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 Appendix 22.

Cutaneous (Skin):

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).

Encephalopathic (Brain damage):

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 arsenic poisoning.

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 arsenic poisoning.


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.


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!

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