Madhvacharya Life History:
Madhvacarya was born in 1238 AD to a Brahmin Family in Karnataka State. His father’s name was Naddantillaya, and his Mother Vedavati and the family follow the Vaishnavite Brahmin traditions. At first, he was named Vasudeva, later famous as Purnaprajana and finally, Madhvacarya. At the very early age of seven, his parents celebrated the Upanayana, and he became a monk in his teenage. He was very interested in reading the Hindu epics and wanted to know the concepts of Hindu Upanishads. So he went to Dwaraka in Gujarat and accepted Chyutrapreksha as his Guru. Under the guidance of Chyutrapreksha, he studied the Advaita literature and Upanishads.
However, he didn’t convince the dual principles and philosophy of ‘God and the human soul’ to be the same. He frequently argued with his Guru on the concept of non-dualism. Then he thought of finding a new path ideal for society. So he left the monastery and started the Dvaita movements on the central idea of God and the Human Soul was different. Later, the movement became a solid and admirable philosophy in the Bhakti Movement.
Madhvacharya Founded Dvaita Philosophy
He founded the Dvaita School of Vedanta and called the philosophy ‘Tattvavada’. Madhvacharya studied Hindu Philosophy thoroughly and wrote his ideas with different aspects. He also profoundly studied the Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and Brahman Sutras. His analysis of these holy books was written in the Sanskrit Language as 37 books. These books are famous as Anuvyakhyana, composed in a poetic version. His devotees believed him; he was the incarnation of Veda Vyasa.
Influence on Bhakti Movement
His ideas were different to Adi Shankara’s Advaita Vedanta. Ramanuja’s philosophy is also different to the concepts of Madvacarya. The monk Madvacarya travelled through India several times to evolute the philosophy of Dvaita Vedanta. During his journey, he visited Hindu holy places and Hindu learning centres to debate with the philosophers. In 1285 AD, he established the Krishna Mutt at Udupi with the murti of Lord Krishna. He influenced Bhakti Movement with the concept of Vishishtadvaita. His Dvaita Vedanta is strongly influenced by the other two philosophies of Adi Shankara Charya and Ramanuja’s philosophy. His disciples Jayatirtha, Vadiraja Tirtha, Raghavendra Tirtha and Vyasatirth have spread the philosophy of Dvaita Vedanta.
Madhvacharya Established Udupi Ashta mathas
He established mathas in various places in Udupi and is famous as Udupi ashta mathas. Another 24 mathas also found throughout India. These mathas surrounded by the Hindu Temple of Anantheswara Krishna. The temples were constructed on a square grid pattern. The monks in the temple learned the Paryaya system introduced by Madhvacharya. The monks follow the sannyasa system and preach the principles of the Dvaita philosophy. The main pontiff of the ashrams leads Krishna prayers daily according to the tradition of Madhva philosophy. All the monasteries follow the rules and rituals which Madhvacharya wrote in Tantrasara.
In the monasteries, the monks serve food to all the visitors, pilgrims and starving people without discrimination.
All his literary works guided the followers of Dvaita philosophy, and he died in 1317 AD in Udipi. Still, his thoughts and philosophical principles influenced the path of Vaishnava Bhakti.