This is in reply to Mukunda das's
recent article wherein he attempts to find 'contradictions' in the IRM
paper - 'Does Srila Prabhupada Support Poisoning Theory'.
Unfortunately, as with all those who have so far attempted to find
'mistakes' in the IRM papers such as the GBC, PADA etc., this
latest effort is also based on a failure to properly read what we
Mukunda's main comments will be boxed in speech marks thus " ", with my
comments following underneath:
following article we would like to point out some contradictory
statements in IRM's paper - 'Does Srila Prabhupada Support Poisoning
Theory?' [...] No IRM member can propagate any literature or messages
to the effect that Srila Prabhupada was deliberately poisoned but the
IRM leader and member, rather than waiting for the outcome of the
"official investigation on this subject" (as he instructs the IRM
members to do) in his next newsletter (no. 9) propagates the Web page
chakra, who's view is certainly not neutral. Chakra's view is that
Srila Prabhupada wasn't poisoned."
- Having told us that he is going
to "point out some contradictory statements in IRM's paper - 'Does
Srila Prabhupada Support Poisoning Theory?' ", the author immediately
refers us to supposed IRM statements which are not even from the paper
mentioned. This is itself a contradiction.
- The statement that we
'propagate' a non-neutral view on the poison issue is untrue. We simply
stated that technical arguments regarding the effects of arsenic need
to be replied to if we are to take Nityananda's book seriously:
"The above (articles on
arsenic) has not been responded to by Nityananda Das and until it is we
can only assume he has no answer to this apparent expose of most of the
claims for 'evidence' made in his book."
We obviously cannot be
categorically claiming that these articles on arsenic are DEFINITELY
true, otherwise we would never have even raised the possibility of them
being responded to. Thus the author's assertion that there is a
contradiction here is incorrect, and this itself is another
contradiction on the part of the author.
- ...Furthermore, if one is
guilty of propagating a view simply by virtue of REFERRING to it in the
context of asking for a response, then Mukunda, by quoting and
referring to the IRM position in order to reply to it, would also be
guilty of propogating the very IRM position he is trying to defeat!
Thus this would be another contradiction.
Thus, far from pointing out any
contradictions in the IRM paper, the author has himself stated 3
contradictions, and that is just in the very first statement he makes!
|"Or in other
words their view is: 'No Srila Prabhupada Doesn't Support Poisoning
Theory!' But earlier they acknowledge that Srila Prabhupada says it is
possible. Now they say Srila Prabhupada says no."
- The author has contradicted
himself here by saying that on the one hand we actually say that Srila
Prabhupada 'doesn't support' the poisoning theory', and then saying
that what we actually say is that 'Srila Prabhupada says no'. The two
statements are not the same.
- We do not say anywhere that:
'Srila Prabhupada says no'. We only say that he 'doesn't support' the
theory that he has been poisoned because he has NOT made any statements
directly in support of it - not because he HAS made a statement where
he 'says no'.
To 'support' a theory means to
'corroborate' by 'bringing facts' - according to the Oxford dictionary.
To simply say that an event is 'possible' is not the same as 'bringing
facts' to 'corroborate' it.
Indeed, even without Srila Prabhupada saying 'its possible', we all
know it WAS possible that Srila Prabhupada could have been
poisoned, especially given the history of nefarious activity by some of
his disciples. But the issue is not if it was 'possible', but if it did
actually happen; and whether Srila Prabhupada directly stated that it
did (which he did not).
|"If we look
at how Srila Prabhupada always uses the word "it is possible" we will
notice he and Lord Krsna use it to say it is a fact!"
