“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 c 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.
Madhvacharys’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 Swami, 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 Ramanuja-carya presented his philosophy as visistadvaita-vada, and Sri Madhva-carya presented his philosophy of tattva-vada, both to the Mayavadis because they defeat their philosophy in scrupulous detail.
This book will be especially interesting for the devotees of ISKCON because they have accepted the Brahma- Madhva-Graudiya sampradaya. In this regard, we present herein a verse from the Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya 9.1l), along with the transcendental purport of Shrila Prabhupada:
At the time, all the South Indian Vaishnavas were worshipers of Lord Ramachandra. Some were Tattvavadis, and some were followers of Ramanujacharya.
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 Sankaracarya, 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. lf you have the Bhaktivedanta Veda base, 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:
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 hates 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 Madhvachrya’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 samel”
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:
Pracchannam bauddham uccyate
Mayaiva vihitam devi
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 Sankaracarya. 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):
When Sri Visnu Svami, one of the four acaryas e 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 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.
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