A very warm welcome to the blog of Madhwa Brahmins community. We, Madhwa Brahmins are followers of Jagadguru Sriman Madhwacharya. We originally hail from places in Karnataka and the neighboring states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Our main dialects are Kannada, Tulu, Marathi, Telugu and Konkani.
A brief background of Jagadguru Sri Madhwacharya:
prathamO hanumAn nAma dviteeyO bheema Eva cha | pUrNaprajna tRuteeyastu bhagavat kAryasAdhakaH ||
As the above shloka from khila vAyustuti explains, Sri Madhwacharya (also known by the names Poornaprajna and Anandateertha) is the third incarnation of Lord MukhyaprAna Vaayu, after Lord Hanuman and Lord Bheemasena. He is the chief proponent of TattvavAda, popularly known as Dvaita. He was born on Vijayadashami day of 1238 CE at Paajaka Kshetra, a small village near Udupi. He is the 22nd commentator on the Brahma sutras of Lord Sri Veda Vyasa.
Kindly note that this blog contains important topics discussed in our Orkut community and some articles on tattvavAda philosophy. All the topics can be found in the BLOG ARCHIVE (right side)
The region in between the Arabian sea and the Western Ghats stretching from Nasik in Maharashtra to Kanyakumari in the southern end of the peninsula is known as Parashurâma-kshetra -- the holy land of Parashurâma.
Parashurâma, an incarnation of Vishnu, appeared on this Earth to eradicate the ruling cruel kshatriya class. Parashurâma engaged in eighteen major battles and three minor ones against the kshatriyas and eliminated them all.
The proximate reason for Parashurâma's wrath was the killing of His father, the sage Jamadagni, by KârtiveeryArjuna, a kshatriya king. This killing symbolized the gross abuse of power that the kshatriya class had become used to at the time. Parashurâma Himself is shown in the Valmiki Ramayana as narrating the circumstances of the kshatriya carnage to Lord Raama (the son of Dasharatha, and another incarnation of Vishnu) as follows:
Upon hearing of his merciless killing, in retribution I killed generation after generation of kshatriyas, many times.
pR^ithiviiM cha akhilAM prApya kashyapAya mahAtmane|
yaj~nasyAnte tadA rAma dakShiNAM puNya-karmaNe|| 26 ||
Having conquered the entire world, I gave away all of it to Kashyapa, the great soul, at the end of a yajnya, as an act of merit. (Va. Ra., Bâla Kânda, Chapter 75)
When the removal of the bestial kshatriyas had finally been accomplished, Parashurâma gifted away to Kashyapa all the lands left behind after their demise. From that time onwards new kingdoms developed under the control of saints and scholars and the responsibility of steering the nation fell into the hands of intellectuals.
With the gifting of all His lands to Kashyapa and the subsequent establishment of all these new kingdoms, Parashurâma then had to find a completely new place for Himself to live in. To this end Parashurâma ordered the king of the oceans thus: `I have to create a new land for my residence. Move away towards the West and stay as far away as my arrows go.'
Parashurâma then shot his arrows and the ocean retreated as ordered. The land thus recovered, which stretches from Maharashtra to Kanyakumari, is known as Parashurâma-kshetra.
Sri Vâdirâja teertha, in his Teertha Prabandha records this oral tradition thus:
karNe padanyasta rucheeriramsuH|
vaaraashivastraM jaghanaaddhi yasyaaH|
amuumuchad.h baaNakareNa bhuumeH|
shriibhaargavaH saa jayati kShitirnaH|| (1.6)
The purport of this stylized stanza can be put this way:
'This Parashurâma-kshetra is our country where the Lord reigned happily by removing the blue garment of ocean waters of the Earth through his arrow-like hands.'
Krishnavadhuta, in his champu epic Mandara Maranda observes that the purpose of this incarnation was the eradication of demons.
tena tadgataa raakshasaa hataaH|
so.api vaaridhirduurato yayau || (Ma. Ma. ca 1.34)
'Bhârgava Râma, desirous of a unique creation, shot arrows towards the ocean. By the arrows of this great Bhârgava Râma, not only did the ocean retreat, but the demons hiding in the ocean were also vanquished.'
If one should visit Pajakakshetra, the birthplace of Sri Madhva, then one can see for themselves the legacy of these arrows. The whole of this place is made up of hills of granite, and from the temple on the highest hill one can look down to where one of the arrows fell. In the side of the hill there is a deep gouge in the granite which is always full of fresh, clean water.
It used to be the case that the water from this place was used exclusively in the daily rituals of the temple. The water used to be transported up the very steep hill to the temple by men whose family duty such had been for as long as can be remembered. These men had an extremely large physique that enabled them to engage in this arduous duty. There is another on these pools on another site farther away from the temple.
