|| Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadharau Vijayetam ||


Shastra seva

  What is shastra?
The Supreme Lord has brought forth this entire creation. Having created mankind He was truly pleased, for human beings had the capability to take care of His creation and maintain it the way He wanted it to be maintained. He therefore appointed human beings as the caretaker of this creation. He wanted the human beings to protect all, to nurture all and to work for the welfare of all in His creation. But human beings had no information about how to work for the welfare of all. In fact they had no idea of Who God was.

Hence the Lord Himself produced a body of knowledge that explained mankind everything that he needed to know about how to be happy and keep others happy. This body of knowledge is available in the form of books. Since the knowledge contained in these books is eternally there with God, and no human being has actually composed them, we say that these books are apaurusheya, meaning “not composed by any human being”. Such apaurusheya books are also called shastra. They include the Vedas, the Puranas, the dharma-shastras, the itihasas, etc.

The shastras are revealed by God and they contain knowledge that is meant for the welfare of entire mankind. Therefore it is important to preserve them and have the knowledge of the shastras disseminated in society. This will uphold peace, progress, health, wealth and happiness in the society.

A major activity in Sri Haridas Niwas is studying, preserving and spreading the knowledge of the shastras found in ancient manuscripts. This is done by –
  1. Studying, understanding and practising this knowledge,
  2. Collecting manuscripts and old publications that are on the verge of extinction,
  3. Translating the old manuscripts / books into modern languages like Hindi, Bengali, English, etc.,
  4. Publishing the texts found in the manuscripts and old publications,
  5. Teaching the knowledge of the shastras to the seekers of the Truth
For this purpose Maharaj ji had established a large library of books and manuscripts (Sri Gaura-Gadadhara Granthagaram) as well as a publishing house (Sri Gadadhara-Gaurahari Press).
If you have old manuscripts or scriptural texts that are lying uncared for, you may consider saving them by donating them to Sri Haridas Niwas. Contact us here for this purpose.

Welcome to Sri Gaura-Gadadhara Granthagaram, one of the largest libraries in the entire Vraja-mandal!
Entrance to the library, “Sri Gaura-Gadadhara Granthagaram”
The idea of maintaining a library in Sri Vraja-dham for the seekers of knowledge was conceived in the sixteenth century by the twin stalwarts of Sri Chaitanya’s mission, Sri Rup Goswami and Sri Sanatan Goswami. In the massive temple complex of Sri Govinda ji established by Sri Rup Goswami, there were residential facilities for teachers, students and visitors. There was a large library with an impressive collection of hand-written manuscripts that had been collected from all over India. His nephew, Sri Jiva Goswami had also established
a library in Sri Radha-Damodar temple. Unfortunately, these were completely destroyed by Aurangzeb’s army. In the earlier half of the twentieth century, when Sri Vinod Bihari Goswami Maharaj came to Vrindavan, he brought with him the tradition of academic orientation along with spiritual practice. He had been awarded four “Tirtha” degrees and three “Ratna” degrees in traditional scriptural education system in Bengal. He established a library in his ashram, “Sri Giridhari Bhajanashram” at Kaliadah Ghat and started teaching students the knowledge of the shastras. Later, when Maharaj ji established Sri Haridas Niwas at the same site, he expanded the academic activities in the ashram even further. Today, it is clearly evident from the sheer size of the library at the ashram that the tradition of bhakti coupled with orientation to scriptural studies that was established by Mahaprabhu and His followers, has been strongly revived in Sri Vraja-Mandal.
A partial view of the Library
Sri Gaura-Gadadhara-Granthagaram is currently one of the largest libraries in the entire Vraja-mandal. It houses more than 10,000 books and manusrcripts on about 150 different subjects including the Vedas, different branches of Eastern and Western philosophies, grammar and literature of Sanskrit and other languages of India, various different types of encyclopedia and indices, modern subjects like environment, architecture, medicine, etc. It also has booklists of various other libraries of India. Procurement, cataloguing and other functions of the library are controlled by a software that has been specially customized to meet the needs of this library.

Maharaj ji had acquired many manuscripts throughout his lifetime, which were on the verge of getting destroyed due to neglect.  They are housed in this library.
A manusrcipt in the library
There is a programme for preservation of the manuscripts that is coming up in the ashram and a laboratory for doing the same will also be set up. Research scholars will find the collection of books and manuscripts to be useful for them. The manuscripts are being studied, translated and published in the form of books from the publication division of the ashram, Sri Gadadhara-Gaurahari Press.

The scriptures are the basis of understanding the true purpose of human life.They guide us on the path of happiness.  They teach us how to be materially progressive and yet be peaceful in life. The knowledge of the scriptures is manifested in the human society by God Himself.
Some publications of Sri Gadadhara-Gaurahari Press
At Sri Haridas Niwas, scriptures are studied, taught, translated and published. Many scriptures were on the verge of being lost to mankind forever. Maharaj ji preserved them for posterity by publishing them from the Press that he had established in the ashram, Sri Gadadhara-Gaurahari Press. So far about 100 books have been published from this Press in Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali and English. Recently books have also been published from the press in Tamil, Spanish and Italian. The publications are available at the ashram premises in Vrindavan. For ordering them, one may contact Khandelwal Book Stores, Loi Bazar, Vrindavan on +91-9997977551.  Click here for a complete list of publications of Sri Gadadhara-Gaurahari Press.