Jagatgurus in Kaliyuga – Part 2

The Jagatgurus continue to inspire us and guide us in our pursuit of dharma

Jagatgurus in Kaliyuga – Part 2

Jagatguru Shri Ramanujacharya

विष्णोर्विश्वेश्वरस्य प्रवरशयनकृत्सर्वलोकैकधर्ता सोऽनन्तः सर्वभूतः पृथुविमलयशाः सर्ववेदैश्च वेद्यः । पाता विश्वस्य शश्वत्सकलसुररिपुध्वंसनः पापहन्ता सर्वज्ञः सर्वसाक्षी सकलविषभयात् पातु भोगीश्वरो नः ।।७।।
May the Lord of serpents, Anantha, who acts as an exalted bed for Vishnu, the Lord of the universe, protect us from the fear of all types of poison. He is the sole bearer of all the worlds, and has become everything. His glory is vast and unsullied. He is the one who has to be known through all the Vedas. He is the eternal protector of the universe. He is the destroyer of all enemies and all sins. He is omniscient and omnipresent.
To inspire people of Bharatvarsha(भारतवर्ष) on the all-auspicious path of devotion, Shri Ananta incarnated on this earth as Shri Ramanujacharya.

Early Life and Guru Diksha

In ancient times in Sri Perumbadur(श्रीपेरम्बदूर), whose ancient name is Mahabhutapuri(महाभूतपुरी), a pious Brahman Asurikeshavacharya Dikshit(a Yajurvedi Brahman) used to live with his wife Kantimati(कान्तिमति) who was the sister of Shri Shailpurna(श्रीशैलपूर्ण) and the disciple of great Shri Yamunacharya(श्रीयमुनाचार्य).
After years of marriage, they could not bear a child so they decided to do a yajna and pray to Sri Parthasarathy Swami of Thiruvallikeni(its ancient name is Vrindaranya) for getting blessed with a child.
They visited Thiruvallikeni and near the temple of Shri Parthasarathy Swami on the banks of pond Kumud Sarovar, they performed the yajna(यज्ञ). Pleased with the devotion and yajna of the couple, Shri Parthasarathy Swami appeared in the dream of Shri Asurikeshavacharya and blessed them. The Lord told them that the divine will take birth as their child and show this world path of devotion(भक्ति).
After a year in 1017 CE, on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of Chaitra(चैत्र शुक्ल पंचमी), Shri Adi Shesha who incarnated as Shri Lakshman Ji in Treta Yuga and served Shri Ram, incarnated as the child of Asurikeshavacharya and Kantimati to teach this world the importance of devotion (भक्ति).
As per the prophecy of Nammalvar and blessings of Shri Parthasarathy Swami that their child would be an incarnation of Shri Adi Shesha, they named their child Ramanuja(रामानुज). Kantimati had a sister called  Mahadevi(महादेवी) who also gave birth to a child with divine features. His name was Govinda(गोविन्द). At the appropriate age, the sacred thread ceremony(यज्ञोपवीत संस्कार) of Ramanuja happened and he started learning Shastras(शास्त्र). He was very fond of the company of sages and devotees of Shri Vishnu.
Important Events in Life
When Shri Ramanuja reached the age of sixteen, Asuri Keshavacharya and Kantimati organised his marriage ceremony(विवाहसंस्कार) and he got married to Thanjammal. A few months after his father left this mortal world, they moved to Kanchipuram(कांचीपुरम्) from Shri Perumbadur(श्रीपेरम्बदूर).
In Kanchipuram(कांचीपुरम्) used to live a famous Acharya of Advaita philosophy(अद्वैत दर्शन) Shri Yadavprakash(श्रीयादवप्रकाश). Shri Ramanuja with the aim to learn all the Vedas and Shastras joined the Gurukul of famous Acharya Yadavprakash. His maternal brother Govind too joined the Gurukul.
As Shri Ramanuja was blessed with great intellect and memory, he became one of the favourite disciples of Shri Yadavprakash. As time passed, differences arose between them as Shri Ramanuja did not accept many of the expositions and explanations of Shastras given by Shri Yadavprakash.
Once a discussion was happening on the Taittaraiya Upanishad’s(तैत्तरीयोपनिशद) mantra ‘ सत्यं ज्ञानं मनन्त ब्रह्म ‘ whose explanation Shri Yadavprakash gave as “Brahma is under the veil of falsehood, ignorance and delimited.” To this Shri Ramanuja objected and gave the explanation that Brahma is truth, knowledge and infinite. These are all his qualities. This exposition of the mantra became very famous.
