(iskconnews.org) – ISKCON News | BRC in Kolkata Embarks on Extensive Renovation to Preserve Vaiṣṇava Heritage
H.H. Rādhānath Swami along with H.G. Gauranga Das surveys the manuscript collection at BRC.
Over a decade ago, Kolkata, the birthplace of Śrīla Prabhupāda, witnessed the founding of the Bhaktivedanta Research Center (BRC) by H.G. Hari Śauri Prabhu and H.G. Praṇava Prabhu. Inaugurated in 2009 by H.H. Jayapatākā Mahārāja and H.H. Bhakti Cāru Mahārāja, the BRC has since blossomed into a thriving research center and guest house, serving as a significant destination for the global academic and Vaiṣṇava community.
The inspiration to establish the BRC stemmed directly from Śrīla Prabhupāda’s desire to preserve handwritten manuscripts of our previous ācāryas for future generations of Vaiṣṇavas and to establish a comprehensive library encompassing all of his books, works of the previous ācāryas, and other bona fide Vedic texts.
The library, which stands as the central feature of the four-story BRC facility in Kolkata, is divided into five primary sections, housing a vast collection of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s writings, Vedic literature, volumes on Vedic cosmology, original Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava texts with commentaries, and an array of ancient manuscripts and rare books.
Presently, the BRC library is in the midst of a substantial renovation project prompted by a recent visit from H.H. Rādhānath Swami, who identified dampness and leakages in the facility.
The first phase, which is currently underway, is concentrated on the library. Thus far, all the books have been meticulously packed and moved to the conference room. Subsequently, the library will be prepared for the repair and renovation phase. This effort will involve removing carpets, waterproofing, applying putty, repairing balconies, and addressing dampness issues. Next, a dehumidifier will be installed, and books will be rearranged upon completion.
Emphasizing the international significance of the center, the academic dean of BRC, Dr. Sumanta Rudra, stated, “BRC attracts academic scholars from the world over. We hope the ongoing renovations will create an even more conducive environment for our scholarly visitors.”
The second phase will involve the renovation of the rest of the building. It will encompass the refurbishment of guest-house rooms, repairing damp areas, terrace treatments, and plumbing improvements. This comprehensive project aims to restore and improve the entire BRC building for an enhanced research and study environment.
The BRC library and guest-house will remain closed for the duration of the renovation work, with the library closed for one month and the guesthouse inaccessible for two months. Hence, BRC humbly requests visitors to plan their trips accordingly.
H.G. Gaurāṅga Prabhu, the Administrative Director of BRC, expresses satisfaction with the renovation progress. He also extends his deep gratitude to H.G. Rādhā Ramaṇa Prabhu, Vice President of ISKCON Kolkata, for his substantial assistance with the renovation efforts. He requests the blessings of the devotee community to ensure the successful completion of these renovations, thereby enhancing the centre’s role as a hub for Vedic and Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava studies.
Readers who would like to support this renovation are requested to reach out to Balarāma Līlā Dāsa via email. Your support will be deeply appreciated and will play a vital role in the successful completion of this project.