Gaudiya Touchstone | Issue 5

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The Magazine of Sri Narasingha Chaitanya Ashram Issue No.5

In The Authorized Sri Caitanya-Saraswat Parampara, Swami B.G. Narasingha expertly clarifies the proper conception of pure devotion, as received thru the divine preceptorial line of Srila Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada. In this book, the cheating of the deviant sects are exposed for what they are, so that the intelligent discerning devotees may easily avoid their pitfalls and clearly recognize the very precise line of Gaudya Vaishnavism.


Senior Editor

Swami B.G. Narasingha

Assistant Editors

Swami B.B. Vishnu Swami B.V Giri Swami Srirupa Madhava

Copy Editor


Science Editor

Swami Vishnu

Health Editor



Swami Giri Sanatana

Layout and Design

Rasikananda Gaura-Gopala

Art Department

Dominique Amendola


Rammohan Nila Newsom Swami Giri Satyaraja


Advaita Acharya

Contents 01



Kumbha Mela - The World’s Largest Act of Faith Swami B.G. Narasingha


Who is a Mahatma? A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Kumbha Mela Interview with Swami B.G. Narasingha


Saraswati Thakura in Prayaga Dhama Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura


Sri Rupa Gaudiya Matha at the Kumbha Mela Gaudiya Magazine, 8th February, 1930


The Nagas Swami B.V. Giri


Kumbha Mela - Photospread Rammohan


Bhagavad-gita – Karma Sannyasa Yoga Swami B.G. Narasingha


Makara - Myth or Fact?


Has Science Failed Us?

Swami B.G. Narasingha Swami B.B. Vishnu


Hoysala Architecture


Words of Wisdom


Fluoride in Water


Culinary Magic

Dominique Amendola

Priyanana Priyanana

Editorial This issue of the Gaudiya Touchstone’s cover story is KumbhaMela, the world’s largest act of faith. During January/February of this year news media across India and around the world turned their attention to the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mystical Saraswati rivers at Allahabad, the stage of the KumbhaMela. An estimated 100 million devout pilgrims and onlookers attended Kumbha-Mela. Our staff writers and photographers were there and now bring you Kumbha-Mela, in full color. Published here for the first time is an article from 1930 reporting on Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura’s visit to Prayaga, a translation from the original Bengali. Transcribed from a lecture given at Kumbha-Mela in 1977 our acharya, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada describes Who is a Mahatma’ and lays bare the fact that only those who know Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead are true mahatmas. Sea monsters from Earth’s ancient past are talked about in the article Makara-Myth or Fact and in Has Science Failed Us, Swami Vishnu points to some interesting facts and raises some interesting questions for the scientifically minded. Dominique Amendola has written an excellent article informing us of the history and uniqueness of Hoysala Architecture. While Priyanana continues to look out for our health and well being in her well researched article Fluoride in Water, something that every sober individual should be aware of. And to top it off Priyanana shares some of her most delicious desert recipes in Culinary Magic. If you have a sweet tooth, then try these recipes, both healthy and satisfying This issue of the Gaudiya Touchstone has something for everyone. OM TAT SAT Swami Narasingha

On the occasion of Kumbha Mela, pilgrims from every nook and corner of India - speaking different languages and dialects, wearing distinctive markings on their foreheads, donning various types of dress and observing different manners and customs - meet together for a holy bath in the sacred waters. Wave after wave, the pilgrims formed a veritable river of humanity that flowed unto the banks of the Ganges at Allahabad to celebrate the greatest spiritual festival ever held - Kumbha Mela, the worlds largest act of faith.






They came by the millions! Some arrived on overcrowded trains ca some by ox drawn carts, and others rode on horses, camels, and e helicopters, while the less affluent came on foot carrying their be Wave after wave, they formed a veritable river of humanity that fl greatest spiritual festival ever held in the history of the world, the

arrying five times their normal capacity. Some came by bus, by car, even elephants. The rich and famous chartered private planes and ed-rolls and camping equipment in heavy bundles on their heads. flowed onto the banks of the Ganges at Allahabad to celebrate the e Kumbha-Mela. - Swami B.G. Narasingha

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umbha-Mela has gained international fame as "the world's most massive act of faith." Pilgrims come to this holy event with such tremendous faith and in such overwhelming numbers that it boggles the mind. Faith is the most important thing for the pilgrims at Kumbha-Mela, they have an "unflinching trust in something sublime". To understand the significance of the Kumbha-Mela and the important role that it plays in the spirituality of India, it is helpful to know something about the background of the sacred Ganges River. The devout believe that simply by bathing in the Ganges one is freed from their past sins (karma), and thus one becomes eligible for liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Of course it is said that a pure lifestyle is also required after taking bath, otherwise one will again be burdened by karmic reactions. The pilgrims come from all walks of life, traveling long distances and tolerating many physical discomforts, such as sleeping in the open air in near freezing weather. They undergo these difficulties just to receive the benefit of taking a bath in the sacred river at Kumbha-Mela.


This spectacle of faith has for many centuries attracted the curiosity of foreign travelers. Hiuen Tsiang of China, who lived during the seventh century, was the first to mention Kumbha-Mela in his diary. He gave an eyewitness report that during the Hindu month of Magha (January-February) half a million people had gathered on the banks of the Ganges at Allahabad to observe a celebration for 75 days. The pilgrims, writes Hiuen Tsiang, assembled along with their king, his ministers, scholars, philosophers, and sages. He also reports that the king had distributed enormous quantities of gold, silver, and jewels in charity for the purpose of acquiring good merit and thus assuring his place in heaven.

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In the eight century, Shankara, a prominent Indian saint, popularized the KumbhaMela among the common people, and soon the attendance began to grow to enormous proportions. Shankara placed special importance to the opportunity of associating with saintly persons while at Kumbha-Mela. Both hearing from sadhus (holy men) and sacred bathing are still the two main focuses at Kumbha-Mela. By 1977, the number of pilgrims attending Kumbha-Mela had risen to 15 million! By 1989, the attendance was in the range of 29 million – nearly double that of the previous record. In 2001 the number had reached a staggering 70 million and this year, 2013, the number was about 100 million!


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The ancient origin of the Kumbha-Mela is described in the time honored Vedic literatures of India as having evolved from bygone days of the universe when the demigods and the demons produced the nectar of immortality. The sages of old have related this story as follows: once upon a time, the demigods and demons assembled together on the shore of the milk ocean which lies in a certain region of the cosmos. The demigods and demons desired to churn the ocean to produce the nectar of immortality, and agreed to share it afterwards. The Mandara Mountain was used as a churning rod, and Vasuki, the king of serpents, became the rope for churning. With the demigods at Vasuki’s tail and the demons at his head, they churned the ocean for 1,000 years. A pot of nectar was eventually produced, and both the demigods and demons became anxious. The demigods, being fearful of what would happen if the demons drank their share of the nectar of immortality, stole away the pot and hid it in four places on the Earth: Prayaga (Allahabad) Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nasik. At each of the hiding places a drop of immortal nectar spilled from the pot and landed on the earth. These four places are believed to have acquired mystical power, and festivals are regularly held at each, Allahabad being the largest and most important. Besides the Ganges, there are also two other sacred rivers located at Allahabad, the Yamuna and the Saraswati. The Yamuna, like the Ganges has its earthly origin in the Himalayas. The Saraswati, however, is a mystical river which has no physical form. It is believed that the Saraswati


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exists only on the ethereal or spiritual plane and is not visible to the human eye. This holy river is mentioned many times in India’s sacred texts such as the Mahabharata and is said to be present at Allahabad where it joins the Yamuna and the Ganges. This confluence of India’s three most sacred rivers at Allahabad is called the sangam. The combined sanctity of the three holy rivers, coupled with the spiritual powers obtained from the pot of nectar of immortality, has earned Allahabad the rank of tirtha-raja, the king of holy places. The main highlight for most pilgrims during a Kumbha-Mela is the observance of a sacred bath at the sangam. It is said that a bath in either of the sacred rivers has purifying effects, but where the three rivers meet, the bather’s purification is increased one hundred times. Furthermore, it is said that when one takes a bath at the sangam during the Kumbha-Mela, the influence is one thousand times increased. According to astrological calculations, the Kumbha-Mela is held every twelve years and begins on Makara-sankranti, the day when the sun and moon enter Capricorn and Jupiter enters Aries. The astrological configuration on Makara-sankranti is called kumbha-snana-yoga and is considered to be especially auspicious, as it is said that the passage from Earth to the higher planets is open at that time, thus allowing the soul to easily attain the celestial world. For such reasons it is understandable why the KumbhaMela has become so popular among all classes of transcendentalists in India.


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Makara-sankranti fell on January 14th and the Kumbha-Mela began with all the pomp and glory for which it is famous. The temperature dropped to 46 degrees Fahrenheit on the evening of the 13th, but bathers were not to be discouraged. Just past midnight, thousands began to enter the confluence of the three rivers, immersing themselves in the icy cold water. Loud chanting of “Bolo Ganga Mai ki jaya! (all glories to Mother Ganga)” filled the clear night air as the pilgrims washed away their bad karma. They came away from the bathing area wrapped in blankets and shivering from the cold. But as quickly as they came out of the water, thousands more came in their wake. With continual chants of “Bolo Ganga Mai ki jaya” they entered the waters. At dawn the sky reddened and the sun rose to reveal a crowd of five million enthusiasts slowly advancing towards the sangam. From the center of that mass of humanity came a marvelous procession announcing the official beginning of the Kumbha-Mela. Bands played, people danced in jubilation, and colorful flags and banners flew above the crowd. At the head of the procession were the Nagas, India’s famed naked holy men. These holy men engage themselves in renunciation of the world in search of equilibrium. They hope to escape the world’s concomitant


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reactions and suffering by their austere practices such as complete celibacy and nonaccumulation of material possessions. Thus they are known as liberationists. With matted locks of hair, their bodies covered in ashes, and their tridents (the symbol of a follower of Shiva) raised high, they descended upon the bathing area. Entering the water in a tumult, blowing conch-shells and singing “Shiva ki jaya! Ganga ki jaya!� they splashed the sacred waters upon each other and played just like children. Indeed, they are said to be the very children of the Ganges. Next came the Vaishnava vairagis, the wandering mendicants who dedicate everything to Vishnu, the sustainer. These saints live a life of service and complete dedication. Then came the innumerable other sects of ascetics dressed in saffron colored cloth and carrying their staffs of renunciation. All the centuries gone by of India’s spiritual evolution were simultaneously there together in the procession. Each in turn bathed in the sangam. Several hours passed before the procession had finished. Then began the mass bathing of the pilgrims. From the high banks of the river one could see the dark blue water of the Yamuna mixing with the silver gray water of the Ganges. Bathers, immersed up to the waist, scooped up water with folded palms and offered it to heaven in a timeless gesture. Boatmen rowed their boats full of pilgrims to


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a small sandbar in the middle of the sangam which soon disappeared under a cloud of bathers. There was none to young or old for this occasion. A young mother sprinkled a few drops of the rivers’ water over the head of her newborn baby, asking God to bless her child with a good life and prosperity. In another place an elderly couple eased themselves into the cold water. Some bathers made offerings of flowers, sweets, and colored dyes to the sacred waters, while others offered Vedic hymns. The chanting of OM - the supreme combination of letters - and Sanskrit mantras issued from the lips of every pilgrim. As night fell, thousands of campfires could be seen burning along the riverbanks. In the central festival area, gaily decorated pandals (large tents) accommodated the thousands who listened to some of India’s most exalted gurus lecturing on spiritual and philosophical topics. In some pandals there were Indian drama and classical dance groups whose exotic costumes and performances attracted large audiences. In other pandals there were elaborate displays and dioramas illustrating the stories from India’s ancient epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata. There was so much to see and do that there was never a dull moment. Some pilgrims prefer to come to the Kumbha-Mela on the days of the big sacred baths like Makarasankranti and then return home, while others prefer


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to set up camp and stay for the duration. This year at Kumbha-Mela there were six scheduled days for important baths. Those who remained for the full 41 days of the festival and observe all the important baths are called kalpavasis. This year the Indian government spent more than 220 million dollars on preliminary organization for the Kumbha-Mela. According to national newspaper reports, the government arranged for 30,000 tons of food grain and 550 kilometers of water pipes were laid down; over 3,000 buses shuttled pilgrims in and out of the festival area that spread over 20,000 square kilometres; 40,000 toilets, 800 kilometres of electric wires and 48 power substations; 6,000 sweepers and sanitation employees who worked around the clock to maintain health standards; 18 pontoon bridges which spanned the Ganges at intervals; 30,000 policemen, firemen, and 72 companies of paramilitary forces who kept a constant vigil at checkpoints and with closed circuit TV guarded against traffic congestion and other possible outbreaks or disturbances; and 122 doctors and nurses on call at all times at 38 medical stations. An entire city sprang up along the banks of the river during the Kumbha-Mela complete with markets, hospitals, and even a tourist camp to accommodate visitors from foreign countries. The tourist camp informed me that they had sheltered over 1,000 visitors from abroad during the festivities, most being from Europe and South America. Some of these visitors from abroad had never been to India before. Others seemed as well acquainted with what was happening as the Indians. In the market areas all the required necessities and luxuries of Kumbha-Mela were for sale. In one place fruits and fresh vegetables were available. In another place wool blankets, which sold briskly, were piled in big stacks for easy selection. Along the main thoroughfares gypsies spread their wares which included different shapes and sizes of brass pots and bowls, beads for meditation, exotic perfumes, incense like kastoori (musk) and chandan (sandalwood), and even tiger’s claws set in gold. It was also interesting to note that all the food arrangements throughout the festival were vegetarian. There was not a trace of meant, fish or eggs to be found in any camp or in any public eating place. We learned that meat is strictly taboo amongst all types of transcendentalists in India.


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For everyone at Kumbha-Mela, early mornings were the most austere time of day because it was always colder than at any other time. However, a chilly sunrise is considered the most auspicious time of the day for spiritual practices. Every day at dawn, thousands arose early to bathe in the Ganges and return to their camps to change mantras and meditate. Kumbha-Mela was indeed a magnificent and awesome encounter. It was impossible to capture the entire festival. Indeed, it was the festival that captured us. Words, film, print, and paper can not do justice to the event — it is one that has to be experienced personally.


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Photo Credits - Swami B.V. Giri & Nila Newsom


eople do not understand that there is life after death, but Bhagavan says, “Yes, there is life after death”– tatha dehantara-praptih (‘the atma transmigrates from one body to another at the time of death’). There are two kinds of dehantara-prapti – either towards hell or towards heaven; towards liberation and towards bondage. Liberation means mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimukteh (‘one attains the path of liberation by serving pure devotees’). We want liberation. Mahat-seva – we have to take shelter of a mahatma. And if you want to go to the darkest region of material existence, then yositam sangi-sangam – sense enjoyment. Yosit means woman. The last resort of sense enjoyment is sex life. If we indulge in sex life, then yositam sangi-sangam. Not

only directly we indulge in sex life, but even indirectly if we associate with persons who are only interested in sex life. The whole world is interested in sex life. Pumsah striya mithuni-bhavam etat – this material world is existing on this mithuni-bhava. Tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam. Therefore you’ll find in the Vedic way of life, sex indulgence is restricted. If we indulge in sex life more than required, then we are gliding towards a hellish condition of life. And if we follow the path of mahatmas, mahat-seva, that is dvaram ahur vimukteh, We are making progress towards liberation.

