Compiled by Yasoda nandana dasa
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 pp. — 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 Vaishnava acharyas who are the great authorities of the four Vaishnava disciplic successions, as well as Sripada Shankaracharya of the Mayavada school, appeared in the Pancha-dravida provinces. Among the four Vaishnava 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 Vishnuswami 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 Saraswati Gosvami Maharaja, accepted initiation in the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya. CC Adi 1.19 pp
The Life of Sri Madhvacharya
CC Madhya 9.245-278 pp. — Sripada Madhvacharya took his birth at Udupi which is situated in the South Karnataka 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-kshetra, where Madhvacharya took his birth in a Shivalli-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 Preksha, he received the name Purnaprajna Tirtha. After traveling all over India, he finally discussed scriptures with Vidyashankara, the exalted leader of Sringeri-matha. Vidyashankara was actually diminished in the presence of Madhvacharya. Accompanied by Sathya Tirtha, Madhvacharya went to Badrikashrama. 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 Badrikashrama, Madhvacharya had finished his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita. His companion Sathya Tirtha wrote down the entire commentary. When Madhvacharya returned from Badrikashrama, 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 Shastri. 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.
To be Continued….