Sri Madhvacarya's Literary Works

BY: SUN STAFF

Sri Madhvacarya


Dec 30, CANADA (SUN) — From 'Madhvacarya (Life and Teachings)' by Bannanje Govindacarya.

Sri Madhvacarya has written four works on the Sutraprasthana (the Vedantic school of Brahmansutra):

    1. Brahmasutra-bhasya
    2. Sarva-sastratha-sangraha (Anubhasya)
    3. Brahmasutra-anuvyakhyana
    4. Brahmasutra-anuvyakhyana-vivarana

Two works are on the Gita-prasthana (Vedantic school of the Bhagavadgita):

    5. Bhagavadgita-bhasya
    6. Bhagavadgita-tatparya-nimaya

In the Upanishad-prasthana (the Vedantic school of ti Upanisads), the Acharya has written bhasyas or authoritative commentaries on all the major Upanisads. But there is notable uniqueness in respect of these also. While all the others have commented only on three chapters of the Aitareya Upanishad, the Acharya's bhasya covers the entire Upanishad-kanda (9 chapters) of the Aitareya Aranyaka:

    7. Mahaitareyopanishad-bhasya
    8. Brhadaranyakopanishad-bhasya
    9. Chandogopanishad-bhasya
    10. Taittiriyopanishad-bhasya
    11. Talavakaropanishad-bhasya (Kenopanishad-bhasya)
    12 Kathakopanishad-bhasya
    13.Atharvanopanishad-bhasya (Mundakopanishad-bhasya)
    14.Satprasnopanishad-bhasya
    15 Yajniya-mantropanishad-bhasya (Isavasyaopanishad-bhasya)
    16.Mandukyopanishad-bhasya

The verses occurring in the middle of the Mandukyopanishat are mistakenly held to be Gaudapada's karikas. But Acharya Ramanuja has accepted that these form original portions of the Upanisat itself. But Madhva has rejected the old wrong notion once and for all by writing bhasya on these verses also.

In this connection it is noteworthy how senior Advaita scholars too like Brahmananda accept that these are original Upanisadic verses. The Acharya not only blazed a new pathway of spiritual interpretation of the Veda, by writing a commentary on 40 hymns of the Rig Veda, but also showed the way leading to a synthesis of Samhita, Brahmana and Aranyaka texts by commenting upon some chapters of the Aitreya Brahmana and the Mahanan-ini-khanda of the same Aranyaka. These works are:

    17. Rg-bhasya
    18. Khandartha-nirnaya (Karma-nirnaya)

So also, there are three works of his that lay bare the heart of the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata in a bid to synthesize the teachings of Itihasas and Puranas:

    19. Mahabharata-tatparya-nimaya
    20. Mahabharata-tatparya (Yamaka-bharata)
    21. Bhagavata-tatparya-nimaya

Nine topical treatises are concerned with determining epistemology and ontology:

    22.Vishnu-tattva-nirnaya
    23. Vada (tattvoddyota)
    24. Mayavada-dusana (mayavada-khandana)
    25. Upadhi-dusana (Upadhi-khandana Tattva-prakasika)
    26. Mithyatvanumana-dusana (Mithyat-vanuniana-khandana)
    27. Tattva-samkhyana
    28. Tattva-viveka
    29. Pramana-laksana
    30. Vada-laksana (katha-taksana)

Seven works offer guidance regarding performance of ceremonials and rituals as laid down in law-books, regarding building architecture, mantra and tantra and duties and practices of householders and mendicants:

    31. Krisnamrta-maharnava
    32. Tantra-sara-sangraha
    33. Sadacara-smrti
    34. Jayanti-nirnaya
    35. Om-Tat-Sat-Pranava-kalpa (Yati-pranavakalpa)
    36. Nyasa-paddhati
    37. Tithi-nimaya

In the field of devotional literature, there are two works of his; one is a stotra or hymn of praise; the other is an anthology of compositions set to music and meant to be sung:

    38. Narasimha-nakhastuti
    39. Dvadasa-stotras

Further, there is a work which the Acharya is said to have composed in his boyhood while playing with the ball, it is a small work in a unique meter:

    40. Kanduka-stuti

Of these, 38 had been published formerly. Two, viz. Nyasapaddhati, that explains the daily routine duties of mendicants, and Tithinirnaya, that is a unique work on mathematics indicating precise formulae for the determination of each date's extent, are works which were first noticed by me in the course of my research in Palm-leaf Manuscripts some years ago."


Originally written by Bannanje Govindacarya in Kannada, this manuscript was translated into English by Dr. K. Krishnamurthy and Dr. U.P. Upadhyaya


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