Shri Yadavprakash got jealous and irked with this and fearing the supremacy of Shri Ramanuja, discussed with his students and decided to kill Shri Ramanuja. They decided to go on a pilgrimage to Varanasi and during their journey kill Shri Ramanuja. As per their plan on an auspicious day, Shri Yadavprakash left with his students to Tirtha.
During the journey, Govinda heard about their sinister plan and informed Shri Ramanuja and told him to run. Shri Ramanuja ran from there and got lost in the dense forest. Shri Vishnu with Mata Lakshmi appeared in the form of a fowler and saved Shri Ramanuja and took him to Kanchipuram.
Once Shri Ramanuja was studying Shastras and at that time the disciple of great Vaishnav(वैष्णव) Shri Yamunacharya(Alvandar), Shri Kanchipurna who was a great devotee of Shri Varadraj arrived at his home. Seeing Shri Kanchipurna, Shri Ramanuja’s heart filled with joy and bliss as he prostrated before him and said Shri Vishnu has sent you here to bless me and requested him to accept him as his disciple. Seeing the devotion and dedication of Shri Ramanuja, Shri  Kanchipurna got very pleased and happy but refused to become the guru of Shri Ramanuja but directed him to daily bring water from Shalakoop(शालकूप) for the service of Shri Varadraj Swami.
Once, in order to have a darshan of Shri Yamunacharya two Brahmans from Kanchipuram visited Srirangam. Shri Yamunacharya was doing shastra discussion with his students. He met both the Brahmans and asked them about Shri Ramanuja. They told him that he has left the Gurukula of Shri Yadavprakash and that he now studies Vedakosha at his home and as per the instructions of Shri Kanchipurna, daily takes one pot of water from Shalakoop for the daily service of Shri Swami Varadraj.
Hearing this Shri Yamunacharya got very pleased and recited an eight shloka stuti of Shri Vishnu and ordered his disciple, Shri Mahapurna, to immediately go to Kanchipuram and bring Shri Ramanuja to Srirangam. He told him about the divinity of Shri Ramanuja and that he is incarnated to promote the Vaishnava path of devotion and surrender towards Shri Vishnu. Shri Mahapurna left for Kanchipuram immediately and after reaching, first met Shri Kanchipurna and then met Shri Ramanuja and told him about the desire of Shri Yamunacharya. Hearing this, Shri Ramanuja was filled with ecstasy and immediately left for Srirangam.
Nothing in this world is permanent, this saying fits well as Shri Yamunacharya took samadhi before Shri Ramanuja reached Srirangam with the final rites of Shri Yamunacharya being conducted as he arrived. Seeing this, Shri Ramanujacharya was shattered and tears started flowing from his eyes. As he regianed his composure, he went near Shri Yamunacharya’s body and saw that three fingers of his right hand were folded. He realised that it was an indication of his three instructions for him and declared them to the public.
1) He will write Shri Bhashya on Brahmasutra.
2) He will give the name of Shri Maharishi Parashar to a deserving person.
3) He will propagate Vaishnava philosophy and lead people on the path of devotion and prapatti towards Shri Vishnu.
After his vows, the fingers of Shri Yamunacharya got straightened miraculously.
Shri Mahapurna gave Shri Ramanuja Pancha Samskar Diksha and taught him Divya Prabandha(Works of Alvars who were great devotees of Shri Vishnu) and other Shastras and grantha.
At the age of thirty, in front of Shri Swami Varadraj, Shri Ramanuja accepted Sannyasa.
Once Shri Mahapurna told Shri Ramanujacharya to take Diksha of Mantra Rahasya from Shri Goshthipurna. Shri Ramanujacharya went to take Diksha from Shri Goshthipurna but not once, he refused him to give Diksha to him eighteen times and later when he realised that Shri Ramanujacharya wais worthy of Diksha, he himself called him and gave him Diksha of Mantra Rahasya but with a condition that he will not give it to an undeserving person. After getting Diksha, Shri Ramanujacharya realised divine knowledge, his face started shining like many Suns, his heart filled with devotion, compassion, love and peace.
