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Chapter 11 Part II
Satyartha Prakasha
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    To understand the true meaning of this book you must apply the
    The four subsidiary means of reasoning:

  1. Listening or reading most attentively with a calm mind to the lectures of a learned man, and more so if the subjects are a divine Science because it is the most abstruse and the subtlest of all the sciences.
  2. Thinking over what one has heard or read in retirement, and in removing doubts if there be any by questioning the speaker. Questions may sometimes be asked even in the middle of discourse if the speaker and the audience think proper.
  3. Rationalizing is the next step. When all doubts are cleared after hearing or reading discourse and thinking over it, let the enquirer enter into the superior condition and see for himself by the help of yoga (self-realization through meditation) whether it is the same as he had heard and reasoned out or not.
  4. The result is the correct knowledge of the nature, properties and characteristics of the desired object.
Criticism of various religions and sects prevailing in India.

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The Puranic Hindu and Chakrankitas sects.
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They named them Puranas (ancient books) and began to read out select portions from them: They began to practice wonderful frauds and trickery. One of these popes would take an idol made of stone, conceal it in a mountain cave or a secret recess in a jungle or bury it in the ground. After this was done, he would proclaim to his disciples that Mahadeva, Parvati, Radha, Krishna, Sita, Ram, Lakshmi, Narayana, Bhairava, Hanuman, or some other God or goddess had visited him in his dreams and informed him that he or she was in such and such place, commanded him to get him or her (out of the place), install in a temple and become his )or her) priest. If these demands were complied with, he or she would grant him his heart's desires.

The ignorant people who had 'more money than brains' would hear such stories and believe them to be true, they would enquire of him as to the exact site where the God or goddess was to be found. At this the pope would answer "The idol can be found in this mountain or that jungle, should you desire it I could lead you to the place." Thereupon those fools would accompany that scoundrel to the place, find the idol and being struck with astonishment fall at the feet fo the Pope and exclaim "The God is indeed very gracious into you. Take the idol home and we will build him a temple wherein the idol may be installed, you shall be his priest and we shall also gain our hearts' desires by paying our adoration to him." When the trick playe by one of the popes was successful, the others followed his example, had recourse to jugglery and imposture and installed idols with a view to earn their livelihood.

Q. - God being Formless cannot be contemplated. Idols are, therefore, absolutely needed. Where is the harm if we stand before an idol with folded palms, think of God and recite His name?

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A. ~ God being Formless and Omnipresent cannot have an image. If the sight of an idol puts God in one's mind why cannot this wonderful creation, which comprehends the earth, water, fire, air, vegetation and a hundred and one other things? Cannot one think of God when he looks at the earth and the mountains which are wonderfully constructed, and out of which human beings fashion idols? It is altogether wrong to say that the sight of an idol makes on think of God. This would mean that when the idol is out of sight, the devotee would not think of God and, consequently when all alone, may succumb to the temptation of committing theft, adultery, and the like sins. Believing as he does that there is no one to witness his actions, he would not scruple to commit the most degrading sins.

These are some of the evils that result from the worship of idols. Now mark the difference! He, who has not faith in idols and believes that the Omnipresent, Omniscient and Just God pervades the whole Universe, cannot even harbor evil thoughts in his mind - lave alone committing sins, because he knows that God witnesses all actions - good and bad- and that He is never away from Him even for one moment. He is fully aware of the fact that if he committed a sin - in word, deed, or thought - he cannot but he punished by a Just Providence.

Merely taking the name of God is of no use, even as the repetition of the word sugar does not give a sweet taste to the mouth, nor does the repetition of the word Neem (Melia Azdiracta) imparts a bitter taste to the palate. The sensations of the sweetness and bitterness are produced only when sweet and bitter substances are brought in contact with the tongue.

Q. - Is it then a mistake to take the name of the Lord? The Puranas assign great merit to this fact.

A. ~ Your mode of taking the name of the Lord is erroneous and is not commendable.

Q. - Why is our mode erroneous?

A. ~ Because it is anti-Vedic.

Q. - Pray, tell us what the Vedic mode of taking the name of the Lord is.

A. ~ It is this. Take for instance the name Nyayakari (Just) which is one of the many names. Contemplate what it connotes. Even as God dispenses justice to all and is free from the least taint of partiality, so should you conform your conduct to the requirements

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of justice and always refrain from doing anything unjust. The contemplation of even one name of the Deity in this way conduces to one's spiritual welfare.

Q. - We too know that God is Formless, but we believe that He incarnated as Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha, Surya, and Devi, etc., and also appeared in flesh as Rama, Krishna, etc. That is why the images of the Deity are extant. Would you say that even this is wrong?

A. ~ Of course, we would, for Veda declares God to be "Unborn Indivisible, Formless," etc., and, therefore, not subject to birth and death and the necessity of incarnation. The doctrine of the incarnation of God cannot stand even the test of reasoning, for He, who pervades the universe like ether, is Infinite, Invisible and is not susceptible to pleasure and pain, cannot be contained in a drop of semen or in the uterus or in a bodily tenement.

coming into and going out can only be predicated of a finite being. To say that the Immobile Invisible God, Who pervades every particle of matter, can take on the flesh is as absurd as it would be to assert that the son of a barren woman was married and her grandson was seen.

Q. - Being Omnipresent He pervades even an idol. Why is it not then right to contemplate and worship God in any object whatsoever, as it has been said "God resides neither in wooden objects, nor in stones, nor in things made of clay. The attainment of the Deity is possible only through faith. God is to be found in any object which one may choose to pin his faith."

A. ~ Being All-pervading He cannot be imagined to exist in any particular object only. To hold to the contrary would be tantamount to believing that the sovereign Lord of the earth rules over a small cottage to the exclusion of His whole Empire and would be an insult to Him. In like manner, it is a blasphemy against God to imagine Him as existing in one particular object only.

If you believe Him to Omnipresent, why do you pluck flowers fro the garden and offer them to the idol, make a thin paste of Sandalwood and apply this to it, burn incense, beat drums and cymbals, and blow trumpets before it? He pervades your hands why do you then stand before it with folded palms? He is in your head

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why should you then prostrate yourself before the image? He is in food and drinks, why should you then offer them to it? He is in water, why, should you the bathe it? God pervades all these things. What do you worship, the pervader or the pervaded? If the former, why do you then offer flowers, etc., to images made of stone or wood? If the latter, why do you then lay a false claim to the worship of God? Why don't you say that you worship stalks and stones etc., which is the bare truth? Now tell us, whether your faith is always right or not?

If it is so, you will have to believe that God is subject to the power of your faith. Why don't you then convert clay into gold and silver, pebbles into diamonds and emeralds, etc., the seafoam into pearls, water into clarified butter, milk and curd, etc., and dust into fine flour by the power of your faith?

You never desire sorrow why are you then afflicted with it? You always desire happiness, why can you not always obtain it? Why don't the blind recover their sight through faith? You never desire death, why should you then die? Your faith then is not true faith. True faith consists in believing things what they actually are believing that fire is fire and water is water. To hold the opposite view is the reverse of true faith. True cognition of objects is attained only when we know things as they really are. The reverse of this is false knowledge.

Q. - The fact is that so long as you do not invoke a God by means of Vedic Mantras he does not make his appearance in the image worshipped. He comes as soon as he is summoned and leaves the moment he is requested to depart.

A. ~ If as you say that God comes into the image when invoked, why does not the idol show signs of consciousness and why does not the image also leave when God is asked to depart? Whence does it come and where does it go? The fact of the matter is that the All-pervading Spirit can neither come into and idol, nor, leave it. If you mantras are efficacious that you can summon God, why can you not infuse life into your dead son by the force of the very same mantras? Again why can you not bide the soul departs from the body of your enemy?

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The truth is that the popes trade upon the credulity of the unsophisticated people like you. There is not a single word in the Veda to support idol worship and the belief that God can be summoned and bidden to depart (at the will of the devotee).

Q. - Here are some Vedic Mantras that support idol worship, etc., why do you then assert to the contrary?

"May the vital airs enter it (idol) and reside therein in ease for long. May the senses enter it and remain therein for long. May the Supernal Soul enter it and stay therein for long."

A. ~ You betray woeful ignorance when you make this assertion. Why do you not use your understanding a little? These texts are not at all found in the Vedas. They are to be found in the apocryphal Tantra books of the Vaama Maargis.

Q. - Are the Tantras then mythical?

A. ~ Undoubtedly they are so. Just as there is not a single verse in the Vedas to sanction invocation of the Deity and vitalization of the idol, likewise there is nothing to indicate that it is right to invoke idols, to bathe them, to install them in temples and apply sandal paste to them.

Q. - If the Vedas do not explicitly sanction idol-worship, they do not condemn the practice either. If they do condemn it, the inference is clear that the practice must have existed in ancient times, for it has been said, "Only that can be condemned which prevails."

A. ~ Of course, there is no sanction for this practice (in the Veda and the Shaastraas), but on the other hand it is positively condemned thus:-

(1) "They are enveloped in darkness, in other words, are steeped in ignorance and sunk in the greatest depths of misery who worship the uncreated, eternal prakriti - the material cause of the world - in place of the All-pervading God, but those who worship visible things born of the prakriti, such as the earth, trees, bodies (human and the like) in place of God are enveloped in still greater darkness, in other words, they are extremely foolish, fall into an awful hell of pain and sorrow, and suffer terribly for a long time." YAJUR VEDA 40: 9.

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(2)"The formless Supreme Spirit that pervades the universe can have no material representation, likeness or image." YAJUR VEDA 32: 3.

(3) "Do thou offer thy worship to the self-same Brahma (All-pervading God) who transcends the power of speech and is the source thereof by virtue of His being Omnipotent and is the support of the Universe. No other Being is worthy of adoration." KENOPANISHAD.

(4)"Do thou offer thy worship to the self-same Brahma who cannot be comprehended by the human mind and yet is cognizant of the inner workings of the mind? Do thou never worship the soul and the intellect in place of God." KENOPANISHAD.

(5) "Do thou offer thy worship to the Being that cannot be seen with eyes, and yet, he is from whom the power of sight is derived. Do thou never worship the sun, the fire, and the lightning and other material objects which are distinct from Him." KENOPANISHAD.