The author then uses examples such
as the following to try and prove his point:
difficulty of controlling the obstinate mind, as expressed by Arjuna,
is accepted by the Personality of Godhead. But at the same time he
suggests that by practice and detachment it is possible." (B:G 6:35)
However all the examples he uses
work just as well with the standard meaning of 'its possible' - which
is 'it can or is capable of existing/happening etc.' - i.e. the
conditional sense. In the above example the outcome is only 'possible'
if various conditions are met - namely that there is the right quantity
of 'practice' and 'detachment'. Similarly, although it is 'possible'
that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned, we will only know if he definitely
was if some solid evidence emerges - or if we can locate a statement
from Srila Prabhupada where he says he definitely WAS poisoned. In that
instant a mere 'possibility' (which we have always accepted)
would shift into a definite fact. And to prove beyond a doubt that 'it
is possible' is not always used by Srila Prabhupada to mean 'it is a
- the following example will suffice:
"This realization was
achieved by Lord Brahma after he was purified, and it is possible for
If we take the author's
translation of the word 'Its possible', the above statement would have
"This realisation was
achieved by Lord Brahma after he was purified, and it is a fact for
Which would mean that everyone NOW
has the same level of realisation as Lord Brahma! Which of course is
absurd, and is the last thing the author would agree to. The only
meaning that makes sense is the literal and standard meaning of 'it
is possible' - the conditional - which is that everyone has the
opportunity that IF they underwent the same type of
purification, they CAN also achieve the same level of
We have to say that this is the first example in history where a
disciple has attempted to translate the words of the acarya in the SAME
LANGUAGE. We would strongly advise the author to stop putting words
into Srila Prabhupada's mouth and to allow him to say what he says -
which is that 'it is possible' means 'it is possible' -
instead of speculating that it must mean something else.
tried very hard to prove that Srila Prabhupada was not poisoned by
trying to eliminate the main evidence, Srila Prabhupada's own words,
and the conclusion of their paper is No Srila Prabhupada Doesn't
Support Poisoning Theory!"
- We have not tried to
'eliminate' anything. We have simply stated what Srila Prabhupada's
words actually WERE - and we obviously can not 'eliminate' statements
that do not exist.
- Further, by arguing that it is
even possible to 'prove' Srila Prabhupada was NOT
poisoned by 'eliminating' his words, the author is assuming
that Srila Prabhupada's words alone can constitute proof for whether or
not Srila Prabhupada was poisoned.
This would rule out the ability of OTHER evidence besides Srila
Prabhupada's words to independently prove that Srila Prabhupada was
This would mean that the author would also have to 'eliminate'
other forms of evidence such as the 'arsenic in the hair' and
the 'whispers' etc., as being evidence that proves that Srila
Prabhupada was poisoned - otherwise he would again be guilty of another
like to humbly suggest that the IRM should have also, at least
concluded the title of their paper It is possible Srila Prabhupada
supports the poison theory. Instead they say "Thus the answer to the
title of this paper has to be 'no'."
- The answer 'no' is NOT
in reply to the question - 'Was Srila Prabhupada poisoned' - but in
reply to the question - "Does Srila Prabhupada Support Poisoning
Theory". The two things are not necessarily the same. It is
possible that a person can be poisoned without the victim having
announced to the world beforehand that 'I have been poisoned'. Indeed
some poison-theorists argue that Srila Prabhupada would indeed never
make such a statement due to his humility - that is because he is so
saintly he is not interested in self-preservation. Thus the
'poison-theorists' themselves have completely contradictory theories.
- The statement 'Its Possible'
relates to the issue of poisoning - and we all agree that it is POSSIBLE.
Unlike members of the GBC we have never categorically said that someone
did NOT attempt to poison Srila Prabhupada. We have simply said
that Srila Prabhupada did not HIMSELF directly say it.
And the statement that something is 'possible' is not the same
as saying that it did happen, or even that it was likely to have
happened, or that indeed this is evidence of 'corroborating' the event
by 'bringing facts'. Simply stating that an event is 'capable of
happening' (definition of 'possible') cannot simultaneously also be
evidence that it DID happen.
