Saturday, 22 December 2012

The ten monographs of Madhwacharya

The Sarvamoola Grantha are a collection of 37 works written by Madhwacharya during the 13th century and early part of the 14th century.
These works are the fountainhead of the Dwaitha philosophy. It is in these works, that Madhwa refutes the Adwaitha way of life or rather philosophy and takes the Dwaitha Siddantha to a higher plane than the Adwaitha or Buddhist philosophy.
These texts formed the basis for the subsequent saints of the Madhwa order such as Sripadaraja Theertha, Vyasa Theertha, Jaya Theertha, Raghavendra Swamy, Vadiraja Theertha, Raghuttama Theertha and others to base their preachings and also their texts.
It is the very philosophy in the Sarvamoola Grantha that led to the development of Haridasa literature.
The fist ever interpretation of a work of Madhwa is by his first disciple Padmanabha Theertha. The next, and thios was in the form of a torrent, was by Jaya Theertha, whose commentaries on Madhwa earned him the sobriquet Teekachar. His Nyaya Sudha is perhaps the most important interpretation of  Madhwa and this ha formed the core of further interpretations of  Madhwa’s work.
In between Padmanabha Theertha and Jayatheerta, came Akshobya Theertha who took on Vidyaranya in an argument in Mulabagal, Akshobya Theertha based all of his arguments on Madhwa’s interpretation and won.  
All the ten works, except the Vishnu Tatwa Nirnaya, are short. However, the language is tough and one needs the texts of Jayatheerta or Raghavendra Swamy to understand them.
In the Sarvamoola Grantha series, these ten short monographs are also called as Dasha prakaranas. They are:
1. Pramaana Lakshana
2. Kathaa Lakshana
3. Upaadhi Khandana
4. Maayaavaada khandana
5. Mithyaatvaanumana Khandana
6. Tatwa Samkhyana
7. Tatwa Viveka
8. Tattvodyota
9. Vishnu Tatwa Nirnaya
10. Karma Nirnaya.
These ten books too are important as they deal with a variety of subjects. Pramana lakshana talks about the theory of knowledge and various other issues related with it, while Katha lakshana is a book on the subject of debate, its varieties and the rules and regulations governing its conduct.
The next three-Upaadhi, Maayaavaada and Mithyaatvaanumana Prakaranas- take on the Adwaitha tenets and refute them. In Mithyaatvaanumana, the Acharya takes on the Adwaitha theory of “Jagath mythyatva”.
The Tattva samkhyana and Tatwa Viveka deal with the ontology according to the Madhwa school of Vedanta.
The Tattvodyota is belived to contain the arguments that Madhwa actually put to use against two Adwaitha scholars Pundarika Puri and Padmatirtha in Udupi. To the Adwaitha scholars’ argument  “Vishwam mithyaa drshyatvaat”, Madhwa retorts “Chandrapraadeshatvaadivishayam tu
The Vishnu Tatwa Nirnaya  is the most important work of the Dasha prakranas. It details the concept of Bheda and comes down heavily on Adwaitha concepts.
These books can be easily understood today, thanks to the commentaries on all ten of them by Jayatheertha and subsequently by Vyasa Theertha.
The four main works of Jayatheertha- Maayaavaada khandana Teeka,  Mithyaatvaanumaana khandana Teeka, Upaadhi khandana Teeka and the Tatwa Viveka Teeka-are further elaborated upon and digressed by Vyasa Theertha. Raghavendra Swamy too makes it much more easy for us to understand Madhwa Tatwa.
Raghavendra Swamy wrote Mantrartha manjari to elucidate  Madhwacharya;s Rig Bhashya for 40 hymns.
It is always said that the original is much better than the copy. But in this case, the original has to be read with others as otherwise it would be next to impossible to digest.
As Naarayana Panditacharya aptly pointed out in his biography of Madhwa called “Madhwa Vijaya”,
“Vaadaadayh prakaranasphulingah tanavopyalam.
Vipakshaksham kshinvanti maaruten tvayeritaah.
Maayaavaada khandana “

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