HEALTH BIOGRAPHY ANALYSIS
SRILA PRABHUPADA'S HEALTH BIOGRAPHY ANALYSIS
CHAPTER 32: GENERAL REVIEW:
There were 21 symptoms listed
in Chapter 19 which are unique only to arsenic poisoning and are not
found in kidney disease. Out of these 21 "arsenic" symptoms, a few are
seen in cases of serious diabetes, which, however, Srila Prabhupada, by symptom
analysis, did not have serious enough to display the symptoms thereof. This is
reviewed in APPENDIX 7: Diabetes Symptoms, For example, loss of
vision or blindness is sometimes seen in diabetes. Srila Prabhupada, however,
did not exhibit the signs of an advanced case of diabetes which would produce
loss of vision. Further, not one doctor or kaviraja, nor Hari Sauri Prabhu,
even mentioned diabetes as a factor in His Divine Grace's health. He also did
not require insulin. Diabetes is thus ruled out of the equation, so to speak.
Many of the 21 arsenic poisoning and
"not-kidney disease" symptoms listed in Chapter 19 may occur in other
medical situations. For example, hearing loss or hoarse voice are found in a variety
of ailments. Isolated from the co-symptoms, each symptom may appear usual and
will produce no suspicion of foul play, or even that a serious medical condition
may exist. However, when all the symptoms are taken together, the unique
combination of symptoms then rules out any explanation other than arsenic poisoning.
Then we add to that conclusion another
24 symptoms that are common to both arsenic poisoning and kidney disease, as identified
in the health history as well. Arsenic poisoning causes kidney disease, and would
be responsible for aggravating an existing situation of already weak kidneys.
With 45 symptoms (21 plus 24) of arsenic poisoning identified in Srila Prabhupada's
1977 health history, there is little doubt that Srila Prabhupada was indeed poisoned
by arsenic. This now becomes an even more convincing diagnosis. There were no
indications in Srila Prabhupada's 1977 health history that are not consistent
with arsenic poisoning. Is it clear yet ?
The combination of photophobia, persistent
mucus and cough, conjunctivitis, pernicious anemia and lack of appetite, coupled
with 40 other supporting symptoms, clearly points to only one correct analysis:
GRADUAL, LOW-LEVEL, EXTENDED ARSENICAL INTOXICATION.
This author has extensively studied
the voluminous materials available at major local university medical libraries
on the subjects of toxicology, heavy metals poisoning, arsenic, etc. Many case
studies as well as in depth descriptions of symptoms were studied in depth. It
is the finding of this author that Srila Prabhupada's 1977 health problems most
definitely and strikingly conform to a diagnosis of CHRONIC
ARSENIC POISONING. It is hoped that many qualified physicians who are
professionally trained in the field of toxicology, pathology, and medicine will
take up this same study of Srila Prabhupada's 1977 health and render us their
carefully considered opinions. This author is confident that they will concur
with this diagnosis.
In sub-acute and chronic arsenic poisoning,
the onset of gastrintestinal symptoms is so insidious, or gradual and subtle,
that they may appear as ordinary loss of appetite and indigestion. Srila Prabhupada's
early symptoms of anorexia, loss of appetite, loss of taste, and loss of weight
are prominent early signs of low-level dosages of arsenic. His alternating constipation
and diarrhea were typical of arsenic poisoning. Abdominal pain would not typically
occur unless the amounts of arsenic ingested would dramatically increase to sub-acute
or acute levels.
Constipation is a common occurrence
and one may wonder why it is significant in Srila Prabhupada's case study. When
constipation is found ALTERNATING regularly with diarrhea, and in conjunction
with all of the other symptoms of arsenic poisoning, it then becomes recognized
as an "arsenic" symptom. Constipation in this landscape of symptoms
thus becomes very significant as another confirmation of arsenic poisoning. The
integrity and function of the intestinal walls, the digestive bacteria, and overall
digestive efficiency is damaged or destroyed in arsenic poisoning cases, resulting
in alternating diarrhea and constipation, plus indigestion, vomiting, nausea,
etc. Modern arsenic drugs are still used to treat gastrointestinal protozoan infections,
common in Africa.