In this Parashurâma-kshetra on the WesternCoast of the Indian peninsula, the area lying in the Karnataka state from Kasargod to GokarNa is known as TauLava country. Râjarâjeshwara of the 14th-15th Century A.D. mentions this in his work:
'Go to one of the horns of the high peaks of Sahyadri and look down. The clouds float about. Look down further with your eyes wide open. That is the land known as Taulava country. The region spreading from Gokarna further down up to the sea is the abode of the learned people who have mastered the Vedas. This is the new creation of Parashurâma, the enemy of the kshatriya race.'
Udupi is known as oDipu in the Tulu language. Narayana Panditacharya in his notes called Bhâva Prakasha on the Sumadhva Vijaya records thus:
rajatapeeThapurasya oDipu ityapabhraShTa samjnyA
The modern name Udupi must have developed from this ancient folk name.
A different etymology is provided by certain other scholars. According to them the original Sanskrit name is derived from uDupa (uDu 'star' + pa 'lord') -- lord of the stars, namely, the moon.
Udupi then refers to Shiva, who bears the moon on his head. Since there is the ancient temple of Chandramauleeshwara in Udupi, the place may have been known by the name Udupi, after its ancient deity.
The author of the Sumadhva Vijaya opines that the word is of Tulu origin. The word `Udupi' also does not seem to have been associated with Shiva anywhere else in the Sanskrit literature.
Even if the word is to be considered to be originating from a Sanskrit root, one can provide a better explanation and etymology. `Udupi' also means boat or raft in Sanskrit:
uDupaM tu plavaH kolaH
The word `Udupi' can then mean a place to which Lord Krishna came (from Dwârakâ) by boat.
The Tulu word oDipu can also be associated with a more or less similar meaning. There is a temple at Malpe which is known as oDabhAnDeeshvara. There appears to be some kind of relationship between the words oDabhAnDa and oDipu. Its Kannada version is `Udupa'. The root element of all these words is oDepu, meaning "cracking," or "breaking." Until the secret of this word is cracked, the origin of the modern word Udupi will remain shrouded in mystery.
This temple at Malpe is well worth a visit and appears to be of great vintage. It is only a short distance to the beach from the temple and so it is possible to walk to where Sri Madhva saved the ship carrying the icon of Sri Krishna from being wrecked during a storm.
Shivaroopya - Shivalli
The original name of the village of Udupi is Shivalli. Later on an attempt was made to Sanskritize this name into Shivaroopya because Shiva dwelt there. The author of the Sumadhvavijaya refers to this name:
"The village stretching up to Indrali Hills in the East (present day Manipal) and presided over by Lord Ananteshwara is known as Shivaroopya."
There is a popular legend which tells us how this ancient village became Shiva's village in ancient times:
King Râmabhoja decided to perform a sacrifice and so began to plough the land in preparation. A serpent was hit by the plough and died on the spot. To atone for this sin the king constructed four shrines in the four corners of the village.
The four serpent shrines are known as muchchilkoDu, mAngoDu, arikoDu and tAngoDu.
Actually these are Skanda shrines. About two miles to the South-East on the way to Alevoor is the muchchilkoDu shrine near KukkikaTTe. This shrine which is under the jurisdiction of Sri Pejawar Mutt has been renovated beautifully and the area looks like a peaceful hermitage.
Another Skanda shrine is located at maangoDu about three miles to the South West of Udupi. This is also renovated nicely.
About three miles to the North-East of Udupi by the side of Puttur temple on the National Highway is the arikoDu shrine. This is in very bad condition as the walls have collapsed. Also, there is no approach road.
The place known as tAngoDu which is supposed to be in the North-East corner of the village has not yet been located. It needs to be identified and renovated.
In the middle of the village King Râmabhoja worshipped Lord Parashurâma in the form of a Shivalinga on a silver seat. This temple is now known to us as Ananteshwara.
When Lord Vishnu took the incarnation of Parashurâma on this Earth he was "trained" by Shiva in the art of archery. To commemorate this student-teacher drama, Lord Vishnu wanted to get himself identified with the linga so that both the teacher and the student were worshipped simultaneously by the devotees. Sriman Narayana, reclining on a serpent, came down to this temple and stayed in the linga. This is a rather unusual incident and the concept of Ananteshwara came to vogue as a result of this.
Sri Vâdirâja teertha, in his masterpiece teertha prabandha extols Ananteshwara in this way:
ivaantaryaamitaaM sveeyaaM priyaan prati nibodhayan|
'The Almighty Lord got himself merged in this Shivalinga to proclaim to the devotees that he rests in the soul of Shiva also. To prove this cosmic truth Vishnu rests in this Shivalinga.'