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This Kumbha-Mela is a chan it is Kali-yuga. There are so m required. Mahatma is also de such a mahatma who is su-du described:

After many births, one w of everything. Such a gr

You’ll get so many ‘mahatma searching out God? The Go duratmas. So be careful that

Those great personalities

A mahatma has nothing to d Bhajanty ananya-manaso  –  Supreme Personality of Godh after many births’). It is not

Those that take shelter o

If you take to Krishna cons seriously  –  then immediatel service is seva, service. Ultim Service is there. We cannot b


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nce to get the opportunity of mahat-seva. Mahat-seva dvaram ahur vimukteh. Of course, many so-called mahatmas who dress for earning livelihood. That kind of ‘mahatma’ is not escribed in the Bhagavad-gita: sa mahatma su-durlabhah. Actually we have to associate with urlabhah  –  not very easily obtainable. And who is that su-durlabhah mahatma? That is also bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah

who possesses knowledge surrenders unto Me. He realizes that Vasudeva is the source reat personality is very rare. (Gita 7.19)

as’ who are declaring atheism: “There is no God. I am God. You are God. Where are you od is loitering in the street  –  the daridra-narayana.” They are not mahatmas. They are you may not mistake who is mahatma. A mahatma is a very simple thing: mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim ashritah

s who take shelter of My divine nature (Gita 9.14 )

do with this material world. They are under the care of daivi-prakrti, the spiritual world. the symptom is that he’s fully engaged in serving Krishna. Krishna is the original, the head. So we have to catch the lotus feet of Krishna. Bahunam janmanam ante (‘it is achieved very easy, but it can be done if we have got intelligence. Krishna says: mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te

of Me can cross beyond material nature. ( Gita 7.15 )

sciousness, immediately  –  of course, we must take sincerely, not a show; everything is ly we become on the path of mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimukteh.And this line of devotional mately we are all servants, but in the absence of being a mahatma, we are serving maya. become master. That is not possible.


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The eternal position of t

There are two things  –  Kris And those who are serving m but they say that they have b means one who is not actua Narayana.” They are called v of ‘mahatmas’, who are think So we shall be very careful.

At this Mela, there are so m gita – bhajanty ananya-man devotee of Krishna is not at a

O Partha, even if person

Even the lowborn can also ta

What to say of the pure

If qualified brahmanas can t nobody can take birth in the

Knowledge, wisdom and


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jivera svarupa haya nitya krishna dasa

the living being is that of a servant of Krishna (Cc. Madhya 20.108).

shna and maya; light and shadow. If you don’t serve Krishna, then you have to serve maya. maya in the name of Krishna, they are called Mayavadi. Actually, they are serving maya, become liberated  –  vimukta-maninah. They are described as vimukta-maninah. Maninah ally the thing, but falsely one is thinking that, “I am liberated. I have become equal with vimukta-maninah. Actually that is not the fact. We shall be very careful to avoid these kind king themselves as equal to Narayana, or sometimes they claim to be greater than Narayana.

many so-called ‘mahatmas.’ But the symptom of mahatma is described in the Bhagavadnaso (They worship Me with a steady mind). That is the qualification. And to become a all difficult. There is no difficulty. Anyone can become. mam hi partha vyapashritya ye ‘pi syuh papa-yonayah

ns of impious birth can take shelter of Me. (Gita 9.32)

ake shelter of Krishna, and what to speak of others? kim punar brahmanah punya bhakta rajarsayas tatha

e brahmanas and pious kings? (Gita 9.33)

take shelter, then what to speak of others? Their progress is very quick. Without sukrti e family or society of brahmanas. First of all, we have to become pure brahmanas. jnanam-vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam

d faith in the Supreme – these are the natural activities of a brahmana. (Gita 18.42)


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These are the brahminical qu of becoming a Vaishnava. Va

A brahmana is engaged

A brahmana’s business is sat-k in this brahmana’s business. P he has taught the Vedic know he teaches other disciples also

The spiritual master is al Lord’s temple. (Guruvas So there are brahmanas who Godhead. Such a brahmana

Those whose intelligenc

Vishnu is the original devata devatah. Om tad visnoh para vaishnavah (‘One who exclus other demigods. There is no of and to worship is recomm obeisances even to the ant, forms of vishnu-tattva. Rama Varaha. There are so many


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ualification. Unfortunately, nobody is interested to become a brahmana, and what to speak aishnava is above the brahmanas. sat-karma-nipuno vipro mantra-tantra-visharadah in six types of activities and is expert in mantra and tantra. (Padma Purana)

karma: pathana pathana yajana yajana dana pratigraha. So even a brahmana is very expert Pathana pathana  –  he has studied Vedas very thoroughly, and he has many students whom wledge. This is pathana pathana. Yajana yajana – he is expert in worshiping the Deity, and o: sri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana shringara-tan-mandira-marjanadau

lways engaged in worshipping the Deity of the Lord, decorating Him and cleaning the stakam 3) are not Vaishnava, they are worshipers of demigods other than the Supreme Personality of is not required. Such brahmanas are condemned. kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah yajante anya-devatah

ce has been lost to various material desires take shelter in other gods. (Gita 7.20)

a, and then next devata, Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, and then others. So they are all anyaramam padam – one has to worship Vishnu. That is Vaishnava. Vishnur asya devata iti sively worships Vishnu is a Vaishnava’). Vaishnava means that he’s not a worshiper of any question of disrespect for any other demigods. But sharanam sharanyam – to take shelter mended to the Supreme Lord  –  mam ekam  –  not everyone. We can show our respectful but worshipable Deity, or God, is Krishna, or Vishnu, vishnu-tattva. There are many adi-murtisu kala-niyamena tisthan – He’s expanded in many forms such as Rama, Nrsimha, incarnations of vishnu-tattva. They’re all one – advaitam acyutam anadi ananta-rupam


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So vishnu-tattva, or krishnavishnu-tattva. That is called s Iha haite krsne lage sudrdha m tattva, shakti-tattva, then it w

I am the source of every

We should try to understand if you become Krishna consc have given previously applies There is no question of separ discovered so many things an

One should not neglect Krishna. (Chaitanya-cha We become more and more

If one listens to the com 6.169)

To avoid this Mayavadi philo is atheism. It is cheating. On atheist. “There is no God.” H they say that there is God, bu

Go on making “no, no, no”  there is no God. Therefore C God  –  “Not this, not this, n


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-tattva is worshipable. And to pin our staunch faith in Vishnu, we should discuss about siddhanta. Siddhanta boliya citte na kara alasa – “Don’t be lazy to discuss about siddhanta.” manasa  – “The more you discuss the factual presentation of Vishnu-tattva, maya, and jivawill be clear what is Krishna.” Krishna is the origin of everything. aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate

ything. All things emanate from Me. (Gita 10.8)

d this fact, that Krishna is the origin of everything. And if we take to Krishna consciousness, cious, then all your other duties are automatically taken care of. The same example as we s – if you pour water on the root of the tree, then all other duties are automatically done. rate attempt  –  philanthropy, philosophy and nationalism, this “ism,” that “ism.” We have nd diversion of the real duty. That we shall have to concentrate. That is siddhanta. siddhanta boliya citte na kara alasa iha haite krishne lage sudridha manasa

discussions on siddhanta out of laziness. Such topics help to fix one’s mind on aritamrita, Adi. 2.117) faithful to Krishna by understanding the siddhanta. mayavadi-bhashya shunile haya sarva-nasha

mmentaries of the Mayavadis, he will be ruined. (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya.

osophy is for the kanistha-adhikari, that, “Everyone is God. I am God. You are God...” This ne class of atheism is Shunyavadi – “There is no God.” That we can understand, that he is He publicly declares, “We don’t believe in God.” But the Mayavadis are dangerous because ut without any form – no head, no legs. It ultimately becomes zero.

–  “No head, no legs, no hands, no...” So what remains? So this is another trick for saying Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has said that this class of men, who give the negative definition of not this, not this”  –  the Mayavadi – they are greater atheists.


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veda na maniya bauddha haya ta nastika vedashraya nastikya-vada bauddhake adhika Buddhists do not accept the Vedas and are therefore considered to be atheists. But those who have accepted the Vedas but preach atheism are worse than Buddhists. (Chaitanyacharitamrita, Madhya 6.168) Therefore it is very dangerous to associate with Mayavadis. Of course, those who are fixed up in Krishna consciousness can mix with anyone. Nobody can influence them. They are protected. If one has become a pure devotee, for preaching work he can go anywhere.


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

Gaudiya Touchstone: What is the significance of the holy city of Prayaga (Allahabad)? Swami Narasingha: Probably the oldest recollection of the importance of Prayaga is when it becomes known as tirtha-raja  –  the king of holy places. Prayaga had received a benediction that he would be the king of all tirthas (holy places) and thus all other tirthas should come and pay their respects to him. So all the holy places came in their personified forms and offered respects – all accept Vrindavana. Vrinda-devi did not come. Prayaga complained to Krishna that, “My position is such and You said that all the other holy places would come and respect me.” Krishna said, “Yes, yes – but not My home.” So Vrindavana is transcendental even compared to Prayaga, the king of holy places. Another importance here, particular for Gaudiya Vaishnavas is that this is the place that Rupa Gosvami had the darshan of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Mahaprabhu instructed Rupa Gosvami in rasa-tattva – the result of that being Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, a book that Rupa Gosvami wrote later. Further interest for us is that this is where A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada used to live for many years. This is where he met his guru, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura for the second time. In 1927 there was a Mela that year. Saraswati Thakura had sent his disciples here to arrange and they were going shop to shop and they came to Prabhupada’s shop when he was a pharmacist. He recognised them, “Oh, these are the same people that I met five years ago!” From that point on, Prabhupada became more engaged in the mission of Saraswati Thakura. Later, in 1933, Prabhupada was initiated here at the Sri Rupa Gaudiya Matha that Saraswati Thakura had established, and interestingly enough, Prabhupada received first and second initiation here at the same time. Another significant point of interest for us is that this is where Prabhupada first met Srila Sridhara Maharaja. Sridhara Maharaja took sannyasa in 1930, three years before Prabhupada took hari-nama, but they met here when Sridhara


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

Maharaja was still wearing white. He was not a grhastha any more because his wife had passed away, but he was still in white dress. These are some of the significant things that have happened here. Gaudiya Touchstone: What of the origins of the Kumbha-Mela? Swami Narasingha: The oldest story is the story of Mohini-murti and the pot of nectar which is first captured by the Asuras, the ill-intended forces of the universe. Knowing that they will cause only mischief since the nectar has the capacity to bring the dead back to life and grant eternal life, Vishnu appears as a very beautiful woman and enters the arena where the Asuras have the pot of nectar. She picks it up and starts to dance and they all become intoxicated by watching Her and she basically dances out the door and steals the pot of nectar. Mohini mystically travels to different places and some of this nectar drops in different places – Prayaga being the primary place. There are other parts to this story but they don’t concern us so much. The drops of nectar fall here in Prayaga, some in Haridwar, some in Nasik


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

and some in Ujjain and the Kumbha-Mela is celebrated in these four places at different times. But the Kumbha-Mela in Prayaga is the biggest one. The Melas at Ujjain, Nasik and Haridwar don’t compare even a fraction to this Kumbha-Mela. The Kumbha-Melas held in Ujjain and Haridwar are known as Ardha-Melas, or half melas and they are held every six years. Gaudiya Touchstone: So is this a Maha Kumbha-Mela? Swami Narasingha: Every twelve years is a Purna Kumbha-Mela. Every onehundred and forty-four years there is a Maha Kumbha-Mela – but what I have seen is that every Kumbha-Mela they are saying the same thing – they are calling it the “Maha Kumbha-Mela.” I read it on the BBC this morning that this Kumbha-Mela is the Maha Kumbha-Mela which happens every one-hundred and forty-four years, but that’s what they said in 1977, that’s what they said in 1989 and that’s what they said in 2001. As far as the Maha Kumbha-Mela goes, I think the astrologers have lost track of that. Nobody really knows. Gaudiya Touchstone: Could you also explain something about the Triveni – the confluence of the three rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati? It’s a little confusing because we only see two rivers here at Prayaga. Swami Narasingha: Yes. It is a little bit of a mystery. Triveni means ‘three rivers’ but when we come here there are only two – Ganga and Yamuna. The Saraswati is believed to be mystically present and years ago I asked some mahants and sadhus here at Kumbha-Mela, “Where is the Saraswati?” They said that the Saraswati appears here mystically and cannot be seen with the eye.” Triveni means ‘three rivers’ so we researched and there was certainly never three rivers running on the top of the ground at the sangam. There is nothing that can verify that there were three rivers here – particularly the Saraswati. At the 1977 Kumbha-Mela, the Ganga split into two and entered the sangam as two rivers along with the Yamuna, so everyone proclaimed that the third river was the physical appearance of the Saraswati. This is how the Triveni was explained with little variations according to oral tradition.


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

A few years ago, satellite imagery revealed an area in northwestern India showing a river that had dried up thousands of years ago. After archeological research and by comparing the names of other ancient rivers that used to enter into this riverbed, it was eventually recognized as the ancient Saraswati River. But that is over a thousand five-hundred kilometres from Prayaga! There is no way that river used to curve and come all the way here. That river came out of the Himalayas and other rivers such as the Sutlej entered into it and it cut across what is now Pakistan and emptied into the Arabian Sea. It never came over to Prayaga. Recently however, scientists in India came to Prayaga and using remote sensing equipment discovered that there was previously a third river â€“ a channel coming from the Ganga or the Yamuna which eventually dried up. So this may have been the Saraswati that is spoken of here at Prayaga. It may have once been a physical river.

Swami B.G. Narasinha & Swami B.B. Vishnu, Kumbha-Mela 1989


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

Gaudiya Touchstone: Can you tell us something about Srila Prabhupada at the 1977 Kumbha-Mela? Swami Narasingha: In 1977 Srila Prabhupada came for the Kumbha-Mela and we had a camp which was not as nice as the one we are in now. We might think that this is a little austere, but the one we had in 1977 was actually not as well organized as this. But we had a nice tent for Prabhupada and he came and he spent about five nights. Everything was set up very nicely for him but there was an electric problem. We didn’t have electricity at all or we were only getting some at certain times of the day. Each camp had to register with its own metre and it was very, very chaotic. Because we couldn’t get electricity, Prabhupada could not work on his translations because he used a dictaphone which was not battery powered and needed electricity. Seeing his translation work falling behind, then Prabhupada left on the fifth day. He had planned to spend two full weeks, but he left.

