In this concluding article of a 3-part series, Vani Rao tells us about Madhvacharya’s works, disciples and his last days.
Acharya’s works are known as “Sarvamoola Granthas” as they include every aspect of the Shastras like Veda, Puraana, Upanishads, Itihaasa, Tantra, Prakarana etc.
The Sarvamoola Granthas consist of Sutra Prasthaana, Gita Prasthaana, Upanishad Prasthaana, Shruthi Prashtaana, PrakaraNa Granthas, Itihaasa Prasthaana, Puraana Prasthaana, Achara Granthas and Stotra Granthas.
His Last Days
Madhvacharya had to face a lot of opposition due to his preaching which were quite opposite to established norms of worship and belief. Tradition exists that his commentaries (on palm leaf books) were stolen and destroyed. There is a story depicting his fearlessness in crossing a flooded river, facing armed robbers in a forest and a Muslim king who had no sympathy towards Hindu monks. He spoke to the sultan in Persian, convincing him that his Allah and his own Narayana are one and the same. Madhwa said to the sultan”We are all citizens of His Kingdom.”
At the age of 79, the Acharya left for his final pilgrimage from Udupi to Badari–never to be seen again. Legend has it that one of his disciples could not bear to be away from him and went on following him even after he reached Badari, Acharya waved his hand and ordered him to return, and a strong gust of wind blew the disciple away and he landed at the base camp where the other disciples were stationed.
Madhva Navami is observed in his memory, as his birthday. The temple town of Udupi bears Madhva’s memory at every step with eight Mathas and innumerable followers, who throng everyday throughout the year.
Some prominent disciples from Guru Parampara (Not in Chronological Order):
• Sri Akshyobhya Teertha
• Sri Narahari Teertha
• Sri Padmanabha Teertha
• Sri Raghuttama Teertha
• Sri Paada Raja
• Sri Vyaasa Teertha
• Sri Sudheendra Teertha
• Sri Raghavendra Teertha
• Sri Madhava Teertha
Madhvacharya was also known as
• Vasudeva, as named by his parents
• Poornaprajnya (One who knows everything), named after attaining sainthood
• Anandateertha, (One who brings bliss through his preachings)
The name ‘Madhvacharya’ was not given to him by anyone but it comes from the vedas. There is a hymn in the vedas called ‘Balitthaa Sookta’ where the term ‘Madhva’ has been used to refer to ‘Mukhya Praana.’
Sri Swami Sivananda in his essay ‘Madhva’, writes thus: Renunciation, devotion and direct cognition of the Lord through meditation lead to the attainment of salvation. The aspirant should equip himself with the study of the Vedas, control of the senses, dispassion and perfect self-surrender, if he wants to have the vision of the Lord. These are some of the important teachings of Madhvacharya, the renowned exponent of the dualistic school of philosophy.