After doing salutations to Shri Goshthipurna, he left for Srirangam. On the way, he stopped outside a Vishnu temple in Goshthipur and because of pure compassion, love and with the aim of paving the way of salvation for the people, he called them and loudly chanted the divine mantra and told them to chant the divine mantra with him three times.
When Shri Goshthipurna heard about this, he got angry with Shri Ramanujacharya and questioned him for violating his commands. To which Shri Ramanujacharya answered, “keeping great faith in your words guruvar with the aim of paving the way of salvation for the people, I committed this crime knowingly as I am happy to go to hell if so many people will reach the abode of Shri Vishnu.”
Hearing this the anger of Shri Goshthipurna turned into love as he realised that Shri Ramanuja is divine himself and gave his son Soumyanarayan to him as his disciple.
Shri Yamunacharya had five great disciples – Shri Mahapurna(श्री महापूर्ण), Shri Kanchipurna(श्री कान्चिपूर्ण), Shri Goshthipurna(श्री गोष्ठिपूर्ण), Shri Maladhar(श्री मालाधर) and Shri Varranga(श्री वररंग) and he imparted different kinds of divine secrets and knowledge to each of them. Shri Ramanujacharya learned all divine secrets and knowledge from all five of them.
Once the mother of Shri Yadavprakash went for the darshan of Shri Swami Varadraj where she saw Shri Ramanujacharya and sensed his divinity. She thought that if her son becomes the disciple of Shri Ramanujacharya, he will attain peace and so she instructed Shri Yadavprakash to go and become the disciple of Shri Ramanujacharya. Shri Yadavprakash was unwilling to do this because of his behaviour towards Shri Ramanujacharya.
When he was thinking about this, he met Shri Kanchipurna and told him everything and requested to the great devotee to ask about his problem to Shri Swami Varadraj.  Shri Kanchipurna agreed and told him to meet him the next day.  When they both met, Shri Kanchipurna told Shri Yadavprakash that Shri Swami Varadraj says that Shri Ramanujacharya is divine himself and it will be auspicious for him if he becomes his disciple. Shri Yadavprakash went to Srirangam had a debate with Shri Kuresh, got defeated and accepted Shri Ramanujacharya as his guru. He thus became Shri Gurudatta Govinddas and on the instruction of Shri Ramanujacharya wrote Yatidharmasamucchaya(यतिधर्मसामुच्चय) and devoted the rest of his life in Bhakti of Shri Vishnu.
For the promotion of Vaishnava philosophy Shri Ramanujacharya travelled across Bharat, visited all major Tirtha and debated with great acharyas of different beliefs, defeated them and re-established divine path of Bhakti and Prapatti. He fullfiled the three vows he made to Shri Yamunacharya as he wrote Shri Bhashya, propagated Vishistaadvaita philosophy and the importance of devotion and named the deserving son of Shri Kuresh as Parashar Bhatta.
Shri Ramanujacharya once went to Melkote, Karnataka which is considered the Badrinath of Dakshinbharat. Here he recovered the deity which was hidden from invaders and re-established the temple of Yadavadripati which was destroyed by Islamic invaders.
In Kritayuga, Shri Dattatreya used to worship the deity SRI CHELUVNARAYANA and this place used to be called Vedadri. Later in Dwapara Yuga, Shri Krishna and Balarama worshipped the deity here and this place became famous as Yadavadri. In Kaliyuga, Shri Ramanujacharya re-established the temple and also went to Delhi to recover utsavmurti of Shri Yadavadripati known as Sampata Kumara or Rampriya.
The daughter of a Muslim ruler of Delhi, Bibi Lachimar was a great devotee of Shri Sampata Kumara and she came to Melkote following his deity and decided to live there and later merged in Sampata Kumar. Shri Ramanujacharya lived in Srirangnathswami Matha for a major part of his life and served the lord there.
His Disciples