(6) "Do thou offer thy worship to the self-same Brahma who is not the object of auditory perception, and yet He is who is the bestower of the power of hearing. Do thou never worship sound* etc., in place of the Lord." KENOPANISHAD.

(7) "Do thou offer thy worship to the self-same Brahma who is not influenced by the breathing forces and yet is the director thereof. Do thou never worship the atmosphere in place of the Lord (which is distinct from Him)." KENOPANISHD.

* i.e. let not thy soul be held in bondage by the power of sweet and seductive speech. -Tr.

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It is clear therefore that idol worship is interdicted (in the Veda and the Shaastraa).

Prohibition applies to deeds that have been done as well as to those that have not been done, the first-named kind may be illustrated thus. A man is sitting somewhere and he is asked to leave the place. The last-named may be illustrated as follow:

(a father says to his son) "O my son! Do thou never steal, nor jump into the well, nor associate with the wicked, nor remain without learning." God has thus interdicted practices which were within the purview of His knowledge, and not within the knowledge of men. Hence the worship of stalks and stones and so forth is absolutely prohibited.

Q. - Well, if idol worship is not a meritorious act, it is not a sin anyhow.

A. ~ (Human) Acts are of two kinds only:- injunctions -i.e., acts like veracity in a speech that has been positively enjoined by the Vedas and prohibitions - i.e., acts like mendacity that has been positively prohibited by the Vedas. Just as it is a righteous act to do what has been enjoined by the Vedas and a sin not to do it. If you resort to practices like idol worship which have been interdicted by the Vedas why then are you not a sinner?

Q. - Mark! The Vedas are eternal. The practice of Idol worship could not have existed in remote antiquity. At that time the gods were visible. This practice originated with the authors of the Tantras and Puranas. When the knowledge and mental capacity of men suffered diminution, they found it hard to contemplate the Deity. Such men can, of course, fix their minds on idols only, hence idol worship is meant for the ignorant, even as a man can get to the top of a house only if he uses all the staircases, he could never succeed in his object. Idol worship is, therefore the first step. When after worshipping images for a length of time, the devotee will gain in (divine) knowledge and the purity of heart, he will then be fitted for divine meditation. Just as a marksman acquires skill

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in his art by shooting at the target and by continued practice learns to hit smaller objects, in like manner one who worships the visible symbols of the Deity will, in course of time, attain to the realization of the abstract Deity. Little girls play with dolls only so long as they do not actually get married. For these reasons idol worship is not an evil practice.

A. ~ When it is held that only those acts are righteous that are sanctioned by the Vedas, while those that have been interdicted by them are sinful, idol worship is a sin even from your standpoint. Whoever accepts as authoritative books whose teachings are opposed to the Vedas may not inappropriately be termed a Nihilist.

Manu says " whoever reviles, rejects, dishonors or contravenes the teachings of the Vedas is called a Nihilist." MANU 2: 11.

"Whatever books have been written by low, despicable people who are opposed to the Vedas drag down the world to the lowest depths of misery and are therefore useless and false. They further envelop the world in dark ignorance and are the cause of great misery in this world as well as the next." MANU 12: 95.

All books whose teachings are opposed to the Vedas gain publication and enjoy an ephemeral existence as they do not inculcate eternal principles. It is useless and wrong to believe in them." MANU 12: 96.

All the sages from Brahma down to Jaimini have held that righteous conduct consists solely in rejecting all that is opposed to the Vedas and in practicing whatever has been enjoined by them, the reason being that the Vedas expound truth and nothing but truth, while all books like the Tantra and Puranas that are replete with anti-Vedic teachings are false and, therefore, the worship of idols which they inculcate is likewise a sin.

People never gain knowledge by the worship of material objects, on the contrary, they forget even what they have previously acquired. Knowledge is increased by serving the learned and by associating

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with them - not by image worship. Can God ever be contemplated through the worship of stalks and stones? Certainly not! Idol worship cannot be compared with a staircase. It may more appropriately be looked upon as deep ditch, whoever falls into it is hacked pieces, can never come out of it and even dies there. Undoubtedly the acquisition of true knowledge and cultivation of habits of truthfulness and the like virtues by association with pious and learned men of the ordinary stamps as well as with learned Yogis of the highest order constitute steps that lead to the realization of the Great God, even as a ladder takes one to the upper story of a house.

No one has yet become a learned man through the worship of idols, on the contrary, most of the idol-worshippers have remained in ignorance and wasted their precious lives and died (in despair). Moreover, all those who worship idols now and will do so in the future will die without enjoying the fruits of (human) life which are their practice of righteousness, acquisition of wealth, a realization of legitimate desires and attainment of salvation. Idol worship cannot be likened to target shooting.

Association with pious and learned men and a study of the laws of nature constitute the real target, by practicing at which one can reach God by gradual steps. Now is the worship of images like playing with dolls. The learning of the alphabet and good habits may fitly be compared to playing with dolls and is, therefore, the first step towards the realization of God. Bear in mind that whoever receives the right sort of training and culture will also, in due course of time, reach God, his true master.

Q. - The mind can be concentrated on a material object, but it is difficult to rivet it on an immaterial one, hence the worships of idols is justifiable.

A. ~ No, the concentration of the mind on a material object is impossible, for it can grasp it at once and after mastering all the details wanders over fresh objects. On the other hand, in the case of Immaterial, Infinite God, do what it will, the mind will never be able to comprehend Him. God being Indivisible the mind cannot wander, it contemplates His nature, attributes, characteristics and being beatified is perfectly focused.

Had it been possible to concentrate the mind on a material object, all the people of the world would have been able to concentrate their minds, because it remains engrossed in worldly objects such as other minds, one's wife, children and friends and wealth, but no one can concentrate his mind except on abstract Being, because He is Indivisible

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A few evils of idol-worship.
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Hence idol worship is a sin. (This is the first argument against idol worship).

  • Millions of rupee are spent in constructing temples for idol worship. This leads to poverty and indolence.
  • Free and promiscuous mixing together of the sexes in the temples leas to adultery, internecine quarrels and the spread of disease (contagious).
  • The idol worshippers regard this mode of worship as the sole means of the practice of righteousness, the acquisition of wealth, the fulfillment of legitimate desires and the attainment of salvation. They, therefore, give up all active work and waste away their precious lives.
  • Since people worship idols with different names, forms, and characteristics, they have not the unity of faith and their mutually antagonistic beliefs and practices create bad blood in the country and lead it to its ruin.
  • They depend upon the idols for the defeat of their enemies and the triumph of their arms, and, therefore, do not exert themselves. The result is that they are defeated, and the government of the country, independence and wealth with its attendant pleasures, fall to a lot of their enemies. They are themselves robbed of their independence and reduced to the condition of a subject race, suffer in a hundred different way like the pony of an in keeper and the donkey of the potter.
  • If someone were to say to another person that he would put a stone in his name or place, he will feel angry and will most likely abuse him or hit him back. In like manner the ignorant people who take a stone to be the symbol of the Deity and worship idols in place of God will surely have the Divine wrath visited upon them.
  • Laboring under mistaken notions, they peregrinate from temple to temple and from one country to another, endure untold misery, lay ace at the root of their worldly and spiritual welfare, suffer at the hands of thieves and are duped by thugs.
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  • Money is given away to wicked priests who spend it on debauchery and the gratification of the bestial appetites on flesh and wine and in fomenting quarrels and in promoting litigation. Thereby the donor forfeits its happiness and is pained beyond measure.
  • These people lay themselves open to the charge of ingratitude by not showing due respect to their parents and other persons worthy of esteem and worshipping idols instead.
  • When these idols are stolen by thieves or are dashed into pieces (by some iconoclast), they set up loud lamentation.
  • The priestesses and priests are corrupted on account of illicit intercourse with other men and women and thus forfeit their connubial felicity.
  • The servants do not properly obey their masters and they turn against each other and are thereby ruined.
  • The soul by constant contemplation of dead and inert matter loses the power of sound judgment because the material properties of the object contemplated (such as a stone) are transmitted to the soul through the manas.
  • God has created fragrant substances like the flowers to purify air and water and to prevent disease. If the priests were not to pluck the followers, the purificatory process would go on for an indefinitely long period, air and water would be purified and the flowers would continue shedding fragrance till the time of their natural decay. They cut off their useful career in the prime of their life. The flowers get mixed with mud, are decomposed and emit stench instead of a sweet odor. Has God created flowers and other odoriferous substances for making an offering of them to the idols.
  • Sandal wood, unhooked grain and the like offerings get mixed with water and mud, and are then thrown into a drain or a cistern where they rot and give off such offensive odors as an issue from human excrement. Thousands of tiny creatures are constantly produced and die and cause it to stink still more.

These are few evils caused by the worship of idols. It should, therefore, be given up by all righteous men. Whoever worshipped

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idols. Worships it, or will do so in future could not have, nor can he now or will in future escape from the effects of these evils.

Q. - Is no form of idol worship permissible? What is then meant by the expression worship of the five gods which has been in common use since times immemorial? Does it not imply the worship of the five gods called Shiva, Vishnu, Ambika, Ganesha and Surya.

A. ~ No form of idol worship is permissible, but the worship of the five living gods is our duty. This expression Pancha Yajna or the worship of the five gods - has a very good meaning, but the ignorant fools have degraded it and construed it to mean something altogether different from what was originally intended. The worship of Shiva and the like gods have already been condemned. But we shall now explain what is meant by the worship of the five gods which is sanctioned by the Vedas.

This may be termed worship of gods that are truly worthy of reverence.

  1. "The first object of worship is the mother. It is the duty of her sons and daughters to serve this goddess with all their heart and all their soul, and keep her happy. Let her never be treated harshly."
  2. "The second object of worship is the father. This God should also be served as the mother."
  3. "The third object of worship is the teacher who bestows knowledge (upon his pupils). This God should also be served with utmost devotion."
  4. "The fourth object of worship is the altruistic teacher of humanity who is learned, deeply religious, upright, well-wisher of all and goes from place to place preaching the truth the thereby making the people happy."
  5. "The fifth object of worship is the husband for the wife and the wife for the husband."

