Prabuddha Bharata building, Mayavati

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Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India is an English-language monthly magazine of the Ramakrishna Order, in publication since July 1896. It carries articles and translations by monks, scholars, and writers on various religious and cultural themes. It is edited from Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, Uttarakhand, and published and printed in Kolkata.

Prabuddha Bharata was founded in 1896 by P. Aiyasami, B. R. Rajam Iyer, G. G. Narasimha Charya, and B. V. Kamesvara Iyer, in Madras (now Chennai), at the behest of Swami Vivekananda, with whom the founders had been closely associated before the swami went to America in 1893. The swami suggested the magazine’s name, and gave encouragement to the founders through his letters to them. The editor, B. R. Rajam Iyer, was only twenty-four years old. The magazine saw two full years of publication from Madras, from July 1896 to June 1898. The death of the editor on 13 May 1898 from Bright’s disease brought the magazine’s publication to an unexpected halt. As Sister Nivedita recalled the period in her memoirs, June 22 to July 15, 1898: «The Swami (Vivekananda) had always had a special love for this paper, as the beautiful name he had given it indicated. He had always been eager too for the establishment of organs of his own. The value of the journal in the education of modern India was perfectly evident to him, and he felt that his master’s message and mode of thought required to be spread by this means as well as by preaching and by work.»

By that time, Swami Vivekananda had returned to India and was visiting Almora. He asked Captain J. H. Sevier, one of his English disciples who was accompanying him, to take up the management of the magazine; Sevier agreed and offered to meet the preliminary costs associated with reviving it, which included purchasing and bringing up a hand-press, types, papers, ink and other materials required for the purpose from Kolkata. The Prabuddha Bharata resumed publication in August 1898 from Almora. Swami Swarupananda, one of Vivekananda’s monastic disciples, became the new editor.

The following poem was written by Swami Vivekananda to Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India in August 1898, when the journal was transferred from Madras (Chennai) to Almora Himalayas.

The press was shifted to the newly founded Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, in March 1899.
Swami Swarupananda died in Nainital in 1906. Swami Virajananda, who in 1938 would become the president of the Ramakrishna Order, succeeded him as editor. Among later editors were Swamis Yatiswarananda (1922—24), Ashokananda (1927—30), Gambhirananda (1942—44), and Vandanananda (1950—54). The printing of the magazine was shifted from Mayavati to Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1924.

In 2010, Advaita Ashrama released a DVD archive of the first 114 years of Prabuddha Bharata, covering the years 1896 to 2009.

Source: Wikipedia

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