by reciprocal arrangement with Star of Mysore
Mysore, Feb 14: It would be beneficial if the people became aware of the scientific principles behind many miracles performed by different classes of individuals, including much accepted Godmen and Godwomen.
Having understood the manner of performing miracles, it is left to the individual to believe and have faith in them. Such faiths may be harmless but it is hard to draw a line opined Dr. Narendra Nayak, a rationalist.
He was delivering a talk on the subject Science behind miracles in the monthly lecture programme sponsored by N. Ranga Rao Group at its Ranga Jnana Vinimaya Kendra on Vani Vilas Road here on Thursday before the members of the Kendra and invitees. Science writer Prof. G.T. Narayana Rao was among the audience.
The speaker, at the outset pointed out that miracles and those who practised them had nothing to do with any particular religion.
Education in its true sense was missing in our country, Dr. Nayak observed, adding that no one questions any unusual phenomena such as miracles performed in public places. Power of reasoning in case of most people had gone overboard, he added. It was common to see even persons with degrees and in high positions accepting miracles and extending their staunch support, he remarked.
He had chosen a few among the Godmen and Godwomen for demonstrating their common miracles only because they were at the top of the pyramid, the speaker said.
He invited members of the audience during his live demonstration of a few of the common miracles.
Sleight of hand, eloquence in speech and a large following of believers that conferred an aura were the main factors for the miracle makers to get accepted by the majority of people, Dr. Nayak argued. He showed a few footages of selected Godmen performing their miracles before their followers including one produced by Doordarshan TV channel.
Out of Nowhere
Pointing out that materials could not be got out of nowhere, he explained that producing ash or a locket or a gold chain in the palm was all by sleight of hand and using certain specially made means such as a skin-coloured artificial thumb.
Turning the colour of the palm to red was done using the common laboratory reagent phenol-phthalene, which reacted thus with a common alkali like lime (Calcium hydroxide) Dr. Nayak explained.
Burning camphor in one's palm or one's tongue was harmless although it captures one's mind, he stated, explaining that the piece of camphor was thick enough, preventing heat at its base. Similarly, moving the stick with flame at its end across one's forearm would not hurt because the heat is only at the tip of the flame and not at its base. Events which appeared more dramatic (such as fire with camphor or kerosene) were easier to show and more impressive, he explained.
He demonstrated how a Shivalinga could be taken out of one's mouth by diverting the attention of the onlookers but actually first swallowing it.
If a person wanted to believe in miracles and have faith in persons who do such miracles, then nobody can stop such a person, Dr. Nayak opined. Convenor of the lecture programme Srimathi Hariprasad.