Sri Sathya Sai On: The Message of Sri Madhvacharya on Dvaita Vedanta

Sri Madhvacharya (1238-1317)
In the 12th century, Madhvacharya propounded that Jiva, Brahman and Prakruti were more distant than what had been conceived by the earlier schools of thought. He propounded that Jiva and Easwara are to be regarded as distinct and separate from each other and that they can never get close to each other. 

Madhvacharya opposed and contradicted the view of Shankara according to which Brahman was the only reality and the world was illusory. He asserted that Brahman, Jiva and Prakruti were distinct and that each one of them was as real as the other two. We have to interpret this as simply meaning that Madhvacharya preached the concept of Salokya (constant thought of Godhead) and that Jiva simply lived in the domain of the Lord but it was not identical with the Lord. 
“Karma Marga, Jnana Marga, Bhakti Marga: All lead to the Same Destination”, Summer Showers in Brindavan, 1974, Brindavan


The Upasana (sitting near, steady worship) of Dvaita; the Jivatma and the Paramatma relationship is as the wife-husband relationship. The Full Free Supreme Vishnu is the husband, the master, the Lord, the ruler, the provider. The individual is the ruled, the dependent, and the wife. 

This method of Sadhana has been taught by Madhvacharya. Without devoted attachment to the Lotus Feet of the Lord, that is to say, without Bhakti, liberation from the cycle of Samsara, why even purity of intellect and emotions is impossible of attainment. For those who have the spring of ecstatic devotion to the Presence of the Lord within them, though they may not have any texts to ponder over, the very contemplation of the beauty, grace, and power of the Lord will give them bliss of super conscious Bhakti. One cannot discover what prompts the experience. In that ecstatic mood, they discard all sense of shame and personality, and yearn to become the beloved of God, in blissful union. They will then dance and sing aloud and be merged in genuine joy and Ananda. Sadhana in conformity with this faith have been laid down by Madhvacharya. The agony of the lover to attain the beloved is the true sign of Dvaitopasana (worship using external means, Dualistic philosophy). This has been elaborated in a thousand ways by others who came after.
- “Values in Later Texts”, Sathya Sai Vahini

Sri Madhvacharya addressing
his disciples
Madhvacharya was the exponent of Dualism. Madhvacharya viewed the problem in this way. He declared, “Oh Lord! I do not want either sugarcane juice or sugar. I wish to be born as an ant that relishes the juice or the sugar. 

The sugar does not know its own sweetness. Only the one who consumes sugar can know its sweetness. O Lord! You are the very embodiment of love. I do not wish to be mere love. I want to be one who enjoys love. You should remain as God and I should remain as Jivi (individual soul). It is only when the individual is separate from God that he can enjoy the Divine”. This is the essence of dualism; the distinction between God and the individual self. 
- “The Four Beacons”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 29, June 18, 1996, Prasanthi Nilayam

God - The Only Friend
Madhvacharya described true devotion as regarding God as the only unfailing friend. All others may be friends for some time and turn inimical later. Thus all worldly friends may turn into enemies some time or other. God is the only true friend. Madhvacharya defined true devotion as the manifestation of the love for God, considering Him as the greatest friend.
  - “The Triple Purity”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 29, January 1, 1996, Prasanthi Nilayam

The goal is mergence, as the rivers know and strive for. The waters of the sea are raised by the Sun as clouds into the sky and the clouds pour them as rain back onto the earth, to flow back into the sea through many a ravine, as a stream or tributary-fed river. Merging in the Source from which one took form, is the ultimate destiny. The river has the passion of overwhelming love which leads it down the slopes until it reaches the loved one, where the lover, loved and love, all three merge in one illuminating ecstasy. 

Prema (highest love) is the attachment to God that does not allow anything to interfere or diminish its quality or depth. God is loved by the Bhakta (devotee) for His sake and not for any incidental benefit or blessing. It is spontaneous, sustaining and sublime, like a child before the mirror enjoying the reflections of its own pranks and gestures. Complete surrender to the extent of the annihilation of one’s own individuality is also beyond most aspirants. Sugar cannot be tasted and enjoyed by sugar; you have to be an ant so that you can revel in the sweetness of the stuff. This craving of man was sought to be satisfied by Madhvachaarya, who declared that the Jiva (individual soul) will remain ever separate from the Universal, and there can be no merging.
- “The Sai Religion”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 13, October 1, 1976, Prasanthi Nilayam

However, qualified Advaita was an experience not easily accessible to ordinary men. They would put their faith in a compassionate, all-knowing, all powerful God to whom they can pray and offer life and love. Madhvacharya, whose original name was Anandateertha, declared that man is totally distinct from God, that man is neither God nor Divine. 
Serve and Adore like Radha
Man’s highest destiny is to serve God, as Radha adored Krishna. Longing for the service, yearning to see and fill one’s eyes with the beauty and majesty of the Lord-that is the most potent Sadhana. The aspirant would much rather be an ant nibbling molecules of sugar than becoming a lump or a mountain range of sugar.
- “The Royal Road to God”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 18, August 28, 1985, Prasanthi Nilayam


About Madhavacharya:

Known as Vasudeva at birth, Sri Madhvacharya was born in the year 1238 in Karnataka. A Hindu philosopher and founder of the Dvaita (Dualism) school of Vedanta, he is believed to be an incarnation of Vayu (Wind) God. He has several literary works to his credit including commentaries on Vedanta. He was the founder of the Brahma Vaishnavism sub-sect. Sri Madhvacharya established the famous Sri Krishna temple Math at Udupi. It is believed that he disappeared from the sight of his followers in the Badri mountains in the year 1317.
The Sri Krishna Math and Temple at Udupi established by Sri Madhvacharya


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