Akshaykumar Sen (1854-1923)—Lay devotee of the Master. Author of the Master’s well-known biography in verse Sri Sri Ramakrishna Punthi. Born in Maynapur village of Bankura district. Son of Haladhar and Bidhumukhi. Began his career as tutor of the boys of the Tagore family of Jorasanko and came to be known as “Akshay Master”. Earned the sobriquet “Shankchunni” (female ghoul or evil spirit) from Swamiji for his exceedingly dark skin and ill-favoured, sickly appearance. Served for a brief period at Basumati Sahitya Mandir. First saw the Master at the house of the devotee Mahima Charan Chakravarty at Cossipore, along with Devendranath Mazumdar, another householder devotee and poet. Akshay touched the Master’s feet and was favoured with a look of compassion that changed the course of his life. Began to visit Dakshineswar regularly. Present at Cossipore on 1 January 1886 and offered flowers at the Master’s feet who, said to have been in a “Kalpataru” (wish-fulfilling tree) mood, touched his chest and uttered a mantra in his ear. A severe fire of convulsions resulted from the emotional upsurge that followed this startling experience and he began to weep. Also present at Cossipore when the Master entered Mahasamadhi, fetched Girishchandra Ghosh and Ramchandra Datta from Calcutta. The Sri Sri Ramakrishna Punthi, his immortal work which narrates the life and activities of Sri Ramakrishna in verse, is acknowledged to be an authentic source material. The book was hailed enthusiastically by Swamiji and won the appreciation and blessings of the Holy Mother too. Wrote two other books on the Master. Once during a festival in honour of the Master in the Garo Hills region of Mymensingh at which he was present, ominous clouds piled up against the hillside threatening to wash away the festivities. The organizers urged him to pray to the Master. It is said that subsequent to his prayers the sky cleared over just that spot, while heavy showers lashed adjoining areas. Spent his last years in his native village absorbed in the worship of the Master and died there on 7.12.1923. A collection of thirty-eight letters written by him, Bhaktabani, was published in 1961.