These are the five living gods who bring a man into being and bring him up, and it is through them that he gains true knowledge, sound culture and is instructed into the righteous principles of conduct. It is the worship of them and worship of these that leads one to God. Whoever does not worship them and worship idols instead is a transgressor of Vedic principles.

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Q. - What harm would there be if people worship these as well as idols?

A. ~ True happiness consists solely in giving up altogether the worship of idols and in serving mother and other living gods. It is an awful shame that people should have given up the worship of the living gods that impart happiness and have taken to the worship of idols instead. The priests have started this practice, because they thought that if the people placed eatables as offering before their parents, they would accept and eat them up, and in that case they (the priests) would get nothing to eat and would receive no offerings.

It is for this reason that they make idols, place eatables before them, blow trumpets and conch-shells, beat sym-balls, tom-toms and produce tintinnabulation and thus make, a tremendous noise and poke their thumbs at them as if to say "Be tantalized while we enjoy the viands!"

It is like this: one man hoaxes another and irritates him by putting food before him and saying to him "Take thou the bell" and poking his thumb at him removes the food placed before him, eats it himself with gusto. This sort of hocus-pocus is resorted to by these pujaris* (priests).

The priests adorn and beautify their idols so much that they glitter with dazzling brilliancy. Like thugs, they adorn their persons to look attractive and enjoy themselves at the expense of these ignorant, gullible, unsophisticated fools. Under a righteous Government, these lovers of idols (priests) would have been compelled to earn their living by breaking stones, making bricks and carrying materials for building purposes or doing the like work.


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Q. - If one looks at the statue of a woman, his imaginations are inflamed with sexual desire; similarly when one looks at an image symbolic of supernal peace and imperturbability, there is no reason why he should not attain to a state of quietude and indifference to joy or sorrow.

A. ~ He cannot: because his thinking faculty is blunted on account of his soul being influenced, by the inertness characteristic of dead matter (out of which the idol has been fashioned). Loss of judgment entails the loss of the blessed state of indifference (to the joy or sorrow). This is a hindrance to the attainment of Divine knowledge, without which the attainment of bliss is not possible. Whatever benefits accrue to a man proceed from association with the learned, study of their biographies and perusal of their books (and not from the worship of their statues).

If you merely look at the image of a person and know nothing about his good qualities, you are not inspired with affectionate reverence for him. It is the knowledge of his good qualities alone which inspires that feeling. It is evil practices like idol worship that are responsible for the existence of millions of idle, lazy, indolent, and beggarly priests in India, who are mainly answerable for this wide-spread ignorance, fraud and mendacity in the country.

Q. - Lat Bhairava and other gods displayed many miracles at Kashi (Benares) when Emperor Aurangzeb with a huge following of Mohammedans attacked that city on his mission of iconoclasm. When the invaders discharged a volley of rifle shots and cannon bombs, millions of hornets issued forth and put to flight the bewildered host.

A. ~ This was not a miracle worked by the idol, it is very likely that there were a large number of hornets' nests in the temple. The hornets are irascibly fierce in nature. When their nests are disturbed, they run after their invaders and sting them. The miracle of the stream of milk that flowed from the idol was only a trickery on the part of priests.

Q. - Here is another instance. Mahadeva being desirous that he should not be seen by an infidel hid in a well, and the Veni Madhava God concealed himself in a Brahman's house for the same reason. (Are not these even miracles?)

A. ~ The wonder is that the army of sprites officered by Lat Bhairava and Kalbhairava and the hosts of the Angel of Death mentioned in the Gaarur Purana did not fight the Mohammedans and

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route them. It is related about Mahadeva and Vishnu in the Puranas that they annihilated many a formidable fiend like Tripurasura, why could they not annihilate the Mohammedan invaders. This clearly shows that the poor idols could not fight with the enemy or help their devotees in their fight.

When the Mohammedan invaders who had been breaking idols and pulling down temples in their march to Benares came close to the town, the priests took the idol of Mahadeva and threw it into a well and hid the idol of Veni Madhava in a Braahman's house.

If it is true that the emissaries of the Angel of Death dare not visit Kashi through fear of Kaala Bhairava, who would not let Kashi be destroyed even at the time of Dissolution, why were not the infidel soldiers scared away? Why did they permit the destruction of their king's (i.e., Mahaadeva's) Temple? All this is the invention of priests.

Q. - When a man offers oblations to the manes of his ancestors at Gaya, their sins are forgiven, and, by virtue of the merits of this Shraadha, they go to heaven. The ancestors put out their hands to receive the cakes offered. Not this also false?

A. ~ It is absolutely false. Hundreds and thousands of rupees are given away in charity to the priests for the good and happiness of the manes; these priests of Gaya waste all this money in prostitution and other sinful practices. If this is the merit of offering cakes to the manes at Gaya, why can Gaya not be freed from sins like prostitution.

No other hands, but those of priests are seen coming out (of the earth) nowadays. Some rogue might have dug a pit with soft grass. He might have then induced a man to offer cakes to the manes of his ancestors by the mouth of the pit. The rascal in the pit must have put his hand out and taken the cakes. There could be nothing surprising if something like t his happened in the past. Likewise, the story of Raavana having brought Bainaath is also false.

Q. - Millions of people believe in the Kali and Kaamaaksha and other goddesses of Calcutta. Is it not a miracle (in itself)?

A. ~ Not a bit. These people are intellectually blind, follow one another like sheep and fall into a ditch or a well, and cannot help themselves. One fool follows another and both fall into the ditch of idol-worship and remain therein and suffer.

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Q. - Well, let it* pass. In Jaggan Naath, anyhow, miracles are plainly visible. Every time the god Jaggan Naath changes its body, a log of sandalwood comes by itself to the shore from some distant part of the sea. Seven cooking pans containing rice and water are placed on a fire, one on the top of another; rice is done in the upper as well as in the lower pans, but it is not done at all in the middle one.

Whoever does not eat the present from the Jaggan Naath idol becomes a leper. The Jaggan Naath car goes by itself. The idol did not let itself be seen by a sinner. The gods built their temple while Indradaman was the ruler of the country. Whenever God changes its body, three men - a king, a carpenter, and a priest - die. Now, how could you prove the falsity of these miracles?

A. ~ A man, who had worshipped Jaggan Naath for twelve long years, had then renounced the world and become a Sanyasi, came to Mathura and met us there. We inquired from him about all these miracles. He told us that they were all false. On reflection, we are convinced that when the time for the god changing its body comes, a log of sandalwood is taken to the sea in a boat and then dropped into it. This is, then, washed to the shore by the sea-waves. Out of this log, the carpenters shape idols.

As regards the miracles of the cooking pans, when cooking is done, none but the cooks are admitted into the kitchen and allowed to see anything there. Six round fireplaces are made in a circle and the seventh I made in the center. Clarified butter, dust, and ashes are applied to the bottom of six pans in which water and rice are placed. They are, then, placed on the six fireplaces, when the rice therein is done, they are taken off the fire and their bottom well cleansed. Now they put fresh rice and water in the seventh cooking pan.

The pans are put on the central fireplace, one on the top of the other and the seventh one in the center of the lot. The mouths of the six fireplaces are then closed with iron sheets. The place is then thrown open to the visitors. Those among them who are rich are invited to see that the rice in the upper and lower pans is done, whilst that in the central pan is not at all done. Those who seem to have 'more money than brains' place gold and silver by way of an offering; some even promise to contribute something monthly Shoodras and other low class people bring eatables as an offering

* i.e., the miracle mentioned above.

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into the temple. After they have been offered to the Jaggan Naath idol, these people eat a little of these eatables and leave the rest in the pans which are sent to the house of those who pay for them. All people - from the poor householders, Sadhus, and mendicants down to the Shoodras and outcasts - sit in a row and eat together. When one set of people have finished eating, another set takes their places and eat out of the same leaf-plates as the first one - in other words, they eat their leavings.

It is a most pernicious practice. As regards the third miracle, good many who go there return home without having eaten the leavings of others. As long as they stay there, they take the food prepared with their own hands. They never get leprosy and the like diseases in consequence. Besides, even in that town of Jaggan Naath there are to be found a good many lepers who, in spite of daily eating and the leavings of others, cannot get rid of their disease.

This the practice of eating one another's leavings was started by Vaama Maargis as part of their Bhairavi circle. In proof of this may be mentioned that the idol of Subhadra who was sister to both Krishna and Baladeva, is seated in the place of the wife between the idols of the two brothers. Had it not been due to the Bhairave set, no such thing could ever have happened.

As regards the fourth miracle, it may be said that there must be some mechanism connected with the wheels of the car; when it is worked in the right way, the car moves, but when the middle of the gathering the mechanism is worked in the opposite way, the car stops. Thereupon the priests shout, "Give alms and do some meritorious acts whereby the god Jaggan Naath may be propitiated and allow the car to move and preserve our faith."

As long as the money keeps pouring in, they keep on shouting lie this but as soon as it ceases to pour in, a native of Braj nicely-dressed and wrapped in shawls, etc., standing before the car with folded palms prays, "Do Thou, O Lord Jaggan Naath, allow this car to move on and thereby preserve our faith." Then he kneels down, salutes the God and mounts the car, at that very moment the mechanism is turned the right way, the crowd shouts, 'Hail Lord! Hail!" Thousands of people pull the cord (attached to the car), forward and the car moves.

The same kind of trickery is carried on in the temple of Jaggan Naath. Hundreds and thousands of people go to pay their homage to the idol, but the place is so big and so dark that even in the daytime lamps have to be lighted up before anything can be seen. A curtain is hanging before the idol, the priest and popes stand inside. When the curtain is pulled from one side, it is in front of the idol

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and hides it. Thereupon they shout, "Present your offerings. Your sins will be forgiven and you will then be enabled to see the god. Make haste." Those poor simpletons are taken in by these scoundrels of priests. Then as soon as the curtain is drawn to the other side, the idol becomes visible. Thereupon all those foolish people shout. "Hail! Lord! Hail!!" After being hustled and jostled and put to various other indignities, they return home.

