TEXT 104
prakasananda sripada sabhate vasiya
'vedanta' padana bahu sisya-gana lana
SYNONYMS
prakasanandaPrakasananda; sripada—a great sannyasi; sabhate—in the assembly; vasiya—sitting down; vedantaVedanta philosophy; padana—instructs; bahu—many; sisya-gana—disciples; lana—taking.
TRANSLATION
There was a great Mayavadi sannyasi named Prakasananda Sarasvati who used to teach Vedanta philosophy to a great assembly of followers.
PURPORT
Sripada Prakasananda Sarasvati was a Mayavadi sannyasi, and his characteristics have been described in Caitanya-bhagavata (Madhya-khanda Chapter Three):
'hasta', 'pada', 'mukha' mora nahika 'locana'
veda more ei-mata kare vidambana
kasite padaya veta 'prakasa-ananda'
sei veta kare mora anga khanda-khanda
vakhanaye veda, mora vigraha na mane
sarvange ha-ila kustha, tabu nahi jane
sarva-yajnamaya mora ye-anga--pavitra
'aja', 'bhava' adi gaya yanhara caritra
'punya' pavitrata paya ye-anga-parase
taha 'mithya' bale veta kemana sahase
In the Madhya-khanda, Chapter Twenty, it is said:
sannyasi 'prakasananda' vasaye kasite
more khanda-khanda veta kare bhala-mate
padaya 'vedanta', mora 'vigraha' na mane
kustha karailun ange, tabu nahi jane
'satya' mora 'lila-karma', 'satya' mora 'sthana'
iha 'mithya' bale, more kare khan-khan
Prakasananda Sarasvati used to explain impersonalism, the Absolute Truth, as being without hands, legs, mouths or eyes. In this way he used to cheat the people by denying the personal form of the Lord. Such a foolish person was Prakasananda Sarasvati, whose only business was to sever the limbs of the Lord by proving the Lord impersonal. Although the Lord has form, Prakasananda Sarasvati was attempting to cut off the hands and legs of the Lord. This is the business of demons. The Vedas state that people who do not accept the Lord's form are rascals. The form of the Lord is factual, for Krsna states in Bhagavad-gita (15.15): vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah. When Krsna says aham, He says "I am," which means "I," the person. He adds the word eva, which is used for conclusive verification. It is by Vedanta philosophy that one has to know the Supreme Person. Whoever describes Vedic knowledge as impersonal is a demon. One becomes successful in life by worshiping the form of the Lord. The Mayavadi sannyasis deny the form of the Lord, which delivers all fallen souls. Indeed, this form is cut to pieces by Mayavadi demons.
The Personality of Godhead is worshiped by exalted demigods like Lord Brahma and Lord Siva. The original Mayavadi sannyasi, Sankaracarya, also accepted the fact that the Lord's form is transcendental. Narayanah paro 'vyaktat: "Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is beyond the avyakta, the unmanifested material energy." Avyaktad anda-sambhavah: "This material world is a creation of that unmanifested material energy." However, Narayana has His own eternal form, which is not created by material energy. Simply by worshiping the form of the Lord, one is purified. However, Mayavadi sannyasis are impersonalist philosophers, and they describe the form of the Lord as maya, or false. How can one be purified by worshiping something false? Mayavadi philosophers have no sufficient reason for being impersonalists. They blindly follow a principle that cannot be supported by reason or argument. This was the situation with Prakasananda Sarasvati, the chief Mayavadi sannyasi of Benares. He was supposed to teach Vedanta philosophy, but he would not accept the form of the Lord; therefore he was attacked with leprosy. Nonetheless, he continued to commit sins by describing the Absolute Truth as impersonal. The Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, always displays pastimes and activities, but Mayavadi sannyasis claim that these activities are false.
Some people falsely claim that Prakasananda Sarasvati later became known as Prabodhananda Sarasvati, but this is not a fact. Prabodhananda Sarasvati was the uncle and spiritual master of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. In his grhastha life, Prabodhananda Sarasvati was a resident of Sri Ranga-ksetra, and he belonged to the Vaisnava Ramanuja-sampradaya. It is a mistake to consider Prakasananda Sarasvati and Prabodhananda Sarasvati the same man.

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