: There is arrangement for fire?
Rāmeśvara: Yes. We have fire insurance and fire alarm. We have fire alarm?
Kirtirāja: Yeah.
Rāmeśvara: We have fire alarm? These are Kṛṣṇa Trilogies.
Prabhupāda: All these? All these, stock?
Rāmeśvara: We always require large inventory because the temples order so fast. Bhagavad-gītās in this corner, and on this back wall here, all the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatams and Caitanya-caritāmṛta volumes… These books have just arrived from the printer.
Prabhupāda: Where is that Prajāpati? He’s not here? That play yesterday… Last evening I saw. It was very nice.
Gurudāsa: Yes. They also did Pralambāsura for the guests.
Prabhupāda: No… Now we have got Caitanya-caritāmṛta and Bhāgavatam. If such demonstration are done very nicely, it will be very much appreciated even by the public. We can collect some money.
Jayatīrtha: Yes. We plan to make a tour this summer all the way up the West Coast, and in the amphitheaters...
Prabhupāda: And in India also. Simply you have to change the language, dictate.
Jayatīrtha: Of the narration.
Gurudāsa: Yes. They’re planning to do that.
Prabhupāda: In our festival let them come and show. What is this? That man? What is his name who showed Gaurāṅga līlā?
Gurudāsa: Yes, Harigovind.
Prabhupāda: It will be hundred times better than that.
Gurudāsa: Thousand times. Ten thousand, yes.
Prabhupāda: So show this nonsense that “We can do better than you.”
Gurudāsa: It’s much more beautiful.
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Jayatīrtha: They’re coming to Māyāpur.
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Gurudāsa: Yesterday at the love feast they did Pralambāsura, and the guests loved it. Wonderful.
Jayatīrtha: They applauded.
Prabhupāda: They must love it. It is very nice, very nice. Organize this very nicely. We have got so many boys and girls. They can play simply. And they haven’t got to speak. This system is very nice. Let them play. What is this called, system?
Hṛdayānanda: Narration.
Prabhupāda: No, there is…
Jayatīrtha: Like pantomime.
Gurudāsa: Mime.
Prabhupāda: Even they play with tape. Tape… Tapes… The tape is going on, and then are playing.
(NOTE-In vancouver temple there was a devotee who produced weekly little 10-15 minute skits or parody’s of society and Krsna lila stories-everyone loved it)

Gurudāsa: Yes, they also do that sometimes. They have tapes.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So organize this, and all over the world this will be appreciated. And now we have got so many books. From the book you get subject matter and make a playwright in all languages. It will be very nice.
Gurudāsa: They have a repertoire of eight main ones that they can do, and now they’re starting to do others also, from Caitanya-caritāmṛta, etc.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I think he is good director, Prajāpati.
Jayatīrtha: Yes. His wife is very expert also.
Prabhupāda: Oh. And also you can call… What is he? Jagad-dhita…? That Australian girl?
Gurudāsa: Oh, yes, Jagatāriṇī.
Prabhupāda: Jagatāriṇī.
Jayatīrtha: She can come here?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. She is expert dancer. She was very popular actress before joining. Very, very popular actress. You know?
Viśākhā: I’ve heard the name, yes.
Prabhupāda: Yes. There was a newspaper, big, big…, that “This girl has given up everything, now has joined Kṛṣṇa.”
Gurudāsa: Yesterday one professional skydiver, one who parachutes from a plane for money, I talked to her. She’s joining the dance company. Yesterday. Thirty-four years old, professional parachuter woman, she is joining the dance company. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: Our dance company?
Gurudāsa: Yes, our dance company. She saw the dance, and I preached to her. She’s joining.