It is the specific combination of various
symptoms which point out a particular diagnosis; when reviewed as a set of
symptoms and not as simply individual symptoms, one can properly render a correct
diagnosis. The result was that Srila Prabhupada did not eat, could not digest
food, could not taste food, food would taste very bad, and slow starvation and
progressive weakening ensued. Loss of blood flow to the tongue is typical, resulting
in loss of taste. Of interest also is a discussion with Dr. Gopal in mid-October
1977 wherein Srila Prabhupada described a "vomiting tendency," where
He regularly felt like vomiting but did not. This is another feature of
arsenic poisoning, and is documented in the case history on Napoleon.
Arsenic caused Srila Prabhupada's heart
to palpitate, quicken its beat, and become irregular in its beat, all noted in
the health biography.
Many signs of neurologic damage usually
seen in long term chronic poisoning cases are not documented in Srila Prabhupada's
case, probably in part because He departed before they fully developed. The unusual
and persistent itching of the back was a sign of irritation and damage to the
skin's nerve endings. Srila Prabhupada's desire for almost continuous massages,
increasingly throughout 1977, would have helped with aches and pains in the nerve
and muscle tissues that are a result of arsenic damage. Massage also would give
relief from the various skin sensations like itching, tingling, burning, etc.
Srila Prabhupada repeatedly indicated that massage gave "relief," but
we do not have clear indication from the biographical record what is was that
required relieving. The amount of massage late in 1977, however,
was not typical for Srila Prabhupada to receive or want, and thus definitely indicates
the necessity for relieving skin sensations as found in chronic arsenic poisoning.
A symptom of chronic arsenic poisoning
is damage to the optic nerve, resulting in decreased vision and eventual loss
of vision. Damage to the central nervous system resulted in loss of hearing as
well. In Srila Prabhupada's last month we saw paralysis and extreme pain in one
leg, a sign of nerve and muscle damage due to arsenic. These symptoms always begin
in the extremities, most often the legs, in cases of arsenic poisoning.
The alternation of insomnia and somnolence
is another clear indication of arsenic poisoning. Some nights Srila Prabhupada
was restless and could not sleep, while other times He would sleep most of the
night and day. This is peculiar to arsenic poisoning.
One of the most dramatic and clear indications
of chronic arsenic poisoning is Srila Prabhupada's photophobia, or sensitivity
of eyes to light. This symptom manifests as a result of arsenic damage to the
optic nerve. A more detailed justification of arsenical photophobia is given in
The only documented change in skin color
was one instance noted by Bhavananda as to a yellowing of Srila Prabhupada's skin.
No other skin symptoms of arsenical poisoning such as lesions, scales, skin darkening,
spotty pigmentation, etc was found in the health biography, other than the bedsores.
The one indication of hyperkeratosis or skin thickening was the "unusual"
circumcision operation in London which had closed the lower opening of the urethra.
A similar phenomenon was noted in the case history of one of Blanche Taylor Moore's
victims in Chapter 35. This extremely peculiar instance is a clear
indication of arsenic poisoning.
The medical texts reviewed noted several
times that cutaneous arsenic symptoms other than darkening of the skin, or melanosis,
often does not occur in chronic cases until after one to three or more
years. This fact readily explains their apparent absence in the body of Srila
Prabhupada. Further, a case of melanosis may not be very noticeable in Srila Prabhupada's
case as He naturally had a darker skin complexion already.
Evidence of sudden muscle weakness or
collapse in the legs due to the early effects of arsenic poisoning were seen in
January and in February 1977 when Srila Prabhupada "suddenly collapsed"
on two occasions. The manner in which Srila Prabhupada's leg weakness preceded
His physical deterioration has the distinct appearance of being due to arsenic
causing fatty degeneration of the calf muscles. This same phenomenon is witnessed
in Napoleon's case history as well.
