The liberated souls’ appearance and disappearance in this world is to help the living entities. Today is the disappearance day of Śrī Madhvācārya. We will remember the glories of Śrī Madhvācārya.
Śrī Madhvācārya is the incarnation of Hanumāna, Bhīma, and Vāyu. Why did he appear in this world? God sends His incarnations to this world and people worship Them as Deities. But in the early stages of kali-yuga, many philosophies sprang up to undermine peoples’ faith in the Deity form of God, such as the teachings of Buddha, Ācārya Śaṅkara, and the Jains. The Buddhists destroyed the Deities of God and taught that the Vedas, Upanishads and śāstra were all false. They did not worship or respect any Deities of God. Christians, Muslims, and other religions with tinges of impersonalism make many so-called temples and mosques, but there are no Deities of God there. They proclaim, “Deity worship is mundane idolatry. Service of man is service of God.” Thus teaching, they worship the deity of their own physical bodies.
When sense enjoyers worship other sense enjoyers in the name of serving God, together they propagate bhogavāda, a philosophy based on gross sense enjoyment. By revering leaders of the impersonalist and voidist movements, their nihilistic traits come in the blind followers. Then society disrespects and destroys the Deities of God. The leaders encourage this, not wanting their followers to escape from material bondage, for if one makes relation with the Deities of God, then he will cross māyā, and will no longer follow bhogavāda, sense enjoyment, impersonalism, or voidism. This is the demonic policy of demonic leaders. To cheat people and make them suffer more in māyā they preach these philosophies. People open big temples, centers, and preaching halls, but worship no Deities there.
They say, “God is without form and attributes. Deities are only mundane, to worship idols is cheating humanity.” Their philosophies are completely against scripture. They are afraid that by worshipping God’s Deities, relation will be made with God and then people won’t stay longer in this world. Relation will be cut of with this body; bitterness will come for all things of māyā and people will exit saṁsāra and enter the spiritual world.
Madhvācārya came in kali-yuga. God sent him to this world to make relationship with the living entities. What relationship? If anyone makes a relation with the family members of God, one will very easily become attached to God. This is certain. Then one will become detached from one’s blood relatives and materialistic enjoyers who only propagate bhogavāda, sense enjoyment. Modern educational systems teach this bhogavāda to make people more and more attached to this world. Genuine spiritual masters and pure philosophies are very rare in this world.
The parents of Madhvācārya lived in Pājaka Kṣetra, in a mountainous area near the ocean. Madhvācārya’s father was named Madhyageha Bhaṭṭa and his mother Vedavatī. They worshipped Ananta Padmanābha. Pājaka Kṣetra was far away from Uḍūpī.
Madhvācārya’s father would walk the far distance to Ananta Padmanābha, worship Him there, and then return home. He said one day to his Lord, “I am old, I cannot come from so far and arrange so many things to worship You anymore. I have no children to help me and I am surrounded by impersonalist followers of Śaṅkara. How can I serve You? Please come with me to my house. I will worship You there.”
Madhyageha Bhaṭṭa was a poor brāhmaṇa who lived with his faithful wife in a stony hill area, where water and vegetation were scarce. The area was also dangerous, being inhabited by snakes. A little distance away was a cave where Paraśurāma performed bhajana. Madhyageha Bhaṭṭa stayed in a simple wood hut where he worshipped Ananta Padmanābha. How did the Lord come there?
Madhyageha Bhaṭṭa invited Him, “If You want, You can come with me. But I can’t carry You, I have no strength nor bullock car.”
Ananta Padmanābha agreed to come and followed behind Madhyageha Bhaṭṭa.
The area where Ananta Padmanābha was residing had been taken over by māyāvādīs that preached strongly everywhere, “Everyone is brahma: aham brahmāsmi, sarva khalv idam, tat tvaṁ asi prajñānam, prajñānam brahma.”
Since they believe everyone is God, they don’t respect the Deities of God. They say, “I am Nārāyaṇa.”
Madhyageha Bhaṭṭa worshipped Ananta Padmanābha. But he had nothing to offer. He went and begged roots, fruits, and vegetables from the villages and gave to the Deities. But there was no water there. Vedavatī would bring water from a far off source for their necessities. One day, he went to a businessman and asked him for a loan. He said, “I will buy a pair of bulls so that I can cultivate and grow something to serve my Ananta Padmanābha.”