Swami B.G. Narasingha (playing kartals) with Srila Prabhupada, Kumbha-Mela 1977

G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

When he was here there was a simple darshan arrangement made. It wasn’t even as nice as where I am sitting now. There are some pictures of that. A lot of respectable people and villagers would come in have darshan of Srila Prabhupada. Just before coming to the Kumbha-Mela, while in Bombay, Giriraja Maharaja had asked Srila Prabhupada, “Why are we going to KumbhaMela? What is the significance?” So Prabhupada replied, “We are going for association. There will be many saints there; there will be yogis from the Himalayas there that are one-thousand years old.” We never knew whether he was just ‘pulling our noses’ so to speak, but everybody was talking about that and we were al on the lookout for these one-thousand year old yogis. One day in the afternoon, when everyone was out on sankirtana, chanting and distributing books, I was back in the camp and Prabhupada and HariSauri, Prabhupada’s assistant were also there. Suddenly these three really bright-looking yogis showed up at the gate. They had dreadlocks, short orange cloth, shining kamandalus and blankets over their shoulders – they looked very effulgent and very sattvika. The guard went to Prabhupada’s tent and Prabhupada’s secretary came out, then he went over and spoke something to them, went back and the next thing I knew these three yogis entered Prabhupada’s tent. They stayed in there for about half-hour and had a conversation in Hindi with Prabhupada and then they left. And just as they were leaving, I stopped them at the gate and I spoke to them just for a moment and what I remember was that they were very effulgent. In my mind, if there had been four of them instead of three, I probably would have thought they were the Four Kumaras because they were definitely a notch above the other sadhus that are just randomly here at the Kumbha-Mela. Gaudiya Touchstone: What are your personal realisations about the KumbhaMela? Swami Narasingha: The other day I was thinking, “Kumbha-Mela’s a bit like Wall Street in that there’s a lot of trading going on here. There’s a lot of business going on. There’s some trading of spiritual ideas and there’s a big market here – selling a lot of blankets and simple trinkets, souvenirs. It’s more like a


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

carnival or a circus. Mela means festival. But it’s a little bit like Wall Street in that there’s a lot of cheating going on here also. It’s absolutely amazing – the bulk of the people come here with great faith in the Ganges, in the muhurta (the auspicious moment) for a sacred bath and they are very respectful to all the holy men, sadhus, but they know very little about what it actually means to be a sadhu, and they know absolutely nothing about the individual sadhus – they are simply going tent to tent and pandal to pandal and respecting them. But those who are in the know can tell you that some of these ‘sadhus’ are just absolute cheaters. Some of them rate no better than pimps! They are hustlers, fraudsters – some of the biggest ‘holy men’ at this Mela today are involved in all sorts of crimes. One of the biggest ‘sadhus’ here is involved in a triple murder case and by the number of bribes that he has paid he is looking quite guilty. Another fellow, much younger than him, is here from South India, paying people to shout his name and throw flowers at him as he passes by on his gold palanquin so that the ordinary people think he is a great saint. But he is involved in rape cases. Another so-called holy man is a child abuser. So like Wall Street, Kumbha-Mela has a lot of cheating also. On the good side of things Kumbha-Mela represents many levels of theism and transcendence and even atheism takes part in this festival. By atheism, I mean Buddhism. Buddhists are a-theistic. They do not recognise the atma – nothing spiritual. Nor do they accept the concept of permanent existence.


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

Buddhists meditate on the idea of anatma – “I am not a conscious being. I am not a spiritual being.” But that is a very, very small percentage of what is Kumbha-Mela. The fundamental meditation at Kumbha-Mela is aham brahma’smi – “I am conscious. I am a conscious spiritual being for eternity.” But after that there are many levels of conceptions of consciousness and most of those are represented here by different bona-fide sadhus and acaryas such as Madhva, Ramanuja and the Gaudiya sampradaya – the followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Ontologically the schools of bhakti (devotion) are the most exalted. Bhakti-yoga is not at the bottom or in the middle, but at the top of the yoga system. All other systems of yoga such as astanga-yoga, hatha-yoga, kriya-yoga are inferior to bhakti. Kriya-yoga is close to bhakti-yoga but is still quite a bit below pure bhakti. Bhakti and love in devotion (prema) is partially represented by the Madhva sampradaya and the Ramanuja sampradaya, but it can only be found in its totality in the school of Sri Chaitanya. There are many other different types of yoga here which are teaching a particular level of spiritual advancement. But most of those can be categorised as the beginning stage of spiritual life, and some of them somewhat in the middle stage. But bhakti-yoga occupies the highest position in enlightenment and the development of consciousness.


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

So everything is here at the Kumbha-Mela – from the beginning stage from learning to be a vegetarian. This is a very interesting thing. There were about thirty-million people present at the Mela yesterday (Mauni Amavasya); an estimated one-hundred million people will come and go over a forty-five day period and all of them, while they are here, are vegetarian. All of them, while they are here, abstain from alcohol or any kind of sexual pursuit. There’s also no music playing here except spiritual music, bhajans and kirtans etc. You can just contrast that to any festival held in the western countries – even a religious festival where there will be beer, wine and plenty of non-vegetarian food. Kumbha-Mela is also the biggest non-violent festival in the world. Yesterday we saw millions and millions of people going for a sacred bath at the sangam and coming back with little to no pushing or shoving…no egos, no fighting. You could not get people to participate in any festival of this size in a western country unless there was going to be intoxication and wild mundane music to entertain everyone. All that is absent here but everyone is very happy and in a joyful state of mind. That says something! What that exactly says will be a little different according to the individuals understanding of the whole picture. But this is significant because you cannot find that anywhere else in the world. Gaudiya Touchstone: What is it that draws so many people to the KumbhaMela? Swami Narasingha: Part of the belief of most of the people here is that by taking a sacred bath in the Ganga or the Yamuna – particularly at the sangam where the rivers meet – your bad karma and papa (sins) are cleansed. It’s something that even a beginner can experience. It is very invigorating. You look at the water and its silty and a muddy colour – its just dirt from the earth, its not anything toxic – its just water mixed with sand. But normally, when you take bath in muddy water you do not feel fresh, you do not feel clean – you feel gritty and you feel that you have to go and take a bath again in clean water. But when you take a bath in the Ganga, you feel lighter and


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

fresh. This is because when you take bath in the Ganga, you become purified. Our consciousness is released. The tendency of consciousness is to rise up. The senses want to bring consciousness down to the bodily level. That is why diet and other physical practices are important for raising our consciousness. They actually don’t raise the consciousness – they just free the consciousness from the bondage of the senses. The natural tendency of consciousness is to attain higher and higher stages. That is what everyone experiences. But what usually happens to the mass of people is that they once again fall victim to their senses and after leaving the Kumbha-Mela, they slowly enter back into their old way of life. Then, by their impure habits, they again contaminate themselves. This is compared to the elephant that takes bath in the river then comes out and throws dirt all over himself again. But those who are conscious and aware, the real sadhus – they continue with this pure standard of living even after taking the sacred bath in the Ganga. In this way, the consciousness of a sadhu, by his practice and by his ritual bath in the Ganga etc. is always being raised. This is the path of enlightenment. So, there are people here that are very serious about enlightenment and self-realisation, and there is every other level that one can possibly imagine. Why are so many people here? Some are here just because of the ‘rush’ of being in the biggest crowd of humanity the world has ever seen. That is Kumbha-Mela.


Saraswati Thaku IN Prayaga~Dhama

(The following report was originally Viveka Bharati Maharaja in 1930 for Th Issue)


y written in Bengali by Srimad Bhakti he Gaudiya magazine, 9th Volume, 5th

G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e


he grand celebrations of Sri Janmasthami and Sri Nandotsava have come to an end at Sri Gaudiya Matha. Devotees that came from various places felt great content and were satisfied by the incessant hari-katha that they heard from Prabhupada (Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura) for several days. Prabhupada is the personification of Krishna-kirtana. He cannot remain for a moment without kirtana. He himself remains continuously unsatisfied after performing kirtana – his thirst for kirtana is still not quenched even after preaching at the doors of his sheltered devotees with hundreds and hundreds of mouths. It is for this reason that he immediately called for his venerable sannyasis.

After instructing his preachers on the methods of propagation, he determined the direction and place of preaching for all of them. Those devotees, taking their Master’s order as their mission, went out with great enthusiasm to extol the victory of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga, spreading the word of their Lord and Master. Thursday, August 21st: In the morning the word spread that Prabhupada would go to Prayaga today. Devotees were elated upon hearing this. Yet two types of happiness could be seen – those who were travelling with Prabhupada were immersed in joy in one way, while those who would stay back at the matha were also joyous, but in a different way. Prabhupada, the best of rupanugas, arrived at Howrah Station with a few other devotees in the evening at seven o’clock to strongly preach the teachings of Sri Rupa in Prayaga. Many devotees arrived with flowers and garlands. Prabhupada, who was everything to them, was glorified by each one of them according to their individual realisations. Prabhupada also satisfied them by distributing hari-kathamrita (nectarean instructions about Krishna). When the last bell rang for the train to start, everyone hurriedly paid their prostrated obeisance and the train started moving immediately.


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

Thus, the Bombay Mail started with Prabhupada, Aprakrta Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Prabhu, Vasudeva Prabhu, Sundarananda Prabhu, Jagadananda Prabhu and Sajjanananda Brahmachari. The train began slowly at first, but eventually started picking up speed and went faster and faster. It appeared as though it was chanting in its own way while moving towards its specific location. And so the train went on. Overwhelming every other sound outside, one could only hear the sound of the running train while everyone was sitting or lying in their own compartments listening to that noise. But Prabhupada’s compartment was different. The sound of krishna-kirtana overwhelmed even the sound of the train. Devotees were fully focused on drinking the nectar of hari-katha through their ears. Friday, August 22nd: In the early morning the train reached Mogul Serai. Many of the passengers were sleeping and some of them were half asleep. Among those that remained, many of them were changing trains to go to other destinations and all of them were moving here and there to wash their hands and feet, to have tea, pan, food etc. But all devotees were hearing hari-katha from Prabhupada’s lotus mouth after paying him prostrated obeisances. After a short time the train started moving and after an hour we reached Chheoki Station. Devotees were already there to welcome Prabhupada before the train arrived. As soon as the train stopped the place echoed with cries of “Sri Guru Gauranga ki jaya!” As Prabhupada got down from the train many people surrounded him to have a glimpse of his divine form. A little later the bell rang for the train to start and everyone quickly moved to their own compartments. We started towards Prayaga in a different train. Here also many dignified residents of Prayaga came to welcome Prabhupada. A famous lawyer in that locality, Sriyukta Hari-mohana Raya, sent his motorcar and other motor vehicles to the station to welcome Prabhupada. Without any delay those vehicles took Prabhupada and the devotees to Judge Town where the bungalow of the previous Session Judge, Sriyukta Mano-mohana Sanyal, was located. Sriyukta Manomohana had come with us from the Chheoki Station. Along with his able sons he heartily welcomed Prabhupada.


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

A little later Prabhupada ordered devotees to have darshana and glorify Sri Sri Vinodakishora Jiu at Sri Rupa Gaudiya Matha in Daraganj while he focused on his own bhajana. Devotees at once followed Prabhupada’s order and immediately went to Sri Rupa Gaudiya Matha. After having darshana during bhoga-arati, performing kirtana and after honouring maha-prasada, they again returned to the feet of Prabhupada. In the afternoon Prabhupada and the devotees went to see Dasasvamedha Ghat, the meeting place of the worshippable Lord. Hr first went to Sri Rupa Gaudiya Matha, then Sri Rupa-siksasthali at Dasasvamedha Ghat and then to the temple of Sri Beni Madhava to take darshana of these places and also to distribute to the fortunate public the nectar of his own darshana. It was evening by the time he returned to his place of rest. There were many who came before Prabhupada arrived in Prayaga to have his darshana. The High Court advocate Sriyukta Hari-mohana Raya, his son Sriyukta Nila-Madhava Raya, the High Court lawyer, the excise commissioner of Allahabad Sriyukta Umanath Mukherjee, Sriyukta Ganeshchandra Deva who was in the agricultural department of Uttar Pradesh etc. were all present. When Prabhupada arrived all of them stood up, and with great joy they glorified Prabhupada. Prabhupada requested all of them to sit down. Pandita-pravara Ananta Vasudeva Paravidyabhusana Prabhu sang the song, Bhajahu-re mana sri Nanda-nandana abhaya-caranaravinda-re. After this Jagadananda Prabhu sang the song from Saranagati. Immediately after the kirtana had ended Hari-mohana Babu anxiously said, “You have mercifully come to our place. To see all of you is a very rare fortune for the jiva. The day that all of you arrive at the door of a living entity gives rise to a great fortune for him. Yesterday when I was reading the Eleventh Canto of the Bhagavata, I saw that Sri Bhagavan was saying, ‘Only the sadhu is like the sun who drives away darkness from the heart of the living entity. The sadhu is our real friend and the worshippable lord of all living beings.’ Therefore please give us some advice and guidance.” Prabhupada replied, “Kirtana is my only duty.” Then he said, “ The song that you heard, Bhajahu-re mana sri Nanda-nandana abhaya-caranaravinda-re, explains that the service of Nanda-nandana is the best amongst all types of sadhana and sadhya


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

(practice and goal).” During the conversation that followed, Prabhupada explained how various eastern and western philosophies and even the object of worship within other bona-fide sampradayas achieve perfection and fulfillment through the teachings of Mahaprabhu. The pinnacle of worship is the service of Nandanandana. Prabhupada also said that if the opulence of Parameshvara is taken away from Him, then the concept of svakiya becomes significantly affected. If the aisvarya (opulence) of Parameshvara, which impressed Rukmini-devi to accept Dwarkesha as her husband, is hidden away by Dwarkesha, then the position of Rukmini-devi as Parameshvari becomes hidden and the marital relationship in the mood of aisvarya looses its vitality. The cowherd maidens have not accepted Nanda-nandana as the Lord of their heart by being impressed by His aisvarya. No opulence whatsoever of Krishna attracted the damsels of Vraja. The love they have for Krishna is natural and spontaneous. Their only intention is to satisfy the senses of Krishna and it is this causeless desire that has made them accept Krishna as their worshippable and beloved Lord. Later Prabhupada said, “There are very few people who are actually interested in such topics. Depending on the extent to which a living entity is fortunate, he becomes eligible to accept this conception. Someone may accept one birth; someone may take two births; someone, even after hundreds or millions of lifetimes, may not develop a taste for it. But there should never be any reason, argument or thinking existing at anytime in this world that opposes this practical truth and reality.” Saturday Morning, August 23rd: In the local English daily newspapers Leader and Pioneer, the news of the auspicious arrival of Prabhupada in Prayaga had been published. In the Leader there was a photo of Prabhupada’s divine form. While we were busy discussing it, we suddenly saw many motorcars arrive. Mano-mohana Babu hurriedly went there and warmly welcomed the gentlemen who arrived. One by one all of them came and sat down. Vasudeva Prabhu informed Prabhupada about the arrival of the gentlemen and the supremely merciful Prabhupada then came to the outside room and sat down. Sriyukta Mano-mohana Babu then introduced those gentlemen to us. They were the very able judge of Allahabad High Court, Dr Surendranath Sen, Sriyukta Mahendranath


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

Sen, the retired senior professor of mathematics, Allahabad Msc. college Mr Umeshchandra Ghosh, M.A, the famous senior educationist and the founder of Kasi’s Anglo Bengali school Mr Chintamani Mukherjee, the writer of many books Jatindranath Sen, M.A., the retired assistant superintendent of U.P. board of revenue Sriyukta Narayana-chandra Ghosal, the retired headmaster of Hardoi Government English High School, Mr. Barat etc. All these very respectable gentlemen had arrived. Professor Sriyukta Umesh-chandra Ghosh, M.A. humbly asked Prabhupada, “For people whose mind have become disturbed due to being engrossed in household affairs for a long time, is there any simple way to calm the mind?” Prabhupada said, “Sarve Mano-nigraha laksanantah – all sadhana and bhajana aims to calm the mind which is by nature restless and it is meant to establish us on the platform of atma-dharma (the soul’s eternal occupation). Only krishna-kirtana can control and discipline the mind. The paths of karma, jnana and yoga give momentary calmness to the mind as a repetitive reactionary result, but they lead us on to fall into an ocean of even more restlessness. Such sense-enjoyers always wish to serve gold (hiranya) and soft beds (kashipu) and are represented by Hiranyakashipu. Therefore the advice of Prahlada Maharaja is the only means them.” For almost two and a half hours Prabhupada spoke citing various scriptural explanations. Hearing topics about kirtana from Prabhupada cleared the doubts existing amongst the seekers of truth and gave them great joy. I observed that the listeners were hearing very attentively whatever Prabhupada said from start to the end. While leaving, the judge Dr. Sen, with gratitude, said to Prabhupada, “We came here poverty-stricken, but we are leaving here as rich men!” Sunday August 24th: This evening Sriyukta Mano-mohana Babu arranged for harikatha in his home. From the afternoon preparations began. Kirtana started as soon as it was evening. Invited guests arrived one by one and took their seat. For almost half and hour there was kirtana and after that Prabhupada came and sat down. Dr. P.K. Acharya MA, PhD, D.Lit, with great reverence and respect, asked Prabhupada about his general well being.