It is the same Indradaman whose descendants are still to be found in Calcutta. He was a great king. He was a devotee of Devi (goddess). He had this temple built at the cost of millions of rupees in order to remove vexatious restrictions in connection with eating and drinking from among the people of Aryavarta, but these foolish people never like to be freed from their shackles. As regards your belief that the gods built the temple of Jaggan Naath, there were no other gods but the builders who raised it.

A king, a priest and a carpenter do not at all die when the god changes the body. They are all predominantly present there. It is very likely that in times gone by these three might have proved very troublesome to their inferiors who, in order to revenge themselves, might have poisoned them to death.

The interior of the Jaggan Naath idol is hollow wherein is placed another idol called Shaaligraam in a golden vessel. This is washed every day with water and the wash is used for making what is called the sacred drink. Possibly they - the prisoners - smeared this idol with the essence of some poison at the time of evening prayers.

The next morning the sacred drink was made and given to those three persons - the king, the priest and the carpenter who died of it. Thereupon those slaves to Mammon might have given it out that the god, at the time of changing his body, carried away the three devotees along with him. Such wicked frauds are very often practiced (by selfish people) to rob others of their wealth.

Q. - In Rameshwaram, the linga* increases in length when the stream of water from the Gangotri is let fall on it. Now is this also false?

* The linga is a representation of the reproductive organ of the God Shiva.

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A. ~ Yes, it is false. That temple also is so dark that even in the day time lamps have to be kept lit up day and night. When the stream of water is let fall on the idol, the light from the lamps is reflected like a flash of lightning in the water. Besides this, there is nothing else that happens there. The stone neither increases nor decreases in size, it remains as it is. They (i.e., the priests) by such impostures rob those idiots - the laypeople.

Q. - Rameshwaram was built by Rama Chandra. Had the worship of idols been opposed to the Vedas, why should he have founded an idolatrous temple and Valmiki mentioned it in his Ramayan?

A. ~ In Rama Chandra's time there was not a trace of the linga or its temple. It is true, though, that a king of Deccan by the name of Rama and this temple built and placed a linga in it and called it Rameshwaram - the Lord of Rama.

When Rama Chandra, while he was traveling back in an air-ship from Ceylon to Ayodhya accompanied by his wife Sita, and Hanumaan and others, reached this place, he addressed her thus, "O Sita, dear, is quite upset by your separation, we were wandering about in your quest and in this very place spent the four months of the rainy season,. Here we used to worship and contemplate the Great God Who pervades all, is above all the devas - sages, seers, and the most powerful material objects and forces - and is the Supernal Soul of all. Through His grace, we got all the material of war.*Look at this bridge which we built across the sea (between India and Ceylon). We, then, crossed over to Ceylon and killed that (wicked) Ravan and have brought you back." Valmiki has written nothing more than this in his Ramayana.

Q. - There is an idol of Kalyakant in the Deccan, which smokes the hubble-bubble up to this day. If idolatry is a false practice, this miracle should also be false.

A. ~ It is undoubtedly false. It is altogether an imposture practiced by the popes. Very likely the mouth of the idol is hollow and there is a hole just opposite to the mouth in the back from which a pipe is carried through the adjoining wall to the room situated at the back of the one the idol is placed in. as soon as the priest, having got the hooka ready and introduced its tube into the mouth.

* This war was waged against Ravan (King of Ceylon presently Sri Lanka) who had stolen away Sita.

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of the idol and fixed it there properly and pulled down the curtains, comes out of the room, the man in the backroom begins to smoke. While, on the one hand bubbling noise is produced in the hooka, on the other, smoke issues forth from the mouth and nostrils of the idol which has been blown into it through the tube that connects the back hole of the idol with its mouth. At that time the popes no doubt rob many an ignorant man of their money and reduce them to poverty.

Q. - Behold! The idol, of Dakor, left Dwarka with one of its devotees. The idol, several maunds in weight, was weighed against two grains and half of the gold. Is not even this a miracle?

A. ~ No, it is not. That devotee must have stolen the idol, whilst as regards the idol having been weighed against 2 and a half grams of gold, someone under the influence of Cannabis Indica must have spun this yarn.

Q. - Somnath used to live in mid-air. It was a great miracle. Is this also untrue?

A. ~ Of course, it is. There were magnetic rocks placed both above and below the idol. On account of their attraction and counter-attraction, it stood in mid-air.

The Muslims' plundering and looting of Hindu temples.
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When Mahmud of Ghazni attacked this temple, it was razed to the ground, its priests and other devotees were humbled and reduced to a most wretched condition, and an army of hundreds of thousands of soldiers was put to flight by a force of 10,000 men. A pretty miracle indeed!

The popish priests offered presents to the god, worshipped and praised him and addressed prayers to him, thus "O God of gods! Do thou destroy this barbarian and take us under thy protection." They would tell their dupes - ruling princes:- "Do not be at all anxious. Rest assured, Mahadeva is sure to send Bhairava or Virabhadra for your assistance who will destroy or blind all these barbarians." Or they would tell them, "Our god is sure to manifest himself presently. Hanumaan (monkey-God). Bhairava (the Indian Bacchus) and Durga have appeared to us in a dream and promise to do everything for us."

Those poor simple Rajas were easily taken in by these popes. They believed in all that they said and, therefore, did not resist the invader. Many popes, who were astrologers, said that that was not an auspicious time for them to fight, because one said it was the 8th moon while the other said that the Yoginee star would face them (when they go to fight) and

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so on, they were altogether misled by the popes (and therefore they did nothing to defend themselves). When they were surrounded on all sides by the barbarians, they tried to escape from their miserable plight. Hundreds of popish priests and their dupes fell into the hands of the enemies. Their priests with folded hands implored the Mohammedans to spare their temple and the idol and offered to pay Rs. 30,000,000 as ransom but the Mohammedans answered that they were not idol-worshippers but idol-breakers and off they went and began demolishing the temple.

When the roof fell, and the magnetic rocks were shifted, down fell the idol which, when broken, was found to contain Rs. 180,000,000 worth of diamonds. When the popish priests were flogged, they began to weep. They were told to point out where the treasury was. Through fear of punishment, they revealed everything. Thereupon the Mohammedans, having looted the treasury and thrashed the priests, made slaves of them as well as of their dupes.

They made them grind corn, cut grass and carry urine and feces but gave them nothing but parched grain to eat. Oh! Why did these people ruin themselves by the worship of stones? Why did they not worship the Almighty God whereby they could have put the barbarians, to rout and gained victory over them? Had they worshipped heroes and brave men in place of all those idols, what protection they would have afforded.

the priests worshipped those stones so devoutly and yet not one of them shifted from its place, fell upon the head of one of the invaders and broke it. Had they served a single brave man as they did the idols, he would have done his best to protect those who had served him and to destroy their enemies.

Q. - Ranchhora* thereby sent a hundi (bank-draft) to Narsee Mehta and helped him to pay off his debts. Is this also false?

A. ~ Some banker must have helped him with the money to pay off his debts, and someone must have given it out falsely that Lord Krishna had sent him a hundi (bank-draft). In the year 1858, the English demolished the temple and its idols with artillery fire, where were the idols, then? (Why did they not do anything to defend themselves?) Bagheri, no doubt, fought very bravely and killed many of their enemies, but the idols could not even break

* It is another name of Krishna.

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one leg of a fly. Had there been even one so brave as Krishna, he would have utterly routed the enemy an put him to flight. Why should not those who seek his protection be soundly thrashed when their protector himself is beaten?

Q. - Jwaladevi is a veritable goddess. It consumes everything. When anything is offered to it, it consumes one half of it and leaves the other half (untouched). The Mohammedan emperors had a canal of water let fall on it to extinguish it and sheets of iron fixed on it to choke it, but the flame (of fire) was neither put out nor choked. The goddess Hinglaj also is to be seen on the mountains at midnight mounted on a horse; it produces a thundering noise in the interior of the mountains.

The Chandrakoop - a well sacred to the moon - can talk. One who once passes through Yoni Yantra is never born again. By tying a thumri a man becomes great. As long as a man does not go to Hinglaj, however holy he may be, he is only semi-great. Are these things not credible?

A. ~ No, that fire issues forth from the volcanic mountain called Jwala Mukhi. The impostures of the priest at that place are simply wonderful. When melted clarified butter is placed in a spoon on a flame, it takes fire at once, but when it is taken off or the flame is blown out, it is found that little of the butter has been consumed, while the rest of it remains in the spoon. The same thing happens in the case of Jwala Mukhi. Just as the fire of a fire-place consumes everything that is put into it and when a fire breaks out in a jungle or a house it destroys everything, in like manner the fire of Jwala Mukhi consumes everything that is placed in it. There is nothing miraculous in this.

No goddess mounted (on a horse) is to be seen at Hinglaj nor is there anything else but a temple, a small reservoir of water and few water pipes here and there. There is nothing much besides the trickery of the popes at that place. They have also got a marshy pool of water from whose bottom bubbles (of gas) rise to the surface of the water. The idiots call it Saphalyatra (literally successful pilgrimage).

The yoni Yantra is a mechanical contrivance invented by these popes to rob the pilgrims. The wearing of Thumris is also a priestly fraud. If he wearing of Thumras makes a man great, would not they also make a donkey loaded with them a Mahapurush (great man)? It is the doing of great works righteously that makes a man great (Mahapurush).

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Q. - The lake at Amritsar is verily nectar itself. One half of fruit of Sapindus Detergens is sweet (whilst the other half is bitter). There is a wall (at Gurdaspur) which (when shaken) bends but does not fall down. At Rewalsar rocks float on the surface of the water. At Amarnath lingas (of ice) form by themselves, (several) pairs of pigeons are seen to come out of the Himalaya mountains to give Darshan and go back to the place whence they came. Are these things also not worthy of belief?

A. ~ no. that lake is Amritsar (Amrit - nectar, sar - lake) only. When the place (where the town of Amritsar is situated) was a jungle, the water must have been good and sweet, hence it was named Amritsar (lake) or a lake of sweet water. Had it been real nectar, no one (as held by the followers of the Puranas) ought to have died there. That wall (at Gurdaspur) must have been constructed in such a manner that it would be (when shaken) but would not fall.