“Yes, I will give a loan,” the businessman said.
He bought a pair of bulls. But where to cultivate? In his area there was little open field to cultivate, and what he did grow by hard labor was attacked by ravenous mountain animals.
He thought, “What should I do?”
“Prabhu, You are very strange,” he said to Ananta Padmanābha. “I have served You my entire life. Now I am old, who will help me? And who will serve You? I have relation with You and don’t like any other. But You have no followers or servants, what can I do alone?”
Then by the desire of Ananta Padmanābha, a son was born to Madhyageha Bhaṭṭa and was named Vāsudeva, later he became known as Madhvācārya.
As a young boy, Madhvācārya would be left alone in the hut while his parents went to work. His mother would bring water and his father worshipped the Lord.
His father was indebted to the businessman, and this man would come again and again to disturb him, saying, “Give me back my money, there is so much interest now.”
How could he give money? He had arranged a bull to farm, but there was no rain and no water. How could they cultivate? And if anything grew, it would be eaten by animals.
He thought, “How can I maintain and serve Padmanābha? The businessman always disturbs me and says, ‘Pay up my money, otherwise I will take away your bulls.”
Madhvācārya was only a little boy. He saw his father was disturbed and asked, “Why are you upset? What is the problem?”
His father would not answer, but his mother said, “He is in debt.”
“Money? This is nothing,”
Madhvācārya asked the businessman, “Do you need money?”
“Okay, sit here.”
He went to the forest where there was a tamarind tree. He collected a handful of seeds, bound them in a cloth and gave them to the businessman, saying, “Take this. But don’t open it here, open in your house.”
The businessman went home and when he opened the cloth, he found gold coins inside. He said, “He only owed me four coins, but here are many.”
When this man touched and saw the boy, he became very attached to him.
If anyone has desire to serve God, after sometime his heart will be clean. But if anyone comes in contact with mahā-bhāgavatas, or serves Vaiṣṇavas, very quickly one’s nature will change. Now, that businessman had some respect come in his heart.
He said, “This boy gave me double the amount his father owed.”
He came back and said, “Take back this extra money.”
“No, I am indebted to you,” the father said.
“No, your son gave me so much.”
“Did you give any money to this man,” he asked Madhvācārya.
“Why would I give? Ananta Padmanābha gave. He is your worshipable Lord. He is present with Mahā Lakṣmī. He bestows everything.”
When Madhvācārya said this, his father’s respect increased for Ananta Padmanābha.
The businessman became inclined towards service to Ananta Padmanābha, and said, “I will give you a cow. Give the cow’s milk to Ananta Padmanābha.”
The cow gave milk and the mother made many preparations to offer the Lord.
Trees and plants did not grow well in that area. Vāsudeva would play around in the surrounding areas and wherever his footsteps fell, grass and vegetation would grow. Big banyan trees, banana trees, coconut trees, and other trees grew up automatically.
His father asked, “Who planted these trees?”
“You don’t know, father?” Madhvācārya said, “Ananta Padmanābha has many servants. They arrange everything.”
“Who are His servants?”
“There are 330 million demigods who serve the devotees. Anywhere God’s devotees are present, the 330 million demigods will come serve and arrange everything in that place.”
His father then served Ananta Padmanābha with more respect and faith. Before no one would come there, but now this businessman announced, “This boy is very powerful. Anything he touches turns to gold, and now he made this stony hill area into a beautiful garden.”
Hearing this, many people began coming to see Ananta Padmanābha and the boy Vāsudeva.
Madhvācārya’s mother would go far away for water and would bring it for the cow, bulls, bathing, cooking, and so forth. She became very exhausted by this hard work.
Madhvācārya said, “Mother, why are you disturbed? Why do you go far away? Wherever the Lord is present with His devotees, all holy rivers are present.”
He then took one stone out of the mountain and called out, “O Gaṅgā, please come, O Yamunā, Godāvarī, Tapti, Narmada, please come,” and then all the holy rivers came. His father came and saw all the rivers. He became astonished and asked, “How did you call the rivers here? Who taught you these mantras?”
