Are there audio recordings of Srila Prabhupada that the Bhaktivedanta Archives refuses to release or provide access to? Some seem to think so. They've suggested a conspiracy to keep the Founder-Acharya’s words from devotees, and have even started a petition demanding immediate online release of all audio files. Thousands have signed on to date.
The truth, however, seems to be far less sensational. According to longtime Archives director Ekanatha Dasa, though there are in fact unreleased recordings, the Archives is working on making them available.
“Yes, there are unreleased recordings of Srila Prabhupada,” said Ekanatha, “but we are working diligently, using archival doctrine as our guide, to make these available to the devotees as soon as possible.”
Archival doctrine is to emphasize accuracy, not speed, and the Archives have always strived to approach their work in a professional manner.
“While we may seem a little slow to some, we are thorough and meticulous, a quality highly encouraged in an archival environment,” said Ekanatha.
The biggest challenge seems to be correctly labeling every record with its time, place and subject, items collectively known as “metadata.” Previous releases of the Bhaktivedanta Tape Ministry have sometimes had these wrong, and the Archives don’t want to follow suit.
“We are determined to get it right, to pass on an accurate and definitive record of Srila Prabhupada’s vani,” concluded Ekanath.
Interestingly, the Archives has decided to set the record straight on the issue, with posts to the popular devotee blog site Dandavats.com (Part One
and Part Two
) and on their own blog