[Advaita-l] Advaita-l Digest, Vol 53, Issue 26

Ganesh Ramachandran ramachandran.ganesh at gmail.com
Sat Sep 29 19:32:37 CDT 2007

My apologies to list members again for prolonging this discussion.  I have
tried to respond to Sri Srikanta's comments below. I am trying to
substantiate my previous statement that Sri Madhvaachaarya was initiated
into sannyaasa was an Advaitin monk.

There is a reference to mayavada in Padmapurana also which is
> blatantly an after addition.

My copy of Sumadhvavijaya has a preface written by the Late Sri Vidyamnaya
Tirtha, the pontiff of the Palimar mutt, a respected Maadhva institution.
Sri Srikanta should note that the translation that I quoted was approved
such an eminent exponent of Dvaita. Besides, in the context of Maadhva
literature and especially of the biography I was quoting from, Maayaavaada
is specifically used to refer to Advaita. Please note that Advaita is the
only other school mentioned in all the preceeding verses of the text. The
author wouldn't suddenly have referred to some other school by such an
'ambiguous' name.

It is not the earliest biography of Sankara as Ganesh Ramachandran assumes.

I said quite clearly that it was the earliest known biography of Madhva, not
of Sankara. I have been looking at many websites. They all seem to agree
that Sumadhvavijaya is the oldest and most authentic of Madhva's
biographies. If Sri Srikanta knows of any earlier biography of Sri Madhva
which gives a different guru lineage, it would be nice if he would let us

The Bhashyas of Madhwacharya contains numerous
> references to early Vaishnawite saints earlier to Madhwacharya.

True. But the question was 'who initiated Madhva into sannyaasa?'
Sumadhvavijaya is quite clear that this was one Acyutapreksha. If this
Acyutapreksha had actually taught Dvaita to Madhva, the text would have
painted him in better light. As regards the question 'who taught Madhva the
system of Dvaita?', It is clearly mentioned that Madhva was instructed by
Veda Vyaasa himself.

I have read the biography published by the Poornaprajna centre at
> Bangalore on Madhwacharya by Sri.Badarayanacharya.I had correspondence
> with him on the above topic.It doesnot contain the references made by Sri
> Ganesh Ramachandran.

I do not understand if Sri Srikanta if referring to the text by the name of
Sumadhvavijaya or to some other. If he were referring to the former, the
website www.dvaita.org contains a copy of Sumadhvavijaya which very much has
the references as I had quoted them (
http://www.dvaita.net/pdf/smvijaya/smv.pdf). This text also has some other
verses which point to the fact that Acyutapreksha was not a proponent of
Dvaita. For example,

saanuniitiratha niitimaanayaM
shobhanaaya gurave svabhaavataH
kaalataH kumataliinabuddhaye||(9.33)
(Published translation: Then, Madhwacharya of exemplary conduct, with great
decorum expounded the exquisite excellences of his superior Bhasya to his
revered preceptor(Acyutapreksha) who though by nature noble, has his
knowledge cloaked by the then ruling wicked Mayamata, due to the evil
influence of the Kali age.)

 In fact, Sri Madhvaachaarya's biography on www.dvaita.org corroborates my
position - http://www.dvaita.org/madhva/AnandaT_1.html. I quote from this
link below -

"It is said that when his guru tried to teach him the noted Advaita text
IshhTa-Siddhi, he pointed out, to Achyutapreksha Tîrtha's amazement, that
there were 30 errors in the very first line of that work, where its author
Vimuktâtman pays obeisance to himself by saying something like: "The only
truth is the soul's empirical knowledge. In the presence of this truth the
world appears to be an illusory play. The essential soul manifests itself as
I, you and everything...

It was this profound knowledge of all subjects that earned him the title of
"PûrNa-pragnya," for "the one of complete wisdom." The initially discomfited
but finally greatly pleased Achyutapreksha Tîrtha soon gave up trying to
educate the master, and himself made a full conversion to Tattvavâda, under
the name Purushottama Tîrtha."
Why would Acyutapreksha teach the advaitic text 'IshTa siddhi', unless he
was an advaitin himself? If Acyutapreksha had been a proponent of Dvaita as
Sri Srikanta presumably claims, the sentence "and himself made a full
conversion to Tattvavâda" would not be appropriate.

Even Narayanatirtha of Krishnaleela tarangini had the
> epithet Tirtha suffixed to his name.Tirtha is the term appended as a
> respectful epithet.It is not founded by Sankara.

Sri Narayana tirtha was, in all likelihood, initiated into sannyaasa by an
Advaitin monk. As far as I have heard, Narayana tiirtha only mentions the
name of his guru as Sivarama. There is no other record of his sannyaasa
lineage. As for 'tiirtha' being a 'respectful epithet', I have not heard of
monks from known non-Sankara lineages like Ramanuja, Swaminarayan or Saiva
Siddhanta, being called tiirtha.  (If there are such monks, please let me

I believe that I have sufficiently substantiated my position, atleast I am
thoroughly convinced that Sri Madhva was initiated into sannyaasa by an
Advaitin. If Sri Srikanta still disagrees, I would request him to produce
verifiable textual references, especially about the 'Bhagavatha order of
sannyaasa' that he talked about.


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