On the 8th of September, 1985, Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, began an extraordinary series of Sunday lectures in his native Bengali that would eventually fill a total of twenty-six volumes over the next five years. The title he gave to this series was Shabda Cayaniká, which translates into English as “A Collection of Words”. The discourses begin with letter a and continue on alphabetically. What results, then, is neither an encyclopedia, nor a dictionary, but something unique to the fields of scholarship and literature.
The author uses the platform of the word as a point of departure to take the reader on a journey through all the varied landscapes of human knowledge – history, geography, medicine, science, art, religion, philosophy, etc. – and in the process adds the indelible stamp of his own unique intellect, enriching our experience with new ideas and enabling us to see our human heritage in a way we have never been able to before.
Like most great authors, he is a consummate storyteller, using a seemingly inexhaustible supply of anecdotes, personal experiences and stories to capture the reader’s interest and lead him or her effortlessly through the garden of human knowledge. Along the way, the author enriches all modern descendents of Samskrta language such as Hindi, Bengali and others.
The following article is excerpted from the first discourse of Shabda Cayanika Part 1:
From the Unmanifest To the Manifest
Published in Neohumanist Review, Issue 1, September 2023, p 40.