Under the inspiration of Swami Vivekananda, a group of his disciples in Madras, including G. Venkataranga Rao, M.C. Nanjunda Rao and Alasinga Perumal, started on 14 September 1895 a monthly magazine called Brahmavadin. It was published regularly for 14 years, until Alasinga Perumal’s demise in 1909. From 1909 to 1914, its publication became irregular. The last issue was brought out in March-April 1914.
Soon after, the Brahmavadin’s legacy was continued when Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai started The Vedanta Kesari in 1914. Now in its 105th year, The Vedanta Kesari is one of India’s oldest cultural and spiritual magazines in English in circulation. It has a monthly circulation of over 12,000 copies and a readership across India and also some foreign countries. The focus of the magazine is to promote a spiritual and harmonious outlook towards life. Renouncing selfish desires and serving others in a spirit of worshipfulness in the key-note of its philosophy. The Vedanta Kesari contains articles on Indian spiritual traditions and scriptures, mainly focusing on Vedanta as expounded by Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda, the illustrious disciple of Sri Ramakrishna.
The subjects covered in the monthly issues include an editorial, articles on the life and Vedantic message of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda, the life and message of saints from all traditions, articles on scriptures, philosophy, and self-improvement, special features on temples, forts, and cultural events, review of latest books published in religion, philosophy, culture and self-improvement news about the service activities carried out by world-wide centres of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission.
Since 1978, the magazine has been regularly bringing out, usually in December, a special issue on a theme. Some of its popular theme-based issues published so far are: Yoga and its Aspects, Values for the Present Age, Globalization, Religion Today, Culture and Civilization, Channelling Youth Power, Nurturing Inter–personal Relationship, Upanishads in Daily Life, Facets of Freedom, Joy of Spirituality, Bhakti: The Path of Divine Love, Education: Perspectives & Practices, and The Thunderbolt & Its Echoes (on Sister Nivedita). Many of these numbers have been published in book form by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai.