Today (Jan 26, 2018) is the disappearance day of Sri Madhvacarya, who is the sampradaya-acharya of our Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya.
Srila Prabhupada: “Srila Madhvacharya is the original acharya for those who belong to the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya.” (Srimad Bhagavatam, 6.1.40.Purport)
"This Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya is also known as the Brahma-sampradaya because the disciplic succession originally began from Brahma. Brahma instructed the sage Narada, Narada instructed Vyasadeva, and Vyasadeva instructed Madhva Muni, or Madhvacharya…” (Krishna Book, Introduction)
CC Adi 1.19 Purport – the devotees of Orissa are called Udiyas, the devotees of Bengal are called Gaudiyas, and the devotees of southern India are known as Dravida devotees. As there are five provinces in Aryavarta, so Daksinatya, southern India, is also divided into five provinces, which are called Pancha-dravida. The four Vaisnava acharyas who are the great authorities of the four Vaisnava disciplic successions, as well as Sripada Sankaracharya of the Mayavada school, appeared in the Pancha-dravida provinces. Among the four Vaisnava acharyas, who are all accepted by the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, Sri Ramanuja Acharya appeared in the southern part of Andhra Pradesh at Mahabhutapuri, Sri Madhva Acharya appeared at Pajakam (near Vimanagiri) in the district of Mangalore, Sri Visnusvami appeared at Pandya, and Sri Nimbarka appeared at Mungera-patana in the extreme south.Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the chain of disciplic succession from Madhva Acharya, but the Vaishnavas in His line do not accept the tattva-vadis, who also claim to belong to the Madhva-sampradaya.
To distinguish themselves clearly from the tattva-vadi branch of Madhva’s descendants, the Vaishnavas of Bengal prefer to call themselves Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Sri Madhva Acharya is also known as Sri Gauda-purnananda, and therefore the name Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya is quite suitable for the disciplic succession of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Our spiritual master, Om Vishnupada Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, accepted initiation in the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya. (CC Adi 1.19 Purport)
The Life of Sri Madhvacharya
CC Madhya 9.245-278 Purport. – Sripada Madhvacharya took his birth at Udupi, which is situated in the South Kanarada district of South India, just west of Sahyadri. This is the chief city of the South Karnataka province and is near the city of Mangalore, which is situated to the south of Udupi. In the city of Udupi is a place called Pajaka-ksetra, where Madhvacharya took his birth in a Sivalli-brahmana dynasty as the son of Madhyageha Bhatta, in the year 1040 Sakabda (A.D. 1119). According to some, he was born in the year 1160 Sakabda (A.D. 1239)
In his childhood Madhvacharya was known as Vasudeva, and there are some wonderful stories surrounding him. It is said that once when his father had piled up many debts, Madhvacharya converted tamarind seeds into actual coins to pay them off. When he was five years old, he was offered the sacred thread. A demon named Maniman lived near his abode in the form of a snake, and at the age of five Madhvacharya killed that snake with the toe of his left foot. When his mother was very much disturbed, he would appear before her in one jump. He was a great scholar even in childhood, and although his father did not agree, he accepted sannyasa at the age of twelve.
Upon receiving sannyasa from Achyuta Preksa, he received the name Purnaprajna Tirtha. After traveling all over India, he finally discussed scriptures with Vidyasankara, the exalted leader of Sringeri-matha. Vidyasankara was actually diminished in the presence of Madhvacharya. Accompanied by Satya Tirtha, Madhvacharya went to Badarikasrama. It was there that he met Vyasadeva and explained his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita before him. Thus he became a great scholar by studying before Vyasadeva.
By the time he came to the Ananda-matha from Badarikasrama, Madhvacharya had finished his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita. His companion Satya Tirtha wrote down the entire commentary. When Madhvacharya returned from Badarikasrama, he went to Ganjama, which is on the bank of the river Godavari. There he met with two learned scholars named Sobhana Bhatta and Svami Sastri.
Later these scholars became known in the disciplic succession of Madhvacharya as Padmanabha Tirtha and Narahari Tirtha. When he returned to Udupi, he would sometimes bathe in the ocean. On such an occasion he composed a prayer in five chapters. Once, while sitting beside the sea engrossed in meditation upon Lord Sri Krishna, he saw that a large boat containing goods for Dwaraka was in danger. He gave some signs by which the boat could approach the shore, and it was saved. The owners of the boat wanted to give him a present, and at the time Madhvacharya agreed to take some gopi-chandana. He received a big lump of gopi-chandana, and as it was being brought to him, it broke apart and revealed a large Deity of Lord Krishna.
The Deity had a stick in one hand and a lump of food in the other. As soon as Madhvacharya received the Deity of Krishna in this way, he composed a prayer. The Deity was so heavy that not even thirty people could lift it. Madhvacharya personally brought this Deity to Udupi. Madhvacharya had eight disciples, all of whom took sannyasa from him and became directors of his eight monasteries. Worship of the Lord Krishna Deity is still going on at Udupi according to the plans Madhvacharya established.
Madhvacharya then for the second time visited Badarikasrama. While he was passing through Maharashtra, the local king was digging a big lake for the public benefit. As Madhvacharya passed through that area with his disciples, he was also obliged to help in the excavation. After some time, when Madhvacharya visited the king, he engaged the king in that work and departed with his disciples.