As regards the fruit of Sapindus Detergens being sweet, it can be accounted for in two ways; either Asclepias Pulchella must have been grafted on it, or it is only a yarn. With regard to the Rewalsar miracle, there must be some mechanism by which the rocks are made to float. At Amarnath glaciers of ice are formed, what to say of small lingas of ice. Those pigeons must have been tame ones and are let fly by men hidden behind the mountains. By such means, these scoundrels rob the ignorant of their money.

Q. - Haridwar is the gate of heaven. If one bathes on the steps of Hari, he is freed from his sin. A man who resides in Tapovana (grove of austerity) becomes an ascetic. Gomukh the (mouth of a cow) is seen at Gangotri, Gupta (hidden) Kashi and Triyugi Narayan (god of the three periods of time) at Uttar Kashi, Kidar and Badri Narayan are worshipped by men for six months and by gods for the other six months of the year.

The mouth of Mahadeva called Pashupati is Nepal, his buttocks at Kidar, his knees at Jaggan Naath and his feet at Amarnath. By making the pilgrimage to these places and bathing there one obtains salvation. Should a man desire to go to heaven from Kidar and Badri he could easily do so. What do you say to all this?

A. ~ Haridwar is the starting point of the road that leads to the (Himalayas mountain) in the north. Har ki Pauri is the steps that lead to the pond close by and is meant for facilitating

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bathing therein. To tell you the truth it is Har ki Pauri (steps of bones) as the bones of the dead from all parts of Aryavarta are thrown in there. One is never freed from his sins until he has suffered for them. The Tapovana may have been a grove of austerity in ancient times, but nowadays it is only a grove of beggars. One does not become an ascetic by living in Tapovana but by practicing austerities, as there are plenty of untruthful shopkeepers who also live there.

The water that falls from the top of the mountain (Gangotri) forms the river Ganges. Some scoundrel must have shaped it like the mouth of a cow in order to rob the ignorant. It should also be remembered that every mountain is the heaven of the popes.

Uttar Kashi and the like places are very good for those who engage in meditation and contemplation, but imposters can practice plenty of trickery even there. As regards Deva Prayaga being the abode of gods, hence called Deva Prayaaga, it is also an invention of the Purana. It is mere nonsense. Prayaga is situated at the junction of the Alaknanda and the Ganges. If the Puranas was not to spin such yarns, who would go there and offer money to the popes?

Kashi is not hidden at all, it is quite visible. The fire there may have been kept up for ten or twenty generations (of these popes), but it has certainly not been burning for the last three generations.

the water in the tapta kunda (pond of hot water) is not, because it gets heated by its passages through the interior of the mountains where there is plenty of natural heat. In another pond close by, the water is cold as it comes from the surface or such part of the mountains that is not hot. Kidar is a pretty and healthy place, but even there the popes or their dupes have got a temple built on a firm rock

The chief priest and other popes fleece many a man who has more money than brains and indulge in sexual pleasures. Similarly, at Badri Narayan there are plenty of these thugs. Rvaljee is their chief. Let alone one, he keeps many women. They call the temple there Pashupati and the idol therein panchmukhi (five-mouthed). It is only where there is no law to punish such frauds, that they become so rampant. But it must be borne in mind that the natives of these hills are not such rogues as the residents of the holy places of pilgrimage who denude the pilgrims of their money. This part of the country is very beautiful and clean.

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Q. -

  1. On the Vindhyaachal mountain the goddess Vindhyeshwari,* Kali** and Ashtabhuji*** are all visibly present.
  2. Vindhyeshwari assumes three different forms in a day. There is not a single fly to be found in the premises of the temple.
  3. Prayaaga (Allahabad) is the king of the places of pilgrimage. By having one's head shaved there, one attains perfection. By bathing at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna, one obtains his heart's desire.
  4. Similarly, the town of Ayodhya has with all that inhabited it flown to heaven many a time.
  5. Mathura is the greatest of all tirthas (sacred places).
  6. Vridaavana is the scene of (Krishna's) dalliance (with the milkmaids).
  7. Pilgrimage to Govardhan and Braj only falls to a lot of the fortunate.
  8. at the time of a solar eclipse, hundreds of thousands of people gather together at Kurukshetra (and this is held very meritorious).

Are these things false?

A. ~

  1. What is visible to one's eyes is that there are three idols and hat they are made of stone.
  2. The assumption of three different forms on three different occasions in a day by Vindhyeshwari is due to the cleverness with which the priests dress and adorn the idol with ornaments. As regards the absence of flies. Why there are myriads of them there. We have noticed this fact with our own eyes.
  3. There must have been a barber in olden times at Prayaaga who composed some verses (or prayed some pope to do it for him) to the effect that it was a meritorious act to have one's head shaved there. Had it been true that by bathing at Prayaaga people went to heaven, no one should have seen them returning home but the fact is that they are all seen coming back to their homes, and even if one gets drowned there, his soul wafted on air is carried up into space and born

* The mistress of Vindhya -Tr
** Literally Kali means black.-Tr.
*** Literally Ashthabhuji means eight-armed.-Tr.

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    again. The name of the king of Tirathas has been given to it by these lovers of Mammon. The relation of king and subjects cannot be predicated of material objects, hence it is absurd to call Prayaaga the king of sacred places.
  1. It is impossible to believe that the town of Ayodhya along with all that was to be found in it - dogs, donkeys, street sweepers, workers in skin privies, etc. - has been to heaven three times. It never went to heaven, on the other hand, it is where it was, but it is only in stories invented by the popes that Ayodhya flew away to heaven. This story has, indeed, passed from mouth to mouth. All that is said about Naimisharanya is also an invention of these very priests.
  2. As regards the belief that Mathura is altogether different from the three worlds, it is quite false; but it is true in the sense that there are three creatures at Mathur that are very troublesome, indeed so much so that of their account no one can get any rest on land, in water or in air. One of them is the Mathura priest. Whosoever goes to bathe in the Jumna finds him there waiting for exacting his toll and jabbering senselessly, "Give me alms wherewith I may enjoy myself by drinking infusion Cannabis Ind, eating pepper and sweets and bless you.

    The second is the tortoise that will bite do what you will, and their number is so great that it is only with the greatest difficulty that one can bathe at the bathing-place. The third is the red-mouthed monkey that lives up in the air (i.e., on the tops of trees and houses). It would run away with anything it can get holds of, such as a turban, a cap, an ornament or a shoe, would bite, push and even kill a person.

    All these three are regarded as fit objects of worship by the pope and his dupes. Several maunds* of gram and sugar are offered to the tortoises and the monkeys, cash, and sweets to the popes. Thus they are all served by their votaries - the ignorant laity. Vrindavana may have been a beautiful grove in ancient times, but now-a=days it is more like a grove of prostitutes, wherein young men and women, mendicants and their female dupes carry on most immoral

* A maund is an Indian measure of weight, it is equal to 82 lb.-Tr.

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    practice. In like manner, the popes are highly successful in fleecing pilgrims on the occasion of the Dipmaala fair at Govardhan and in religious gatherings at Braj. Similar religious frauds are practiced at Kurukshetra by the popes in order to make a good living for themselves. Good and righteous men among them, who have the public good at heart, keep aloof from these popish practices.

Q. - Idol-worship and pilgrimage to holy places have been in vogue since time immemorial. How can they be false?

A. ~ What do you call time immemorial? If you say that by the use of these words you mean that these practices have always been in vogue it cannot be right, otherwise how would you account for the fact that there is no mention of these things in the Vedas, the Brahmanas and other ancient books of sages and seers.

The practice of worshipping idols originated with the Vaama Maargis and the Jainees a little under 2,000 or 2,500 years back. It did not exist in India in ancient times, nor were there any places held sacred (Tirathas) then. When the Jainees instituted Girnar, Palitana, Shikhar, Shatrunjaya and Abu as places of pilgrimage (Tirathas), the Puranic followed suit and established their own Tirthas.

Should a man desire to inquire into the origin of these Tirathas, he should examine the oldest records and brass plates kept by the Panda priests. He would, then, be satisfied that they were all instituted within a period of 500 to 1,000 years. Hence Tirathas are not ancient but of a recent origin.

Q. - Is there no merit, then, in making a pilgrimage to Tirathas (sacred places) or taking the name of gods? It is said that "By making a pilgrimage to Kurukshetra one is freed from all his sins committed in other places." Are these things true or not?

A. ~ No, they are not. If sins could be destroyed, the poor should become rich and prosperous, the blind get sight and the lepers are cured of their leprosy, but it is not so. Hence sin and virtue can never be destroyed.

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Q. - "Whosoever repeats the name of the Ganges, thousand of miles distant though he is (from it), his sins are forgiven and he goes to heaven (the realm of Vishnu) the utterance of Hari - a word composed of two letters - destroys all sins. (in like manner there is great merit in taking the name of Rama, Krishna, Shiva Bhagvati, or some other god or goddess."

If a man sees the idol of Shiva or the lingam in the morning, all his sins committed in the previous night are forgiven if at noon, his sins committed in the whole life, if in the evening those committed in the seven previous births are destroyed." So you see that there is great merit in seeing the idols of Shiva, etc. Is this false?

A. ~ What doubt can there be in its being false? No sin can ever be destroyed by taking the name of Hari, Rama, Krishna, Narayan, Shiva, Bhagvati, otherwise, none in the whole world should suffer or be afraid of sinning. Now, this is the reason that nowadays sin is on the increase among the popes and their dupes. The idiots are convinced that they can be freed from their sins by taking the name of some god or making the pilgrimage to some holy place. Acting on this conviction, they sin freely and thereby forfeit true happiness in this world as well as in the next. But (God has ordained that) whosoever commits a sin must suffer for it.

