Bhakti Charu implicated in Srila Prabhupadas poisoning

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The day he left his body sometime during late morning or early afternoon it seemed that the pain in his left thigh became so acute that he started to writhe. By that time he had stopped speaking. The last time he spoke was the night before, at about 12 o'clock, and he told the Ayurvedic doctor from Calcutta about some discomfort he was feeling. When Prabhupada started writhing in pain, making some faint moaning sound, Bhavananda Maharaja, who was sitting on the bed next to him held him tightly and from that time onwards Srila Prabhupada became very still and practically did not move at all. From time to time he only opened his mouth and I poured some Yamuna water, which he drank with great relish. Although his body became totally still, yet his tongue was constantly vibrating. Srila Krishnadasa Babaji Maharaja, a god-brother of His Divine Grace, pointed out that Srila Prabhupada was chanting the holy name incessantly. Besides this, his body did not display any unusual symptoms.

Although His Divine Grace spoke about poison, I could not take it seriously for two reasons:

1. The Ayurvedic doctor was present, and as Prabhupada displayed quite a lot of confidence in him, I felt if Srila Prabhupada was really poisoned then this doctor would have detected it.

2. I was under the impression that when someone is given poison then his body becomes blue.

COMMENT: OK, here we have more subterfuge and twisting of things as a clear act of deception. He could not take Srila Prabhupada’s speaking of being poisoned seriously because the doctor did not detect it? This means putting more faith in what the doctor missed than what Srila Prabhupada, the pure devotee who knows past, present, and future, is actually saying? This sounds like a really lame excuse. Further, in the actual conversations we find that the doctor/kaviraja DID believe Srila Prabhupada, and spoke of a rakshasa or demon who had poisoned Srila Prabhupada. Yet Bhakticharu seems to have forgotten all this? No, he has not forgotten, but he is counting on us to not read the 1977 conversations so he can say nonsense. Also, whoever the poisoners were, they had chosen cadmium, a highly undetectable poison, so it is rather strange for Bhakticharu to say because the doctor did not detect it, he was unconcerned (even after Srila Prabhupada himself had detected or ascertained his poisoning.) Does Bhakticharu think poisoning is so easily detected even by doctors? No, poisonings are very hard to detect. Bhakticharu’s idea about the body turning blue is something a 7 year old would believe, not the chemistry major from a German university that he is. Who could come up with such a daffy defense? Is he playing dumb with us? So because Srila Prabhupada did not turn blue, then Bhakticharu concluded that Srila Prabhupada’s statements about being poisoned are… what? Senility?

However, at that time Srila Prabhupada's body became very shiny, almost golden, and he did not display any sign of pain or unusual discomfort. Apart from his usual unhealthy condition, Srila Prabhupada was quite normal. All the time he used to quietly lie on the bed very calm and composed. Sometimes he used to give advice to the senior leaders about how to manage the society; form different trusts and what to do with the funds. His consciousness was so clear that it was obvious that he was transcendentally situated. Even though he was only a few days away from leaving his body, his voice was very strong and resonant. Those of us who were present around him at that time were convinced that he was a completely spiritual personality and he was just displaying his disappearance pastime.

COMMENT: Bhakticharu saw Srila Prabhupada as a completely spiritual personality who said someone was poisoning him, a statement he could not take seriously? So why did Srila Prabhupada say that? Bhakticharu makes no sense, and that’s how a liar is trapped, by his own contradictions. The more they talk the better, as they eventually tie themselves up in their own web of lies and contradictions. Also, what does “quite normal,” “apart from his usual unhealthy condition” mean? This is bewildering.

One day, after checking his pulse, the Ayurvedic doctor, Damodara Prasad Shastri, told Prabhupada that he was completely surprised while treating him. At one moment his pulse was so weak that it seemed as if he was about to leave his body, and the next moment it was strong and healthy as that of a young man. He also told Prabhupada that he was only displaying his pastimes. From another point of view, we also saw that he was having difficulties with his kidneys. As a result of that, his legs and the back of his palms were swelling up. When the medicine started to work the swelling went down. He obviously had some kidney problems and the doctors gave medicines accordingly.

