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Published by Rasbiharilal and Sons, Loi Bazaar, Vrindavan


 Dedicated to His Divine Grace

A.C . Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


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This book will be especially interesting for the devotees of ISKCON because they have accepted the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya. In this regard, we present herein a verse from the Shri  Chaitanya'charitamrita (Madhya 9.11), along with the transcendental purport of Shrila Prabhupada:


TRANSLATION  - At the time, all the South Indian Vaishnavas were worshipers of Lord Ramachandra. Some were Tattvavadis, and some were followers of Ramanujacharya.


PURPORT - Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura points out that the word "Tattvavadi" refers to the followers of Srila Madhvacarya. To distinguish his disciplic succession from the Mayavadi followers  of Sarikaracarya, Srila Madhvacarya named his party the Tattvavadis. Impersonal monists are always attacked by these Tattvavadis, who attempt to defeat their philosophy of impersonalism. Generally,  they establish the supremacy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Actually the disciplic succession of Madhvacarya is known as the Brahma Vaisnava sect; that is the sect coming down from Lord  Brahma. Consequently the Tattvavadis, or followers of Madhvacarya, do not accept the incident of Lord Brahma's illusion, which is recorded in the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Srila Madhvacarya  has purposefully avoided commenting on that portion of Srimad-Bhagavatam in which brahma-mohana, the illusion of Lord Brahma, is mentioned.


Srila Madhavendra Puri was one of the acaryas in the Tattvavada disciplic succession, and he established the ultimate goal of transcendentalism to be attainment of pure devotional service, love of  Godhead. Those Vaisnavas belonging to the Gaudiya-sampradaya, the disciplic succession following Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, are distinct from the Tattvavadis, although they belong to the same  Tattvavada-sampradaya. The followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are therefore known as the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya. In his purports to the verses of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Shrila Prabhupada  often quoted Madhvacharya. If you have the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase, type "Madhvacharya" in the advanced search and just see how many times Shrila Prabhupada quoted him. Hundreds of times! Let  us read a few of these purports and get an insight into how much respect Shrila Prabhupada had for Shrila Madhvacharya Bhagavatapada. In his purport to Shrimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.27), Shrila  Prabhupada wrote: Srila Madhvacarya, quoting Padma Purana, states: vivikta-drsti jivanam dhisnyataya paramesvarasya bheda-drstih. "One who has clear vision and who is devoid of envy can see that  the Supreme Lord is separate from all living entities, although He is situated in every living entity."


Madhvacarya further quotes from Padma Purana:


upapadayet paratmanarh jivebhyo yah pade pade

bhedenaiva na caitasmat  priyo visnos tu kascana


"One who sees the living entity and the Supreme Lord as always distinct is very dear to the Lord." Padma Purana also states, yo hares caiva jivanam bheda-vakta hareh priyah: "One who preaches that the  living entities are separate from the Supreme Lord is very dear to Lord Visnu."


Clearly, Shrila Prabhupada consulted Madhvacharya's commentary on the Shrimad-Bhagavatam as he composed his purports, which he said were his personal ecstasies. In the above purport, we can see  Madhvacharya's main theme of preaching—that the living entities are not God, they are distinct from God. As we will read, before Madhvacharya's appearance, the people of India were under the sway of  Shankaracharya's impersonal philosophy that declared, "The Lord and the living entities are one and the same!"


In his purport to the Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi 7.110), Shrila Prabhupada explained: In the Padma Purana, Lord Siva tells Parvati: 


srnu devi pravaksyami tamasani yatha-kramam   yesam sravana-matrena patityam jnaninam api

apartham sruti-vakyanam darsayal loka-garhitam  karma'Svarupa 'tyajyatvam atra ca pratipadyate

sarva-karma'paribhramsan naiskarmyam tatra cocyate paratma 'jivayor aikyam mayatra pratipadyate


"My dear wife, hear my explanations of how I have spread ignorance through Mayavada philosophy. Simply by hearing it, even an advanced scholar will fall down. In this philosophy, which is certainly  very inauspicious for people in general, I have misrepresented the real meaning of the Vedas and recommended that one give up all activities in order to achieve freedom from karma. In this Mayavada  philosophy I have described the jivatma and Paramatma to be one and the same."


When Lord Shiva appeared as Shankaracharya, he had spread his Mayavada philosophy all over India, just to curb the influence of the Buddhists. This is explained by Shrila Prabhupada in his purport to  Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4-24-17):

In this regard, it is stated in the Padma Purana that Lord Siva appeared as a brahmana in the age of Kali to preach the Mayavada philosophy, which is nothing but a type of Buddhist philosophy. It is  stated in Padma Purana:


mayavadam asac-chastram pracchannam bauddham ucyate

 mayaiva vihitam devi kalau brahmana-murtina


Lord Siva, speaking to Parvati-devi, foretold that he would spread the Mayavada philosophy in the guise of a sannyasi brahmana just to eradicate Buddhist philosophy. This sannyasi was Sripada  Sarikaracarya. In order to overcome the effects of Buddhist philosophy and spread Vedanta philosophy, Sripada Sankaracarya had to make some compromise with the Buddhist philosophy, and as such  he preached the philosophy of monism, for it was required at that time. Otherwise there was no need for his preaching Mayavada philosophy. Madhvacharya's mission was to defeat the proponents of  Shankara's Mayavada philosophy and establish his philosophy of Dvaita-vada (dualism), or Tattva-vada. Shrila Prabhupada nicely described  Madhvacharya's mission in his purport to Shri  Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi 7.110):


The purpose of the discussions in the Upanisads and Vedanta-sutra is to philosophically establish the personal feature of the Absolute Truth. The impersonalists, however, in order to establish their  philosophy, accept these discussions in terms of laksana-vrtti, or indirect meanings. Thus instead of being tattva-vada, or in search of the Absolute Truth, they become Mayavada, or illusioned by the  material energy. 


When Sri Visnu Svami, one of the four acaryas of the Vaisnava cult, presented his thesis on the subject matter of suddhadvaita-vada, immediately the Mayavadis took advantage of this philosophy and  tried to establish their advaita-vada or kevaladvaita-vada. To defeat this kevaladvaita-vada, Sri Ramanujacarya presented his philosophy as visistadvaita-vada, and Sri Madhvacarya presented his  philosophy of tattva-vada, both of which are stumbling blocks to the Mayavadis because they defeat their philosophy in scrupulous detail. Students of Vedic philosophy know very well how strongly Sri  Ramanujacarya's visistadvaita-vada and Sri Madhvacarya's tattva-vada contest the impersonal Mayavada philosophy. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, however, accepted the direct meaning of the Vedanta  philosophy and thus defeated the Mayavada philosophy immediately. He opined in this connection that anyone who follows the  principles of the Sariraka-bhasya is doomed.


In another purports to the Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.434), Shrila Prabhupada described Madhvacharya's preaching methods in more detail:

In regard to this verse, Srila Madhvacarya says:


svadeha-stham harim prahur adhama jivam eva tu

 madhyamas capy anirnitam jivad bhinnam janardanam


There are three classes of men—the lowest (adhama), those in the middle (madhyama), and the best (uttama). The lowest (adhama) think that there is no difference between God and the living entity  except that the living entity is under designations whereas the Absolute Truth has no designations. In their opinion, as soon as the designations of the material body are dissolved, the jiva, the living  entity, will mix with the Supreme. They give the argument of ghatakasa-patakasa, in which the body is compared to a pot with the sky within and the sky without. When the pot breaks, the sky inside  becomes one with the sky outside, and so the impersonalists say that the living being becomes one with the Supreme.


This is their argument, but Srila Madhvacarya says that such an argument is put forward by the lowest class of men. Another class of men cannot ascertain what the actual form of the Supreme is, but  they agree that there is a Supreme who controls the activities of the ordinary living being. Such philosophers are accepted as mediocre. The best, however, are those who understand the Supreme Lord  (sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]). Purnanandadi-gunakam sarva jiva-vilaksanam: His form is completely spiritual, full of bliss, and completely distinct from that of the conditioned soul or any other  living entity. Uttamas tu haririi prahus taratamyena tesu ca: such philosophers are the best because they know that the Supreme Personality of Godhead reveals Himself differently to worshipers in  various modes of material nature.


At the end of the first chapter of the tenth canto of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Shrila Prabhupada added a section entitled, "Additional Notes for this Chapter." Because it deals with the teachings of  Madhvacharya, we would like to include it here:


Regarding transmigration of the soul, Srila Madhvacarya gives the following notes. When one is awake, whatever one sees or hears is impressed upon the mind, which later works in dreams to show one  different experiences, although in dreams one appears to accept a different body. For example, when one is awake one does business and talks with customers, and similarly in dreams one meets  various customers, talks about business and gives quotations. Madhvacarya says, therefore, that dreams take place according to what one sees, hears and remembers. When one reawakens, of course,  one forgets the body of the dream. This forgetfulness is called apasmrti. Thus we are changing bodies because we are sometimes dreaming, sometimes awake and sometimes forgetful. The Shri  Chaitanya-charitamrita tells about how Lord Chaitanya visited Udipi while on His tour of South India. In his purports, Shrila Prabhupada described some of the pastimes  of Madhvacharya which are  further elaborated upon in this book.


Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya 9.245): Caitanya Mahaprabhu next arrived at Udupi, the place of Madhvacarya, where the philosophers known as Tattvavadis resided. There He saw the Deity of Lord  Krsna and became mad with ecstasy.




Sripada Madhvacarya took his birth near Udupi, which is situated in the South Kanara district of South India, just west of Sahyadri. This is the chief city of the South Kanara province and is near the city  of Mangalore, which is situated to the south of Udupi. Near the city of Udupi is a place called Pajaka-ksetra, where Madhvacarya took his birth in a Sivalli-brahmana dynasty as the son of Madhyageha  Bhatta, in the year 1040 Sakabda (A.D. 1118). According to some, he was born in the year 1160 Sakabda (A.D. 1238).


In his childhood Madhvacarya was known as Vasudeva, and there are some wonderful stories surrounding him. It is said that once when his father had piled up many debts, Madhvacarya converted  tamarind seeds into actual coins to pay them off. When he was five years old, he was offered the sacred thread. A demon named Maniman lived near his abode in the form of a snake, and at the age of  five Madhvacarya killed that snake with the toe of his left foot. When his mother was very much disturbed, he would appear before her in one  jump. He was a great scholar even in childhood, and  although his father did not agree, he accepted sannyasa at the age of twelve. Upon receiving sannyasa from Acyuta Preksa, he received the name  Purnaprajna Tirtha. After traveling all over India, he  finally discussed scriptures with Vidyasaiikara, the exalted leader of Srrigeri-matha. Vidyasahkara was actually diminished in the presence of Madhvacarya. Accompanied by Satya Tirtha, Madhvacarya  went to Badarikasrama. It was there that he met Vyasadeva and explained his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita before him. Thus he became a great scholar by studying  before Vyasadeva.


By the time he came to the Ananda-matha from Badarikasrama, Madhvacarya had finished his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita. His companion Satya Tirtha wrote down the entire commentary. When  Madhvacarya returned from Badarikasrama, he went to Gaftjama, which is on the bank of the river Godavari. There he met with two learned scholars named Sobhana Bhatta and Svami Sastri. Later these  scholars became known in the disciplic succession of Madhvacarya as Padmanabha Tirtha and Narahari Tirtha. When he returned to Udupi, he would sometimes bathe in the ocean. On such an occasion  he composed a prayer in five chapters.


Once, while sitting beside the sea engrossed in meditation upon Lord Sri Krsna, he saw that a large boat containing goods for Dvaraka was in danger. He gave some signs by which the boat could  approach the shore, and it was saved. The owners of the boat wanted to give him a present, and at the time Madhvacarya agreed to take some gopi-candana. He received a big lump of gopi-candana,  and as it was being brought to him, it broke apart and revealed a large Deity of Lord Krsna. The Deity had a stick in one hand and a lump of food in the other. As  soon as Madhvacarya received the  Deity of Krsna in this way, he composed a prayer. The Deity was so heavy that not even thirty people could lift it. Yet Madhvacarya personally brought this Deity to Udupi. Eight of Madhvacarya's  sannyasa disciples became directors of his eight monasteries. Worship of the Lord Krsna Deity is still going on at Udupi according to the plans Madhvacarya established.


Madhvacarya then for the second time visited Badarikasrama. While he was passing through Maharashtra, the local king was digging a big lake for the public benefit. As Madhvacarya passed through that  area with his disciples, he was also obliged to help in the excavation. After some time, when Madhvacarya visited the king, he engaged the king in that work and departed with his disciples.Often in the  province of Gariga-pradesa there were fights between Hindus and Muslims. The Hindus were on one bank of the river, and the Muslims on the other. Due to the community tension, no boat was available  for crossing the river. The Muslim soldiers  were always stopping passengers on the other side, but Madhvacarya did not care for these soldiers. He crossed the river anyway, and when he met the  soldiers on the other side, he was brought before the king. The Muslim king was so pleased with him that he wanted to give him a kingdom and some money, but Madhvacarya refused. While walking on  the road, he was attacked by some dacoits, but by his bodily strength he killed them all. When his companion Satya Tirtha was attacked by a tiger, Madhvacarya separated them by virtue of his great  strength. When he met Vyasadeva, he received from him the salagrama-sila known as Astamurti. After this, he summarized the Mahabharata.


Madhvacarya's devotion to the Lord and his erudite scholarship became known throughout India. Consequently the owners of the Srhgeri-matha, established by Sarikaracarya, became a little perturbed.  At that time the followers of Sahkaracarya were afraid of Madhvacarya's rising power, and they began to tease Madhvacarya's disciples in many ways. There was even an attempt to prove that the  disciplic succession of Madhvacarya was not in line with Vedic principles. A person named Pundarika Puri, a follower of the Mayavada philosophy of Sahkaracarya, came before Madhvacarya to discuss  the sastras. It is said that all of Madhvacarya's books were taken away, but later they were found with the help of King  Jayasirhha,   ruler   of  Kumla.   In   discussion, Pundarika Puri was defeated .by  Madhvacarya. A great personality named Trivikramacarya, who was a resident of Visnumarigala, became Madhvacarya's disciple, and his son later became Narayanacarya, the composer of Sri  Madhva-vijaya. After the death of Trivikramacarya, the younger brother of Narayanacarya took sannyasa and later became known as Visnu Tirtha.


It was reputed that there was no limit to the bodily strength of Purnaprajna, Madhvacarya. There was a person named Kadanjari who was famed for possessing the strength of thirty men. Madhvacarya  placed the big toe of his foot upon the ground and asked the man to separate it from the ground, but the great strong man could not do so even after great effort. Srila Madhvacarya passed from this  material world at the age of eighty while writing a commentary on the Aitareya Upanisad. For further information about Madhvacarya, one should read Madhva-vijaya, by Narayanacarya.


This present book describing the life of Madhvacharya is mostly based on the Madhva-vijaya of Narayanacharya. After reading this book, one can see that Shrila Prabhupada had practically summarized  the life of Madhva in a couple pages. Narayana Panditacharya was the third and youngest son of Madhvacharya's disciple, Trivikrama Panditacharya . Like his father, Narayana Panditacharya was great  poet, philosopher, and devotee. He wrote nearly twenty books, of which Madhva Vijaya and   Madhva  Vijaya   Bhavaprakashika  are   the   most  famous. In his books, Narayana Panditacharya makes it  clear that he was a small boy when Madhvacarya was preaching and exhibiting his wonderful pastimes. Trivikrama Pandita told stories about Madhvacharya to his son, who then wrote them in a poetic  manner. In Madhva Vijaya, Narayana Panditacharya describes the pastimes of the three avataras of Vayu— Hanuman, who appeared in the Treta-yuga; Bhima, who appeared in the Dvapara-yuga; and  Madhvacharya, who appeared in the Kali-yuga.  In the Purva-khanda of the Kambha Ramayana, Hanuman's mother Anjana, the wife of the monkey king, Keshara, tells how she was previously a  maidservant of Brihaspati named Punjikasthala.


Once, while picking flowers in the forest picking flowers, Punikasthala saw some women engaged in amorous pastimes with their lovers. This invoked lusty feelings within her mind, and so, when she  returned to Brihaspati, she frankly expressed her desire to him and embraced and kissed him. Brhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods, became so angry that he immediately cursed Punjikasthala  to become a monkey. After a moment, however, being concerned for her welfare, he added that the wind-god, Vayu, would beget in her a son who would release her from the curse so that she could  resume her duties as his maidservant .


Once, Lord Siva desired to see the most beautiful form of a woman, the incarnation of Lord Visnu named  Mohini-murti. In the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Eighth Canto, there is the story of the churning of  the ocean of milk by the demigods and the demigods for the purpose of producing the nectar of  immortality. When the nectar was given by the incarnation of the Lord, Danvantari, the demons  snatched the pot and wanted to drink it all, without sharing it with the demigods. Lord Vishnu then  incarnated as Mohini-murti and by exhibiting her feminine charm, she took the nectar away from the  demons and gave it to the demigods.


Lord Siva felt himself to be far superior to these demons, knowing that he could never be deceived by a beautiful woman. Feeling a bit proud in that way, Lord Shiva approached Lord Vishnu and  requested Him to exhibit His form as Mohini-murti. Actually, Lord Shiva's mentality was that he challenged Lord Vishnu, thinking that He could never exhibit a female form that could bewilder him. Lord  Vishnu smilingly accepted the challenge from His great devotee and then exhibited a form that was inconceivably more alluring than Mohini-murti. This story is also related in the Eighth Canto of  Shrimad-Bhagavatam and of course, Lord Vishnu defeated Lord Shiva by making him mad with lust so that he discharged his semen while chasing the  woman manifested by Lord Vishnu. In the  Shrimad-Bhagavatam, it is said, "O King, wheresoever on the surface of the globe fell the semen of the great personality of Lord Siva,  mines of gold and silver later appeared."


Some of Lord Shiva's semen was carefully carried by Vayu, the wind-god and then place into the ear of the monkey, Queen Anjana. In this way, Hanuman was conceived by Vayu. There is another story  found in the Ananda-ramayana. Maharaja Dasharatha, having no sons, performed the putrakameshti-yajna. Some prasadama sweet rice emerged from the sacrificial fire but just as the king was going to  feed it to his queens so that they would conceive, a large bird snatched some of the sweet rice out of his hand and flew away, into the forest. In the forest, the monkey queen, Anjana, was sitting  resolutely, performing austerities in the hopes of regaining her position as the maidservant of Brihaspati. As the bird flew overhead, some of the  sweet rice fell from its claws and landed on Anjana's  fingers. When her austerities were finished, Anjana licked her fingers so that some of the sweet rice entered her mouth.


Soon thereafter, Keshan and Anjana decided to engage in sexual intercourse, in the hopes of receiving a child. At that time, a partial incarnation of Lord Shiva entered Keshari and an expansion of Vayu  entered Anjana's ear. Anjana then gave birth to a baby monkey that looked so horribly ugly and Anjana, being very angry with Lord Shiva and Vayu, wanted to throw the child from the mountain into  the Tungabhadra River. At this, Vayu appeared before Anjana and said, "This child of yours is not an ordinary monkey! He is my son and he is a great devotee of the Supreme Lord, Ramachandra. As  soon as Hanuman was born, Anjana was released from Brihaspati's curse and so, she wanted to return to his service in the heavenly planets. Later on, in the Dvapara-yuga, Durvasa Muni gave a  benediction to Kunti when she pleased him by her service. On the strength of this benediction, Kunti could call for any of the demigods for begetting a child upon her. Before Kunti's marriage, she gave  birth to Kama after summoning the sun-god. Later, while living in the forest with her husband, Pandu, Kunti called for Vayu and begot Bhima.


Madhvacharya's Mahabharata-tatparya-nirnaya describes the following incident: When Duryodhana had the house of lac constructed, disguising it with costly jewels and other decorations, he sent  Purochana, who had previously been Ravana's associate, Prahasta, to escort the Pandavas to their vacation home, where they were to remain for some time. The Pandavas had been warned by Vidura,  who also sent a miner to dig an escape tunnel. The Pandavas bided their time for six months and then one day, Purochana's sister came there, along with her five sons. She was a drunkard and had  come to poison the Pandavas. That night, she prepared a meal for the Pandavas and put enough poison in the food to kill one hundred men. Understanding this,  Bhima ate all of the  food and digested  it without the slightest ill effects.


While thinking how that wicked woman had tried to kill his mother and brothers, Bhima decided that now was the time to act. Later that night, as everyone slept, Bhima set fire to the house of lac and  the next morning, the charred bodies of Purochana, his sister, and her five sons were found. Duryodhana assumed that Kunti and her sons had perished while actually, they had escaped in the tunnel. There are many more exploits of Bhima, and these are nicely narrated in the Mahabharata. Next, in the Madhva Vijaya, Narayana Paditacharya informs us that the demons who had been formerly  crushed by Bhima in the Dvapara-yuga, conspired to gain revenge in the Kali-yuga by composing literature that propagates the understanding that the Supreme Lord is formless and without qualities. One great enemy of Bhima in particular, named Maniman, who was very envious of him and thus wanted to take the role of pre-eminent preacher of this impersonal philosophy, appeared at the village  of Kalady, along with many other demons who acted as his assistants. Thus it was that Maniman appeared as Shankaracharya.


In the Chaitanya-charitamrita, Lord Chaitanya's stay at Udupi and His talks with the followers of Machvacharya are described in some detail. In retrospect, it can be seen that Madhvacharya was the  necessary link  between   Shankaracharya   and   Lord   Chaitanya. Madhvacharya played an invaluable role in establishing the eternal truth that Lord Vishnu is the Personality of Godhead. This could be  done only after the defeat of Shankaracharya's impersonalism. However, it was only later on, with the appearance of Madhavendra Puri that a more advanced understanding of Krishna consciousness  was introduced.


Shrila Prabhupada discussed this in his purport to the Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi 9.10): Sri Madhavendra Puri, also known as Sri Madhava Puri, belonged to the disciplic succession from  Madhvacarya and was a greatly celebrated sannyasi. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was the third disciplic descendant from Sri Madhavendra Puri. The process of worship in the disciplic succession of  Madhvacarya was full of ritualistic ceremonies, with hardly a sign of love of Godhead. Sri Madhavendra Puri was the first person in that disciplic succession to exhibit the symptoms of love of Godhead.

Toward the end of his manifested pastimes, Madhvacharya received the Deity of Mula Rama. Shrila Prabhupada comments on this in his purport to Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya 9.12):

The Madhvacarya-sampradaya and Ramanuja-sampradaya are mainly worshipers of Lord Ramacandra, although the Sri Vaisnavas are supposed to be worshipers of Lord Narayana and Laksmi and the  Tattvavadis are supposed to be worshipers of Lord Krsna. At present, in most of the monasteries belonging to the Madhva sampradaya, Lord Ramacandra is worshiped.


In the book known as Adhyatma-ramayana, there are statements in Chapters Twelve to Fifteen about worshiping the Deities of Sri Ramacandra and Sita. There it is stated that during Lord Ramacandra's  time there was a brahmana who took a vow to fast until he saw Lord Ramacandra. Sometimes, due to business, Lord Ramacandra was absent from His capital for a full week and could not be seen by the  citizens during that time. Because of his vow, the brahmana could not take even a drop of water during that week. Later, after eight or nine days, when the brahmana could see Lord Ramacandra  personally, he would break his fast. Upon observing the brahmana's rigid vow, Lord Sri Ramacandra ordered His younger brother Laksmana to deliver a pair of Sita-Rama Deities to the brahmana. The  brahmana received the Deities from Sri Laksmanaji and worshiped Them faithfully as long as he lived. At the time of his death, he delivered the Deities to Sri Hanumanji, who, for many years, hung  Them around his neck and served Them with all devotion.


After many years, when Hanumanj i departed on the hill known as Gandha-madana, he delivered the Deities to Bhimasena, one of the Pandavas, and Bhimasena brought Them to his palace, where he  kept Them very carefully. The last king of the Pandavas, Ksemakanta, worshiped the Deities in that palace. Later, the same Deities were kept in the custody of the kings of Orissa known as Gajapatis. One of the acaryas, known as Narahari Tirtha, who was in the disciplic succession of Madhvacarya, received these Deities from the King of Orissa.


It may be noted that these particular Deities of Rama and Sita have been worshiped from the time of King Iksvaku. Indeed, They were worshiped by the royal princes even before the appearance of Lord  Ramacandra. Later, during Lord Ramacandra's presence, the Deities were worshiped by Laksmana. It is said that just three months before his disappearance, Sri Madhvacarya received these Deities and  installed them in the Udupi temple. Since then the Deities have been worshiped by the Madhvacarya-sampradaya at that monastery. As far as the Sri Vaisnavas are concerned, beginning with Ramanuj  acarya, they also worshiped Deities of Sita-Rama. Sita-Rama Deities are also being worshiped in Tirupati and other places. From the Sri Ramanuja-sampradaya there is another branch known as  Ramanandi or Ramat, and the followers of that branch also worship Deities of Sita-Rama very rigidly. The Ramanuj a-sampradaya Vaisnavas prefer the worship of Lord Ramacandra to that of  Radha-Krsna.


