Sri Madhvacharya’s pre-sanyasa name was Vasudeva. His name upon receiving diksha was Purna Prajna. He is also called as Ananda Theertha. Madhva is one of the sanskrit names for Vayu – the lord of Air or Life.
Sri Madhvacharya was requested by his parents not to accept Sanyasa when he desired to do so at a very young age. Their contention was that since he was their only child, there would be no one left to take care of them. Sri Madhva agreed to postpone his decision saying he will accept Sanyasa only after they are blessed with another son. A year later, Sri Madhva’s parents had another son and Sri Madhva accepted Sanyasa under Achyutaprajna later.
Sri Madhva’s brother, though, accepted Sanyasa after their parents’ death. He became a follower of Sri Madhva’s Dvaita philosophy and was called Sri Vishnutheertha. Sri Vishnutheertha was the first Swamiji of what is now known as Sode Matha.
While on Sode Matha, the most famous Swamiji from the Sode Matha is Sri Vadiraja. Among the many astonishing facts about Sri Vadiraja, the most impressive is that he lived for 120 years and performed 5 Paryayas, each after a gap of 16 years!!
Sri Madhva considers Sri Vyasa (Author of Mahabharata) as his Guru. He visited Badari twice in his lifetime to present his works to Vyasa, who is considered to be still living there. In fact, Sri Madhva disappeared when he was about 79 years old, saying he wanted to meet Sri Vyasa. Hence we do not find any resting place for Sri Madhva, unlike most other Swamiji’s.
Sri Madhva wrote more than 40 works on Bhagavadgita, Mahabharata, the Upanishads and other Sutras. His most famous work is the “Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya”, the excellent commentary on Mahabharata.
Most of the initial followers of Sri Madhva, who subsequently became the head of the various mathas were “converts” to Dvaita philosophy, after having been defeated by Sri Madhva in philosophical debates. They had their origins in Advaita philosophy and Buddishm.
Sri Madhva’s huge collection of books was once stolen by his adversaries. The king of present day Kasargod, sent his men to capture the thieves and retrieved all the books for Sri Madhva.
While carrying the idols of Sri Krishna and Balarama from the coast to Udupi, the idol of Balarama was supposed to have fallen off. A temple was built at the same spot for Balarama. This place is called Vadapandeshwara and is about 7kms away from Udupi.