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Jayatirtha, or Seer Jayateertharu (c. 1365 - c. 13881) was the sixth pontiff of Sri Madhvacharya Peetha. Born as the son of a Brahmin king, Jayatirtha was blessed with grace, wealth, affection, and physical vigor. According to legend, one day Sri Akshobhya Teertha asked him a question which triggered his desire to renounce material life and devote his life to the services of his master, Sri Anand Teertha (Madhvacharya). Against the wishes of his parents, who had great hopes for him as heir to the throne, he adopted the monastic life.

After Madhva himself, Jayatirtha is the most important theologian in the Dvaita tradition. He wrote 22 works, including many commentaries on Madhva. His depth of scholarship can be credited with raising the fledgling Dvaita School to a position of scholastic equality with advaita and visistadvaita.2 Jayatirtha's lucid style and precise expositions Ananda Tîrtha's masterpieces established him as one of the greatest of the Sanskrit philosophical writers, and helped to spread the Madhva philosophy.

Legend

According to legend, in a

Life

Sri Jayatîrtha's biographies include Anu-Jayatîrtha-Vijaya and Brhad-Jayatîrtha-Vijaya. Jayatirtha was born as Dhondupant (Dhondurao) to Raghunath, a Brahmin king, and Sakubai Deshpande. His birthplace was Mangalavedhe, which lies near Pandharapur, about 12 miles south-east of Pandharpur in today's Maharashtra. Because he was heir to the throne, he had wealth, power, and the affection of his parents and the people. He was very handsome, healthy, intelligent, endowed with physical vigor, and given to outdoor activity such as horseback riding.

Once, when the young Dhond Pant Raghunath (his name during pûrva-âshrama) was horse-riding, he bent down and quenched his thirst from a river without dismounting or even stopping his horse. Sri Akshobhya Teertha, a direct disciple of Sri Anand Teertha happened to witness this and asked him in Sanskrit “kim pashuH pûrva-dehe?” (“Did you have an animal's body previously?”). This question triggered the memory of his

Sri Jayatîrtha's Brndâvana (sacred tomb) is at Malkheda, in the north of modern Karnataka state, from where he continues to bless devotees who, in spite of their own lack of any significant ability, seek to understand Srimad Ananda Tîrtha's writings correctly.3

Works and thoughts

After Madhva himself, Jayatirtha is the most important theologian in the Dvaita tradition. He wrote 22 works, including many commentaries on Madhva. His depth of scholarship can be credited with raising the fledgling Dvaita School to a position of scholastic equality with Advaita and Visistadvaita.4 Jayatirtha's lucid style and precise expositions Ananda Tîrtha's masterpieces established him as one of the greatest of the Sanskrit philosophical writers.

Nyayasudha is known as Sri Jayateertha's magnum opus and is the exhaustive and detailed commentary (Teeka is Sanskrit for commentary, hence he is also known as Teekacharya) on Sri Madhvacharya's Anuvyakhyana which in turn itself is a commentary on Brahma Sutras by Veda Vyasa. Sri Jayateertha has brilliantly and more importantly, sincerely, captured the pithy statements of his master in simple language. It is universally admitted in the Dvaita tradition that the philosophical depth and breadth of Tatvavada can only be appreciated with the help of the Nyaya Sudha. In a very attractive and lucid style, Sri Jayatirtha not only presents and strongly defends almost all the important philosophical and epistemological issues from the Dvaita point of view, but also severely criticizes other major philosophical systems of India such as the Bauddha, Jaina, Nyaya-Vaisesika, Bhatta-Prabhakara Mimamsa, Advaita and Visishtadvaita. Thus, in the Dvaita tradition, the work is held in very high esteem and it is believed that scholarship in Dvaita Vedanta is incomplete without a thorough study of this monumental work. A popular saying, "sudhâ vâ paThanîyâ, vasudhâ vâ pâlanîyâ," conveys the meaning that the joy of studying the Nyâya-Sudhâ can only be compared to the joy of ruling a kingdom.

Sri Jayatîrtha's VâdâvaLî, which is an original work, refutes the theory of illusion, and is considered to be the earliest major Mâdhva polemical text after those authored by Srimad Ananda Tîrtha himself; it also is a precursor to the Nyâyamrta and Tarka-tânDava of Sri Vyâsa Tîrtha, and other later works.

Dvaita

In contrast with the advaita (non-dualist) philosophy expounded by Shankara, Dvaita maintains that there is an eternal distinction between the individual self and the absolute, and that the universe is not fundamentally illusory, but is instead a real creation of Brahman. Dvaita posited an anthropomorphic personal and independent God, Vishnu, who rules over the separate and dependent entities of soul and matter Prakriti. Souls are in bondage to the earthly cycle of life and death because they are ignorant of the true nature of God. Liberation cannot be achieved through knowledge and performance of ritual duties alone, but requires the grace of God, which can only be acquired through bhakti (devotion). The liberated soul does not become one with God but exists separately in bliss. Because God and the soul are essentially different, it is impossible for the soul to fully comprehend God.

Dvaita does not regard difference is not regarded as an attribute, but as the very nature of an existence which makes it unique, and notes five categories of eternal difference: between the Lord (Īśvara) and the self (jivātman); between innumerable selves; between the Lord and matter (prakriti); between the self and matte; and between phenomena within matter.

Major Works

  • Nyaya sudha (Nectar of logic)
  • Tattva prakashika (The light of truth)
  • Prameya deepika (The light of object of knowledge)
  • Nyaya deepika (The light of logic)

Notes

  1. ↑ Daniel P. Sheridan, "Jayatirtha," in Great Thinkers of the Eastern World, edited by Ian McGready (ed.), 236, New York: Harper Collins, 1995
  2. ↑ The Great Madhva Acarya, Sanskrit.org. Retrieved December 18, 2007
  3. ↑ Sri Jayatîrtha, Dvaita.org. Retrieved December 18, 2007
  4. ↑ The Great Madhva Acarya, Sanskrit.org. Retrieved December 18, 2007

References

  • Lott, Eric J. 1980. Vedantic approaches to God. Library of philosophy and religion. Totowa, N.J.: Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0064943658 ISBN 9780064943659
  • Madhva, Bhīmasena Bālācārya Varakheḍakara, and Jayatīrtha. 1982. Tattvasaṅkhyānam. Paṇḍharapure: Pūrṇaprajñaprakāśanam.
  • Jayatīrtha, and B. N. Krishnamurti Sharma. 1995. Śrīmannyāyasudhā = Nyāyasudhā of Sri Jayatirtha (1365-1388) (Pañcādhikaraṇī). Bangalore: Sri Raghavendra Ashrama.
  • Jayatīrtha. 1991. Pramana paddhati of Sri Jayatirtha a work on Dvaita-epistemology with eight commentaries. Bangalore: Dvaita Vedanta Studies & Research Foundation.
  • Jayatīrtha, P. Nagaraja Rao, and A. Krishnamoorthi. 1981. Pramāṇapaddhatiḥ. Madras: A.M. Jain College, Institute of Management.
  • Rawlinson, Andrew. 1997. The book of enlightened masters western teachers in eastern traditions. Chicago: Open Court. ISBN 0812693108 ISBN 9780812693102
  • Sharma, B. N. Krishnamurti. 1960. A history of the Dvaita school of Vedānta and its literature. Bombay: Booksellar's Pub. Co.
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