Madhvacharya was such a great devotee of Lord Krishna that it is certainly inspiring to read about his life. He never entered household life because he was fully dedicated to the service of the Lord,  even as a child. Although he was fully satisfied to remain at Udupi and engage in the Deity's service, he had a burning desire  to preach the correct conclusions of the shastra to all the unfortunate  conditioned souls rotting within this material world. Therefore, he would leave Udupi and travel widely, spreading his doctrine of Dvaita-vada, the eternal difference between the minute living entities  and the unlimited Supreme Lord.


It is my hope that I will be able to imbibe some of this preaching spirit and someday work hard to deliver the poor souls of this age who are deluded by the great advancements made in science and  technology. Being so absorbed in the external energy of the Lord, hardly anyone has even the faintest idea that life and matter are two distinct entities. How then can they understand the  transcendental nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Somehow, as inheritors of the legacy handed down by Shrila Prabhupada, let us chalk out a plan to make inroads into the great fortress of  materialism and atheism that has gripped the people of this fallen age.

Purnaprajna das 



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There was a brahmana residing near Udupi named Madyageha Bhatta. He lived in a village called Pajakakshetra and would travel to Udupi every day to perform worship in the Ananteshvara temple there.  Madyageha Bhatta was a Shivalli brahmana who worshiped Shiva but understood Vishnu to be the Supreme Lord. Actually, the linga in the temple of Ananteshvara was considered by the brahmana to  represent Lord Parashurama.


At this time, there was a feeling of great unrest among the demigods due to the prominence of impersonal and Buddhist philosophies throughout the world. With Lord Brahma in front, the demigods  approached Lord Vishnu in the hopes of getting relief from their anguish. Knowing that the scheduled incarnation of Lord Vishnu was not due to appear for many years, Brahma described how his  sampradaya had become obscured so that there was a desperate need to re-establish the chain of disciplic succession. Lord Vishnu surveyed the assembled demigods with a view of sending one of them  for executing this important task. When His gaze fell upon Vayu, the wind-god, Lord Vishnu considered him to be a  suitable and qualified candidate.


Lord Vishnu said, "O Vayu, I would like you to incarnate on the earth as Madhva. Establish My personal form as the last word of the Absolute Truth because this understanding has been obscured in the  course of Kaliyuga. You must exhibit the pastimes of a great preacher of Krishna consciousness and deliver those who are not envious of Me."


"At present, My devotees are suffering for want of an understanding of pure devotional service. They are praying to Me in separation that 1 send someone to guide them. Those who are inimical to Me  have propagated imaginary philosophies after squeezing some perverse meaning from the shastra that only partially reveals My transcendental opulence."

"Go and appear in a family of pious brahmanas. Present the undistorted meaning of the Vedic literature." With folded hands and his head bent forward as a sign of respect, Vayu happily accepted this  service that was received directly from the mouth of Lord Vishnu. At this time, in Udupi, the grand festival of Makara-sankranti was being celebrated and so, thousands of devotees assembled at the  Ananteshvara temple. Suddenly, what appeared to be a madman climbed the flag pole situated at the entrance to the temple. Atop the flagpole, he began to dance in a bizarre manner and shout like  one deranged.


However, when he had captured everyone's attention in this way, the man's mood suddenly changed. Actually, he had been possessed by the Deity, Ananteshvara. While the crowd stood watching, he  announced the following message: "Mukyaprana, an incarnation of Vayu, the wind-god, who is a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, will soon appear here at Udupi. He will smash all kinds of impersonalist  philosophies and re-establishing the supremacy of the Lord's personal form, as well as the process of pure devotional service."


"This devotee will possess the six opulences—wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge, and renunciation— to an extraordinary degree. No longer will the humble devotees have to hear the so-called  spiritual masters who blaspheme the Supreme Lord by claiming that He is deaf, dumb, without form, and covered by illusion. This great acharya's mission will be to smash all of these offensive  philosophies to pieces! After defeating all opposition, he will establish real religion and thus deliver the pious devotees from their perilous condition."


After making this announcement, that apparent madman climbed down from the flagpole and disappeared into the crowd. That evening, Madyageha Bhatta walked the twelve kilometers back to his  village, Pajakakshetra, unaware of the role that he would soon play with regards to the incarnation of Vayu. Madhyageha was a young brahmana who had rigorously studied the Vedas. Although, even as  a student, he had the reputation of a scholar, he was never misled by the Mayavadi philosophy put forward by Shankaracharya. Instead, he always exhibited attached to the devotional service of Lord  Vishnu. After the completion of his studies, Madhyageha   Bhatta's marriage was arranged to Vedavati, a faithful devotee of Lord Narayana. Both husband and wife were detached from the bodily  concept of life and thus were not enamored by material society, friendship, and love.


Madyageha Bhatta was always eager to listen to the narrations of the Lord's pastimes in His various incarnations, and render service to the Deity of Ananteshvara in Udupi. He spoke to his wife about his  desire to have a son who would be worthy of being called putra (one who delivers his parents from hell). The couple discussed the means whereby they could receive a son who was pure by nature,  being untouched by passion and ignorance, and thus worthy of receiving the mercy of Lord Vishnu. Finally, Madyageha Bhatta and his wife decided to place the matter before their family Deity, Lord  Narayana.


After making up their minds in this way, the couple vowed to drink only milk while observing the same vows that Kashyapa Muni and his wife, Aditi, had followed at the advice of Lord Brahma for the  purpose of receiving Lord Vamanadeva as their son. This continued for twelve years as they served Lord Ananteshvara in Udupi with minds freed from lust and greed. The pious brahmana couple lived  very simply and passed their time chanting the holy names of Lord Narayana. Finally, Madhyageha and his wife decided to perform the garbhadana-samskara, after soliciting the Lord's blessings. First,  the brahmana purified himself by consuming panch-gavya (cow's milk, yogurt, ghee, urine, and dung). Then, he offered arghya, flowers, and a ghee lamp to the Deity. Finally, while standing before the  Lord, the brahmana couple informed Him of their desire to receive as a child a great devotee who could deliver everyone from their suffering condition.


Thereafter, when his wife's menstrual period finished, the brahmana chose a day suitable for the conception of a male child. After seeking the blessings of Lord Narayana, the couple engaged in sexual  intercourse and by His grace, a child was conceived. In this way, the demigod, Vayu, entered Vedavati's womb, just as a king might enter a nicely decorated city. However, it is the opinion of some  authorities that Vayu evicted the child that was conceived within Vedavati's womb and then appeared there of his own accord. Because the incarnation of Vayu was within her womb, the wife of  Madhyageha became very beautiful and effulgent, displaying thirty-two auspicious characteristics. Indeed, her body was like a temple wherein the Deities of Lord Narayana  and Vayu were installed. During the third month of pregnancy, the pumsavana-samskara was performed. During the seventh month, the swadabhakshana ceremony and other rites of purification were performed. Later on, fire  sacrifices were performed to insure the safe delivery of the child and after few days, a son was born to the brahmana, Madhyageha, and his chaste wife, Vedavati. 


Madhyageha Bhatta called for learned astrologers and together, they performed the jatakarma (birth ceremony) by offering auspicious articles to the child and bathing him in pancha-gavya and  panchamrita (ghee, milk, yogurt, honey, and sugar water). They put gold and ghee on the baby's tongue to invoke good health and intelligence. They put tulasi on his tongue to invoke devotion to the  Lord, and they put honey to invoke a good appetite.


When the learned astrologers prepared the child's horoscope, they were amazed to find that he possessed all thirty-two auspicious characteristics as the incarnation of the wind-god, Vayu. The  astrologers predicted that the child would reform the path taken by misguided men by firmly establishing the philosophy of personalism. They informed the parents that their child, who had previously  appeared as Hanuman and Bhima, would become recognized as a great acharya. At the time of the child's birth, drums could be heard in the heavens and so everyone became ecstatic. The entire  brahmana community came to Madhyageha Bhatta's house to celebrate the auspicious occasion. Indeed, all kinds of pious people and sinful men as well came to congratulate the proud father.


Madhyageha Bhatta worshiped his family Deity and then came to see his son. When he saw the moon-like face of the newborn baby, the brahmana decided to give him the name, Vasudeva. As  Madhyageha affectionately smelled the head of his child, his brahmana friend, Mudillaya, gave the boy a very nice cow and calf in charity. As everyone gazed at the face of the newborn baby with great  satisfaction, they remembered the words of the madman outside the Ananteshvara temple some time back. After hearing the words of the astrologers and seeing the beaming face of the child, everyone  was convinced that he certainly was the avatara of Vayu mentioned by the man on the flag pole. Thus they concluded that the prophecy had been fulfilled.


Actually, no one knows the exact date of Madhvacharya's appearance. There are various opinions in this regard. But, the most widely accepted date for Madhavcharya's appearance is 1238 AD. It is most  widely believed that he lived up to the age of seventy-nine. After the period of confinement of the mother, the niskraman-samskara was performed. At that time, the parents took their baby to Udupi as  a token of gratitude to the Lord. This was Vasudeva's first excursion outside his house. In the party, there were three men walking in front of Madhyageha Bhatta, Vedavati, and their child, and four men  walking behind.  After arriving at the temple, Madhyageha Bhatta worshiped the Lord and prayed for his child's well-being. At the end of the day, he return to his village, Pajakakshetra, and the party had  to travel  through the jungle much of the night. There was not even a path for  bullock carts and so they had to walk on an overgrown footpath. In fact, this jungle was rumored to be the abode of a  brahma-rakshasha (a kind of very powerful ghost) who would harass passersby.It so happened that one of the men in the party started vomiting blood and screaming. Upon witnessing this, Madhyageha  Bhatta began to recite mantras while sprinkling water from his water pot over his friend's body, in the hope of exorcising the ghost. All of this was to no avail, however. Indeed, the influence of the  ghost seemed to become stronger.


The possessed man then said, "I am capable of killing all of you who have come to my playground at midnight. However, I know that this small boy is the incarnation of Vayu. If you place some dust  from the boy's feet upon this man's head, I will become freed from my form as a ghost and your friend will return to normal."Madhyageha Bhatta fearfully placed baby Vasudeva's feet on the haunted  man's head, causing him to immediately fall to the ground. The man was very weak but he was free from the ghost's influence. While condemning themselves for coming through the jungle at night but  relieved that they had been saved, the party continued on. When they finally arrived at Pajakakshetra, Madhyageha Bhatta and the others spoke among themselves: "This child is actually the incarnation  of the wind-god, as predicted by the crazy man on the flag pole. Just as many demons tried to kill Hanuman and Bhima, this child may also face a lot of danger. We must protect him very carefully."


After some weeks, Vasudeva began to crawl. Everyone who saw him was astonished to see such a bright and active baby. He was very big for his age and he could drink much more breast milk that his  mother could supply. While growing up, he was always hungry, even though his mother fed him her milk every half hour. One day, Vedavati went out of the house to attend to some household work,  although she hated to be separated from her son for even a moment. Her daughter was older than Vasudeva and so she asked her to look after the child. However, the moment his mother left, Vasudeva  began to cry for milk. At this time, the baby was old enough for his anna-prashana-samskara (first grains ceremony) to be performed.


Vasudeva's sister told him, "There is no need for you to cry. Soon your mother will return and give you milk and maybe even a banana." Still, the baby continued to cry and so the girl picked him up  and tried to pacify him. This was a futile attempt, however. Feeling despair, the girl repeatedly glanced out the window in the hopes of seeing her mother return home. There was some delay, however,  and so the baby continued to cry. The girl was perplexed, knowing that the baby wanted his mother's milk but being unable to help him. When then happened to see a bag of rough grain that was used   to feed the cows. She went and tipped over the forty kilo bag so that the grain fell onto the floor and in this way, the baby was given something to eat. When she saw that her brother was satisfied in  this way, the girl ran out of the house to find her mother.


Soon thereafter, when the mother and daughter returned home, much to their dismay, they saw that the entire forty kilos of grain was almost gone. The baby, with a look of satisfaction on his  moon-like face, was inside the bag, merrily eating. Being astonished, Vedavati exclaimed, "Even a young bull could not eat so much! My dear girl, how could you give this to my son? How could this  child eat so much?"


In this extraordinary way, the Anna-prashana ceremony was performed in the house of Madhyageha Bhatta. Vedavati breast fed her son and called for her husband to ascertain whether the boy's health  might be impaired by eating the cow food. The brahmana chanted the Dhanvantari-shantisukta prayers for the welfare of his child as the other family members affectionately fondled the boy. At this  time, baby Vasudeva exhibited a most enchanting smile. While playing the part of a small child, Vasudeva would speak in a most pleasing manner with indistinct words. When he learned to crawl and  then stood on his own, and gradually began to walk—these childhood pastimes enthralled his parents and neighbors. Just as the childhood pastimes of Lord Krishna captivated the residents of  Vrindavan, these early activities of the incarnation of Vayu enchanted the hearts of all who witnessed them.


One morning, Vasudeva wandered off on his own, as small boys tend to do, to discover the world around him. He was just one year old but he was very bold and courageous for his age. Leaving his  house, he went to the cow shed. When he saw a bull, Vasudeva wanted to play with it and so he caught it by the tail. Startled, the bull ran off, dragging Vasudeva behind him. This wasn't a baby bull—it  was a big bull with sharp horns. The child held on tight to the bull's tail and in this way, he was dragged through a nearby forest, to the pasturing ground. When Vedavati was unable to find her son, she  became frantic. Madhyageha Bhatta and his friends looked throughout the neighborhood, even inside all the houses, but they could not find the boy. It was only in the evening that they came to see  Vasudeva, still clinging to the bull's tail and going here and there. Actually, the boy was smiling brightly, enjoying the fun. The people scolded Vasudeva, saying, "Where have you been? Why did you do  this? Your mother has been terribly worried. We couldn't find you anywhere."


Actually, no one could punish Vasudeva because they considered themselves fortune to be living with a great soul in their midst. They had been miserable in separation from the child but now that he  was back with them, they felt great satisfaction, like poor men  who suddenly attained wealth, or like devotees who has sincerely taken to devotional service, thus being assured of returning back home,  back to Godhead. In his usual playful manner, Vasudeva once approached his father for something to eat, being always hungry. Madhyageha Bhatta explained to his son, "I cannot give you anything to  eat just now. I bought a bull from a man named Kakrashetty and today, he demands payment. He is sitting on my doorstep and fasting until I pay him."


"My dear son, there are three things that can ruin a family, if neglected—disease, fire, and debt. How can I feed my family as long as this man sits on my doorstep, fasting?"

Vasudeva replied, "Tell Mommy to prepare some nice food. Don't worry, I will take care of the payment for the bull."

Vasudeva often collecting tamarind seeds that had fallen to the ground in his back yard. He would play with them, pretending that they were money. After assuring his father in this way, Vasudeva went  into the back yard and started collecting a bag of tamarind seeds. Madhyageha asked Vasudeva to go and have his meal while he would maintain the fast. Instead, Vasudeva went to Kakrashetty, saying,  "Come with me and I will make your payment in full."


When they came to the tamarind tree, Vasudeva bent down and poured form the bag many seeds that he had collected. At first, Kakrashetty thought that he should humor the charming child and so he  held out his hands to accept the tamarind seeds as "payment". As soon as he did this, the seeds  transformed into gold, right before Kakrashetty's eyes, many times the value of the bull. Taking the  gold, Kakrashtty quickly departed in ecstasy while Vasudeva went into the house to have his meal. Then, as the family was seated, Kakrashetty returned to profusely thank Madhyageha Bhatta for the  additional payment made by his son, in consideration for its lateness. Some time thereafter, Kakrashetty came again to Madhyageha Bhatta to receive payment for something else. Hoping to get another  bag of gold, Kakrashetty approached Vasudeva and it so happened that, by his association, he received something much more valuable—the bhakti-lata-bija (seed of the creeper of devotional service).  News of Vasudeva's childhood pastimes made a great impression on the village people. Indeed, everyone enthusiastically compared them to the pastimes previous enacted by Lord Krishna, the darling  son of Nanda and Yashoda.


When Vasudeva was three years old, his parents, who were very dear to everyone who knew them, took him to a family festival at a nearby village named Nediyoora. This was the village of Madhyageha's  wife's family. Hundreds  of relatives attended the festival, bringing with them their numerous children. As everyone was engaged in the usual conversation indulged in by relatives who were seeing one  another after a long time, Vasudeva decided to go and see a nearby temple. The Supreme Lord,  Narayana, knowing that His devotee didn't want to remain at a mundane gathering, personally appeared  to escort him. The temple was situated about two kilometers from the village, at another place, known as Kudavoor. Those who met the child as he walked along the narrow path asked him, "My dear  boy, where are you going?"


Without saying a word, Vasudeva simply replied by displaying a pleasing smile on his moon-like face. After seeing one or two temples and offering respects to the Deities, little Vasudeva started for  Udupi. The brahmanas at this place were certainly surprised to see a three-year-old boy spontaneously offering prayers and obeisances to the Deities. When he arrived at Udupi, Vasudeva first visited  the Chandramooleshvar temple of Lord Shiva. After offering his prayers and obeisances, the child went to see Lord Ananteshvara, where he remained for some time.


Meanwhile, back at the festival, Madhyageha Bhatta noticed that son was nowhere to be seen. After asking his wife about this and finding out that she had also not seen Vasudeva, the brahmana began  to desperately comb the area. News of the missing child soon spread. When night began to fall, it was finally understood that the boy had left the festivities, heading south. The festival came to a halt  as everyone searched for the missing child. Finally, after going all the way to Udupi, Madhyageha Bhatta found his child in the temple of Lord Ananteshvara, absorbed in looking at the Deity. Being  overjoyed, he smelled the head of his son, again and again. Indeed, tears of joy flowed from his eyes. Vasudeva simply smiled, not even aware that he had put everyone into anxiety by his absence. His  father asked him, "Vasudeva, how did you come so far through the forest? How could you find your way to this temple?"

The child replied, "Lord Narayana escorted me to His temple in another village and then Lord Hari brought me here, to Udupi. I was never alone."


Upon hearing this, all the people were certainly astonished. Madhyageha Bhatta then prayed to Lord Ananteshvara, "My son likes to wander, here and there, of his own accord, sometimes on the road  and sometimes through the forest. Please protect him from the attack of wild animals or from being kidnapped by thieves."

After some time, Madhyageha Bhatta took his son and returned to Nediyoora, where the family festival was still going on. When the festival was over, the family returned home to Pajakakshetra. At Pajakakshetra, there was a temple of Yogamaya (Goddess    Durga)    atop   Vimana    Hill    (Vimangiri).  Vasudevad like to play there for hours on end and often, he would quietly sit alone in the  temple. Some people considered that Vasudeva was playing in the company of Durgadevi, although no one could directly witness this.As the child, Vasudeva, began to grow up, it became clear that he  was exceptionally intelligent. Whatever required study, he was able to grasp almost immediately. Therefore, his father thought that the Hate Khadi or Vidya Rambha ceremony that marks the beginning  of a child's formal education should be performed. Thereafter, Madhyageha Bhatta saw that his child instinctively learned the letters of the alphabet. It was as if the child already knew everything but  was pretending to learn. The Vidya Rambha is  considered a very important samskara and so all of the boy's relatives attended, bringing him presents. The brahmanas were invited and they chanted the  Vedic mantras. The child's head was shaved and then he was bathed and dressed in new clothes.


When everyone saw how child Vasudeva effortlessly mastered what was taught to him in the first few minutes of his primary education, they were astonished. Vasudeva asked his father, "Why do I have  to repeat the same groups of letters, again and again? I already know them!" As soon as his father taught the boy something, it was learned. There was absolutely no need to repeat it. It was obvious to  everyone that Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, was standing next to Vasudeva, the incarnation of Vayu, with folded hands. In fact, Vasudeva showed such great intelligence that people's minds  became a little disturbed. For this reason,  Madhyageha Bhatta continued his education in a secluded place. He was afraid that someone might be envious of his son and thus bribe a trantic yogi to cast  a spell on him. Even mother Yashoda felt much the same way toward baby Krishna. She would perform the nyasa while touching His transcendental body, requesting the expansions of Lord Narayana to  afford Him all protection. Such is the nature of parental love!


After some time, the young boy, Vasudeva, proved beyond a doubt just how learned he was. One day, Vedavati took her son to a religious festival in the nearby village of Neyampalli. As in most  religious festivals, there were pujas, yajnas, dramas, and discourses going on. In this festival, there was also a wedding. Madhyageha Bhatta didn't attend this festival and so, while his mother attended  the wedding ceremony, little Vasudeva went and listened to narrations from the Puranas recited by a renowned orator named Shiva Madinya. This man regularly recited stories from the Puranas in front  of large audiences. While listening in the audience, Vasudeva suddenly stood up and loudly accused the narrator, "The story as you are telling it does not conform to the teachings of great saintly  persons, such as  Vyasadeva and Shukadeva  Gosvami. You are speaking in a speculative manner and so cannot be considered authoritative."


Looking around, the people in the audience were astonished to find that it was a four-year-old boy who was speaking. Being prompted by some members of the audience, Vasudeva related the story in  the proper way, giving the correct purport and thus defeating the speculations of the famous orator. At this time, flowers were showered from the heavens and indeed, the people of the audience felt  incomparable delight. In this way, the discourse came to an end and the members of the audience dispersed. Vasudeva returned to his mother and together, they went home. Back at Pajakakshetra,  Vasudeva described the entire incident to his father, relating the story as given by the orator, as well as his reply. He asked his father, "Who was correct, Shiva Madinya or me?"


Madhyageha Bhatta confirmed to his son that he was indeed correct. Within himself, the astonished father considered that Vasudeva must directly receive intelligence from his worshipable Lord,  Ananteshvara. Not long after this, a similar incident occurred. Madhyageha Bhatta was reading from the Shrimad-Bhagavatam to a large gathering and in the course of his narration, he described the  trees listed in a particular verse. He described trees like tulasi, banyan, amla, nim, mango, and kadamba but he neglected the likucha tree. Vasudeva immediately spoke up: "Father, without explaining  the meaning of the word 'likucha,' you continue speaking on Shrimad-Bhagavatam. I think that you are cheating the members of the  audience."


After hearing this, some members of the audience urged Madhyageha Bhatta to properly explain this word. However, the actually meaning eluded him and so, he remained silent. Vasudeva then said,  "Father, you are simply a pretender. The likucha tree is a lime tree." At this, everyone in the audience highly praised the small, bright-faced boy. Generally, young boys were awarded the sacred thread in  the upanayana-samskara ceremony when they were eight years old. However, seeing the level of his son's spiritual advancement, Madhyageha Bhatta decided that the ceremony should be performed  when his son was five. For both father and son, this marked a significant change in their lives. Especially for Vasudeva, this meant that his playful childhood was over. Now, he would have to seriously  pursue Vedic studies and the chanting of mantras as a brahmachari. This was truly his second birth.


Madhyageha Bhatta showed his son how to perform a fire sacrifice with offerings of oblations after purifying himself, inside and out, by bathing, wearing cleans clothes, chanting mantras, and  performing achamana and nyasa (touching parts of the body while chanting mantras).  Prior to the upanayana-samskara ceremony, Madhya¬geha Bhatta consulted learned astrologers to determine the  most auspicious date. The vrishabha (bull) lagna was selected because it would aid the steadiness and determination required for brahmachari life. The ceremony was lavishly performed. The guru  (Vasudeva's father) sat down before the sacred fire and handed his son padukas (wooden shoes), the rod of a brahmachari, and new yellow cloth. Oblations into the sacred fire were offered in the  presence of a crowd of onlookers but the father placed the sacred thread over his son's shoulders and whispered the Gayatri mantra into his right ear in private.


After his head was shaved and he was given a ritualistic bath, Vasudeva was dressed in yellow cloth and a kusha grass belt was tied around his waist. He was shown how to perform achamana before  eating or performing worship, as well as how to chant the prana stuti (om pranaya svaha, om apanaya svaha, om vyanaya svaha, om udanaya svaha, om samanaya svaha) before eating.All this Vasudeva  effortlessly learned. However, the chanting of this mantra made him even more hungry because it stimulated his digestive air. As a formality, Madhyageha Bhatta explained to his son the meaning of  brahmacharya, the acceptance of the vow of celibacy, and the importance of simplicity and the study of the Vedas. Everyone who saw the pure beauty of young Vasudeva as he accepted the sacred  thread was so enthralled by his features that they could not take their eyes off him. The demigods and their wives also attended the upanayana-samskara ceremony, although they remained invisible to  people possessing mundane vision. Drums could be heard in the sky as flower petals showered upon the assembly.