“These are not mantras, these are the names of the holy rivers. I merely invited them. God’s service is not any joke. If anyone has love for God and eagerness to serve Him, then all will come and help.”
His mother checked the water and saw it was very sweet, like nectar. If anyone goes to that place, they can take water from that well and taste its very sweet flavor. There are five or six stairs into the hill, and the water is always present. It is never dry. People shower, bathe, drink, cook, wash cloth, and use it for everything, but the water never becomes dirty or exhausted.
One day, the mother asked Vāsudeva, “You are alone. Where do you go to play daily?”
“I go to one hill where Paraśurāma performs austerity in a cave.”
“Don’t go there.”
“There is a big snake there. He eats all the animals and anyone who goes to that side.”
Vāsudeva went and asked, “Paraśurāma, is there really a big man-eating snake here?”
“Yes,” Paraśurāma replied, “but he doesn’t come to me. He is afraid of me, but he destroys all others.”
Once, the snake attacked the cow that was given by the businessman. The snake was a demon in disguise. When he attacked the cow, Madhvācārya went and kicked the snake. The demon came out of the snake’s body and attacked Madhvācārya.
The demon said, “First I will kill you, then your cow, and then your family. I haven’t said anything for a long time, but now you are disturbing me.”
“You think you have great strength,” Madhvācārya said, “but this is useless.” He caught the demon in his left hand, and smashed him with his feet.
Paraśurāma came and gave blessings to Madhvācārya. The demon had disturbed many people there; therefore no one would go to that area.
When the snake died, people became fearless and came for the darśana of Ananta Padmanābha. Now, Madhvācārya’s father made many preparations with the cow’s milk, cooked many grains, and distributed prasādam to all who came.
He said, “God is here, Mahā Lakṣmī is here, nothing will be ever be short. Give mahā-prasāda to everyone.”
Madhvācārya would play in the hills. His mother asked, “Where do you go?”
“I play with the peacocks, parrots, squirrels and other animals.”
“You shouldn’t play with animals.”
“They are demigods and powerful sages who have come to attain the mercy of Ananta Padmanābha. Men and women share their bodies with each other for insignificant enjoyment. Sages do not want human bodies for this reason. I know this. The animals daily take mahā-prasāda and worship God. They don’t need rooms, house, politics or anything. They hear the kirtana and classes and become very happy.”
But his mother told him, “I am not happy with you going.”
He would go play in the neighboring hills. His mother would call him from far away and he jumped from five kilometers away, and quickly returned to his house in a moment.
“How did you come so quickly?” she asked.
“You called me, so I came by your blessings.”
Madhvācārya’s footprints where imprinted in the stone where he landed, as if the stone were clay. His footprints are present there to this day.
His mother said, “Take care of the room of Ananta Padmanābha. I am going to make milk preparations. Don’t go here and there.”
When his mother was busy and away, he went a little far off to play. When she came back she saw in front of the entrance to the temple a huge boulder twenty men couldn’t have carried. She thought it was a demon who had done this, and called out in fear to her son, “Where are you?”
Madhvācārya appeared in front of his mother at her call. She asked, “How did this stone appear here?”
“What could I do? You were not here, so I placed it there so none could enter.”
He then picked the stone up and threw it aside.
“How do you have so much power?”
“If anyone has the desire to serve God, God will give all types of strength and abilities to him.”
“Oh, you have such a deep relationship with Ananta Padmanābha!”
“Why not? If anyone serves the Deities of God, they will get relation with God and God’s strength and power will come.”
If people serve Vaiṣṇavas, then their nature will change. The businessman would come daily and serve Ananta Padmanābha. He would not feel happy without having darśana of Ananta Padmanābha. He arranged many things for the service of Ananta Padmanābha. Before he would tell the brāhmaṇa, “You are in debt to me.”
Now he said, “I have done wrong.”
By serving the Vaiṣṇavas he got liberation from māyā and anarthas.
chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā
“Without serving the Vaiṣṇavas, who can be delivered from the clutches of māyā?”
In this world there is only one true and easy process that is very helpful—service of the Vaiṣṇavas.
