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Baladeva Vidyabhusana Project Updates

by Dr. Demian Martins

Posted June 30, 2012

The first phase of the Baladeva Vidyabhusana Project was highly successful and digital copies of nearly 90 editions of Srila Vidyabhusana’s books were acquired, including as some important manuscripts. Their front pages can be seen here:

For several months, I travelled around Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Odisha, visiting many relevant places. The main acquisition was soft copies of two manuscripts so far unknown to the world: “Tattva-dipika” and “Brahma-sutra-karika-bhasya”. This last work is a concise commentary on the Vedanta-sutra written by Srila Vidyabhusana at the request of King Jai Singh. Important contacts were also made, among which is Sri Avadesh Acharya, the Mahanta of the Galta temple, the place where Srila Vidyabhusana wrote the Govinda-bhasya, and where they still have a manuscript library. Another great contact was Ram Kripalu Sharma who owns the largest manuscript collection in the world with around 125 thousand titles, most still unclassified. He enthusiastically promised to put at our disposal any of Srila Vidyabhusana’s work he might locate there. Also among the supporters of the project is Sri Krishna Gopalananda Goswami, the head pujari of the Sri Sri Radha-Syamasundara Temple the home of Srila Vidyabhusana in Vrndavana. He belongs to the Syamananda-parivara, the same as Srila Vidyabhusana, and has taken the initiative of mobilizing the members of his line to locate the lost manuscripts.

The Baladeva Vidyabhusana Project has the following primary objectives:

1. Search for lost manuscripts. (Such as the commentaries on nine Upanisads, Srimad Bhagavatam, etc.)

2. Digitally preserve manuscripts currently existing in different libraries.

3. Digitally preserve all editions of Vidyabhusana’s books.

4. Digitally preserve articles written about Vidyabhusana.

5. Type all the original texts in digital unicode system, which can be converted into Devanagari, Bengali and Oriyan characters.

6. Prepare a critical edition for each work.

7. Translate all the works into English.

8. Publish all translations with the original Devanagari text.

9. Investigate and verify existent biographical data of Vidyabhusana, including historical evidences of the conflict between the Gaudiyas and the Ramanandis of Rajasthan.

10. Publish a comprehensive biographical work.

There is still much to do, but I am practically struggling alone in this project and I seek your assistance. There are many libraries, research institutes, scholars and temples to visit all over India, however this will take several months and the lack of funds restricts the extent of my endeavour. I have chalked out an estimated schedule I hope to achieve with your support. Ideally I would like to visit a minimum of four places per month, spending 5 to 7 days in each place, possibly more depending on what is discovered and how cooperative the local mahanta’s and libraries are. The estimate expenses are as follows:

1. Travel in India (by train as far as possible): US 150 per month

2. Lodging boarding expenses during travel: US 210 per month

3 Photocopying, scanning, library charges: US 80 per month

4. Miscellaneous (mail, courier, phone, etc.) : US 50 per month

Assistance in the following ways is also requested:

1. Contacting libraries and research institutes in India and abroad.

2. Locating and acquiring texts.

3. Typing devanagari and Bengali texts in transliterated Roman script.

4. Proofreading transliterated texts.

5. Editing and publishing.

I also request the help of anyone expert in website development to build a definitive and dedicated website to host all the collected material so that it may be available online for free.

This is a unique project which has been undertaken for the first time after several centuries of negligence, and I humbly beg from all those who understand its importance to kindly contribute to make it thoroughly successful. All those who wish to contribute to this project may contact me at:

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