Thereafter, Vasudeva learned from his father how to perform sandhya-vandanam—recitation of prayers in the morning, at noon, and in the evening. Sandhya-vandanam is performed by all classes of  brahmanas. First, one must perform achamana by sipping water and chanting mantras. Then the nyasa must be performed while touching the parts of the body and chanting mantras. After that, one  much perform vignapaharanam—praying that the Lord will remove all obstacles from one's life so that one can make unhindered spiritual advancement. Next, Vasudeva learned to perform pranayama  (yogic breathing exercises). Following this, one should make a declaration, which is called sankalpa.


An example of sankalpa is: om bhagavad agyaya bhagavad kainkarya rupam prathah sandhyam upasisye prathah sandhyam upasisye. "I am now engaged in the morning twilight prayers (the Gayatri  mantra) under the order of my guru, for the service of the Lord." Next, the body is marked with tilaka and sprinkling with purified water.   Joined handfuls of water are then  offered to Surya-narayana as  twelve libations of tarpana. At this time, one should recite the prescribed prayers to Lord Surya-narayana. In this way, Madhyageha Bhatta showed his beloved son, by personal example, the procedure  to be followed by twice-born brahmanas. As a result, the sandhya rituals became engrained in Vasudeva's heart as his regular practice. Just after Vasudeva returned to Pajakakshetra after his upanayana  ceremony, he encountered a huge snake demon with five heads. Many believed that this snake was formerly the demon, Maniman, who was killed by Bhima in the battle at Kurukshetra. It was said that  he was so envious of Bhima that he chose to be born in the forest near Pajakakshetra so that he could kill the young Vasudeva, the incarnation of Vayu.


One day, as Vasudeva and his friends were playing near the Durga temple on Vimana Hill, as usual, they passed right by the place where the serpent was staying within some bushes. As the boys passed  that way, the snake demon pounced upon Vasudeva and bit him. When the local people heard that Vasudeva had been bitten by a snake, they became alarmed. Even the bite of a small snake could  prove fatal for a five-year-old boy and this snake had five hoods and was huge. The attack was sudden but Vasudeva, being undisturbed, killed the snake by pressing it with his big toe. When the people  came and examined the boy's body, looking for a snake bite, they couldn't find even a tiny wound. In fact, it turned out that Vasudeva was not in the least affected by the snake bite. Of course, one who considered Vasudeva to merely be a small boy would find this hard to believe. However, Vasudeva was the incarnation of Vayu, one of the chiefs of the demigods. For such a person,  what would be difficult to accomplish?


One can visit the place where this incident occurred. Between Vimangiri and Pajakakshetra a small shrine has been erected around an impression of the snake demon's hood as it was pressed into solid  rock. While playing with his brahmana friends, Vasudeva would often put his mother into anxiety. Although the parents were very liberal with regards to their son's play, when they called him, they  expected him to come home right away.


That day, while Vasudeva was engaged with the snake demon, Vedavati called him again and again. Being absorbed in his play after killing the demon, however, Vasudeva did not respond. Then, as his  mother continued to call, Vasudeva suddenly jumped into the air, like Hanuman leaping to the Gandamadana Mountain to collect herbs for the injured Lakshman. Although it was about two kilometers  away, the boy jumped from the hill all the way to his house, landing right in front of his mother. The impressions that his feet made are still  visible there. At this time, Vedavati was not aware that her  son had killed the snake demon but still, she carefully inspected his body to insure his well-being. Knowing where their son was at any given time was the main concern of Madhyageha Bhatta.and his  chaste wife, Vedavati. Vasudeva spent much time studying, along with many other brahmana boys, at the school run by a descendent of Totanithillaya. In school, Vasudeva was always a leader.  Wherever he would go, the other boys would follow. He was invariably first in play, studies, wrestling, and everything else. Naturally, as the incarnation of Vayu, no one could compare with Vasudeva. In wrestling, he enjoyed challenging older boys. Vasudeva was given the nickname, Bhima, because of his strong arms. Indeed, anyone caught in his iron-like grip would only be released when Vasudeva  so desired. When he wrestled, Vasudeva always came out victorious. Sometime, while engaged in water sports, when they were defeated by Vasudeva, the other boys would splash water upon him,  creating a wonderful scene.


Vasudeva's brahmana teacher could not understand his nature. At every opportunity, Vasudeva would run home to eat something and then slowly return to school. It this way, he appeared to be trying  to avoid his classes. One day, Totantillacharya angrily accused Vasudeva of not being attentive to the lectures, studies, and homework. He shouted, "Vasudeva, why don't you study with your  friends?  Don't you care to become a learned scholar?"

Vasudeva replied, "I don't see the point of repeating what I have already learned. I assure you that I have learned all that you have assigned me."


Still, the teacher was offended by the boy's confident nature and so he asked him to repeat all the verses they had studied that day. Vasudeva not only recited all of the sholkas perfectly—he chanted  many verses that they had not yet studied. The teacher was shocked. He wondered, "How is this possible? He has not only memorized the verses—he has chanted them perfectly, according to rules of  jata, pada, and krama, with relation to the meter. His pronunciation is perfect! Who is this extraordinary child?"


After many such experiences, Vasudeva was honored with the title, Anumana Tirtha, for his ability to quote the perfect verse for every situation and explain the purport with absolute clarity. One day, while in a desolate forest, the teacher's son, who was Vasudeva's classmate, got an unbearable headache. Miraculously, Vasudeva cured the boy's headache merely by blowing into his ear. It is  said that when Vasudeva blew into the boy's ear, not only did his headache disappear—he was able to see within himself innumerable previous births.


Once, when Vasudeva heard the Aitareya Upanishad, which propounds the greatness of Lord Vishnu, he memorized its many verses in a matter of minutes. This Upanishad became a lifelong favorite of  Vasudeva. When his teacher would sometimes quote from this Upanishad, Vasudeva would interrupt him and provide a clearer explanation. Upon hearing this, the Totanillaya brahmana would be  pleased. After some initial reservations, the brahmana teacher could understand his great fortune to have such an incredible student. It was only on graduation day, however, that the bond between  them was truly sealed. Vasudeva gave as his guru-dakshina (remuneration given to the preceptor), love of God. After taking permission to leave the ashram of his preceptor, Vasudeva, in consideration  of his future mission, began to prepare himself for his preaching work, which involved defeating the  impersonalists, who claim that God is formless, and establishing the Supreme Lord's transcendental  form.


Vasudeva's teacher, Totantillaya, bade farewell to his best student as tears of affection welled up in his eyes. After leaving the gurukula, Vasudeva's only thought was how to fulfill his mission as an  incarnation of Vayu—to re-establish the principles of pure devotional service to the Lord. After much consideration, he concluded that the best way to facilitate his mission would be to accept the  renounced order of life, sannyasa, from a bona-fide spiritual master coming in a line of disciplic succession. At this time, Madhyageha Bhatta was looking for a nice brahmana-Vaishnava girl as a  suitable match for his son. However, Vasudeva had not interested in mundane society, friendship, and love—nor did he have any desire to enter the household ashram. His sole desire was to preach  Krishna consciousness to the innocent people of this world.


Vasudeva had heard of an elderly ascetic living in the village of Bandarkare, just a few miles north of Udupi. This sannyasi was said to belong to the ancient Brahma sampradaya. His name was  Achyutapreksha, which means, "one who has knowledge of the infallible Lord, Achyuta." According to some opinion, Achyutapreksha was formerly a bumblebee residing in the Pandavas' palace. In fact,  he used to receive prasada directly from the hands of Draupadi. After much consideration, Vasudeva made up his mind to take sannyasa from Achyutapreksha. For the past four hundred years, the  acharyas of the Brahma sampradaya had led their lives in seclusion, out of fear of the Buddhists and Mayavadis. These sannyasis were not strong enough to combat the impersonalist and voidist  philosophies that were prevalent at this time. Therefore, they were content  to simply maintain their practices in remote places.



When he was on his deathbed, the spiritual master of Achyutapreksha had carefully instructed him about the distinction between Advaita philosophy, which declares that the individual soul and the  Supreme Soul are one and the same, and the Vaishnava philosophy, which  declares that the individual soul is eternally subordinate to the Supreme Soul. He urged his disciple to somehow help bring  about a revolution in the minds of people regarding their understanding of the Absolute Truth.Achyutapreksha deeply pondered over his guru's final instructions. He used to go every day and worship  Lord Ananteshvara in the temple. He was a very peaceful and gentle devotee but still, in his mind, he was perplexed about how he could execute his guru's order. One day, Lord Ananteshvara entered  the body of an ordinary man, who then approached Achyutapreksha and said, "Soon, I will send My exalted devotee to you so that you can fulfill the instructions of your spiritual master."At this time,  Achyutapreksha was residing near the Ananteshvara temple in Udupi, at the Bandarkare Mutt. Taking the initiative, Vasudeva began to visit him every day, thinking of himself as the sannyasi's  prospective disciple. Even at their first meeting, Achyutapreksha could intuitively feel that Vasudeva was the disciple Lord Ananteshvara had referred to through the mouth of a messenger.


Madhyageha Bhatta heard about how his beloved only son was spending much time with an elderly sannyasi and so, he became worried. Vasudeva was his life and soul. When his father brought up the  subject very tactfully, Vasudeva came right out and said, "I want to take sannyasa and so please give me your permission." Madhyageha Bhatta asked Vasudeva to reconsider the matter. He said, "Now,  your mother and 1 are old and frail. I don't think that your mother could bear separation from you. Wait until we leave this world. After enjoying household life in a befitting manner, you can take  sannyasa when you are elderly." In so many ways, Madhyageha Bhatta implored his son not to take sannyasa and leave home. He even fell at his son's feet and begged him, on behalf of his wife, not to  accept the renounced order of life. However, Vasudeva simply replied, "I have already made up my mind and the Supreme Lord has also given me His approval by means of various signs. A senior  member of a family should never prostrate himself before a junior member, unless he happens to be a sannyasi!"


Madhyageha Bhatta then went and begged Achyutapreksha not to initiate his son into the renounced order of life. The sannyasi gave no reply, however. Soon thereafter, Achyutapreksha took Vasudeva  and went south, to Kuthyadi, which is now called Kayooru, across the Netravati River, which is about sixty kilometers from Udupi. It was there, in the Kuthyadi Mutt, at a place called Karem, that  Madhyageha Bhatta found his son in the process of accepting sannyasa from Achyutapreksha. He saw his son tearing a cloth into two pieces—one to be tied around his waist and one to make a kaupin  (a loincloth), which is the traditional underwear for a sannyasi. Madhyageha Bhatta desperately tried for the last time to convince his son not to take sannyasa. He  pleaded, "Manu and other compilers  of dharma-shastra do not speak of anything higher than serving one's parents. Two of our sons died and so, if you take sannyasa, we will have no protector." Vasudeva calmly replied, "When a man  becomes detached from all desires for sense enjoyment—at that time, he should take sannyasa. Don't worry, I will not accept sannyasa before someone comes to take care ot you.


This statement indicated that another son would be born to Madhyageha Bhatta and his wife. Finally, Vasudeva promised that until both mother and father gave their permission, he would wait to take  sannyasa. It so happened that soon thereafter, according to the will of Vasudeva, Vedavati became pregnant. This pacified the parents somewhat, although Madhyageha was still reluctant to lose his  beloved son, just as Dasharatha couldn't bear the thought of Rama being banished to the forest. Finally, Vasudeva came to his parents house and said to his mother, "If you ever want to see me again,  you must now give me permission to accept the renounced order of life. If you refuse to do so, I will go to a distant place so that you will never see me again."


In this way, Vedavati was reluctantly forced to give her son permission to take sannyasa. Vasudeva was staying at Achyutapreksha's ashrama and from time to time, he visited his parents until finally, a  son was born to them. As previously agreed upon, Vasudeva was given permission to take sannyasa without further delay. As with the date of his birth, there is uncertainty about the actual date when  Vasudeva accepted the renounced order of life. Most authorities accept that he was around ten or eleven years old, however. Vasudeva was given the sannyasa name, Purnaprajna Tirtha. In a land where  there were many pretentious sannyasis, his pure character was a pleasure for all to witness. People could understand that Purnaprajna Tirtha did not take sannyasa for any ulterior motive. He didn't  exhibit great pride while thinking, "I am such a great devotee and renunciate!"He didn't use the garb of a sannyasi to push himself forward as a spiritual master of thousands of ignorant fools. He didn't  take sannyasa as a means of avoiding the responsibilities of materialistic life, or with the desire to attain liberation. He was not a failure with nothing else to do. There were no calamities in his life, nor  was he poverty-stricken. His only motivation was to preach on the order of the Supreme Lord.


Purnaprajna Tirtha was now a member of the Brahma sampradaya. During the initiation ceremony, he had vowed to dedicate everything—his actions, thoughts, and words—to the service of Lord Hari. People were astonished to see such a young boy in the renounced order of life. As he walked, holding his  sannyasa danda, he appeared incomparably effulgent. All of his childish ways were now and he  appeared sober, pure-hearted, and deep. Later in the day of his sannyasa initiation, as Purnaprajna offered prostrated obeisances to Lord Ananteshvara in the temple, a hand gently touched his  shoulder. Once again, the Deity had entered the body of an ordinary man. Taking Purnaprajna to his sannyasa guru, who was standing nearby, the man said, "I have given you Purnaprajna because I have  understood your purity of devotion for Me." In this way, Achyutapreksha understood that his disciple, Purnaprajna, was not an ordinary human being but had been sent to him by the Lord. Thereafter,  Achyutapreksha avoided others' association while taking special care to train his new disciple.


One day, Purnaprajna asked his guru if he could go and bathe in the Ganga. Achyutapreksha readily gave his permission without considering how this would mean separation from his beloved disciple.  However, shortly after granting his permission, Achyutapreksha began frantically praying to Lord Ananteshvara, thinking that separation from Purnaprajna would be unbearable. Being compassionate  upon his dear devotee, the Lord again entered the body of an ordinary man and spoke to Purnaprajna: "After three days, just to save you the trouble of going to a distant place, the celestial Ganga will  flow into the lake that is situated nearby." Thus it came to be that in the southwest corner of the lake, a clear column of water was seen gushing up from within. Previously, this lake was known as  Ananta Tirtha but ever since the Ganga appeared there to please Purnaprajna, it has been called Madhva Sarova.


Since that time, every twelve years, the Ganga flows into the lake at Udupi. One day, sometime thereafter, Purnaprajna Tirtha approached his sannyasa guru, Achyutapreksha, and asked him for  permission to go on a tour of South India, where there were many learned scholars who followed the impersonalist philosophy put forward by Shankaracharya, called Advaita-vada. Achyutapreksha  denied him permission, however, saying that to go on such a tour alone would certainly be very dangerous. About a month after Purnaprajna Tirtha took sannyasa, a great pandita named Vasudeva  came to Udupi, along with all his followers, to challenge the local scholars to debate. After arriving at the Bandarkare Mutt, Vasudeva Pandita asked for Achyutapreksha, having heard of his reputation  as a great scholar. Upon meeting Achyutapreksha, Vasudeva offered his respects and then challenged him to a debate. As word spread, the whole town turned out to witness the contest.  Achyutapraksha and Purnaprajna Tirtha sat next to each other while Pandita Vasudeva spoke on the subject of his choice. 


Thereafter, the pandita continued to speak for three days, without an intermission. Everyone was amazed at how expertly he presented his subject. At the end of his concluding remarks, everyone  applauded him with great enthusiasm. Purnaprajna then took up the challenge. In his reply, Purnaprajna brought up each and every point the pandita had made and dismantled them with strong  evidence and logic. Indeed, Purnaprajna's sweet voice charmed the audience, even as it smashed the pandita's assertions. Some of the pandita's followers tried to defend their mentor's statements but  Purnaprajna silenced them with his incontestable arguments.


Achyutapreksha was very proud of his student. Upon seeing how he single-handedly defeated the pandita and his followers, Achyutapreksha considered it unnecessary for him to teach Purnaprajna any  further. Indeed, he began to consider Purnaprajna Tirtha Swami to be his spiritual master and so desired to hear more from him about life's ultimate goal. Whenever there was time, Purnaprajna studied  the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, which had made its appearance after the disappearance of Lord Krishna from this world. He rightly considered it to be the ripened fruit of all Vedic literature. Once, while with  Achyutapreksha, Purnaprajna Tirtha happened to hear some brahmanas reading and discussing Shrimad-Bhagavatam. He noticed that they were deviating from the meaning presented by Shrila  Vyasadeva and so he began to correct them.


Achyutapreksha then interrupted Purnaprajna, saying, "If you are such an authority on Shrimad-Bhagavatam, let me hear your explanation of the Fifth Canto." Purnaprajna responded by reciting the  Fifth Canto's prose with ease, as if he were the author of the book. The brahmanas listened to his explanations, trying to find some fault, but his presentation was flawless. There was something that no  one could understand, including Achyutapreksha—how did this mere boy possess such learning? Not only was he proficient in grammar and philosophy—he knew all the conclusions of the Vedic  literature. Once, Achyutapreksha asked him, "O victorious one, how is it that you know about books that you have not even read?" Purnaprajna Tirtha's humble reply was: "I knew all of this in previous  births."


In this way, Purnaprajna Tirtha's fame began to spread, far and wide. Daily, he would lecture to crowds of people. Whoever heard him accepted his explanations of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, rejecting the  fallacious ideas that they had previously heard from others. Indeed, this is one of the qualifications of a bona-fide spiritual master—he eradicates all misconceptions that one may have collected by  means of mental speculation, cultivation of knowledge, or  personal taste.   The influence of Purnaprajna Tirtha can best be understood in the light of Shrila Prabhupada's explanation of the two kinds  of Bhagavatas that is found in the purports to Shrimad-Bhagavatam: "There are two types of Bhagavatas, namely the book Bhagavata and the devotee Bhagavata. Both the Bhagavatas are competent  remedies, and both of them or either of them can be good enough to eliminate the obstacles. A devotee Bhagavata is as good as the book Bhagavata because the devotee Bhagavata leads his life in  terms of the book Bhagavata and the book Bhagavata is full of information about the Personality of Godhead and his pure devotees, who are also Bhagavatas. Bhagavata book and person are identical."


"The devotee Bhagavata is a direct representative of Bhagavan, the Personality of Godhead. So by pleasing the devotee Bhagavata one can receive the benefit of the book Bhagavata. Human reason fails  to understand how by serving the devotee Bhagavata or the book Bhagavata one gets gradual promotion on the path of devotion. But actually these are facts explained by Srila Naradadeva, who  happened to be a maidservant's son in his previous life. The maidservant was engaged in the menial service of the sages, and thus he also came into contact with them. And simply by associating with  them and accepting the remnants of foodstuffs left by the sages, the son of the maidservant got the chance to become the great devotee and personality Srila Naradadeva. These are the miraculous  effects of the association of Bhagavatas. And to understand these effects practically, it should be noted that by such sincere association of Bhagavatas one is sure to receive transcendental knowledge  very easily, with the result that one becomes fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. The more progress is made in devotional service under the guidance of the Bhagavatas, the more one becomes  fixed in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. The messages of the book Bhagavata, therefore, have to be received from the devotee Bhagavata, and the combination of these two Bhagavatas will  help the neophyte devotee to make progress on and on."


As a devotee Bhagavata, Purnaprajna Tirtha preached to all classes of men the message of Shrimad-Bhagavatam and in this way, changed their hearts. For this reason, he was awarded the title,  Bhagavatapada. After witnessing Purnaprajna Tirtha's wonderful preaching, Achyutapreksha decided to install him as the next acharya of the Vedanta Pitha, as his successor. Thus, Purnaprajna Tirtha  was installed upon  the vyasasana, much in the way that a Deity installation is performed. At this time, he was given the name Anandatirtha. One day, a saintly friend of Achyutapreksha came along with  his many disciples to engage in debate. They were all trained in the discipline of nyaya (logic) and were proud of their learning. Achyutapreksha informed his friend that he had stepped down from the  Pitha and so he should debate with his disciple, Anandatirtha, who  was qualified to discuss any subject. In the debate that followed, the visitors tried to put forward the theory that the individual soul  (jiva) and the Supreme Soul are one and the same and that this material manifestation is illusory. Anandatirtha (Madhvacharya) gave unassailable evidence that the living entity is eternally subordinate  to the Supreme Soul and that the cosmic manifestation, although temporary, is not illusory (simply an imagination).


The challengers tried to show that anumana (inference) is the ultimate authority for ascertaining the truth. However, Anandatirtha demonstrated that such mental speculation must depend upon sense  perception, which is always imperfect. As the arguments went back and forth, Anandatirtha tirelessly established that the Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and not impersonal  Brahman. Next to come and challenge Anadatirtha were some Buddhists, headed by a man named Buddhisagara, who denounced the Vedas. He was accompanied by a Jain scholar named Vadisimha.  Achyutapreksha countered the attack by taking the best arrow (Anandatirtha) from his quiver (his institution).


Many people assembled to witness the debate and judges were selected to decide which party had emerged victorious. Vadisimha lead the attack, making eighteen assertions in an attempt to destroy  Anandatirtha by his weighty arguments. However, Anandatirtha not only refuted each point—he smashed the envious rascal, Vadisimha, with just a few short and decisive sentences. At this, Vadisimha  began to show his real self, shouting loudly while attempting to present more arguments. Still, Anandatirtha countered every argument in a calm and dignified manner in his role as the best of  Vaishnava philosophers. Powerful and controlled, Anandatirtha resembled Bhimasena in a fight. After he had dismembered Vadisimha's every word, the Jain fell silent. Everyone knew that this was his  admission of total defeat.


Buddhisagara, whose name means, "an ocean of intelligence", next came forward with great pride to try and establish the supremacy of his understanding. As soon as he confronted Anandatirtha,  however, he could realize that he had vastly over-estimated himself. Indeed, with only a mere slap of a sentence, Anandatirtha smashed the arrogant Buddhisagara. The cheating rascals, Vadisimha and  Buddhisagara, then requested Anandatirtha, "Let the debate take place tomorrow. We will forget about what occurred today."

The victorious Anandatirtha replied, "If you have something to discuss then speak now."


In reply, the two disputants gave the excuse that it was evening and an inauspicious muhurta. In fact, they presented so many excuses so as to appear undefeated but all the people knew that they had  been smashed. The next morning, Vadisimha and Buddhisagara's  room was found empty. In fear of losing their reputation, they had departed during the night. In this way, Anandatirtha effortlessly  earned a reputation for his scholarship while Buddhisagara and Vadisimha had earned their meager fame over a long period of time, wandering throughout the land.


Anandathirtha especially attacked the impersonal philosophy of Shankaracharya, as outlined in his commentary on Vedanta-sutra, known as Shariraka-bhashya. Of course, Anandathirtha would blast  any philosophy that did not recognize the authority of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Indeed, his attacks were like the wielding of a sword because he would cut opposing arguments to shreds. Actually, this is what all of the devotees had been praying for—that someone would come along who could clearly and decisively explain the theistic science of God. Indeed, many devotees urged  Madhavacarya to vigorously spread his teachings for the benefit of suffering humanity. One day, as Anandatirtha was speaking to a large audience, giving his commentary on Vedanta-sutra, greatly  criticizing the bhashya of Shankaracharya, the many panditas who listened with great  delight, considered his commentary to be like a river of nectar flowing from his mouth. After the lecture, these learned brahmanas begged Anandatirtha to write his own commentary on Vedanta sutra. Just as one who had learned to play a musical instrument improperly would first have to  unlearn his bad habits before actual training could begin, Anandatirtha had to kick out the fallacious  ideas that the people had gotten by hearing Shankaracharya's Shariraka-bhashya before giving the  actual purport Vedanta-sutra. By his preaching, Anandatirtha became widely accepted as an acharya, and was known as Madhvacharya.


Madhvacarya's now aged father, Madhyageha Bhatta, would come to visit his beloved son, from time to time, affectionately watching him as he dismantled and re¬assembled those who came to present  their arguments. It is said that Madhyageha Bhatta drank with cupped palms the nectar that he saw through his old eyes—the ocean of nectar, Madhvacarya. Deep within his heart, he remembered how  he used to lovingly hold his child in his arms and play with him. Indeed, he would recall many of his son's ecstatic childhood pastimes.