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

During the course of the lecture Prabhupada said, “Rejecting bad association – this is the conclusion of the Bhagavata. This is the way of achieving the Supreme Lord for a sadhaka. But when we begin to compete against other sections of sense-enjoyers in order to enjoy the temporary pleasures of our gross senses and leave aside the Supreme, then we are given the opportunity to become an atheistic enjoyer life after life by making ourselves more and more averse to the Lord.”

“There are very few people who are actually interested in such topics. Depending on the extent to which a living entity is fortunate, he becomes eligible to accept this conception. Someone may accept one birth; someone may take two births; someone, even after hundreds or millions of lifetimes, may not develop a taste for it. But there should never be any reason, argument or thinking existing at anytime in this world that opposes this practical truth and reality.” 46

Sri Rupa Gaudiya Matha at the Kumbha~Mela


eaders of The Gaudiya are well aware that for almost one year Sri Rupa Gaudiya Matha has appeared in Prayaga-dhama near Dasasvamedha Ghata by the desire of the greatest of rupanugas, Om Vishnupada Sri Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada. This time at Kumbha-Mela, due to the desire of Srila Prabhupada to introduce the common people to the supreme magnanimity of Mahaprabhu, the unparalleled Deities of Sri Sri Vinoda-Kishora Jiu have been installed and festivals consisting of abhisheka and sankirtana were celebrated in a large camp belonging to Sri Rupa Gaudiya Matha on the vast land donated by the honourable Sarkar Bahadur, near to the Triveni sangam where the Kumbha-Mela is held. Millions of men and women from different places have attained the true benefits of pilgrmage to Prayaga by hearing beautiful narrations about the name, form, qualities and pastimes of Mahaprabhu from the preachers of Sri Gaudiya Matha, who themselves practice exactly what they preach. By the tireless service-endeavours of Tridandi-Goswami Srimad Bhakti Pradipa Tirtha Maharaja and Srimad Bhakti-saranga Goswami Prabhu, and by the service-donation of Sriyukta Vrndavana-chandra Bhattacharya, who is the pride of the brahmana community, this great sankirtana festival of Sri Rupa Gaudiya Matha has been especially successful. Millions of people have become charmed towards the Name of Sri Gaura and divine love for Sri Gaura. Prayaga is the


very place of Sri Rupa shiksa-sthali (the place where Rupa Goswami received instruction from Mahaprabhu) and the teachings of Sri Rupa have been broadcast by those who are rupanugas (followers of Sri Rupa). Once more, those teachings have manifested in various ways and modes of worship at the exhibitions held at Sridhama-Mayapura due to the desire of the greatest of rupanugas (Saraswati Thakura). All the paraphernalia used by Sri Rupa Gaudiya Matha at the Kumbha-Mela such as the huge tents, the Deities of Vinoda-Kishora Jiu and the ‘Magic Lantern’ show at Sri Rupa shiksha-sthali at Dasasvamedha Ghata was collected by the mercy of Srimad Bhakti Saranga Prabhu. All the pictures used in the Magic Lantern show are now at the exhibition in Mayapura. In the future we hope to include some of those pictures on the cover of the Gaudiya magazine. (The Gaudiya, 8th February, 1930)



f all the images of the Kumbha-Mela, it is the image of the Nagas that probably stands out as most prominent. These naked sadhus with their long dreadlocks and beards, covered in ashes and brandishing tridents and swords are considered by some to be the quintessential holy men of India. Sitting around fires with their disciples, smoking marijuana in imitation of the great god Shiva or boisterously marching to the sangam in droves, the Nagas exude an aura of mysticism…

The word naga is a corruption of the Sanskrit word nagna, meaning ‘naked’ and tradition states that the Nagas first appeared during the time of Adi Shankara (8th Century CE). Shankara established two categories of ascetics – astra-dharis (holders of weapons) and shastra-dharis (holders of the holy scriptures). The Nagas were astra-dharis and the ekadandi-sannyasis were shastra-dharis. It was the duty of the astra-dharis to protect pilgrims on their way to holy places from attacks by bandits. This is the reason, so the Nagas claim, that Shankara created the Nagas.


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However, there is also a darker story to the origins of the Nagas. It has been said that in order to propagate his monistic Advaita philosophy, Shankara employed the Nagas to physically threaten members of other schools of thought to convert to Advaita Vedanta. Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains this in the introduction of his Krishna-samhita – Shankaracharya converted the brahmanas who were attached to karma-kanda, and he prepared himself to vanquish the Buddhists. Wherever he failed to convert the Buddhists to his philosophy, he engaged Nagas, naked sannyasis, who used weapons such as spears. This is also confirmed in the book ‘Manimanjari ’ of Narayana Panditacharya and other works of Madhva scholars, who state that many Vaishnavas were forced to adopt the garb of Mayavadis or went into hiding out of fear of attack from Shankara’s Nagas. Shankara formed the Nagas into seven akharas, or institutions – Maha-Nirvani, Niranjani, Juna, Atal, Avahan, Agni and Anand Akhara. Today there are also many minor akharas that are classified according to the deity that they worship. All these akharas have prominent positions at the Kumbha-Mela.


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Rent-a-Naga When one attends one of the major bathing days at the Kumbha-Mela, it seems that each of the larger akharas has many adherents. However, it is well known that each akhara pays beggars to become Nagas in order to increase their numbers during the main processions at the Mela. These ‘rent-a-Nagas’ are given food and shelter while they stay in the akhara’s camp – all they have to do is ‘bare all’ on the main bathing days and when they leave they are paid 501 rupees ($10). The explanation for this pretense is that the numbers of Nagas is rapidly dwindling. One Naga leader explained that the reason why the Nagas are fast becoming extinct was that nowadays most people do not have the courage to undergo such severe initiation rites. Brahmacharya (celibacy) is mandatory for genuine Nagas, and all who wish to become Nagas must go through a painful operation during their initiation in order to ensure that they never become sexually stimulated again. However, some Nagas obviously slip under the radar. In 2001, one prominent leader of the Juna Akhara went abroad and married two Italian women without disclosing to them that he was already married to a number of ladies in India!

Monkey Renunciation Nagas claim to follow the teachings of the great sage Dattatreya, but in reality they do not expound any coherent Vedic philosophy. That is one of the fundamental attractions for many westerners who first contact the Nagas – the Nagas have no structured sadhana. In other words, there are no hard or fast rules to follow. Truth be told, today’s Nagas are generally a vulgar bunch and rather than speak philosophy, they are more inclined to tell dirty jokes. They are also not shy to inform visitors how great they are – Nagas tend to be very conceited about their so-called renunciation and their tapasya (austerities). Modern day Nagas are far from renounced. Some akharas are known to own whole villages and towns (such as Kankhal just outside Haridwar). Some travel in luxury cars


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and keep personal security guards. All the major akharas own assets worth millions of rupees that often lead to ruthless conflicts and violent clashes over property. At the 2004 Kumbha-Mela in Ujjain, it was estimated that the Naga akharas jointly spent about 75 crores (aprox. $14,000,000) on marijuana. We are unsure as to how much money was spent on marijuana at the 2013 Kumbha-Mela, but we can be sure that it beats the 2004 Mela hands down.

Marijuana & Mayhem Indeed it is the Nagas penchant for marijuana that makes them so popular with foreign backpackers who come to seek them out in their camps at the Kumbha-Mela. However, at this years Mela, the Juna Akhara made an announcement that they were banning all foreigners from their camp – firstly because they were concerned that some of their ‘sadhus’ would lure western girls into their tents and exploit them, and secondly because some of the Nagas were buying cheap alcohol and other recreational drugs (besides marijuana) from foreign visitors. Besides nakedness and marijuana, there is one other thing that the Nagas are famous for and that is their violence. At almost every Mela a fight breaks out amongst the akharas as to who has the right to bathe first in the sangam at the auspicious hour in order to attain moksa (salvation). Here are a few historical incidents where the Nagas caused mayhem at the Mela:


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1690 60,000 People were killed at the Nasik Kumbha-Mela when two rival Naga akharas fought wit each other. 1790 1800 People are killed when Nagas fight over the right to bathe at the sangam first. 1820 A fight between Nagas at the Haridwar Kumbha-Mela leaves 430 people dead. 1906 The British cavalry is forced to intercede when two akharas fight. 1954 Infuriated at the sight of a woman at the sangam, a Naga spears an elephant which stampedes. Angry Nagas kill pilgrims with spears and tridents. Over 800 people are killed and 2000 injured. 1986 Nagas quarrel and cause a stampede in which 50 people are left killed. 2003 At the Nasik Mela, a Naga akhara suddenly arrives at the ßv and asserts their right to bathe. They throw silver coins into the crowd starting a stampede – 39 people killed, 57 injured. 2010 At the Haridwar Mela, clashes between akharas leave 5 people dead and 15 injured.


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In conclusion, the Nagas only seem to be interested in promoting themselves by performing some penances, or are simply content to smoke ganja and be glorified by ignorant people as sadhus. They do they follow any particular sadhana which is ordained by shastra, and those that have foisted celibacy upon themselves by artificial means remain arrogant, angry and violent. The fact is that real celibacy can never be attained through such an act of self-mutilation. According to the Bhagavad-gita, self-mutilation is considered to be in the mode of ignorance (tamo-guna). Such extreme acts of masochistic torture are simply external and do not eliminate sex desire which originates within the mind. A true sadhu must overcome sex-desire by mental discipline and through the performance of sadhana-bhakti. In other words, he must attain a higher taste in order for the lower taste to vanish. As regards vairagya, nakedness alone is not a sign of renunciation. If mere nakedness makes one a holy man, then all monkeys are paramahamsas! (Pure highly advanced souls) The Nagas pride themselves on their severe tapasya but fail to understand that it is that pride that bars them from making any real spiritual advancement. Pride stems from ahankara (false ego) which forces us to identify with the body and our environment. Although the Nagas crave mukti, while ahankara remains, one can never attain liberation. The conception that “I am a great tapasvi,” “I am a great sadhu,” “I am so renounced” – these are all products of false ego. Therefore, despite their popular renown in the media as ‘holy men’, the Nagas seem to have very little holiness about them…

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Kumbha Mela

When we asked our staff photographer Rammohan to attend the 2013 KumbhaMela, he jumped at the chance. After all, the Mela gives a photographer unlimited opportunities to capture incredible images. After spending only a week at the Mela, Rammohan returned with some wonderful shots. We are sure that our readers will agree that Rammohan’s photos place us at the heart of this mystical celebration.

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

Š Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography

© Rammohan Photography


w w w. ra m m o h a n p h o to g ra p hy. c o m

Karma~Sannyasa Yoga

The Yoga of the Renunciation of the Action

Excerpted from Chapter Five of Bhagavad gita, with the Anuvrtti Commentary of Swami Narasingha

VERSE 6 sannyasas tu maha-baho duhkham aptum ayogatah yoga-yukto munir brahma na chirenadhigacchati O mighty-armed one, without karma-yoga, renunciation is a cause for misery. However, that wise man that performs karma-yoga quickly attains the Absolute Truth.

VERSE 7 yoga-yukto vishuddhatma vijitatma jitendriyah sarva-bhutatmabhutatma kurvann-api na lipyate One who is pure engages in karma-yoga and controls the mind and senses. Although he engages in action, he is never contaminated and becomes the object of love for all living beings. VERSE 8-9 naiva kinchit karomiti yukto manyeta tattva-vit pashyan shrinvan sprishan jighrann ashnan gacchan svapan shvasan pralapan visrijan grihnann unmishan nimishann api indriyanindriyartheshu vartanta iti dharayan One who is a knower of the truth, although he is engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, talking, evacuating, accepting and blinking the eyes, realizes that all his sense-functions are interacting with the respective sense-objects. Therefore, he thinks, “I am not doing anything.� VERSE 10 brahmany-adhaya karmani sangam tyaktva karoti yah lipyate na sa papena padma-patram ivambhasa One who gives up all attachments and acts by offering all his actions unto the Supreme is never contaminated by any impiety, just as a lotus leaf is never touched by water. VERSE 11 kayena manasa buddhya kevalair indriyair api yoginah karma kurvanti sangam tyaktvatma shuddhaye By giving up all attachments, the karma-yogi performs actions though the medium of the body, mind, intelligence and senses simply for the purpose of self-purification.


VERSE 12 yuktah karma-phalam tyaktva shantim apnoti naishthikim ayuktah kama-karena phale sakto nibadhyate The karma-yogi gives up the results of action and attains everlasting peace. The selfish worker however, is attached and desires the results of his actions and thus becomes ensnared. VERSE 13 sarva-karmani manasa sannyasyaste sukham vashi nava-dvare pure dehi naiva kurvan na karayan By mentally renouncing all actions, a sense-controlled embodied living being can happily reside within the material body, neither acting nor causing others to act. VERSE 14 na kartritvam na karmani lokasya srijati prabhuh na karma-phala-samyogam svabhavas tu pravartate The Absolute Truth does not create anyone’s sense of proprietorship, one’s actions or the result of those actions. All this is enacted by the modes of material nature. VERSE 15 nadatte kasyachit papam na chaiva sukritam vibhuh ajnanenavritam jnanam tena muhyanti jantavah The Super Consciousness does not accept anyone’s pious deeds or their impious deeds. Living beings are bewildered because their knowledge is covered by ignorance. VERSE 16 jnanena tu tad ajnanam yeshan nashitam atmanah tesham adityavaj jnanam prakashayati tat param


Yet for those whose ignorance has been destroyed by knowledge of the self, their knowledge, like the rising sun, reveals the Supreme Truth. VERSE 17 tad buddhayas tad-atmanas tan-nishthas tat-parayanah gacchanty-apunar-avrittim jnana-nirdhuta-kalmashah Those whose ignorance has been removed by knowledge, whose intelligence is absorbed in the Supreme, who contemplate the Supreme, who are fixed in Him alone and who sing His glories, never take birth again. VERSE 18 vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi hastini shuni chaiva shvapake ca panditah sama-darshinah A wise man sees a learned and humble brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog, a lowborn person and all other living beings as equal. VERSE 19 ihaiva tair jitah sargo yesham samye sthitam manah nirdosham hi samam brahma tasmad brahmani te sthitah The cycle of birth and death has been conquered by those whose minds are fixed in meditating on the Absolute Truth, even while living in this world. Being faultless and possessing divine equanimity, they are situated in the Absolute Truth. VERSE 20 na prahrishyet priyam prapya nodvijet prapya chapriyam sthira-buddhir asammudho brahma-vid brahmani sthitah Being situated in the Absolute Truth, having fixed intelligence and devoid of ignorance, one who knows the Supreme never rejoices when he attains pleasant things, nor laments upon attaining unpleasant things.


