Tattvavaada Prameya

हरि सर्वोत्तम । वायु जीवोत्तम | श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः

On the divine occasion of Madhvanavami, here are two compact summaries of the main tenets of the philosophy of Tattvavaada that was restored to us by Acharya Madhva, the 3rd descension of Lord Vayu, the Chief Servant of Lord Shri-Hari.

We owe the following beautiful and pithy verse to Vidyavaachaspati Guru Shri Bannanje Govindacharya:

विष्णुः सर्वोत्तमोऽथाखिल पदगदितः सर्ववेदाभिधेयः

श्रीनाथः सद्गुणाब्धिर्जगदुदयलयाद्यष्टकर्तान्तरात्मा ।

ब्रह्माद्या उच्चनीचा हरिचरणरताः पंचभेदः प्रपंचः

सत्यः स्त्रीपुंस्वभावः सततमनपगा योग्यता च स्वभावः ॥ १ ॥

जीवस्त्रैगुण्यभाजः परमगतियुजो नित्यभध्द्रास्तमोगाः

सत्वोद्रेकत्तु मोक्षे निजसुखनियतिः साधनं ज्ञानभक्ती ।

इष्ठं दैवं मुकुंदः परमगुरुरसौ मारुतिर्मध्वनामा

विश्वं ताभ्यामुभाभ्यां नियमितमखिलं चेत्यतयं तत्त्ववादः ॥ २ ॥

इति विद्यावाचस्पति श्री बन्नंजे गोविन्दाचार्य विरचित प्रमेय श्लोकः

  • Vishnu is the supreme Lord (विष्णुः सर्वोत्तमः)
    • He pervades everything and is above and beyond everyone and everything
  • He is the object of every word (अखिल पद-गतितः)
    • All sounds and words have their primary meaning in the Lord – only then other meanings apply secondarily*
  • He is the one referred to by all the Vedas (सर्व-वेद-अभिधेयः)
    • The Vedas have 3 meanings with primary reference to Lord Himself in all passages*
  • He is the Lord of Lakshmi (श्री-नाथः)
    • Even nature (प्रकृति) is subservient to Him
  • He is the ocean of good qualities (सद्गुण-अब्धिः)
    • He is infinite in all auspicious qualities (अनन्त-कल्याण-गुण) and free from all defects (निर्दोष)
  • He is the Prime Doer of creation and destruction and the remaining eight activities of the universe (जगदुदयलयादि अष्टकर्ता)
    • He is the One and Only Supreme Master, Controller and Delegator of Creation (शृष्ठि), Protection (स्तिथि), Destruction (लय), Regulation (नियमन), Knowledge (ज्ञान), Iignorance (अज्ञान), Bondage (बन्ध), and Liberation (मोक्ष)
  • He resides within every being (अन्तरात्मा)
    • He is the Original One (बिम्ब) of which each soul (जीव) is a derived reflection (प्रतिबिम्ब)
  • To Hari’s feet all deities are subservient in hierarchy starting from Brahma (ब्रह्माद्या उच्चनीच हरिचरणरताः)
    • Brahma (Vayu and Rju-s ), Sarasvati (Bhaarati and Rju consorts), Garuda-Shesha-Rudra, and so on*
  • The world has five-fold differences (पंचभेदः प्रपंचः)
    • Across Lord (ईश्वर), Souls (जीव) and Matter (जड), the differences are जीव-ईश्वर, जड-ईश्वर, जीव-जीव, जीव-जड, जड-जड *
  • Male or female gender is in the very nature of the soul (सत्यः स्त्रीपुंस्वभावः)
    • Gender is not attributed to the body which is inherently life-less
  • The intrinsic nature and capability of the soul is unchangeable (सततमनपगा योग्यता च स्वभावः)
  • Souls are classified into three categories (जीवस्त्रैगुण्यभाजः)
    • Saatvika, Raajasika and Taamasika
  • It either attains the divine abode, or is constantly bound (in the life-death cycle), or attains eternal hell (परमगतियुजो नित्यबद्ध्रास्तमोगाः)
  • Saatvic quality growing fully leads to liberation which is uninterrupted experience of maximum-possible bliss (सत्वोद्रेकत्तु मोक्षे निजसुखनियतिः)
  • The (only) path to achieve this is through knowledge and devotion (साधनं ज्ञानभक्ती)
  • The Lord to be desired and worshipped is Shri Krishna Mukunda (इष्ठं दैवं मुकुन्दः)
  • The Supreme Guru is Vayu who descended as Hanuman and also as Madhva (पर्मगुरुरसौ मारुतिर्मध्वनामा)
  • The whole universe is controlled by these two forces – Hari & Vayu (विश्वं ताभामुभाभ्यां नियमितमखिलं)
  • These are the tenets of Tattvavaada (चेत्यतयं तत्त्ववादः)