Often in the province of Ganga-pradesa there were fights between Hindus and Muslims. The Hindus were on one bank of the river, and the Muslims on the other. Due to the community tension, no boat was available for crossing the river. The Muslim soldiers were always stopping passengers on the other side, but Madhvacharya did not care for these soldiers. He crossed the river anyway, and when he met the soldiers on the other side, he was brought before the king. The Muslim king was so pleased with him that he wanted to give him a kingdom and some money, but Madhvacharya refused. While walking on the road, he was attacked by some dacoits, but by his bodily strength he killed them all. When his companion Satya Tirtha was attacked by a tiger, Madhvacharya separated them by virtue of his great strength. When he met Vyasadeva, he received from him the salagrama-sila known as Astamurti. After this, he summarized the Mahabharata.
Madhvacharya’s devotion to the Lord and his erudite scholarship became known throughout India. Consequently the owners of the Srngeri-matha, established by Sankaracharya, became a little perturbed. At that time the followers of Sankaracharya were afraid of Madhvacharya’s rising power, and they began to tease Madhvacharya’s disciples in many ways. There was even an attempt to prove that the disciplic succession of Madhvacharya was not in line with Vedic principles. A person named Pundarika Puri, a follower of the Mayavada philosophy of Sankaracharya, came before Madhvacharya to discuss the sastras.
It is said that all of Madhvacharya’s books were taken away, but later they were found with the help of King Jayasimha, ruler of Kumla. In discussion, Pundarika Puri was defeated by Madhvacharya. A great personality named Trivikramacharya, who was a resident of Visnumangala, became Madhvacharya’s disciple, and his son later became Narayanacharya, the composer of Sri Madhva-vijaya. After the death of Trivikramacharya, the younger brother of Narayanacharya took sannyasa and later became known as Visnu Tirtha.
It was reputed that there was no limit to the bodily strength of Purnaprajna, Madhvacharya. There was a person named Kadanjari who was famed for possessing the strength of thirty men. Madhvacharya placed the big toe of his foot upon the ground and asked the man to separate it from the ground, but the great strong man could not do so even after great effort. Srila Madhvacharya passed from this material world at the age of eighty while writing a commentary on the Aitareya Upanisad. For further information about Madhvacharya, one should read Madhva-vijaya, by Narayanacharya.
The acharyas of the Madhva-sampradaya established Udupi as the chief center, and the monastery there was known as Uttararadhi-matha. A list of the different centers of the Madhvacharya-sampradaya can be found at Udupi, and their matha commanders are (1) Visnu Tirtha (Soda-matha), (2) Janardana Tirtha (Krishnapura-matha), (3) Vamana Tirtha (Kanura-matha), (4) Narasimha Tirtha (Adamara-matha), (5) Upendra Tirtha (Puttugi-matha), (6) Rama Tirtha (Sirura-matha), (7) Hrsikesa Tirtha (Palimara-matha), and (8) Aksobhya Tirtha (Pejavara-matha). The disciplic succession of the Madhvacharya-sampradaya is as follows (the dates are those of birth): (1) Hamsa Paramatma; (2) Caturmukha Brahma; (3) Sanakadi; (4) Durvasa; (5) Jnananidhi; (6) Garuda-vahana; (7) Kaivalya Tirtha; (8) Jnanesa Tirtha; (9) Para Tirtha; (10) Satyaprajna Tirtha; (11) Prajna Tirtha; (12) Acyuta Preksacharya Tirtha; (13) Sri Madhvacharya, 1040 Saka; (14) Padmanabha, 1120; Narahari, 1127; Madhava, 1136; and Aksobhya 1159; (15) Jaya Tirtha, 1167; (16) Vidyadhiraja, 1190; (17) Kavindra, 1255; (18) Vagisa, 1261; (19) Ramacandra, 1269; (20) Vidyanidhi, 1298; (21) Sri Raghunatha, 1366; (22) Rayuvarya (who spoke with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu), 1424; (23) Raghuttama, 1471; (24) Vedavyasa, 1517; (25) Vidyadhisa, 1541; (26) Vedanidhi, 1553; (27) Satyavrata, 1557; (28) Satyanidhi, 1560; (29) Satyanatha, 1582; (30) Satyabhinava, 1595; (31) Satyapurna, 1628; (32) Satyavijaya, 1648; (33) Satyapriya, 1659; (34) Satyabodha, 1666; (35) Satyasandha, 1705; (36) Satyavara, 1716; (37) Satyadharma, 1719; (38) Satyasankalpa, 1752; (39) Satyasantusta, 1763; (40) Satyaparayana, 1763; (41) Satyakama, 1785; (42) Satyesta, 1793; (43) Satyaparakrama, 1794; (44) Satyadhira, 1801; (45) Satyadhira Tirtha, 1808. (For approximate Christian era dates, add seventy-nine years.
After the sixteenth acharya (Vidyadhiraja Tirtha), there was another disciplic succession, including Rajendra Tirtha, 1254; Vijayadhvaja; Purusottama; Subrahmanya; and Vyasa Raya, 1470-1520. The nineteenth acharya, Ramacandra Tirtha, had another disciplic succession, including Vibudhendra, 1218; Jitamitra, 1348; Raghunandana; Surendra; Vijendra; Sudhindra; and Raghavendra Tirtha, 1545.
To date, in the Udupi monastery there are another fourteen Madhva-tirtha sannyasis. As stated, Udupi is situated beside the sea in South Karnataka, about thirty-six miles north of Mangalore.
Most of the information in this purport is available from the South Kannada Manual and the Bombay Gazette.
(CC Madhya 9.245-278 Purport)