Anuvritti In verse fifteen the word vibhu has been translated as Supreme Spirit. Vibhu literally means ‘omnipresent’ and this refers to Sri Krishna, the Supreme Conscious Being. When consciousness is omnipresent the conclusion is that it is omniscient also. Omniscient and omnipresent means Krishna. Arjuna however, and other living beings of his status, are called anu or finite. Krishna, the Absolute Truth, is infinite and the living beings are finite. It is sometimes thought that God, somehow or other, dies for the sins of the world. However, this is not a very intelligent idea, nor is it consistent with the spiritual science found in Bhagavad-gita. Krishna says that He does not cause anyone to perform pious or impious activities and He does not accept the reaction of anyone’s activities. The idea that God dies for our sins is rejected. God is eternal; therefore He cannot and


does not die. The living beings are also eternal, but because they are under the bodily concept of life, when the body dies they also experience death – although they actually do not die. Both the Absolute Truth and His parts and parcels are eternal, beyond death. In verse eighteen the relative vision of equality is expressed for one who is situated in transcendental knowledge. The wise man (pandita) sees all living beings equally, as units of eternal consciousness. The distinction between bodies is only an apparent difference between different living beings. According to the Padma Purana there are 8,400,000 different species of material bodies. jalaja nava-lakshani sthavara laksha-vimshati krimayo rudra-sankhyakah pakshinam dasha-lakshanam trimsal-lakshani pasavah chatur-lakshani manusah There are 900,000 aquatic species. There are 2,000,000 non-moving species such as trees and plants. There are 1,100,000 species of insects and reptiles and 1,000,000 species of birds. As far as quadrupeds are concerned, there are 3,000,000 varieties and there are 400,000 species of human beings (it is said that the demigods are also included in the species of humans). The unit of individual consciousness, the atma, transmigrates through these various species from one to the other until eventually reaching the human form of life. This process is known as transmigration, or reincarnation. It is similar to the theory of evolution, but distinctly different at the same time. In the Vedic concept the species of life are not evolving one into the other (though change within species is accepted), rather it is the atma that is evolving in consciousness while transmigrating from one species to the next. In the human form of life, consciousness reaches its completeness through the process of yoga. Therefore, a wise man does not discriminate between one person and another based on bodily differences. The wise see the atma present in all forms of life and not just in human life.


Makara - Myth or Fact? Dinosaurs in Srimad Bhagavatam Swami B.G. Narasingha

In Sanskrit ‘Makara’ is a word that means ‘sea drag thought to be a mythical creature in Hindu and and sculptures of this fantastical creature are foun Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, V practically everywhere in Asia.

The Makara in India is known to be the vahana (v goddess of the river Ganges and the vahana of th Makara is also the insignia of Kamadeva (god of called makara-dhvaja, a flag having the Makara dr the Makara is also the astrological sign of Capric this strange mythical creature to have been very p and in our present day. But is it mythical?

The Makara is often depicted with the head of a c body of an antelope and a snake, the tail of a fish panther. Varuna is said to be the only one who can not fear them (save and except for Krishna that is).

gon’ or ‘aquatic-monster,’ long Buddhist traditions. Paintings nd in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, China and Japan —

vehicle) of Ganga-devi - the he god of the sea, Varuna. A f lust) and Kamadeva’s flag is rawn on it. In Hindu astrology corn. A little research reveals popular both in ancient times

crocodile, horns of a goat, the or peacock and the feet of a control the Makara and does .

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In some English translations of the Gita, for simplicity of reading, ‘makara’ has been translated as shark. But it is not a shark. The Timingila that is often mentioned along with the Makara in other Vedic texts is classified as a shark – a shark of monstrous proportions. Mahabharata mentions the Timingila and Makara as being deep within the ocean, along with other huge sea creatures: timingilah kacchapash cha tatha timi timingilah makaraschatra drishyante jale magna ivadrayah There were seen Timingilas, tortoises, Timi-timingilas and Makaras, that were like great rocks submerged in the water. (Mahabharata, Vana Parva. 168.3) The Ayurvedic text of the 6th century BCE known as Sushruta Samhita also lists the Timingila and Makara as being amongst the formidable species of aquatic life:


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timi-timingila-kulisha-pakamatsya-nirularu nandi-varalaka-makara-gargaraka-chandraka mahamina-rajiva prabhirtya samudrah The Timi, Timingila, Kulisa, Paka-matsya, Nirularu, Nandi-Varalaka, Makara, Gargaraka, Chandraka, Maha-mina, and Rajiva etc, constitute the family of marine fish. (Sushruta Samhita, Ch. 45) In Srimad Bhagavatam, Makaras and Timingila are mentioned as predators, attacking Markandeya Rishi: kshut-trt-parito makaraish timingilair upadruto vichi-nabhasvatahatah tamasy apare patito bhraman disho na veda kham gam ca parishramesitah Suffering from hunger and thirst, attacked by Makaras and Timingila and battered by the waves and the wind, Markandeya wandered through the infinite gloom that enveloped him. Overcome by exhaustion, he lost all sense of direction and could not ascertain what was the sky and what was the earth. (Bhag. 12.9.16) Bhagavad-gita mentions the Makara in Verse 31, Chapter 10 as follows: pavanah pavatam asmi ramah shastra-bhritam aham jhasanam makaras chasmi srotasam asmi jahnavi Of purifiers I am the wind. Of the wielders of weapons I am Rama. Amongst aquatics I am the makara and of rivers I am the Ganga. The Makara is described in Vedic texts as half animal, half aquatic and an aggressor — a true monster of the deep. Often depicted in art as having the mouth of a crocodile, the body of a fish, the tail of a peacock and the paws of a panther, the Makara has attained mythical status. Now the question arises – is the Makara a mythical creature or was it actually real? And if so, then how could it look like it has been depicted in art for centuries with so many different animal body parts? When one looks at recent scientific discoveries and takes into consideration a bit of ‘poetic license’ that the artist may have employed, the so-called mythical Makara becomes as real as life.


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Recent discoveries in archaeology have revealed what paleontologists call a Pliosaur. The fossilized Pliosaur was found in Dorset, England in 2003 and took until 2008 to remove from the rock cliff in which it was found. Once excavated it revealed a sea monster in remarkable detail. Scientists suspect the Pliosaur fossil is approximately 155-million-years old and lived during the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods during which time it was one of the top predators of the oceans. Paleontologist Richard Forrest commented to the BBC as follows: “This is an iconic specimen – one of the most exciting we have seen in years. It was probably the most fearsome predator that ever lived. Standing in front of the skull you can imagine this enormous beast staring straight back at you, fixing you with its binocular vision, and attacking. Just thinking about it raises the hairs on the back of your neck.” Dr. Forrest went on to say that the creature’s bulky body, which would have been powered through the water with four paddle-like limbs, has never been found and may not have fossilized. Scientist’s estimate based on the 2.4meter long skull, that the Pliosaur would have been 15 to 18 meters in length. Impressive indeed. We are herein suggesting that the Pliosaur could easily be the Makara of myth, but we are not the first to equate a mysterious ocean monster to the Makara. We have also stumbled upon the reports of a creature called the Ambulocetus, a creature that could walk as well as swim. It lived during the early Eocene Period some 50 million years ago. The fossil of Ambulocetus was found on the coast of Pakistan from a time when Pakistan and India was a single island in the Indian Ocean slowly drifting toward the continental shelf of Asia. Some crypto-zoologists speculate that


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the Ambulocetus is a candidate for being the Makara, yet most scientists suggest that the Ambulocetus fills the evolutionary gap between aquatics and land animals. Once, when discussing with Pusta-Krishna Dasa, Srila Prabhupada commented that there is no discussion of dinosaurs in the Vedas, therefore he did not believe that they existed. Then again, Sadaputa Dasa recounts that when Prabhupada was asked about the dinosaurs he replied that they were not extinct. So which is it? Is there really no mention of dinosaurs in the Vedas, or was Prabhupada just denying scientific knowledge and discoveries because most scientists of his time were denying the Vedic knowledge? We think so. In any case, we do find a reference to what easily could be understood to be dinosaurs in Srimad Bhagavatam when demons and demigods rode strange creatures into battle. gridhraih kankair bakair anye syena-bhasais timingilaih sharabhair mahisaih khadgair go-vrishair gavayarunaih shivabhir akhubhih kechit krikalasaih sasair naraih bastair eke krishna-sarair hamsair anye ca shukaraih anye jala-sthala-khagaih sattvair vikrita-vigrahaih senayor ubhayo rajan vivisus te ’grato’gratah O King, some soldiers fought on the backs of vultures, eagles, ducks, hawks and bhasa birds. Some fought on the backs of timingilas, which can devour huge whales, some on the backs of sharabhas, and some on buffalo, rhinoceroses, cows, bulls, gavaya (jungle cows) and arunas. Others fought on the backs of jackals, rats, krikalasa, rabbits, human beings, goats, black deer, swans and boars. In this way, mounted on animals of the water, land and sky, including animals with deformed bodies (vikrita-vigraha), both armies faced each other and went forward.” (Bhag. 8.10.10-12 – The Battle Between the Demigods and the Demons) Here we find a fantastical description of the vahanas used in a great battle in horary antiquity, but some of the creatures described have no English or Indo-Aryan


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equivalent such as bhasa, sharabhas, timingila, gavaya, arunas, krikalasa and vikritavigraha. So what are these creatures and why do they have no equivalent names in modern languages? Could they be extinct? Could any of these have been what we now call dinosaurs? We think so. The mere fact that the timingila is mentioned is proof enough that some of these creatures are going to be formidable predators – which ones? Vikrita-vigraha translates as ‘animals with deformed bodies’ and krikalasa translates as ‘big lizard’. So when one’s opponent is riding a vicious animal like a rhinoceros or a timingila — then is riding an ordinary lizard into battle a good idea, even a big one? Krikalasa is a ‘big lizard’ — think dinosaur! And vikrita-vigraha are ‘animals with deformed bodies’ — think dinosaur! In any case, no vahana mentioned here could have been ordinary, – even the human vahanas must have been giants. So it is intelligent to think that if one takes these narratives to be true in the first place, then what we think of today as dinosaurs could surely be among the vahanas mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam. The gavaya mentioned in the above verse translates as ‘jungle cow’ and interestingly enough these ‘jungle cows’ (also known in modern Hindi as nila-gaya, blue cows) still exist in and around Vrindavana, India and, like the Makara, they have the distinct characteristic of three animals — a cow, a horse and a deer. Once seeing these strange animals there is no argument that they are a ’three in one’ creature. So why not a Makara with a mouth of a crocodile, a body of a fish, and a tail of a peacock? You just haven’t seen one yet. But it looks like the archaeologists in England are on to something with their recent discovery of the Pliosaur. It is true that the krikalasa and bhasa are not easily equated with Tyrannosaurus Rex and Pterodactyl, but then again, why not? It seems to be a matter of putting one and one together and moving on. Yes – there were dinosaurs mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam and possibly other places in the vast Vedic literature. Unfortunately, it has been the thinking of some theists that the scientists have falsified dinosaur remains (“The Devil put them there”) simply to give credit to the evolutionary theory. But I think it is safe to say that such


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does not stand against the repeated discoveries of dinosaurs in different parts of the world and even in India. Yes, dinosaur remains and even dinosaur eggs have been discovered in Gujarat, India ( However, when the fossilized eggs were first discovered, villagers took them home and began worshiping them as shivalingams (typical Hindus!).

When it is obvious that scientists are not running around falsifying dinosaur fossils and that dinosaurs did indeed exist in India, then it is reasonable to conclude that dinosaurs are indeed mentioned in Vedic literature and that archaeologists may have recently found the Makara in the fossil record in England. Admittedly, the case for the Megalodon fossil being the Timingila may be more convincing than that of the Pliosaur fossil being the Makara, but the later is certainly probable. Thus, it is worth reiterating a previous point regarding the age of man. According to scientific evidence, it is estimated that the last of the Pliosaur and Megalodons lived on this planet around 1.5 million years ago or before. That is a long time ago, especially considering that the estimated age (according to science) of the first human being was only 250,000 years ago. That would mean that the Pliosaur and Megalodon became extinct 1,250,000 years before the first human being spoke a coherent language, kept records or attempted to write anything. The Pliosaur and the Megalodon appear to be the same creatures as the Makara and the Timingila mentioned in Vedic texts. But what is so amazing or interesting about that, and what is our point?


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Our point is that western scholars assert that the Bhagavatam was only written in the 9th century CE, the Ramayana in the 4th century BCE, and the Mahabharata between the 8th and 4th centuries BCE. But if this were a fact, then how did the writers of these books know about ocean-dwelling creatures, their size, their vicious aggression and their diets if those creatures had already been extinct for 1.5 million years? Bhagavatam, Ramayana and Mahabharata all mention the existence of the Makara/Pliosaur and the Timingila/Megalodon, but where did the authors get their information? When (by scientific estimation) human beings have only been on this planet since 1,250,000 years after the Megalodon/Timingila became extinct — who told the Vedic authors about these creatures? If there were no humans present on this planet between the period when the Pliosaur and Megalodon became extinct and 250,000 years ago, how could the writers of the Vedic texts have known such things? And it is obvious that they did. Scientists and scholars will have to ponder this question, but for us it is simple — there have always been human beings on this planet from its earliest beginnings and the knowledge of all such things has been passed down thru the ages via the disciplic succession of gurus and disciples.


