ISKCON’s Bhaktivedanta College in Belgium, which currently has 27 students from 20 countries and is accredited by University of Wales, Lampeter, inaugurated the opening of its new library and offices this May 17.
The College has been in operation since 2002, but this new development marks a major step in its history. “We hope that the new facility will help our students to concentrate on their studies and to contribute further to Srila Prabhupada’s worldwide mission,” College administrator Jaya Krishna Dasa said in his inauguration speech.
ISKCON Minister of Education Sesa Dasa cut the ceremonial ribbon, commenting that the building was “the physical manifestation of eight years of sacrifice.” Bhaktivedanta College, he said, was “a place where students can come to fulfill their dreams, and where I can come to fulfill my dreams of teaching attentive students.”
The College’s principal, Yadunandana Swami, thanked Bhaktivedanta Library Services’ Vishnu Murti Dasa for his key role as a founding figure, as well as the teachers, students, trustees and donors Mahaprabhu, Shyama Gopal and Jaya Krishna. “In October 2007, when we had the ground-breaking ceremony, there was nothing here but empty land,” he said. “Now, despite the worldwide financial crisis, we have a new building—by the mercy of Krishna and Srila Prabhupada.”
GBC, temple president and College trustee Hridaya Chaitanya Dasa stressed the importance of education for ISKCON’s youth and pointed out the outstanding services offered by Jaya Krishna Dasa and Yadunandana Swami.
Mahaprabhu Dasa, who initially proposed and contributed to the extension which facilitated a separate library, said, “I feel very happy and honored to be instrumental in the opening of this wonderful library. I hope that the students will use it often and wisely, and keep it very clean. I also hope that I can share many moments here studying and looking through the books that have been collected over the years.”
Bhaktivedanta College’s new library, with its 6,000 books, provides an orderly environment conducive to studies, while the offices provide work space for nine staff members.
On May 18, Bhaktivedanta College trustees discussed future development for the College, saying they hoped to complete its main building soon.[ education ] [ radhadesh ]