[Also there] was a mistake on our part, yet we could not really do anything about it. One night […] in Hrsikesa, he told me that the time had come for him to leave his body and he wanted us to make arrangements to take him to Vrindavana. I ran downstairs and woke up Tamal […] When Tamal came to His Divine Grace he repeated the same words […]the following morning we took His Divine Grace to Vrindavana. […] after he settled down in his quarters, he told me not to cook for him anymore, or force him to eat anything. I felt [he] was preparing to leave his body […] without eating and drinking anything.

[…] many leaders came to Vrindavana. When they requested him, with tears in their eyes, to continue to stay, His Divine Grace agreed. Once again I started to cook for him and he started to eat. One day he asked me to fetch an Ayurvedic doctor called Vanamali Kaviraja from Gopinath Bazaar. As a result of the treatment by that doctor, Srila Prabhupada's condition started to improve. However, when his health improved, His Divine Grace wanted to go to the West to preach. When Vanamali Kaviraja got to know […] he requested me not to let him go. He told me that his medicine was working and Srila Prabhupada's condition was improving. He said Srila Prabhupada's condition was not completely healthy yet. He was planning to give Srila Prabhupada Makaradhvaja, during winter, which would rejuvenate him completely. He mentioned that Srila Prabhupada's condition was not strong enough to absorb Makaradhvaja because it was a very strong medicine. He planned to give it to him in winter, by that time Srila Prabhupada's health would become strong enough to absorb it, and the cold weather would help.

I was just a new devotee at the time and when I saw that Srila Prabhupada was so determined to go to the West I could not really make a strong enough endeavor to stop him from going. However, in London his condition deteriorated so much that he had to come back after about a week-long stay. Vanamali Kaviraja resumed his treatment but Srila Prabhupada's condition had deteriorated so much that his medicine did not work and he stopped the treatment. Vanamali Kaviraja did not want to give Makaradhvaja when Srila Prabhupada's health was so much better before he went to the West. However, it was administered to him only about three weeks before his disappearance when his condition was much worse than that time. Also, it was administered by a doctor from Delhi who never even saw him. Soon after that Srila Prabhupada started to speak about poison. Therefore it seemed to me that he was speaking about the adverse effect of Makaradhvaja. After Srila Prabhupada's disappearance I often used to lament internally - why didn't I stop him from going to the West? Why I didn't I tell the GBC members and senior devotees present in Vrindavana at that time what Vanamali Kaviraja told me? Why didn't I stop them from giving Srila Prabhupada Makaradhvaja that was brought from Delhi and given by a doctor who did not even see him? Now I cannot do anything about it besides lamenting about my uselessness." (END)

Comment: Again, Bhakticharu refers to the October makharadhvaja as the poison that Srila Prabhupada was speaking of. See Ch. 18. One who reads the conversations from Nov. 10-11 when Srila Prabhupada was speaking repeatedly about being poisoned, it is clear that he is NOT referring to any medicine. And we would think Bhakticharu, out of all others, would be most familiar with these talks since he was there! His long-winded, self-serving lamentation is but a dishonest defense, for what? What is it that he cannot be honest about? It is just so obvious that he is hiding something, that he will not speak truthfully. Also his historical event sequence is jumbled and inaccurate; Bhakticharu needs to refresh by reading the conversations. And as far as the Delhi kaviraja prescribing medicine without even seeing Srila Prabhupada, that is the least of it. The real concern should be that this medicine was personally arranged by the notorious Chandra Swami (Ch. 75).


After 22+ years, finally Bhakticharu was compelled to make some statements regarding why he and other caretakers did NOTHING when Srila Prabhupada spoke repeatedly about being poisoned on Nov 10-11, 1977. Better late than never. Hopefully Maharaja will answer the many questions that will be put to him and others as this investigation proceeds, but we are not expecting he will. There are 7 points regarding this second statement from him:

(1). That Maharaja did not see any unusual health symptoms or that Srila Prabhupada did not turn blue, and therefore there was no poisoning, means nothing: heavy metal poisoning symptoms are practically unrecognizable even to trained doctors. Of course there were kidney problems: that is what heavy metals directly exacerbate. Maharaja should consult with his toxicologist disciple in New York.