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Has Science


- Swami B.B. Vishnu

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THESIS Scientists generally insist that all phenomena can be described, in principle, in terms of measurable quantities which can be calculated using simple mathematical laws, thus reducing the universe to a mechanism and humans to complex submechanisms whose will and feelings correspond to nothing more than patterns of chemical interaction among molecules. The vast majority of these scientists are bent on eliminating the concept of God from all descriptions of reality and it’s creation. Until recently, the concept of consciousness has also been missing from the scientist’s model of reality. Renowned physicist and Nobel laureate, Erwin Schrodinger, father of Quantum Mechanics, writes: “No personal god can form part of a world model that has only become accessible at the cost of removing everything personal from it.” (1) We find that almost all of the scientists have chosen to rule out God from the very beginning of their research. Presumably scientists seek to improve their position of knowledge and better satisfy their needs (pleasures) in this world by controlling nature. Unfortunately we find that socalled scientific progress more often brings an unexpected toll, a negative reaction from the material energy. With the proliferation of automobiles, air pollution threatens humanity, the industrial revolution has brought air and water pollution, truck farming with it’s pesticides and chemical fertilizers has introduced innumerable poisons into our food system, advances


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in physics have brought about the nuclear threat and possible holocaust, appliances and other modern amenities (time saving devices) have inadvertently spawned drunkenness and obesity and with urbanization the breakdown of morals, ethics and mental stability. The entire medical and food systems are in shambles, forcing us to accept extremely unhealthy foods and dangerous drugs which kill hundreds of thousands of humans every year. But don’t worry, the answers are “just now coming.” Even with all the advances in medical cures, new and incurable diseases have only increased. It seems that the goals of knowledge and pleasure have not been achieved.

SCIENTIST’S IMPERFECTIONS It is found repeatedly that scientists are not unbiased in their search for the truth, giving preference to evidence which supports their desired thesis and unscientifically rejecting alternative theories as unsuitable without proper consideration. Alfred Russell Wallace, co-author with Charles Darwin of the ‘Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection’ advised, “the proper way to treat evidence as to man’s antiquity is to place it on record, and admit it provisionally wherever it would be held adequate in the case of other animals; not, as is too often now the case, to ignore it as unworthy of acceptance or subject its discoverers to indiscriminate accusations of being impostors or the victims of impostors.” Although scientists are subject to the four defects of all humans, namely, they make mistakes, are subject to illusion, have a cheating propensity as well as


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defective perception (bhrama, pramada, vipralipsa, karanapatava), their findings when presented with some sort of apparently verifiable experimental proof, are accepted as factual descriptions of reality. Even so, the popular theories of creation, formation of life, and evolution cannot be rigorously proven nor do they adequately describe reality. Scientists have not provided us with adequate answers to fundamental questions about the universe, galaxies and life forms. All too often scientists forcibly assume (albeit incorrectly] that their laboratory experimental evidence can be applied elsewhere under different circumstances. Further, almost all currently accepted theories of Creation and Evolution are UNVERIFIABLE and often contradicted by reliable evidence. However, when concepts such as consciousness, a creator intelligence and soul are introduced as viable concepts, the scientists demand that they be detectable by experimentation. Alternative world views which need to be examined more closely are those which include these concepts of consciousness, spiritual qualities and a grand designer or universal designing intelligence (generally called God). Although Albert Einstein professed atheism, he agreed that there is a perfect “brain” behind all the natural physical laws. It is common sense that there is some cause behind each action. Even machines cannot run automatically without an “operator” to turn


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them on or repair them. There is no logical reason for ruling out in advance alternative strategies for explaining the creation and it’s constituent parts. Yet, the vast majority of scientists reject outright any argument in favor of design since such a concept is not reducible to physical processes and simple mathematics. We think this approach of the scientists is unscientific. Gödel’s incompleteness findings shook the very foundations of 20th-century mathematics, just as relativity theory and quantum mechanics redirected contemporary physics research. Gregory Chaitlin of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center taking Gödel’s incompleteness results a step further than Gödel and shows with algorithmic information theory that mathematics has much more widespread and serious limitations than hitherto suspected. Chaitlin provides the LISP and Mathematica software so we can run our own calculations. Chaitin’s work focuses on the problems of mathematical “truth” as a convenient fiction. There are infinitely many possible mathematical facts, but, according to Chaitin, the underlying relationships among them are impossible to establish. This isn’t good news for anyone interested in a “theory of everything,” since, if the foundation is built on cottage cheese, the tower is going to be a bit tippy at best. Even worse, Chaitin’s results demonstrate that not only is there no structure to the foundation of mathematics, the foundation is in fact random. Bad news, reductionists! (2)

W = å p halts 2 - |p| 90

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PROPER EDUCATION The purpose of the Educational system is to teach students how to solve the problems of life, yet they are simply propagating how to increase one’s entanglement in this material world by economic development and sensory enjoyment. We do not find a department in the Universities which teaches what is the actual goal of life. When Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, imaginary numbers and other non-verifiable conceptual models, which run contrary to our common sense, are accepted by our scientific friends, what is the problem in considering such concepts as the spiritual soul? Consciousness is the symptom of the spirit soul’s residency in the body of the living entity. It is a fundamental aspect of reality which cannot be ignored in any valid scientific explanation of reality.

FAILURE OF SCIENCE In the field of mathematics, which underlies all other branches of science, the imaginary number “i,” (the square root of minus one) is essential for most complex theoretical calculations. However this “imaginary” number cannot be proven by experimentation. It is also not possible to prove by experimentation the Third Law of Thermodynamics or Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Yet these principles are absolutely essential for modern scientific theories.


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In the beginning of the Nineteenth Century it was believed that atoms could not be divided, yet as we entered the Twentieth Century the fundamental building blocks of atoms such as neutrons, protons and electrons were discovered. Newtonian Mechanics was accepted as the proper scientific explanation of reality until it was discovered in the Twentieth Century that it failed to describe the motion of these fundamental sub-atomic particles. Quantum Mechanics was devised to cope with this inadequacy. The General Theory of Relativity was also devised by Albert Einstein to help further explain fundamental concepts.

Because General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics appear to contradict each other, Quantum Field Theory was developed. This theories inventor, Nobel laureate P.A.M. Dirac, confessed, “It seems to be quite impossible to put the theory on a sound mathematical basis.” (3) So we can see clearly that the various evolving theories of the scientists are constantly changing as they scramble to adjust these theories, all of which are filled with speculation and incorrect speculations and conclusions. These theories can never be perfect because the scientists themselves are imperfect and subject to the four defects. An example of just how far off the scientists calculations are was enunciated by the noted astronomer Bart J. Bok, who wrote in Scientific American “...we did not suspect it would soon be necessary to revise the radius of the Milky Way upward by a factor of three or more and to increase it’s mass by as much as a factor of 10.” (4)


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BIG BANG THEORY For lack of other alternatives, scientists generally support the “Big Bang” Theory of creation, which postulates that in the beginning of creation all the matter in the universe was concentrated into a single point of mass at a high temperature which then exploded producing a superheated cloud of sub atomic particles. However this initial condition is mathematically indescribable. A point of infinitesimal circumference and infinite density is called a “singularity” — an impossibility. Of this, renowned mathematician Stephen Hawking and Professor G.F.R. Ellis write, “It seems to be a good principle that the prediction of a singularity by a physical theory indicates that the theory has broken down.” (5) Thus the scientists stand convicted of the crime of making unverifiable supernatural claims, just what they accuse the transcendental saints of doing. These various “Big Bang” theories lead to a stage of uniformly distributed gas


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which is expanding. Again, what happens after that is the subject of further speculation and has not been properly explained nor verified. Various alternative theories have been proposed which are little better. Of one such attempt, the “Inflationary Model” of the universe, it was written, “It is then tempting to go one step further and speculate that the entire universe evolved from literally nothing.” (6) The nothingness mentioned here is a hypothetical quantum mechanical vacuum, a state which is virtually indescribable. This vacuum is actually very complicated to describe and it is unknown how it could have evolved further to produce the life forms present today, although a number of theories have been proposed. Attempts by the German scientist Manfred Eigen to describe how an inert chemical soup might transform into self-reproducing cells elicited such comments as: “Clearly these papers [of Eigen and coworkers] raise more problems than they solve.” (7) Their failure is like the frog in the well speculating as to the size of the Pacific Ocean by comparing it to his well. With our limited knowledge, tiny brains, limited experience and resources we cannot hope to understand the unlimited. Yet, scientists are hailed as invincible champions of the truth — their theories almost complete, save for one small step more...


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Darwin himself admitted that speculation was necessary in the formulation of a theory, “I am a firm believer that without speculation there is no good and original observation...” (8) His Theory of Evolution published in his book “Origin of Species” has been accepted as fact, although it is based on Darwin’s fallible speculations. His critics write, “If the theory of natural selection of Darwin is correct, why can’t we see the intermediate forms of species, the connecting links?” Darwin did not have the answer nor archeological evidence. Although there is ample evidence for many species, fossil records provide almost no evidence for the intermediate connecting links. Later, scientists revised Darwin’s theory with their “Punctuated Equilibrium” evolutionary theory, supposedly making evolution invisible in the fossil record. Yet


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this theory is not verifiable in any way. It is indeed strange that scientists speak with absolute conviction of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, when it has been calculated that out of one billion species that have lived since the Cambrian period, that 99.9% of these species left no fossil record, thus leaving scant evidence (some of which is contradictory) to support this theory. There are innumerable anomalies in the archeological artifacts, such as: human remains from the wrong time period in the wrong continent, pollen of flowering plants from the wrong time period, etc — which sharply contradict this theory of evolution. These contradictions are either brushed aside by traditional evolutionists or rejected. Indeed it has been noted that the vehemence of their opposition and the lengths to which they will go to discredit and reject any evidence contradicting their sacred theories, is proportional to the significance of it’s challenge to their theories. Studies of artifact dating which does contradict evolutionary theories have been published along with such statements that the authors were, “painfully aware that so great an age poses an archaeological dilemma.” (9) Yet, such significant finds are simply not mentioned in standard textbooks and popular accounts of human evolution, nor are they included in the evolutionists writings. Sir Arthur Keith, an eminent British evolutionist, wrote, “Were such discoveries in accordance with our expectations, if they were in harmony with the theories we have formed regarding the date of man’s evolution, no one would ever dream of doubting them, much less of rejecting them.” (10)


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A hint of the prevailing attitude towards unwelcome finds (those which contradict the predominating evolutionary theory) is provided by a quote of William H. Holmes during his opposition to the Tertiary humans found by J. D. Whitney, “Perhaps if Professor Whitney had fully appreciated the story of human evolution as it is understood to-day, he would have hesitated to announce the conclusions formulated, notwithstanding the imposing array of testimony with which he was confronted.� (11) What he is really saying is that if the evidence does not support the favored theory, then it should be disregarded.


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FURTHER PROBLEMS WITH DARWIN’S THEORY OF EVOLUTION The modification of species by breeding has been heralded since the time of Darwin as evidence of evolution, yet experiments have shown that there are natural limits to the changes which can be brought about by breeding. Experiments with plums and roses by the eminent biologist Luther Burbank confirmed these limits, “In short, there are limits to the development possible.” (12) A staunch advocate of evolution, Ernst Mayr of Harvard University found similar results in his experiments with fruit flies. Some altered species died out while others reverted to their original state a few years and generations later. (13) These results show a strong anti-evolutionary characteristic in the species examined. In other words the theory of evolution does not stand up to real scientific scrutiny. Domestic animals have not evolved in four to ten thousand years. “Ten thousand years of mutations, crossbreeding, and selection have mixed the inheritance of the canine species in innumerable ways without its losing its chemical cytological (cellular) unity. The same is observed of all domestic animals: the ox (at least 4,000 years old), the fowl (4,000), the sheep (6,000), etc.” (14) It has been found that ancient Egyptian pyramids contain depictions of various species of animals which remain unchanged to this day. Why have the species not evolved? Evolution theory fails miserably to account for complex form. How can small sequential changes over many generations improve the survivability of each generation such that these changes develop? It seems that the intermediate steps would decrease the species fitness rather than increase it. However, this would simply not take place unless each successive stage provided some definite advantage over the previous stage. Otherwise, the changes cannot be attributed to natural selection. A particularly vexing question is that of the evolution of the eye in previously sightless species. Darwin himself admitted this shortcoming of his theory, “To suppose that the


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eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could nave been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” (15)

Anthropologist Frank Spencer stated in 1984: “From accumulating skeletal evidence it appeared as if the modern human skeleton extended far back in time, an apparent fact which led many workers to either abandon or modify their views on human evolution. One such apostate was Alfred Russel Wallace (co-author of the Theory of Evolution.” (16)

Evolutionary theorist Theodosius Dobzhansky has stated that there is almost zero chance of human evolution being repeated. Modern humans do not have Neanderthal ancestors in their family tree, a new DNA study concludes. The DNA extracted from the ribs of a Neanderthal infant buried in southern Russia 29,000 years ago was found to be too distinct from modern human DNA to be related. (17) Jonathan Wells, a molecular and cell biologist from the University of California at Berkeley who is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, in his Icons of Evolution does more than cast doubt. He takes 10 so-called “proofs” of evolution offered in current textbooks and shows where not one of them is in a fact a proof of anything, and several are actually frauds. (18) It is therefore highly misleading to present Darwin’s Theory of Evolution as factual as has been done and continues to be presented in today’s school textbooks.


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LIFE FROM CHEMICALS Scientists have long theorized, as a subset of their big bang theory, that life has emerged from a primordial chemical soup without the direction of any higher organizing principles. They theorize that simple molecules randomly combine into inconceivably complex organic compounds, which again evolve into higher self-reproducing organisms. How any of this happens is yet to be explained even vaguely.

James Watson, co-discoverer of the DNA structure wrote, “Not only will the exact structure of most macromolecules within the cell remain unsolved, but their relative locations within cells can only be vaguely known.� (19) The great question is: How can inert matter, acting according to simple physical laws alone, generate the remarkable molecular machinery found in even the simplest cell?


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Experiments by chemists to demonstrate the “creation” of life showed no signs of evolving into even slightly more complex forms, what to speak of cells. The relative success of Stanley Miller in producing amino acids by running a spark thru a gaseous substance believed to be similar to the ancient atmosphere from which life arose, is actually of little consequence. It is quite another matter to go the next step to complex cellular components with their complicated mechanisms. Another chemist, Sydney Fox, produced small drops of protein by heating dry amino acids and dropping them into water. His results were equally unimpressive and failed to demonstrate how inert chemicals could evolve into highly organized complex cells. Albert L. Lehninger aptly expressed the dilemna, “At the center of the problem is the process of the self-organization of matter.” (20) The scientist’s quest to show how a set of simple natural laws can explain the transformation of a few basic molecular building blocks of life into a single selfreproducing cell can be compared to finding a simple computer program which can take the 26 letters of the alphabet and transform them into a Shakespearean masterpiece. To help our readers formulate an idea of the complexity of this task we mention that Professor R, B. Woodward of Harvard, winner of a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1965, took eleven years working with ninety-nine scientists to synthesize the vitamin B-12 molecule. Scientists claim to be able to produce life, but can they create one mosquito, produce milk from grass or put a banyon tree in a capsule the size of a mustard seed? In view of the fact that there exists no viable theory on the chemical origin of life, perhaps other factors may be involved in chemical evolution, such as a self-intelligent organizing principle.


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CHANCE? Chance & The Origin of Life To give some idea of what exactly is involved in supposing that life could have emerged by random combination of chemicals in a primordial soup, let us imagine that this soup covered the entire surface of the earth to a depth of one mile. We shall divide this volume into tiny cubes measuring one angstrom unit on each side. (An angstrom unit is about the size of a single hydrogen atom.) Let’s also assume that the soup is extremely concentrated, so that reactions are taking place within each of the cubes within the soup. Now, in the expectation of obtaining the simplest possible self-reproducing organizm, let the reactions take place a billion times per second in each cube. And let’s further assume that the reactions have been going on for 4.5 billion years, the estimated age of the earth. Scientists Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe has estimated that the chance of obtaining the simplest self-reproducing system by random combination of molecules is at best somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 in 10 to the fortieth power attempts. But if out of extreme genorosity we reduce the required number of proteins from 2,000 to only 100, then the probability is still 1 in 102,000 [1 in 10 to the 2,000 power].


