While in Maharashtra in 1981 participating in the Vijnan Yatra, giving about 400 lecture demonstrations in 3 phases, while at Kolhapur, I was to confront one godman "DATTA BAL" about whose psychic powers I had read in the News Papers. His tour in United States was published wherein he claimed to have met Uri Geller who claimed to bend spoons and keys by his mental power. It was published that while Uri showed his mental power by breaking a spoon, Datta Ball proved his divinity when plants recognising his godhood, bowed down to him in veneration. It was on this miracle that I was to confront him.

I had writtin earlier to Mr. Datta Bal about my visit to Kolhappur. At Kolhapur when I requested my host to take me to his ashram I was informed that this god had died ten days earlier of cirrhosis of the liver. Datta Bal was calling himself as the most scientific Incarnation of God being a science graduate. He also had his own Daily News Paper to advertise himself.

The brother of Datta Bal attended the Press conference held for interviewing me and the conference was turning into a lecture by Datta Bal's brother. After asking questions and when I was trying to answer him, he was interrupting me with further lectures. I had to stop him from interfering me and asked him to write his questions on a piece of paper so that I could answer them which he could accept or reject. But not to turn the press conference into a debate. And if he wanted a debate to arrange a seperate debating session.

I explained to the Press the trick behind the plants bowing to Datta Bal. The plants were susceptible to anesthetics and droop their heads if a minute quantity of Ethelene Chloride was sprayed on the branches and the drooping of the branches had nothing to do with the divinity or god-hood of Datta Bal.

Similarly I had heard about the miracle of eagles (Garuda said to be the Vahana of Vishnu the first god of the Trinity) coming to the temple at Tiruparakundram exactly at 12 noon to partake of the food offering to the god. This was considered to be a great miracle. In 1954 I visited the temple to investigate into this miracle. It was found that these eagles were trained ones. The eagles or the animals were caught and fed with a little of opium in their food exactly at 12 noon and when they get addicted to opium let off. Then every day at the exact time they come to the same place to eat the opium food. If they do not get the opium, you should see how they worry the priest for the opium mixed food! Similarly the heads of the Dargah are using anesthetics. Naturally even if the scorpions hear a sound or vibration, they raise their tails to sting. If you observe the photos on the cover where a muslim is keeping the scorpion near his eyes and a girl on her hands, you will find that they are lying unconscious. In the name of miracle that the scorpions in the Dargah won't sting, they have used some anesthetics to make them unconscious. Some time back a Muslim Science Professor wrote to me about this miracle and asked me if we had investigated the same. The question is whether if we bring our own scorpions or snakes to the dargah, whether they would bite or sting persons if they take them in their hands or place them on their body. I had written to the Science Professor to get me permission to do this. I am waiting for the permission of the Dargah Trustees.

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Last update: 21 July 1998