Lack of muscular coordination in the
extremities, or ataxia, is noted several times when Srila Prabhupada signed documents
with shaky hands. A progression of muscle weakness throughout 1977 is noted by
Srila Prabhupada's inability to walk, stand, sit up, and finally even turn over
in bed. Late in 1977, Srila Prabhupada required assistance to even move His
limbs. Obviously, part of this weakening
of muscles can be attributed to lack of energy or general weakness, but the health
biography gives the impression of a gradual setting-in of partial paralysis that
can better be accredited to declining muscle strength than lack of energy. This
occurs due to the effects of arsenic where the muscle tissues no longer receive
blood through damaged or ruptured capillaries, beginning in the extremities and
moving inwards towards the trunk. Also arsenic "dissolves" muscle tissues
into fluids (edema).
Arsenic causes damage to the brain in
ways not fully understood by modern medical science. Symptoms of "mental
disturbance" have been reported, as well as a reduction of mental functions
such as memory, etc. These signs were noted in the health biography.
Several "arsenic" symptoms
are the result of insidious or subtle central nervous system or brain damage,
such as loss of vision and hearing, mental disturbance and behavioral changes.
These things do not occur in kidney disease. It is difficult to analyze mental
disturbance or behavioral changes in the pure devotee. Behavioral changes were
also noted in Srila Prabhupada, attributable to brain damage. The marked increase
in displays of emotion, especially after reaching London, by exhibiting crying,
tears, and apparent depression and apparent insecurity were not seen in Srila
Prabhupada prior to His befalling the poisoning of His "would-be" assassins.
This was very atypical behaviour for Him.These symptoms are part of the
effects of arsenic. From the Napoleon case history, we find that the tendency
to periods of emotionalism expressed by tearfulness is a clear symptom of arsenic
poisoning. The fact that Abhiram, Tamal, and Satsvarupa all noted this period
of emotionalism in their writings confirms its prominence and relationship to
We should keep in mind that anything
Srila Prabhupada did was, of course, fully transcendental, but variously exhibited
according to the physical condition of His body. Srila Prabhupada nevertheless
exhibited only pure Krishna conscious emotions even in His debilitated physical
condition. Srila Prabhupada departed from this mortal world by the will of Lord
Krishna and not by the hand of His poisoners. This is an entire subject that may
be the topic of digression at another time, but this author objects to the characterization
of this tearfulness as "departure pastimes." When held together with
all the other symptoms of arsenic poisoning that were present, and with the other
evidence available, it is clear that this emotionalism is also another sign of
Serious and often irreversible damage
is done by arsenic to the blood and the blood manufacturing centers in the spleen
and bone marrow. This produces chronic and worsening anemia and extreme weakness
with total lack of energy. Vascular disorders include the damage and rupture of
the capillaries of the vascular system (veins), beginning at the extremities and
progressing towards the heart, resulting in reduced blood flow delivery. Muscle
deterioration, tissue atrophy, and gangrene are the eventual result.
Hypothermia (coldness) occurs especially in the extremities; this was noted in Srila Prabhupada's health biography. Edema or the swelling of body tissues with serous fluid, or the separated liquid portion of blood, is an early and constant symptom of arsenic poisoning. Srila Prabhupada had prominent on-and-off swelling throughout 1977, each cycle of which meant another loss of blood and the resultant weakness and anemia. The repeated coming and going of edema was remarkably similar in the cases of Srila Prabhupada and Napoleon, and are correlated to each arsenic dose.
Chronic arsenic poisoning is most commonly
identified with the appearances of upper respiratory infection and bronchitis.
Typically there is a runny nose, mucus, either a mucus cough or a dry hacking
cough, and conjunctivitis producing runny, watering eyes filled with mucus. In
Srila Prabhupada's health history we observe the inability of cough suppressants
to dispel a cough, the persistent mucus throughout the year, the watery and mucus-filled
eyes requiring rosewater eye-washing three times a day, and what appeared to be
almost constant head colds. The "head cold" contracted at Kumbha Mela
is suspect due to the accompanying degree of weakness and the mucus. Mucus, cough,
conjunctivitis, and coryza (acute inflammation of nasal mucous membranes marked
by mucus discharge, watering eyes, etc) are classic signs of arsenic poisoning,
and are not produced by kidney disease. Arsenic irritates the body's mucous membranes
and mucus is the reaction.