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Now, if you add up all the possible attempted billion-per-second combinations in our hypothetical primordial soup, you wind up with only 10 to the 74th power throws of the chemical dice. That means the odds of getting the required self-producing system out of our soup would be 1 in 101926 (10 to the 1,926th power). We wouldn’t expect that to happen in the entire course of the earth’s history! Of course, a diehard gambler might say it’s highly unlikely but it just could happen by chance. The thesaurus gives the following meanings for chance: accidentally, unintentionally, undesignedly, without design, by accident, by mistake, inadvertantly, randomly, unpredictably, luckily, etc. But this is a completely meaningless use of this word. In order for a statement about an event with a nonzero probability of happening to be meaningful, we would have to observe enough repetitions of the event to establish a statistical pattern. Only this would allow us to say, “This event has probability p of happening.” For example, we say that when we toss a coin there is probability of one in two that it will turn up heads. This probability is established by examining the behavior of the coin over several hundred trials. Now, if you have an event with a probability of one in a million, it would take hundreds of millions of trials to establish this. And if the event has an estimated probability of 1 in 102,000, you would need many times that number of trials. The basic point is this: What is meant by a probability of 1 in 102,000 is that a certain statistical pattern corresponding to this figure will be observed over the required vast number of trials. If there is no possibility of performing these trials (as is certainly the case here), then there is no meaning to saying an event happens with that very small probability. On this planet, it has been shown elsewhere, that you can only have a maximum of 1074 trials. Now we can be extremely generous and grant the chemical evolutionists that the trials can be taking place in primordial soups on as many planets as there are atoms in the entire universe — about 1080. Then you get a grand total of 10154 trials — still an infinitesimal number compared to 102,000. The conclusion is simple. It’s meaningless to talk about the origin of life in terms of chance. To say it happened randomly is just the same as saying it happened, and we already know that. In that case, all we can say is that it is an unique event.


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CONCLUSION Scientists seem obsessed with the concept that complex life forms have evolved progressively from simple building blocks. However direct experience shows just the opposite, that complex forms actually originate from even more complex forms. On the basis of information theory and also the basic principle of the Second Law of Thermodynamics regarding increasing entropy, or the tendency towards disorder, we can understand that to go from a simple system to a more complicated one, that additional design information is necessary. If we say that this information is encoded in the DNA, then we ask simply for an explanation of how this encoding information may happen to appear without any external input to our inert primordial soup. Our capacity to function in an intelligent way and make decisions based on external stimuli depends on our consciousness. The phenomenon of consciousness cannot be denied, yet because consciousness itself cannot be explained quantitatively, scientists themselves generally neglect to include this essential element in their constructs. Fortunately not all of them feel this way. Albert Einstein recognized that there was a perfect intelligence behind all the natural physical laws. He concluded that the cosmos, “Reveals an intelligence of such superiority that compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.� He is not alone in this thought. Other important scientists have considered the concept of a higher source transmitting design information; that there is a purpose in the universe. Robert Broom, who made important anthropological finds wrote, “The origin of species and of much of evolution appears to be due to some organizing and partly intelligent spiritual agency associated with the animal or plant, which controls its life processes and tends to keep the being more or less adapted to its environment. But in addition to this there seem to


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be other spiritual agencies of a much higher type which have been responsible for what may be called greater evolution ... These spiritual agencies appear to have worked by directing from time to time the inferior agencies which are associated with the animals and plants.” (22) Alfred Russell Wallace, co-author of the “Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection” along with Charles Darwin, expressed similar thoughts, “If there is such an Infinite Being, and if... his will and purpose is the increase of conscious beings, then we can hardly be the first result of this purpose. We conclude, therefore, that there are now in the universe infinite grades of power, infinite grades of knowledge and wisdom, infinite grades of influence of higher beings upon lower. Holding this opinion, I have suggested that this vast and wonderful universe, with its almost infinite variety of forms, motions, and reactions of parts upon part, from suns and systems up to plant-life, animal-life, and the human living soul, has ever required and still requires the continuous coordinated agency of myriads of such intelligences.” (23) Stephen Hawking, the most famous scientist of our day, stated in 2002, “It is difficult to discuss the beginning of the universe without mentioning the concept of God. My work on the origin of the universe is on the borderline between science and religion, but I try to stay on the scientific side of the border. It is quite possible that God acts in ways that cannot be described by scientific laws.” (24) If we cannot explain the origin of life via simple principles then the only choice other than giving up our quest is to search for more complex principles as the source.


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So, one might rightly ask, where then do we turn for a proper understanding of reality and the purpose of life itself? If we cannot trust the knowledge or findings of any human source, then where can we find a reliable source of information.

REAL KNOWLEDGE We suggest that a body of knowledge does exist which provides sufficient explanation of the nature and origin of the universe and the living organisms that inhabit it. We refer to the ancient sanskrit Vedic literatures of India, an internally verifiable and consistent presentation of information. Herein we find profuse descriptions of an intelligent creator God and his creation. Perhaps the most well known of these literatures, The Bhagavad-gita explains the nature of the conscious soul as an indweller in the bodies of various species and it’s journey to other bodies after the death of its present body according to the laws of karma. The living entity has free choice to act properly or improperly and receives the resultant good and bad reactions (karma) in terms of success and failure, happiness and distress. Also encoded within this vast body of literature is a description of the process of bhakti-yoga, a process for obtaining enlightenment and rising beyond the ordinary mundane platform of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. The essence of these teachings may be found in the Bhagavad-gita.


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Readers are invited to peruse our article and video entitled “Scientific Verification of Vedic Knowledge.” Therein, scientific proof is given for many of the teachings of the Vedas.

BIBLIOGRAPHY (1) Erwin Schrodinger, What is Life? and Mind and Matter (Cambridge University Press, 1967), p. 68. (2) A Century of Controversy Over the Foundations of Mathematics, a lecture by Gregory Chaitlin of the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center on 2 March 2000 at Carnegie Mellon University School of computer science. Available here: Mathematics Controversy (3) P.A.M. Dirac, The Evolution of the Physicist’s Picture of Nature, Scientific American (May 1963), pp. 45-53 (4) Bart J. Bok, The Milky Way Galaxy, Scientific American (March 1981), p. 94 (5) S.W. Hawking and Professor G.F.R. Ellis, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973), pp. 362-63 (6) Alan H. Guth and Paul J. Steinhardt, The Inflationary Universe, Scientific American, 1984, p 128. (7) John Maynard Smith, Hypercycles and the Origin of Life, Nature, vol. 280 (1979), pp. 445-446. (8) Philip Appleman, ed., Darwin (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1970), p. 66. (9) Virginia Steen-McIntyre, Roald Ryxell, and Harold E. Malde, Geologic Evidence for Age of Deposits at Hueyatlaco Archeological Site, Valsequillo, Mexico, Quaternary Research, Vol. 16 (1981), p. 15. (10) Sir Arthur Keith, The Antiquity of Man (London: Williams and Norgate, 1920), p. 473. (11) Holmes, W. H. (1919) Handbook of Aboriginal American Antiquities, Part I. Smithsonian Institution, Bulletin 60.


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(12) Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried (Boston: Gambit, 1971), p. 36. (13) Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraff (New York: New American Library, 1982), p. 41. (14) Pierre-P. Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms, (New Your: Academic Press, 1977), p. 125. (15) Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, (New York: New American Library, 1964), p. 168. (16) Michael a. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson, The Hidden History of the Human Race, (Govardhan Hill Publishing, 1994), p. 155. (17) British Broadcasting Co. (12-11-02) (18) Interview with Dr. Michael Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box, http://www, Updated: 18 November 2002. (19) James D, Watson, The Molecular Biology of the Gene (Menlo park: W. A. Benjamin, Inc., 1977), p. 69. (20) Albert L. Lehninger, Biochemistry, (New York: Worth Publishers, 1975), p. 1055. (21) The Bhaktivedanta Institute, Origins—Higher dimensions in Science, (Los Angeles: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1984). (22) Robert Broom, Evolution—Is There Intelligence Behind It? South African Journal of Science, Vol. 30 (October 1933), pp. 18-19. (23) Alfred Russell Wallace, The World of Life (New York: Moffat, Yard & Co., 1911), p. 431. (24) Dr. Henry F. “Fritz” Schaefer, III, Stephen Hawking, the Big Bang, and god,


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n the middle of the 11th century, the decline of the Chalukya dynasty allowed the growth of local dynasties. They simply had been the Chalukya’s vassals who, up to now, played only a secondary role. After imposing their authorities over vast territories, the Yadavas, Kakatiyas and Hoysalas, promoted the construction of new temples, distinguishing themselves by numerous innovations. Tthe Hoysalas, so named because their founder was named Sala, who was renowned for killing a tiger and rescuing his spiritual master — thus the empire was named Hoysala. This dynasty dominated the South of Karnataka for over two hundred years. It was in 1310 that the attacks of Malik Kafur, in the service of the sultan of Delhi, precipitated the fall of the Hoysalas. The dynasty died out in 1346, victim of the muslim offensive. In order to discover the ancient kingdom of the Hoysalas, it is important to start with Balegamve, situated in the district of Shimoga, thirty kilometres from the village of Hire Kerur. The most celebrated sites of the Hoysala dynasty are south from here,


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The Belur complex is surrounded by a wall with an ornate gantry with panels and sculptures about thirty kilometres from Hassan, in the state of Karnataka, There stands the largest complex of Hoysala temples (Belur complex), built by a Jain king named Vittideva. This king was later converted to Vaishnavism by Ramanuja and took the name of Vishnu-vardana. After defeating the Cholas, he stated the construction of the temple of Channa-Keshava in 1117. This edifice was destroyed by the Muslims in 1327 and was restored in 1397 by the Vijayanagara rulers, who settled the temple with a huge Gopuram. Delimited by a portal ornate with sculptures, the temple’s enclosure shelters a sacred basin nearby where stands the Vishnu-Krishna temple celebrated as Keshava.


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T he Ke sha va Te m ple


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In Hoysala style the cella or garbha-grihas is composed of five projections (pancha-ratha) served by a common mandapa and each is divided in several serrations, constructed on a star like blue print plan as shown below:

In the past, the square form of the temple was common but in Hoysala style the plan changes to a star. You can see that it is made up of a grid of rotating squares. The resulting outline thus emerges as a star. The pavilion remained a square, but it is now distinguished by circular columns, the shafts of which had been raised and thus gained a number of parallel knife-edges. In the case of the Keshava temple, the three principal projections of the cella open through two levels of balconies, like veritable processional chariots. The mandapa’s entrance is decorated with three porticos with miniature ornate reproductions. This facilitates the shape of the shikhara (the superstructure, tower, or spire above the sanctuary and the pillared mandapas), which is not preserved in this case. This is because at first this edifice was conceived like an open structure, the mandapa then was closed by a series of indented


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

screens; the columns are fashioned around it and are surmounted by consoles with carvings of celestial figures. Inside the mandapa, a large room in the form of a cross is divided in several naves (central sections of the temple) by some splendid sculpted columns with designs and carvings, each different from the other. The ceiling is sumptuous and in the center of the cella stands the statue of Keshava decorated with precious ornaments. Situated in the same compound and built by Vishnu-vardana’s queen, the Chenigaraya Temple in a smaller scale reproduces the same structure as the preceding temple. Situated about 14 km from Belur, Halebid occupies the site of the antique Dvarasamudra, the old house for Sala which was the first capital of the Hoysala kingdom. Built under the reign of Narasimha I (11141182), the Hoysalaleshavara Temple was the biggest building in town. Built on the star platform, it is composed of two twin edifices, dedicated to Shiva and Parvati. The two temples are guarded by two opened pavilions, of different sizes, with the deitiy of Nandi decorated with bells.


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

The mandapas of the two temples are preceded by two transepts with porticos and two rooms are united by a third transversal nave. Each room contains its own cella, preceded by a vestibule and surrounded by three little sanctuaries. Inside, five projections for each cella are animated by the movement of the indented carvings. TThere are some miniature temples flanking the entrance. Using our imagination one can imagine the form of the temple roof, which has been destroyed. The temple basement is especially elaborate, decorated with a succession of carvings.


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

The elephants supporting the construction, are surmounted by lions — emblems of the dynasty, symbols of glory and fame. A climbing creeper, symbol of the vital life force, runs around the temple sheltering dancing girls and musicians — members of the procession which officially accompany the festival chariots. These carvings are followed by a procession of Makaras, sea creatures (in the frontal part in animal forms of elephant or crocodile or stag, or deer) and in hind part as aquatic animal, in the tail part, as a fish tail or sometimes a peacock tail. On the upper level, the hamsas, (swans), symbolize the perfect union — the balance and life of the soul with the divine. Many figures decorated with jewels are standing in niches carved in the stone. Moving higher, the reproductions of shrines and sacred buildings precede the large ornate cornice. In the Kannada folkloric tale, we find the story of a young man Sala, who saved his Jain guru Sudatta by striking dead a tiger he encountered near the temple of the Goddess Vasantika at Sosevur. Because of this Jain guru, we find Jain temples in the Hoysala compounds. Therefore situated not far from this temple of Hoyshesleshvara, we find the Jain temple of Parshvanatha contrasts by it austerity. It presents some walls which are decorated by simple pillars. Inside the mandapa is divided by some superb black columns, while the cella shelters the colossal statue of Parshva, twenty third tirthankara and propagator of the Jain doctrine. (Sources: ”L’inde Ancienne” published by Gründ, The Hoysalas of Karnataka by Ashish Nangia and Wikipedia.)


of The Doctors Knife Once there was a village boy whose name was Amar. Amar had a boil on his back and the pain was so unbearable that he contemplated suicide. Seeing the boy’s state, his mother, paternal grandmother, maternal grandmother, maternal aunt, paternal aunt and other close relatives all tried to alleviate his pain by using hand-fans and even tried blowing on the boil. One neighbour advised that to save the boy from such pain they should make him unconscious by giving him anesthetic. Another neighbour said that temporarily unconsciousness was not a permanent solution to remove his pain – instead of letting the boy suffer, arrangements should be made to end his life. If he has life, he feels pain – if he has no life, he will not feel any pain! Then both the disease and the diseased will be peaceful! The boy’s intelligent father declined to listen to such advice and immediately sent for a skilled doctor. When the doctor advised that surgery be performed, all the relatives of the boy including his mother, grandmother etc. began to cry loudly. The uneducated boy started insulting the physician saying, “You’ve come to murder me! Get out of our house right now! I’ll call the police and have you arrested! Why don’t you stick a knife in your own back? Go! Butcher your own son with your knife! I’d rather drink poison and kill myself than die at your hands!”