Q. - Is there any kind of Tirath or any mode of taking the name (of the Lord) which is desirable?

A. ~ Yes, there is. The study and teaching of the Veda and the Shastras, association with righteous men of learning, promotion of public good, righteous living, the practice of yoga, freedom from malice and hypocrisy, truthfulness in word, deed and thought, the practice of Brahmacharya, the service of one's father, mother, tutor and the learned guests, worship of God, mental tranquility, control of the senses, gentleness, activity, acquisition of knowledge, both material and spiritual, and of other good works are all Tirathas, as they help one to cross the ocean of misery and sorrow. Land* and water** can never be called Tirathas, since that which helps one to swim across (an ocean of) misery and sorrow alone constitutes Tiratha.

* Land stands for temples, etc. -Tr.
** Water stands for rivers, lakes, etc.-Tr.

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Land and water do not possess this property, on the other hand, water can help one to get drowned (if he is so bent). A boat or a ship can be called a Tiratha as by means of it one can get across a river or an ocean. "Those Brahmachaaris who study under the same teacher and the same book are spoken of as serving the same Tirtha. (Samaan tirtha vaasi). So says the sage Panini.

"Let food and raiment, etc., be given to those who study the Veda and Shaastra and possess qualities like truthfulness in a speech that constitute a righteous living, and let the people in return acquire learning from such persons."YAJUR VEDA 16.
This is what the Yajur Veda says. Such people alone are entitled to be called Tirthas. As regards the method of taking the name (of God) in the Yajur Veda says:- "Taking the name of the Great God consists of performing great works of righteousness." YAJUR VEDA 32:3.

The nature, attributes and characteristics of God.
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God is called by a hundred different names (such as Brahma, Parameshwara, Ishwara, Niyaayakari, Dayalu, Sarvasshaktimaan, etc.) by virtue of possessing manifold nature, attributes and characteristics. He is called Brahma because He is the greatest of all. Parameshwara (Great God) because He is the Lord of the powerful, Ishwara because He is Almighty, Niyaayakaari (Just) because He is Just, never unjust, Dayaalu (Merciful) because He is Merciful to all, Sarvashaktimaan (Omnipotent) because He creates and sustains the world and resolves it into its elementary condition by His power alone and does not need the help of another being.

Vishnu because He pervades all and protects all. He is called Mahaadeva because He is the Lord of all devas - all material and spiritual objects that possess brilliant or useful properties as well as sages, seers and wise men.

Rudra because He is the cause of the dissolution of the world. Let a man, therefore, try to imbibe His virtues) i.e., to be like God in nature and attributes, etc.). Thus let him be great by the performance of great works let him be powerful among the powerful, let him augment his power, let him never commit a sinful act. Let him be kind to all. Let him perfect his means of progress. Let him develop technical arts and with their help, make different kinds of things. Let him do unto others as he would be done by. Let him

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protect all. Let him be learned amongst the learned. Let him diligently punish the wicked and protect the good. In short, molding one's nature, attributes and character in accordance with those of God alone constitutes the true method of taking His name.

Q. - "The Guru is Brahmaa, the Guru is Vishnu, the Guru is the Almighty Lord, the Guru is even Brahmaa (Great Lord); therefore, we bow unto the Guru." Is this kind of Guru-worship right? Is it right to drink the water in which his feet have been washed, to obey him in all things, to look upon him as Bavan (an incarnation of the Deity) if he be covetous, as Nara Singh (half man and half lion -incarnation of God) if he be wrathful, as Rama, if he be attached to worldly things, as Krishna, if he be sensual, never to lose faith in him commit whatever sin he may, to believe that every step one takes in going to see his guru or a saint (so-called holy person) is as meritorious as the performance of an Ashwamedha Yajna?

A. ~ No, it is not right. Brahmaa, Vishnu, Maheshewara and Paara-brahmaa are all names of God, the guru can never equal Him. This book (from which the verse quoted above has been culled), called Gurugitaa which teaches the great sanctity of the guru, is the work of some pope. It inculcates extremely popish practices. The true gurus are one's father, mother, tutor, and Atithis (altruistic teachers)

To serve them and acquire knowledge and culture from them is the duty of the children and pupils, but if a guru be covetous, worldly, sensual or possesses a nasty temper these men (i.e. the so-called gurus or holy men) should be left alone (but it is the duty of the king) to correct these men first by gentle admonition, if still intractable to inflict bodily punishments or ever to put them to death.

There is nothing wrong in punishing them, such men do not become gurus by virtue of possessing learning and other good qualities. They are false gurus who tie strings of beads around the necks of their (chelas) dupes, make marks on their foreheads called Tilakas, and teach mantras (mystic words), etc., quite opposed to the teachings of the Vedas.

They are not gurus but shepherds, because just as shepherds keep goats and sheep for the purpose of obtaining milk, etc., likewise these so-called gurus have male and female disciples (chelas and chelis) in order to strip them of their money with which they enjoy themselves. It is said of them by someone: "The greedy

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guru and the avaricious disciple play tricks with each other. They are drowned in the sea of misery (like those who try to cross the sea in a boat made of stone)." The Guru thinks that his male and female disciples are sure to give him something, whilst the latter thinks that even if the guru is of no other use he is good enough for swearing (falsely) by or for obtaining absolution from sins.

They are both selfish and embodiment of hypocrisy. They get drowned in the ocean of misery in this world like those who try to cross the sea in a boat made of stone. Fie on such gurus and disciples. Let no one associate with such persons, but whoever does so, will sink to the greatest depths of misery.

The imposture of these shepherd gurus is just like that of the Puranic priests. They are extremely selfish people. Those who have the good of the public at heart may have themselves to suffer, out never do they cease doing what is good for the world. Both the guru-mahatamya (doctrine of the sanctity of the person of the guru) and the Gurugita are the inventions of these immoral, wicked gurus.

Q. -

  1. "Vyasa is the author of the 18 Puranas. Whatever he has declared must certainly be held as authoritative."
  2. "Let a man learn the meaning of the Veda by the help of Itihas (historical books such as the Mahabharat) and the 18 Puranas as they are all in harmony with the teachings of the Veda."
  3. "In Pitrikarma (i.e., the ceremony in which oblations are offered to the manes of one's ancestors) let a man hear stories from the Purana and the Harivansh recited."
  4. "On the completion of an Ashwamedha Yana, let a man hear portions of the Purana recited on the 10th day."

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    5. "The Purana is the Veda as its teachings are in harmony with those of the Veda."

    6. "Itihas (History) and the Puranas are called the fifth Veda." SUTRAGRANTH.

These quotations conclusively prove that the Puranas are authoritative books, and once this is admitted, idol-worship and pilgrimage to sacred places are proved to be desirable, as both of them are inculcated by the Puranas.

A. ~ Had Vyasa been the author of the 18 Puranas, thee would not have been so many stories in them, as it appears from the perusal of his other works, such as his commentary on the Yoga Shastra, and the Vedanta Shastra, that he was a very truthful and righteous man of vast learning and a great Yogi. He could never have written such falsehood (as are recorded in the Puranas).

Those sectarians - so hostile to each other - who wrote the so-called Puranas (ancient books) such as the Bhagvat, which are in fact apocryphal and of recent origin, did not possess a particle of the noble qualities of Vyasa. It is not learned men like Vyasa who could write what is false and oppose to the Vedas and other true Shastras. It is the work of the selfish, ignorant and malevolent men.

Besides, Purana is not the name of such books s the Shiva Purana, since it is said in the Brahmanas and Sutra books:-
"Ithihas, Puana, Kalpa, Gatha, and Narashansi are five names given to the Brahman books.*

    They are called Itihas (history) as they record such events as the discussion between King Janak and the sage

* i.e., the Aittreya, Shatapatha, Sama and Gopatha.

Those who say that Vyasa had collected the Vedas are altogether wrong, since even his father (Parashara), grandfather (Shakti), and great-grand-father (Vaisishtha), and Brahma and other sages, who lived long before him, had read all the four Vedas; this would have been impossible, had it been Vyasa who collected them.

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  1. Yajnavalka. They are called Puranas (ancient) as they discuss such subjects as Cosmogony, Kalpa and because they discuss the power of the Vedic words and clearly demonstrate their true meaning, Gatha because they narrate stories by way of illustrating certain truths, Narashansi because they chronicle human acts - praiseworthy or otherwise.
  2. By the help of these (books) alone can the true meaning of the Vedic mantras be understood.
  3. Let a man hears something in praise of the learned.
  4. In this question also the same Brahman books are meant by the words Purana as the books written by Vyasa could possibly be recited after his birth (and never before this event), but is a fact even long before the birth of Vyasa expositions of the Vedas (Puranas), such as the Shrimad Bhagvat or the Shiv Purana, which are really of a very recent origin, and are replete with mythology and filthy stories.

When Vyasa read the Vedas and taught them to others and thereby disseminated their knowledge, he was named Veda Vyasa. Now Vyasa (in Sanskrit) means the diameter (of a circle) which is a line that passes right through the center of a circle from one end to the other Vyasa was called so, because he read and mastered all the four Vedas, from the Rig Veda to the Atharva Veda, and taught them to his pupils such as Shuka and Jaimini. Vyasa was his title only. His real name was Krishna Dwipayana.

The myth of the Hindu Puranas.
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Q. - Is everything that is said in the Puranas false? Is there nothing true in them?

A. ~ They are mostly false but there may be a thing here an there that is true, but that is taken from the Vedas and the Shastras, while that which is false is the invention of the popes. In the Shiva Purana, Shiva is described as the Lord of all, while Vishnu, Brahma, Indra, Ganesha, and Surya are spoken of as his servants, whilst in the Vishnu Purana, Vishnu has been held as the Supreme Spirit and

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Shiva and other gods, as his servants. Again, in Devi Purana, Devi Purana, Devi is described as the Supreme Deity and Shiva, Vishnu, and the like as her servants. In Ganesha Khand, Ganesh is called the Lord of all, while the other gods as the servants. Why! If this is not the invention of the sectarian priests, whose else could it be?

Such self-contradictions are not possible even in the writings of an ordinary man, to hold the first statement as true, the second naturally must be false, and if the second statement be held to be right, the third must be wrong, and if the third be considered a correct, all the rest must be incorrect.

