Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna


  • Deepak Sarma
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_181-1


The Mādhva school (also known as the Dvaita school) posits that the relationship between Brahman (the impersonal absolute) and the ātman (individual self) is dvaita (dual). Madhvācārya (1238–1317 CE), the founder of the school, was born of Shivalli Brahmin parents in the village of Pājakakṣetra near modern day Udupi in the Tulu Nadu area of southern Karnataka. There is very little information about Madhvācārya’s life in medieval Tulu Nadu. Aside from relevant colophons found in Madhvācārya’s own works, his biographical data derives from the Madhvavijaya (The Triumph of Madhvācārya), a hagiography composed by his devotee and follower, Nārāyaṇa Paṇḍitācārya, and from inscriptional evidence and records found in Udupi maṭhas (monasteries).

Aside from popular accounts, these two sources are the bases for knowledge about Madhvācārya’s historical background. Madhvācārya was, of course, familiar with the literature of the schools of Vedānta, proven by the 292 texts that he mentions by...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Religious StudiesCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA