for ISKCON News on June 15, 2012
The Bhaktivedanta library in Mumbai is a veritable treasure-house of knowledge.
This library invites the public to read wonderful books in an air-conditioned comfort zone free of charge (except for the small amount that is to be paid in case you borrow a book). It was inaugurated in January 2007, is located on the second floor of the new building of the 'Heaven on earth' complex at the ISKCON temple at Juhu.
The library has more than 1.800 books in English and other, mostly Indian languages. The library also caters- 'lending for home reading' facility.
Another remarkable aspect of this library is the way it caters children with many colouring books, comics and animations on Lord Krishna. The state-of-the-art multimedia section has 10 monitors with18 video films, 3.000 lectures, 1.500 songs to choose from. Children are very fond of this library; one can always see them around- making noise and enjoying themselves, or spraying 'room freshener' everywhere in the library to their own amusement.
Students and scholars are benefitted at large with the use of the wide database provided by the library. This library also has a 'take away box” which allows visitors to take away photos, pictures, CDs and pamphlets free of charge.
When there is annual conference of ISKCON GBC (Governing Body Commission) in Mumbai, this library becomes a conference hall.
Well-illuminated facilities and ceiling makes reading more pleasurable in the library. The rooms library are kept immaculately clean, the chairs are comfortable and cushioned; both the tables and chairs are decorated beautifully. All the 'book-sections' are well labeled so that the reader does not have to waste his time in searching for the right book.
All the walls have nicely framed large pictures of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (ISKCON Founder Acharya) and the pastimes of Lord Krishna.
Akshay (MBBS student, Pune) says:–“Rare books which are difficult to find else-where are found here. I find books from all sampradayas, one can also find the Bible here. Along with books, the library has an excellent collection of periodicals, papers, articles and photos. The most important thing is that the librarian (Anantha Prabhu Das) is very co-operative and polite. He never makes one feel indifferent... This library has audio lectures, CDs and computers too. The books here are very expensive; I cannot afford to have them so I just read them here free of cost. I got in contact with ISKCON through the Bhaktivriksha programme in Chennai. Now I continue with my devotional activities in Pune also. If one wants one can deposit some fees and also the cost of the book and borrow the book from the library, and the deposited money is returned on returning the book."
Shambhu (worker from Kolkata) - “My village is in West Bengal. I get one day off on Sunday. I come to this library on Sunday morning, it opens at 10 AM. I read these books to acquire knowledge and search the absolute truth. I love reading the books available here.”
Anantha Prabhu Das (Librarian):- “After my 13 years of service in The Bhaktivedanta Institute, Juhu, I was in Mira road for 10 years for attending temple programs. I was working in The Bhaktivedanta Hospital with Dr. Patel in an anti-abortion campaign guided by Devamrita Das. One day in the afternoon after lecture, Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj called me from his car, put his hands on my shoulders and asked me to take up some responsibility as I had been there for a long time. I was requested to serve the newly finished library at Juhu, as I had done in The Bhaktivedanta Institute library earlier. From 300 books and 60 videos the library has now grown to 1800 books and 9000 videos, lectures and songs in the multimedia section.”
“Numbers of readers have steadily increased; ‘lending for home reading’ section has 78 regular borrowers. The library organizes community services, especially on Saturdays, of different groups like senior citizens. The library also holds books on vegetarian cooking, art, songs, Sanskrit and also travel books to holy places apart from the spiritual books."
Opening hours of the library:
Monday to Saturday: 10 AM to 1 PM and 5 PM to 8 PM
Sundays: 10 AM to 8 PM
For further information please contact Anantha Prabhu Das ( 91) 022 2620 6860 (Extension 155)