Before the birth of Sri Madhva, his father, Nadillâya (a.k.a. Madhya-geha bhaTTa), had worshipped this deity to beget a male child. It is believed that he used to pray to Lord Bhujangashayana enshrined in this idol. Narayana Pandita makes a reference to this in his commentary Bhâva Prakâshika on the Sumadhva Vijaya:
praaptaaya bhogeendragato hariH prabhuH|
svaM darshayitvaa khalu kuJNjamaadhava|
dvijaaya tadvat.h pratimaaM vyadhaapayat||
Even now the deity is known as Ananteshwara, Anantâsana and Anantapadmanâbha. `Ananta' means the serpent Shesha. Hence Ananteshwara means the Lord Narayana reclining on a serpent. Ananta is also another name of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu enshrined in the Sivalinga came to be designated as Ananteshwara.
Ananteshwara was a famous temple and pilgrim centre of this region. It was also a centre of Vedantic philosophy and formed a suitable background for the advent of Sriman Madhvacharya.
It was because of this temple that the place was ranked as foremost among the seven centres of pilgrimage. One should not forget that the Nadillaya couple could beget an illustrious son who was destined to be the great Achârya only because of their twelve years of worship at the foot of this deity Bhujangashayana ("the one who reclines on a serpent"). Hence this temple has great historic significance.
Sri Madhva used to sit in the Ananteshwara temple and teach his disciples. Even today the place where he used to sit is considered to be a holy shrine. The plank where he used to sit is still there but there is no icon of Sri Madhva. At one time a beautiful icon had been prepared to be installed here, but when the time of installation came around, Sri Madhva appeared in a dream of a swamiji and ordered, 'Please do not put any stone on me,' thus indicating that he is was always and already present there. To this day the stone icon is kept outside and the devotees offer worship to the seat itself.
This shrine is very difficult for the devotee to see. One is not allowed to enter inside the temple itself, and the only way to see this place is through a small window on the southern side of the outer enclosure of the temple.
The Ananteshwara temple is an amazing place. As one enters from the street, one can see the huge linga which is deep inside the temple and lit by oil lamps. Inside the temple, but closer to the front, there is a small icon of Ganapati. To come here and pay respects to Lord Ananteshwara is a very calming experience and it is very easy for the hours to simply slip by without one noticing it.
When you step back and take in the view at the temple you can only marvel at the huge slabs of granite which make up the roof. It is the largest temple in this region in both its shape and its historic significance.
To the east of the Ananteshwara temple stands a smaller temple wherein presides Shiva, known as chandramauLeeshvara. Because the temple is a very ancient one, precious little is known about its history.
This temple of Chandramauleeshvara is smaller than that of Ananteshwara. To enter this temple one has to descend steps. It appears that originally there must have been a tank in that place which was later filled up with mud and a temple built on top of the fill.
We read in the Madhva Vijaya that the temple was originally known as mooDu devaalaya (mahendra digâlaya). Since it was on the Eastern side of the Chief temple Ananteshwara, it came to be referred to as the Eastern temple.
There is a special tradition the devotees participate in before entering the shrine of Lord Krishna. First they must visit Chandramauleeshvara and then they go on to Ananteshwara. From there they proceed to Sri Krishna Mutt.
Sri Vishvapati Tîrtha in his commentary on the Madhva Vijaya records this custom:
'There are two temples, the Eastern one and the Western one. One must first salute Lord Shiva at the Eastern temple and then go to Lord Ananteshwara in the Western temple. This is the custom followed here.'
Even now the Udupi aShTa-maTha Swamijis visit the temple in this order before they ceremoniously take charge of the management of Sri Krishna Mutt during the paryâya festival.
shree bhagavAn uvAcha :-
saMnyAsaH karmayOgaH cha niHshrEyasakarau ubhau |
tayOH tu karmasaMnyAsAt karmayOgaH vishiShyatE || 5.2 ||
The Lord said:
Renunciation and performance of duties both yield Heaven, but of these two, performance of duties excels renunciation in respect of duties.
(The word "karmasanyasa" has to be understood as karmani sanyasa, that is, renunciation in respect of duties, i.e., giving up of desires, attachments, etc. in respect of duties. Of these two complimentary portions of duties, performance is the better part of it, to which the aforesaid renunciation is helpful)
yOga-yuktaH vishuddha-AtmA vijita-AtmA jita-indriyaH |
sarva-bhUta Atma-bhUta-AtmA kurvan api na lipyatE || 5.7 ||
He who is joined to yoga (i.e., karma yoga), being of pure nature, has completely subdued the mind and restrained the senses, and finds that the Lord of all beings is his own Lord − he is not affected though doing karma
He who is in the path of Yoga, and knows the truth (i.e., dependent nature of the soul), when he sees, hears, feels, smells, eats, walks, sleeps, breathes, talks, leaves, takes, raises the eyelids, or closes them, he should consider that the senses go to their objects, and think "I do nothing at all".
