Akshay Kumar Sen

Akshay Kumar Sen
Lay Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna

Akshay was born in 1854 at Maynapur, a small village in the Bankura District of Bengal. Because of the extreme poverty of his parents – Haladhar Sen and Bidhumukhi Devi, Akshay was brought up in the countryside and educated in a village school.

He moved to Kolkata to escape his poverty, and took up a job as a private tutor. He once overheard a conversation about a Paramahamsa in Dakshineswar and was intrigued. One day a friend took him to Sri Ramakrishna. On his first visit, he witnessed the Master singing and dancing in a God-intoxicated state. Then Akshay underwent a period of great trial, during which he felt that Sri Ramakrishna was ignoring him. However, one day he got the first opportunity to serve the Master personally. This left a deep mark on him. On 1 January 1886 (Kalpataru Day), he was one among those who were specially blessed by the Master. On that occasion Sri Ramakrishna whispered a Mantra (Sacred Syllable) in his ear.

After Sri Ramakrishna’s passing away, Akshay used to worship Master’s photograph at his home with flowers etc and sing his glory to the accompaniment of a one-stringed instrument. In 1887, he started writing Sri Ramakrishna’s life in verse, the Sri Sri Ramakrishna Punthi in Bengali. The book has been translated into English prose under the title A Portrait of Sri Ramakrishna. He later wrote Padye Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Dever Upadesh and Sri Sri Ramakrishna Mahima. These books have given to Akshay an everlasting and important place in the Ramakrishna Movement. He suffered from poverty and other family problems. But he used to pass his days in recollection of the Master. Akshay died on 7 December 1923.