Recently, a friend told me that A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada before having founded ISKCON, had a debate with Swami Chinmayananda, who later founded the Chinmaya Mission. However, I haven't been able to find any evidence of such a debate taking place either. So is there any evidence of such a debate taking place? Did Srila Prabhupada or Swami Chinmayananda ever mention of such a debate taking place? Also, what was the outcome of such a debate?

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    This doesnt sound like anything that would even be remotely true. Read Swami Chinmayananda's Satsang question and answers. He has answered every single question with such clarity. I dont believe this dialogue ever took place. I dont think either enlightened beings were interested in any debate..
    – Jay Murthy
    Mar 26, 2018 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


As far as I can tell, Srila Prabhupada and Swami Chinmayananda never had a debate. However Srila Prabhupada once invited Swami Chinmayananda to a debate over whether the latter was an Avatara, but was turned down, as described by Sri Nathji Dasa, who was initially a follower of Swami Chinmayananda and then became a follower of Srila Prabhupada:

Eventually Prabhupada asked me to invite Chinmayananda Swami to come and have a debate. I asked Prabhupada, "What point shall we debate?" Prabhupada said, "We shall debate whether Chinmayananda Swami will lift Govardhan Hill or not. If he's God, he should be able to do that. God did it. If he knows what's in my mind and everybody's mind, then he's God. He's Paramatma. But if he only knows about his own body, and that too not fully, he's just another human being who's trying to cheat God and trying to cheat everyone else." I told Chinmayananda Swami, "Are you prepared to have this debate? It'll resolve this awful doubt I have now as to which of you two are the real spiritual master." But Chinmayananda Swami refused. I asked Chinmayananda Swami, "Can you please tell me whether you can know what's in the minds of everyone? God knows what's going on in everyone's mind. Can you do that? For instance, if I sat down now and thought about something would you be able to write down what I was thinking about?" He said "No. I am not a mind-reader." I said, "No, no. I am not talking about reading minds. If you are really at an elevated level where you are one with God, then it's like you've plugged yourself into a computer that has so many facts. You should be able to retrieve information." He couldn't do it. Then I surrendered to Prabhupada. I became his driver.


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