(He should conclusively perceive in his mind that his senses are under the direction of the Lord drawn to their several objects, and so he appears to be acting with his organs of sense and action. Such sanyasa has been called Yoga, and it leads to the highest bliss.)
He who abandoning the fruits of action (becoming a sanyasin as explained above), follows yoga, obtains the natural peace; he who destitute of yoga by force of desire attached to the result (limited consequences of action), is bound down (subject to endless sufferings of birth and death)
na kartRutvaM na karmANi lOkasya sRujati prabhuH
na karmaphalasaMyOgaM svabhAvaH astu pravartatE || 5.14 ||
The Jiva and its apparent master does not initiate any action nor has the power to attain independently the result of his action. The self existent (Lord) alone acts independently (at all times and in every aspect).
na AdattE kasyachit pApaM na cha eva sukRutaM vibhuH |
aj~jAnEna AvRutaM j~jAnaM tEna muhyanti jantavaH || 5.15 ||
The powerful one, that is, the absolute Lord does not accept the evil arising from any action, nor the merit. That is, the Lord is not affected by the consequences of any activity or action.
If there is a ruler who is everywhere and absolutely a free agent and doer of all, how is it that He is not seen by anybody? The latter half of the verse answers the question:
On account of the power of understanding being obstructed by nescience (ignorance), the jeevas do not know or see Him.
vidyA-vinaya-sampanne brAhmaNe gavi hastini |
shuni cha eva shvapAke cha paNDitAH samadarshinaH || 5.18 ||
In the brahmin who possesses complete knowledge and great humility, in the cow, in the elephant, in the dog, and in the out-caste, the learned are seers of the Equal
The brahmin (learned) and others are evidently of unequal fitness, but the Lord who pervades all beings is seen by the learned to be equal, to be absolutely same in respect of all the excellent attributes and in respect of absence of all defects.
iha eva taiH jitaH sargaH yEShAM sAmyE sthitaM manaH |
nirdOShaM hi samaM brahma tasmAt brahmaNi tE sthitAH || 5.19 ||
Those who perceive Brahman, though present in all things, is always perfect, is unmixed with or unaffected by prakriti, obtain wisdom and thereby release in the very life in which such a vision has arisen.
na prahRuShyEt priyaM prApya na udvijEt prApya cha apriyam |
sthirabuddhiH asammUDhaH brahmavit brahmaNi sthitaH || 5.20 ||
With settled thought, free from delusion, knowing Brahman and always contemplating Brahman, one should not be filled with exultation on coming by what is favorable (which leads to pleasure), nor become agitated on coming by what is unfavorable (which leads to pain or sorrow).
What blessedness he feels in his self whose mind is not entangled in the external contacts, he enjoys that blessedness as imperishable when his mind is given to the meditation on Brahman
Even in samsara the individual who is capable of practising the simple means of remembering the Lord and renouncing the attachment, becomes happy; then it is but natural that he who is practising the most efficacious means for contemplating the Lord, attains to Moksha and other blessed states and it is a certainty.
yE hi saMsparshajAH bhOgAH duHkhayOnaya eva tE |
AdyantavantaH kauntEya na tEShu ramatE budhaH || 5.22 ||
Whatever enjoyments or pleasures that result from the contact of objects are all simply the source of misery, since these have a beginning and an end. O Kunti's son, the wise man does not take delight in them.
sparshAn kRutvA bahiH bAhyAn chakShuH cha eva antarE bhruvOH |
prANa apAnau samau kRutvA nAsAbhyantara chAriNau || 5.27 ||
yata indriya manaH buddhiH muniH mOkSha parAyaNaH |
vigata icChA bhaya krOdhaH yaH sadA mukta eva saH || 5.28 ||
Having made the external contacts purely external and fixed the sight only between the eyebrows, and having balanced praaNa apaana that are passing through the nostrils,
The contemplatist who intent upon release, has controlled his mind, reason and other senses, and who is always free from desire, fear and anger, he is certainly the released one.
In these two verses Lord Krishna describes the perfected method of meditation for achieving moksha or release from the material existence. The method commences by turning inward with the mind away from all external sense objects associated with sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. Then one fixes the vision internally between the eyebrows; simultaneously and slowly controlling the inhalation and exhalation; and pausing in between the two states, in kumbhaka.
bhOktAraM yaj~ja tapasAM sarva lOka mahEshvaram |
suhRudaM sarva bhUtAnAM j~jAtvA mAM shAntim RucChati || 5.29 ||
Having known Me to be the One to whom all sacrifices and austerities are intended, the One great Ruler of all the worlds, the One benefactor of all beings, he achieves Me, the source of eternal peace and happiness.
Thus ends the FIFTH chapter of Sri Bhagavadgeeta, titled Sanyasa Yoga