First engagement

This is a philosophical debate between devotee from Vrindavan and myself. On the point if Ramesh baba is mayavadi or not. (Only for the philosophically inclined, reading time 10 minutes).

Devotee: I don’t think the video you showed of Ramesh Baba gives conclusive proof that he is a mayavadi. He was advising the devotees to deal with others as if they were dealing with Krishna. He didn’t say “I am Krishna.” The Supersoul is in everyone’s heart, we should deal with others carefully, in a way that’s Krishna conscious.

The soundbite you posted sounds like it could be something taken out of context. I want to hear more of the class before I’m convinced he’s a mayavadi.

By the way, I’m not endorsing Ramesh Baba, he’s not my guru. I’ve lived in Vrndavana for 7 years and I’ve never see him or met him. But we know he does many great services for Vrndavana Dhama and we respect him for that. I’ve never heard anyone say he’s a mayavadi so I’m surprised by your accusation. I didn’t feel your video proved it at all.

Hanuman Das:

जितने लोग हमसे डील करने आएंगे व्हो सब कृष्ण हैं ।
All those people who come to deal with us are all Krishna

उनसे बात करते समय यह याद रखो के यह कृष्ण हैं ।
Whilst conversing with them remember that this is Krishna

हम कृष्ण से बात करहें हैं। We are all talking with Krishnas

हम कृष्ण की सेवा करहें हैं।
We are all serving Krishnas

यह अगर भाव रखोगे तो तुमे जो फायदा होगा उसको सोच नहीं सकते।
If you keep this Bhava (consciousness) then you won’t be able to measure your gain

If that is not mayavada, I don’t know what is.

If some by some wild chance, mixed with wrong hindi translation could be explained as that I misunderstood something, he is still mayavadi.

Because he doesn’t have a guru. Krishna instructs us in the Bhagavad-gita to accept a guru. And he doesn’t have a guru. This means that he doesn’t care about Krishna’s instructions. Thinking himself equally smart or smarter than Krishna.

Devotee: if he doesn’t have guru, you can say that. call a spade a spade, but don’t slander someone for a fault they don’t have. it’s funny, i remember reading an old book by Satsvarupa Maharaja where he basically says the same thing as in your translation of the Ramesh Baba quote. the idea is to see Krishna in everyone, in all interactions, in all situations. I’ve sent the hindi text to a few hindi speaking friends.

If he is really a mayavadi, his preaching must be full of comments to show it. can’t you find something more convincing?

You are making a big accusation, it should be very very sure. you should be careful of Vaisnava aparadha. you have no license to make up faults of others and slander them. The quote you supplied is really unsatisfying and unconvincing because it can easily mean that one should see Krishna in everyone and in every situation, which is not at all wrong.

Got a message back from two native hindi speaking friends, both second initiated. they say the quote is inconclusive. i just sent the text without giving the name of the speaker..

see CC madhya lila chapter 4, there is an incident of an unknown small boy approaching Madhavendra Puri to give him milk. later it was revealed that the boy was Krishna, and Madhavendra Puri constructed a temple for Him.

There is a principle in Vedic culture to treat all as if Krishna has personally come. especially in Vrndavana, Krishna can come to test us in disguise at any time.

There is also the incident of a beautiful small girl giving sweet rice to Rupa Goswami. after Sanatana Goswami inquired, it was understood that the unknown girl was Radharani, and Sanatana chastised Rupa for taking service from Her.

thus, depending on the mood of the speaker, the quote that you’ve given can also be spoken by a Vaisnava, not only a mayavadi. Ramesh Baba is very famous in Vrndavana. after one of my Hindi-speaking friends told me that the quote is not necessarily mayavada, depending on the speaker, i told him that those words were spoken by Ramesh Baba. this friend of mine is a loyal ISKCON devotee for many years. he strongly rejected the idea that Ramesh Baba is a mayavadi. so you need much better evidence to establish your conclusion.

Hanuman das: Hindi friend of mine sent this to me and it definitely sounds like mayavada. Of course, Krishna can appear personally and give Madhavendra puri milk, however that doesn’t mean that we are all talking with Krishnas while we are in Vrindavan.

Please provide exact Satsvarupa quote.

I don’t care about your hindi friends.

When Prabhupāda says a woman can’t be diksa guru in the Suruci purport, many people find that inconclusive. And just because somebody is famous amongst ignorant people, that doesn’t make him bonafide.

Devotee: I’ve been asking around about Ramesh Baba this morning here in Vrndavana. none of our ISKCON devotees think he’s a mayavadi. you need better evidence.

i’m not saying that Ramesh Baba is bonafide or not. you called him a mayavadi, but you don’t have strong evidence to support this.

