Shibam was a Bengali religious journal inspired by the gospel of Sri Sri Bholananda Giri Maharaj, a religious ‘guru’ of the Hindus. Started in 1339 B.S. (1932) and published monthly, the journal mostly focused on aspects of spiritual and philosophical life. Every issue of the journal started with the gospel of Sri Sri Bholananda Giri Maharaj. The editorial writings were in tune with the spiritual tone of the journal – critical and philosophical. The journal published poems, songs, stories, essays, commentaries, religious teachings, excerpts from epics and classical literature, and book reviews. It also reported regularly on the activities of the Sri Sri Bholananda Sannyas Asram. Two regular sections – ‘Pustak Parichay’ (Book Reviews) and ‘Sangbad’ (News) – featured at the end of each issue. While the first offered critical overviews of newly published religious books, the second provided current news about religious affairs relating particularly to the Asram and the disciples of Bholananda.
The journal’s key themes centered on religion, spirituality and philosophy. It serially published the ‘Sri Sri Bholananda Charitamrita’ (Account of Sri Sri Bholananda’s Teachings) by Swami Dhrubananda Giri, and Swami Mahadebananda Giri’s ‘Darshan Kanika’ (Philosophical Pieces). Some of the more prominent themes were: Kenoponishad, Karma, Vedanta, ‘Mukti’ (Salvation), ‘Bhakti’ (Devotion), ‘Guru Tattva’ (The Theory of the Guru), ‘Sraddha’ (Respect), ‘Hinsha and Ahinsa’ (Violence and Non-violence), ‘Atma Tattva’ (The Theory of Self), ‘Sabhyata’ (Civilization), ‘Swasthya’ (Health), ‘Sristi’ (Creation), ‘Shabda Shakti’ (The Power of Sound), and ‘Janmantar’ (The Theory of Rebirth). Some of the more important pieces published were: Makhanlal Gangopadhyay’s ‘Tattva-Parikroma’ (Review of Theories); Akhshay Bandyopadhyay’s ‘Karmer Puja’ (Worship of Karma); Hemanta Kumar Mukhopadhyay’s ‘Good Friday o Sankhipta Jishu Kotha’ (Good Friday and the Brief Story of Jesus); Suresh Chandra Singha’s ‘Vaishnav Dharma’ (The Vaishnava Religion); Swami Biswesarananda Giri’s ‘Jagannather Rath’ (The Chariot of Lord Jagannatha); Swami Premananda Giri’s ‘Bharater Mahima Lupta Hoibar Nahe’ (India’s Greatness is Not One to Perish); Gyanendranath Majumdar’s ‘Gita Pather Fal’ (The Effect of Reciting the Gita); Mahadebananda Giri’s ‘Prachin Bharat’ (Ancient India); Sourendranath Ghosh’s ‘Manab Sabhyatar Upar Dharmer Prabhab’ (The Impact of Religion on Human Civilization); and Jyotish Chandra Ghosh’s ‘Rabindra Sahitye Adhmatyikota’ (Spirituality in Rabindranath’s Literature).
The significance of religious festivals like ‘Janmastami’ and ‘Rasa’ was critically elaborated for the readers. Poems and stories were contributed by Sibcharan Chakraborty, Kanaklata Ghosh, Brindaban Chandra Bhattacharya, Suresh Chandra Sanyal, Jyotsna Chattopadhyay, Roma Sen, Anil Kumar Datta, Mira Lahiri, and Kiranbala Majumdar.
A few articles on non-religious or philosophical subjects were also published, such as Nityaranjan Sen’s ‘Bharatiya Chhatra’ (Indian Students). The journal published photographs of Bholananda and his prominent disciples such as Swami Mahadebananda Giri Mandaleswar Maharaj, and also pictures of various temples across India.