Manomohan Mitra (1851-1903)—One of the foremost devotees of the Master, cousin of another eminent lay devotee, Ramchandra Datta. Born on 8.9.1851 in ancestral home at Konnagar in Hooghly district, only son of Bhuvanmohan Mitra, a successful physician, and Shyamasundari Devi. Student of Calcutta Hindu School, lived in uncle Rajendranath Mitra’s house and through him met Devendranath Tagore and Keshab Chandra Sen. Due to his excessive religious inclinations, was married at the age of 17 and sent to live with his father at Dhaka where he passed the Entrance examination. Having lost his father at 21, had to shoulder the burden of the entire family at 23, employed at the Bengal Government Secretariat, lived at 23, Simulia Street (now 64, Dr. Narayan Rai Sarani, Calcutta 6). Learning about the Master from papers and journals visited him at Dakshineswar on 13.11.1879 with Ramchandra Datta. Frequent visits resulted in the Master’s familiarity with his entire family. Soon realized the Master to be an Incarnation of God and surrendered at his feet.
Once, stopped visiting the Master thinking himself to be of no consequence to him and suffered the resultant pain alone at Konnagar. The Master, however, visited Konnagar by boat in his anxiety due to Manomohan’s long absence and the latter realized his error. On 3.12.1881 the Master visited his Calcutta home and festivities marked the occasion (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, p. 1013). On 10.12.1881 before attending a festival at Rajendra Mitra’s residence the Master arrived voluntarily at Manomohan’s house in the afternoon and after resting and having some refreshments, was taken to the studio of the Bengal Photographers by Surendra to be photographed (Ibid., p. 1015). On the auspicious occasion of Jagaddhatri Puja, the Master on his way to Surendra’s residence, first visited Manomohan’s house, where he discoursed on devotion and sang a song (Ibid., pp. 156-57). Once Manomohan took the Master by boat to see the chariot festival at Mahesh and seeing Lord Jagannath on the chariot the Master passed into samadhi. They returned after visiting the temples at Ballabhpur and the Annapurna temple at Barrackpore (Udbodhan, 11.513-15).
During the Master’s stay at Cossipore Manomohan remained in Calcutta to be near him. After his passing used to visit Dakshineswar and the Baranagore Math, providing financial help to the latter. Used to visit towns and villages preaching about the Master. Started centres at Dhaka, Navadwip, Ghatal, Jessore and Murshidabad. Contributed many articles to Tattvamanjari. Helped Ramchandra Datta in running the Yogodyan at Kankurgachhi. Brokenhearted after the death of Swamiji, himself passed away on 30.1.1903, having repeated the name of Sri Ramakrishna continuously in the last three days.
He had introduced Rakhal Chandra, his brother-in-law, the future Swami Brahmananda, to the Master. Had had visions of the Holy Mother as the Goddess of Fortune and of the Master’s smiling face at the Kankurgachhi shrine.