There are 9 basic principles of Tattvavada. These were beautifully elucidated by Sri Vyasaraja in a shloka which is well known as the “Prameya Shloka”. The principles are as below.
- Hari or Lord Vishnu is supreme
- The world is real
- The differences are real
- The various classes of souls are cohorts of Hari
- They reach different states ultimately
- Mukti is the experience of one’s own nature
- Mukti is achieved by pure devotion
- Observation, etc are the sources of knowledge
- It is Hari alone who is praised in the Vedas
Sri Madhva was very radical in terms of the tenets of his philosophy, especially relative to the theories present during his time. Principle 2 about the world being real was in direct contrast to the Maya that other philosophies thought of the world as. Principle 3 is actually a gist of the principle called as Pancha Bheda or the five differences between the Ishvara (Supreme Being), Jada (insentient beings) and Jiva (sentient beings). For the first time, an Indian philosopher declared that not all souls attain Moksha or liberation. Some inferior (or evil) souls are condemned to eternal damnation. Principle 5 captures this theory.