Shri Ramanujacharya had thousands of yati and grihasthi disciples out of which seventy-five were prominent and called Simhasana Adhipati. His few prominent disciples were Shri Kuresh, Shri Dasrathi, Shri Sundarbahu, Shri Saudenambi, Shri Govind, Shri Yajnamurti, Shri Saumyanarayana, Shri Gurudatta Govindas. They were all content, detached, scholars, and devotees.

Works of Shri Ramanujacharya

He propagated the philosophy of qualified nondualism (विशिष्ट अद्वैत) and created great granthas known as nine jewels(नवरत्न).
– Vedartha Sarsamgrah(वेदार्थसारसंग्रह) – Summary of the Meaning of the Vedas.
– Sri Bhashya(श्री भाष्य) – The Glorious Commentary on the Brahma-Sutras.
– Vedanta Sar(वेदान्त सार) – Essence of Vedanta
– Vedanta Dipa(वेदान्त दीप) – Light on Vedanta.
– Gita Bhashya(गीता भाष्य) – Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita.
– Gadya Trayam(गद्यत्रयम्) – Prose poems of Surrender.
– Saranagati Gadya(शरणागतिगद्य) – The Large Poem of Surrender.
– Sriranga Gadya(श्रीरंगगद्य) – The Smaller Poem of Surrender to Lord Ranganatha.
– Vaikuntha Gadya(वैकुण्ठगद्य) – The Poem of Contemplation on Vaikuntha.
– Nitya(नित्यसेवा) – A Manual of Daily Worship.
षडङ्गादिवेदो मुखे शास्त्रविद्या
कवित्वादि गद्यं सुपद्यं करोति ।
मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरङ्घ्रिपद्मे
ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम् ॥ ३॥
The Vedas with their six limbs and the knowledge of all sciences may be on one’s lips; one may possess the poetic gift and may compose fine prose and poetry; but if one’s mind be not centred upon the lotus feet of the Guru, what then, what then, what then?
Jagatguru Shri Madhvacharya