During one such visit of Madhyageha Bhatta, he heard a discussion between Madhvacharya and his sannyasa guru, Achyutapreksha, wherein Achyutapreksha strongly appealed to his disciple to compose  a commentary on Vedanta-sutra. He urged Madhvacharya to simply concentrate on presenting the actual purport of Vedanta-sutra and not waste time refuting the innumerable fallacious arguments of  the impersonalists. He said, "As the full moon automatically minimizes the importance of innumerable shining stars upon rising in the sky, your  commentary will automatically expose the foolishness  of the impersonalists." After some time, Madhvacharya desired to go on a tour of the South, so that he could preach to the numerous panditas that were followers of Shankaracharya's impersonalist  philosophy, Patanjali's  yoga system, Jaimini's Mimamsa philosophy, Gautama Muni's Nyaya, and the atheistic Kapila's materialistic Sankhya philosophy. There were also many Buddhists and some with  mixed, hodge-podge philosophies. Achyutapreksha gave his consent, provided he could accompany his disciple and so, the two set out for Vishnumangalam. According to a learned opinion, this  Vishnumangalam was a village about forty kilometers south of present-day Mangalore, in Karnataka. Madhavacharya became very fond of this place and spent much time in the Vishnu temple there. While at Vishnumangalam, when Madhva had just finished an enormous meal of prasada, a local householder approached him with alms of two hundred large bananas and begged him to eat them.  Actually, these bananas were a foot-and-a-half long and ten inches in circumference and yet, the incarnation of Vayu, who had previously appeared as Vrikodara (meaning "wolf-bellied," a name of  Bhima), ate every single one in a very casual manner, as if it were no more than a morsel. An average person could only eat three or four of these bananas and so, everyone was amazed.


When some people asked Madhvacharya how he could eat so many bananas, he replied, "The fire in my stomach, which is the size of a thumb, burns brightly, ready to digest anything. Due to its  potency, that fire could be compared to the fire at the time of universal devastation."  Leaving  Vishnumangalam, Madhvacharya, Achyutapreksha, and their party headed further south, entering  present-day Kerala. They came to the holy Payasvini River and went to the temple of Ananta Sayana Padmanabhaswami, who is glorified  as having a complexion the color of a blue lotus flower. This  Deity, who is lying on Ananta Shesha, as Lakshmi-devi massages His lotus feet, is said to have been made from eighteen thousand shalagrama-shilas. In the town  of Ananta, Madhvacharya delivered  powerful lectures on the Brahma-sutra, describing the transcendental names, forms, qualities, and pastimes of Lord Achyuta. Madhvacharya's philosophy   is known as Dvaitavada, or the understanding  of duality, as opposed to Advaitavada, the understanding that all is one.

Madhvacharya points out five differences in his Dvaitavada philosophy.


(1) The difference between the tiny living entities (jivas) and the Supreme Lord. In the Shrimad-Bhagavtam (10.87.30) this difference is nicely pointed out: 


aparimita dhruvas tanu-bhrto yadi sarva-gatas tarhi na sasyateti niyamo dhruva netaratha

ajani ca yan-mayam tad avimucya niyantr bhavet samam anujanatam yad amatam mata-dustataya


"O Supreme Eternal! If the embodied living entities were eternal and all-pervading like You, then they would not be under Your control. But if the living entities are accepted as minute energies of Your  Lordship, then they are at once subject to Your supreme control. Therefore, real liberation entails surrender by the living entities to Your control, and that surrender will make them happy. In that  constitutional position only can they be controllers. Therefore, men with limited knowledge who advocate the monistic theory that God and the living entities are equal in all respects are actually  guided by a faulty and polluted opinion."


(2) The difference between the Supreme Lord and matter. The Supreme Lord is eternal and unchanging whereas the material nature is infinitely mutable. Matter is an energy of the Lord that is put into  motion simply by His glance.


(3) The difference between individual jiva souls. I am not you and you are not me. When I eat, you do not feel satisfaction.


(4) The difference between the tiny living entities and the material nature. After all, the material body does not go with the living entity at the time of death. It is made of dull matter and is distinct  from the eternal, conscious soul.


(5)The difference between the various material elements. A tree in a forest exhibits one nature but when in contact with fire, its nature changes.


Throughout his tour of South India, Madhvacharya preached this philosophy of Dvaitavada (duality). After speaking to an assembly of panditas, many of which might not have been convinced by his  arguments, being accustomed to thinking according to the view of another philosophical system, he would invite replies to his statements. If there were no questions, Madhvacharya would have his  disciples pose false objections, just so he could further explain his Dvaitavada philosophy. While continuing his tour, Madhvacharya came to the Anamalai Hills in the district of Udamalpet. By the side  of the hills, which stretch for as far as the eye can see, a river flows parallel to them. The riverbed is solid rock without any mud or pebbles, so that the water is crystal clear. By the side of the river  stands an ancient temple of the guna-avataras (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva).


At a place in the river, there is a formation of stones where the top one is flat. The river flows underneath and  around this flat stone so that up to one hundred men can sit there undisturbed. On his  tour, Madhvacharya would sit on this rock in the river after bathing, and carefully think about his mission as an incarnation. The local people were so impressed by Madhvacharya that they made of  Deity of him that is present to this day. After seeing the temple of Padmanabha Swami at Trivandrum, Madhvacarya was confronted by the followers of Shankaracharya, whose headquarters was nearby,  at Shringeri, and who were also on a preaching tour.


In a debate, the elderly acharya representing Shankara, called the Vidya Shankara, was soundly defeated, although he still tried to criticize Madhvacharya. Thereafter, both headed south and when the  time of chaturmasya set in, Madhvacharya, being a staunch sannyasi, decided to remain at Rameshvaram for four months. Vidya Shankara had the same idea. Both had visited Ananta Shayana and  Kanyakumari before coming to Rameshvaram. Nearby, both had bathed at the place where Lord Rama had constructed a bridge to Lanka. In this way, both came to Rameshvaram to perform their  chaturmasya vows.


When they happened to meet, Madhvacharya began attacking Vidya Shankara's impersonalist views. Indeed, while challenging the Mayavadi, Madhvacharya vowed that he would break his danda if  defeated. Vidya Shankara requested the local brahmanas to bless him so that Madhva's danda could be broken. However, the brahmanas replied, "How could anyone hate Madhvacharya? His moonlike  face is so pleasing to see and his nectarean words give us great inspiration." In the discussions that followed, the strong arguments of Madhvacharya defeated every statement put forward by the  Mayavadis. Still, Vidya Shankara was a sore loser and so he repeatedly sent his men to harass Madhva's party in petty ways. Unfortunately, the Mayavadis were not humble enough to admit defeat.  Instead, they arranged that the shopkeepers would not sell to Madhva and his party, they stole some of Madhva's provisions, and they performed other similar nuisance acts. Such is the nature of  Kali-yuga but Mahdvacharya tolerated all inconvenience and remained undisturbed.


When chaturmasya was over, Madhvacharya left Rameshvaram and went to Shri Rangam. While traveling in this way, the number of Madhvacharya's followers steadily increased. In a village that was  desperately short of water, the merciful Madhvacharya struck his danda to the ground and miraculously, an abundance of fresh water emerged. To this day, that place, known as Danda-tirtha, provides  the best pure drinking water. Finally, Madhvacharya reached Shri Rangam, which was the seat of Vaishnava learning at that time. There, he had many enthusiastic discussions with the devotees in the  line of Ramanuj acharya, the  saintly acharya of the eleventh century.  Madhvacharya took the darshana of the many Deities at the Shri Rangam temple. He never showed disrespect for any of the  demigods but he spent much time worshiping Lord Ranganatha, who is Lord Narayana.


From Shri Rangam, Madhvacharya went to Chandragiri, which is situated on the banks of the River Pavasvini. Crowds of panditas visited the temple there and they were all very learned in the six limbs  of the Vedas—siksha (instructions on spiritual matters), vyakarana (grammar), chhandas (recitation of mantras), nirukta (root meanings of words), jyotisha (astrology), and kalpa (the method of  performing sacrifice). The brahmanas were very interested to see Madhvacharya, although he was dressed very simply as a sannyasi. His striking and attractive appearance caught their attention, as did  his speaking, which  was always in terms of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Actually, his very presence was awe-inspiring and so he stood out like the full moon, thus diminishing the luster of the many star-like  panditas, who were a storehouse of ill logic and mental speculation. There was an eminent pandita who wanted to debate with Madhvacharya, however. He approached him and said, "Quite a crowd has  gathered to see you! We would like to hear you recite from the Aitareya Upanishad, just to witness your learning."


Madhvacharya proceeded to recite the mantras of  the   Aitareya  Upanishad   with  perfect   clarity   of pronunciation. Indeed, everyone who heard him was very impressed. However, the pandita who  had challenged Madhvacharya, and his associates, were envious of him and so, they began to explain the mantras in a different way. Madhvacharya quickly refuted all their explanations and informed  everyone present that every word in the Vedas has three meanings, every word of the Mahabharata has ten meanings, and every word in the Vishnu-sahasra-nama stotra has one hundred meanings. In  reply, the envious panditas challenged Madhvacharya to explain the one hundred meanings of the Vishnu-sahasra-nama stotra, doubting his prowess.


Madhvacharya replied, "I shall now recite all the one hundred meanings. Repeat them after me in a loud and clear voice." Madhvacharya, in a voice that was free from pride, anger, or vindictiveness  began by explaining the first of the one thousand names of Lord Vishnu—Vishva, saying that the root of the word is, "vish" and the suffix is, "kva." He explained the first meaning of Vishva as Vishnu,  because He entered the universe. The second meaning is that He pervades the entire universe. The third meaning is that He is carried by Garuda. The fourth meaning is that He is perfect in all respects,  and the fifth meaning is that Lord Vishnu empowers Vayu, being situated in his heart as the Paramatma.


In this way, Madhvacharya continued to explain each and every word in such an intricate manner that the  panditas became bewildered and could not follow him. Being humbled, they begged for  forgiveness, saying, "O omniscient one, your understanding of the transcendental names, forms, qualities, and pastimes of the Supreme Lord is unmatched, even by the demigods. Surely, you are  empowered by the Lord. We have certainly committed a great offense and so, kindly forgive us. We take shelter at your lotus feet"


Indeed, the panditas surrendered to Madhvacharya, then and there. News of this spread and soon thereafter, brahmanas from sixty-three villages arrived at Chandragiri to have discussions with  Madhvacharya. It appeared that the brahmanas of Kerala were quite fearful that Madhvacharya would diminish their reputation and so they amassed their strength to make a last stand. In the debate that ensued the brahmanas questioned Madhvacharya about certain parts of the Rig Veda. In a section dealing with the giving of charity, the Rig Veda declares that charity must be given  to those who are worthy recipients. Those who ask for charity should not become despondent because without asking for charity, there would be no hope of receiving anything. Those who never give in  charity lose all chance of receiving charity in the future, as well as the happiness that is awarded to the performer of pious activities. When, while discussing these verses, the Kerala brahmanas  misinterpreted the word, "priniyat" as meaning, "free," Madhvacharya blasted them, saying, "You fools, I  thought that you were educated men, panditas, but now I see that you don't know the  difference between pra, pri, and pree. You should again undergo the Vidyarambha ceremony and go back to school under the guidance of a proper teacher who will teach you the letters by drawing  them in the dust."


In another verse of the Rig Veda (8.91.7), it speaks of Devendra's gift of luster to the young body of a virgin girl who was honored by him. The Kerala brahmanas said that the word, "apala" referred to  the young girl being a leper but Madhva refuted this, saying that the word meant that the young girl was a virgin. Still, the arrogant Kerala brahmanas insisted that they were right until finally,  Madhvacharya decided to leave that place. Before his departure, he informed the Kerala brahmanas that a learned personality would soon come to visit them and he would give the final verdict in this  argument. After saying this, Madhvacharya departed, just as one leaves a field after passing stool. Soon thereafter, just as Madhvacharya had predicted, an unknown learned pandita arrived at  Chandragiri. He insisted that the word, "apala," as used in the verse of the Rig Veda, referred to a virgin girl and not to a leper. At this, the Kerala brahmanas realized their misfortune and so lamented:  "How unfortunate we are! We had the direct association of a great soul and yet, he left us because of our offensive, challenging attitude. He was simply trying to open our eyes with the torchlight of  knowledge and yet, due to  being in the bodily concept of life, thinking ourselves to be Kerala brahmanas, we missed the opportunity." Actually, these brahmanas could appreciate the position of  Madhvacharya to some extent but due to their pride, they made themselves unavailable to receive his mercy. Although he was ready to distribute his mercy to them, the foolish brahmanas simply  wanted to debate .   word meanings.


In this way, Madhvacharya's fame continued to spread. Thereafter, he returned to Udupi. It was the tradition for all residents of Udupi to first offer respect to Lord Shiva, Candramuleshvara, who is  situated in a temple on the eastern side of town, and then go to worship Lord Ananteshvara, whose temple is situated on the western side of town. Madhvacharya also followed this tradition, relishing  the darshana of Chandramuleshvara and Ananteshvara for some time. Madhvacharya's main concern was to liberate people from the spell of the Mayavada philosophy, which teaches that the minute  living entity and the Supreme Lord are one and the same. In this way, Madhvacharya can be compared with Bhima and the Vedas can be compared with Draupadi. Draupadi had been molested by  Dushasana and so Bhima had vowed to kill him. Madhvacharya, who had previously appeared as Bhima, vowed to free the Vedas from the misinterpretation of the followers of Shankaracharya. Due to the strong influence of the fallen age of Kali, even those who were pious souls, as well as the innocent masses of people and the devotees of the Lord were powerless and so, they had to look on  and see bogus philosophies established in a  world full of cheaters and cheated. The Katha Upanishad (1.2.5) states, "Caught in the grips of ignorance, self-proclaimed experts consider themselves to be  learned authorities. They wander about in  this world bewildered, like blind men leading the blind."


Draupadi had been kept under the protection of her pious husbands, who were devotees of Lord Krishna. Because of her dark complexion, she was named Krishna and she was fully devoted to Lord  Krishna. She was delicately beautiful and her movements were graceful. Similarly, the poetic composition of its verses beautify the body of the Vedas. As Draupadi was carefully protected by her  husbands, the Vedic literature should not be touched by those who are not interested in satisfying Lord Krishna and the bona-fide spiritual master. Being always chaste is the ultimate Vedic  principle—chaste to one's guru, chaste to one's husband, and chaste to Lord Krishna. In this way, Draupadi can be compared to the Vedic literature.


When the Pandavas were helpless to protect her, as Shakuni cheated Yudhis:hira at dice, so that Draupadi, in utter helplessness, surrendered to Lord Krishna and received His protection—the pious  people and devotees of this world, having been misled by impersonalist and  voidist philosophies for so long, received the Lord's merciful protection in the form of His empowered representative,  Madhvacharya.


In the seventh year after accepting the renounced order of life from Achyutapreksha, Madhvacharya sought his permission to travel to Badari. During this time, he had been constantly preaching in  South India with enormous success, and had also written a commentary on the Bhagavad'gita. Achyutapreksha gave his permission, knowing that Madhvacharya was not like a cow or ass, simply going to  a holy place of pilgrimage to ritualistically bathe. Madhvacharya gave a copy of his manuscript, called, "Hari Gita Bhasya" to his guru, so that he could read it in his long absence. After properly  preparing himself, Madhvacharya departed, heading north, accompanied by a small group of faithful followers, headed by Satyatirtha. He took his Bhagavad'gita commentary with him to show Shrila  Vyasadeva, the compiler of the Vedic literature, who to this day resides at Shamyaprasa, near Badarikashrama. He can only be seen by those fortunate souls to whom he decides to reveal himself.  Achyutapreksha was too old to accompany his dear disciple. Madhvacharya did not passionately proceed on his way, nor did he waste any time due to ignorance. When he came to Benaras, he did not  bother to debate with the innumerable Mayavadi sannyasis because his mission was to go and take darshana of Shrila Vyasadeva and present to him his Bhagavad-gita commentary.


The Badarinatha (Badari-narayana) temple is about 10,200 feet above sea level, on the western bank of the Alakananda (Ganga) River. Actually, the river is made up of five small streams coming from  nearby glaciers. Towering above the temple are the Nara-Narayana Mountains, which are said to be the two rishis, Nara and Narayana, who transformed into mountains so that they could stay near Lord  Badari-narayana. The parents of Nara and Narayana, Dharma and Murti, stay nearby, at Keshava Prayaga, about eight kilometers from Badarinatha. This is the place where Dharma meditated for the  purpose of getting Nara-Narayana Rishis as his sons.


The pillars at the entrance of the Badarinatha temple display the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Just inside the gate is Garuda, and the two gatekeepers, Ganesh and Hanuman. The shaligrama-shila of  Badari-narayana that is on the altar was brought there by Shankaracharya. There is a Deity of Badari-narayana and to His left are Deities of Nara-Narayana Rishis. Lord Narayana is seated in the  padmasana, and Nara is standing in the dhanurasana. To keep the effects of Kali-yuga at bay, the Sudarshana-chakra is also installed. There is an eternal lamp, called jyotir, that has been burning  continuously since time immemorial, in the inner sanctum.  The shastra mentions pancha-badari, or five Badaris. One is called Badari Vishal, which is the modern-day Badari, and it was here that  Madhvacharya spent forty-eight days absorbed in a trance of meditation.


Second, there is Yoga Badari, where the utsava Deities are brought in the winter to be worshiped by a single brahmana. The Deities are brought back to Badari Vishal when it becomes accessible (free  from snow). During the winter, at Badari Vishal, the demigods look after the Deity of Badari-narayana. Food and articles of worship are left there for the demigods to use.

Third is Viruddha Badari, where there is a Deity of Lord Narayana.


Fourth is Dhyana Badari, eight kilometers from Viruddha Badari, on the other side of the Alakananda River. Here, there is a temple of Lord Shiva. It is the principle that Lord Shiva, the greatest  Vaishnava, should first be approached and his permission sought for entering a holy place of pilgrimage.


Fifth is Bhavishya Badari. It is predicted in the shastra that in Kali-yuga, Vishal Badari will become inaccessible to pilgrims so that only Bhavishya Badari will be attainable. Bhavishya Badari will have  identical Deity forms of the Lord. It will be something like an embassy in a foreign country. An embassy exists far from the original homeland but exactly represents the original country. Bhavishya  Badari is about twelve kilometers from Joshimutt.


Madhvacharya did not go to Bhavishya Badari, however. He went to a Badari that exists on the transcendental platform and is not accessible to common men, nor is it shown on any map, or described in  any guide book. Madhvacharya went to Uttara Badari, which is recognized by some authorities as being Shamyaprasa, the eternal abode of Shrila Vyasadeva. Actually, Madhvacharya had no difficulty in  seeing Shrila Vyasadeva because Shrila Vyasadeva wanted to see him. Madhvacharya instructed his followers to stay at some distance and then he sat down at the lotus feet of the Deities of  Nara-Narayana Rishis. As Lord Krishna and Arjuna, they were the original speaker and hearer of the Bhagavad-gita.  Madhvacharya said, "My Lord, I will now recite my Gita Bhasya, to the best of my  ability, for Your satisfaction."


The Deity plainly replied, so that even Madhvacharya's disciples, who were close by, could hear: "Even though you are capable of explaining the entire meaning of Bhagavad-gita, you have not done so  to the best of your ability. Therefore, you should have said, 'to some extent' instead of 'to the best of my ability,' in your introductory verse. You have only slightly exercised your power of expression,  and not fully."


Even Madhvacharya's disciples, who were resting nearby, could clearly hear the Deity speaking. Thereafter, for forty-eight days,  Madhvacharya remained  in the  temple at Badari, observing Vaishnava  mauna, or silence. He did not speak anything except his commentary on Bhagavad-gita and he abstained from food and sleep. Just before sunrise every day, he bathed in the icy cold water of the  Ganga. Then, one night, an effulgent form appeared before Madhvacharya, prompting him to go to Uttara Badari, the ashram of Shrila Vyadadeva. The next morning, at sunrise, he wrote a note to his  followers, explaining how Shrila Vyasadeva had appeared before him and instructed him to come to his ashram. The note continued, "Practically, there is no other holy place like Badari, the destroyer of  all sins. There is no other water equal to the holy Ganga, there is no Deity on a level with Lord Vishnu, and no other philosophy can compare with ours. I am going to Uttara Badari to see Shrila  Vyasadeva. Only he knows whether I will return here or not. Just remain here, waiting for that time."His chief disciple, Satyatirtha, read the note to the others and forbade them to try and follow their  acharya. However, Satyatirtha was so attached to his spiritual master, and was fully prepared to give up his life in his service, could not bear separation from Madhvacharya and so he followed him.


As Madhvacharya traversed the higher regions of the Himalayas, he crossed the mountains and glaciers, bounding from one large stone to another, so that he resembled Hanuman. Poor Satyatirtha  could not keep up with his guru, even though he climbed as fast as he could. When sunset approached, it was obvious that Satyatirtha would perish in the icy winds of the night. In desperation, he  called out to his spiritual master. Madhva turned and gestured, indicating that Satyatirtha should return to his godbrothers.


Just then, a powerful gust of wind lifted Satyatirtha up and carried him back to Ananda Mutt, at Badari, where he then related the glories of Madhvacharya to the others. After crossing the Himalayas,  Madhvacharya came to a paradise that is definitely transcendentally situated, beyond the range of mundane sense perception. From a distance, Madhva could see ponds full of fragrant lotus flowers,  which the sages residing there made into garlands and offered to the Lord. Surrounding the lakes were innumerable flowering trees. This was the greatly effulgent ashram of Shrila Vyasadeva.Although  Madhvacharya had ascended, higher and higher, at this place there was no icy wind, biting cold, or snow. Instead, it was warm and sunny and most comfortable. Underneath the trees were seen pure  brahmanas, engaged in meditation upon the Lord. Surrounding them were white swans, whose necks were entwined in the stems of white, blue, and pink lotuses.


Madhva could recognize many exalted Vaishnavas residing at Shrila Vyasadeva's ashram. Upon seeing Madhvacharya  approach,  the  devotees  spoke  among  themselves: "Who is this wonderful  personality decorated with thirty-two auspicious markings of tilaka? He has lotus-like eyes, a moon-like face, long arms, and a golden complexion. He would no doubt enhance even the atmosphere of  Vaikuntha. He shows no sign of fatigue and his face indicates that he is fearless. Is this Lord Brahma coming here in the guise of a sannyasi, or is it Mukhyaprana (Vayu)?"As Madhva quickly approached,  he saw Shrila Vyasadeva seated underneath a great tree that was an expansion of Lord Ananta Shesha. Its wide branches served as an umbrella for Shrila Vyasadeva. Indeed, Lord Ananta Shesha's hoods  were the branches and the jewels on His hoods were in the form of flowers.


Surrounded by sages with matted hair and various kinds of Vaishnava tilaka on their foreheads, all of whom had transcended lust, anger, greed, false pride, the urges of the senses, and thoughts of  enjoying the material world separately from the supreme enjoyer, Lord Krishna, Shrila Vyasadeva, the son of Satyavati and the preceptor of the three worlds, sat on a raised platform. Madhvacharya had  always thought of Shirla Vyasadeva as his instructing spiritual master. Throughout his life, he had been meditating upon Shrila Vyasadeva but now that he actually saw him, he drank the vision of his  guru through his eyes. Previously, Shrila Vyasadeva had walked over the surface of the earth as the protector of Vedic knowledge. However, after the disappearance of Lord Krishna, Shrila Vyasadeva  departed to avoid the onslaught of Kali-yuga and remained at this transcendental abode. Even to this day, Shrila Vyasadeva is residing at Badarikashrama.


Madhvacharya fell flat onto the ground to offer obeisances to Shrila Vyasadeva, who was seated upon a black deerskin. Taking the dust from Shrila Vyasadeva's reddish lotus feet, which are adorned  with the symbols of a flag, lightning, elephant goad, and lotus, Madhva placed it upon his head. Around Shrila Vyasadeva's neck hung a Kaustubha gem that had been given to him by Lord Brahma.  Once, Lord Brahma had been seated with Shrila Vyasadeva, in the company of one thousand great sages. At that time, Shrila Vyasadeva declared that he was always ready to establish the supreme  position of the Vishnu-tattva. The one thousand sages took this as a challenge and so, hurled at Shrila Vyasadeva thousands of questions, simultaneously. In response, Shrila Vyasadeva answered each  and every question perfectly and being highly astonished, Lord Brahma awarded him the Kaustubha gem.


Shrila Vyasadeva got up from his seat and smilingly went and embraced Madhvacharya. Indeed, Shrila Vyasadeva lifted Madhva up just as a father might pick up his small child. Feeling Shrila  Vyasadeva's affectionate embrace, Madhvacharya felt blessed indeed. Madhava prayed, "Wherever I may be, let me always  remain close to you by being absorbed in thought of you.While standing in the  shadow of his mighty guru, Madhvacharya could comprehend how he always looked after the welfare of the world. Indeed, simply by the movement of his eyebrows, anything  could be achieved. This is  a fact because Shrila Vyasadeva is a shaktyavesha-avatara o{ Lord Vishnu.


Madhvacharya again fell to the ground to offer his obeisances, as well as many suitable prayers. Shrila Vyasadeva lifted Madhva up and while smiling, once again embraced him. He then had  Madhvacharya sit next to him. For a long while, the two engaged in a very friendly conversation about the fallen condition of human society and the means of restoring a genuine Vedic civilization. Aftersome time, Shrila Vyasadeva took Madhvacharya to have the darshana of Lord Narayana, who was residing there in the form of an asecetic, dressed in tree bark and having matted hair.  Madhvacharya offered his obeisances to Lord Narayana and then recited very nice prayers in His glorification. While standing before Shrila Vyasadeva and Lord Narayana, Madhva considered very deeply  how the Lord assumes various forms of incarnation for the welfare of the world.


