Essentials of Dvaita

Item Code: NAD494
Author: Prof. K. T. Pandurangi
Publisher: Shri Kashi Sesha Sastri Religious Trust
Edition: 2011
Pages: 193
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 200 gm
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Book Description

About the Author

Krishnacharya Thammannacharya Pandurangi belongs to a family of traditional scholars who have made distinct contribution to Dvaita Vedanta of Sri Ananda Tirtha (Madhvacharya) of Udupi. Three of Pandurangi’s ancestors had been the Heads of Uttaradimatha. He received traditional training in Nyaya Vedanta and Mimamsa and Sanskrit literature. He obtained titles of Vidwan and Siromani in these Sastras from Maharaja Sanskrit College, Mysore and the Oriental Department of Annamalai University. Later he receives B. A. honours and M. A. Degrees from Banares Hindu University.

He taught at Krnataka College, Dharwad; Government College, Bangalore for more than two decades. He joined Bangalore University in 1968 as the Head of the Postgraduate Department of Sanskrit and retired in 1979. He was the member of the first Executive Committee of Rashitriya samskritha Samsthana, Delhi and also Senior Research Fellow of ICPR Delhi. His volume on Prakarana Pancika with explanation in English is published by ICPR> He was an Editorial Fellow of PHISPL, Delhi and prepared the volume of Poorna mimamsa. He is the Upakulapati of Poornaprajna Vidyapeetha and Honorary Directory of Dvaita Vedanta Foundation Banglore.

He received Rashtrapati Award in 1989 and Mhamahopadhyaya in 1997 from Tirupati University. He has edited a dozen Dvaita Vedanta classics and half a dozen Poorna mimamsa works with detailed introduction in English incorporating the research points in these classics. Important among these are Nyayamrita with Advaita Siddhi, Brahmasutrabhashya with eight commentaries, Bhattia Sangraha of Sri Raghavendratirtha which is a valauable poornamimamsa work, Rgbhashya of Ananda Tirtha. He has translated Principal Upanishads according to Sri Anandatirtha’s bhashya. His literary works are Kavyanjali, Ravindra Roopakaani and Samskrita Kavi Kavya darsana in Kannada.



Sri Kasi Sesha Shastri Religious Trust, Bangalore is rendering noble service to the public in three ways-

i) honouring scholars with suitable monetary presentation through its sister trust. Propagating social values and traditions in the society through various activities.
ii) Publishing religious and philosophical works.
iii) Arranging lectures on religious and cultural topics.

The trust had planned to publish books on three schools of philosophy viz. Advaita, Viisfádvaita and Dvaita. Sri Sadananda, President and Hereditary Trustee of Shri Kasi Sesha Sastri Religious Trust approached me to write a book on Dvaita Vedanta. In view of my old age it is difficult for me to prepare a full book on the subject. Therefore I have prepared a small book. In this book, a brief account of Dvaita literature is given in the first chapter. Then metaphysics and epistemology, ethics and theology of Dvaita Vedãnta and Vaisnava religion are briefly discussed. Dvaita is realistic, theistic school of philosophy. Supreme God is an independent reality. Souls and matter are dependent realities. Bhakti is the chief means for the spiritual progress. Dvaita has a positive and optimistic approach to life. The life is an opportunity provided by God to enable the souls to achieve spiritual progress and attain a spiritual personality. These aspects are highlighted in this small book.

had occasions to deliver special lectures on these topics at the Advanced Centre of Vedanta, Kerala University, Department of Philosophy of Madras and Pondichery Universities, World Religion Centre at Harward King’s College in London and Tubinghen and Heidelburg Universities in Germany. The notes prepared for these lectures were utilised for preparing a book on Essentials of Dvaita. It was published in the Silver Jubillee Series of Rashtriya Samskrita Samsthana in Delhi in 1995. The present book is a revised form of the same with some additional points and a brief account of Dvaita Vedanta Literature. I thank Sri Sadananda for asking me to prepare this small book and allow him to publish on behalf of Shri Kashi Sesha Sastri Religious Trust. The important point of this programme I that the philosophy of the three schools of Vedãnta is brought out to the benefit of society and their friendly relation is highlighted.

