Motilal Banarsidass

Motilal Banarsidass
Motilal Banarsidass
Founded 1903 (1903)
Founder Lala Motilal Jain
Successor Motilal Banarasidass Jain
Country of origin India
Headquarters location 41 Bungalow Road, Jawahar Nagar, Delhi 110007.
Distribution Worldwide
Key people Narendra Prakash Jain, (Chief executive officer)
Nonfiction topics Indology, Sanskrit
Official website

Motilal Banarsidass (MLBD) is a leading Indian publishing house on Sanskrit and Indology since 1903, located in Delhi, India. It publishes and distributes serials, monographs, and scholarly publications on Asian religion, philosophy, history, culture, arts, architecture, archaeology, language, literature, linguistics, musicology, mysticism, yoga, tantra, occult, medicine, astronomy, astrology and other related subjects, and to date have published over 5,000 works.[1]

Its noted publications are the 100 volumes of the Mahapuranas, Sacred Books of the East (50 Volumes) edited by Max Müller; Bibliotheca Buddhica (30 Volumes in 32 pts); Ramcharitmanas with Hindi and English translation, the Manusmriti in ten volumes and the Sanskrit lexicon, and Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies (7 volumes). It also brings out books based on research and study conducted at organisations such as ICHR, IGNCA, ICCR [2][3], and has a turnover of approximately Rs 5–6 crore, roughly 75% coming from exports [4].



Motilal Banarsidass Shop in North Delhi

Motilal Banarsidass Publishers was first established in Lahore in 1903 by Lala Motilal Jain, a descendant of the family of court jewellers to Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Amritsar. Motilal borrowed Rs. 27 from his wife's savings that she had earned from her knitting work, to start a bookshop selling Sanskrit books in 'Said Mitha Bazar' in Lahore. He named it after his eldest son Motilal Banarsidass Jain, who later took charge of the publishing business.

The interior of Motilal Banarsidass, in Delhi

In 1911, MLBD opened a branch at Mai Sewan Bazar, Amritsar, under the supervision of Lala Sundarlal Jain, another son of Lala Motilal Jain, though after the untimely death of Lala Banarasidass in 1912, Sundarlal Jain, his only surviving brother had to close this establishment and relocate to Lahore to look after the family business. Soon he was joined by his young nephew Shantilal Jain, who had just finished school, who eventually became the company's chairman. Soon a printing unit was also set up and the publishing house was established.[5]

In 1937, a branch was started in Patna at the suggestion of Rajendra Prasad. Subsequently during the Partition of India a riot burnt down the Lahore shop. Post independence, the family moved to India and initially stayed at Bikaner and Patna, before moving to Varanasi in 1950, where it set up shop in 1951, and finally shifted base to Delhi in 1958.

In 1992, Shantilal Jain was awarded the Padma Shri by Govt. of India, the first ever Padma award for outstanding community service through publishing [3]. Today Shantilal's son Rajendra Prakash Jain and his four brothers and their sons, along with their mother, Leela Jain, who is company's Chairperson, run the business [1][2].

In 2003, the company celebrated its centenary at a function in Chennai, where Kanchi Sankaracharya, Jayendra Saraswathi, honoured three Sankrit scholars: R. Balasubramaniam, B.M.K. Sharma and K.V. Sharma.[6], at function held at Bangalore, Governor of Karnataka, T.N. Chaturvedi, felicitated centenarian, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, S.M.S. Chari, and B.K. Krishnamurthy of Hyderabad for their contribution to Indology, and eminent astrologer, B.V. Raman, was honoured posthumously. [7]


Its main shop in Delhi is on Bungalow Road, Jawahar Nagar, in the University of Delhi North Campus area, behind Kirori Mal College. It houses Indological literature of around 30,000 titles. The company has branches at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Varanasi and Patna[8]


  • Sacred Books of the East (50 Volumes) edited by Max Müller (reprints, originally Oxford University Press);
  • Indian Kavya Literature by A. K. Warder (10 Volumes, 7 Volumes already published);
  • History of Indian Philosophy by S.N. Dasgupta (5 Volumes);
  • Aspects of Political Ideas and Institutions in Ancient India by Ram Sharan Sharma (Fifth revised edition, 2005)
  • Sudras in Ancient India: A Social History of the Lower Order Down to Circa A D 600 by Ram Sharan Sharma (Third Revised Edition, Delhi, 1990; Reprint, Delhi, 2002)
  • Ancient Indian Tradition and Mythology (English translation of the Mahapuranas, 60 Volumes already published);
  • Buddhist Tradition Series, edited by Alex Wayman (30 Volumes);
  • MLBD Series in Linguistics, edited by Dhanesh Jain (10 Volumes);
  • Lala Sundar Lal Jain Research Series edited by Dayanand Bhargava (10 Volumes already published).
  • Advaita Tradition Series by Shoun Hino & K.P. Jog (8 Volumes already published);
  • Performing Arts Series edited by Farlay P. Richmond (7 Volumes already published).
  • Wisdom of Sankara Series by Som Raj Gupta (2 Volumes published);
  • Kalamulasastra Series (21 Volumes published).
  • Bibliotheca Buddhica (30 Volumes in 32 pts) ed. Sergey Oldenburg, Fyodor Shcherbatskoy, (reprints, originally St. Petersburg)
  • Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies (7 Volumes already published).


External links

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