Viśākhā: We plan to make a motion picture of the Bhagavad-gītā dance that they do. My husband and I…
Prabhupāda: Do it. Apply your American brain how to serve Kṛṣṇa. That is success.
idaṁ hi puṁsas tapasaḥ śrutasya vā
sviṣṭasya sūktasya ca buddhi-dattayoḥ
avicyuto ‘rthaḥ kavibhir nirūpito
[SB 1.5.22]
Whatever talent one has got… These talents are also acquired after austerity. It is not ordinary thing. So everything should be employed to describe Uttamaśloka, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is Uttamaśloka. So we have got so many Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastime. We can overflood. Just like you can overflood with this literature, we can overflood… This is art. Art, music, everything we can utilize. In any way one is addicted—let him eat only, let him sing only, let him paint only, let him dance only—we have got everything. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Let him do business also. Yes. Engineering-construct temple. It is so all-perfect movement, Kṛṣṇa… That is Kṛṣṇa, all-attractive. Everyone can be attracted and give up everything. He will be attracted by Kṛṣṇa in such a way that he’ll give up all nonsense. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. No more other enga… Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. All other attraction finished. Simply Kṛṣṇa. What are these?
Hṛdayānanda: Back to Godhead.
Prabhupāda: Oh, magazine.
Rāmeśvara: These boxes have come from the printer all ready to go to different countries, and they stamp the address on it. These are those newspapers you saw yesterday called “Spiritual Revolution.”
Prabhupāda: I think this Revolution is not very important. Make revolution with magazine, this Back to Godhead. What are these?
Rāmeśvara: The Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Lord Caitanya in Five Features, that chapter that we printed.
Jayatīrtha: These are the ones that you wanted us to bring for distribution to the Māyāvādīs.
Prabhupāda: Yes, Māyāvādīs.
Rāmeśvara: Just before Christmas this wall was filled up, and now it is practically empty. We have sold so many books just in a few months. All up to the ceiling it was filled up. Now we have to reprint.
Prabhupāda: Now it is only in English language. In every language such big go-down should… Yes. (chuckles) You have taken Spanish, and he is German. Then… Then overflood. No more other literature. (laughter) Ara nāhe bābā. They’ll say, “No, no, we don’t want any other literature.” Yes, George says, “No more singing anything except Kṛṣṇa.” Does he not say? He says like that.
Gurudāsa: Yes. Sometimes. (laughter)
Rāmeśvara: Sometimes.
Prabhupāda: I don’t think… Is he singing any other song, no?
Gurudāsa: Now he is not. He’s going to Vṛndāvana next week.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Vṛndāvana. Where he’ll stay?
Gurudāsa: I wrote him a letter to stay with us, but he may stay in Mathurā. I’m not sure. I wrote him a letter to stay at our place.
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Rāmeśvara: We have enough space here to store all the Spanish books, because they are printed in Los Angeles, or in America.
Prabhupāda: That’s all right.
Rāmeśvara: Maybe we should walk around again.
Prabhupāda: I think no religious publisher have seen such big go-down in their life, throughout the whole world. As soon as they will hear about religious book they immediately avoid it, especially the Communist country. And bring some Communist country man to show him that “You are trying to avoid God. Now see how we are preaching God.”
Jayatīrtha: In one country, Communist country, Albania, they made it against the law to pray in public or in private. Anyone who is found praying in public or in private may be arrested.
Prabhupāda: Ācchā?
Jayatīrtha: Albania. It is the first country…
Prabhupāda: Armenian country?
Jayatīrtha: Albania.
Prabhupāda: Albania, oh.
Rāmeśvara: East Europe.
Prabhupāda: Just see how demons they are becoming. What is this room?
Hṛdayānanda: This leads into the other rooms.
Rāmeśvara: These are offices. The first office is where Kirtirāja works. He is managing all the distribution for the libraries and colleges. Satsvarūpa’s party sends in the orders, and they process them from here. They handle all the business from this part of the warehouse.
Prabhupāda: What is this?
Hṛdayānanda: That’s Māyāpur, Lord Caitanya’s birthplace.
Gurudāsa: Yogapīṭha.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s family. “Book Digest.” They publish our books?
Kirtirāja: We are trying to arrange that now. All of these different… There are so many magazines we are trying to get our books listed in them. Śrīla Prabhupāda, here’s a magazine which one Christian press nearby has printed, very fancy magazine, and they were distributing it for free. They just recently printed a letter and then sent this. They have gone from this to this because they cannot afford to do it any more. No one is giving them donations any more, so they’ve gone from big fancy magazine to a small, plain paper. This people would like to see, but now this just looks like garbage. They won’t even read it.
Prabhupāda: So it has degraded.
Kirtirāja: Yes. We have gone from this to fancy.
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is our catalog.
Kirtirāja: Yes, we are printing a new one now.