I take this opportunity to record my appreciation of Shri Kashi Sesha Sastry Religious Trust for this noble work.



Dvaita Vedãnta propounded by ri Madhvachãrya is one of the major schools of Vedãnta Philosophy. Sri Madhvãchãrya also known as Anandatirtha and Purnaprajña was born in a village called Pãaka ksetra about eight miles south-east of Udupi, in the Udupi District of Karnataka State in India. He lived from 1238 A.D. to 1317 A.D. He took samnyãsa when he was only sixteen years old from Achyutapreksa a samnyãsin of Ekadandi Ekãnti Vaisnava order. Achyutapreksa stayed at Anantevara temple in Udupi. Madhvacharya studied the Vedas, ãstra and Advaita classics like Istasiddhi from Achyutapreksa. He was not satisfied with the advaita interpretation of Upanisads, Brahmasütras and Gita. He independently studied these and also it has Purãna etc., the entire sacred literature. He undertook a tour of South India, visited the centres of learning and discoursed on his interpretation. He then undertook a tour of North India and went upto Badarikãrama. He is reported to have presented his Gitabhasya to the sage Vedavyãsa himself and received his blessings. On his return journey he visited Bihar, Assam, Bengal, Orissa, Andhrapradesh, Maharastra and North Karnataka. Many scholars became his disciples. He ordained four of them to Sannyãsa. Padmanãbhatirtha and Naraharitirtha were prominent among them. Padmanabhátirtha was a prominent scholar at the court of King Mahadeva of Yãdava Dynasty and lived in Paithan. He was chiefly responsible for the prapogation of Dvaita Vedãnta in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharastra.

On his return from the first North India tour ri Madhvacharya wrote bhãsyas on Brahmasutras, the ten principal Upanisads and on the first forty hymns of Rgveda. He also wrote ten prakaranas, a book on meditation and worship and some stotra works. To prepare his Mahãbhãrata digest he collected a large number of manuscripts to settle the text itself. In addition to Bhasya he wrote another commentary on BrahmasUtras viz. Anuvyãkhyana in about two thousand verses. This is on the model of Iokavãrtika of Kumãrila and Vakyapadiya of Bhartrihari. In this .ork he discusses all the major issues of philosophy, reviews the views of all other systems and presents systems. Dvaita view with detailed arguments and authorities. Thus i is one of the major works of Indian philosophy. On the whole he has composed thirty seven works.

He went on a second tour of North India. He visited Badarikarama again. Also went to Kuruksetra, Varãnasi etc., places. He returned to Udupi via Goa. He established a Krsna temple at Udupi, ordained eight Brahmachãrins to sannyása and established the famous Astamathas at Udupi. A great Advaita Scholars Trivikrama Pandita became his disciple. This scholar wrote a commentary viz., Tatvapradipa on Brahmasutrabhasya of Madhváchãrya. Padmanäbhatirtha has written a commentary viz., Sannyayaratnãvali on Anuvyãkhyana, and also on some prakaranas. Madhvacharyamlived for seventy-nine years and retired to Badarikarama on the 9th day of the bright half of Magha month in Pingala year.

After Madhvachãrya a few great commentators wrote scholarly commentaries and highlighted Dvaita doctrines. Prominent among them are Jayatirtha, Vyãsarãja, Raghuttama, Vadirâja, Vidyadhia, Raghavendra, Jagannathayati and a few others. Haridasa literature has been another feature of Dvaita Vedãnta. Great Mystics like ripadarãja, Vyãsaraja, Purandaradasa, Vijayadãsa, Jagannãtha dãsa have contributed to Haridãsa literature. This literature is in Kannada language and in the form of songs. This literature enkindles Bhakti. It has contributed to Indian Music considerably.