साभ्रोष्णाभीशु शुभ्रप्रभमभयनभो भूरिभूभृद्विभूतिः । भ्राजिष्णुर्भूरृभूणां भवनमपि विभोऽभेदिबभ्रेबभूवे । येनभ्रोविभ्रमस्ते भ्रमयतुसुभृशं बभ्रुवद्दुर्भृताशान् । भ्रान्तिर्भेदाव भासस्त्वितिभयमभि भोर्भूक्ष्यतोमायिभिक्षून्।।८।।
Vayudeva you are the life-giving force to entire earthly world, planets heaven. You gave birth to these kingdoms & have the ability to rule & destroy. We plead you to destroy the charlatans & lead us to “Moksha”
To strengthen the tradition of Bhakti(devotion) and Upasana(worship) of Shri Narayana among people, Shri Vayu incarnated as Shri Madhvacharya(श्री माधवाचार्य)
Early Life and Guru Diksha
In Karnataka’s South Kannada district Udupi taluka, there is a village called Pajaka. There used to live a pious Brahmana Narayana(नारायण) with his wife(धर्मपत्नी) Vedavati(वेदवती). For twelve years they worshipped Shri Anantaeshwara Swami and performed severe austerities to beget a child. God was pleased with their devotion and tapa and one day through a mute person, Anantaeshvara Swami, announced that Shri Vayudeva, the deity of life force(प्राणशक्ति), would incarnate as son of Narayana and Vedavati to propagate Sanatana dharma and the path of Bhakti.
In the year 1238, on the auspicious day of Vijayadasmi(विजयदशमी), Narayana and Vedavati got blessed with a male child full of divinity, charm, bliss and peaceful appearance. The name ceremony(नामकरणसंस्कार) of the child happened and the parents named him Vasudeva(वासुदेव).
वसति वासयति आच्छादयति सर्वमिति वा वासुः।
दीव्यति क्रीडते विजिगीषते व्यवहरति द्योतते स्तूयते गच्छतीति वा देवः वासुश्चासौ देवश्चेति वासुदेवः।। विष्णुसहस्त्रनाम शंकर भाष्य।।
अर्थ – बसते हैं या सबको वासित या आच्छादित करते हैं इस कारण वासु हैं। क्रीडा करते,जीतने की इच्छा करते,व्यवहार करते,प्रकाशित होते,स्तुति किये जाते है इसलिये देव हैं इस प्रकार जो वासु भी हैं देव भी हैं वे वासुदेव हैं।
One who dwells in everything and sustains everything,acts,plays,reveals himself,praised by all is Vasudeva.
Vasudeva was physically and mentally precocious. He used to play a lot. Once at the age of just three Vasudeva, without telling anyone at home, visited Shri Anantaeshvara Swami temple in Udupi. Not seeing Vasudeva at home, his parents got really worried and started searching for him and after a lot of effort, found him in the temple. When his father Narayana asked him about his disappearance, he told that Lord called him so he came to the temple for his darshan.
Once a money lender visited the house of Vasudeva. Vasudeva asked the money lender about the purpose of his visit. He told him that your father took money from me and now I have come here for its repayment. Vasudeva went to the backyard of their house, picked up some tamarind seeds and turned them into gold through his divine powers as a repayment of the debt.
Once Mata Vedavati took Vasudeva with her to a spiritual discourse by a pandit well versed in Shastras. During the discourse, the pandit made a mistake, immediately Vasudeva stood up pointed out the mistake and gave the correct explanation backed with the reference to the Shastras. The pandit and crowd there was surprised to see the knowledge, wisdom, memory and intellectual power of the five-year-old child and happily blessed him.
At the age of seven, the sacred thread ceremony(यज्ञोपवीत संस्कार) of Vasudeva happened and he started learning the Veda, Shastras, Vedang, Upanishads in the Gurukul of Acharya Totanillaya. Even in a Gurukul, Vasudeva’s love for sports didn’t go away, He used to play, swim, trek, and take part in wrestling competitions. Seeing this the Acharya got angry and scolded Vasudeva as to why he wasn’t focussing on his studies. To this, he replied, “Acharya, I don’t like to rote and repeat shlokas that I have learned and understood again and again.
The Acharya then instructed him to recite all the shlokas he learned till now. To the surprise of the Acharya, he not only flawlessly repeated the shlokas he learned but also the one not taught yet. This cleared all the doubts of Acharya about Vasudeva.
Important Events In Life
Vasudeva after completing his studies in Acharya Totanillaya’s Gurukul decided to accept Sannyasa and dedicate his life to propagate knowledge of Vedas and path of Bhakti. When his parents, Narayana and Mata Vedavati heard this, they told him not to become a monk as he was their only son and it is his duty to get married and continue the family line. He refused to do it but promised his parents that till they don’t get a second child he will not leave them.
As said by Vasudeva, Narayana and Mata Vedavati gave birth to a second child and at the age of sixteen, he left home and went to Ananta Matha Udupi to become the disciple of Shri Achyutprajna, accepted Sannyasa and became Ekdandi ascetic. Shri Achyutprajna gave him the name Purnaprajna. Just after fourty days of his initiation into Sannyasa ashram, Purnaprajna was nominated by Shri Achyutprajna to have a debate with Vasudeva Panditacharya, a famous Tarka Shastri Shri Purnaprajna who he defeated in the debate. Pleased with the intellectual power of Shri Purnaprajna, Shri Achyutprajna conferred on him the title of Anandatirtha.
Later a Buddhist monk Bodhisagara along with another scholar Vadisimha arrived in Udupi to have a debate. Shri Purnaprajna faced them and defeated them handsomely in the debate. In this fashion, many scholars came and challenged Shri Purnaprajna for debate and tasted defeat.
At the age of eighteen, Shri Purnaprajna started his grand tour of South India(दक्षिणभारत) with his Guru Shri Achyutprajna as they travelled through Anantashayana, Srirangam, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari and other important centres where they had heated debates with scholars of all thoughts, defeated them and then propagated the idea of Tattvavada. Thousands became inspired and charmed by him. When they returned back to Udupi after a highly successful tour, Shri Achyutprajna declared that Shri Purnaprajna will lead the Anatamatha in the future and gave him the name Madhvacharya.
Shri Madhvacharya stayed in Udupi for the next six years after his successful tour of South India(दक्षिणभारत) and dictated the commentary of Shrimadbhagvatgita to his disciple Satyatirtha(सत्यतीर्थ) who scribed it on palm leaves(ताडपत्र). Shri Madhvacharya never used to write himself but dictated to his disciples which they used to scribe on palm leaves(ताडपत्र).