(2). Srila Prabhupada said three times that he was being poisoned, and the kaviraja said that if Srila Prabhupada said it, there must be truth to it. Why did Maharaja not take it seriously?

(3). Srila Prabhupada's voice was definitely not strong and resonant during his last months with us. Listen to the tapes, read the health history: it was hoarse, raspy, weak. These are signs of heavy metal poisoning.

(4). Why does he not mention anything of the sudden and drastic attack of illness Srila Prabhupada experienced in Hrishikesh, which was what made Srila Prabhupada think he was about to die?

(5). That Maharaja says he thinks Srila Prabhupada's statements about being poisoned referred to the makharadhvaja is a dishonesty and a tired, old strategy to confuse his listeners.

(6). Contrary to Bhakticharu himself, the kaviraja took Srila Prabhupada’s statements that he was being poisoned very seriously, and said it must be true. Bhakticharu’s claims are contradictory.

(7). Rather than lamenting about giving makharadhvaja when maybe it wasn't the best idea, Bhakticharu should lament about not taking (even today!) Srila Prabhupada's statements seriously.

(8). That Srila Prabhupada appeared "quite normal" to Bhakticharu only means that the slow poisoning was chronic, not apparent. Did he ever wonder about all the different diagnoses from the parade of doctors, and why no medicine or care program seemed to be effective?


From Nityananda das: “In early 1998 Bhakticharu Swami made a statement on that Srila Prabhupada could not have been poisoned because he did not turn blue. Yet when I interviewed him by phone in North Carolina in late 1998, he said that after Srila Prabhupada said he was poisoned, no one followed up on it, although he thinks the matter should have been looked into. This reveals three contradictory positions when compared to his other testimonies.

One, that Srila Prabhupada was not poisoned (even though he said he was being poisoned) because he did not turn blue.

Two, that when Srila Prabhupada said he was being poisoned, they should have looked into it.

Three, that everything was ok after all because Srila Prabhupada said, ‘Not that I am poisoned,’ even though the next day he again said he was being poisoned.

“Does it make any sense? Actually, when we study what Bhakticharu has said and done in relation to the poison issue, we find a necklace comprised of the jewels of suspicion, complicity, contradiction, dishonesty, and duplicity. This is all being noted down and organized for judgement day.


Naveen Krishna das had resigned from the GBC body in March 2000 after seeing the GBC response to the poison issue in the form of their book Not That I Am Poisoned. A few months later, Bhakticharu came alone to visit Naveen at his home in Alachua. The conversation followed these lines:

BCHARU: Why did you resign? Why don’t you come back? You have left very important services…

NAVEEN: I left because I lost all trust in the GBC. The book they produced on the poison issue is full of lies, fraud, deception, and my conscience won’t allow me to work in an organization that refuses to recognize the serious evidence that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned. You yourself admitted in 1977 that Srila Prabhupada thought he was poisoned.

BCHARU: Well, Srila Prabhupada thought some of the medicines were acting like poison.

NAVEEN: Maharaja, that explanation does not conform to the actual conversations involving yourself, Srila Prabhupada, Tamal, the last kaviraja, and others in late 1977. For example…

(From memory, Naveen listed many of the discussions in Srila Prabhupada’s last days and how all the participants, including Bhakticharu Swami, acknowledged that Srila Prabhupada thought he had been poisoned. Tamal asked Srila Prabhupada who had done it. These transcripts are in Part Two.)

NAVEEN: So, Maharaja, you and I both know that Srila Prabhupada thought he was being poisoned. The GBC has done a great wrong by neglecting to honestly investigate this issue and the new evidence.

BCHARU: Well, do you suggest that we should re-open the investigation?

NAVEEN: Yes, definitely. A number of senior devotees believe this also, and we are prepared to form an impartial commission for that purpose. Will you please agree to be on the commission?

BCHARU: We need people like Ambarisha, Sesa, yourself, and then I could be part of it.

NAVEEN: OK, you please think it over and be sure. Let me know in a few days so we can get started.

BCHARU: Yes, I’ll let you know soon.

