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Madhwaachaarya - Dwaitvaad
1236-1300 AD = 64 yrs

In the 8th century AD, Shankaraachaarya propounded his theory of non-Dualism (A-Dwaitvaad) with which many thinkers were dissatisfied. 200 years later, Raamaanuj came up with the theory of Qualified non-Dualism (Vishisht A-Dwaitvaad) which partly accepted Shankar's theory. Another 200 years later, came Madhwaa who completely disagreed with Shankar and proposed the theory of Dualism (Dwaitvaad).

Madhwa was born in a Kannad-speaking family, near Udipee approximately 20 miles north of Mangalore. He was said to be a prodigy. He was born to a Braahman called Madhyageh Bhatt, and had the name Vaasudev as a child. He took Sanyaas at the age of eleven, he was given the name Aanand Teerth by his Guru Akshobhya Teerth. The reason he is referred to as Madhwaa is that he is universally recognized, even by his opponents, as the third Avataar of Mukhya Praan, also known as Vaayu, as referred to in the Balittha Sookt of the Rig Ved. The first two Avataar are as Hanumaan and Bheemsen, and the third is Madhwaa, who came down to earth as a Sanyaasee, in order to avoid decimating the forces of evil (as he had done on the previous two occasions, and as he would have done again if he were not a Sanyaasee) and thus upsetting Kali Yug which has been ordained by the Lord as a time when the forces of evil rule, and to re-establish the true Vedaant which had suffered grieviously from the assaults of the Bauddh and Prachchhann-Bauddh doctrines.

As he grew up he wrote his commentary on Geetaa and his own translation of Baadaraayan's Vedaant Sootra. Madhwa strongly opposed the stand of Shankar, saying that God is Supreme and is the cause of the world and yet human soul (Jeev) is also real and apart from the Supreme Soul. Although he had a good argument, he was not as good in preaching it as Shankar was.

One unquestionable contribution of Madhwa doctrine is the sterling footing on which his logic is based. His work "Pramaan Lakshan" is undoubtedly a work of the greatest importance in logic. He does not ever use a term loosely, or without adequate definition - indeed, his concept of a definition "Lakshya Maatra vyaapako dharmo lakshanam" is better than that found in any other branch of philosophy. None of his claims is made without a Pramaan, and unlike Shankar, he does not claim to accept the Ved as scriptural authority and then denigrate most of them as "A-Tattwaavedak." In fact, Shankar's claim is that all the Ved are of two kinds - Tattwaavedak (telling the truth) and A-Tattwaavedak (telling falsehoods). So if the Ved were to contain just even one falsehood in them somewhere, the whole of them would be useless to us as scripture. This is called the mathematical standard of scriptural accuracy which Madhwaa accepts but Shankar conveniently does not. In fact, Shankar's claim that some of the statements in the Ved are Mahaa-Vaakya and the rest are Alpa-Vaakya.

Madhwaa has written commentary on Mahaabhaarat as "Mahaabhaarat Taatparya Nirnaya".

It is believed that Madhwaaachaarya, visited Kuru Kshetra around 1250 AD. During his visit he dug-up a certain piece of land here and found the mace (club or Gadaa) used by Bheem. Later after showing this to his disciples he again kept it back to the place where Bheem had originally kept it after the battle.

An Event of Madhwaachaarya's Life
It is said that once Madhwaachaarya started Gayatri Saadhanaa. He did it for 12 years but he did not see any effect of it. When he told this to somebody, he advised him to do Saadhanaa of Bhairav Ji. So Madhwaa started to do Bhairav Saaadhanaa. After some time he heard the voice of Bhairav Jee - "Putra, Your Saadhanaa is completed, ask what do you want to ask?" Madhwaa said - "Who are you speaking? Come in front of me in person so that I can see you." Bhairav Jee said - "I cannot come in front of you, because after you have done Gayatri Saadhanaa there is so much light in you that I cannot face it. But I can say this much that your Gayatri Saadhanaa has not gone waste. It has succeeded to destroy your last 12 lives' sins. If you do Gayatri Saadhanaa for 2 years more than Gayatri Maa will surely be pleased with you and appear before you to bless you." Bhairav further said - "Gayatri first destroys the effect of past actions, then it creates the land for itself." So Madhwaachaarya Jee again got busy in continuing his Gayatri Saadhanaa. After 2 years, Gayatri Maa appeared before him and blessed him with his desired boon.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 10/20/12