October 27, 2011

BRC's Manuscripts Mission in West Bengal Libraries

During the second half of 2011, The BRC Manuscripts Mission traveled to libraries in West Bengal. The Most significant of the hundreds of works we have photographed in the last six months is a tal manuscript worshiped on the altar at Caitanya Tal Mandir in Navadwipa. 

This manuscript is said to be a commentary by Srila Gadadhara Pandit on the 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, with annotations by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself! While this will need to be verified, we are very grateful to head mahanta Sri Sudin Goswami (at right with the manuscript) who was extremely cooperative and friendly and allowed us to photograph the entire manuscript.

In exchange we supplied him a disc with the digital images and we will make a complete copy on metal plates for the temple to preserve the work for many generations to come.

Another library successfully reproduced was at the Caitanya Mandir, Gaighat, Patna. HH Mahavisnu Swami kindly gave us an introduction and in November our team spent a week photographing more than a dozen manuscripts. The temple is a little run down and requires some renovations but the Mahanta there, Sri Kishori Raman Goswami was very kind and helpful. On the altar there is a beautiful Deity of Krsna Who appears very similar to Sri Sri Radha Raman in Vrndavana.

Our team carefully wrapped the manuscripts and stored them in three almiras the government has given the temple as a grant. But we were also concerned to hear that some persons have already started to sell off some of the manuscripts in the local markets for pocket money. We have made an offer to look after the manuscripts should the situation change and he can no longer care for them.

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