Library - the home of our Shastras
Reading a scripture this day in age can seem rather daunting right? I mean, what's the point if we barely understand it or simply because everything is available online? There is something a lot more special though, about picking up a Shastra written in Gujarati/English. The extra level of respect we give it because it is in book form. If that one book is so divine, just imagine a whole library of them!
Our library homes over 2000 copies of Shastras, which we can inexpensively purchase or borrow to help us develop our love and knowledge of Bhagwan. Our library consist of the main shastras we may all be aware of, such as Satsangi Jeevan, Vachnamrut, Shikshapatri and Nishkulanand Kavya but even some we may never have heard of. The good thing is, for us youngsters, there are a few in English, such as the fantastic Vachanmarut, which Bhuj Mandir have so kindly translated for our wellbeing and understanding. The library also has Murtis, full Pooja sets and daily essentials such as Malas, Kanthis etc. For the Murtis purchased, they also provide a picture framing service.
I know reading isn't for all of us, and sometimes it's so hard to absorb, especially when you understand so little of it, which is why the library also accommodates for the rest of us non readers, by having CDs of Kathas available for us to listen to. As well as having Kathas on audio and mp3, there are numerous amounts of CDs of Kirtans for us, both traditional and with modern genres. Both the Katha and kirtan CDs are from our Bhuj, Ahmedabad, Vadtal and other respective mandirs.
Lastly, large scale Utsavs are nice to watch back by us devotees. We want to feel like we are there again, and remember the time we went, like the Swaminarayan Museum opening in Ahmedabad or the Nutan Mandir Mahotsav in Bhuj. Well, the library provides DVDs for us to buy, so we can watch all the Utsavs and all the Katha again and again so these memories and teachings live with us forever.
The library in Mandir is a calm place, located between the Sabha Mandap and the wedding hall. It overlooks all the activities taking place in the Sabha Mandap and even though it is such a quiet place in our Mandir, it oozes so much knowledge and nectar of our Sampraday. Just standing in front of the shelves of Granths (chapters) takes one to a whole new world of reading.