When Madhvacharya returned to his disciples, he had several hand-written copies of his Brahma-sutra bhasya prepared and one was dispatched to Achyutapreksha in Udupi. Everyone was very happy to  see Madhvacharya return and a big feast was cooked by five or six brhamanas to celebrate the occasion. Actually, Madhvacharya ate most of the feast that was  prepared for him and his followers. If he  so desired, he could eat the entire world, as he does at the time of devastation.


Madhvacharya composed his commentary on the Vedanta-sutra to instruct the devotees about the science of God consciousness. Vedanta-sutra consists of four chapters. The first two chapters deal  with sambandha-jnana, one's relationship with the Lord. The third chapter deals with abhidheya-jnana, how to act in that relationship, and the fourth chapter deals with prayojana-jnana, the fruit of  engaging in pure devotional service, which is going back home, back to Godhead. Each of the four chapters of the Vedanta-sutra is subdivided into five parts, called adhikaranas, or themes. First is  pratijna, the initial declaration of purpose. For example, at the very beginning, the Vedanta-sutra states, athato-brahma-jijnasa, "Now is the time to inquire about the Absolute Truth."


Second is hetu, wherein the reasons for the initial declaration are expressed. Third is udaharana, wherein various examples are given to substantiate these reasons. Fourth is upanaya, wherein the theme  is gradually brought to its conclusion so that the reader can grasp the purpose of the discussion. Fifth is nigamana, where  Vedic literatures are quoted in support of the final conclusions.In the  Bhagavad-gita (13.5) the Lord says, brahma-sutra-padais caiva hetumadbhir viniscitaih: "Understanding of the ultimate goal of life is ascertained in the Brahma-sutra by legitimate logic and argument  concerning cause and effect." Therefore the Vedanta-sutra is known as nyaya-prasthana."


In his commentary on Vedanta-sutra, Purnaprajna Tirtha refuted all twenty-one previous commentaries, including the Shariraka-bhasya of Shankaracharya. Thereafter, Madhva began his return journey  to Udupi, going by way of present-day Bihar, Bengal, and the River Godavari. During this journey, which lasted several months, there were many wonderful occurrences. Heading east, Madhvacharya  followed the path of the Ganga toward Bengal. It is said that he met Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Shantipur, near Navadvipa, and this is supported by evidence from the Bhavishya Purana. Of course,  from a mundane historical point of view, Madhvacharya appeared more than two hundred years before Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And, the Bhavishya Purana was compiled thousands of years before  that. The very name, Bhavishya Purana, indicates that it contains predictions of future events.


In the Bhavishya Purana, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is referred to as female, indicating that He is Lord Krishna, appearing in the mood of Radharani. The following is a summary taken from chapter  nineteen of the Pratisarga-parva of the Bhavishya Purana. When he came to Shantipur, Madhvacharya met the Lord of sacrifice, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. As they conversed, Madhva asked, "Lord  Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes. Why do some people not worship Him but instead, take to the worship of various demigods? Those who worship the demigods  perform violent acts in the form of animal sacrifices."


The son of Sachi smilingly replied, "To those in the mode of ignorance, who worship Goddess Durga, Lord Krishna is not revealed. Such persons are only interested in sense gratification and they enjoy  committing violence to others in the form of eating meat. They also enjoy the wives of others and as a result of these sinful activities, attain the abode of Yamaraja. Due to having an improper  sentiment toward others (being envious of other living entities), they cannot understand the transcendental position of Lord Krishna, beyond the material nature that they worship (in the form of  Durga)."


"In a previous age, the Lord was worshiped as the master of sacrifices. Indeed, violent sacrifices were the prescribed means for worshiping Him and thus, only in this way was He satisfied. Thus, animal  sacrifices were performed for the satisfaction of Lord Vishnu and He would receive the offerings in the forms of the demigods, who are parts and parcels of His universal body. The  animal that was  sacrificed would be liberated from its miserable condition and thus those who performed these sacrifices attained great pious merit."

"In the present age of Kali, such sacrifices cannot be performed and so one who performs them against the authority of the Vedas is most sinful and is punished in hell. Thus, by the performance of  animal sacrifices both piety and sin can be achieved."

"Instead of performing animal sacrifices, Lord Krishna inaugurated the performance of Govardhana-puja. As Radha and Krishna, the Lord exists in His most complete form."


In the book, Navadvipa-mahatmya, there is mention of how Lord Chaitanya appeared in Madhvacharya's dreams, as he was staying at Navadvipa. In his dream, Lord Chaitanya told him, "Later on, I will  appear in this holy place and accept your sampradaya. I want you to preach vigorously and establish the conclusion of devotional service to the Personality of Godhead but for now, keep this meeting a  secret."


After his discussions with Shri Chaitanya Maha-prabhu, Madhvacharya many times spoke about the philosophy of achintya-bhedabheda-tattva, but he never used that term. In his Bhagavat-tatparya,  Madhva cites a verse from the Brahma-tarka that clearly describes the philosophy of inconceivable simultaneous oneness and difference of the living beings with the Supreme Lord. However, out of  respect for Lord Chaitanya, he did not fully expound this understanding. From Navadvipa, Madhva went south, to Jagannatha Puri, to have darshana of the Lord of the universe. From Puri,  Madhvacharya went to Kurmakshetra, where there is a fine, old temple of Lord Kurma  having a silver dome. Madhva visited many holy places on the coast of Orissa. Further south, he visited  Simhachalam, near Vishakhapatnam, where he had the darshana of Lord Varaha Nrisimha. This is the place where Hiranyakashipu had thrown Prahlada from a mountain, into the sea. When this did not  harm Prahlada, the demon picked up the mountain and put it on his son's head and yet, the boy remained unscathed.


In the temple is a shalagrama-shila of Lord Varaha Nrisimha, which is only visible to the public on Nrsimha Chaturdasi. From there, Madhva traveled further south until he arrived at the banks of the  Godavari River, which forms a natural border between Andhra Pradesha and Karnataka. While in Andhra Pradesha, Madhvacharya countered the attacks of all kinds of scholars who propounded the  popular philosophies of the day. There were Jains, who adamantly refused to accept the  existence of a Supreme Personality of Godhead. There were impersonalists, who adamantly refused to accept  that the Absolute Truth could have a transcendental form. There were materialistic philosophers, such as followers of the hedonist, Charvaka  Muni, who had said, "Somehow or other, even if you have  to beg, borrow, or steal—get ghee and enjoy life. With the destruction of the body at the time of death, you are finished and so, there is no question of suffering any sinful reactions."


One such person who came to challenge Madhvachary a was a great logician and scholar named Shobhana Bhatta. He knew very well the Mahabharata and the eighteen Puranas and he followed the  injunctions contained therein. Shobhana Bhatta came from amongst the crowd of recognized panditas and after he had performed some preliminary rituals, mediators were selected. Shobhana Bhatta  put forward the philosophy of Advaita (monism) and Madhvacharya presented the philosophy of Dvaita (dualism). In that great assembly of brahmanas, those who had already been  defeated by Madhva  looked on as the debate began. Although Shobhana Bhatta was very expert in putting forth arguments, Madhvacharya easily came out victorious, outshining the impersonalist in every way.


Indeed, it is understood that Shobana Bhatta was so enamored by Madhva's commentary on the Bhagavad-gita that, from that day onward, he lost all interest in other literature. He bowed down in  humble submission to his new spiritual master, Madhvacharya Bhagavatapada. Another great pandita, Shami Shastri, the son of a rich government officer, approached Madhvacharya, but not for debate.  He had inherited his father's false prestige and position, being a favorite in the King's royal assembly, and yet, he approached Madhva in a humble mood and begged for initiation. Madhvacharya  accepted the boy and gave him the name, Narahari. Narahari took up a serious study of Madhva's Vedanta-sutra bhasya and soon became expert in presenting its conclusions. After some time,  Madhvacharya decided to return to Udupi and so, Narahari joined him. After traveling a short distance, however, Madhva told Narahari to return home. In the Narahari-yatistotra it is said that Madhva  ordered Narahari to return home so that he could procure the Deity of Shri Mula-rama, which was in the custody of the king.


This was a very special Deity and was said to have belonged to Maharaja Ikshvaku of the Solar Dynasty. This Deity of Lord Rama was later given to Maharaja Dasharatha, the father of Lord Rama.  Maharaja Dasharatha worshiped this Deity before the appearance of Lord Rama. Just before Lord Rama's disappearance, Lakshman gave the Deity to an old brahmana devotee who, throughout his life  had vowed to never eat before seeing Lord Rama (at least, for as long as He was at Ayodhya). Once, for eight days, the brahmana was unable to see Lord Rama and so he continued fasting, without even  drinking water, so that he became weak and delirious. On the eighth day, Lord Rama gave a  public darshana and the brahmana staggered into the assembly. Upon  seeing the brahmana's unparalleled  devotion for Him, Lord Rama told Lakshman to give him the Mula-rama Deity so that he cou'ld continue to have His darshana every day.


In the course of time, the brahmana became old and invalid, so that he could no longer make it to Rama's palace. Still, he continued to worship the Deity right up to his death. Then, while he was on  his deathbed, he called for Lakshman and returned the Deity to him. Thereafter, just before His disappearance, Rama arranged for Lakshman to give the Deity to Hanuman. Thereafter, for many years,  Hanuman carried the Deity, hanging from his neck, and worshiped Him daily. Later, in the Dvapara-yuga, the Deity was given to Bhima. This was the time when Bhima met Hanuman as he was ascending  the Gandhamadana Mountain to procure lotus flowers for Draupadi, as described in the Mahabharata. The Pandavas kept the Mula-rama Deity for many years and then gave Him to the King of Orissa,  named Kshemakanta. Thus, Madhvacharya had previously possessed the Deity of Mula-rama, in his forms of Hanuman and Bhima. Narahari wanted to accept the renounced order of life but  Madhvacharya ordered him not to do so but instead, return home and somehow procure the Mula-rama Deity.


Soon thereafter, the king of Kalinga (Orissa) passed away and his infant son was much to young to ascend the royal throne. As was the tradition in such a case, the royal elephant was sent out with a  garland held by his trunk to look for a successor. The ministers who closely followed the elephant witnessed a miraculous occurrence. The royal elephant garlanded Narahari, thus making him the heir  to the throne at Kalinga. When the deceased king's son reached the age of twelve, Narahari relinquished the throne to him. Out of gratitude, the child king asked Narahari to accept from him anything  he might desire—wealth, a kingdom, women, or anything else. Narahari asked for the Deity of Mula-rama and the child-king gladly gave it to him. At that time, Narahari went to join Madhvacharya, who  then awarded him the sannyasa order of life, giving him the name Narahari Tirtha. Because his preaching was generally based on his commentary of the Vedanta-sutra, Madhvacharya spoke mainly with  educated brahmanas and not ordinary people. After all, ordinary people generally do not think in a philosophical way, whereas educated and intelligent people search for a person who can properly  describe the Absolute Truth, in terms of the Vedic literature.


On his return to Udupi, Madhvacharya was greeted by the elderly ascetic, Achyutapreksha. Achyutapreksha had received a copy of the Vedanta-sutra bhashya that Madhva had sent from Badarinatha and  so now, they discussed it at great length. Achyutapreksha was very proud of his disciple's great success in preaching and he  was pleased to see how the number of his followers had greatly increased. Every day, Madhvacharya would go to the Ananteshvara temple. After entering the gate, to the left and just in front of the Deity, he would sit and preach to his followers, sitting in the open air. Madhva had his disciples follow the pancharatriki system, accepting five reformatory processes that are mentioned in the Padma Purana—austerity, decorating one's body with tilaka, accepting a new  name at the time of initiation, the chanting of the Gayatri mantra, and engaging in the yuga-dharma, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord.Madhvacharya fully accepted that the process  recommended for worshiping the Lord in the age of Kali is the performance of sankirtana-yajna. In his commentary on the Mundaka-upanishad, Madhva quotes the Narayana Samhita as saying, "In the  age of Kali, the Supreme Lord, Hari, is only worshiped in His form as the holy name."


The austerity mentioned by the Padma Purana is to accept the branding of mudras onto the body—symbols of the Lord's conch, disc, lotus, and club, as well as the holy names. Such tattooed mudras  help one become detached from the bodily concept of life. By marking the body with tilaka, one humbly dedicates it as a temple of the Supreme Lord. Besides the two parallel lines on the forehead,  joined at the nose, Madhvacharya had his followers place a red dot made from the ashes of plantain flowers mixed with turmeric beneath a line called dhupashesha, having the thickness of a grain of  rice and made from the burnt wicks of the ghee lamp offered to the Lord during arati.At the time of initiation, the disciple accepts a new name, indicating that he is a servant of the Supreme Lord.


Traditionally, in Udupi, tapta-mudras (hot iron symbols branded to the body) are still accepted on the Devashayana Ekadashi, which occurs in the bright fortnight in the month of Vamana. Devotees  would gather around Madhva wherever he would go. At the temple, they would crowd around him, waiting with baited breath for just a word of divine wisdom to come from his mouth. When he would  go to the ocean to bathe, crowds would assemble just to accept the water that had touched his body. Indeed, such a pure devotee is a walking place of pilgrimage. Many times, Madhvacharya would go  to the beach at Malpe to bathe and perform achamana and nyasa. Sometimes, he would go before sunrise at two or three in the morning, so that he could be alone.One morning, in the year 1285 AD,  Madhva went to Malpe beach in the middle of the night. As he walked, he composed some verses that later became part of his Dvadasha-stotram. On this night, Madhva had a special feeling that  something wonderful was about to happen   for the benefit of the devotees. He didn't reveal this to anyone, however, even though he knew that the Lord of his life would soon appear.


That night, as Madhva waited on the beach, a terrible storm suddenly struck. At the peak of the storm, Madhvacharya saw a merchant ship being carried onto the edge of the coral reef. Being merciful  by nature, Madhva took his chadar, tied it to the end of his sanhyasa danda, and waved it in the air. At the same time, he deeply breathed in and miraculously, the ship was sucked through an opening  in the reef and came to where Madhvacharya was waiting. When the ship safely reached the shore, the crew joyfully glorified the sannyasi who had saved their lives and valuable cargo.As swiftly as the  storm had appeared, it now vanished, its mission having been fulfilled. The captain of the ship approached Madhvacharya and offered to give him anything they were carrying as a reward for saving  them. In reply, Madhva simply asked where they had come from. When the reply was, "Dvaraka," he inquired, "Do you have any gopi-chandana aboard?"


The captain happily told Madhvacharya that huge chunks of gopi-chandana were in the hold, being used as ballast. When the captain sent his men to bring some gopi-chandana, Madhva personally went  with them because it was a particular chunk that he desired. He selected a huge piece and yet, even fifty men could not lift it out of the hold. Madhvacharya then reached into the hold and effortlessly  picked up the block of gopi-chandana with one hand, just as Hanuman had lifted Gandhamadana Mountain. At this, some of the crew were heard to exclaim, "Look! Just like Hanuman, this sannyasi has  lifted the gopi-chandana that even fifty of our men couldn't carrv! It's amazing!"


Then, just as a brahmana priest leaves the arena of sacrifice after receiving a donation from the person on whose behalf he performed it, or just as a prostitute gives up a man after extracting all of the  money that she could, Madhvacharya took the gopi-chandana and began single-handedly carrying into town.Leaving the beach, as Mahdva reached the village of Odapaandi (meaning, "where the boat  carrying the Diety came in"), a large piece of gopi-chandana broke off. When it fell to the ground, it revealed a Deity of Lord Balarama. At that place, there was an ancient temple of Skanda, who is  called Subhramaniyam at that place.Madhva installed the Deity there, and He is known as Vadabandeshvara.


Madhvacharya then carried the remaining gopi-chandana and while walking, he composed the rest of his Dvadaha-stotram prayers. When he arrived at Udupi, Madhva put the gopi-chandana in the  temple lake known as Madhva-sarovara and when it dissolved, it revealed a Deity of Bala Krishna, holding a rope in one hand and  a stick for tending the cows in the other. Soon, a huge crowd gathered  to witness the spectacle.After the disappearance of Lord Krishna and Balarama, Arjuna had placed these two Deities in the Rukmini-vana at Dvaraka. There is a nice story that has been transmitted by  oral tradition. Once, desiring to witness Krishna's childhood pastimes, which she had missed due to being locked up in Kamsa's prison, Devaki approached the Lord and said, "O Krishna, Yashoda was so  fortunate because she enjoyed the pleasure of seeing Your childhood pastimes. I request You—kindly show these pastimes to me."


In consideration of Devaki's intense maternal love, Lord Krishna once again assumed the form of a child and re-enacted His childhood pastimes. By His mystic potency, Krishna made Devaki feel that  she was churning butter and that He, as a child, approached her, crying for milk. While gazing at His mother's face, child Krishna climbed onto Devaki's lap and began to drink her breast milk. In this  way, Devaki forgot herself in transcendental ecstasy. Next, Krishna got up from Devaki's lap and broke the pot of yogurt that she was churning. As Krishna ate the lumps of butter, His entire body  became smeared with yogurt and butter. Then, playing as a naughty boy, Krishna snatched Devaki's churning rod and rope.


After some time, Krishna abandoned His form as a child and mother Devaki remained spell-bound, stunned in ecstasy, for some time. Even Rukmini at Dvaraka was fascinated by Krishna's childhood  form and pastimes. Once, she asked Krishna to exhibit a childhood form so that she could always keep Him with her. Lord Krishna called for Vishvakarma, the architect of the demigods, who  immediately appeared before Him. Krishna instructed Vishvakarma to go to the sacred Gandaki River in present-day Nepal and procure two large shaligrama-shilas. From these, he would fashion two  Deities, one of Lord Krishna and one of Lord Balarama.


Vishvakarma made these two Deities and also two smaller ones for Devaki. These were later on taken to Vrindavan by Uddhava but have been lost in the passage of time. After the Deities were made,  they were first checked by mother Yashoda. After her approval was granted, the Deities were presented to Rukmini, who then worshiped Them while simultaneously serving Lord Krishna as her husband.  After the disappearance of Lord Krishna, Rukmini's Deities were taken by Arjuna and placed at Rukmini-vana in Dvaraka. By the Lord's arrangement, the Deities became buried with the advent of   Kali-yuga and then unknowingly, the crew of the ship had dug them out of the earth, along with the gopi-chandana that was used as ballast.


Madhvacharya carefully cleansed the Deity and then had Him taken to his ashram (Mutt). And yet, thirty of Madhva's strongest followers couldn't even move  the Deity an inch. Krishna made Himself too  heavy to be carried. After touching the Deity's lotus feet, Madhvacharya lifted Him in his arms, cradling Him like a child, and carried Him to his ashram. Thus it appears that Krishna only wanted to be  carried by Madhva and no one else. Soon thereafter, many wealthy devotees came forward to eagerly give donations so that a small temple was built. Actually, the people were ready to donate whatever  was asked for but the simple sannyasi, Madhvacharya, chose a simple pagoda style of temple, traditional to that area of Karnataka. He could have built huge gopurams like many other temples of South  India but he kept the temple small, so as not to dominate the Chandramuleshvara and Ananta-padmanabha temples.


When the temple was completed, Madhvacharya performed a very opulent and elaborate installation ceremony for the Deities. He also inaugurated the Deity worship and prescribed the methods to be  employed. His mood was very painstaking, so that he carefully considered even the smallest details. At first, he performed the worship himself but then, he trained others how to worship Udupi Krishna,  as the Deity is known. Madhvacharya established a very elaborate method of worship that stressed punctuality and cleanliness. He established sixteen pujas daily, although fourteen are considered to be  the principle ones.


1) Nirmalaya-visarjana-puja. At 4:00 am, the door would be opened and Madhva would go and bathe in the Madhva-sarovara. He would then perform achamana, nyasa, and pranayama, and put on tilaka  in the room adjacent to the Deity room. After completing these rituals, he would enter the Deity room to the accompaniment of the chanting of mantras. At this time, called arunadaya, when the first  light of dawn becomes visible, the flowers, tulasi, and sandalwood paste that had been offered to the Deity the previous day would be removed. Madhva would ring the bell upon entering the Deity's  room. He would remove all of the Deity's ornaments for the first darshana, which is called Vishvarupa-darshana.  Five kinds of services would then be rendered to the Lord. Tulasi manjaris and  sandalwood paste would be offered. Next, there would be a small food offering consisting of peanuts, dahi, ginger, date gaur, a tender coconut, and betel leaves and nuts. After this offering,  mangala-arati would be performed.


2) Usahkala-puja (to be performed at dawn). Madhva would pour water over the Deity from two silver pots so that He would be nicely cleansed. Tulasi manjaris and sandalwood paste would then be  offered and after that, a food offering was made of sweet rice,  dahi, tender coconut water, bananas, coconut, and betel leaves and nuts.


3)Akshaya-patra-pujaandGo-puja.Madhvacharya established this principle of using the akshaya patra for mass prasadam distribution every day. The akshaya patra was originally given by Vivasvan to  Maharaja Yudhisthira as he lived in exile after being cheated at dice. While living in exile, Draupadi would cook for the sages, as well as for her husbands and herself. Madhva gave this pot, along with a  ladle, for the Lord's worship and assured his followers that the mass prasadam distribution would go on at Udupi forever. At this time, the daily go-puja was performed. The small cows of Udupi  Krishna's goshalla were led into the temple, for His pleasure. The cows were given free run of the temple room and a selected cow was worshiped. After each puja, there was a naivedyam, or food  offering. This one consisted of fried rice, laddus, and bananas. The food was first offered to the Deity and then the prasada was given to the cows. At this time, the akshaya patra was also worshiped by  an arati ceremony.


4) Panchamritabhisheka-puja. First, the conch shell was worshiped as Panchajanya. Then, it was used to pour five substances over the Deity. Initially, a conch full of cow's ghee was poured on the head  of the Lord, so that it flowed down to His lotus feet. Then milk, yogurt, honey, and finally, sugar water was used to bathe the Deity. After this, mashed bananas and coconut water was poured over the  Lord's body. After the bathing of the Deity, He was offered sandalwood paste, flower petals, and tulasi manjaris. Once again, there was a food offering—this time, rice, coconut and betel leaves and nuts  were give. The food offering was followed by arati.


5) Udvartana-puja. The body of the Deity was then thoroughly rubbed with green gram powder mixed with hot water. This took off any stickiness due to the ghee, honey, or sugar from the bathing ceremony. After this puja, once again sandalwood paste, flowers, and tulasi manjaris were offered at the Lord's lotus feet. The Deity was then offered hot rice, milk, butter, and tender coconut water,  after which arati was performed.


6) Kalasa-puja. Here, the presiding deities were invoked into two golden pots by the chanting of mantras and displaying of m'udras. The kalasas (pots) were then anointed with sandalwood paste and  tulasi. The sacred syllable, om, the Krishna mantra, and the mula-mantra were chanted over the pots as they were being worshiped. After this, there was worship of the  sitting place (pitha) and an  offering of rice was made. Then, arati was performed and the prasada rice was given to Garuda.


7) Tirtha-puja. At this time, cool water from all the sacred rivers contained in a golden pot were poured over the Deity. During this bathing, Madhvacharya would chant the purusha-sukta prayers. The  sacred bathing water would be collected and the Deity would be wiped dry with a fine silk cloth. Again, sandalwood paste, tulasi manjaris, and flowers were offered, followed by an offering of pancakes,  butter, date gaur, thick pongal pudding, coconut, bananas, and betel leaves and nuts. After the food offering, there would be another arati.


8)Alankar-puja. Up to the tirtha-puja, everything was performed in front of the public but no one was permitted to see the alankar-puja. At this time, costly ornaments were offered to the Deity,  according to the particular day. On some days, the Deity dressed as Gopala Krishna and on other days, as Vamanadeva, Kalki, Kurma, Buddha, or Lord Rama. For example, on the appearance day of  Matsya-avatara, the Deity was offered a special dress that made Him appear like the Fish Incarnation. The Deity's face was never covered or altered but His body was dressed in different fashions. The  only forms the Deity did not dress as were Lord Varaha and Lord Nrisimhadeva because this would have required Him to wear something like a mask.


Friday was considered to be the day for goddesses and so on Fridays, the Deity dressed as Mohini, Sita, Rukmini, or Satyabhama. He gave darshana dressed in a sari and He looked exquisitely beautiful. After being dressed, the Deity's darshana was again available to the public. First, there was an offering of rice, pongal pudding, laddus, flat rice, and yogurt, followed by arati.


9) Avasara-sanakadi-puja. When Madhvacharya had installed the Deity, the four Kumaras came and expressed to him their desire to worship the Lord. At that time, Madhva left the Deity room, to allow  the four Kumaras to worship the Lord in private. This practice has continued since that time. Afterwards, Madhva came back into the Deity room, to offer food once again, followed by arati. Actually,  the four Kumaras are the originators of the tradition that sannyasis should be the pujaris of the Deity of Lord Krishna at Udupi. Madhvacharya continued in that tradition so that only sannyasis from the  eight Udupi Mutts worship the Deity in Krishna Mutt (the Udupi Krishna temple).