Shri Madhvacharya after completing his commentaries on Shrimadbhagvatgita decided to visit Badrikashram Badrinath Dham and present his work as a tribute to Shri Vedavyasa.
With a set of close disciples Shri Madhvacharya started his journey to Badrinath when he reached there he took a holy dip in Ganga, fasted, remained silent for forty-eight days and meditated. In this process he got an intuition to visit Uttar Badrinath, an isolated place in the Himalayan region where it is believed that Sage Vedavyasa lived. He instructed his disciples to remain at the place where they were camping and alone left for the sage’s ashram. Reaching there, he got the darshan of Maharishi Vedavyasa, paid his obeisance at his holy feet and presented his commentary(भाष्य) on Gita to Maharishi. For weeks Shri Madhvacharya lived there and learned from Maharishi Vedavyasa the secrets of Vedanta and on his instruction returned to propagate the knowledge he received.

Shri Madhvacharya, as per the instructions of Maharishi, returned to Udupi and dictated a commentary(भाष्य) on Brahma Sutra(ब्रह्मसूत्र) to Satyatirtha which he scribed on palm leaves(ताडपत्र) and also created copies of it to circulate it.
Once in Rajmahendri on the banks of Godavari river, prime minister Shobhanbhatta of Kakatiya Dynasty of Warangal organised a huge convocation of scholars. Shri Madhvacharya decided to visit there. It was the first major event where he promoted his principle of Dvaita(द्वैत). He debated and defeated all, especially scholars like Puri Swami Shastri who became his disciple at Narhari Tirtha and came to be known as Shobhanbhatta.
Shri Madhvacharya after winning debates with great Advaita scholars decided to have a debate with his Guru Shri Achyutprajna who was a staunch Advaitin and bring him on the path of devotion(भक्ति)and Tattvavada(तत्ववाद). For days he had a debate with his Guru and finally Shri Achyutprajna accepted his defeat and supremacy of Dvaita philosophy and became his disciple. Shri Madhvacharya gave him the name of Padmanabha Tirtha.
Shri Madhvacharya often used to visit the seashore and meditate there. Once he was meditating there when he saw a cargo ship that was coming from Dwarka stuck in a storm and drowning. Shri Madhvacharya with his yogic power saved the ship. The people on the ship were surprised to see this miracle and were convinced that the saint saved their life.

