Udbodhan – the only Bengali mouthpiece of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, started by Swami Vivekananda in January 1899, stepped into its hundredth year in January 1998. Before the publication of Udbodhan, the “Brahmavadin” and “Prabuddha Bharat” were being published from Madras under Swami Vivekananda’s inspiration but these were not the official journals of the Ramakrishna Order. It was only later that the Prabuddha Bharat was taken over by Ramakrishna Mission and published first, from Almora and then, from Mayavati.
Swami Vivekananda dreamt of Udbodhan to occupy a commendable position in contemporary Bengali literature and to induce the Bengali mind to positive and creative thoughts. His elementary essays – “Prachya O Paschatya” and “Paribrajak” were penned down in Bengali specifically for Udbodhan.
Thus, Udbodhan appeared, not merely as another journal of a religious order. Following Swami Vivekananda’s wish, various other subjects like philosophy, literature, history, sociology, science and technology, et al, even today, regularly find place in its pages. In its journey covering over a century, it has been the tireless endeavor of Udbodhan to live up to the mission of its founder.
At present Udbodhan has a membership of over 78,000 and an additional readership up to four times this figure.
Udbodhan played a notable role in the country’s struggle for independence. The influence of Swami Vivekananda on the eminent revolutionaries was tremendous. Publishing of Swamiji’s lectures, essays and discussions in Udbodhan helped to propagate the fiery words of Swamiji. The then Special Superintendent of British Police, Charles Tegart, in his confidential report to the Government had mentioned about the threat from the strong nationalist preaching of Swami Vivekananda. It is heard that he even advised seizure of Udbodhan issues.
Today, Udbodhan holds the unparallel record of being published without interruption for more than hundred years. This it has done, without compromising ever on the quality of content. Udbodhan has published notable works of eminent Bengali authors and personalities. With its motto of “Arise, Awake, and stop not till the goal is reached” Udbodhan steps into the next phase of its journey.