- And indeed we DO say right at
the end of our paper:
"All we would say is that the
title of his book should have been 'It's Possible', for these are the
only words Srila Prabhupada himself offers on the subject of his
(IRM Paper. 'Does Srila Prabhupada Support Poisoning Theory')
"One final nail in the coffin of the idea (picture in
the mind or belief) that Srila Prabhupada is himself revealing
that he is being poisoned"
forgive my offenses but this doesn't sound like a very neutral
Please see the explanation above.
We are neutral on the issue of whether or not Srila Prabhupada was
poisoned. We are NOT neutral on what Srila Prabhupada himself
said directly on the subject - and we never said we were - since his
words can be easily ascertained by the simple act of reading and
interesting point about this final nail (The kaviraja's testimony to
Adri Dharana dasa) Earlier the IRM had said the views and opinions of
others who were in the room with Srila Prabhupada were of no relevance
to them and that they were only going to rely on what Srila Prabhupada
himself said, rather than what feelings or suspicions his words might
invoke in devotees minds and hearts."
- ... Here the author is claiming
that it is contradictory for us to present the conversation with the
Kaviraja since we had said earlier that we would only rely on Srila
Prabhupada's words. But we do not RELY on the words of the
Kaviraja, since before presenting the conversation with the kaviraja
what we actually say is:
"One final nail in the coffin of the idea that Srila
Prabhupada is himself revealing that he is being poisoned is found in
the following ...
[testimony of Kaviraja follows].
We say one 'final nail in the
coffin' - which in figurative terms means we already have a COFFIN.
That means we have ALREADY established that the idea Srila
Prabhupada is himself stating that he was poisoned is unsupported by
the evidence. So we can not possibly be RELYING on the 'nail'
as evidence when we have already said that the 'coffin' exists. Thus,
by definition the testimony of the kaviraja could not have had any
relevance to establishing a conclusion that had already been
established even before the testimony was introduced.
- Indeed, if the author goes back
and reads again he will see that before presenting the testimony with
the Kaviraja we had already presented over 90% of the paper, RELYING
totally and exclusively on Srila Prabhupada's words to establish our
conclusion, as we said we would. We then presented that conclusion
under a heading called (not surprisingly) - 'Conclusion'.
- For those who are unfamiliar
with the use of the phrase 'Final Nail in the Coffin' - it is used as
an embellishment - literally 'over-kill' - when you have already 100%
established an idea and rendered it completely useless - put it in the
'coffin'. We hope the analogy was not distasteful, given that we are
talking about Srila Prabhupada's passing from us- but still in no way
can we be 'RELYING' on the testimony of the Kaviraja as
evidence. It was simply thrown in with a couple of other points at the
end of the paper, once the conclusion had already been established. We
appreciate that the author may have made an honest mistake here -
clearly not having a full mastery of the English language. The main
point is that if you took out the supplementary reference to the
Kaviraja, the paper's established conclusion would be unaffected.
Mukunda knows this full well and is thus clutching at straws here.
If we want to get picky, as the
authour has tried and failed to do with us, we can note that the above
point is stated by the author in a section called 'Further
This is in itself yet another contradiction from the author, since he
had already stated the exact same point in his main paper.
So it is not a 'further contradiction' but rather the 'same' alleged
contradiction, simply repeated.
This completes the reply to all the points that the author has put
forward as supposed contradictions by the IRM. He has also made some
other points that are not evidence of contradictions in the IRM paper,
but merely the author's own arguments in relation to the poison issue.
We can answer these after our own points are first understood
correctly, and it is accepted that there are no contradictions in the
IRM paper in question. The author had confidently opened his paper by
quoting Srila Prabhupada stating the following, hoping it would be
shown to apply to us:
'If he says contradictory
things is he not a rascal'?
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Philadelphia, July 13th
Unfortunately for the author, due
to his inability to READ what we actually say, and as we have
shown very clearly far - the author has not managed to find a single
contradiction in the IRM paper, but rather has only succeeded in
stating many contradictions himself each time he makes a point. We
shall display more generosity than Mukunda and say that his many
contradictions are most likely due to ineptitude, rather than him being