Influence of Sri Madhvacharya on Haridasas
haridAsas were mostly followers of AchArya Madhva, the founder of the dvaita school of philosophy. They drew their inspiration from scriptures as (correctly) interpreted by AchArya Madhva. Consequently, dvaita provided the philosophical underpinning for all the compositions of haridAsas.
There is however, no reasoned exposition of the philosophy of Madhva. The drift of the songs is lyrical and didactic rather than logical and definitive. Hence, we cannot expect any reasoned exposition of philosophical doctrines here. Nevertheless, certain basic tenets of the system like the doctrines of Hari sarvOttama (Lord Hari is the Supreme amongst all gods), 'tAratamya' (gradation), 'panchaBhEda', the nature of souls, the attributes of God, and the nature of 'mOksha (liberation) are elaborately dealt with.
dvaita or tattvavAda is the one of the leading schools of hinDu philosophy. It was propounded by AchArya Madhwa (aka MadhwAchArya, Ananda tIrtha) The tattvavAda more popularly known as Dvaita Philosophy of Sriman Madhwacharya, whose cordinal precepts are the supremacy of Sri Hari and surrender to Him and service to humanity as the sole means of liberation. The Philosophy of Sriman Madhvacharya is pragmatic with relevance to everyday life. It aims at building a sound individual and an orderly society which together provide the Sadhana Marga. Its emphasis Duty and Devotion at every stage of life serving eminently the twin objectives of creating an efficient individual and an orderly society. Sri Acharya Madhwa propagated the true spirit of modesty and sublimity bo commanding that every individual shall consider always himself as a servant at the feet of the Supreme Lord, who is the embodiment of all perfection.
Basic tenets of Sri Madhva philosophy
The God has to be approached in number of simple easily-do-able ways. Followers of the great preceptor, Madhva, continued this tradition in their commentaries and compositions. The early efforts were in sanskrit and were mostly the commentaries of the Guru Madva's compositions. The heads of Institutions carried forward the teachings by the religious worship individual and group preachings and explaining the compositions of Madvacharya. All these compositions were in Sanskrit, the language of the educated (mostly scholars) and reached but a few. The common man saw the 'pooja' follower whatever was preached in his understandable language and just did what he saw or was told. Mass appeal or mass communication did not materialise or perhaps, was not intented to, the early stages. People perhaps believed that devotion to God was the prerogative of the scholars and beyond the ken of the uneducated (non-Sanskrit) mass.
The initial inspiration of the Dasas was derived from Madhva himself. who has given devotional lyrics in Sanskrit such as Dvadasa-stotra etc. Sumadhva Vijaya (XV 84) alludes to the many gathas, subhasitas etc. composed by him though we have no trace of any compositions in Kannada or Tulu by Madhva.
The situation being grave and self-destructive needed urgent solution. During the period of Vysatirtha (around 1447 to 1539) and a few years earlier in the period Sri Padaraya, Vysatiratha's preceptor songs in praise of the Lord were proudly sung during worship and these were the songs in the local language, Kannada - language of the common people. This was carried by his great disciples like Sri Purandara Dasa, Sri Kanaka Dasa and later dasa's.
The expositions of Dasas are centred around Dvaita system in a popular and attractive form in the language of the people. Such an attempt is in itself a proof of the fact that the Madhva thought was a living force in the country and had a permanent message much a cold philosophical doctrine as a dynamic way of life. The central theme of Dasa Philosophy is the existence of independent transcedent principle called Sri Hari. Behind the veil of Maya, he is the redeemer of human souls struggling from time immemorial to free themselves from the meshes of Prakruti. The grace of God is the means of such redemption from the flesh and the cycle of births and deaths. This is obtained by bhakthi (devotion) which flows from love of God to the exclusion of everything else, with a deep sense of dependence of souls on him. The songs draw frequently upon the teachings and legends of the epics and Puranas to inculcate the spirit of devotion.There is however, no reasoned exposition of the philosophy of Madhva, which is the basic philosophy of the Dasas. The drift of the songs is lyrical and didactic rather than logical and definitve. Hence we cannot expect any reasoned exposition of philosophical doctrines here. Nevertheless, certain tenets of the system like the doctrines of 'taratamya' (gradation of souls), 'panchabehda' (reality of fivefold difference in the universe), the nature of souls, the attributes of God, and the nature of 'moksha (liberation) are elaborately dealt with. The songs try to rouse the spirit of man from a life of worldly attachment and turn it Godward. They deal with all aspects of spiritual discipline taught by the scriptures and take us along the path of self-realization. Their philosophy system is just the same as that presented by the great writers of the Dvaita Vedanta in their original works in sanskrit.
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