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Aitareya Upanishad Bhashya

Mahaitareyopanishat Bhashya of Acharya Madhwa is published in Kannada & Sanskrit PDF Format

The first of the Upanishats commented upon here is the Aitareyopanishad that belongs to a Section of Rig-Veda. This is the favourite Upanishat of Acharya. Hence he has written quite an extensive commentary on this. As he wrote on the entire Upanishat part of the Aranyaka, this Upanishat is also called Mahaitareyopanishat.

This Upanishat, which stresses the view that all names are the names of God, has not been explained by any other commentator so lucidly as by Madhvacharya. All the other Commentators have given the dictionary meanings of the Mantras. But Acharya gives the rare etymological meaning and thus opens an entirely new horizon before us.

In the beginning of his commentary, Acharya himself has said that Aitareyopanishad descdended from Brahmadeva to the lineage of Seers. The followers of Rig-Veda made its study a part of their tradition. The most mysterious powers of the Narayana Tatva have been presented here.

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Chandogyopanishad Bhashya

Chandogyopanishad Bhashya of Acharya Madhwa is published in Kannada & Sanskrit PDF Format.

Chandogya is the Upanishad of sAmavEda.This is the third among the biggest upanishads.

The granta count of bhashya is 1200.

Narayana in Hayagreeva form is the primary Rishi. Rama and Brahama are the secondary rishis, Naryana resting on Shesha(serpent) is the presiding diety of this Upanishad.

Meaning of OM,
Word by word meaning of udgIta,
Representation of the Supreme Lord as the 8th rasa,
Narration of Vayudevaru’s AkhaNAshmasamatwa,
Story of ushasticA,
Preachings of Vayu (in the form of Vrishabaha) and other dieties, about Vasudeva and other forms of Supreme Lord to satyakAmajAbala Rishis,
Explaining the nature of Supreme Lord through the Agnis(fires) gArhapatya and anwAhAryapacana,
Preaching of saMvargavidya by Raikwaru to jAnashruti pautrAyaNa,
Enunciation of the fact that Vayu is saMvarga,
Explaining the guardian deities for 116 years of a beings life as –
first 24 years Vasu,next 44 years rudras, last 48 years -Adityas,
Methods of curing various disease and other problems by worshipping vasu and other dieties,
How Aitareya Rishi acheived success by doing this,
Worship of Vayu – jyEshTa shrEshTa forms and its results,
Preachings of Uddhalaka Rishi about the merits of knowing the SupremeLord,
The method of creation of the universe,
Meaning of (A)tatwamasi.
The incident when Uddhalakaru father of Shwetaketu, had alerted him by asking -Are you Supreme Lord ?( Atattwamasi, because had not understood the inner meaning of Vedas even after having studied them for 12 years, –

All these are the most important topics of this Upanishad.

The way in which SrimadAcharya has analysed this is very Unique.

Naamavidya preached by Narada to sanatkumara and finally guidance of Brahma to Indra and VirOchana.

Upanishad ends by describing the nature of Salvation as ‘na ca punarAvartate’

In this manner, ShriMadAcharya’s bhAshya in every stage sheds immense light on all important propositions of this Upanishad which is filled with many secrets propositions.

SrimadhAchArya has justified with proof that difference is the true summary for many shrutis which appear to be preaching indifference such as ‘sarvaM ha vai bhavati’, ‘sarvaM KalwidaM brahma’, ‘tajjalAniti shAMta upAsIta’, ‘tattwamasi’

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Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Bhashya

BrihadAraNyakOpanishad BhAshya” of Acharya Madhwa is published in Kannada & Sanskrit PDF format

This is the biggest of Madhva’s Upanisad Bhashyas. He gives, as usual, an esoteric and theological explanation of
the ritual sections of the Upanisad. He explains the ‘Asvamedha Brahmana’ in terms of the Brahman, and Its
meditation through nature-symbolism. Acharya Madhwa refutes in detail the contents of monistic texts such as Vacarambhanam. He discusses in full the thesis of Siddharthe-Vyutpattih which establishes that the mechanism of speech has reference to an established order of reality. He also establishes the self-validity of the Agamas, the characteristics of the three Pramanas, the concept of Visesas, etc. He refers to the example of the drum and the lute to emphasize the substantial dependence of everything on God. He refers to passages in the Upanisad that state the human souls are subject to misery and have to look up to God, who is free from arti, imperfection, for grace and redemption. The presence of evil and imperfection in the world is, for Madhva, proof of existence of omnipotent God. At the end of this Bhashya, as at the end of ten other
works, he claims to be an avatar of Vayu.

