There were many trying experiences in Naren's boyhood, but none more than that which he had one morning in the class-room. The incident shows the boy's innate fortitude and the difficulty of intimidating him. One of the teachers of the Institution was a man of very ugly temper and given to beating the boys severely when he thought that discipline was needed. One day, as he was severely castigating a boy, Naren began to laugh from sheer nervousness, so revolted was he by the exhibition of brutality. The teacher now turned his wrath on Naren, raining blows on him, and demanded that he promise never to laugh at him again. When Naren refused, the teacher not only resumed the beating, but seized him by the ears as well, even going as far as lifting the boy up from the bench by them and damaging one ear, so that it bled profusely. Still Naren refused to promise. Bursting into tears of rage, he cried out, "Do not pull my ears. Who are you to beat me? Take care not to touch me again."
Luckily, at this moment Pandit Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar came in. Naren, weeping bitterly, told him what had happened; then, taking his books, he declared that he was leaving the school for good. Vidyasagar took him to his office and consoled him. Later, an investigation was made of the disciplinary measures obtaining in the school and steps were taken to prevent any repetition of such incidents. When Naren's mother, in whom he always confided, heard of it, she was greatly incensed. She begged the boy not to return to the school; but he went the following day as though nothing had happened. For a long time his ear did not heal.