HERE'S A Krsna conscious project you might like to support or get involved in. We'll tell you what the goals are, who's involved, what's going on, what's blocking the way, and how you can give a hand.
New York and San Diego.
Bala Books is led by devotees of Krsna with backgrounds in publishing, filmmaking, and children's literature.
Publisher: Yogesvara Dasa, award-winning producer of animated children's films for PBS and The Disney Channel.
Director: Prahlada-priya Dasa, head of publications, responsible for the production of Yamuna Devi's acclaimed cookbook, Lord Krishna's Cuisine.
To expand the library of Krsna conscious stories through illustrated books, audio recordings, and films that will reach out to people both inside and outside ISKCON.
Encouraged by Srila Prabhupada to publish children's books and other devotional literature, Yogesvara and his partner Prahlada-priya Dasa have produced a dozen illustrated works and as many adult-level publications since Bala's inception in 1977.
"We were fortunate to have had Srila Prabhupada's personal guidance for our service, " Yogesvara recalls. "He was clear that we should publish not just for our own congregations but for people everywhere. He saw Bala Books as a vehicle for popularizing Krsna consciousness on a mass scale. We didn't quite know how or why Krsna conscious publications and programs would sell commercially, but as always, Prabhupada knew what he was talking about. We've been astounded by the results."
In 1987, Bala Books published Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, by Yamuna Devi. The 824-page encyclopedia of devotional cooking went on to receive the "Best Cookbook of the Year" award from The International Association of Cooking Professionals. It is in its sixth American printing and its second British edition, and two foreign editions are scheduled for release next fall. Bala Books recently released an abridged paperback.
Bala Books has published and distributed more than 300,000 devotional books in the past 14 years. Bala titles have appeared in six languages, and a Russian language series is in translation. In 1984, the government of India selected Bala Books to produce two days of story-telling, dance, music, and puppetry at Lincoln Center in New York City as part of The Festival of India. Last year, Bala Books helped buy 26 Second Avenue, Srila Prabhupada's first temple in the West, and donated five thousand copies of the illustrated Prabhupada biography to temples in Africa.
A small staff limits the company's ability to open new markets and begin new sales efforts.
The company has embarked on several devotional projects, including an illustrated Ramayana series and a feature film. A dozen illustrated children's books are in development, and the company has outlined a children's book-with-audiocassette series of tales from India.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Submit the names of bookstores, gourmet shops, vegetarian restaurants, health-food stores, and other outlets that might be interested in carrying the Bala Books cookbooks or children's publications.
For further information, please contact:
Bala Books, Suite 7
12520 Kirkham Court
Poway, CA 92064
Phone: (619) 679-9080
Fax: (619) 679-6908
P.O. Box 311
Old Westbury, NY 11568
Phone: (516) 334-0909
Fax: (516) 338-6654
For orders, please contact Kalki Dasa at the Poway address.