While the above shloka is an expanded and more detailed definition of Tattvavaada, the original Prameya Shloka attributed to Shri Vyasarajaru is also a beautiful but simpler summary that is easy to remember and teach even young children:

श्रीमन्-मध्व-मते हरिः परतरः सत्यं जगत् तत्त्वतो
भेदो जीवगणाः हरेरनुचराः नीचोच्च भावङ्गताः ।
मुक्तिर्नैजसुखानुभूतिः अमलाभक्तिश्च तत्साधनम्
ह्यक्षादित्रितयं प्रमाणम् अखिलाम्नायैकवेद्यो हरिः ॥

इति श्रीव्यसराजविरचित प्रमेय श्लोकः

  • In Shri Madhva’s philosophy (श्रीमन्-मध्व-मते)
    • Popularly referred to as द्वैत (Philosophy of Dualism) and variously known as तत्त्ववाद (Philosophy of Realism), भेद (Philosophy of Real Differences), यथार्थज्ञान (Knowledge as it is), केवलज्ञान (Exclusively pure knowledge) and स्वतन्त्र-अद्वितिय-ब्रह्मवाद (Philosophy of Independent and Unique Supremacy)
  • Hari (Vishnu) is supreme (हरिः परतरः)
    • Superior to and eternally distinct from all other beings superior to us who have been given various powers and roles
  • The world is true (सत्यं जगत्)
    • What we perceive is not an illusion, माया being the supreme power of the Lord
  • The differences therein are real (तत्त्वतो भेदः)
    • The five-fold differences between the Supreme Lord (ईश्वर), the soul (जीव) and insentient matter (जड) are innate and eternal
  • The various groups of souls are servants of Hari (जीवगणाः हरेरनुचराः)
    • All souls are dependent on the one independent Hari
  • They reach lower and higher destinations (नीचोच्च भावङ्गताः)
    • As the souls differ in nature (स्वभाव) as Saatvic, Raajasic and Taamasic, so do they differ in action (कर्म) and attain eternal bliss (मोक्ष), eternal birth-death cycle (नित्य सम्सार) or eternal damnation (अन्धन्तमस्) respectively.
  • Liberation is complete experience of one’s own natural bliss (मुक्तिर्नैजसुखानुभूतिः)
    • When all other attributes are given up by the soul, what remains is its intrinsic bliss (स्वरूप आनन्द)
  • Pure unadulterated devotion is the (only) means to achieve it (अमलाभक्तिश्च तत्साधनम्)
    • The other three paths of righteous merit (धर्म), material wealth (अर्थ) and desire (काम) are required but are instrumental, while liberation (मोक्ष) is the primary objective of a soul, obtained only with the Lord’s grace via pure devotion.
  • The three-fold means of all knowledge begins with perception (ह्यक्षादित्रितयं प्रमाणम्)
    • Perfect knowledge is obtained only via flawless perception by sense organs (प्रत्यक्ष), defectless reasoning and inference (अनुमान) and perfect and complete sources (आगम) which are Vedas that are authorless (अपौरुशेय) and consistent works thereof.
  • Hari is the one object of knowledge in all the scriptures (अखिलाम्नायैकवेद्यो हरिः)
    • The supremacy and other attributes of Hari is the primary purport of all sources of knowledge (आगम)

/Raghunath Rao/ “Do your Best … and leave the Rest … “

(All mistakes mine – all credit to Gurus and Acharyas )

|| sarvaṁ śrī kṛṣṇārpanamastu ||