on Feb. 5, 2008
ISKCON's flagship center in Mayapur, India will soon be home to the "A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Reading Room," a unique library that will house all of Srila Prabhupada's books in 80 languages.
Prabhupada himself began this project when he kept a display in his room in Mayapur to showcase copies of his recently published books from around the world.
The Prabhupada Reading Room will provide a comfortable, quiet library setting with full facilities, so that Mayapur pilgrims can study without having to carry heavy books around. It will also introduce Srila Prabhupada's books to Mayapur's many international visitors who are not yet familiar with them.
But perhaps most importantly, the Reading Room will serve as a monument to the central role Srila Prabhupada's international book publication and distribution plays in ISKCON. Each year, thousands of visitors learn about ISKCON by visiting Mayapur. They see kirtans, classes, deity worship and beautiful buildings, and now they will also see the satisfaction and spiritual benefit devotees get by studying Prabhupada's books in many languages. The Reading Room will convey the powerful message, "Books are the basis."
A limited initial collection of books will be housed in a temporary location, and will be available for viewing at this year's Gaura Purnima festival. But the project's sponsors, ISKCON Mayapur and Friends of the BBT, hope that with the financial support of devotees worldwide, the A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Reading Room will occupy its own, stand-alone building at ISKCON Mayapur within the next year or two.