Ashwinikumar Datta (1856-1923) – Renowned patriot, leader, distinguished intellectual from Barisal. Joined the freedom struggle and served prison sentence. After release, devoted himself to social work. Charmed by the Master’s conversations with Keshab Chandra Sen, his singing and dancing in spiritual ecstasy. Was received warmly by the Master on their first meeting at Dakshineswar in 1881. More meetings and conversations followed. On the last occasion the Master told him to make the acquaintance of Narendra, whom he saw that very evening (23.5.1885) seated beside the Master at the residence of Ramchandra Datta in Simulia. However, despite his eagerness the two did not meet. He met Swamiji about 12 years later at Almora during Swamiji’s visit to the Saviers in May/June 1897 and was fascinated. Swamiji praised his efforts to spread education and declared that India’s slavery would be destroyed by the “Vajra” (thunderbolt) made with the bones of the youth of Bengal. In the appendix to his book Bhakti Yoga, Ashwini Datta gave a valuable account of this meeting. The Gospel (pp. 1021-27) provides details of his meetings with the Master. He had taken the Head Master of his school, Jagadishchandra Mukherjee, to meet the Master on his last visit to Dakshineswar (23.5.1885). His father, Brajamohan Datta, passed three days at Dakshineswar in the holy company of the Master. A song sung by Thakurdada of Baranagore, which had delighted the Master, had been composed by Ashwini Datta. He wrote to M., “What I saw and received in those few days has sweetened my whole life. That Elysian smile of his, laden with nectar, I have locked up in the secret closet of my memory. That is the unending treasure of a hapless person like myself….” (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, p. 1027).