Chaitanya-deva is said to have told Sarvabhauma at Puri – I understand the Brahmasutras, they are dualistic; but the commentator makes them monistic, which I don’t understand.” Is this true? Chaitanya-dev had a dispute with Prakashananda Sarasvati on the point, and Chaitanya-deva won.
Answer by Niraj Bidawatka:
Yes. It is true that Chaintanya Mahaprabhu summarily defeated Prakashananda Saraswati, who was a mayavadi sannyasi, or monist. The entire account of this episode is discussed in the Chaitanya Charitamrita, written by Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami.
Prakashananda Saraswati, a renowned mayavadi sannyasi and scholar of Banares, heard that one young sannyasi called Krishna Chaitanya had arrived in Benares and was chanting Hare Krishna and dancing like a mad man. So a luncheon meeting was arranged between Prakashananda and Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Prakashananda advised Lord Chaitanyadeva that such chanting and dancing on the streets does not befit a sannyasi. He said that the duty of a sannyasi is to study the vedanta-sutras.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied that, “My Spiritual Master, seeing me as a fool, directed me to simply chant Hare Krishna. He told me that ‘You are not qualified to understand the Vedanta philosophy, and therefore you must chant the holy name of Krishna because this holy name is the essence of all Vedanta philosophy.”
Then, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu elaborately explained the glories of the holy name and also explained about the real vedanta philosophy. The Lord completely defeated Prakashananda’s false monistic understanding of the vedanta sutra, which made Prakashananda Saraswati surrender unto the lotus feet of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
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