Gaudiya Touchstone

However, the doctor did not listen to the boy’s insults and, pushing him down, he performed the operation. After some time, the boy was completely free from all pain. Within a few days the boy’s health improved and he was well again. ******** Just like the doctor, many times gurus and sadhus also need to cut through the knotlike anarthas found in the wicked minds of living beings by giving them apparently undesirable instructions according to the various degrees of material attachment that they have. But a patient never wants that. Instead he looks at the doctor as an executioner and hurls bad words at the sadhu. Those that fear the apparent pain of an operation recommend pseudo-compassion to maintain the disease. The patient takes them to be his relative and friend. Some, who claim to be friends, advocate taking shelter of impersonalism in order to commit suicide (atma-hatya) and ultimately remove the problem. Just as in the example of the boy, his mother, grandmother and other close relatives, in order to give peace to the boy, advocate the path of enjoyment. Those who take the path of temporary unconsciousness or suicide, support the path of impersonalists. Actually, neither of these can eternally benefit the living being. The constitutional position of a living being can only be realized after the knot of the heart and all perverse mundane attachments are cut by sincerely following the instructions of sadhus. Then the living being can enter the realm of service to the Lord  –  the only means of attaining eternal bliss and supreme peace. (From Upakhyane Upadesa, Volume One, by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura)


Fluoride in Water - Priyanana Tr u t h A b o u t F l u o r i d e What’s the big deal about fluoride? We get fluoride treatments on our teeth from the dentist beginning at a young age and are encouraged to use only fluoridated toothpaste to brush our teeth, both of these to avoid developing dental cavities. Furthermore, most of the world’s major cities purposely pour fluoride into the drinking water that runs from the tap, again to prevent tooth decay. Does fluoride really keep teeth healthy? Is fluoride safe for daily human consumption through the drinking of fluoridated water? Are we being told the truth about fluoride by our governments and medical authorities? Most of us, including many medical doctors and dentists, don’t even actually know exactly what fluoride is or where it comes from. Fluoride, as it turns out, is a by-product of the aluminum, steel, nuclear and fertilizer industries. In reality what is being called fluoride is in fact not the naturally occurring compound fluoride found in nature, it is a combination of hazardous chemicals that have been proven to have harmful effects on the human body. ‘Fluoride’ is made


up of a variety of chemicals including, hexafluorosilic acid, sodium silicofluoride, sodium fluoride, sodium silicofluoride and fluorosilic acid. Repeat that list three times without stammering! How did this cocktail of industry waste dubbed as ‘fluoride’ emerge in the environment and wind up in the public water supply? Back in the 1930s, with US scientists feverishly working to develop the atomic bomb, fluorine containing toxic chemical by-products began appearing in the eco system causing serious air pollution and biological harm. In the early 1940s the US Government and several large industrial companies faced with the dilemma of needing to dispose of these highly toxic chemicals began to collect and repackage these known poisonous substances. They quickly realized that they could turn a substantial profit selling them by the barrel to large cities. In turn these cities, the first of which was Grand Rapids, Michigan, were encouraged to dispense this poisonous brew into the drinking water supply, believing the scientifically unverified claim made by these organizations that doing this would completely prevent tooth decay and cavities and be beneficial for the citizens in general.

Science Former US EPA scientist Dr. Robert Carton Ph.D said “Fluoridation is the greatest case of scientific fraud of this century if not, of all time.” Dr. Gerard Judd states, “Numerous top scientists over the past 60 years have discarded the theory that fluoride helps teeth, or is a nutrient helpful to man.” These statements are quite contradictory to the information that has been released to the mass general populace. In contrast, the official stance of the ADA (American Dental Association), the AMA (American Medical Association), the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as well as the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is that fluoridation, particularly community water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure. The CDC formally states that ‘water fluoridation is one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century’. Needless to say, there lies a vast chasm between these two points of view. There are many scientific studies proving the harmful effects of fluoride and none absolutely proving it to be the great purported panacea against cavities. So, what is the real story?


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

Human Health This leads us into the effects of fluoride on humans. Numerous ‘non-industry’ studies have proven links between fluoride intake and several disease conditions. These include dental fluorosis, osteosarcoma (bone cancer), skeletal fluorosis, kidney and thyroid disease, calcification of the pineal gland, a rise of free radical production in the brain, rapid aging, chromosomal abnormalities, lowered IQ, arthritis, immune deficiency, reproductive system issues, and increased chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease and more. Let’s take a look at dental fluorosis for starters, since it is the most common immediately visible side effect of over-fluoridation. Dental fluorosis is characterized by an initial chalk-like discoloration on the teeth and in more advanced cases by dark stains and pitted tooth surfaces. Children are the most susceptible to this devastating permanent condition. As per the CDC, dental fluorosis affects 32% of American children ages 6-9. Studies have also shown that too much fluoride intake can increase the risk of brittle bones, fractures, and crippling bone abnormalities. The Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine both report greater incidents of hip fracture in heavily fluoridated areas. A fascinating phenomenon occurred in Kupio, Finland. From 1959 to 1992 this European city fluoridated their drinking water, after discontinuing the fluoridation, tests were conducted in the preceding several years to determine dental health. It was noted that there was no increase in dental cavities; disproving the ‘scientific fact’ that fluoride prevents cavities. Fluoride accumulation in the brain has been linked to a major decrease in IQ and memory loss. Fox News aired a segment that showcased a comprehensive analysis of 27 different fluoride studies that confirm its damage to brain tissue, particularly in unborn babies and young children. The analysis found that the damage is not only caused by drinking fluoridated water, but also from bathing in it and that the average IQ level


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

of exposed children was significantly lowered. It is interesting to note that in the U.S., mathematics that were presented to 8th graders in the 1950s are now college level courses in the 2000s. Going back in history, we now know that German scientists used fluoride during World War II for mind control purposes due to the dulling effect it has on the brain. Another serious condition affecting the brain is Alzheimer’s disease. Data from the same analysis study that aired on Fox News, revealed that fluoride exposure increases aluminum levels in the brain tissue coinciding with the formation of beta-amyloid plaques, which are linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Cancer. The very sound of this word is enough to send bone-chilling sensations down the spine, as most of us have either experienced it personally or have known someone who has fought that battle. Fluoride has been linked to osteosarcoma (bone cancer). A Washington D.C. based non-profit, the Environmental Working Group wrote a letter to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences revealing a cover-up by Harvard University professor Dr. Chester Douglass. The EWG claimed that Douglass’ final report contained “potential, serious misrepresentations of research results.” The NIEHS had funded Douglass’ $1.3 million dollar study researching the potential link between fluoride


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

and osteosarcoma. The letter indicated that Douglass’ report concluded that there was no significant correlation between fluoride and osteosarcoma, but a two-page outline of the report listed a 2001 doctoral thesis written by Elise B. Bassin (who was supervised by Douglass), which stated, “Among males, exposure to fluoride at or above the target level was associated with an increased risk of developing osteosarcoma.” Not surprisingly, Dr. Douglass also happens to serve as editor-in-chief of the Colgate toothpaste company Oral Care Report since 1997, which sells fluoridated products... Fluoride’s effects on the thyroid and pineal glands are quite serious. Fluoride replaces the natural iodine in the thyroid, acting as a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which suppresses thyroid function. The thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolic processes and brain development and when impaired can cause heart disease, infertility, and birth defects. The pineal gland produces melatonin, which affects our sleep-wake cycles, regulates endocrine function, converts nervous system signals to endocrine signals, and impacts sexual development. Exposure to fluoride causes calcification of this gland thereby affecting various body functions.

The Environment From an ecological standpoint, fluoride’s presence in the environment is a disastrous proposal. From the onset, the release of fluoride into nature has been seen to cause detrimental damage to plants, animals, farmland, the air, and water. Fluoride stunts the growth of plants, is crippling to animals, and is more toxic to the earth than any other pollutant, including lead. Hydrogen fluoride air pollution is more harmful than global warming and the depletion of the ozone. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has released contradictory statements regarding the safety of fluoride in the atmosphere. On one hand the EPA has set a ‘safe’ standard for the allowable amount of fluoride present in drinking water and on the other hand they have stated that ‘The fluorides currently emitted by industry may damage economic crops, farm animals, and materials of decoration’, (ie: flowers, plants, buildings etc.). As per the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Airborne fluorides have caused more worldwide damage to domestic animals than any other pollutant”. There exists a great scarcity of studies showing the environmental impact of fluoride, which


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

is of grave concern for thousands of people including some of EPA’s own employees. On one fortuitous occasion a member of the Office of Drinking Water met with Dr. Robert Carton in a hallway of the East Tower of Waterside Mall (EPA’s headquarters). The man was one of the authors of the Fluoride Regulation and he looked very distraught. When Dr. Carton inquired about his condition the man revealed that he did not believe anything he was writing but he had to carry on and do his job. An assembly of the EPA called the NTEU Chapter 280 comprised of 1500 scientists, lawyers, engineers and other professional employees at the EPA Headquarters in Washington D.C., have released a “Statement of Concern on Fluoridation”, wherein they express great concern over silicofluorides that are a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry which “...contain contaminants such as arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, and radioactive particles, are legally regulated as toxic waste, and are prohibited from direct dispersal into the environment.”. In 2006 at the request of the EPA, the National Research Council released a 450-page review of fluoride toxicity, assessing the adequacy or lack thereof of EPA’s “Maximum Contaminant Level Goal” (MCLG). This lengthy report concluded that the MCLG causes significant damage to teeth and increases the risk of bone fracture and joint pain and a host of other health problems The MCLG is the maximum level of a water contaminant that the EPA considers safe for all divisions of the population. The MCLG for fluoride that had been set at 4 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water since 1985, despite substantial in-house scientific opposition, has now changed to no more than 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water due to the advent of irrefutable scientific evidence proving the danger of too much fluoride. Federal Law prohibits contaminating the public water supply with chemicals or drugs. Being that medical claims have been made regarding the use of fluoride for the prevention of cavities, fluoride would technically have to be classified as a drug, according to FDA regulations. Now we are traversing into the illegal realm of ‘practicing medicine without a license’, because cities and towns are administering medication to millions of people across North America daily, without their consent, and not even bothering to monitor the exact amount consumed by it’s citizens. Officially, artificially fluoridating drinking water is a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Under statutes of the SDWA, federal agencies are forbidden from endorsing,


supporting, or funding the practice of adding any chemicals to the water supply other than for purposes of water purification. Somehow this entire unlawful scenario is being allowed to continue unabated. Around the World Communities around the world are making vast strides in protecting the health of their residents. Europe has a 98% opposition to water fluoridation, with dental health being equal or better than North America. China and Japan have both rejected the idea of fluoridating drinking water. India and Israel due to the obvious health and environmental risks posed by this insalubrious chemical have also chosen not to fluoridate. Ways to Minimize Exposure/Detox It is of crucial importance to know how to clear fluoride from our bodies, particularly 足足足 if we have a serious condition caused by over fluoridation. The mineral boron is an effective fluoride cleanser; it stabilizes calcium and magnesium components in the blood. A preparation can be made using 1/32 to 1/4 teaspoon of Borax (found at almost any grocery store) in one liter of water taken daily. Iodine is also a great way to remove fluoride. Iodine supplements that combine iodine and potassium iodide and seaweeds cleanse the thyroid and pineal glands. Obviously drinking filtered water (be sure your filter clears out fluoride, as not all of them do) and using non-fluoridated toothpaste are other ways to minimize exposure. You also can opt out of fluoride treatments at your dental visits.


Culinary Magic In this issue of Gaudiya Touchstone Priyanana shows us how to create

some delicious sweet preparations

that are simple to make and tasty to eat.

G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e


Ingredients 6 Cups Oats 1/2 Cup Melted Butter (or Oil) 1/2 Cup Honey (or Maple Syrup) 2 tsp Vanilla 2 tbsp Cinnamon 1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut 1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds 1/2 Cup Chopped Almonds 1/2 Cup Sesame Seeds 1/2 Cup Raisins 1/2 Cup Cranberries

Preparation Preheat oven to 200 degrees F for about 5 minutes. On a large baking tray spread out all nuts and coconut and toast for about 30 minutes until lightly brown. In a bowl mix the butter or oil, honey or maple syrup, oats, cinnamon, and vanilla and spread mix on another baking tray and toast for about 15 minutes until medium brown. Pour the raisins and cranberries in a bowl and mix in nut mixture, then add the oat mixture and stir. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes before using. Makes 8-10 servings. Granola can be sprinkled on yogurt, mixed with fresh sliced fruit, or eaten in a bowl with milk. Best kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container.


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

Besan Ladu



3/4 Cup Garbanzo Flour 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar 1/3 Cup Ghee 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder 2 tbsp Chopped Almonds

Melt the ghee in a saucepan, add flour and stir constantly on a low flame until flour turns golden brown, turn off flame. In a separate pan toast the almonds on a medium flame for about 2-3 minutes then add these with the cardamom and sugar to flour mixture and stir well. Spread entire mixture on a large plate to cool until it feels warm to the touch. Divide the mixture into seven equal parts and roll into a ball shape. Makes 7 laddus.


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Ingredients 2 1/3 Cups Flour 1 Cups Water 3/4 Cups Oil 2/3 Cup Cocoa Powder 2 Cups Sugar 1/2 tsp Salt 1 tsp Vanilla 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

Preparation Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix 1/3 cup flour with water in a small pot. Cook until thick stirring constantly. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla to this mixture and stir. In a separate bowl mix the oil and cocoa together and then add above mixture to this. Sift flour and baking powder and add to wet mixture. Stir well. Bake in a 9x13 inch greased pan for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool, then cut into 12 brownies. *1/2 Cups Chocolate Chips or 1/2 Cups Chopped Walnuts can be added at to the final mixture if desired


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e


Ingredients 3 Large Yams 2 Cups Sugar 3 Cups Fresh Pineapple (put through a blender and pressed through a strainer) 1 Cup Fresh Guava (put through a blender and pressed through a strainer) 1 tsp Vanilla Extract 1 tbsp Beetroot Powder (natural food color) Handful of raisins and nuts for garnish

Preparation Rinse the yams well and place them in a large pot with water covering them. Bring water to a boiling point and boil for about 20 minutes. They should be very soft; you can test the softness by pricking them with a knife. Drain the hot water and then fill the pot with cold water and allow the yams to cool for about 5 minutes. Drain the water, peel the cooled yams, and mash them into a purĂŠe. In a separate saucepan stir the pineapple and guava together with the sugar on a medium flame until thick and then add yams. Add the beetroot powder and stir this mixture on a low flame for about 10-15 minutes and then turn off and allow to cool for about 15-20 minutes. Serve with raisin and nut mixture sprinkled on top. Makes about 8 servings.


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

Apple Crisp



1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour Pinch Baking Soda 1 tsp Cinnamon 1/2 Cup Oats 1/2 Cup Sugar 1/2 Cup Soft Butter or Margarine 4 Cups Apples (Granny Smith or Fuji apples are good ones)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel, core, and slice the apples into wedges (about 10 wedges per apple). In a food processor combine the first five ingredients. Add the butter or margarine and pulse. Remove blade and mix in the oats by hand. Place the apples in a greased 8 or 9 square inch pan. Spread the flour mixture evenly over the apples. Bake for 40-45 minutes until browned. Best served warm. Makes 6-8 servings.


Bhagavad Gita in Kannada