Prabhupāda: What are these?
Kirtirāja: Unfortunately those are returns. When people don’t want the books, then they return them.
Rāmeśvara: Very few returns.
Kirtirāja: Very few, though.
Prabhupāda: Never mind. That is not as strong.
Kirtirāja: Now we have about almost 125 standing orders for Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and about almost one hundred for Caitanya-caritāmṛta.
Prabhupāda: That’s nice.
Rāmeśvara: We have just recently given Satsvarūpa a new car. So now he has four vans and a station wagon car.
Prabhupāda: Four vans?
Rāmeśvara: Four vans and one station wagon car, so he’s able to cover so many universities very quickly.
Prabhupāda: Very nice.
Rāmeśvara: This is Hṛdayānanda Swami’s office.
Prabhupāda: Oh, Spanish office.
Hṛdayānanda: These are the color pictures for our Bhāgavatam we are printing this week.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Mas Alla? (pronounces “masalla”)
Gurudāsa: It’s not spice.
Hṛdayānanda: That means “beyond.” “Beyond Birth and Death.” And that’s the cover for our Bhāgavatam.
Prabhupāda: Oh.
Gurudāsa: It is also spicy.
Rāmeśvara: It’s very convenient for him to print here because he has all the credit from BBT, so the printers immediately want to do business with him.
Prabhupāda: That’s it. Yes, businessman never invests his own money. He does business with others’ money. That is business. Just like I am doing. (laughter) I brought only forty rupees. That was also not spent. (laughter)
Rāmeśvara: This is our Golden Avatar studio where they record… They change your lectures into master tapes which can then be duplicated at high speed, and this is a complete library of all of your lectures.
Prabhupāda: Oh.
Rāmeśvara: We keep it very carefully. It’s very important. They are cataloging it according to title of book, so if someone wants to see what your Divine Grace has lectured on Bhagavad-gītā, they have one section on Bhagavad-gītā, and on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, First Canto…
Prabhupāda: They have got index book.
Rāmeśvara: Yes, they have index system.
Prabhupāda: Very good.
Rāmeśvara: In this room we make repairs on electrical equipment for Golden Avatar. We have one man who joined our movement. He was in the Navy. He was a sonar technician, and he became a devotee.
Prabhupāda: Where is Kṛṣṇānanda? What is…? What is his name?
Rāmeśvara: Kṛṣṇa-kānti.
Prabhupāda: Ah. Yes.
Rāmeśvara: Kṛṣṇa-kānti has moved to Santa Cruz. He has a house there. Navadvīpa Prabhu is now managing Golden Avatar.
Prabhupāda: He is technical.
Rāmeśvara: Yes. This is the man. His name is Robin.
Prabhupāda: He is…
Rāmeśvara: Very expert. And this is the duplicating machine. How fast can it make copies?
Robin: Three minutes.
Rāmeśvara: How many copies.
Robin: Four.
Rāmeśvara: It makes four copies on the cassette every three minutes, so we are mass producing your lectures.
Prabhupāda: Less than a minute, one copy.
Hṛdayānanda: Yes, both sides.
Rāmeśvara: Sixty minute lecture in less than a minute. So there is a big, growing business for Golden Avatar. More people are ordering your lectures all the time, all over the world.
Prabhupāda: Now, other countries?
Rāmeśvara: All over the world. They have accounts in Australia, Europe, everywhere.
Prabhupāda: Yad-uttama-śloka-guṇānuvarṇanam [SB 1.5.22]. This is mission. Uttama-śloka-guṇanāvarṇanam.
Kirtirāja: We’re advertising even by subscription. They can send in so much money, and every week they receive one or three tapes of Your Divine Grace’s lectures. And there’s kīrtanas…
Prabhupāda: American organization.
Rāmeśvara: They want very much to organize a radio show again with lectures and kīrtanas.
Prabhupāda: What is this? Q-tips?
Devotee: Cotton swabs.
Prabhupāda: Oh, I require a packet like this for my…
Rāmeśvara: Prabhupāda wants it?
Hṛdayānanda: Prabhupāda, do you want these?
Prabhupāda: You can take it, yes. Prasādam. (laughter) Vaiṣṇava’s prasādam. Chaḍīyā vaiṣṇava sevā, niṣṭhā payeche keba. You are all Vaiṣṇavas. Vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ. Eh?