Naveen never heard back from Bhakticharu Swami again. This proves Bhakticharu’s insincerity about the poison issue. He is inconsistent, sometimes saying there was a poisoning (1977), and then sometimes saying it is a ludicrous idea (2000). He makes dishonest statements like, “the medicine was the poison” and “I thought someone who is poisoned would turn blue.”

Bhakticharu Swami is a prime suspect in Srila Prabhupada’s poisoning: he was there when it happened, and he is contradicting his own recorded statements from 1977. That constitutes lying. Why is he lying? Thus he brings great suspicion upon himself. Bhakticharu has implicated himself in the poisoning by his dishonest, tricky statements. Any intelligent person can see he has something to hide.
Why was it in 1977 that he took seriously Srila Prabhupada’s talking of being poisoned, but did nothing about it, and now, decades later, he pretends that in 1977 he did not take Srila Prabhupada seriously? And in 2001 say it was alarming to think the food he was giving Srila Prabhupada was poisoned? Too many contradictions… Flip-flopping stories. Any crime investigator would zero in on Bhakticharu as top priority for intense interrogations.


Abhinanda das remembers that on the morning on November 15, 1977, in Vrindaban, while he was working hard by digging the Samadhi pit for Srila Prabhupada, that “Bhakticharu Swami came to him in a panicky mood, crying and weeping heavily,” and asked, “Where is the kaviraja? Where is he?.” Abhinanda immediately got a very bad feeling about what was taking place. Abhinanda’s claim is contained in a letter to Naveen Krishna das on Dec. 18, 1999, shown below, wherein he also discusses the investigative efforts at that time. In 2017 Abhinanda das again confirmed this account, and he was not sure why Bhakticharu was frantically looking for the kaviraja, who had already departed back to Calcutta.


In a recent letter dated July 23, '03, you said: "I am not denying that Srila Prabhupada spoke about poison." Maharaja, allow me to draw your attention to the actualities:- What Srila Prabhupada said was that he had heard "All these friends" discussing his poisoning. You were in the room. Not a single person there, not even you, refuted the allegation. To the contrary, we hear you say very distinctly, "Someone gave him poison here!" And then, when Tamal Krishna Swami asked you if Prabhupada was thinking that someone had poisoned him, you said "Yes." Now you say you are "not denying that Srila Prabhupada spoke ABOUT poison?" He said he thought that someone had poisoned him, and you clearly understood the fact, yet now you say he simply spoke ABOUT poison.

Why are you blatantly mitigating documented evidence?

In that same letter (July 23), and in the same paragraph, you admit: "As a matter of fact, when we heard His Divine Grace speaking in that way, we became extremely worried". So why did "WE" become extremely worried if Srila Prabhupada was simply speaking ABOUT poison? It does not make sense. Who are the WE you refer to? Are they the same "friends" in the room, whom His Divine Grace heard discussing his poisoning? If you (all) were extremely worried, as you say, why didn't you alert the authorities or law enforcement to a possible homicide in progress, or after the fact? You, and who else?

You then attempt (in the same letter) to push forward the lie that Srila Prabhupada said "Not that I am poisoned" as a statement in itself, even after he had openly stated, and you, along with the others admitted, that he thought he was being poisoned.

(1). Bhakticharu: Someone gave him poison here!

(2). Tamal: Srila Prabhupada, Shastriji says that there must be some truth to it if you say that. So who is it that has poisoned? (No answer)

(3). Tamal: Prabhupada was thinking that someone had poisoned him. Bhakticharu: Yes.

(4). Bhakticharu: He said that when Srila Prabhupada was saying that [He was being poisoned] there must be some truth behind it.

In spite of the transcription above, you are now (25 years later) attempting to circumvent documented evidence by telling us that Srila Prabhupada said he was 'not poisoned'. This is what you wrote in your letter:

"Tamal asked Srila Prabhupada about it and Srila Prabhupada replied, ‘NO. These kind of symptoms are seen when a man is poisoned. He said like that, not that I am poisoned.’"

By neglecting to include what Tamal said, you have excluded the fact that His Divine Grace was informed that he was poisoned. Here it is:

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