Eternal Difference of World and Brahman
37 Works, dictated & written down by scribes
Madhva Acharya and Dvaita Vedanta
Madhva and his Works,
—The philosophy of Brahman (Brahma-Mimāṅsā)expounded by Madhva is popularly called Dvaita.
Madhva (1199–1278) was born near Udipi. His social environment was moulded by the general tenets of this philosophy. Scholars studied this philosophy with great interest. Some were dissatisfied with the prevalent ideas about its meaning.
His works exhibit a unity of purpose. They may be studied under three heads:
(1) Criticism of categories of knowledge and reality leading to the philosophy of Brahman.
(2) Exposition of the philosophy of Brahman and
(3) Application of the philosophy of Brahman.
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Madhva holds that correct knowledge (pramā), as well as correct source of knowledge (pramāṇa), is that which grasps its object as it is (yat-hārtha). Both knowledge and its source grasp their object as it is. Both are therefore correct. To dispute this is to make knowledge impossible.Abstraction of knowledge and object, each from the other, is responsible for wrong theories, like one-sided idealism or objectivism.
Philosophy of Brahman is the process of finding out the inner richness of Vedic teaching and thereby infinite and absolute perfection of Brahman.The sense of imperfection leads to the idea of perfection. In some cases it leads one to doubt the existence of perfection, i.e. Brahman.The doubt whether there is Brahman, whether there is any source of the knowledge of Brahman makes philosophy indispensable.
Madhva mentions two kinds of expressions of God, the Independent and the dependent. The former is the principle, and the latter is the effect of the principle in operation. So the dependent illustrates the richness of the Independent.A knower or a conscious being is incessantly produced in every case of mental activity. The application of philosophy should be the aim of life for all knowers.
Madhva’s philosophy of Brahman can thus be construed as the highest form of Monism, tracing the universe to a single principle. Madhva's philosophy is distinctive in every respect. Vigour of logic, clearness of thinking, insight into Truth, universality of thought, comprehensiveness of outlook are the outstanding features of his thought.