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Taittiriyopanishad Bhashya

Taittiriyopanishad Bhashya of Acharya Madhwa is published in kannada & Sanskrit PDF format

(Extracts from article of Prof. K.T.Pandurangi)

Taittiriyopanishad belongs to Krishna Yajurveda. It forms 7th, 8th and 9th Chapters of Taittiriya Aranyaka. Narayana Upanishad is the 10th Chapter of this Aranyaka.

In the first section, first Varna, Swara etc., matters connected with siksha or vedic phonetics are mentioned. The Upanishad does not mention these merely from grammatical point of view. Their spiritual significance is more relevant to the Upanishad message. These Varna ,Svara etc., convey God. These are the names of God. He is present in Varna, Svara etc. He is conveyed by them and these are his names. Then the Upanishad proceeds to describe five samhitas in respect of five adhikaranas viz. Adhilokha, Adijjyotisha etc. Here again it is not mere enumeration of lokas, different aspect of jyotis etc., but it is an exposition of the presence of five forms of God i.e, Narayana ,Vasudeva,Samkarshana etc. Even mere enumeration of adhilokha ,adijyotisha etc given here makes a fascinating presentation of the cosmos. The realization of the vyuha forms of God in these makes it a rich spiritual presentation.

The prayer i.e., Yachchandasam etc for the necessary intellectual ability to acquire spiritual knowledge, to get appropriate disciples, to enable to employ the toungue, ear etc for the recitation and listening of the glory of God etc is a beautiful prayer given after describing Samhitas.Let my toungue be sweet, let my ears listen to great things, let my knowledge be protected from evil people etc are the point in this prayer that especially deserve our attention. The appeal for good students is very touching. Students with good conduct, good temper, intelligent and representing many gotras or families devoted for learning are asked for. Like water flowing in a natural way, let the wtudents flow to me. Like the months rolling over the years, let the students roll to me is the prayer of a good teacher. He wants to establish a reputation by teaching such students.

Significance of Vyahritis and Omkara
Then, there is an exposition of vyahritis i.e., bhu bhuvaha, swa, and maha. The vyuha forms of God i.e., aniruddha, pradyumna etc present in vyahritis are explained. ‘Om’ kara conveys God. Vyahritis further explain his forms. Gayatri is an exposition of vyahritis .Purushasukta explains Gayatri. The three vedas explain Purushasukta. Thus, from ‘Om’ kara to three play an important role. Therefore, the meaning of vyahritis Vedas, the entire sacred lore teaches God. In this, vyahritis and their special significance in conveying the vyuha forms of God is brought out here. The significance of ‘Om” kara as conveying gunapurna Brahma is especially brought out in the message ‘O iti Brahma’ . It is also stated that this ‘Om’ not only conveys moola roopa of God but it conveys all his incarnations. This is stated in ‘Om iti idaM sarvaM’ . Thus this passage ‘Om iti ‘ , brahma “‘Om iti idaM sarvaM’ brings out two iomportant points. viz.,
1.Om conveys gunapoorna Brahman.
2. It conveys him so in all his incarnations also, ie., to say, he is not only gunapoorna in his moola roopa but all his incarnations are also gunapoorna.This meaning of this passage perfectly suits its context, since, it is a context of the exposition of the various forms of God in vyahritis and the prayer offered to get knowledge, good students etc. There is no room for any kind of identity between ‘Om’ kara and other entities here.

The Upanishad also brings out the importance of rita, satya, dama, sama23 etc. All these are quiet essential. But swadyaya and pravachana are must. By swadyaya and pravachana all these could be acheived. This is especially stressed here.

Instructions to the students
The most instructive part of the first valli of Taittiriya is the section giving instructions to the students after completing their education. These instructions commencing with ‘satyam vada, dharmam chara’ etc contain very valuable guidelines that are relevant even today. The first and the foremost thing in life is to be honest. This honesty has to be translated in good conduct. The prosperity in life both worldly and other worldy has to be kept in mind. Teaching and study must be continued. Parents ,teachers and guests have to be attended upon. Charity commensurate with one’s wealth must be practised with conviction, with a sense of social involvement, and with an enlightened attitude in life. In case of any doubt, in respect of either a specific action or a code of conduct, one has seek guidance from the wise and learned. Elders should be followed only when they are right. These are the instructions that have force of commandment . This is the essence of vedic teaching. One should follow these. These guidelines have such a universal application that these are valid even today and can be applied in all societies. With these the first section closes.

Definition of Brahman
The second sectionknown as Brahmavalli gives the definition of Brahman in the famous passage “satyaM j~jAnaM anaMtaM brahma”. Each expression here brings out an important charecteristic of Brahman. Infact more than one definition is implied by each expression. Satyam conveys creation, sustenance, regulation and destruction. j~janaM conveys Gods knowledge of all in a general way as well as in all details. anaMta conveys the fact of his being limitless in respect of space,time and attributes. Thus the entire concept of Brahman is presented here.