Again, the Shiv Purana describes Shiva; the Vishnu Purana, Vishnu the Devi Purana, Devi; the Ganesh Khand, Ganesha; the Surya Puran, Surya; Vay Puran, Vayu, as the author of the creation and dissolution of the Universe and then each of them considers them as created beings. If the Pauranics (Hindus) were asked how the author of the creation, sustenance, and dissolution of the Universe could be created being and how a created being could be the First cause of the Universe, they would never be able to answer this objection.

Besides, the bodies of these beings must have been formed out of the matter composing the universe. When they form part of the created world and are localized, how can anyone of them be the author of the universe? Moreover, Cosmogony is described differently in the different Puranas and in a manner which is altogether impossible.

For instance, it's written in the Shiva Purana - "Shiva wiled 'Let me create the world.' "Thereupon he creates an expanse of water called Narayana from its navel sprang up a lotus plant, out of which issued forth Brahma who say that it was all water. He took a handful of water, looked at it and threw it back (into the ocean) which caused a bubble to rise from its surface. Out f this bubble came a man who addressed Brahma thus, "O My Son! Create the world." Brahma replied. " I am not your son, rather you are my son."

Thereupon they began to quarrel over it and continued fighting with each other on the surface of the water for one thousand years of the gods. Then Mahadeva began to think that as those whom he has sent forth to create the world were fighting with each other, he must adopt some method of settling this dispute. For this reason, he created out of them a bright linga, which immediately spread heavenward. Both were puzzled at its

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sight. They agreed that its beginning and end should be found out and he that returned first, after having discovered its limits, should be considered as the father, while the other who returned later or without having discovered its two ends as the son. Thereupon Vishnu assumed the form of a tortoise and went down, whilst Brahma embodied himself as a swan and flew upwards along with the linga. Both traveled for on thousand years (of the gods) at the same speed as the human mind and yet they could not fathom it.

Therefore, Brahma above and Vishnu below began to think that if the other came back sooner after having found its end he would have to become the son. Whilst Brahma was thinking in this strain, a cow and a tree, called Strychnos Potatorum descended down from above. Brahma asked them, "Whence have you come?" They replied that they have been traveling along that linga for one thousand years. Brahma enquired "Has this linga any limits?" they replied in the negative. The Brahma said to them, "Both of you accompany me and let the cow give evidence to the effect that she has been pouring milk over the head of the linga and let the tree say that it showered flowers over it, if you do this I shall take you to a resting-place."

They refused to give false evidence. This enraged Brahma and he cried, "If you refuse to give the desired evidence, I will reduce you to ashes (i.e., annihilate you) at once." This frightened them both and consequently, the promised to give the desired evidence. All of them began to descend and continued in their downward course until they got back to the place whence Brahma had started. Vishnu had already got back there. Brahma asked him if he had found the limits of the linga. Vishnu replied, "I have not been able to fathom it." Brahma, then, said, "But I have succeeded." Vishnu wanted him to produce his evidence.

Thereupon the cow and the StrychnosPotatorum tree gave evidence to the effect that they were both above the head of the linga. Upon this, a voice came out of the linga and cursed the tree saying, "Since thou hast told a lie, thy flowers shall never be offered to me or any other god in the whole world, and whosoever offers them shall be destroyed." It then cursed the cow saying, "Since thou hast uttered a lie with thy mouth thou shalt eat excrement with it and no one shall ever worship it. But in its stead, thy tail shall be worshipped." It also curses Brahma saying, "Since thou hast told a falsehood, thou shall not be worshipped anywhere in the world." It blessed Vishnu saying, "since thou hast spoken the truth, thou shalt be worshipped all

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over the world." After this, both (Brahma and Vishnu) glorified the linga. This highly pleased it and out came a man from the inside of the linga with tresses of hair twisted on the top of his head who said: " I sent you both to create the world, why have you been quarreling with each other." They replied, "How could we create the world without some material?" Thereupon Mahadeva took a ball of ashes out of his matted hair and gave it to them saying "Go forth and create the world out of this ball."

The authors of the Puranas should be asked where the bodies of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahadeva, the expanse of water, the lotus, the linga, the cow and the Strychnos Potatorum tree and the ball of ashes came from when even the primordial matter - atoms and the five subtle principles (Mahabhuts)* did not exist?" they could never answer this objection satisfactorily.

The story of Creation in the Bhagvat Purana.
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The story of Creation is given thus in the Bhagvat: -
A lotus came out of the navel of Visnu, And Brahma out of the lotus, Swayambhava out of the right big toe of Brahma's right foot and the queen Satyrupa out of his left great toe. Out of his forehead were born ten sons such as Rudra and Marichi who begot ten Prajapatis, whose thirteen daughters were married to Kashyapa. Out of these thirteen wives of Kashyapa, Diti gave birth to fiends, Danu to demons, Aditi to the sun, Vinata to birds, Kadru to snakes, Sharma to dogs, and jackals, etc., and others to elephants, horses, donkeys, buffaloes, grass, straw and trees such as acacia with thorns and all. Fie on you! O you senseless, idiotic author of the Bhagvat Puranana. What a shameless creature you were! You did not feel a bit of shame or hesitation in writing such falsehood! You became so utterly blind.

Human beings are, no doubt, the result of the union of the male and female reproductive elements of human parents but never animals, birds, snakes, etc. Such a thing is against the laws of nature as ordained by God is quite impossible; besides, how can there be any room for elephants, camels, lions, dogs, donkeys, and trees in the womb of a woman? Moreover, why did not the lions and the like animals, after their birth, eat up their own parents? How can it be possible for animals, birds, and trees to be born out of a human body?

It is a great pity that these people should have practiced such impostures as have kept the world in darkness and doubt even up to this day. These blind popes and their blind dupes hear and believe in such utterly false things. One wonders if they are even men! Oh! Why did not the writers of Bhagvat and other

* See Chapter 3 for further information on this subject.

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Puranas die in their mothers' wombs or as soon as they were born? Had the people (of India) been saved from the hands of these popes, they would have been spared the pain and suffering that they are afflicted with.

Q. - There can be no contrariety in these different versions of the Creation as the old proverb says, "Songs on marriage occasions are sung in praise of the person whose marriage it is." When the devotee praises Vishnu, he regards him as the All-mighty God, whist all other gods are treated as his servants; when he begins to glorify Shiva, he looks upon him as the Supreme Spirit and on all others as his attendants or slaves. Everything is possible with God. Even other than human beings can be produced by the sexual union of men and women if God wills it so. Behold! He has created the whole universe out of nothing by virtue of Maya. There is nothing that is impossible for him. He can do whatever he likes.

A. ~ O you simpletons! On marriage occasions you, no doubt, sing praises of the person who is to be married, but you never call him the greatest of all, nor belittle or revile others, nor regard him as the father of all. Now, pray tell us do not you popes leave behind even wheelers, fawners, and flunkeys in the art of flattery and storytelling? Whosoever you follow, you call him the lowest of all. What have you to do with truth, justice, and righteousness? You have your own selfish interests alone at heart.

Maya is only possible in man as he is very often deceitful and hypocritical. They alone can be called Mayavi. If it is true that animals, birds, snakes, trees, etc., were the offspring of Kashyapa and his thirteen wives at the beginning of Creation, why are they not produced in the same way in our time.

The order of creation we have described (in the 7th Chapter) is alone true. It seems that the pope having been misled by the following text of Shatapatha Brahman must have talked this nonsense. "Therefore, all this world was created by Kashyapa." Now "God is called Kashyapa because He is Pushyaka or Seer of all, in other words, witnesses the entire creation - animate and inanimate

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- the souls and their acts and clearly see all kinds of knowledge." NIRUKTA 2:2.
By the rule of Mahabhashya which says that "the first and last letters of a word change places with each other," P of Pashyaka* changes its place with k and becomes Kashyapa. Being ignorant of the true meaning of these texts, and (probably) intoxicated with Cannabis Indica decoction they (i.e., the authors of the Puranas) wasted their lives in writing what was opposed to the Laws of Nature.

The fallacies Markandeya Purana.
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In the Markandeya Puranam, in the section devoted to the goddess Durga, it is stated that out of the bodies of the gods issued forth light which formed a goddess who killed a demon called Mahishasura or Raktabija. A drop of blood fell from his body and the like demons were produced in such large numbers out of this drop of blood that the whole world was filled with them (i.e., Raktabijas). Again blood flowed from his body in such a large quantity that it actually formed a stream.

The book is full of similar other cock and bull stories. Now, where were the goddess Devi, her lion, and her army when the world became full of Raktabija demons? If you say that they were at a considerable distance from the goddess, the whole world was not then filled with Raktabijas. Had this been the case where would have been (room for) animals, birds, human beings, water, land, crocodiles, tortoises, fishes (big and small), plants and trees? One feels convinced that all these must have taken refuge in the house of the author of Durgapatha! What a wonderfully incredible story has he told whilst under the influence of Cannabis Indica!

Exposing the trickery of the Shrimad Bhagavat.
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Now we shall expose the trickery fallacies of what is called the Shrimad Bhagavat. Narayana (God) taught Bhagavata to Brahma in 4 verses thus: "earn thou, O Brahma, from me my highest and secret knowledge. It is also (highest) and hidden. It leads to the acquisition of righteousness and wealth, gratification of legitimate desires and attainment of Eternal Bliss."

When the knowledge was called Vijana (i.e. highest) why should it also have the qualifying word highest? When it has already been called a secret, it is a mere repetition to call it hidden also. When the verse which forms the basis of the book is

* Pashyaka literally means a seer.

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meaningless, why would not the whole book be the same? In the 2nd Chapter, Narayana blesses Brahma saying, "Thou shalt never be a victim to infatuation, either during Creation or Dissolution," but in the tenth Chapter, we find that Brahma through infatuation stole calves!! Now only one of these two contradictory statements can be true, while the other must be false or both may be false.

When you hold that there is no such thing as love, malice, anger, jealousy or pain to be found in heaven (Baikutha), why did Sanaka and others become angry at the gate of heaven. If anger was there, it was no heaven. Jaya and Vijaya being gate-keepers, were bound to obey their master's order and if they stopped Sanaka and others from entering the gate, what wrong did they do?

