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Folder Śrīla Gurudeva’s Personal Library
This is yet another manifestation of Śrīla Gurudeva’s mercy. Now you can download Sanskrit, Hindi and Bengali texts that Śrīla Gurudeva collected since 1946 and referred to while preparing his translations and commentaries.
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja (Śrīla Gurudeva):
“I have a collection of many priceless books in my library. Most were given to me by my guruvarga, as their blessings – some by my Guru Mahārāja (Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja), some by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja, some by Śrīla Bhakti Sarvasva Giri Gosvāmī Mahārāja, and some have been affectionately given to me by other Vaiṣṇavas.
Either because of my previous saṁskāra or by my own desire, I also collected several books from the beginning of my spiritual life. Most of them are based on the ideology of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. These books are a storehouse of tattva and rasa. I took much help from all these books whenever I edited or translated any book, but yes, I considered only those parts of the book that were in accordance with the rūpānuga-bhaktivinoda-sārasvata line, or the Gauḍīya Sārasvata line.
Upon careful observation, it is apparent that many books that have been collected, published, translated or edited by different Vaiṣṇavas contain some siddhāntic differences. It is for this reason that [the instructions in] these books should be practised under the guidance of qualified Vaiṣṇavas only.
For several years, I took care of these books to the best of my capability. Now that I am old and involved in many other services, I am not able to serve these books appropriately. If someone can take the responsibility for this and now protect the books, I would be very satisfied.”
* * *
These words were spoken by Śrīla Gurudeva in the the Śrī Keśavajī Gauḍīya Maṭha, Mathurā in 2001. After that, some devotees served the books in his bhajana-kutīra by getting them rebound and putting new covers on them.
In 2004, in an attempt to understand the gravity of Śrīla Gurudeva’s words above, some devotees were inspired by him to scan his books, protect them as carefully as possible, and make them available to interested devotees.
Since a book’s binding had to be undone for it to be scanned, it meant that that book would be temporarily unavailable, so if Śrīla Gurudeva and his sevakas needed to refer to that book in their preparing a new publication, they would not be able to do so. This concern was presented to Śrīla Gurudeva, but he enthusiastically responded with “What could be better than this? I fully agree with this plan. If we need to refer to a book that has been sent for scanning, we will ask for a scanned copy of that part. Go ahead with this work. If there is some expense, you can take the money from me. Some of the books are very old. Scan them carefully. "
After receiving this permission from Śrīla Gurudeva, his disciple Śrīmatī Vraja-kiśorī dīdī from Canada scanned almost all the books one by one with utmost care and patience. Even though she is English speaking with no knowledge of Bengali and Hindi, the quality of her scanning work is excellent, very admirable. For the happiness of Guru-Vaiṣṇavas, she performed this service for several hours a day on a daily basis. It’s not easy to do a service with written documents when you cannot read or be perceivably benefited by the text. One can’t help but feel that Śrīla Gurudeva, Śrī Guru-Paramparā and all Vaiṣṇavas would be very much satisfied with her service.
Some of our devotees who travel from one place to another for preaching service had expressed that it would be helpful if they had access to these literatures as they travelled, since it is not possible for them to carry all of them wherever they went. They were now able to access scanned copies of these books, which they greatly appreciated.
This gave rise to another idea: These books are now valuable for Śrīla Gurudeva’s disciples, but other Vaiṣṇavas would probably also find them valuable. Why not put these books on the purebhakti.com website, thus making them available for everyone?
The only concern was that many books had already been published by different institutions and copyrighted by them: “All Rights Reserved”. Would it cause a problem if we were to publish them on our website? We concluded that since we are presenting the books as they are and have not made any changes, there is no reason for anyone to be dissatisfied. Rather, devotees from all saṅgas would have access to that resource and would no doubt bless those helping with the scanning work.
It is with our heads bowed that we who have been fortunate to have received this service of protecting Śrīla Gurudeva’s personal library can distribute them to all as praśāda on the occasion of his centennial appearance.
We hope that devotees will be benefited by receiving the incredible treasure of Śrīla Gurudeva’s personal library. There are still more books to be scanned. As they get scanned, they will gradually be posted on the website.
All glories to Śrīla Gurudeva. All glories to Śrīla Gurudeva’s Centennial Appearance Day. All glories to Śrīla Gurudeva's disciples. All glories to the devotees celebrating Śrīla Gurudeva’s Centennial Appearance Day!
In the service of Śrī Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas
The Gauḍīya Vedānta Publications team