To this day, these sannyasis are chosen from all the residents of Udupi. Six astrologers check a new born child's chart and if there is any indication of association with women or family life, the  candidate is rejected. Only the boys whose chart shows a life of celibacy, devotion to God, and purity are selected for training. If the candidate successfully completes his training, he will take sannyasa  before the age of seventeen. Traditionally, one who takes sannyasa initiation from another sannyasi will become his assistant and successor. For this reason, a sannyasi generally accepts only one  sannyasa disciple. This is the system established at Udupi.


10) Maha-puja (the raja-bhoga offering at noon). Maha-puja is the last puja of the morning. Before this puja, Madhva would again bathe in the sarovara, put on fresh tilaka and then enter the Deity room.  At this time, the drum known locally as Nagari would be sounded to tell the town residents that the puja was about to begin. Many people would thus come to see Madhvacharya perform the worship of  the Deity. At that time, the vishnu-sahasra-nama stotra and other Vedic hymns were chanted. The Brihan-naradiya Purana verse, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare/ Hare Krishna Hare Krishna  Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, was also chanted. Madhvacharya insisted that there must always be kirtana because he knew this to be the yuga-dharma for this age. At that time, a huge feast was offered to  the Deity, including about fourteen kilos of rice and many-varieties of sweets. During this offering, Madhva's Dvadasha-stotram was recited, along with musical accompaniment.


After this offering, Madhvacharya would worship the associates of Krishna, such as Garuda, and an unseen form of Bhagirathi at Madhva-sarovara. In the afternoon, Madhvacharya would sit on his  simhasana in the adjacent room and people would come to see him. Sometimes, discussions would continue until the next puja, at 4:00 pm. During the period of 2:00-4:00 pm. the Deity of Udupi  Krishna is open for darshana, unlike the Deities of many other temples. Here, Krishna appears as a small boy and so, after lunch, He doesn't like to rest—He likes to play. At 4:30 sharp, Madhvacharya  would begin his discourses on Ramayana and Mahabharata. Then, at around 6:00 pm. he would personally distribute prasada to the devotees. Thereafter, while the  musicians would assemble in the  chandrasala to sing about the Lord's pastimes, Madhva would have his evening bath in the sarovara and prepare for the chamara-seva, which was at 6:30 pm. Before that, there was Lakshmi-puja, where  the Deity of Krishna was bathed in a shower of pure gold coins. 


11) Chamara-seva-puja. The utsava Deity of Udupi Krishna (the smaller Deity used for ceremonial occasions) was then brought out and placed before the main Deity. Thereafter, the utsava Deity was  carried on a palanquin in procession, circumambulating Udupi Krishna. Baskets of fried rice were kept on both sides of the Deity and offerings were made of milk, fruit, coconut, laddus, and betel nuts.

During this circumambulation, Madhvacharya would chant on his beads. Then, to complete the ceremony, he would come before the Deity and fan Him with gold-handled chamaras. With a chamara in  each hand, he would fan the Deity for about five minutes and then go into the Deity room to offer five things—sandalwood paste, flowers and tulasi manjaris, incense, lamps, and food, which consisted  of fried rice with date gaur.


12) Ratri-puja (night worship). While entering the Deity room to perform this puja, Madhvacharya would chant one hundred and eight names of Lord Krishna and offer tamarind rice, pancakes, coconut, betel nuts and tambula. After this offering of food, arati was performed. The prasada was then placed on banana leaves between rows of lamps and offered to a deity of Vayu.


13) Mantapa-puja, Ashtavadhana-puja. Again, the utsava (festival) Deity of Krishna was brought out. While sankirana was performed, Madhva would place the Deity in a cradle and in a loving mood, he  would rock the cradle. Again, there would be an offering of fried rice, after which arati would be performed. Thereafter, the Deity would be placed on a palanquin and taken in circumambulation of the  main Deity. The devotees would follow the palanquin and one devotee would play the flute, for the Lord's pleasure. At this time, all of the devotees, according to their particular service mood, would  chant the Vedic mantras in various meters. In this way, eight kinds of shabdha-seva would be performed—Rig Veda-seva, Yajur Veda-seva, Sama Veda-seva, Atharva Veda-seva, Vedanta-seva, Itihasa-seva,  Purana-seva, and Sangita-seva.


14) Ekanta-seva. Shyanutsava-puja. This service is a private affair. The small utsava Deity was placed back in His cradle and then taken to a small bed in His private bedroom. While rocking the cradle, Madhvacharya woulde sing lullabies to the Deity. This indicates that Madhva was a devotee in vatsalya- rasa, a parental relationship with the Lord. Condensed milk, sandalwood paste, sandalwood oil,  tulasi leaves, nutmeg, cloves, and perfume is placed before the Lord at this time and a final arati is performed. 


Thereafter, Madhvacharya would return to his simhasana in the room nearby and distribute prasada to the devotees and pilgrims. This he would continue this for quite some time and then engage in  conversation with the assembled devotees, even up to 11:00 pm. or later. The temple doors were locked for the night but Madhvacharya would sometimes talk all night and still be the first one up early  the next morning, preparing to perform the pujas. Actually, Madhvacharya slept only one or two hours at night and yet, he would appear to be more refreshed than those who had slept the entire night.  Generally, he would rise about 2 am. to begin the next day.


In this way, Madhvacharya dedicated his entire life to the service of the Lord. Every minute was engaged in the pure devotional service of Lord Krishna. Because of the purity of his devotion,   Madhvacharya attracted the minds of all pious people so that more and more devotees gathered around him. He personally supervised and oversaw all the activities in the new temple, and everyone was  pleased to accept his guidance. Whatever he did—cleaning, cooking, everything—was impeccably done. He made an arrangement so that whoever came to the temple could wash his feet. Thus, no one  entered the temple without first washing his feet. The Deity room of Udupi Krishna overlooked the Madhva-sarovara and so He could directly see who had washed his feet and who had failed to do so.


In seemed that Madhvacharya purposely made the Deity room small so that large crowds would not gather and create a disturbance. In a mood of awe and reverence, people would stand in line and  await their turn to see Lord Krishna. Madhva insisted that the temple was washed many times each day and to this day, one see the high standards that he set. He made sure that everyone bathed three  times a day, especially before puja. After bathing and washing one's cloth, one had to put on fresh cloth. Unwashed cloth, even silk, would not be tolerated by Madhvacharya—nothing could be worn a  second day.Still, Madhvacharya's mission was to preach and so, he trained up some intimate disciples to maintain the Deity worship to his standard. He was very strict so that no impurity would be  allowed. For example, fingernails are considered to be impure, like dead skin and so water that was to be used for puja would never be touched by the pujari's fingernails. If a disciple committed a  mistake, Madhvacharya had him fast, to purify himself.


During the time when Madhvacharya established the Deity worship at Udupi, an interesting incident occurred. When Madhva was a child, the son of his teacher was his very good friend. One day, the  former friend came to Madhva because he had a very severe headache. Madhvacharya blew into his ear and the headache immediately disappeared.  At this time, that man was engaged in making  arrangements for a very grand sacrificial performance. A vast amount of money was being spent and thousands of brahmanas were to be fed. Madhvacharya's younger brother, who was expert in the  understanding of how to perform all kinds of Vedic rituals was invited to be the officiating priest (hotri) and he accepted the post.The pandal was erected and the preliminary pujas were performed.  Innumerable brahmanas then assembled, everyone ready to perform his assigned duties. Just at that time, an envious brahmana from the Jaraghatita gotra, named Maradittaya, who had conspiring with  others to spoil the sacrifice, suddenly came on the scene. He was a smarta-brahmana who wielded considerable influence in society.


As previously mentioned, when Madhvacharya met Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Navadvipa, He had instructed him that animal sacrifices were forbidden in the age of Kali. In light of the instructions  that he had received from Lord Caitanya, Madhavacharya modified the procedure for performing sacrifice to some degree. Actually, Madhvacharya's teachings were a stepping stone from the  treacherous teaching of Shankaracharya to the most elevated understanding given by Lord Chaitanya. Therefore, Madhvacharya made minor changes that would make a non-violent sacrifice conform  with the injunctions of shastra. For example, instead of offering a live animal in sacrifice, a sheep made of wheat flour was prepared.


This is what the smarta-brahmana, Maraditaya, objected to. He wanted animals to be offered into the sacrificial fire and so he vehemently protested against Madhvacharya's method. In the argument  that took place, Madhva defended his position from every angle of vision and accused the smara-brahmana of ignoring the injunctions of shastra regarding the yuga-dharma, simply to support his sense  gratification. All of the panditas who were present confirmed that whatever Madhvacharya had spoken was exactly according to shruti and smriti and was presented without any personal motive. Thus,  the sacrifice continued unobstructed. Even the local shopkeepers who had been instructed by the smarta-brahmana to withhold certain essential items that were needed for the sacrifice now came  forward, giving these things as donations. After spending much time in Udupi, establishing the worship at Shri Krishna Mutt, Madhvacharya once again desired to travel and preach, and visit Badari once  again.


Madhvacharya's main party consisted of some fifty sannyasis, as well as some devoted householders and brahmacharies. They did not take any paid servants with them and traveled in a very humble  manner—without any extravagances.  Madhva wanted his disciples to more than preach— he insisted that they learn how to sing expertly for the satisfaction of the Lord, how to compose nice prayers  for His pleasure, how to dance, and even how to wrestle. Madhvacharya was very strong and built like a bull and all of his followers were healthy able-bodied men. None were fat.


Madhva's second tour to Badari occurred some time between 1260 and 1271 AD. At that time, there was a king who was reputed to be a descendent in the Yadu dynasty, named Ishvara Deva, who ruled  his kingdom which was somewhere in present-day Maharastra. This miserly king was famous for engaging others in performing charitable work on his behalf. It so happened that Madhva's party came to  where the king was engaging many men in digging a lake. The king's men stopped the party and told them that they could pass through his kingdom only after working for some time on this project.  Madhvacharya approached the king and told him, "Because we are simple Vaishnavas, we are not skilled in performing such work. If your majesty would be so kind as to demonstrate to us how to dig up  the earth, we will then know what to do. Please show us how the digging should be done."


Madhvacharya was such an influential person that the king personally jumped down into the hole and showed each of the fifty sannyasis how to dig out the lake. Indeed, the king was tricked by Madhva  into digging out the entire section that had been allotted to them. Upon witnessing this, all of the devotees were amazed. After leaving that place, Madhvacharya's party continued north until they  reached the Ganga. During this period, South India was ruled by pious kings following the Vedic culture whereas North India was ruled by Mohammedans. It so happened that the boatmen had been  ordered by the Mohammedans to not take any brahmana or Vaishnavas across the river, which was very wide.


Madhvacharya tried to bribe the boatmen but they were afraid for their lives and so refused. The boatman told Madhva that the Muslim ruler across the river had threatened that he would killing any  non-Islamic traveler who tried to cross the river. Finally, Madhva told his followers to make a chain, the leader holding onto his garments. When this was done, the incarnation of Vayu made everyone  light enough to walk across the river, on top of the water. Before they reached the northern shore, the Muslim ruler came to see Madhva and the other sannyasis, having been informed of the matter by  his men, who were very excited. When he saw the  sannyasis walking on the water, the Mohammedan ruler fainted. After regaining consciousness, he rubbed his eyes and then took another look and  fainted once again. Indeed, this happened seven times. Madhvacharya and his party thus crossed the mighty Ganga just as they crossed over the ocean  of birth and death, as if it were no more than the  water contained in a calf s hoofprint.


On the other hand, the king's soldiers were shouting to one another, saying, "Let's kill these infidel sannyasis before they reach the shore!" It was an incredible sight as the soldiers entered the water,  thrusting their spears in the direction of the approaching sannyasis. Madhvacharya said to the advancing soldiers, "Certainly it is strange that the army has come into the water of the Ganga to try and  stop a handful of mendicants. Why are you doing this? We are no threat to you! We have come here with a desire to meet your king and so allow us to pass."


The soldiers let Madhvacharya's party come out of the water. When the king cast his eyes upon Madhva, he was astonished. Some historians have said that this king was a cousin of the notorious  brahmana killer, Allauddin. His name was Balban, and he was also known as Jalaludin Khiliji, who had ascended the royal throne at the age of seventy. He was a gentle person, quite unlike his infamous  cousin. Indeed, he was a very learned man who was famous for his kindness.


When the Mohammedan king saw the powerful and beautiful golden form of Madhvacharya, he could understand that he was in the presence of an extraordinary personality. The Muslim king asked,  "How did you manage to cross the Ganga and pass through my soldiers? Why have you come here Who are you? Aren't you aware that have risked your life by coming here?"


Madhvacharya replied in Turkish, saying that he was on a mission to spread the glories of the almighty Lord to anyone who would accept the message. He said, "Now you are occupying this land and  previously, it was occupied by someone else. The simple truth is—none of us are the proprietors of any piece of land. We have come here for a short while and after some time, we will be forced to  leave. This land was here before we were born and it will remain after we die. How then can we consider ourselves to be the proprietors? Truthfully, we are all servants of the actual proprietor of this  land and every other land. Every honest man should understand this fact and dedicate his life to the service of the Supreme Lord."


The Mohammedan king became very impressed and charmed while listening to Mahdva's speech. Just as a tantric snake charmer stands amidst many dangerous serpents, Madhvacharya fearlees stood  encircled by the Mohammedan king and his soldiers, preaching the philosophy of Krishna consciousness, confident that the Lord would protect him. The Mohammedan king regretted that he had tried  to hinder Madhvacharya and so he assured him that he would have safe passage through his kingdom. These were very dangerous times for those who traveled through the Muslim-ruled territories.  There were many provincial kings as well as gangs of plunderers who infested the  highways, waiting for unsuspecting travelers. Madhva and his party passed through numerous jungles and over many  mountains while heading north.


One day, while walking through the jungle. Madhvacharya saw a band of thieves coming in the opposite directions. Madhva told his party to stop. Usually, when a group of travelers would come across  thieves, they would be terrified and thus easily plundered. Madhva had a plan, however. He took a handful of stones and put them in a cloth. When the thieves approached to rob his party, Madhva  threw the packet of stones at one of the assailants. Immediately, the gang of thieves began to argue with one another. Not trusting each other, they fought to get the "bag of gold." As one snatched the  bag from another and a third snatched it from him,Madhva and his followers slipped away unnoticed.


On another occasion, as the party was walking through a forest, they were accosted by a gang of more than one hundred thieves. Suddenly, one of Madhva's disciples, a young boy named Upendra  Tirtha, rushed at the plunderers and wrestled a sword from their leader. Indeed, he fought with the skill of an experienced swordsman even though, throughout his entire life, he had never so much as  picked up a stick and hit someone. Those robbers that were not killed or injured by Upendra Tirtha fled for their lives. On  another  occasion,  as  the  party was  walking through a forest, they were  accosted by a gang of more than one hundred thieves. Suddenly, one of Madhva's disciples, a young boy named Upendra Tirtha, rushed at the plunderers and wrestled a sword from their leader. Indeed,  he fought with the skill of an experienced swordsman even though, throughout his entire life, he had never so much as picked up a stick and hit someone. Those robbers that were not killed or injured  by Upendra Tirtha fled for their lives. As all of his godbrothers congratulated Upendra Tirtha for his valor, Madhvacharya smiled knowingly because it was he who had empowered his disciple to such an  extent that one hundred plunderers had been no match for a lone, humble sannyasi. Actually, it was the arms of Bhima, acting through the arms of Upendra Tirtha, that had fought with the thieves. On still another occasion, a band of thieves hid by the side of the path as Madhva and his party approached. As they watched, the sannyasis suddenly turned into boulders and then, after a moment,  resumed their human forms. This convinced the robbers that these were not ordinary men and so they approached Madhva's party in a humble mood. They fell to the ground to offer obeisances to  Madhvacharya and sincerely begged forgiveness for planning to rob him and his party.


One day, as the party was traveling through a Himalayan jungle, Satya Tirtha, a very dear and devoted disciple of Madhvacharya, was attacked by a demon in  the form of a tiger. This beast was nine feet  long and weighed three hundred kilos. The tiger leapt from the undergrowth onto Satya Tirtha as he led the party through the jungle. As the tiger was about to carry him off to devour him, Satya Tirtha  suddenly felt it collapse so that he was freed from the grip of death. Madhvacharya had witnessed the attack and with the speed of the wind, he killed the tiger with a single blow of his fist and then  released Satya Tirtha from its jaws. Satya Tirtha was in a state of shock and so it took him some time to realize that he had been saved. Although the holy name of the Lord was on his tongue, he didn't  know whether he was dead or alive. Even as he was being mauled by the tiger, he had remained absorbed within, chanting the holy name of the Lord. Being eternally indebted to his beloved guru, Satya  Tirtha prayed for the benediction that he would never be separated from him. After walking a few more days, the peaks of the Western Himalayas came into view. After reaching Badarinatha,  Madhvacharya left his disciples there and crossed over the ice to reach Uttara Badari, the abode of his spiritual master, Shrila Vyasadeva. As he approached Vyasadeva's ashram, Madhvacharya felt his  ecstasy increase, moment by moment. At last, he came to where Shrila Vyasadeva was seated beneath a badari tree, surrounded by many disciples.


Madhvacharya stayed with Shrila Vyasadeva in his ashram for some time. Indeed, being absorbed in the service of his spiritual master, Madhva practically forgot about his life in Bharata-bhumi. It could  be said that he felt himself to be situated in his constitutional position, at the lotus feet of his spiritual master. During this visit, Shrila Vyasadeva instructed Madhvacharya to write a book explaining  the essential meaning of Mahabharata, which is considered to be the fifth Veda, and which contains many wonderful instructions, especially those dealing with kshatriya-dharma, or the art of politics  and diplomacy. Madhvacharya carried out that order of his spiritual master by composing the Mahabharata-tatparya-nirnaya. In that book, he explained that the original text had been changed over the  long period of time since it had been written. In the thirty-two chapters of the Mahabharata-tatparya-nirnaya, Madhvacharya explained the Mahabharata As It Is.


The first two chapters deal with Madhvacharya's exposition of the philosophy and political instructions of the Mahabharata. Chapters three through nine are devoted to a critical study of the Ramayana.  It must be remembered that Madhva, being an incarnation of Vayu, had previously appeared as Hanuman, in Rama-lila. Madhva established that Rama's pastimes were all-perfect and that any seeming  impurities, such as His apparent lack of trust in Sita so that she had to pass the test of entering fire, and His lamentation after the abduction of Sita, were dramatic performances meant to  invoke  feelings of emotional ecstasy in His devotees. Chapters ten through thirty-two deal with the story of the Mahabharata. Madhvacharya, who had been present in the form of Bhima, explained all the  incidents in the mood of one who had been there and thus knew very well the truth. The book closes with Madhvacharya explaining how the advent of the age of Kali gave the opportunity for the rise of  the philosophies of Buddhism, Jainism, and Mayavada- He mentioned that his mission in life was to kick out such misconceptions from the minds of the people and thereafter, re-establish the truth of  religion. Here, Madhvacharya states that he had appeared in the year 4300 of the Kali-yuga, which corresponds to 1199 AD.


After some time, Shrila Vyasadeva reminded Madhvacharya of his mission, urging him to return to Bharata-varsha. Thereafter, Madhva led his party to Hastinapura, where he showed them the sacred  places where the events of the Mahabharata had taken place. Indeed, he told many confidential stories that only a Pandava (Bhima) would know. They stayed at Hastinapura (modern-day New Delhi) for  the four months of the rainy season. News of Madhvacharya's presence soon spread so that many pious souls came to visit him. One day, when the Yamuna was very turbulent and swollen due to the  heavy rain, Madhva's disciples desired to cross the river. However, because of the crowds of people, there were not enough boats available for all the sannyasis. Still, Madhva's followers prayed for the  mercy of their spiritual master and waited for his arrival. Just before sunset, Madhva rejoined his disciples, gathered them together, and while crowds of people were watching, walked with them across  the turbulent Yamuna, on top of the water, with no one even getting wet. Everyone who witnessed this, including many pilgrims, fishermen, and boatmen, was astonished. Just imagine seeing fifty men  casually walk across the surface of the river, reaching the far shore without even becoming damp. Indeed, everyone bowed down and offered their humble obeisances.


Madhva sat down on the shore, along with his disciples, and lectured on the true purport of Mahabharata, giving numerous personal insights into events that had happened some four thousand years  ago. Then, as Madhva continued his glorification of Lord Krishna and the Pandavas, mother Ganga personally appeared, standing before him with folded hands. For those possessing external vision,  only a small pool of Ganga water bubbling just in front of Madhvacharya could be seen. However, Madhva and a few others who possessed spiritual vision could see Ganga, in her personified form, as  she came to offer her respects to the empowered representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, from whose lotus feet she had emanated. After leaving Hastinapura,  Madhvacharya's  party   followed the course of the Ganga, visiting many holy places, until they finally reached Benaras, which was a great stronghold of the Mayavadi impersonalists. At this time, Madhva was in a playful mood.  Once, while listening to some of his disciples boasting of their strength and wrestling ability, Madhva told them, "If you consider yourselves capable, come and fight with me. Don't hold back, due to  sentimental affection for me. Exhibit your full strength, for my satisfaction."


After saying this, Madhva knocked to the ground fifteen of his burliest disciples. He laughingly ordered, "Get up! Let's see who can fight with me!" However, his disciples knew that they were no match  for their guru and so they begged, "Dear spiritual master, please do not attack us again! We are no match for you! Even your little finger can exhibit the heaviness of Mount Meru! In just a few seconds,  you practically killed us! Please forgive our false pride and let us resume our spiritual duties."

Madhva's party stayed at Benaras for many days, frequently debating with the impersonalists, smashing their false arguments to pieces. On one occasion, a Mayavadi sannyasi named Amarendra Puri  came to challenge Madhva, saying, "You claim that activity performed in pure knowledge leads one to liberation. What kind of philosophy is this?"


Madhva responded by saying, "You also claim to have perfect knowledge and as such, you must understand this very well. Otherwise, if you are ignorant, there is no question of liberation. Simply by  staying inactive, you will remain entangled in material existence. Still, because you have inquired from me, I request you to consider these verses from the Bhagavad-gita (4.14-19):


na mam karmani limpanti na me karma-phale sprha

iti mam yo 'bhijanati karmabhir na sa badhyate


Lord Krishna said: There is no work that affects me; nor do I aspire for the fruits of action. One who understands this truth about Me also does not become entangled in the fruitive reactions of work.


evam jnatva krtam karma purvair adi mumuksubhih

kuru karmaiva tasmat tvam purvaih purvataram krtam


All the liberated souls in ancient times acted with this understanding of My transcendental nature. Therefore, you should perform your duty, following in their footsteps.


kim karma kim akarmeti kavayo 'py atra mohitah 

tat te karma pravaksyami yaj jnatva moksyase 'subhat


Even the intelligent are bewildered in determining what is action and what is inaction. Now I shall explain to you what action is, knowing which you shall be liberated from all misfortune.


karmano hy api boddhavyam boddhavyam ca vikarmanah

akarmanas ca buddhavyam gahana karmano gatih


The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore, one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is, and what inaction is.


karmany akarma yah pasyed akarmani ca karma yah

sa buddhiman manusyesu sa yuktah krtsna-karma krt


One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities.


yasya sarve samarambhah kama-sankalpa-varjitah

jnanagni dagdha karmanam tarn ahuh panditam budhah


One is understood to be in full knowledge whose every endeavor is devoid of desire for sense gratification. He is said by sages to be a worker for whom the reactions of work have been burned up by the  fire of perfect knowledge.


Madhvacharya continued, "If one is serious about liberation from material bondage, he must understand the distinctions between action, inaction, and unauthorized action. This is a very difficult  subject to understand and so one must hear about it from a self-realized spiritual master. One who has actually learned this will serve Lord Sri Krsna with his body, mind, and words. It is a fact that  without engagement in the devotional service of the Lord, even the most intelligent man will remain bewildered."


In this way, Madhvacharya dismantled the Mayavadi philosophy, which is also called kevala-advaita, or the absolute oneness of all existence. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that, in the performance of  sacrifice, the fire is Brahman, the offering is Brahman, and the priest who offers oblations (hotri), is Brahman. They are all Brahman but there are differences within Brahman as  well. If one were to pour  ghee onto the hotri instead of the fire, or if one were to place the hotri into the fire, the same result would not be achieved as when the hotri pours ghee into the sacrificial fire. By his strong arguments,  Madhvacharya set Benaras alight, just as Hanuman had set fire to Lanka while roaming about the city with his tail aflame. Amarendra Puri, who had thought himself to be the Supreme Soul, came to  understand that he was a very tiny soul (ami-amsha), part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Being unable to counter Madhvacharya's strong arguments, ultimately, he admitted defeat.


