I am glad to announce the discovery of the manuscript of the Pada-kaustubha, a treatise on Sanskrit grammar composed by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana. According to the Gaudiya Vaisnava Abhidhana, this text was seen by Haridas Baba in the library of one of the Goswamis of the Radha-Ramana temple in Vrindavan more than 60 years ago. Later on, that collection was either sold or given away, and since then the whereabouts of the Pada-kaustubha was unknown. One important feature of this manuscript is that Srila Vidyabhusana tells us the name of his grammar teacher, Shiva-Rama, “by whose mercy I was given access to the nectarean ocean of Panini’s grammar.”
During the last year, I travelled around twelve states in India, visited dozens of public and private libraries and collected a huge amount of digital copies of manuscripts, books and reference materials. As usual, I received cooperation from many parties except the Gaudiyas. Recently, I was allowed to copy many manuscripts in an ancient library of the Nimbarka sampradaya, while in Govardhana I was refused entry to three Gaudiya libraries. Despite my best efforts, I have been criticized and harassed in several ways. I have had people tell me that I am not doing anything special, as the manuscripts are in libraries and anyone going there can find them. Well, if it is that simple, we may wonder why nobody has done anything about it until now. I have also received messages from people demanding copies of the manuscripts, claiming that I have no right to keep them, or as a last recourse, offering me money in exchange. There are also others trying to pass as potential donors and supporters while actually just making up stories to see if somehow they can get hold of a copy. There was even a Gaudiya Math Swami who wrote to me insinuating that I am exploiting Baladeva Vidyabhusana for my own selfish ends.
Notwithstanding such ‘encouragement,’ this last discovery gives me the impetus to go ahead and search for many other lost manuscripts, although there is hardly any hint about their possible location. Important manuscripts have been found in as remote places as Udupi, Madras and Germany, so this may be a life time dedication. There are many collections still to be catalogued, and there are good chances that in the next years we may come across many other Gaudiya texts. I personally met the director of the National Mission for Manuscripts, Prof. Dipti Tripathi, who appreciated our activities and promised to assist us in whatever they can.