The Dvaita Vedãnta and Vaisnava religion propounded by Madhvacharyarciare really a revival of the ancient Pañcharâtra Bhagavata religion with Vinu as Supreme God and the rejuvenation of the philosophy enshrined in the Vedas and Upanisads. In his works he quotes the philosophical hymns like Nasadiya sUkta, Vãmadeva sukta, Purusasükta, AmbhranisUkta etc., and shows how the principal tenets of Dvaita Vedânta are enshrined in these. He also shows that the key passages of Upanisads ‘tat tvam asi’‘aham Brahma Asmi’ etc. support his tenets. To derive his tenets from the sacred literature he adopts a comprehensive view. Upanisads alone do not constitute the source of Vedãnta Philosophy. The Vedas, Epics, Purãnas, Pañcharatra and a host of other sacred literature that do not conflict with these constitute the source of Vedanta Philosophy.

Before a statement is interpreted the consensus of the entire passage, the entire text, even the entire sacred literature on that issue has to be taken into account. Tatparya and mahatatparya have to be taken into account. Further, there are well laid down canons of interpretation such as upakrama, upasamhãra etc., and ruti, linga etc. These have to be utilized. Thus the Vedanta tenets have to be formulated taking into account the entire sacred literature with appropriate interpretation. The Vedas not only yield ritualistic meaning but also yield philosophical meaning. The latter has to be ascertained with the assistance of Brahmasutras. The ritualistic meaning constitutes Aparã Vidyã while philosophical meaning constitutes parã vidyã.

Thus Madhvãcharya gives a new orientation to Vedanta literature both in respect of its extent and interpretation. Vedãnta is a tradition, not merely a set of texts or a set of select passages i.e., Mahavakyas. It is a sampradãya. Dvaita Vedãnta is a realistic and theistic philosophy. The Brahman of Vedãnta is the Supreme God. He is independent, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. He posseses infinite number of attributes. He is absolutely free from the defects and inadequacies. Souls and matter are real but entirely dependent upon the God. The God, souls and matter are distinct from each other.

Three important doctrines constitute the foundation of Dvaita Vedänta (1) Brah man i.e. Visnu is the Supreme and independent reality. (2) Souls and matter are real but entirely dependent upon Brahman the Supreme reality. (3) Brahman, souls, and matter are distinct from one another. The entire Dvaita metaphysics, ethics and religion are based on these fundamental positions. A sound epistemology is formulated to sustain these positions and the entire sacred literature is shown to support these positions. In the course of the exposition of these Dvaita tenets a number of philosophical issues such as the relation between the substance and attributes, the concept of visa, the theory of causation, the theory of knowledge, truth and error, validity of knowledge, the concept of sãksiri, meaning of words, the theory of sentence meaning, some ethical issues, and the chief areas of religion are discussed.

The designation Dvaita is intended to contrast this system from Advaita. In three important aspects Dvaita is to be contrasted from Advaita viz.,

1. Dvaita concept of Brahman is that of Gunapurna Brahman while that of Advaita is Nirguna Brahman.

2. Dvaita concept of the world Is that of a real world i.e., Satya Jagat while that of Advaita is Mithya i.e., Sat-asat-vilakana jagat.

3. Dvaita accepts ultimate difference among God, souls and matter while Advaita accepts only Vyavaharilca difference and denies the very existence of souls and matter. This means that the two tread altogether different paths in their philosophical approach. The designation Tattvavãda is also mentioned in Dvaita works. This contrasts the designation Mãyãvada of Advaita.

A modern writer has suggested the designation Puma Brahmavada. There is no harm if more than one designation is utilized to bring out certain special aspect of a system. The designation Purnabrahmavãda brings out the fact that the concept of Gunapurna brahman is the central doctrine of this system. The designation svatantradvaita is suggested by another modern scholar. This brings out the fact that the concept of one independent Supreme reality is the central doctrine of this system. However, while accepting these alternate designations it should not be forgotten that refutation of Mayavada i.e., Jagan mithyãtva and the refutation of Jivabrahmaikya are equally vital to the system and the designations Tattvavada and Dvaita bring out these roles more clearly.




Introduction 1
Chapter I  
Dvaita Literature 8
Chapter II  
Dvaita Metaphysics and Ontology 28
Chapter III  
Dvaita Epistemology 72
Chapter IV  
Dvaita Ethics 88
Chapter V  
Dvaita Religion 103
Chapter VI  
Haridãsa literature 120
Sample Pages

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