When the ship reached the shore they prostrated before the Acharya and paid their respects at the holy feet of Shri Madhvacharya and requested him to take some gift. To their surprise, Shri Madhvacharya asked for the three mounds of gopi chandan clay that they used to lay as ballast. The captain of the ship himself gave it to the Acharya. Through his yogic powers, Shri Madhvacharya knew what was inside these mounds and when he got the mounds recovered, three ancient statues(मूर्तियां) of Shri Krishna in three different forms. Three feet tall Shri Janardan, two and half feet tall statue of Shri Balarama and twenty inches tall statue of Shri Balakrishna holding a shepherd’s staff.
Shri Madhvacharya consecrated Shri Janardan in Yermal south of Udupi, Shri Balarama in Malpe west of Udupi at Shri Subramanyam temple and Shri Balakrishna at Anantamatha and renamed it as Shri Krishna Matha. He established the worship tradition according to Tantrasara which he learnt from Maharishi Vedavyasa in Badrinath. These spectacular pujas melt the heart of anyone attending and open the doors to the realm of god. He also campaigned against the tradition of animal sacrifice in yajnas and consumption of liquor.
Once two famous wrestlers came to Udupi and challenged Shri Madhvacharya for wrestling at the time he was chanting the names of Shri Vishnu. He said to them that if they succeeded in choking him and stopping his chanting, then he would wrestle with them. They both held the neck of Shri Madhvacharya and tried to stop his chanting but failed, accepted defeat and became the disciples of Shri Madhvacharya.
Shri Madhvacharya was a brilliant singer, music composer and lyricist too. Once he visited Goa where he charmed and mesmerised people with his skills and knowledge of music. He promoted the tradition of devotional songs(कीर्तन). To promote the knowledge of Vedas among the masses, he inspired his disciples, especially Naraharitirtha, to write devotional songs in Kannada which later paved the way for the tradition of music composer monks. Shri Purandardas, Kanakdas, Jagannathdas, Gopaldas, Helavanakatte Giriamma, Vijaydas are all mystic saints of this tradition who created a huge treasure of devotional songs(कीर्तन) promoting Veda knowledge and leading people towards the path of Bhakti. He also established new folk art of dramas based on the stories of incarnations of Shri Vishnu.
Shri Madhvacharya toured North India(उत्तरभारत) for the second time, debated with many scholars, made many more disciples, once again visited Badrinath and had darshan of Nara-Narayana and Maharishi Vedavyasa. During this tour, he recovered the statues(मूर्ति) of Moola Rama and Sita from the treasury of Kalinga kingdom. These were ancient statues(मूर्ति) of Shri Rama and Sita Ji given by Shri Hamsa to Shri Brahma Ji.
Shri Madhavacharya gave sannyasa diksha to his brother Vishnuchitta who became a Vishnu bakth.
The most prominent challenger of Shri Madhvacharya was Pandit Trivikramacharya. He was a great scholar of Advaita philosophy and Guru of King Jayasimha of Kasargodu. He had a debate(शास्त्रार्थ) with Acharya for a full fifteen days and finally accepted his defeat and prostrated before Shri Madhvacharya. At that time he had a divine vision of Shri Hanumanji, Shri Bhimsena and Shri Madhav as the incarnation of Vayudeva. He wrote Harivayu stuti praising Shri Vayudeva and his three incarnations. He wrote a commentary on Shri Madhav’s commentary on Brahmasutra.
His Disciples and Mathas