The Vaiṣṇava sampradāyas emphasize distributing mahā-prasāda. The Madhva Sampradāya daily gives free prasādam to tens of thousands of people. They are always ready for service, knowing this is helpful for all.
Madhvācārya once told his father, “I will take sannyāsa.”
“Sannyāsa is not for this age,” his father replied.
“If I don’t renounce everything of this world,” Madhvācārya said, “How can I properly serve God? You teach that God’s service is most important. If I serve māyā and mundane people, I will go to hell life after life. Mundane people only teach bhogavāda, sense enjoyment. They teach to cheat others for their own wealth and health. I will have relation only with God and His devotees. I will take sannyāsa.”
At that time his age was only twelve years. He said, “I will go find a guru.”
He went to Acyuta Prekṣa of Uḍūpī, who was the present Ācārya of the Śaṅkara Sampradāya.
He took sannyāsa from him and received the name Pūrṇaprajña Tīrtha. He began to discuss philosophy with his guru; especially the Vedānta Sūtras. Acyuta Prekṣa spoke on the tenets of Śaṅkara, clouding the true purport of Vedānta, but Madhvācārya cut all his arguments with quotations of scripture, defeating the errant philosophy of the Śaṅkara Sampradāya. His guru was amazed at his disciple’s brilliance and asked him how he had attained such a command of scripture.
Madhvācārya said, “If you served the Deities of God, you would understand the meaning of scripture and scripture would be present with you. By your own intelligence and grammatical speculation you cannot understand śāstra. Everything will be dark to you. You will not understand anything. Only anarthas will come, not paramārtha.”
Acyuta Prekṣa’s heart softened and he asked, “How can I surrender?”
“First have faith in śāstra. Śāstra is not mundane words and sentences. Daily read the Brahma-sūtra with deep respect. Then you will get darśana of the Absolute Truth.”
Acyuta Prekṣa began reciting Brahma-sūtra daily before eating in the morning. He also performed nirjala ekādaśī. One Dvādaśī, the time of parana was passing and there was no time to recite the Brahma-sūtra.
He asked Madhvācārya, “How can I break the vrata, I haven’t read the Brahma-sūtra.”
“Don’t worry,” Madhvācārya said, “I will write a short anubhāṣya. You can read that and then take break your fast.”
Madhvācārya immediately wrote an anubhāṣya of Brahma-sūtra and gave it to his guru at once.
Acyuta Prekṣa was surprised and said, “I am not your guru; I am actually your disciple. I am very happy.”
“Gurudeva,” Madhvācārya said, “please give me permission to preach and connect the living entities to the family members of God. If people have no relation with God’s family, they will run to enjoy with their blood relatives. If they have relation with God’s associates, then they will cut off everything in this world and will give desire to serve God and will send you to make relation with God. I will go and give a good opportunity to the jīvas.”
He first went to Dharmasthala, which is full of māyāvādīs. He saw many hundreds of sannyāsīs there. He called out, “Come on top of Sṛṅgeri, your guru’s place. I will debate with everyone. If you defeat me, you can punish me, and if I defeat you all, I will punish you.”
They wrote an agreement. Madhvācārya debated with all the māyāvādī ācāryas. He defeated them and said, “I will not kill you, but I will throw you in the Tungabhadra River.”
He said, “You think you are Brahma, but how are you Brahma? Brahma is Parabrahma, God. You are not God, you are dogs. How will you be Brahma? This physical body is not man or lady. This is achieved by karma through great fortune. But why do you have this false pride, why don’t you think you will serve God? God has given you this chance to serve and receive knowledge of Him. But instead of serving God you are cheating everyone!”
He threw all the māyāvādīs down into the River Tuṅgabhadrā and they later took birth in the water as big, strong fish. If you go there, you will see that the fish are very hungry. They will eat anything you throw down, be it dead bodies or the foulest substances.
Many years have passed, but that river is still full of fish. They are very big and colorful. If you give them food, they will come on top of the water, eat it, and then go down. Their faces, color, and eyes are very fierce and angry looking.
Madhvācārya thought, “This is a good life for you all. If you are really Brahma, then you can live together as Brahma and eat each other. This is your punishment.”
