Madhwa navami

Madhwa navami subha kanshalu

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Jai to Jagadguru Madhwacharya

Birth and childhood

Madhvācārya (or Madhva) was born on the day of vijaya dasami in 1238 CE (AD) at Pājaka, a tiny hamlet near Uḍupi. Nārāyaṇa Paṇḍitācārya who later wrote Madhvācārya's biography has not recorded his Tulu brahmin parents' names. Traditionally it is believed that Nadillaya Nārāyaṇa Bhaṭṭa as name of the father and Vedavati as Madhvācārya's mother. They named him Vāsudeva at birth. Later he became famous by the names Pūrṇa-prajña, Ānanda-tīrtha, Ānanda-jnāna, Ānanda-giri, and Madhvācārya (Flood 2003)
Before the birth of Madhva, when his parents had gone for a purchase in the market, a beggar climbed a dhvaja stambha (flag-post in front of a temple) and announced: "Bhagavān (Lord) Vāyu deva is going to take birth for the revival of Vedic dharma in Pājaka kṣetra to a couple." The prediction made by the beggar was discussed by the parents of Madhva till they reached home.
Even as a child, Vāsudeva exhibited precocious talent for grasping all things spiritual. As an incarnation of Mukhyaprana this was not new for him. He was drawn to the path of renunciation and even as a boy of eleven years, he chose initiation into the monastic order from Acyuta-Prajña (also called Acyuta Pragna), a reputed ascetic of the time, near Uḍupi, in the year Saumya (1249 CE). The preceptor Acyuta Pragna gave the boy Vāsudeva the name of Pūrṇaprajña at the time of his initiation into sannyāsa (renounced order).
A little over a month later, little Pūrṇaprajña is said to have defeated a group of expert scholars of Tarka (logic) headed by Vasudeva-paṇḍita. Overjoyed at his precocious talent, Acyuta Pragna consecrated him as the head of the empire of Vedānta and conferred upon him the title of Ānanda Tīrtha (saint of immaculate bliss).
Thus Pūrṇa-prajña is Madhva's name given to him at the time of sannyāsa (renunciation). The name conferred on him at the time of consecration as the Master of Vedanta is "Ānanda Tīrtha". Madhva, a name traceable to the Vedas (Balittha sūktam), was the nom de plume assumed by the Ācārya to author all his works. Madhvācārya showed that Vedas talk about him as "Madhva" and used that name for himself. However, he used Ānanda Tīrtha or Sukha Tīrtha also to author his works. Madhvācārya was the name by which he was to later be revered as the founder of Tattva-vāda or Dvaita-mata.


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