14th July, 1896.
DEAR DR. NANJUNDA RAO,
The numbers of Prabuddha Bharata have been received and distributed too to the class. It is very satisfactory. It will have a great sale, no doubt, in India. In America I may get also a number of subscribers. I have already arranged for advertising it in America and Goodyear has done it already. But here in England the progress will be slower indeed.
The great drawback here is—they all want to start papers of their own; and it is right that it should be so, seeing that, after all, no foreigner will ever write the English language as well as the native Englishman, and the ideas, when put in good English, will spread farther than in Hindu English. Then again it is much more difficult to write a story in a foreign language than an essay.
I am trying my best to get you subscribers here. But you must not depend on any foreign help. Nations, like individuals, must help themselves. This is real patriotism. If a nation cannot do that, its time has not yet come. It must wait. It is from Madras that the new light must spread all over India. With this end you must work.
One point I will remark however. The cover is simply barbarous. It is awful and hideous. If it is possible, change it. Make it symbolical and simple, without human figures at all. The banyan tree does not mean awakening, nor does the hill, nor the saint, nor the European couple. The lotus is a symbol of regeneration.
We are awfully behindhand in art especially in that of painting. For instance, make a small scene of spring re-awakening in a forest, showing how the leaves and buds are coming again. Slowly go on, there are hundreds of ideas to be put forward.
You see the symbol I made for the Râja-Yoga, printed by Longman Green and Co. You can get it at Bombay. It consists of my lectures on Râja-Yoga in New York.
I am going to Switzerland next Sunday, and shall return to London in the autumn, and take up the work again.
...I want rest very badly, you know.
Yours with all blessings etc.,