Nephew of Adharlal Sen, one of the Master’s most beloved lay devotees. At about the age of 10, he had seen the Master in their house and touched his feet. After a long interval established contact with M. at the Morton School on 26.1.1924. Heartily welcomed by M., had said, “I have seen him, touched his feet, yet I have no peace of mind, I fail to understand this.” (Srima Darshan, 3.305).
Ramakrishna as We Saw Him – Bepin Behari Sen
Bepin Behari Sen was a nephew of Adhar Lal Sen, a householder disciple of Ramakrishna. His father’s name was Dayal Chandra Sen. Bepin later became a cashier at the Calcutta Custom House.
Adhar Lal Sen, my uncle, was a great devotee of Sri Ramakrishna. He was my father’s brother, and our two families lived together. From 1883 to 1884 the Master visited our home almost every Saturday. Thus it was that I had the great good fortune of coming in contact with Sri Ramakrishna at the age of twelve. Whenever the Master came, the devotees would assemble and there would be kirtan [devotional singing]. Our living room would be full, with many people standing in the courtyard and even in the street. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Girish Chandra Ghosh, and many other prominent people visited our house at those times.
At the time of kirtan, and especially when Vaishnav Charan sang, the Master would dance in ecstasy and sometimes go into samadhi. What a wonderful sight! It would appear to us that Sri Chaitanya had come back to earth. After returning to normal consciousness the Master would talk to the devotees and would answer their questions, always smiling. One day the Master asked Swami Vivekananda, “Naren, please play the violin a little.” Swamiji then played a sweet melody for some time. After that Kali Babu of the Star Theatre sang this song: Keshava kuru karuna dine [O Krishna, bestow mercy on the lowly].
Once Sri Ramakrishna came to our house at the time of the Durga Puja to attend the worship of the Divine Mother. Master Mahashay [M.] and Rakhal Maharaj [Swami Brahmananda] were with him. Sri Ramakrishna stood before the image with folded hands and went into samadhi. After returning to normal consciousness he said, “I have never before seen such a smiling image.”
Because of his presence our house was crowded and overflowing with joy. My uncle was so absorbed in serving the Master that he could not think of anything else. After an hour Sri Ramakrishna ate something and then left. Although the worship was still going on, all of us felt an air of sadness in the house after his leaving.
I was still quite young and had to carry out the orders of my seniors. Consequently, at their request I carried drinking water to the Master many times. He greatly enjoyed drinking iced water from a big glass, and he was also fond of sweet mangoes.
Almost every day after returning home from his office my uncle would bathe, eat something, and then go to Dakshineswar. At that time there were no automobiles, so he had to go by a hired carriage, returning home about midnight. Sometimes his young daughter and I would accompany him to Dakshineswar, and on those occasions he would return a little earlier.
One day we were present at the time of the vesper service at Dakshineswar. Sri Ramakrishna stood before the Divine Mother with folded hands, looking at her intently. I noticed that his lips were moving. When the service was over a conch was blown. The Master then took in his hand the part of his cloth that was draped over his shoulder and touched the Mother’s feet with it. Touching the cloth to his head, he returned to his room. In order that the Mother might not suffer any discomfort or pain from his hand he had touched her feet very carefully. His constantly moving lips indicated that as long as he was in the temple, he was chanting hymns to the Mother.
Probably it was on 8 January 1885 that my uncle fell from a horse, fracturing his left arm and incurring the fatal injuries from which he passed away eight days later. Sri Ramakrishna came to see him during these last days. The Master looked very pale that day. He stroked my uncle’s body and wept. By then my uncle had almost lost his voice, but when he saw the Master, tears rolled down his cheeks. The Master talked to him a little, but I was so young that I could not follow what was being said. I did observe, though, that my uncle’s face beamed with joy when he saw the Master. After a while the Master ate something and then left with a heavy heart.
A year after the death of my uncle, I went to visit the Master at Dakshineswar with another uncle. I took the dust of the Master’s feet and sat in his room, which was filled with devotees. The Master noticed me and said, “I have seen this boy before somewhere.”
Rakhal Maharaj said, “Yes. He is Bepin, a nephew of Adhar.”
The Master raised his hand and said, “That is good.” Then he talked to my uncle and asked about the welfare of our family.
Many devotees of Sri Ramakrishna still visit our house and salute the floor that was touched by the Master’s blessed feet.
[From: Udbodhan (Udbodhan Office: Calcutta, 1938), vol. 40, no. 9]