Then, from the passage ‘AtmanaH AkAsha samboota’ etc the process of creation is explained. In this connection an important point to be noted is, God not only initiates the creation but intervenes at each step of creation24. He creates the first step,enters into it, then creates the next step, enters into it and so on. Therefore, the expressions AkAsha ,vAyu etc do not merely refer to the elements AkAsha,vAyu etc. but these refer to Brahman. It is he who really leads the whole process of creation. From AkAsha to purusha it is his creative activity. These terms refers to him and the elements AkAsha etc also.

Annamaya etc five forms of God
These five viz., annamaya,pranamaya etc described here are intended to bring out the implications of the definitions given in ‘satyam,j~jAnaM’ etc more fully.annamaya etc do not merely refer to koshas. These convey Brahman. It is not only AnaMdamaya that conveys Brahman but all the five viz. annamaya,pranamaya etc convey Brahman. This is fully explained in a AnaMdamayaadikaraNa of Brahmasutras.

The interpretation that the first four describe koshas and it is only the last viz. AnaMdamaya that conveys Brahman is not correct. Nor to take AnaMdamaya also as a kosha and to take puchchabrahman as Brahman is the correct approach. In the context of giving the exposition of the concept of Brahman and explaining its definition given in the passage “satyaM j~jAnaM anaMta’ , to describe merely the koshas of jeevas is not relevant ot context. To treat four as koshas and fifth only as Brahman is also not convincing. Giving up the positin of AnaMdamaya being Brahman and resorting to pucchchabrahma idea is still worse. Therefore, the whole approach has to be different. Here is the context of explaining the clauses of the definition i.e. “satyaM j~jAnaM’ etc. This is done by explaining the five forms of Brahman i.e., annamaya etc . Therefore, all the five convey Brahman.

There will be no difficulty in understanding ‘brahmapuchchaM’ if anaMdamaya is taken to convey Brahma as there is no difference between avayava and avayavi in case of Brahman.

Another point to be noted here is, the passage ‘ yatO vAcO nivartanE’ etc does not state that Brahman is totally beyond words. It only states that it being infinite cannot be completely comprehended.

Brigu discovers God
The third valli called Briguvalli describes the eight forms of God. the AnaMdamaya etc five mentioned earlier, are repeated and three more viz., chakshurmaya, stotramaya and vangamaya are added. Here, Brigu approaches Varuna for instructions and Varuna guides him to discover Brahmanm stepm bym step.m Brighu undertakes penance at each step at the instructions of varuna and realizes anna,prana, etc. eight forms of God, step by step. Certain Upasanas such as kShEma , yOgakShEma etc and tripti, bala , yashas etc are explained. The way in which chaturmukha Brahma realizes annamaya etc forms, attains liberation and enjoys the liberated state are described.

The passage ‘”satyaM j~jAnaM anaMtaM’ that gives the definition of Brahman, the five forms of the God via., annamaya,pranamaya etc and the exposition of the process of creation are the important topics of Taittiriya. The very first two adhikaranas and AnaMdamayaadikaarana of Brahmasutras derive their subject matter from Taittiriya. Thus, this upanishad makes important contributions to Vedanta philosophy.

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Mandukopanishad Bhashya


Mandukopanishad Bhashya of Acharya Madhwa is published in Kannada & Sanskrit PDF format


The tenth upanisad, the Mandukopanishad, again belongs to the Atharva Veda. There was a common false belief that the Karikas of this Upanishad were written by Gaudapada. Acharya Madhwa wrote commentary on the Karikas and asserted that they are a part of the Upanishad itself. The rare elucidation of the forms of divine which control the states of wakefulness, dream and deepsleep is the unique contribution of Acharya.

Varuna who had assumed the form of a Manduka is the sage for this Upanishad. God in his four forms of Visva, Taijasa, Prajna and Turiya is the deity for this Upanishad. This Upansigad consists of both prose and verses. There are four sections. In each section, the doctrines to be stated are first stated in prose and then elaborated in verses revealed to Chaturmukha brahma.

The central theme of this Upanishad is to give an exposition of the significance of ‘Om’kara. It is brought out here that the entire ‘Om’kara conveys Aksara, i.e., Brahman, while the syllable a,u,m and nada of ‘Om’kara convey Visva, Taijasa, Prajna and Turiya forms of Brahman. The process and the purpose of creation is also explained in this Upanishad

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Atharvanopanishad Bhashya

Atharvanopanishad is published in Kannada & Sanskrit PDF format
The seventh is the Atharvanopanishad > The way in which Archaya Madhwa lays bare the very heart of this Upanishad which discusses both the spiritual and Wordly knowledge is unparallelled.

