Devendranath Mazumdar, Poet (1844-1911)—Lay disciple of the Master, distinguished poet. Born in January 1844 in Jagannathpur village of Jessore district in a “Banerjee” family holding the title “Mazumdar”. Posthumous son of Prasannanath and mother Bamasundari. Literary pursuits and yoga practices motivated by elder brother Surendranath, himself a poet. Married at 27, followed by financial distress due to elder brother’s death. Employment in the estate office of the Tagores at Jorasanko. Subsequently appointed estate officer by another zamindar, settled in Entally. Mastered 64 postures of yoga in 11 years. Driven by the longing for a guru opened a book and chanced to come across the name of Ramakrishna Paramahansa. Drawn to the Master irresistibly lost no time in travelling by boat to Dakshineswar. Fascinated by the Master. Returning home laid up with high fever, accompanied by visions of the Master standing by his bedside. After another meeting at Balaram Basu’s house began to frequent Dakshineswar and practised spiritual disciplines under the Master’s guidance. One day the Master wrote something on his tongue after which Devendra had various spiritual visions. He also experienced ecstatic moods due to his intense sadhana. The Master, though hesitant to embarrass Devendra who was financially disadvantaged, visited his house on Nimu Goswami’s Lane on 6.4.1885 to the latter’s great delight. He commented, “What if I have a small income? ‘One may incur debt in order to have butter’. ” The Master was highly amused. Overwhelmed by strong aversion to worldly life, once fell at the Master’s feet praying for permission to renounce the world which the Master refused. The Gospel gives a detailed account of the Master’s visit to Devendra’s house where professional singers sang kirtans with the Master joining them and passing into samadhi (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, pp. 738-42). The Master praised the women folk of Devendra’s family. Devendra knew Girish Chandra from his boyhood. After the Master’s demise an intimate relationship developed between him and the apostles of the Master. He had been one of those blessed by the Master at Cossipore on 1.1.86. At Baranagore Math Swamiji having asked him to embrace monastic life he refused citing the Master’s behest to him to lead a householder’s life. Swamiji then dressed him in ochre cloth like a sannyasi and a group photo was taken, the mood of renunciation enduring in him for about a month. For a brief period Devendra associated with women of ill repute and though working for Girishchandra at that time cut off all connection with the theatre. Being jobless, was in dire poverty till he had a job as a manager of an estate in Entally in 1896; Founded the “Sri Sri Ramakrishna Archanalaya” at 43 (later 39) Deb Lane on 6.5.1900. Composed numerous devotional songs compiled in a book Devagiti, one becoming very popular, “Bhava sagara tarana karana”. Swami Brahmananda said, Devendra composed that hymn … in a higher plane of consciousness, a state beyond the reach of ordinary people (They Lived with God, p. 319). These hymns were sung there every day. Swamiji, Swamis Brahmananda, Shivananda, Premananda, Akhandananda, Girish Chandra, M. and other intimate devotees of the Master visited the Archanalaya, Holy Mother herself having visited it on the occasion of Rathayatra in 1904. After 1907 Devendra devoted all his time to spreading the message of the Master. Had a fair number of disciples. Visited Meerut and East Bengal, had disciples there too. Mahendranath Datta wrote, “He was not an original thinker but he was the best expounder to the masses.” Died on 14.10.1911 at the Archanalaya.