Shri Madhvacharya in his lifetime inspired and made thousands of disciples. Among those few famous and prominent ones are Shri  Naraharitirtha, Satyatirtha, Padmanabhatirtha, Upendratirtha,Vishnutirtha, Trivikramacharya, Pandit Shankaracharya.
Narayana Panditacharya son of Trivikramacharya wrote a hagiography of Shri Madhvacharya with the name Sumadhav Vijay.
He established eight mathas(मठ)in Udupi region and appointed his disciples as their heads.
1) Palimaru Matha – Hrishikeshatirtha.
2) Adamaru Matha – Narsimhatirtha.
3) Krishnapura Matha – Janardanatirtha.
4) Puttige Matha – Upendratirtha.
5) Shirur Matha – Vamanatirtha.
6) Sode Matha – Vishnutirtha.
7) Kaniyuru Matha – Shriramtirtha.
8) Pejavar Matha – Adhokshajtirtha.
Each of these eight mathas worship Shri Krishna in Udupi at regular intervals. Many other mathas were also established by his disciples.
Works of Shri Madhvacharya
Shri Madhvacharya propagated the philosophy of dualism(द्वैतवाद). Stating that Shri Vishnu is the supreme god and this world is not an illusion but real.
जीवेश्वर भेद चैव जडेश्वर भेद तथा ।
जीव भेदो मिथश्चैव जड जीव भेद तथा।
मिथश्च जड भेदो अयम प्रपंचो भेद पंचकः।।
अर्थ – जीव और ईश्वर के मध्य भेद,जड और ईश्वर के मध्य,जड और जीव के मध्य भेद,जीवों के मध्य और जडों के मध्य भेद यह पाँच प्रकार के भेद हैं।
Difference between God and soul(living things), God and inanimate things, soul and inanimate things, among souls and difference among inanimate things these are five differences.
His body of work is illustrious with many commentaries and stotras.
– Brahmasutra Bhashya(ब्रह्मसूत्र भाष्य), Brahmasutra Anuvyakhyan(ब्रह्मसूत्र अणु व्याख्यान), Brahmasutra Nyayvivran(ब्रह्मसूत्र न्यायविवरण), Brahmasutra Anubhashya(ब्रह्मसूत्र अणुभाष्य)
– Gita Bhashya(गीताभाष्य), Gitatatparya(गीता तात्पर्य)
– Ishavasya Upanishad Bhashya(ईशावास्योपनिशद भाष्य), Kena Upanishad Bhashya(केनोपनिशद भाष्य), Kathopanishad Upanishad Bhashya(कठोपनिशदभाष्य), Mundaka Upanishad Bhashya(मुण्डकोपनिशद भाष्य), Satprashna Upanishad Bhashya(सत प्रश्न भाष्य), Mandukya Upanishad Bhashya(माणडूक्योपनिशद भाष्य), Aitareya Upanishad Bhashya(अत्रेयोपनिशद भाष्य), Taittireya Upanishad Bhashya(तैत्तरीयोपनिशद भाष्य), Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Bhashya(बृहदरण्यकोपनिशद भाष्य), Chandogya Upanishad Bhashya(छान्दोग्योपनिशद भाष्य)
– Rigveda Bhashya(ऋगवेद भाष्य)
– First fourty shlokas.
– Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya(महाभारत तात्पर्यनिर्णय), Bhagvat Tatparya Nirnaya(भागवततात्पर्यनिर्णय)
– Pramana Lakshana(प्रमाणलक्षण), Katha Lakshana(कथालक्षण)
– Upadhi Khandana(उपाधिखण्डन), Prapanch Mithyatva-anumana Khandana(प्रपंचमिथ्याअनुमानखण्डन), Mayavada Khandana(मायावादखण्डन)
– Tattva Samkhyana(तत्वसांख्य), Tattva Viveka(तत्वविवेक), Tattvoddyota(तत्वोद्योता)
– Karma Nirnaya(कर्मनिर्णय)
– Vishnu Tattva Vinirnaya(विष्णतत्वनिर्णय)
– Yamaka Bharata(यमकभारत)
– Narasimha Naka Stuti(नृसिंहनखस्तुति)
– Dvadasha stotra(द्वादश स्तोत्र)
– Krishnamruta Maharnava(कृष्णामृतमहार्णव)
– Sadachara Smruti(सदाचारस्मृति)
– Tantra Sara Sangraha(तन्त्रसारसंग्रह)
– Yati Pranava Kalpa(यतिप्रणवकल्प)
– Krishna Jayanti Nirnaya(कृष्णजयंतीनिर्णय)
Every sage on this earth comes with a definite mission to propagate dharma in a very particular way in order to provide a path of salvation suited for people with particular character and gunas. In the same manner, Brahma incarnates in different forms with a particular set of qualities so that no soul remains without a deity suitable to its nature. All paths and philosophies given to us by our sages lead to the highest abode of Truth Consciousness Bliss(सच्चिदानंद). We all should study their lives and works and practice what is according to our nature. Thus my effort to provide knowledge about four jagatgurus came in Kaliyuga to lift people from the depths of ignorance and lead people on the path of dharma completes here.
न भोगे न योगे न वा वाजिराजौ
न कान्तामुखे नैव वित्तेषु चित्तम् ।
मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरङ्घ्रिपद्मे
ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम् ॥ ७॥
Consciousness cannot be confined to enjoyment or to yoga, nor indeed to multitudes of steeds, neither to the face of the beloved nor to riches; yet if one’s mind be not centred upon the lotus feet of the Guru, what then, what then, what then?

About Author: Shashank Poddar

Shashank Poddar is a writer, blogger who also does poetry in Hindi. I read and write with the aim to promote knowledge about Vedakosha and Sanatana Dharma. Twitter handle: @poddar_shashank. Blog: medium.com/@Shashankpoddar.

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