There are no two separate branches of books dealing with spiritual knowledge and secular knowledge as such. In a way, every kind of knowledge is spiritual, as well as secular, depending on our mindset. If we use the Vedas to understand the spirit of the Universe, it becomes a spiritual pursuit. If on the other hand we use it to our selfish ends, it becomes secular or worldly.

This Upanishad belongs to Atharvaveda. The Supreme God with the designation of Aksara is the deity for this Upanishad. Chaturmukhabrahma, Atharva, Angira, Bharadvaja, Angirasa, and Saunaka are the sages. The metres employed viz. Anustup etc. could be ascertained by counting the syllables.

The central teaching of this Upanishad is to give an exposition of the nature of God designated as Aksara, For this purpose, the nature of two levels of knowledge viz, higher and lower i.e. Paravidya and Aparavidya is explained. The purpose of Karmanusthana, the process of creation, the status of the liberated soul are also discussed in this Upanishad.

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Shatprashnopanishat Bhashya

Shatprashnopanishat Bhashya of Acharya Madhwa is publised in Kannada and Sanskrit PDF format.

Shatprashnopanisat is the eighth Upanisad belonging to the Atharvaveda. Acharya Madhwa has written this as a string of evidential quotations from other works, excepting just a few sentences of his own.

He concludes his commentary with firm conclusion that even in the state of Mukthi or salvation the Jiva or Atman retains his Identity and remains under the shelter of the supreme being.

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Katakopanishad Bhashya

Katakopanishad Bhashya of Acharya Madhwa is published in Kannada and Sanskrit PDF Format

The fifth Upanisad is Katakopanishad, which belongs to the Katakashaka of Yajur Veda. This is the famous Upanishad with the episode of Nachiketa. Till Acharya wrote a commentary on this upanishad, the 3rd question of Nachiketa has remained a Gordian Knot. It was believed that the question was about whether life would exist after death. That was the meaning with which all other commentators explained this questions. Nobody had thought about the absurdity of putting this question to Yama himself, who rules the world where all the individuals are believed to go after death. For the first time Acharya Madhwa raised objection to this traditional explation and rejected it.

ನ ಚ ಮೃತ್ವಾ ಯಮಂ ಪ್ರಾಪ್ರಸ್ಯ ನಚಿಕೇತಸೋ ಮೃತೋSಸ್ತಿನಾಸ್ತಿ ವೇತಿ ಸಂಶಯೋSಸ್ತಿ |

What acharya intends to mean here is this: ” There cannot be any doubt in the mind of Nachiketa regarding the existence of Jiva (Being) after death, because on account of his father’s curse he gave up his physical existence and presented himself before Yama. His question therefore is not about the existence of life after death but about the existence of the devine power. The question discussed here, according to Acharya, is not the existence of the Jiva that has freed itself from the body, but about the relationship between liberated Jiva and the Devine.

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Talavakara Upanishad (Kenopanishad) Bhashya

Talavakara(Kena) Upanishad Bhashya is published in Kannada & Sanskrit PDF format

Talavakara Upanishad, also known as Kenopanishad, belongs to Talavakara Brahmana.

Brahma and Rudra are its Rishis.

Maha Vishnu is the subject Deity.

Maha Vishnu’s Supremacy is the essence conveyed by Brahma to Rudra.

Being Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent, HE is ultimately called “ Tadvanam”.

One who controls limbs, mind and does all the prescribed Karma, realises and ultimately attains Him.

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Ishavasya Upanishad Bhashya

Ishavasya Upanishad Bhashya in Kannada & Sanskrit PDF Format is published

IshAvAsya Upanishad belongs to Shukla Yajurveda (Vajasaneya Samhita- 14th Chapter). Other names are “Yagneyopanishad”, “Yagneyamanthropanishad”.

Proclaimed Deity is “Sri Yagna Namaka Hari”. Swayambhu Manu is Rishi.

In nutshell it says ” Entire world is reigned by Sri Hari who is supreme, Omniscient and Omnipotent. He is the in-dweller in VAyu and all other souls. His body is AprAkrutha and as such void of all Griefs. Whatever is bestowed on us is his “Prasada” and we have to be content with only that. Never, we should beg others, for any thing else. To please him alone, we should do our duty. Attaining Wisdom and discarding illusion is a must. We should pray Almighty to bless us with Emancipation. Except Pure Bhakthi and unqualified surrender, everything fails to attain him.

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