I don’t follow the logic on the female diksha guru purport in this regard. just because some people feel a purport is inconclusive on a separate point means that your conclusion on this point is correct even though you haven’t given good evidence?

“Of course, Krishna can appear personally and give Madhavendra puri milk, however that doesn’t mean that we are all talking with Krishnas.”

that’s not the point. the point is to deal with others as though one is dealing with Krishna. Krishna can come at any time to test you, someone you spoke to today might be Krishna in disguise to test you, you can’t be sure.

Hanuman Das: He didn’t say “deal with anybody as if they are Krishna”, he said everybody is Krishna.

Devotee: he said to have the bhava as though everyone is Krishna If you keep this Bhava (consciousness) then you won’t be able to measure your gain he’s not speaking tattva

Hanuman Das: Correct, he is not speaking Tattva, he is speaking nonsense. And he is sending his disciples to Croatia. Therefore, there will be war.

Devotee: you diminish your own authority when your main argument is based on a false assertion “Don’t think that the calf or the cows in Vrndavana is less than Krsna. No. They’re as good as Krsna. Ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhih [Bs. 5.37]. They are expansion of Krsna’s ananda-cinmaya-rasa. Krsna wants to play with the cows and calves. So He’s ananda-cinmaya. His spiritual potency appears as cows and calves. Therefore we see Krsna is embracing the calves and cows. He’s not embracing a material cow. He has nothing to do with material. Ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhih.” (Srila Prabhupada, speaking in Vrndavana; September 10, 1976)

Do you think the cows in Vrndavana are equal to Krishna? Srila Prabhupada is telling you to think like that. Is Srila Prabhupada preaching Mayavada philosophy? When I see cows in Vrndavana, i follow Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and consider them equal to Krishna. Am I a mayavadi?

Hanuman Das: Cows are “as good as Krishna”, but they are not Krishna. If Ramesh said that residents of Vrindavan are “as good as Krishna”, that wouldn’t be a problem. But he didn’t say that. He said they are Krishna. Which they are not. Yes, you are mayavadi if you consider cows equal to Krishna. They are Krishna’s servants. Ekala Isvara Krishna Devotee: so is Krishna’s servant less than Krishna? Hanuman Das: Pure Krishna’s servant is completely spiritual and is situated on the same spiritual level as Krishna but he is not Krishna.

Nobody is equal to Krishna. Krishna has qualities that nobody else has. Devotee: Don’t think that the calf or the cows in Vrndavana is less than Krsna. but you’re insisting that I should think that the cows are less than Krishna

Hanuman Das: They part of the of the spiritual Kingdom, where everything is spiritual, in that sense, they are same. But nobody else is Krishna except Krishna.

Devotee: So there is a sense in which they are the same and a sense in which they aren’t the same, is that your point?

Hanuman Das: Aham sarvasya prabhavah - Krishna is source of everything in both spiritual and material words. Cows included. Prabhupada never said, when we talk with with residents of Vrindavan, that we are talking with Krishnas (plural).

If you put it like that, it is mayavada. You can say, ‘they are worshipable because they are situated on the same spiritual level as Krishna’.

You can say “they are very much loved by Krishna, being situated on the highest level of love of God”.

But you can’t say “you are talking to Krishnas (plural)”. That is mayavada. There are no Krishnas (plural), there is only one Krishna.

Devotee: you can’t answer my question because you will defeat your own argument is there a sense in which cows are the same as Krishna and a sense in which they aren’t the same?

Hanuman Das: No, personally speaking, Krishna is person, and only Krishna is Krishna. Nobody else is Krishna. Exception is when Krishna expanded Himself into cowherd boys and cows. So, then, you could say, “We are talking with Krishnas”. But Brahma vimohana lila ended after one year. So, currently, in Vrindavan, it is not correct that everybody is Krishna. And that you are talking with Krishnas.

Devotee: he is talking about the bhava of amāninā mānadena from Madhya 13 of Caitanya Bhagavat, the case of Jagai and Madhai: 322. Please know that these two are now Vainavas. Please don’t see them as different from you. 323-324. Please hear My order. Anyone who respectfully offers food to these two persons lovingly places in Lord Krishna’s mouth the sweetest nectar in the countless universes. 325. Anyone who gives them even a small quantity of food, places nectar in Lord Krishn’s mouth. 326. However, anyone who mocks or offends them will be completely destroyed.” 327. Hearing the Lord’s words, the Vainavas wept with love. They bowed down before Jagai and Madhai.