A hoarse or weak voice can also commonly
occur in many types of health problems, but one in which it does not typically
occur is in kidney disease. Arsenic causes damage to and thickening of the vocal
chords, resulting in a heavy, weak, slurred voice. Listening to the later tapes
of 1977 reveals the dramatic difference in Srila Prabhupada's voice due to the
effects of poisoning. A hoarse or weak voice can also be caused by an upper respiratory
infection, and arsenic poisoning also produces the symptoms of upper respiratory
infections. When the appearance of bronchitis, sore throat, mucus, and cough are
seen together with gastrointestinal problems, anemia, anorexia, conjunctivitis
and other unusual associated symptoms, a diagnosis of arsenic poisoning
becomes highly suspected. Arsenic poisoning is insidious, and is not easily distinguished
from common ailments such as colds, bad kidneys or the flu, and is precisely why
arsenic became the poison of choice throughout history.
As we study the degree of constancy
of the persistent "colds" and mucus in 1977, we become convinced that
arsenic is the cause rather than a strange coincidence of Srila Prabhupada being
plagued by cough, mucus, and a cold, on and off, for a year! One day there is
cough and mucus, the next day not, etc. Colds do not appear and disappear like
that. Tamal's offered conclusion was that the food and drink "turned immediately
to mucus," which is ridiculous and unscientific. The arsenic produced
the mucus and cough! When we see serious conjunctivitis WITH a persistent cough
WITH the persistent irritation of mucous membranes, WITH mucus, and WITH the other
42 signs of arsenic poisoning, the diagnosis is very solidly one of chronic
Arsenic poisoning causes kidney damage,
malfunction, and disease. Now that it is established that Srila Prabhupada's hair
contained seriously toxic amounts of arsenic, (Chapter 33 ) we can safely
conclude that the symptoms of kidney disease and malfunction seen throughout the
year 1977 were either aggravated or produced by arsenic poisoning. Difficulty
in urination, reduced amounts of urine, discolored urine, casts or blood in the
urine, and edema (swelling due to increased fluid retension) can now be correctly
understood as the result of arsenic poisoning and not the result of coincidental
onset of serious kidney disease as has been proffered in the past.
High blood pressure is caused by arsenic
poisoning, coming and going as though correlated to the timing of each administration
of poison. Fever was seen in the very serious attack of "illness" in
late February in Mayapur. Seizures, dizziness, fainting, languor, listlessness,
and lethargy were definitely observed in the health biography, as was stomatitis,
or sores and ulcers in the mouth. Srila Prabhupada was at many times noticeably
restless or irritable. Srila Prabhupada had (on and off) considerable restlessness
and difficulty in sleeping, which was sometimes conveniently blamed on medicines
but in actuality is another clear sign of arsenic poisoning. Arsenic causes the
victim to thrash and move about restlessly. ("Why am I suffering like
this?" - Srila Prabhupada, mid-November, 1977)
There was definite notation of excessive
salivation, or drooling, both awake and sleeping. The various doctors often noted
liver problems or malfunction. Srila Prabhupada sometimes would be "heavy
with sleep" for two or more days as we also observed in the case of Napoleon's
poisoning, often seen as a recovery period a few days after another poisoning
episode. (Forshufvud) All of these symptoms are typical of arsenic poisoning.
There is a record of Srila Prabhupada's
rinsing and washing His mouth with lemon juice and ginger. This is indicative
of a reaction to another chronic arsenic poisoning symptom not included
in the symptoms list: a coated tongue, as described in the case history of Napoleon.
Just out of curiosity, this author also
extensively studied the symptoms produced by mercury, antimony and cadmium poisoning.
They proved to be different than those of arsenic poisoning. Srila Prabhupada
did not exhibit the signs of these other types of poisoning. The conclusion is:
the 45 symptoms identified as signs of arsenic poisoning are a very substantial
case for a solid diagnosis without doubt as to its accuracy.
The overwhelming number of prominently exhibited and referenced, biographically-indicated symptoms of chronic arsenic poisoning seen in the physical body of Srila Prabhupada leaves little doubt that Srila Prabhupada was indeed suffering from just that: CHRONIC ARSENIC POISONING!
please also see:
SRILA PRABHUPADA'S MEDICAL CARE