It is very unusual for a follower of Shankaracharya to behave respectfully toward a Vaishnava. However, after leaving Benaras, Madhvacharya again turned north and went to Rishikesha, where a  Shankarite surprised everyone by inviting him to his house and then serving him with all respect. Indeed, he had insisted that Madhava eat at his house, just to purify his entire family.Actually, this  follower of Shankaracharya had had a dream wherein he understood that Madhvacharya was not an ordinary person but a direct representative of the Supreme Lord. After seeing Madhvacharya, this  Shaivite gave up his old ways and became Madhva's follower. From Rishikesha, Madhva and his party went to Kurukshetra. There, taking Satya Tirtha and the others with him, he pointed out the exact  places where Bhima had fought numerous battles in the great war with the Kauravas. At one point, Satya Tirtha asked Madhva if he knew where Bhima's club was at present. In response, Madhva pointed  to a spot and said, "Dig at this place and the club will be revealed."


After digging for quite some time, down to five or seven feet, the devotees saw the club. No one could lift it out of the ground, however, and so Madhva picked it up and carried it with ease. After some  moments, he ordered his followers to place the club back into the ground and cover it. In this way, Madhvacharya revealed many things about Bhima, including the place where he had fought with  Duryodhana at the end of the battle at Kurukshetra. It is a fact that only Bhima could have known these things.


From Kurukshetra, the party again headed south until they came to the region given to Lord Parashurama by Kashyapa Muni. From that place, Madhvacharya went to modem-day Goa. There, a local  landlord who had heard about his reputation for eating incredible amounts of food gave Madhva an offering of one thousand rajakeli bananas. Even though these very large bananas were given to him  in a joking mood, Madhva ate them all without difficulty. Soon thereafter, a brahmana named Shankara brought Madhvacharya an offering of four thousand juicy ripe bananas, along with more than  one hundred liters of milk. Much to everyone's amazement, he nonchalantly  ate all the bananas and drank the milk. It appears that, from time to time, Madhvacharya liked to do something that would  inspire faith in the public.


Sometimes, however, people would become envious upon seeing Madhvacharya's wonderful activities. On one such occasion, an envious person went to the provincial ruler and complained about  Madhva and his party. The ruler then sent his officers to arrest Madhva and his men but Madhva was always one step ahead of his enemies. Within view of everyone, Madhvacharya suddenly disappeared  from view, as did all of his followers. At this, the ruler decided to give up the attempt to arrest Madhva, knowing that he was going way over his head. Madhva and his disciples then reappeared at their  camp and left that place soon thereafter, heading further south.


Stories of the miraculous effects caused by Madhvacharya's singing spread far and wide. It was rumored that when Madhva's party would chant the holy names of the Lord, animals and human beings  would forget their bodily differences and dance and chant together. There were stories of men embracing tigers and elephants embracing tigers, completely forgetful of their natural enmity. It was said  that when Madhva would chant or touch someone, that person would become transformed by his spiritual influence. At one place, the people, having heard such stories, requested Madhva to sing for  them. Surrounded by more than a hundred people, Madhvacharya took a few seeds in the palm of his hands and began to sing in a most melodious manner. Indeed, his singing was hypnotic and quite  distinct from the singing of any mundane musician. As Madhvacharya continued to sing about the glories of the Lord, the seeds began to move in his hand. Then, while everyone looked on in  amazement, little sprouts came from each seed. Within a few minutes, the sprouts grew and grew until they finally became fruit-bearing trees.


In this way, Madhvacharya confirmed all the wonderful stories that the people had heard about him. After some time, Madhva and his followers departed and walked the short remaining distance to  Udupi. All the people of Udupi were very pleased to see the return of Madhvacharya after an absence of about a year. Indeed, the people of Udupi had appeared to wither in separation from Madhva.  Upon his return, and as he narrated stories of his adventures, the residents of Udupi seemed to revive, as if receiving nectarean showers of much-needed rain.


Previously, whileontourofSouthlndia.Madhvacharya had debated with the head of the Shringeri Mutt of Shankaracharya, whose name was Vidya Shankara. After Vidya Shankara's death, his followers  appointed Padma Tirtha as their head. Although he was certainly very learned, Padma Tirtha was not a highly realized soul and so, as the head of the Shringeri Mutt, he was merely a figurehead.  Adi Shankara (Shankaracharya) had once predicted to one of his disciples that in the future, persons with material motives and desires would live as ascetics to attain their goals. Actually, the  Mayavadis of Shringeri were very envious of Madhvacharya and so they incited Padma Tirtha to gain revenge against him for his repeated defeat of their predecessor (Vidya Shankara). Actually, these  Shankarites were so envious of Madhva that before directly challenging him to debate, they resorted to the black arts described in the tantra-shastra, as a means of debilitating him. Some of these  methods that were attempted to control Madhva were— vasikarana-mantras, to put him under their control— istambhana-mantras, to physically paralyze him— vivesana-mantras, to create dissention in  his camp—and uchchatan-mantras, to disturb his mental equilibrium and put fear into his heart (as well as the hearts of his followers). When none of these methods worked, the Mayavadis employed  marana-mantras in an attempt to kill Madhvacharya.


The strength of his purity allowed Madhva to repel all of these tantric curses. Next, the Shankarites decided to use political means to put a stop to Madhvacharya's preaching of Dvaitavada. Any  brahmana who was found accepting the philosophy of dualism was ostracized from society. In this way, those who were very envious of the Supreme Lord and His devotees employed devious means to   discredit Madhvacharya. There was a colleague of Padma Tirtha named Pundarika Puri. After leaving the dirty work to others, the two set out for Udupi to challenge Madhvacharya. As soon as they  arrived in Udupi, the two Mayavadis informed Madhva's followers of their challenge. News soon spread of the upcoming debate and so all of the local brahmanas assembled to witness it. Some wanted  to reconfirm their faith in Madhvacharya's Dvaitavada and some just came out of curiosity. Having studied the Vedas under the guidance of an impersonalist, they were curious to hear an alternative  philosophy.


Pundarika Puri, who was considered to be very learned, was the challenger. He chose his favorite subject, the Rig Veda, thinking it to be the perfect means of presenting his philosophy of oneness.  Madhva, as the defender, began to explain the hymns of the Rig Veda in relation to Lord Narayana. Being a master- of Sanskrit grammar, Madhvacharya used his knowledge of the root meanings of words  to establish his conclusions. In so many ways, Madhva established that Lord Krishna is the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Brahman. The main thrust of his arguments, however, was to establish that the  Supreme Lord is distinct from the innumerable embodied souls seen in this world. It soon became* obvious that Madhvacharya's erudition extended far beyond that of Pundarika Puri. All of the  brahmanas in the audience praised Madhva very highly, comparing him to Lord Brahma, from whom  the four Vedas emanated. Still, the crowd waited in anticipation to hear the replies of Pundarika  Puri, even thought everyone considered him to be defeated before he had even started speaking.Pundarika Puri was very proud and would never concede defeat and so he proceeded to speak in a way  that showed his imperfect knowledge of the Sanskrit language. That night, under the cover of darkness, the embarrassed Mayavadis left Udupi. Still, before they left, some of the Shankarites went to  Madhvacharya's library and created some mischief.


The next morning, Madhvacharya's librarian, a Vaishnava brahmana named Shankaracharya, approached him with a very solemn look on his face because he had some very bad news to eport—someone  had stolen all of the books from the library. The poor boy, Shankaracharya, took the initial brunt of Madhva's fury. Over the last few years, Madhvacharya had worked on commentaries of many books,  including the following Upanishads—Aitareya, Taithiriya, Brihadaranyaka, Isha, Katha, Chandogya, Mundaka, Mandukya, Satprashna, and Kena. He had written two very valuable works—  Bhagavata-tatparya and Mahabharata-tatparya-nirnaya. Now, all of these manuscripts were stolen!  In an angry mood, Madhvacharya appeared to invoke his Sudarshana chakra in the form of sharp  words: "O foolish Mayavadis, soon you will witness the prowess of the Lord when your life air stops!"


Madhava stormed out of the room, heading for the doomed Mayavadis' camp. After a fierce walk, he and his party overtook the Shankarites at the village of Kudipadi, where there is a temple of Lord  Janardana. Feigning humility, Padma Tirtha fearfully approached Madhvacharya, pleading innocence. Hoping not to be caught with the evidence, he spoke in a reconciliatory manner.It so happened that  the time of chaturmasya began just then and so Madhvacharya and his followers remained at Kudipadi for four months. After some days, when Padma Tirtha became convinced that he could not allay  the suspicions of Madhva any longer, he and his party left their place of residence and snuck away, revealing themselves to be the actual thieves.


Madhvacharya was confident that, by the Lord's grace, his books would be returned to him. They not only were his own commentaries but there was also a collection of many rare and ancient Vaishnava  literatures. News of the theft spread far and wide until it reached the ears of the Vaishnava king of Kumbha (modern-day Kerala), whose name was Jayasimha Maharaja. The king sent a message to  Madhva saying that he would recover the books if he so desired. Of course, Madhvacharya gave his consent. Actually, the king had heard about Madhvacharya's preaching and he considered him to be  an exalted devotee and was thus very eager to render service to him. It is a fact that service rendered to  exalted Vaishnavas purifies one more thoroughly than repeated bathing in the Ganga. An  ordinary sannyasi might travel from one holy place of pilgrimage to another hut Madhva was a walking place of pilgrimage. Wherever he would go, that place would become holy and numerous devotees  would flock to see him.


Thereafter, Jayasimha Maharaja took his army and after searching here and there, came to the camp of Padma Tirtha. He gave an ultimatum to the Mayavadis—bring all the books within five minutes or  else be slaughtered by his soldiers. Thus it came to be that the followers of Shankaracharya quickly brought stacks and stacks of stolen books. The king took all the books and departed without wasting  further time with the offenders. Jayasimha Maharaja sent a messenger to Madhva, asking him to come to Vishnumangalam, along with his followers, and take his books. After receiving the message,  Madhvacharya departed, heading west. At Kabenadu, where he visited the Madaneshvara temple, Madhva spent the night. The next morning, he traveled to Vishnumangalam with hundreds of followers  in a grand procession.Madhvacharya was decorated with tilaka and symbols of the conch and disc of Lord Vishnu. He wore a prasada tulasi garland that reached to his knees and over his head was a  white umbrella. Around his neck hung a bag carrying the ashta-murti shalagrama-shilas that Shrila Vyasadeva had presented him. All the devotees engaged in sankirtana as they briskly proceeded,  accompanied by a bullock cart that would carry the recovered manuscripts. Just outside Madaneshvara, King Jayasimha came to meet Madhvacharya. Out of respect, the king got down from his  palanquin and humbly approached Shripada Madhavacharya, the best of Vaishnava sannyasis. He then prostrated himself at the lotus feet of Madhvacharya. Everyone was amazed to see the humility  and devotion exhibited by the king.


Thousands of people from Vishnumangalalm came to see the meeting of the king with Madhva and his party. It was an amazing experience. Many people who lined the road chanted prayers, such as the  Purusha-sukta, Narayana-sukta, and Vishnu-sukta. The impersonalist followers of Shankaracharya had tried to suppress Madhvacharya but the result was just the opposite. Such is the plan of the  Supreme Lord. Just by seeing Madhvacharya, everyone felt great satisfaction. His feet were tinged with a reddish hue and his toes appeared like the necks and heads of tortoises, protruding from his  lotus feet. He had soft, round ankles and fine knees. His chest was very broad and his arms were thick, round and long. His hand displayed a mudra of two fingers indicating his philosophy of dualism  (Dvaitavada). His face could be compared to a spotless moon. His teeth were like jasmine buds and they displayed themselves between his reddish lips as he mildly smiled. Everyone was especially  pleased to look into his soft lotus-like eyes. 


After welcoming Madhvacharya, Maharaja Jayasimha led him to a raised platform and seated him there. Thereafter, the king had his men bring Madhva bis recovered books. He was very pleased, as you  can well imagine, and so he showered his blessing upon the pious king. After some time, when King Jayasimha returned to his kingdom from Vishnumangalam, he was a changed man—a disciple of  Madhvacharya. Later, while seated in a large assembly of brhamanas, panditas, and well-wishers, Madvha called for his disciple, Hrishikesha Tirtha, and had him recite verses from the  Shrimad-Bhagavatam and  Bhagavad-gita. Madhvacharya and his associates very sweetly sung along in the proper meters. After each sholka was recited, Madhvacharya spoke about its meaning. A nice example was this verse from Shrimad-Bhagavatama (10.14.8), which is a prayer offered by Lord Brahma to Lord Krishna:


tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano bhunjano evatma-krtam vipakam

hrd-vag vapurbhir vidadhan nomas te jiveta yo mukti pade sa daya bhak


"My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances  with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim."


Madhvacharya explained that this verse embodies the actual mood of a pure devotee who is fully surrendered to the Lord. Such a devotee does not depend upon the mercy of anyone else, he knows  that only Lord Krishna can award him a life of actual auspiciousness. In this world of birth and death, one must tolerate many miserable conditions. Even when there are reverses, a surrendered devotee  does not blame the Lord. He knows that the Lord is kindly awarding him just a token of the suffering that would result from his past ignorant activities. Even while suffering in this world, a devotee goes  on glorifying the Lord with his body, mind, and words. By acting in this way, his deliverance from the entanglement of material existence is assured because it has become his rightful claim.


At this time, Madhvacharya narrated many pastimes of Lord Krishna and assured his followers that only Lord Mukunda is the deliverer from the ocean of birth and death. Among the congregation of  brahmanas present at Madhvacharya's assembly was a great scholar named Trivikrama Pandita. His erudition far surpassed all the other brahmanas of Vishnumangalam. Indeed, he was famous  throughout South India. Even as a small infant in the household of Subramanya Pandita, Trivikrama  would compose wonderful poems in his baby language.


Trivikrama Pandita was taught the shastra as commented upon by Shankaracharya but he was never actually satisfied by these conclusions. Even his father, from the very beginning, had told him that  to merge into impersonal Brahman was not the ultimate goal of life. He explained to his son that the brahmajyoti is the effulgence emanating from Lord Krishna's transcendental body, so that it was  superior to worship the source of the Brahman effulgence. Still, in spite of these instructions from his father, Trivikrama Pandita secretly studied the commentaries of Shankara. Trivikrama Pandita was  a householder who performed the pancha-yajna—recitation of the Vedic literature, performance of fire sacrifice, honoring and feeding guests, offering oblations to the forefathers, and mass prasadam  distribution. Because he had faithfully studied the commentaries of Shankaracharya, Trivikrama Pandita constantly argued with Madhva's disciples. It was Trivikrama's younger brother, Sankaracharya,  who was Madhvacharya's librarian. For this reason, Trivikrama began to read some of Madhva's books and when he did so, he experienced a transcendental pleasure that greatly pleased his mind. Still,  he rebelled at Madhva's repeated attacks on Shankaracharya's commentaries.


Trivikrama was seated in the assembly and as he listened to Madhva's glorification of Krishna as  the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his patience became strained. He thus offered some challenges  but each and every time, Madhvacharya presented unassailable arguments defeating whatever was placed before him as opposition. These discussions continued for fifteen days and as time went on,  Trivikrama's doubts became dispelled. Even though much time was spent debating, Madhva kept to his normal schedule of rising and bathing before sunrise and then, after practicing pranayama,  worshiping Lord Narayana.When some of his young disciples stayed up late at night and then failed to rise early the next morning, Madhva chastised them, saying, "Why are you neglecting the duties  that were assigned to you?"


After bowing down to their spiritual master, these disciples replied, "Out of respect for you and your elder disciples, we waited to bathe until you had finished."

When everyone was ready, the puja began. Madhvacharya worshiped the shalagrama-shilas that had been given to him by Shrila Vyasadeva. One day, someone told Madhva that there was ghee on the  flowers that were to be offered to his shalagrama-shilas. Madhvacharya replied, "There is no ghee. These flowers are so ecstatic that they are excreting so much nectar that it appears to be ghee."

At sunrise, Madhva and his disciples would worship the sun-god with the recitation of choice prayers. This  was part of their sandhya performances, which were to be performed at dawn, noon, and  dusk. Afterwards, as Madhva would bathe his shalagrma-shilas with water he personally collected from the temple kunda, his followers chanted Vedic mantras. After bathing his shalagrama-shilas,  Madhva would offer sixteen items, such as fragrant flowers, tulasi leaves and manjaris, and sandalwood paste, and thus conclude his worship.After puja, Madhvacharya would have some sweet rice  prasada, at two or three in the afternoon. Many persons would come to see him every day, each one eager to perform some service. Madhvacharya made the strict rule that anyone who would come to  the temple for darshana, or who would come to see him, must have charanamrita and prasada before leaving.


In the afternoon, his disciples would recite verses from the shastra and Madhva would give his commentary. Essentially, he would explain to the assembly the nature of the individual soul (jiva), the  position of the Supreme Lord, and their relationship (sambandha). The sun would set but this would not deter Madhvacharya from continuing his explanations. He would specifically enjoy describing  the beauty of Krishna's transcendental form. Lord Krishna's dark bluish complexion could be compared to the luster of a fine gem, His teeth could be compared to jasmine buds with a pink tinge, and  He is always decorated with a garland of forest flowers. As the full moon would brighten the night sky, Madhva enlightened his followers by describing Lord Krishna's wonderful transcendental qualities.  Everyone sat and listened to Madhva speak, not even taking their eyes off him for a second.


Indeed, they were so absorbed in his talks that they forgot about the time. Just as an expert businessman will make a profit, whether the market is seemingly up or down, so the devotees advanced in  Krishna consciousness by taking shelter of the lotus feet of Madhvacharya, whether they might be in a happy or distressed condition of life. Madhvacharya would present the arguments of the popular  philosophies of the day and then point out their defects to show the audience how only the Vaishnava understanding is completely satisfying. All the while, Trivikrama Acharya sat and listened while  hoping to find some fault, although he was never able to do so. By citing Vedic evidence, as well as by logic and reasoning, Madhva explained that Lord Vishnu is full of all good qualities whereas the  living entities possess them in small quantities. Everyone possesses some opulence but the Supreme Lord possesses all opulence in full.Materialists generally feel that the material nature becomes  transformed to create the living entities and that there is no question-of a God or controller. However, Bhagavad-gita (14-4) states: 


sarva yonisu kaunteya murtayah sambhavanti yah

tasam brahma mahad yonir aham bija pradah pita


"It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed giving father."


Materialistic philosophers say that nature itself is the creator but this is something like saying that a mother is the sole cause of a child. Actually, mother nature supplies the bodies of the conditioned  souls after the father, Krishna, implants the seeds. That is why Krishna says, "I am the seed-giving father. Material nature does not work independently. Material nature works under My direction."


Actually, the philosophyputforward by Madhvacharya is so simple and straightforward that even a child can understand it. An envious impersonalist, however, even though he may be a great scholar of  the Vedas, cannot understand this simple truth. It is not at all my intention to go into detail about the many philosophies that were presented to Madhvacharya but he confronted them, one after  another, refuting them with mastery and ease. After listening to Madhvacharya's refutations for many days, Trivikrama Pandita became thoroughly convinced.  In a very humble  mood,  he  approached

 Madhvacharya and begged, "O master, please forgive all of my offenses that were committed due to ignorance. Please award me shelter by allowing me to perform service at your lotus feet. Kindly  accept me as your surrendered disciple."


Madhva accepted Trivikrama Panditacharya as his disciple, duly initiating him and branding him with mudras of the chakra and conch on the upper part of his body. Thereafter, Madhvacharya  personally instructed Trivikrama Pandita in his Brahma-sutra bhashya. Indeed, Trivikrama wrote his own complimentary commentary, known as Tattva-pradipa, which received Madhva's blessings.  Trivikrama Pandita delighted in glorifying Madhvacharya, comparing his Brahma-sutra bhasya to an ocean of milk that he longed to churn for further and further realizations.


In fact, Trivikrama Pandita glorified each of Madhvacharya's literary works. In Madhva's commentary ontheShrimad-Bhagavatam,Bhagavat-tatparya-nirnaya, he wrote purports for only 1600 of the 18,000  verses, and those mostly from the tenth and eleventh cantos. Of course, he stressed that Lord Krishna is to be accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the living entities as His eternal  servants. In his Tantra-sara, Madhvacharya dealt with rituals, mantras, and methods for worshiping the Supreme Lord, Lord Vishnu. In his Katha-lakshana, Madhva gave the arguments that counter all  kinds of deviant  philosophical understandings. In his Pramana-lakshana, Madhva analyzed the various categories of evidence that is acceptable in debate.


In a book of six hundred shlokas, Vishnu-tattva-nirnaya, Madhva refutes all opposing philosophies and establishes the authority of the Pancharatras and Puranas. In Tattvodyota, Madhva explains the  distinction between the unlimited Supreme Lord and the infinitesimal living entities. In his Anubhashya, Madhva specifically attacks the monists who misinterpret the Upanishads and Vedanta. In a  short book of forty verses entitled Sadachara-smriti, Madhva outlines the daily duties of a Vaishnava.

Madhvacharya composed the following Kanduka-stuti when he was just a child:



kaliyanagaksvelanihanta sarasijadala vikasitanayanh

kalaghanalikarbhurkayh sarasatasakalitari  lusatanikarh

santatamasman patu murarih satatagasamajavakha patinirath


"Coming down through the skies, the Ganges River touches Your lotus feet. Under those soft lotus feet, which are the resort of many wonderful lotus flowers, You control the Kaliya serpent. Krsna's eyes  are like a fully-blossomed lotus flower. His complexion is like a dark blue monsoon cloud. His presence dissipates all darkness. My dear Lord Murari, please give me Your mercy and make the darkness  of ignorance fly away, like frightened birds in the presence of Garuda."


Other literary works of Madhva, such as the Jyotish-shastra and Tithi-nirnaya give the astrological means by which one can calculate the Lord's appearance days. In the Yati-pranava-kalpa, Madhva  explains the proper mood of a Vaisnava sannyasi, as well as how to chant pranava-japa. After taking permission from his spiritual master, a sannyasi should wander over the earth. He should teach the  glories of the Lord to people in general and practice those teachings himself. One who wanders like this should remain self-satisfied, giving up contact with and attachment for the material world, and  he should subdue anger and eat frugally. With controlled senses, he should fix his mind in meditation on the Lord. The paramahamsa sannyasi who has control over his mind, body, and speech always  practices bhakti-yoga, free from unwanted association.


After glorifying Madhvacharya and his literary works, Trivikrama Pandita requested him to summarize all the teaching found in these books. In response, Madhva composed the Anu-vyakhyana, right  there on the spot. In this book, Madhva examines all the arguments of the impersonalists and exposes their defects. Madhvacharya selected four of his foremost disciples to act as scribes as he dictated  the Anu-vyakyana in four chapters and 1900 shlokas. Upon seeing this wonderful  feat, everyone was amazed, especially considering the fact that he in no way duplicated anything that he had  previously said. There is a very interesting story that has been handed down as a local legend. While preaching to his disciples, Madhva would often be seen speaking directly to the bullock that had  pulled the cart carrying his books after they had been recovered by King Jayasimha. Actually, this bullock was a great favorite of Madhva's. Indeed, he many times remarked that the bullock was a more attentive listener than his disciples. If you could have looked at the bullock as Madhvacharya was speaking before a large audience, you would have noticed that his ears were pricked in the speaker's  direction.


After Madhva had repeatedly glorified his bullock at his disciples' expense, it so happened that some followers became a bit envious. It may be hard to imagine but they went so far as to curse the  bullock that he would be bitten by a poisonous snake. Madhvacharya came to learn of this, however, and by utilizing his great spiritual potency, he altered the curse. When the snake came and bit the  bullock, it was the snake who died and not the bullock. Instead of falling victim to the snake, the bullock miraculously began to recite Madhva's strotram, which was previously described. There is  another very interesting story that was recorded by Trivikrama Panditacharya. Sometimes, when Madhva would worship Udupi Krishna, he would close the doors to the temple so that no one could see  him. Occasionally, the doors would remain closed for much longer than usual and on one such occasion, Trivikrama Pandita, being very curious, peeped in. Much to his surprise, he saw Hanuman  worshiping Lord Rama, Bhima worshiping Lord Krishna, and Madhva worshiping Shrila Vyasadeva. Being inspired by this vision, Trivikrama Pandita composed Hari-vayu-stuti and when Madhva learned of  this, he instructed his disciple to glorify the Lord and not simply him (Madhva). Thereafter, Trivikrama Pandita composed his Shri-nrisimha-nakha-stuti.