Mayavada is the philosophy that brahman is under the influence of māyā, and all distinctions in brahman are illusory appearances only, as an effect of that influence of māyā.

Krishna actually is brahman, and paramātmā and therefore is all of us. That is eternally true. And we are him. That is also eternally true. But he is also eternally a distinct atma (individual), and so are we.

This view expressed by Ramesh Baba is quite amenable to siddhānta

It would become antithetical to śāstra if an additional conclusion were made that this is ALL krishna is. He is only his expanded manifestation. That is antithetical to śāstra. He is his manifestation and also is a distinct individual. All this is clear in Gītā chapter 7, and 9.

sorry, Prabhu, your case that Ramesh Baba is a mayavadi is non existent.

Hanuman Das: Sorry, prabhu, you are ignorant about vaisnava siddhanta, my wife is not Krishna, my friends are not Krishna, residents of Vrindavan are not Krishna. You are misquoting. “Please don’t see them as different from you.” Jagai and Madhai are non different from Krishna in the sense the are devotees.

Devotee: achintya-bheda-abheda tattva reconciles the mystery that God is simultaneously “one with and different from His creation”.

Hanuman Das: Ramesh baba didn’t say, “You are talking with Vrindavan residents who are non different from Krishna.” He said: “You are talking to Krishnas”. Which is nonsense. So, you are Krishna and I am Krishna, why are we having this discussion? Devotee: I understand that you don’t like his preaching and don’t want his influence in ISKCON, but if you want to say he’s a mayavadi, you need a better case

Hanuman Das: That may be so. I’ll publish our conversation so that everybody can decide for themselves if I have case of not. I will remove your name from the conversation.

Devotee: yes, sure. in any case, i’m interested in truth. our passion to protect Prabhupada’s movement shouldn’t cloud our conception of philosophy

Hanuman Das: Bottom line, worst case scenario, he is guruless sahajiya, or he is guruless sahajiya mayavadi, I don’t really care, I will reduce his influence in Croatia to zero.

Devotee: Everyone knows he has no guru, he says Radharani is his guru, this is common knowledge that everyone knows

Hanuman Das: Just as Sacinandana Swami and his disciples are putting Ramesh up, I will put him down, where he belongs. Yes. My name is Citralekha. Internally.

Devotee: but your assertion that he is a mayavadi is news to people.

Hanuman Das: And I say Radharani is not his guru. He is mayavadi, because residents of Vrindavan are not Krishna. Especially those who have eye sight problem and need to come to “eye camp”. Krishna is never diseased. And He doesn’t need to come to eye camp to cure himself. So, we are not serving Krishnas at eye camp. And we are not talking to Krishnas.

Devotee: He is not famous for his katha, he is famous for dhama seva. he has such a big goshalla, with 20,000 cows or so, ISKCON Vrndavana used to source milk from his goshalla. ISKCON Vrndavana goshalla only has a few hundred cows, and there is never enough milk from our own goshalla to serve the Deities on the altar.

Hanuman Das: I don’t mind him as tree planter and Yamuna preserver environmentalist. I am ok with that. But he is not somebody who should we associate with, neither him, nor his followers.

Devotee: He’s been the strongest in fighting for the purity of the yamuna

Hanuman Das: And I say Radharani is not his guru. He is mayavadi, because residents of Vrindavan are not Krishna. Especially those who have eye sight problem and need to come to “eye camp”. Krishna is never diseased. And He doesn’t need to come to eye camp to cure Himself. So, we are not serving Krishnas at eye camp. And we are not talking to Krishnas.

Devotee: When his disciples come to Croatia, do they give class, or mostly sing?

Hanuman Das: Their singing is also poison.

Devotee: i was at a program with their group in america about 7-8 years ago and they just sang and told sweet stories, nothing controversial

Hanuman Das: Prabhupada explicitly told us not to associate with them. So, why disobey Prabhupada and imagine your own process. Lecture is not only association, singing bhajans together is also association. Letter to: Gurudasa, London, 11 August, 1971: I understand that you have been invited by Syama Dasi in Africa. I don’t advise that you associate with her because she is sahajiya. To associate with her will hamper pure devotional service. Anything not clear? Srila Prabhupada didn’t say, you can sign bhajans with Syama dasi but do not hear her lecture. He said “don’t associate with her”.

Devotee: fine. the main question for me is whether Ramesh Baba really spoke mayavada philosophy in your video

Hanuman Das: Yes. Let us leave to to our audience. You gave all your quotes. I give my quotes. I think it was interesting discussion.

This article originally appeared on Lasting Impression website

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