When the māyāvādīs were finished, many of their followers became the disciples of Madhvācārya. He made them Vaiṣṇavas and taught them to wear Vaiṣṇava tilaka and follow Vaiṣṇava etiquette.
He went from there to Badrikaśrama. He went to Vedavyāsa and prayed to him saying, “You have many so-called followers who are māyāvādīs. I have written a purport on the Gītā which smashes their bogus philosophy.”
He showed his purport to Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva was very happy to read what Madhvācārya wrote.
Vyāsadeva said, “I had four disciples before, but they were all impersonalists. Now, I am very happy that you are preaching Vaiṣṇava philosophy. Wherever you may be, I will help you. You understand my heart. Go and preach.”
Madhvācārya preached strongly. He performed hari-saṅkīrtana wherever he went. He helped the jīvas; taught them to follow Ekādaśī, the rules and regulations of śāstra, and to serve the Vaiṣṇavas.”
If anyone wants to cross māyā, he must make relation with the Vaiṣṇavas—but not a body or mind relation. Vaiṣṇavas are the pure parts and parcels of God. They have an eternal relation with God. Service of the soul is hari-saṅkīrtana, hari-prasāda, and hari-sevā. If there is no hari-sevā, then you will definitely do māyā-sevā. If there is no hari-kathā, then you will definitely perform māyā-kathā.
Only going to feed and massage the leather body is not Vaiṣṇava sevā. Without mahā-prasāda, this body will never be helpful. It will not be favorable. If you give māyā’s prasādam, all bad qualities will come to you. To sustain the life, only mahā-prasāda should be taken.
Everyone who comes to Uḍūpī can honor mahā-prasāda. Jagannātha accepts so many offerings in Jagannātha Purī to help the living entities. Mahā Lakṣmī cooks and gives the mahā-prasāda of Jagannātha to people so that their mundane natures are destroyed.
Madhvācārya now began preaching and distributing mahā-prasāda. People asked, “If everything is short, what will happen?”
“There is no problem, Mahā Lakṣmī is here. Annapūrṇā-devī is here.”
Madhvācārya daily went to the ocean to bathe and perform tarpana and tilanjali to the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas. One day, while doing tapa, mantra, a big ship was passing by. One boatman came with a small boat close to the shore and said to Madhvācārya, “I was going by when I heard a sound come, ‘Go to the sādhu and give him a presentation.’ I tried to cross by, but the sound came, “Without sādhu sevā, you will lose everything.’ I tried to cross by force, but my ship became stuck in a sandbank.”
He brought a huge chunk of tilaka and presented it to Madhvācārya. But who gave this instruction? Parabrahma was present inside the tilaka and he inspired the ship’s captain to give this stone to Madhvācārya.
Madhvācārya was very happy. He took this and it fell down. As it touched the ground it broke into two pieces. From one side, Baladeva Prabhu came out and from the other side came Gopāla.
Baladeva Prabhu said, “I will not go away from this place. I want to stay on the ocean’s bank. I like it here.”
Madhvācārya made a place for Baladeva Prabhu on the bank of the ocean, and he took Gopāla a few kilometers inland and built a temple.
He told the sevakas, “God has come Himself in the form of Gopāla holding a churning stick.”
He made a lake and every evening, Gopāla goes out on the lake for pastimes on a boat. In the night, Gopāla is carried around on a palanquin and gives darśana to everyone.
Madhvācārya told Gopāla, “I am going to preach.”
He went with many disciples. The Moghuls ruled the majority of India at the time. But there was one Hindu state. Crossing that place, the Hindu king said, “You are going through our land, so you must pay tax.”
Madhvācārya said, “I have no money, I am a sādhu.”
“If you don’t give tax, you must work. Make a well here for me.”
“Okay,” Madhvācārya said, “but first show me how to do it.”
Then by the potency of Madhvācārya, the king brought a shovel and began to dig.
“You are doing good,” Madhvācārya said, “Continue like this. I will come back later and check on your work.”
Madhvācārya came back after one year and the king was still digging.
The king surrendered to Madhvācārya and said, “I made a mistake and you punished me. Now please help me get some water.”
“Why do you want to make sādhus into your slaves? They have all power. If you serve them, they will bless you. But you cannot make them your slaves.”
