Vaishnava Encyclopaedia Project

The Vaishnava Encyclopaedia Proect has been started on 11th January, 2019 under the guidance of Dr. Abhishek Bose (Honorary Editor), Dr. Ferdinando Sardella (Honorary Editor), Dr. Sumanta Rudra (Assistant Editor), Anurag Pareekh (Dean of Administration) and with regular assistance from the library of Bhaktivedanta Research Centre. The project aims to create a Vaishnava Encyclopaedia by translating, editing and annotating the Gaudiya Vaishnava Abhidhana written by Haridasa Dasa.

  • A group of devotees visited the Vaishnava Encyclopaedia Project on 8th September.
  • On 4.11.2019 Dr. Himani Choker, HOD of Philosophy in Loyola College visited the project.
  • On 8.9.2011 Ananga Mohana Prabhu visited and blessed this project.
  • A group of 14 devotees from Hungary visited the Vaishnava Encyclopaedia Project on 3.11.2019.

Important visit

  • An eminent visitor Vaisheshikha Das from Silicon Valley and a group of devotees from ISKCON, Delhi, visited the Vaishnava Encyclopaedia Project in the begining of this year.
  • The next important visit was on 16.03.2019 when, HH Radhanath Swami visited the project.
  • Another eminent visitor was Sri Shrivatsa Goswami who visited the Vaishnava Encyclopaedia Project on 14.04.2019.
  • Mr. Shravan Kumar, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, visited the Vaishnava Enncyclopaedia Project on 9.11.2019
  • On the same day, Purusottama Keshav Prabhu from ISKCON Kolkata temple also visited the project.

Meetings

  • A meeting was held on 24.02.2019 among the Honorary Editors (Dr. Abhishek Bose and Dr. Ferdinando Sardella), Assistant Editor (Dr. Sumanta Rudra), the Dean (Mr. Anurag Pareekh) and the project employees (Sayani Hazra, Pijus Kanti Dua and Sinjini Chatterjee) at the Bhaktivedanta Research Center. The guidelines and translation policies that were to be employed while editing were discussed at the meeting.
  • On 26.04.2019 a meeting was held among the Honorary Editor Dr. Abhishek Bose, Assistant Editor Dr. Sumanta Rudra and the project employees. The meeting was primarily held to –
  • Discuss whatever the project have achieved till now.
  • Make a work schedule for the next month.
  • A meeting was held on 11.05.2019 among the Honorary editor Dr. Abhishek Bose and the employees. The meeting was primarily held to –
  • Make a work schedule for the whole year and divide the work load among all the employees evenly.
  • Set a target for that month.
  • In this meeting it was decided that Aishwarya Bhattacharya will also do the translation of Gaudiya Vaisnava Abhidhana.
  • Another meeting was held on 26.06.2019 in the presence of the Assistant Editor Dr. Sumanta Rudra and the employees of the project. The meeting was primarily held to:
  • Discuss about the progression of work.
  • Discuss how the target will be reached within the deadline.
  • Motivate the employees to stay focused and bring out their best.
  • An editorial meeting was held on 4th August, 2019 among Dr. Abhishek Bose and the other editorial members.
  • A meeting was held on 9.11.2019 among Dr. Abhisek Bose, Dr. Sumanta Rudra, Anurag Pareekh and the employees of the project. Decisions which were taken in that meeting are:
  • The fellows of the project will look for fellowship programmes in translation and will send proposals to those institutes in order to get those desired fellowships.
  • Duration of the project will be extended for further three months.

Accomplishments:

  • The team has translated total 210 pages of Charitavali section of Gaudiya Vaishanava Abhidhana that consists of 1300 short biographies and the translation has produced 1500 pages of MS Word.
  • A complete list on the reference books used by Haridas Das has been made. A research is being carried out by Research Assistant Pijus Kanti Dua to locate the exact editions that had been used by Haridas Das.

Screenshot of translation

A Caitanya Tree has been made which is the first ever visual representation of Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya that has spread through the guru-sishya lineage and a dissertation paper has also been written on this Caitanya Tree

On 01.04.2019 a new project fellow, Aishwarya Bhattacharya was recruited to this project. She conducted a research on the origin and historical background of the encyclopaedia as a genre. Aishwarya has looked up various reference books on her research topic, has visited Bangiya Sahitya Parishat library and wrote a dissertation paper on her research work.

The first brochure of the Project was designed and printed by the employees on 26.04.2019.
Two overviews of the books Gaudiya Vaishnava Abhidhana and Vaishnava Manjusha Samahriti have been written by Pijus Kanti Dua.
He has counted the number of total entries of the entire book and found there are total 30,736 entries in the Gaudiya Vaisnava Abhidhana.

Screenshot of the dissertation paper of Aishwarya Bhattacharya

Dissertation paper of Pijus Kanti Dua

Aishwarya Bhattacharya and Pijus Kanti Dua have visited several libraries such as the National Library, Bangiya Sahitya Parishat, Baranagar Patbari and have done an intensive research work.
Pijus Kanti Dua has also cross checked the references from the various reference books which have been used in the biographies of 200 personalities.
He has done OCR and digitised 110 pages of the Caritavali that produced 220 pages of MS Word.

Field Trip

This year marked the first field trip of this project. Starting on 16.03.2019 and funded by the Bhaktivedanta Research Center, the project employees under the supervision of Dr. Abhishek Bose went to Remuna in Balasore, Odisha, for a three-day research trip. Remuna is a place of utmost importance in Vaishnava culture and philosophy. The field trip included multiple visits to the temple of Khirachora Gopinath, the Samadhi of Madhavendra Puri, Saptasara Lake, the temple of Gargeshwar, Ramachandi and the birth place of Sridhar Swami. The fellows also attended the disappearence day festival of Madhavendra Puri and two lectures given by Dr. Bose at the Balasore temple and ISKCON Remuna. The trip ended on 18.03.2019.