Mahendralal Sarkar, Dr. (1833 – 1904)—Well-known physician and scientist, celebrated physician-devotee of the Master. Born in Paikpara village of Jagatvallabhpur of Howrah district, lost father in childhood, brought up and educated in maternal uncle’s home in Calcutta. Attended Hare School, entered Medical College (1854) with senior scholarship from Hindu College. Passing L.M.S. (1860) ranked first in M.D. examination (the second M.D. in the country). Giving up allopathy practised homoeopathy. Publisher of the Calcutta Journal of Medicine and its Manager until death. Founded “The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science” (presently located at Jadavpur). Held a number of high positions, honoured by various titles, died on 23.2.1904.
First met the Master when asked to visit Dakshineswar by Mathuramohan Biswas for his treatment (Sri Ramakrishna, the Great Master, Vol. II, p. 499). Later he was called in to treat the Master’s throat disease. The Master had been to his residence (presently 15, Mahendra Sarkar Street, Calcutta 12) for consultation and at Shyampukur the charge of the Master’s treatment was entrusted to him. Visited the Master there almost daily, delighting in his company for his “love of truth” (Ibid., p. 976). After the first day refused to accept fees (Ibid., p. 965) (not even on the first day according to Antyalila, 1.36). Upon his advice the Master moved to Cossipore garden house (Sri Ramakrishna, the Great Master, Vol. II, p. 1008). Loved the Master and loved to talk to him. Would spend hours in his company. Said to the Master, “The illness you are suffering from does not permit the patient to talk with people. But my case is an exception. You may talk with me when I am here” (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, p. 867). Told the devotees, “Consider me as one of you. I am not saying this as a physician. But if you think of me as your own, then I am yours” (Ibid., p. 866). The Doctor praised Narendra, blessing, embracing and kissing him in the Master’s presence, causing the Master to declare, “This time everything indeed is for him alone!” (Sri Ramakrishna, the Great Master, Vol. 2, pp. 979-80). On 25.10.1885 the Doctor said to his old teacher, “Sir, I have been thinking of the Paramahamsa since three in the morning. I couldn’t sleep at all. Even now he is in my mind” (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, p. 879). On 27.10.1885, addressed the devotees in the Master’s presence, “Will you believe me when I say that my feelings get worked up even more than yours? I shed tears in solitude (Ibid., p. 905). The Master said of the Doctor: “He is now following the path of negation. Therefore he discriminates. … But later he will follow the path of affirmation and accept everything as the manifestation of God” (Ibid., p. 909). “When a thing is boiled, it becomes soft. At first he was very hard. Now he is softening from inside” (Ibid., p. 910). “You are very pure …” (Ibid., p. 923). “She (the Divine Mother) revealed to me that he (the Doctor) will have much knowledge; but it is dry knowledge. But you will soften” (Ibid., p. 924).
The Doctor visited the Master till the last day at Cossipore. Eventually declared him, assumed to be in samadhi, dead and departed leaving Rs. 10 for the last photograph.