Started in 1354 B.S. (1947), Bhabmukhe was a religious monthly Bengali journal published from the Sriramakrishna Santosh Sebayatan, Calcutta. The journal dealt with the spiritual and philosophical dimensions of the Hindu worldview, with special reference to Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansha’s teachings. The journal published literary pieces such as stories, novellas, poems and plays to highlight devotional aspects of Bengali life. It also published essays, commentaries, biographical accounts, translations and excerpts, musical notations, travelogues, pilgrimage diaries and book reviews. Some of the noted contributors to the journal were Sasanka Sekhar Chakraborty, Swami Prabuddhananda, Solomon Levie, Madan Mohan Gupta, Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay, Tripurari Chakraborty, Bandana Mitra and Gourinath Sashtri. Bhabmukhe also reported on the activities of the ‘asram’ in the section ‘Asramer Kotha’.
The journal devoted great attention to the devotional aspects of Hindu philosophy and to ancient Hindu texts such as the Gita and the Upanishads. Excerpts from the Srimadbhagabad Gita appeared regularly in the journal. Poems and essays eulogizing Hindu deities were also regular features. The life-stories of saints such as Sri Ramakrishna, Saradamani, Swami Vivekananda and Swami Avedananda, with special emphasis on their activities and teachings, appeared in various issues of the journal. Stories of pilgrimage by the devotees of Sri Ramakrishna, highlighting the legends of different pilgrimages such as Madhupur, Puri and Kedar-Badri, seem to have been popular with the readers.
Despite the journal’s somewhat overwhelming emphasis on religious themes, Bhabmukhe occasionally published articles on diverse subjects – Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay’s ‘Manasik Ekagrata’ (Mental Concentration) and Manada Charan Saha’s ‘Rabindranather Manabata o Biswapreeti’ (Rabindranath’s Humanism and Universalism) are examples. The journal also carried articles on medicine and public health. Jayanta Kumar Sen’s ‘Jokhkha Rog Maratmak Noy’ (Tuberculosis is not Dangerous) and Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay’s ‘Manashik Chikitsa Bigyan’ (Psychological Medical Science) may be mentioned. A significant contribution of Bhabmukhe was to popularize devotional songs. The journal published the songs with their notations (‘Swaralipi’), with particular emphasis on the ‘Bhajan’ (a form of devotional music).