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Madhva or Ananda Tirtha lived from 1238-1317 AD. He strongly disagreed with Mayaavaada of Sankara . He was a pragmatic person , who fought the pessimism of the times (Thirteenth Century) with the development of a Vedantic System of his own drawing inspiration from the " Buoyant realism of the Vedas, The transcendental theism of the Upanishads and the emotional theism of the epics and Puranas ."He installed a beautiful Archa of Sri Krishna at Uduppi and imposed the rigorous observance fo fasts on Ekadasis. He held to the view that the soul of man is potentially divine (Aprameyaeh Iswara svarupatvaat), but man in the ignorance of his true status, has so much lost his soul to his body and its cravings that he requires to be roused from his Avidya nidra by God himself or by His great messengers from time to time.

He was a prolific writer, particularly in Sanskrit. His favorite Vedam is Rg Vedam. He wrote a commentary on it. His favorite Upanishad is Aitreyam. He has been distinguished by his great dependence on Rg Veda compared to other Vedantins. He can be very poetical at times . He was a mystic, logician and skilled in handling of dialectical subtelities.In his commentary on Aitreya Upanishad, his mystic nature helps him to pour out his sentiments on the eternal glory and majesty of Vishnu . He says: " the voice of clouds, the music of the spheres, the fury of the winds, the roar of the waves of the ocean, the names of the Gods and Sages are the names of the supreme and voice HIS eternal glory and majesty."

He left us 37 works. 31 of them are major works, the rest being stotras and miscellaneous works. Among major works, the commentaries on the Prasthaana Trayi , Bhashyas on ten major upanishads, Rg Veda and Bhagavata Puraana and Maha Bharatha are important testimony to his erudition and depth. He strongly believed that the "divided allegiance between Saguna and Nirguna is not conducive to sincerity of thought or belief."He identified the Brahman of Vedanta with VISHNU . He pointed out that the Advaitic canvas has a significant content regarding Saguna Brahman.He showed that the failure of the Godless ritualism of the Purva Mimaamsaa and the agnosticism of the Samkhya were conclusive proofs that the development of philosophy without inclusion of theism had no chance for survival. He has opined that the "acceptance " & establishment of the ShaN Mathaas Adi Sankara is a standing proof of the inevitable reign of religion in contemproary philosophy. The strong devotional traditions of the Haridasa Kuta centered around Udipi and Karnataka , the cult of devotion for Viththalaa in Maharashtra, the literary works of distinguished Dasas like Sripaada Raja, Purandara Dasa, Kanaka Dasa, Vyasa Raja, Gopala Dasa,and Vadhi Raja(the great Hayagriva Upasakar) reached all classes and communities especially in Karnataka. This Haridasa movement placed a rich menu of religion and morality before the Kaandigas and others. It preached the philosophy of Naishkarmya, as intrepreted by Madhvaacharya, that the enlightened action in a spirit of devotion and dedication to God is a central theme in the Sad Darsanas of India, where the ideal of Moksha dominates as the ulitmate goal of Humans .

Credits: V.Sadagopan

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