“Please forgive me.”
Then Madhvācārya took some stone pieces and made a big lake. The king did abhiṣeka of Madhvācārya. That kuṇḍa is still present. It is a large lake filled with sweet water. The lake never dries up. Water is scare in that area, so people come from all around to collect water at this lake.
Madhvācārya crossed that area and went to the Muslim country. He saw a big graveyard where there was a garden and nice area. It was the graveyard of the king’s personal family. Madhvācārya went and sat there and brought out paraphernalia to worship and started kīrtana.
The Mullah and Kāzī came and said, “Please, Bābā, don’t do kīrtana here. There was a big problem here. The prince died yesterday and was put in the graveyard. All are suffering and lamenting here. Go anywhere else.”
“He is dead?” Madhvācārya asked. “They put him in the graveyard! No. He is not dead. They put him there by force. I came to save him.”
News was sent to the king’s family and they all ran to see the sādhu. Madhvācārya told for the grave to be dug up. Madhvācārya said to the prince in the open coffin, “Wake up! Life after life you have been suffering. And this life they put you in the grave by force. Take this prasāda and caraṇāmṛta.”
He gave a mantra and caraṇāmṛta and the prince sat up at once.
Madhvācārya said, “Now you are the follower of Gopāla.”
The king said, “No, he is my son.”
“Whose follower are you?” Madhvācārya asked the prince. “Are you a follower of the king or Gopāla?”
“I don’t know Gopāla or the king. I am yours, you are my guru and I am your disciple.”
“I won’t give up me son,” the king said. “Take his weight in gold or any jewels. But I can’t give my son.”
“You can keep your son,” Madhvācārya said. “I am going now.”
“I will give you some presentation,” the king said.
“I don’t want anything.”
The king gave so much wealth, but Madhvācārya threw everything in the river.
After he went, the son did not stay in the house. He became as if mad and walked about the countryside, crying out, “Gurudeva, Gurudeva, Gopāla, Gopāla.” Wandering like this, he finally came to Uḍūpī, to the temple of Gopāla.
The Muslim prince was not given entrance to the temple. How could he go inside? He had deep desire for darśana of Gopāla, and he stood on one side of the temple and wept, “Gopāla, Gopāla.”
What did Gopāla do? In the night, He closed the main gate with bricks and opened four holes on the roadside. He called this boy, “Come.”
He came and talked with him and met with him. In the morning, the pujārīs saw that Gopāla’s temple door was closed with bricks and on the road side there were four holes and the boy was with Gopāla.
After a long time, Madhvācārya returned. He said, “Gopāla likes everyone, He has love for everyone. The soul has no mundane caste. The soul is God’s property and God’s part and parcel.”
Madhvācārya gave the gopāla-mantra to the prince.
From that time to the present day, Gopāla did not return to that side. A new temple was built for Him on the roadside and all people come there. He gives them darśana from there.
Madhvācārya preached by speaking hari-kathā, distributing mahā-prasāda, and serving the Vaiṣṇavas. These three things are very important.
Now people think, “There are no Vaiṣṇavas. All are ordinary karmīs.” This is a bogus idea. If anyone came to serve God, and God and Gurudeva accept that person and give him the holy name and that person performs kirtana and engages in bhajana, then he is a Vaiṣṇava. If you desire to progress in your life, respect and serve the Vaiṣṇavas, chant harināma, listen to hari-kathā, and honor mahā-prasāda. There is no need of anything more. By this process you will become free of anarthas. But if you have no respect or faith for Vaiṣṇavas, you will never advance.
Therefore Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura called all Prabhu. Our Lord is Mahāprabhu, and all His followers are Prabhu. They are masters in this world. They teach and help the jīvas. If you don’t respect those Vaiṣṇavas, how can you progress? If you think they are ordinary, how can you progress?
