BHAKTIVEDANTA RESEARCH CENTRE

A project of ISKCON Mayapur 110A Motilal Nehru Road, Kolkata 700 029, WB India PH: 91 33 4065 2475/ 5216

Nityashirvadaka Siddhanta Sarasvati

Newsletter
ISSUE #7, August 2012 - March 2013
Welcome to the latest exciting report on developments at the BRC.

Scanning and Preservation
In our last newsletter we reported the acquisition of the Bookeye 4, a professional, high resolution scanner. Since its arrival in August we have been busy scanning beginning with the more delicate works, in particular the 31 bound volumes of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s daily newspaper Nadia Prakash. We are happy to report that the scanning of Nadia Prakash is now completed – a huge task which resulted in almost 40,000 (forty thousand) images!

All 31 volumes have now been    de-acidified laminated with acid-free sheets re-assembled in volumes ready for re-binding fully indexed (see opp. photo)

Rare documents
We were graced for several days in December 2012 by the presence of Sriman Pradyumna prabhu, Srila Prabhupada’s Sanskrit editor since 1968. Pradyumna prabhu traveled with Srila Prabhupada more than any other disciple and is probably the foremost scholar on Gaudiya Vaisnava literature in the world today. He spent considerable time in the library, offering much useful advice and information.

However his most exciting contribution was his discovery of a rather battered-looking folder containing some hand written letters and drafts of articles from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura as well as some letters written by some leading disciples such as Sripad Bhakti Pradipa Tirtha Maharaja, Bhakti Hrdaya Bon Maharaja, Sripada Bhaktisaranga Goswami, and others.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati signed his letters [above] “Nityashirvadaka Siddhanta Sarasvati” i.e. “Your ever-wellwisher” [nitya – eternal; ashirvad – blessings or well-wishes; daka – I am].

These letters are from Bhaktipradip Tirtha and Bhakti Hrday Ban, both of whom along with Sambidananda dasa were sent to London in the 1930s to preach.

Another document of great interest in the folder is a two-page outline in English entitled The Origin and Development of Vaishnavism – The Vedic Vishnu and Krishna; and Probable dates of the several Periods of Indian History

Mission for Manuscripts
Our Manuscripts team made their second visit to Odisha in January 2013 gaining many new contacts and much information on possible manuscript sources. They were given access to the libraries in Ravenshaw University and the State Museum and made tentative agreements to work with them in the future. In the small village of Nayagarh, Udaypur, we discovered the Dasarathi Pattanayak Library and Museum. This library has an enormous collection of more than 17000 mss, 40, 000 old books and a massive number of old journals. The owner was happy to give us access and we are planning how to catalogue the collection in order to identify which ones are important to scan for the BRC.

Most importantly, our first excursion to Bangladesh commenced in mid-February 2013. We have a number of contacts in Dhaka University where there is a large collection of Vaisnava manuscripts and books. Apart from this our team travelled northeast to Sylhet, the birth district of Lord Caitanya’s father Sri Jagannatha Misra as well as other important tirthas in Chittagong and Khulna. At Iswara Patasala, Coomilla we discovered a wonderful collection of 60,000 books and 9,000 mss. None of it is catalogued and the collection is in danger of simply rotting away. The 87 years old custodian more than welcomed our offer to come there for an extended stay and catalogue the whole collection and show them how to preserve their works. BRC has made an offer to the managing committee and we are awaiting their positive response.

BRC Website
We are very grateful to Sriman Sachisuta prabhu from New Zealand, the owner of internet provider www.go2.co.nz who agreed to host our website brcindia.com free of cost. This has saved us a massive headache and provides far better facility for our clients than we could ourselves.

New Acquisitions
We were excited to discover some previously unknown correspondence of our beloved Founderacarya Srila Prabhupada in March while attending the Gaura Purnima festival. Together with Sriman Jananivasa prabhu we conducted a search of Srila Prabhupada’s quarters and found about 20 postcards sent to Srila Prabhupada in 1949-1950.

Along with these were two each original prints of SB Canto 1 part 1 and Part 2; an original Back To Godhead from 1957 and two editions of Hindi language Bhagavat Dharma from 1957; and the first ISKCON-era Indian edition of Back To Godhead in Hindi from 1970 which lists Los Angeles as ISKCON’s world headquarters and Gorakhpur as the only Indian center.

A special mention is due to Sriman Nrsimhananda dasa of ITV and Topanga Canyon Pyramid House fame for donating his entire and extensive collection of Back to Godhead magazines. He made the decision after seeing a power-point presentation of the BRC in Udipi in December.

New Members
We want to thankfully acknowledge Sriman Madhusevita dasa from the UK who became our latest Patron member with a very generous gift of £16,000.00, part of his inheritance from his late father. May Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada bless both of them unlimitedly for their kind support.

Adopt a Month (AaM) - In March last year we began a new membership program.
BRC operating expenses are approx. $2,500.00 per month, or Rps. 1,35,000.00. An AaM member agrees to fund one month of their choice per year. We are happy to report that our Aam membership is picking up steam and we have at present achieved half our target number with six committed members: Bhakti Caru Swami and Brisbane yatra signed up first and were joined by Sriman Mashesh Advani, who is also a Patron Member, Bhaktivedanta Manor, the Mayapur Vrndavan Trust (MVT), and also a strong supporter in Melbourne who prefers not to be named. If we reach our goal of 12-15 Aam members it will guarantee the o n-going operations of the BRC. Any individual or yatra would like to become an Aam member please contact myself, Harisauri dasa.
If any reader would like to help support our efforts at developing this important facility and ensuring the preservation of our literature please contact Hari.sauri.acbsp@pamho.net or harisauri@gmail.com

There will be a special report shortly on some very significant developments at Birnagar, the birthplace of Srila Thakura Bhaktivinoda and some of his original manuscripts! Stay tuned! On behalf of BRC, Hari-sauri dasa Director

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