Being blameless, the could not be cursed, but a curse was pronounced against them, viz., "You shall fall on the earth." From the nature of the curse, it is clear there was no earth (land) there, but water, air, Agni and Akasha were probably there. What did the palace, its gate, and water, etc., then rest on?

Thereafter, Jaya and Vijaya glorified Sanakas and begged to be told when they would be allowed to enter heaven (Baikuntha). They were informed that if they worshipped Narayana through love, they would gain entrance into heaven in their seventh re-birth, but, if through malice, in there third re-birth.

Now it must be considered here that Jaya and Vijaya were the servants of Narayana, therefore, it was his duty to protect and help them. If a master were to allow his servants to be oppressed by others and do nothing to punish the oppressors, the consequence will be that everyone will trample on them.

It was incumbent on Naryana to reward Jaya and Vijaya for having discharged their duty faithfully, and punish Sanaka and others for having persisted in attempting a forcible entry into Biakuntha (heaven) and quarreled with his servants and cursed them. It would have been an act of justice on Narayan's part to have thrown Sanak, etc., instead of Jaya and Vijaya, to the earth. When there is such an utter lack of justice in Narayan/s kingdom, the more his devotees - called Vaishnavites - are ill-treated, the better it would be for them.

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Again, later on, it is said in the Bhagvat that after Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashypa were born, Hiranyaksha was killed by a boar (who was an incarnation of Vishnu)> this story is narrated thus. Hiranyaksha folded the earth like a mattress and made a pillow of it which he placed under his head and went to sleep. Vishnu incarnated himself as a boar and caught hold of the earth from under his head. This woke him and a duel between the two followed. The boar killed Hiranyaksha.

If the followers of the Bhagvat Purana were asked whether the earth was round or flat like a mattress, they would never be able to answer this question as they are enemies of the Science of Geography. Well! When Hiranyaksha rolled the earth into a pillow and placed it under his head, what did he himself sleep on and what did the boar walk on, since held the earth in his mouth?

What did they Hiranyaksha and the boar -stand on whilst fighting, as there was no other resting place? It seems that they must have fought on the chest of the pope who wrote this Bhagvat Purana, but then the question arises what did the pope lie on? Now, this is all like what happens when liars and gossipers meet each other. There is no end of idle talk, of telling tales and spinning yarns.

Now, as regards Hiranyakashyapa, his son Prahlada was a great devotee of Narayana. When his father sent to school, he would ask his teachers to write the word Rama on his slate. When his father heard about it, he asked him why he worshipped his (father's) enemy, the boy made no answer; he simply would not obey his father who, at last, had him tied hand and foot and pushed from the top of a mountain and thrown into a well but he wan not at all hurt. Thereupon his father had a red hot iron pillar heated in a fire and said to the boy "If your God Rama whom you worship be the true God you should not be burnt by embracing the pillar."

Prahlada made a start to embrace the pillar; doubt arose in the mind as to whether he would escape being burnt or not. Narayayana made rows of ants crawl on that pillar. That gave Prahlada heart, off he went and embraced the pillar which burst and man-lion came out of it who caught hold of his father and ripped his belly and then began to lick Prahlada lovingly and asked him to utter a wish. He requested that his father should be saved. The man-lion blessed him saying "Twenty-one of thy forefathers have been saved."

Now, this is another yarn like the previous ones. Let a man who recites Bhagvat or hears it read be thrown down a hill; if this

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story be true, he should reach the bottom unhurt. No Narayana will come to his help, the poor man will simple be hacked to pieces. Prahlada's father sent him to school, not what wrong did he do? That the boy was such an idiot that he wanted to leave off all studies and renounce the world (i.e., become a Vairagi).

Let him who holds it true that ants did crawl over the red-hot iron pillar and Prahlada was not burnt by touching it be placed in contact with a red-hot pillar; if the suffers no harm, we could believe that Prahlada might not have been burnt. Again, why was not the man-lion burnt?

Now did your Narayana forget that Sanak and others had been granted this boon that they would enter heaven in their third rebirth? According to the Bhagavata, Prahlada was only in the fourth generation from Brahma. The first was Brahma. He begot Kashyapa whose sons were Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashyapa. The latter begot Prahlada. To say then that twenty-one of Prahlada's forefathers were saved, when he had only three, is nothing short of idiocy.

Then the same Hiranyaskha and Hirayakashyapa were reborn as Ravana and Kumbhakaran and as Shishupala and Dantavakra. What became of the man lion's boon granted to Prahlada. Only idiots can hear or talk such nonsense and not men who are possessed of learning and wisdom.

It is written about Putana and Akrura that "Akrura on being sent by Kansa left Mathura in a carriage drawn by horses that ran as fast as the wind at sunrise and reached Gokula which is 4 miles distant from Mathura' at sunset." Now it seems that those horses must have been going round and round the author of Bhagvat., or the drivers lost their way and along with Kansa gone to sleep in the house of the author of the Bhagvat Purana.

The body of Putana, it is mentioned, was 8 miles broad and a good many miles long. Shri Krishna slew him and placed his body between Mathura and Gokul. Had this been true, both these towns, as well as this pope's house would have been buried (under his body). There is a story related to Ajamil which is altogether absurd. It runs as follows:-
Ajamil name his son Narayana at Narada's advice. When he was dying, he shouted for his son (by name). In came Narayana (God) instead of his son. Now did not Narayana know what was passing in Ajamil's mind, viz., that he was calling his son, not Him? If such be the Nama-mahatamya, i.e., if taking the name of the Lord to be such a meritorious act as

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evidenced by the above story, why does Narayana not come nowadays to free those, who take his name, of their misery and suffering? Why can prisoners not get their liberty by repeating His name?

In the like manner the dimensions of the Sumeru mountain given in the Bhagvat are quite at variance with the teaching of the Science of Astronomy. Oceans were caused by the tracks of the wheels of King Priyabrata's carriage. The earth was 2,450,000,000 miles in diameter. These and similar other stories are given in the Bhagvat. They are simply countless.

This book was made by Bobadeva whose brother Jayadeva wrote Gitagovind. He has written some verses in his book called Himadri to the effect that he was the author of shrimad Bhagvat. We had 3 leaves of that book with us, out of which the first one was lost. We have composed the following two verses of the same purport as those that were on the leaf that was lost. Whosoever cares to see the original verses should consult the Himadri.

"Prime Minister Himadri said to Pundit Bobadeva, I have no time to read your book called the Shrimad Bhagvat or hear it read. Please make a brief summary of it in verse so that by reading it I may be briefly acquainted with the story of the bhagvat." There were altogether 10 verses on the leaf that was lost. The following verses beginning with No. 11 that are giving below are all the composition of Bobadeva:-

    11. "��certainly the story of the Bhagvat, retold is as follows:- The five questions of Shaunaka and Sutas's answers (are given) in three (verses)." HIMADRI.

    12. questions and (the subject of) incarnations, Vyasa's disinclination for (writing) work, Narada's convincing speech supported by arguments and (an account of his) own birth.

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    13. Murder (of Arjuna's children) while asleep by Drona, protection of Paarikshaita while he was in his mother's womb by the Pandavas with arms, attainment of his position by Bhishmama, and Krishna's arrival at Dwarka.

    14. The birth of Parikshita, who had heard Bhagvat read, Dhritrashtra's going away, Krishna's shuffling off his moral coil and then the Pandvas' departure for the Himalayas (have all been described in the Bhagvat).

    15 Thus have 18 Chapters of the First Book of the Bhagvat been summarized in 18 padas* (of this summary) in consecutive order. The king (yudhishtra) renounced his extensive kingdom in which justice was meted out to all, etc.,**

This completes ( the summary of )Book 1."

Thus was a brief summary of the 12 Chapters of Bhagvat prepared by Pundit Bobadeva and given to the Prime Minister Himadri. Whosoever wants to see a detailed account of it should consult the book called Himadri.

* A pada is the fourth part of a verse.-Tr.
In the original these verses that are in Sanskrit have not been translated into Bhasha - the language win which the original is written. I have translated them into English directly from Sanskrit.

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The same kind of imposture has been practiced by the authors of the other Puranas.

Now the life-sketch of Krishna given in the Mahabharat is very good. His nature, attributes, character, and life-history are all like that of an apta (altruistic teacher). Nothing is written therein that would go to show that he committed any sinful act during his whole life, but the author of the Bhagvat has attributed to him as many vices and sinful practices as he could.

He has charged him falsely with the theft of milk, curd, and butter, etc., adultery with the female servant called Kubja, flirtation with other people's wives in the Ras mandal,* and many other vices like these. After reading this account of Krishna's life, the followers of other religions speak ill of him. Had there been no Bhagvat, great men like Krishna would not have been wrongly lowered in the estimation of the world.

In Shiva Purana, the linga has been spoken of as possessed of twelve lights. Now in this linga, there is not a trace of light, nor can it be seen at night without a lamp. All this is nothing but the trickery of the popes.

Q. - When the ability needed for studying the Vedas was lost, the Smritis were composed, and when the intellect was so weakened as to render men unfit to grasp the Smritis, the Shastras were made, and when the mental vigor diminished to such an extent that the people were unable to study the Shastraas, the Puranas were written. They are only meant for women and the Shudras, as they are denied the privilege of reading the Veda or hearing it read.

A. This quite wrong; mental power can only come from studying and teaching. Besides, all men have a right to read the Veda or hear it read. History bears testimony to it, as for instance it is written in the Chhandogya Upanishad that Gargee and other women of yore had read the Veda, and even Janshruti, a Shudra by birth, had studied the Veda under Raikyamuni.

Moreover, it is clearly written in the 2nd mantra of the 26th Chapter of the Yajur Veda that everyone irrespective of caste or sex, has a right to read the Veda or hear it read. Such being the case, why were not all those, who wrote false books, thereby led the people astray from

* This name is given to the circular dance of Krishna and the cow-herdess of Vrindavana. Tr.

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the study of the true books and ensnared them in their own nets to serve their selfish interests, the greatest sinners?

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"The man who resolves, to stick to the truth at all costs, steadily rises in virtues. When his virtues raise his reputation and prestige, he becomes all the more a devotee of truth. This devotion to truth becomes an unerring source of power and greatness." Swami Dayanand

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