Shri Ramakrishna Ashrama, Rajkot

Publication : History

A Gradual Influence

Swamiji's appearance on the world scenario in 1893 and the historic reception accorded to him on his return from the west in 1897 were the first signs of the awakening of India from the stupor into which it had fallen as a result of several hundred years of foreign domination. As a result, the whole country, irrespective of the language or region, saw in him a common leader who represented their ideals and aspirations. Many newspapers began to publish with great enthusiasm, reports and extracts from Swamiji's speeches, writings, and his letters in the last decade of the nineteenth century. The leading Gujarati daily Bombay Samachar, which was started as a weekly in 1822, published several such reports, the most notable among them being a report of the welcome accorded to Swamiji at Calcutta, in its February 20, 1897 issue and a biographical sketch which appeared after his mahasamadhi in its July 8, 1902 issue.

As we have already stated earlier, some books on Sri Ramakrishna and his message in Bengali were published in the early 1880's but it was only in the late 1890's that the first books on Swamiji began to appear in English. However, it is only after the first journal of the Ramakrishna Movement in any vernacular, Udbodhan, was brought out in January 1899 that serious attempts were made to translate and publish books in Bengali on a regular basis. In this context, Gujarati literature was privileged to be one of the first, thanks to the pioneering efforts of several literary personalities.

Although printing and publishing of books in Gujarati script began in 1812 through the efforts of some Parsi gentlemen, it is only in 1870 that the first attempt was made in Ahmedabad by Mahadev Ramachandra Jagushte to publish useful and standard religious literature in Gujarati. It was from this press that the first Gujarati translation of Swamiji's Raja Yoga was published in 1899 followed by two other books, Karma Yoga and Hinduism. These were translated by Bhagubhai F. Karbhari, the founder-editor of the famous Gujarati weekly Prajabandhu started in March 1898. That he was inspired by Ramakrishna-Vivekananda literature, especially by journals like The Brahmavadin and The Prabuddha Bharata, is evident from the contents of his first editorial of Prajabandhu. These three books were sent for review to The Prabuddha Bharata, which published the following note in July 1901:

'We have received with thanks a copy each of Swami Vivekananda's Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga and Hinduism translated into Gujarati by Mr. Bhagu F. Karbhari, the founder and first editor of the Prajabandhu newspaper. Every able man of our country who undertakes the translation of Swamiji's works into his vernacular renders a service to his people, - since a very small portion of our countrymen are yet able to read them in the original.'

Bhagubhai also published Swami Vivekanandana Patro, a translation of seventy inspiring letters of Swamiji and Swami Shishya Samvada in 1912 and 1920 respectively.

In 1912, Mohanlal Dalichand Desai, the great Jain scholar, also translated a large collection of Swamiji's letters. This highly subsidized book was printed by Sastu Sahitya Karyalaya, the famous publication house of religious literature, which brought out low priced editions of many important books.

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You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.- Swami Vivekananda

A few heart-whole, sincere, and energetic men and women can do more in a year than a mob in a century.- Swami Vivekananda

Arise ! Awake ! And Stop Not Till the Goal is Reached.- Swami Vivekananda

All power is within you, you can do anything & everything !- Swami Vivekananda

To be good & to do good, that is the whole of religion.- Swami Vivekananda

Purity, Patience & Perseverance are the three essentials to success, and above all Love !- Swami Vivekananda

Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, and know that you are the creator of your own destiny !- Swami Vivekananda

We are what our thoughts have made us, so take care about what you think.- Swami Vivekananda