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The saga of a journal

Indrani Dutta

KOLKATA: This journal enters its 114th year this month. Its subscriber base spans 125 countries. Its editorial office is in the sylvan surroundings of Mayavati in Uttarakhand at 6,400 feet. Prabuddha Bharat, started by Swami Vivekananda, seeks to build an awakened India.

Published without interruption since 1896, it is the oldest of its kind in the subcontinent. It is through this journal that Swami Vivekananda let his views be known first. Some of the greatest minds of India and the world have spoken their minds through writings on Indian culture, spirituality, philosophy, history and psychology. It is printed and published from Kolkata by the Advaita Ashrama that belongs to the Ramakrishna Order.

Among the contributors have been Leo Tolstoy, Rabindranath Tagore, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Jawaharlal Nehru, Carl Gustav Jung, Arnold Toynbee, Jadunath Sarkar, Rhys Davids, Ramesh Chandra Mazumdar, Sir C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar, Sarojini Naidu and Jagadish Chandra Bose.

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan said: “I have been a regular reader of Prabuddha Bharat and can say that its sanity in dealing with religious doctrine and discipline has been its most impressive characteristic.” Tagore admired its writings.

The annual number brought out this month is devoted to the monastic disciples of Ramakrishna Paramahansa, the 19th century spiritual leader. It reprints an article by a western disciple written 100 years ago. Titled ‘Chasing the Shadows,’ it shows that very little has changed in the course of a century. “We have been brought up in world of limiting adjuncts, where our senses perceive nothing but plurality. We are encompassed by sights and sounds which make us see that duality is the prevailing law of the universe.”

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