ārcye viṣṇau śilā-dhīr guruṣu nara-matir vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhir
viṣṇor vā vaiṣṇavānāṁ kali-mala-mathane pāda-tīrthe ‘mbu-buddhiḥ
śrī-viṣṇor nāmni mantre sakala-kaluṣa-he sabda-sāmanya-buddhir
viṣṇau sarveśvare tad-itara-sama-dhīr yasya vā nārakī saḥ
[One who thinks the worshipable Deity form of Lord Viṣṇu is a stone, the bona-fide spiritual master an ordinary man, the Vaiṣṇava belongs to a caste in the varṇāśrama system, the water that has washed the feet of Lord Viṣṇu or the Vaiṣṇavas, and that actually removes the sins of the Kali-yuga, is ordinary water, the name of Lord Viṣṇu, which is a sacred mantra that removes all sin, is an ordinary sound, or the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu is the same as other persons, is a resident of hell.]
If you think God’s Deities are stone and Vaiṣṇavas belong to a caste, you destroy your own life. Vaiṣṇavas have no caste. They are God’s direct family members. They are beyond the castes and jurisdiction of this world.
Madhvācārya went to Dharmastalam where many so-called followers of dharma were. He changed everyone into Vaiṣṇavas, taught them to serve the devotees, take mahā-prasāda, and follow the rules and regulations of bhakti. From that time, people would not eat anything other than mahā-prasāda, and would not pass a single day without singing kirtana and serving the Vaiṣṇavas.
Now people think, “I am a Vaiṣṇava, my disciples are Vaiṣṇavas, and especially my lady disciples are Vaisnavis, but no others are Vaiṣṇavas. I will not share anything with anyone else.”
What is this? How can people progress? Respect and faith is most important. Ordinary conditioned souls always look, “Who is my footstep follower? Who licks my toes? Who is my slave?”
This is not Vaisnavism. Vaiṣṇavas are neutral. They are respected and they respect God’s followers.
Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura said, “I will expend hundreds of gallons of blood to save one person from bondage in material existence.”
Madhvācārya always worshipped God’s Deities. He did not pass a single day without worshipping the Lord. In his temples, he gave duty to his sannyāsīs to serve Thakuraji there. They come in the morning, bathe, shower, chant mantra and then offer 1008 Tulasī leaves with kṛṣṇa-mantra at Gopāla’s feet. Then they do ārati every hour on the hour. The sannyāsīs also cook with their own hands and offer bhoga to Gopāla.
Paid or ordinary cooks will think, “I will take some extra paneer, and will hide ten, twenty pieces of rasa malai for my lover.”
Such a mentality is like boarding the railway express to hell. One should be solely dedicated to the service of God without any selfishness.
Madhvācārya taught the meaning of śāstra to his disciples and wrote many commentaries. He preached all over India, in all directions, making many disciples and converting followers of Śaṅkara and Buddha. He established everyone in their true identity and gave them qualification for eternal service.
Once, he was in Uḍūpī in his Guru Mahārāja’s temple giving class on the Taittariya Upaniṣada when the demigods began showering him with flowers. So many flowers came from the sky that his body was completely covered.
His disciples went forward and removed the flowers, but saw that Madhvācārya had disappeared.
He had instructed them, “Practice bhakti, always serve Gopāla, and follow all Vaiṣṇava etiquette. Then I will next send my expansions as ācāryas. In the future, many powerful ācāryas will come. Indeed, God Himself will come in this line. This sampradāya will be helpful to everyone in the world.”
Today is his disappearance day. He did not leave his body. He is the incarnation of Hanumān, Bhīma, and Pavana-devatā. He went to his own place.
His deity is present in a place that has also been named Vṛndāvana. His deity manifested on an island in the midst of the Tuṅgabhadrā River.
He said, “The future ācāryas in my line can come and take advice here and when they leave their bodies, they should be placed here in samādhi.”
That place is called Vṛndāvana. Vṛnda means samuha, where all Vaiṣṇavas are present. Like we say, Gaura-bhakta-vṛnda.
By doing parikramā of that place and sitting there, spiritual inspiration will come in the heart. If your mind is restless, by going to that place, you will feel very peaceful.
The ācāryas’ glories are our soul food. By drinking this nectar we will be strong and desire to follow bhakti and we will remain fixed and strong.
Today we offer respect to Madhvācārya. He is Pavana devatā, meaning, when we breathe, he comes inside and goes out with all our impurities. Pray to Madhvācārya for his mercy and blessings, then we can be strong in our practice of bhakti.