Acharya Madhva (1238-1317) was the founder Philosopher of Tattvavada, more popularly known as the Dvaita School of Vedanta.
He is believed to be the third incarnation of Vayu who served Lord Rama as Hanumanta in his first incarnation and Lord Krishna as Bhima in his second incarnation. This belief is based on authentic and holy vedic references like the Baliththa Sukta, Vishnu sukta, and so on.
Acharya Madhva’s doctrine is based on concepts enshrined in the authorless Vedas, Pancharatra, Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharatha and is in tune with the decisive principles
enunciated by Lord Vedavyasa in the Brahmasutras. Acharya Madhva’s works include multiple commentaries on Brahmasutras, Geetha, Upanishads, RigVeda and Bhagavatha Mahapurana.
He also composed hymns praising the glory of Lord Vishnu. His 37 works are collectively known as “Sarvamulagramthas”.
He installed an icon of Lord Sri Krishna at Udupi, a coastal town in Karnataka, India. One of the most valuable gems bequeathed by Acharya Madhva to humanity is the fold of disciples that he left behind to progagate his teachings. This consisted of eight monks to perform the worship of Lord Krishna in Udupi and other monks like Shri Padmanabha Teertha to propagate the philosophy outside South Kanara District. One of the original disciples of Acharya Madhva was Shri Upendra Teertha. He was very dear to Acharya Madhva and served him with a lot of devotion. When the Acharya and his disciples were on their second pilgrimage to Badri, they were attacked by a band of robbers. Under the Acharya’s inspiration and with his blessings,
Shri Upendra Teertha fought with the robbers and single-handedly drove them away! Such was the power of the grace of Acharya on Sri Upendra Teertha.
Acharya gave Shri Upendra Teertha an icon of Lord Panduranga Vittala. The eight disciples of Acharya Madhva originally stayed together in the Sri Krishna Matha, sharing the daily worship amongst themselves, with each disciple getting a period of two months. In 1532 Sri Vadiraja created the paryaaya system of rotation and changed the term to two years. Eight Mathas known as “Udupi Ashta Matha’s” were established in the vicinity of the Krishna Matha. Each of the Mathas was given a period of 2 years to manage the Krishna Temple. The lineage following Sri Upendra Teertha is the one that we today know as Sri Puthige Matha and the main icon illuminating Sri Puthige Matha is the Lord Panduranga Vittala given by Acharya Madhva. Shri Upendra Teertha was succeeded by Shri Kavindra Teertha, followed by Shri Hamsendra Teertha and others.
The early part of the twentieth century saw Shri Sudhindra Teertha. He lived over 100 years, and performed puja to Lord Krishna in 4 paryaayaas. He started several institutions and is revered even today. He was followed by Shri Sugnanendra teertha, and later by Shri Sugunendra teertha, the present pontiff. With the advent of Shri Sugunendra teertha, the 30th Pontiff, began the golden age of the Puthige Matha.