Rāmeśvara: This is the mail order room, where all the orders that people send in for books… They are processed here. They manage that here. And Svarūpa, he is the secretary for the Society. In all your books it says, “If you want more information write to the secretary.” He answers all those letters.
Prabhupāda: How many letters you get?
Rāmeśvara: Svarūpa?
Svarūpa: Maybe twenty-five letters.
Hṛdayānanda: Every day.
Rāmeśvara: And also he is encouraging them to become Life Members, and sometimes through the mail they send their Life Membership fee. This is our Mail Order shipping room.
Prabhupāda: I was doing when I was Dr. Bose’s manager. Any inquiry coming from outside, I must continue correspondence with him unless he becomes a customer.
Rāmeśvara: Unless he becomes a customer.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That I was doing.
Rāmeśvara: There’s one more room, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Rāmeśvara: This is where they ship all the mail orders.
Prabhupāda: Weighing.
Hṛdayānanda: That’s for postage.
Rāmeśvara: We have our own postage machine. We don’t have to go to a post office.
Prabhupāda: Oh.
Rāmeśvara: It prints out stamps.
Prabhupāda: Even letters, packages?
Rāmeśvara: Yes, anything. So it’s very efficient.
Prabhupāda: What is this?
Rāmeśvara: Sometimes people order incense along with their books. Very rarely. The mail order business is now doing $100,000 worth of business every year and is always growing. It is almost doubled from last year.
Prabhupāda: Oh, you are printing these books?
Rāmeśvara: We’re going to reprint them.
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Rāmeśvara: 100,000 copies, with a color cover.
Prabhupāda: Nice. This, this, very nice.
Rāmeśvara: That is the size for the new Bhagavad-gītā.
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Hṛdayānanda: These are oils. [break]
Prabhupāda: This dramatic party, so they should be sent all, in India. Yes.
Rāmeśvara: They are going on saṅkīrtana to collect their plane fare.
Prabhupāda: If there is deficiency, we can pay from book fund.
Rāmeśvara: Oh.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They must go with party.
Rāmeśvara: All right. I’ll tell them that. Prabhupāda said if there’s deficiency in funds that we’ll pay from Book Fund to send them to India.
Jayatīrtha: Really? Oh, they’ll be ecstatic.
Prabhupāda: Nice, well-equipped go-down. Yes. So now make one go-down in Germany.
Rāmeśvara: They have your name on the building, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupada:”You cannot stay.” (laughter) I’ll tell you one humorous story in this connection. It is a little long. I don’t wish to divert your attention. Very interesting story. That is also mentioned in the Bhagavad…, aniketa. One may have many nice places to live; still, he should think that “I have no place to live.” That is one of the spiritual items.
Haṁsadūta: What is that story, Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Eh? (laughter) Story is that there was a joker—His name was Gopal Bahn—of a king, Rāja Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇanagar, you know? Near Māyāpur? Yes, the king of that place. So they used to keep joker to please them by words. So the joker was constructing a new building. So it is almost finished, but there was no opening ceremony. So Rāja advised his, one of his another friends, that “If you can go and pass urine in that new house of Gopal—the joker’s name-before the opening ceremony, then I’ll give you so much prize. Go and pass urine there.” (chuckles) So, “Yes, I’ll do it.” So… No, “Pass stool.” Yes. “Go and pass stool there. Then I’ll give you so much advance.” So one day he made this plan. He was passing, and all of a sudden entered: “Gopal, I am very much called by nature. Kindly show me where I shall pass stool. Where I shall pass?” So Gopal was intelligent, that it is, there is some plan. “Yes, yes, here is lavatory. You come here.” So he is… Everything was false. So then he said, “The door must be open. You pass stool there, but I’ll see that you are passing stool and door must be open.” “Now, how it is possible?” “No, it is possible. You can pass stool, but you cannot pass urine. If you pass urine, then I shall kill you.” Passing stool without passing urine, how it is possible? “So you have come to pass stool. That you can do here, but don’t pass urine.” (laughs) So that is my position. “You may have hundreds of places, but you cannot live anywhere.” That is Kṛṣṇa’s order. [break] …place not to become attached. Yes.