Purnaprajna das was born as Robert William Carol, the son of Jonas Carol and Florence, on September 22, 1945. He was the only boy, having two sisters eight and ten years older. Jonas worked for the Food and Drug Administration in Washington D. C. as a pharmaceutical chemist. At the end of his career he was the division chief and had made advances in the field of spectrophotometry.
Robert attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, receiving a BA in sociology. Soon thereafter he came in contact with the devotees of ISKCON in Boston, and after reading Srila Prabhupada’s Reservoir of Pleasure became convinced that Krishna consciousness was life’s ultimate goal. He had married a fellow student, Christine A. Polak, at the end of his college days and in September of 1970 he moved into the ISKCON temple in Boston.
In April of 1972 he went to India, and there he became the head pujari of the Calcutta ISKCON temple, serving from 1972 until 1979. Thereafter, he resided in the ISKCON temple at Juhu in Bombay and there he began his life’s work of writing simple English versions of Sanskrit Vaisnava literatures. His real life’s ambition is to convince the intelligent people of the world that the eternal self is completely distinct from the organism that is the body. This subject is discussed in the book Simple Truth.