Adharlal Sen (1855-85)—Beloved householder disciple of the Master. Born at 29, Shankar Haldar Lane, Ahiritola on 2.3.1855, son of Ramgopal Sen, a wealthy gold merchant, hailing from Singur in Hooghly district. The family later moved to a new house at 97 Beniatola Street. Married at the age of twelve. After a brilliant academic career (he was awarded the Duff Scholarship for English Literature), graduated from Presidency College in 1877. Appointed Deputy Magistrate in 1879, a post he held till his death. First posted at Chittagong, transferred to Jessore on 14.7.1880 and finally came to Calcutta as Deputy Collector on 26.4.1882. Learning about the Master from newspapers and journals, he met him at Dakshineswar on 9.3.1883. Overwhelmed at the very first sight of the Master, Adhar surrendered himself heart and soul at his feet and all his doubts about the existence of God were resolved. Such was his thirst for the presence of the Master that after office hours Adhar would visit Dakshineswar almost every day often falling asleep on a mat kept by the Master for the tired Adhar’s rest. The Master visited Adhar’s house many times on various accounts, said to be oftener than Adhar’s visits to Dakshineswar (nine times between 2.6.83 and 6.12.84, going by the Gospel). On each visit, perhaps aware of Adhar’s impending untimely death, the Master dwelt at length on the transience of human life and urged him to call on God while he could. According to Latu Maharaj he used to refer to Adhar’s house as his Calcutta parlour (Smritikatha, p. 124). On 18.8.83, after a round of devotional songs at Adhar’s house, the Master, in an ecstatic mood, said to him, “Son, meditate on the name you have just chanted” (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, p.273). Saying this, he wrote something on Adhar’s tongue. On 24.3.1884 Adhar visited Dakshineswar after an absence of a few days and humbly said to the Master that as he had not visited Adhar’s place for a long time, the parlour had developed a worldly odour and everything appeared to be steeped in gloom. Deeply moved, the Master stood up and, blessing him by touching his head and heart, said, “I look on you as Narayana Himself. You are indeed my own!” (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, p. 414). It was at Adhar’s place that the meeting between the Master and Bankimchandra Chatterji took place on 6.12.1884 (Ibid., p. 666). The master attended many festive occasions at Adhar’s house and on one such some Brahmin devotees had reservations about taking food there, Adhar having belonged to the goldsmith community. However, the Master having accepted food freely in a devotee’s house, they followed suit. A man of high academic calibre, Adhar was appointed a Fellow of Calcutta University and Member, Faculty of Arts (March, 1884). He had been trying desperately for appointment to the post of Vice-Chairman of Calcutta Municipality and the Master spoke to him earnestly on this matter, impressing on him the insignificance of worldly gains (Ibid., pp. 518-521). Adhar’s work required him to ride a horse sometimes, against which practice the Master had warned him several times. On 6.1.1885 Adhar did fall off his horse and contracted tetanus. The Master visited him on his death-bed and, with his eyes tearful, caressed Adhar all over, reassuring him and bringing to him a sense of fulfillment. Upon his death, the Master was grief-stricken. Later he hinted that Adhar had been reborn as “Rakhal’s son” (Ramakrishna Saradamrita, pp. 25-26). At the age of nineteen he had published two books of verses in Bengali. Author of several books of verses and a paper, The Shrines of Sitakunda, which he read at a meeting of the Royal Asiatic Society. A recognized man of letters, his name features in Subarnabanik Katha O Kirti by Dr. Narendranath Laha. An article “Adharlal Sen” by Brajendranath Banerjee was incorporated in eighth volume of Sahitya Sadhak Charitmala. Kumudbandhu Sen’s Bhakta Adhar Sen (Udbodhan, 52/2, 3, 6, 7) provides much information about him.