Monday, May 8, 2017

History of Madhwa Mathas

Sri Madhwacharya's 32 ft Monolith Statue installed today at Kunjarugiri, near his birth place Pajaka.

A Matha is a Religious Institution established to propagate the teachings of an Acharya.They have been maintained since long, at least before Adi Shankaracharya in 8th Century.  Shankara made a system, based on geography of India, establishing his Pithas- Seats of learning Advaita propounded by him. This was followed by later spiritual masters of his school. 
Acharya Madhwa redefined Indian Philosophy in light of Veda, Upanishads, Brahmasutras & Bhagavad Gita in early 13th century. His clear intention was to spread the message of Vedic Philosophy and Theology of Pancharatra, also of hoary origin, to stress the need of Surrender to God, both in daily life & life after. His scheme of teaching was highly systematic, taking support of numerous scriptural texts, some still extinct or lost for us. He gave importance to Sadaagamas, reliable sources for philosophical learning - Veda, Pancharatra tradition, Mahabharata, Moola Ramayana and Puranas.
Sri Madhwacharya installed an image of Lord Krishna at Udupi and made it a center of Vedic learning. His School was later headed by stalwarts like Padmanabha Tirtha, Akshobhya-Narahari-Madhava Teerthas, and 8 Balasanyasins at Udupi for both worship of Krishna & propagation of Madhwa thought. 
It is highly surprising that none of Madhwa Mathas have a clear, well-recorded History of their Institution! Each claims that their Matha is Moola-Original seat of Madhwacharya. But the great intention of Madhvacharya is almost forgotten in this fight for Supremacy. Incidentally enough, Swamijs of Uttaradi Matha, Poorvadi Matha, Sri Raghavendra Matha, have great writers like Sri Padmanabha Tirtha, Jayatirtha, Sripadaraja,  Vyasatirtha, Vijayeendra Tirtha- Vadiraja Tirtha, Sri Raghuttama Tirtha  and Sri Raghavendra teertha apart from other scholarly but less known Yatis. 
After the advent of Technology, I was dreaming of more unpublished Ms of great writers on Madhwa thought be printed and History corrected or re-written, as there are numerous inconsistencies and controversies about Dates, works and seniority of Swamijs. 
While at Udupi, with less number of writer-Yatis, the History of 8 Mathas runs in a simple way.  
The problem of up-ghat Mathas is cropping up repeatedly for not good reasons. Which is the Original, seniormost Pitha of Madhwa Yatis from Padmanabha Tirtha onwards is a big issue. I do not think Shankara Mathas have this sort of problem,neither Ramanuja's School of thought. 
These days when technology has superseded Spirituality, the secret in-fights hitherto are brought in public by followers of these Mathas, most of whom are young, less informed about history, Madhva thought, but infused only with a big zeal to prove their one-upmanship
Even Swamijis, however learned they are are retelling the History of their Mathas, to tell gullible people that they are the Moola Samsthana-Seat of leraning of Madhwacharya, through semi-historical stories, not facts. 
Dr BNK Sharma has dedicated his writing career to do extensive research by visiting actual sites of Madhwa learning centers, collected rare manuscripts, and has given us his most valuable Book- History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta & its Literature. Apart from this, nobody has bothered to upgrade, update the information provided there, instead, have begun narrating new unhears stories of Madhwa Mathas, which appear to be true for present generation, who are yearning for knowing more about their tradition. . 

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