In the village of Pajaka, Madhva's father, Madhyageha Bhatta, lived a long life. Both he and his wife would fondly remember his wonderful childhood pastimes, the austerities they had performed before  the appearance of their son, and the happiness that he had brought into their lives. Of course, in this world, happiness born of attachment brings with it a great deal of anxiety. The parents would  always feel that their son, Vasudeva, might have been attacked by a wild animal or had met with some other accident. Madhva's parents had had other sons but they had all died. This was also a reason  why they had performed austerities for twelve .years, hoping to get a fine son who would live long. Later on, Madhva left home to take sannyasa but he had waited until the appearance of his younger  brother. That boy grew up to become a very fine  gentleman. As a child, he was simple and austere and he ;pent much time studying the shastra. Because of this, Vtadhyageha Bhatta's young son often  reminded him of Vladhvacharya. Madhyageha Bhatta always encouraged nis young son's education but being rather poor, he could not supply nice clothes and other things. After growing up, the boy  got married. Being a very faithful son, he remained at his parents' house, along with his wife, and he cared for his mother and father in their old age. Finally, when he was over ninety, Madhyageha  Bhatta passed away. Soon thereafter, being unable to bear separation from her husband, Madhyageha's wife also passed away.


Madhva's younger brother did not even ask him to perform the funeral ceremonies because, in India, even according to civil law, a sannyasi has no social obligations. Madhva's younger brother  performed the funeral ceremonies and then went to see his elder brother while he was at the kingdom of Jayasimha Maharaja. After conveying the news of his parents' deaths, the boy asked his brother,  Madhva, if he could take sannyasa and join him. He told Madhva that due to the expenses incurred by the funeral ceremonies, especially the feeding of many brahmanas, guests, and friends, he now  had nothing left. The only loss he would incur by taking sannyasa and joining Madhvacharya was the renunciation of his wife. In reply, Madhvacharya told his bother that the time was not right because  chaturmasya had begun and so he was totally absorbed in worshiping the Deity. He advised, "Return to Pajakakshetra now and I will come there at the end of chaturmasya."

Madhvacharya's brother returned home and began living very austerely, without hardly eating or sleeping. He followed the vow of chaturmasya and did not so much as laugh during that time. He was  reminiscent of Bharata living at Nandigrama while Rama was banished to the forest.


At the end of chaturmasya, when Madhva arrived at Pajakakshetra, he found that his brother was observing the monthly jiva-shraddhas, as prescribed by the samskara-dipikas. Finally, after a year had  passed and the monthly shraddhas were concluded, there remained no further impediment for Madhva's brother's acceptance of sannyasa. Madhvacharya knew that his brother was learned in the  shastra, detached from family life, and pure in heart and mind, having no further plan to enjoy the objects of the senses in this world. At an auspicious time, the arrangements were made and the holy  place called Kanva-tirtha was selected as the venue. Kanva-tirtha is a lake situated about eighteen kilometers south of present-day Mangalore, in Karnataka. At this time, seven other disciples of  Madhvacharya accepted the renounced order of life.


InabookcalledSampradaya-paddhati.thisdescription is given: "The acharya summoned the candidates, two at a time, and initiated them into the chanting of various mantras, and the performance of  various rituals and pujas.  gentleman. As a child, he was simple and austere and he spent much time studying the shastra. Because of this, Madhyageha Bhatta's young son often reminded him of  Madhvacharya. Madhyageha Bhatta always encouraged his young son's education but being rather poor, he could not supply nice clothes and other things. After growing up, the boy got married. Being a  very faithful son, he remained at his parents' house, along with his wife, and he cared for his mother and father in their old age. Finally, when he was over ninety, Madhyageha Bhatta passed away. Soon  thereafter, being unable to bear separation from her husband, Madhyageha's wife also passed away. Madhva's younger brother did not even ask him to perform the funeral ceremonies because, in India,  even according to civil law, a sannyasi has no social obligations. Madhva's younger brother performed the funeral ceremonies and then went to see his elder brother while he was at the kingdom of  Jayasimha Maharaja.  After conveying the news of his parents' deaths, the boy asked his brother, Madhva, if he could take sannyasa and join him. He told Madhva that due to the expenses incurred by  the funeral ceremonies, especially the feeding of many brahmanas, guests, and friends, he now had nothing left. The only loss he would incur by taking sannyasa and joining Madhvacharya was the  renunciation of his wife. In reply, Madhvacharya told his bother that the time was not right because chaturmasya had begun and so he was totally absorbed in worshiping the Deity. He advised,

 "Return to Pajakakshetra now and I will come there at the end of chaturmasya."


Madhvacharya's brother returned home and began living very austerely, without hardly eating or sleeping. He followed the vow of chaturmasya and did not so much as laugh during that time. He was  reminiscent of Bharata living at Nandigrama while Rama was banished to the forest. At the end of chaturmasya, when Madhva arrived at Pajakakshetra, he found that his brother was observing the  monthly jiva-shraddhas, as prescribed by the samskara-dipikas. Finally, after a year had passed and the monthly shraddhas were concluded, there remained no further impediment for Madhva's  brother's acceptance of sannyasa. Madhvacharya knew that his brother was learned in the shastra, detached from family life, and pure in heart and mind, having no further plan to enjoy the objects of  the senses in this world.At an auspicious time, the arrangements were made and the holy place called Kanva-tirtha was selected as the venue. Kanva-tirtha is a lake situated about eighteen kilometers  south of present-day Mangalore, in Karnataka. At this time, seven other disciples of Madhvacharya accepted the renounced order of life.


InabookcalledSampradaya-paddhati,thisdescription is given: "The acharya summoned the candidates, two at a time, and initiated them into the chanting of various mantras, and the performance of  various rituals and pujas.  Hrishikesha Tirtha and the other new initiates into the renounced order of life were instructed to work in pairs, following the particular traditions that were assigned to them."

These eight sannyasi followers of Madhvacharya became the founders of the eight monasteries, or "mutts" that are situated around the temple of Udupi Krishna and uphold his tradition.

These eight sannvasis were (in pairs):


Hrishikesha Tirtha, the founder of Palimar Mutt Narahari Tirtha, the founder of Admar Mutt


Janardana Tirtha, the founder of Krishnapur Upendra Tirtha, the founder of Puttinge Mutt


Vamana Tirtha, the founder of Sirur Mutt Vishnu Tirtha, the founder of Sode Mutt


Rama Tirtha, the founder of Kaniyur Mutt Adhokshaja Tirtha, the founder of Pejawar Mutt


As Madhvacharya and his sannyasa disciples sat on a raised platform beneath a banyan tree, they established the system of management of the Shri Krishna Mutt that is practiced to this day. For more  than one hundred years, the system was followed that all of the mutts, and their leaders, would work together to maintain the high standards of worship that were set by Madhvacharya, each taking a  two-month turn. This was changed some time in the sixteenth century by Vadiraja Tirtha, who made each swami hold a two-year term of office. This is still in practice and the principles preached by  Madhvacharya are rigorously followed by his descendents.


Madhva's brother was initiated by him into the Brahma sampradaya. He was given a kaupina, outer cloth, danda, and a new name—Vishnu Tirtha. Thereafter, Vishnu Tirtha studied the Vedanta and  Upanishads under the supervision of his elder brother. After some time, he took permission from Madhvacharya and went on a tour of holy places in North India.During that period, Vishnu Tirtha  resided for some time on the. Harishchandra Mountain and then Kumara Mountain, which is very rugged and which is very dear to Skanda, the son of Lord Shiva. Vishnu Tirtha lived very austerely. While  fasting, only once in five days some local people, or a disciple, would bring some panchagavya (cow's milk, yogurt, ghee, urine and dung) and in this way, he sustained his life. At night, he would sleep  in a protected area in between large rocks. It was not a cave but just a space large enough for him to enter. In this way, Vishnu Tirtha passed many years.


He practiced the eightfold path of mystic yoga as a means of fixing his mind on Lord Vishnu, who is seated within everyone's heart. He practiced the breathing exercises—rechaka,   breathing  out   through  the  right  nostril; puraka, breathing in through his left nostril; and kumbhaka, suspension of the breath. In this way, he fixed his mind upon Lord Narayana's lotus feet without deviation or  distraction.


Madhvacharya sent one of the eight shalagrama-shilas that Shrila Vyasadeva had presented to him to his brother to worship. While residing on Kumara Mountain, Vishnu Tirtha accepted some disciples.  One was Aniruddha Tirtha, who was very learned and reputed to be the knower of past, present, and future. He requested Vishnu Tirtha to give up his austerities and return to Udupi. Another well-known  disciple of Vishnu Tirtha was Badarayana Tirtha. Meanwhile, the great pandita, Shobhana Bhatta, who Madhva had defeated in debate on the banks of the Godavari years before, came to Udupi. He was  Madhva's first convert to the Dvaitavada interpretation of Vedanta and he had been living at home, following the path of devotional service to the Lord. When he came to Udupi, Madhvacharya initiated  him and gave him the name Padmanabha Tirtha. Among all his thousands of disciples, Madhva held him in very high esteem.


Although based at Udupi, Madhvacharya frequently went on tour. On one such tour, when his party came to the banks of the River Gomati, Madhva had one of his disciples recite from the Vedas. A  shudra king ruled this province and he was a great hater of the Vedas. He came to Madhva and, holding some seeds in his hands, challenged, "If your recitation of the Vedas has actual potency, make  these seeds grow before my very eyes." Madhva replied, "A qualified person may not be seen by one who is undeserving, even though he has eyes. It is only by surrender and submission that one can  see the Supreme Lord, or His representative. Even a king, such as you, cannot be seen by anyone and everyone. You should be able to understand this very well."


Still, Madhva mercifully took the king's seeds in his hand and began chanting verses from the Rig Veda. Immediately, the seeds began to move in Madhva's hand and within moments, they began to  sprout. Soon, as the shudra king looked on, they sprouted leaves and then fruit, all within a matter of minutes. Needless to say, the astonished king gave up his doubts and showed great respect for  Madhvacharya.There were many wonderful incidences that occurred as Madhva continued to execute his preaching mission. One night as Madhva was preaching to his followers, he put out all the lights  and continued speaking. He then told a disciple to read from the shastra but received the reply that it was too dark. Madhvacharya then lifted up his foot and the effulgence emanating from his big toe  illuminated the entire room.


Once, while traveling with his followers, Madhva came to a place known as Ambu-tirtha, which is located on the banks of the River Tungabhadra. Madhvacharya wanted to cross the river and so he  reached into the  swirling water and lifted up a large flat stone. He then placed it into the water in such a way that he and his followers could easily walk across to the other side. When they saw this, the  local people were astonished because previously, one thousand men had carried this rock and placed it there. They had also wanted to use the stone as a bridge across the river but that task had been  too difficult and so they had just left it. Because Madhvacharya executed a task that one thousand men couldn't accomplish, some people remarked that even Bhima probably couldn't have lifted the  stone. Still, Madhva lifted it as easily as Hanuman had carried the peak of Gandhamadana Mountain.


On another occasion, when there happened to be a solar eclipse, Madhva and his followers went to bathe in the sea. Afterwards, Madhva engaged in discussions of the shastra, as was his custom. At that  time, the people from a nearby village, Ekavata, came there. Most of these people were boys and old men and they were wet because of bathing in a nearby lake, which was related to the sage, Kanva Muni. They arrived while Madhva and his followers were still in the ocean. Many were quite intelligent and devotional people and they were very pleased to see who was in the water. Indeed,  their faces lit up with affectionate smiles. However, there were others who were envious rascals and they hurled abusive language at Madhvacharya. At this, the sea became very rough, with high waves,  as if it had suddenly become angry. The tide rushed in and dashed violently against those who had blasphemed Madhva although just previously, it had felt pleasure as the devotees bathed in its gentle  waves. Thereafter, as Madhva sat on the shore, reciting the verses of the Aitrareya Upanishad, the roar of the ocean gradually diminished. Many brahmanas then came there and listened to Madhva's  recitation with palms joined in reverence. After some time, when there was a pause in the discussion, they came and took the dust from Madhva's lotus feet.


After some time, Madhvacharya again entered the sea and there were many low-class persons bathing nearby. They spoke to Madhva derisively but he paid them no heed. When a small wave knocked  Madhva off balance, these foolish people laughed with glee. Madhva then cast a meaningful glance upon the ocean and immediately, the water became as smooth as the surface of a mirror. These  people were envious of Madhvacharya's great prowess and so they mocked him when he displayed his tolerance. However, when they saw the ocean become calm at the command of Madhvacharya, they  felt ashamed and kept quiet thereafter. Once, two brothers who were reputed to be very strong men came to challenge Madhvacharya. One of the brothers, named Gandavata, boasted, "Once, I carried  the stone base of the flagpole at the Shri Kanteshvara temple, which even thirty men could not lift. On another  occasion, I kicked a coconut tree so hard that all of the coconuts fell down and the tree  itself was uprooted."  After listening to the braggart for some time, Madhva challenged him, saying, "Gandavata, you and your brother come here later today and if together, you can squeeze my neck so  that I am forced to stop chanting the holy name of the Lord, I will admit defeat."

First, one brother tried squeezing Madhvacharya's neck and then, the other brother tried. When both failed, they combined and yet, no matter how hard they grunted and squeezed, Madhva's voice  could be heard, loud and clear.


Next, giving them another chance, Madhva pressed his big toe firmly into the ground and asked if either brother, or both, could raise his foot off the ground, even an inch. While sweating and grunting,  the two brothers tried and tried but they could not budge Madhvacharya's foot even slightly. It appeared to them that his foot was heavier than Mount Meru. Finally, after realizing their foolishness, the  two brothers offered their obeisances to Madhvacharya and begged forgiveness for their arrogance. On another occasion, Madhvacharya went to a temple of Lord Nrisimhadeva, riding on the back of a  young brahmachari. Although Madhva appeared very large and heavy, by utilizing his mystic power of laghima, he made himself so light that the brahmachari could carry him with ease.


Another time, a very strong man named Purvavata boasted that he could lift heavy weights that even fifty men could not carry. Others corroborated this story saying that they had seen Purvavata carry  a huge ladder that fifty of the king's men could hardly lift. Madhvacharya challenged him, "As I continue to recite sacred prayers to the Lord, squeeze my neck and see if you can make me stop."

Becoming hot and sweaty, Purvavata squeezed Madhva's neck as tight as he could but to no avail. The recitation of prayers continued without any hoarseness, or choking sound. Madhva then made  another challenge. Placing the index finger of his left hand on the floor, he told Purvavata, "Just try to move it!"


Purvavata tried as hard as he could but that finger appeared to be heavier than the heaviest object imaginable. Finally, being utterly frustrated, Purvavata conceded defeat. Once, four wrestlers came to  challenge Madhvacharya. Their names were Shivagni (auspicious fire), Ugra (the terrible one), Amodha (strong body odor), and Vasudeva (Krishna). Madhva invited the wrestlers to attack but when they  rushed at him with great force, they soon ended up in a heap on the ground. After that, Madhvacharya challenged anyone to come and pluck even a single hair from his body. Some people tried but no  one was able to pluck even one hair—not even with tweezers. Next, Madhva  requested the wrestlers to attack him one more time and he assured them that he would offer no resistance. These powerful  men punched Madhvacharya's moon-like face for some time but they could not cut or bruise him, nor could they wipe the serene smile from his face. What to speak of break his nose, they could not  even twist it. Despite performing all these superhuman feats, Madhvacharya never became even slightly proud. He always kept himself in a very humble mood and he was always ready to help the  devotees. He remained aloof from those who chose to absorb themselves in sensual pleasures and he cursed the envious persons who tried to obstruct his mission.


Once, when Madhvacharya came to the ancient Pancha-lingeshvara temple, he found that it was closed, due to a dispute between the temple managers and the pujaris. Madhva acted as a mediator,  speaking at a meeting that was attended by thousands of local people, temple managers, and brahmanas. Madhva explained that the Deity should be satisfied by nice offerings and worship. When  devotees fight over something, they are missing the real point—the satisfaction of the Lord. It is love and devotion for the Lord that is important, not the political struggle to maintain some position or  power. When there is no love for the Lord, simply to make a show of Deity worship is pointless and will not continue for long. Negligent worship of the Deity is offensive and such offenses block one's  advancement in devotional service.  Madhva concluded his talks, saying, "Please perform worship as prescribed in the pancharatra to these five forms of the Lord that were installed by Bhima, along  with Draupadi and his four brothers, in the previous Dvapara-yuga."


Within a few hours, the worship was resumed and the temple doors were opened to the public. All misunderstandings had been resolved. In that region, there had been almost no rain and so the ponds  had dried up and there was widespread famine due to drought. When this came to Madhva's attention, he instantly created clouds. Soon, the much-needed rains came pouring down, filling the ponds  and making the agricultural fields green, thus saving the day. Naturally, everyone was very pleased with this turn of events but the shudra village chief was envious of Madhvacharya. Thinking that  Madhva was somehow diminishing his prestige, the shudra hired some thugs to kill him. At that time, Madhvacharya was in his seventies and so the shudra certainly thought that to kill him would not  be a difficult job. And yet, with his superior understanding, Madhva always was one step ahead of his enemies and so he left that place before the criminals could make their attempt on his life. These  thugs were relieved to find this out because, within their hearts, they felt that they had been saved from committing a  terrible offense. Indeed, they bowed down and offered their obeisances unto  Madhva.


When Madhvacharya came to Kokkada, he went to the temple of Lord Dhanvantari, who is especially worshiped by physicians. It was late in the afternoon of amavasya (the new moon day) when his  followers arrived and the local people gave them a very respectful reception. Indeed, Madhva and his part of sannyasis were offered first-class prasada. The family that fed Madhva did not want to eat  that night because they observed the custom of eating only at noon on amavasya. However, Madhvacharya insisted that they take prasada, along with him, stressing that it is much more important to  honor prasada in the assembly of devotees than to observe some vow of fasting. From that time onward, that family had an evening meal every amavasya, just to commemorate Madhvacharya's visit.


Madhvacharya remained with this family for some days. All the members of the family became Madhva's disciples and for their benefit, he composed his Krishnamrita-maharnava, which describes how  one can please the Supreme Lord while observing Ekadashi by fasting and studying the shastra. In this book, Madhva stresses that everyone, from the age of eight to eighty, must fast on Ekadashi. He  also urges that by carefully considering the torments of hell, one should avoid committing sinful activities. While constantly chanting the holy names of the Lord, one should dedicate every breath and  activity for His satisfaction, remaining free from material desires and the expectation of material rewards. From Kokkada, Madhva went to Ujerya, where he got into lengthy discussions with the local  panditas. These scholars thought, "Madhva certainly is an authority on the Upanishads but we are the true knowers of the pancharatras and tantras. What is there that we could learn from him?"

With this mentality, these panditas grilled Madhvacharya, asking him all kinds of technical questions in the hopes of exposing his lack of knowledge. However, these panditas not only became  astonished when Madhva answered all of their technical questions but when he practically composed his Karma-nirnaya on the spot, they were truly wonders truck.


These brahmanas were mostly followers of the mimamsa philosophy and they worshiped the various demigods, hoping to satisfy them independently. Madhva conclusively showed that the demigods  are the representatives of the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, and thus should never be worshiped independently. Finally, feeling utterly defeated, the local panditas excused themselves and departed. Quite  often, rich householders would invite Madhvacharya to eat at their houses, as was their duty. Being an incarnation of Bhima, Madhva would eat enough food for thirty or more people. Once, taking   compassion upon the devotee householder who had invited him for lunch, Madhvacharya utilized his mystic power to increase the amount of food prepared so that his host would not be embarrassed.


One day, just three months and six days before Madhvacharya's disappearance, his disciple, Narahari Tirtha, returned from Orissa, bringing with him a Deity of Mula Rama. Recapping the story—Twelve  years previously, Sami Shastri had been converted to Vaishnavism and took initiation from Madhvacharya, receiving the name Narahari Tirtha. Madhva did not award Narahari sannyasa, however.  Instead, he ordered him to retain his high government post in the administration of the King of Kalinga (modern-day Orissa). Actually, Madhvacharya knew that the king had in his possession an ancient  Deity of Lord Rama that had been worshiped by both Hanuman and Bhima. This Deity had originally belonged to King Ikshvaku, who then presented it to Maharaja Dasharatha, who worshiped Him long  before Rama made His appearance. For some time, King Dasharatha entrusted the Deity to an old brahmana. After the death of that brahmana, the Deity was returned to Lakshman. Finally, at Rama's  request, Lakshman gave the Deity to Hanuman.


Hanuman used to hang the Deity around his neck and thus carry Mula Rama everywhere. Hanuman gave the Deity of Mula Rama to Bhima when they met on the Gandhamadana Mountain. Vayu, the  wind-god, had carried a wonderful saugandhika flower and placed it at Draupadi's feet. Being enamored with the celestial flower, she had urged Bhima to ascend the mountain to collect some more.  While climbing up the mountain, Bhima had entered the forest known as Kadalivana and it was there that he saw Hanuman, whose tail blocked his path. Being confident of his strength, Bhima  challenged Hanuman but when he failed to move his tail even an inch, he realized the true identity of the great monkey that lay in front of him. After all, who else could defeat the mighty Bhima?

As a token of friendship, Hanuman gave Bhima the ancient Mula Rama Deity. Bhima greatly treasured this Deity and later on, he presented it to the Gajapati kings of present-day Orissa. In this way, the  Deity remained in the treasury of the kingdom until Bhima's return as Madhvacharya.


There are inscriptions in stone found at Kurma-kshetra regarding Narahari Tirtha. It is said therein, "Achyutapreksha, a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, appeared in this world as an instructor of  innumerable learned men. By his strong logic and reasoning, he converted many non-devotees to the path of devotional service to Lord Vishnu. He initiated Ananda Tirtha (Madhvacharya), whose  writings were very influential and who liberated many persons from the entanglement of material  existence.  Narahari Tirtha was  initiated  by Madhvacharya and he later on became the ruler of Kalinga  (modern-day Orissa). Narahari Tirtha fought the sabaras (hunters) and thus rescued the temple at Kurma-kshetra from disuse. Narahari Thakura died in the year 1203 Shaka era, in the month of  Vaishakha, on the Ekadashi of the waxing moon."


This stone tablet was dated 1281 AD, the 29th March, a Saturday. Narahari Tirtha became the ruler of Kalinga when the king died, leaving only an infant son. When the prince became sixteen, he was  deemed fit to rule the kingdom. Feeling gratitude for his services, the boy asked Narahari Tirtha to accept a gift and so Narahari chose the ancient Deity of Mula Rama that Madhva had previously told  him he wanted. So, shortly before Madhvacharya's disappearance, Narahari Tirtha arrived from Orissa and presented to his spiritual master the Mula Rama Deity. With tears of ecstasy filling his eyes,  Madhva happily accepted the presentation. After some time, Madhvacharya returned the Deity to Narahari Tirtha, who then later on kept Him at the Admar Mutt in Udupi. Many commentators oh the  life of Madhvacharya say that there was also a Deity of Sita accompanying Mula Rama. In his purports of Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Shrila Prabhupada also mentions that there were Deities of Sita and  Mula Rama.


The Mula Rama Deity is currently present at the Raghavendra  Swami  Mutt  in Mantralayam,  Andhra Pradesh. According to the devotees at this place, there is no physical Deity of Sita but She is  represented in the form of Shrivatsa on Lord Ramachandra's chest. Mahdvacharya was satisfied that his mission had been successful. He had sufficiently smashed the propounders of impersonalist and  atheistic philosophies. He had changed the mood of the people by means of his preaching, his books, and his disciples. He had sufficiently spread the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead  and loving devotional service unto Him. One day, as Madhvacharya was seated upon his asana in the Ananteshvara temple at Udupi, surrounded by hundreds of disciples, he began to recite verses from  his favorite Upanishad, the Aitareya. There was a festive atmosphere and his eyes were bright and widely expanded, like lotus flowers. His face appeared very charming with his sublime smile and his  voice was very sweet, powerful, and pure.Suddenly, celestial voices could be heard, exclaiming, "All glories to you, Vayu, who has enlivened the fallen, conditioned souls! All glories to you, who are very  dear to Lord Ramachandra! All glories to you, the most powerful Bhimasena! O Madhva, you have saved us from all the misdirected philosophies that are prominent in Kali-yuga! All glories to you!"


As drums were sounded, Madha's disciples looked toward the sky, where they saw showers of flowers coming   from   the   hands   of  celestial   beings.   Upon  seeing and hearing all this, everyone  became jubilant in transcendental ecstasy. When the celestial flowers completely covered Madhva's head, two intimate disciples came forward to brush them away. When they removed the flowers,  however, much to their dismay, these loyal followers discovered that Madhvacharya had departed from this world of birth and death. He had wound up his earthly pastimes and returned to the lord of  his life, Shrila Vyasadeva, at Uttara Badari, his eternal abode.


In his Mahabharata-tatparya-nirnaya, Madhvacharya had written, "The demigods customarily do not spend much time on earth after completing their missions, or when their celestial origins are  revealed." The pastime of Madhvacharya's disappearance took place in the morning of the ninth day in the                             bright fortnight of the month of Magha, in the year 1317 AD (Kali-yuga4418).