Among the three Vaishṇava teachers named in inscription, Purushôttama-mahâtîrtha is
not mentioned in the lists of the Mâdhva teachers preserved in the Maṭhas, which begin with
Ânandatîrtha. The Madhvavijaya, a kâvya by Nârâyaṇapaṇdita, the son of Trivikramapaṇḍita,
which describes in detail the life of Ânandatîrtha and his dialectical victories over the Mâyâvâdins
or followers of Śaṁkarâchârya, mentions as the spiritual Guru of Ânandatîrtha a certain
Achyutaprêkshâchârya, who had the surname of Purushôttamatîrtha, by which he is referred
to in verse 1 of the subjoined inscription.
Ânandatîrtha, the second of the teachers mentioned in the inscription, is the famous founder
of the Dvaita school of philosophy and occupies in the history of Indian religion a position not
in any way unequal to those of the great Śaṁkarâchârya and of Râmânujâchârya. Vaishṇavism, the most characteristic feature of which is bhakti, or love for god, that may be freely
practiced by one and all, irrespective of creed and caste, was first started byRâmânujâchârya in
the 11th century, was eagerly spread by Ânandatîrtha in the 13th century, and eventually
assumed large proportions in the 16th century under Kṛishṇa-Chaitanya, the celebrated Vaishṇava
teacher of Bengal. Ânandatîrtha is known by three other names, viz. Pûrṇaprajña, Madhvâchârya and Madhyamandâra. His system has been explained in the Sarvadarśanasaṁgraha
of Sâyaṇâchârya under the heading Pûrṇaprajña-darśana. Ânandatîrtha’s direct disciples
were Padmanâbhatîrtha, Naraharitîrtha, Mâdhavatîrtha and Akshôbhyatîrtha, who succeeded one
after the other to the pontifical seat after the death of Ânandatîrtha.
Several interesting facts regarding the life of Naraharitîrtha, the third teacher mentioned
in the inscription, are recorded in a stôtra entitled Narahariyatistôtra, which is included in the
Stôtramahôdadhi, Part I. It states that, before conversion to the Mâdhva faith, the Tîrtha was
called Śâmaśâstrin, and that he was styled Naraharitîrtha after receiving initiation from
Pûrṇaprajña. The latter ordered his pupil to go at once to the capital of the Gajapati king
and to be a ruler there. Naraharitîrtha, who had learnt the true import of the Bhâshya form
his teacher, would have preferred to become a saṁnyâsin and said :─ “ Lord ! what do I gain by
ruling a kingdom ? ” The master replied :─ “ There in the Gajapati kingdom are the images of
Râma and Sîtâ, which you must try to acquire with great skill, in order that I may worship
them.” Accordingly Naraharitîrtha went to the country of the Gajapati king and was hailed
there by the people and the infant king as a fit ruler for their country. The stôtra continues to
say that the teacher ruled the Kaliṅga country for twelve years. When the prince attained his
majority, he handed back the kingdom to him and, as a present and compensation for the services
rendered, requested the king to give him the images of Râma and Sîtâ, which were in the royal
treasury. There being secured, Naraharitîrtha returned and gave them to his master Ânandatîrtha. The latter worshipped the images for 80 days and made them over to his first pupil,
Padmanâbhatîrtha, who in his turn worshipped them for six years and handed over the charge of
[l] Severa 1Maṭhas or schools of the Mâdhvas are known to exist. The Karṇâṭaka and Dêśastha Brâhamaṇas
follow three of them, viz. the Uttarâdimaṭha, Vyâsarâyamaṭha and Râghavêndrasvâmimaṭha. Most of the Śivaḷḷi,
Kôṭa and Kôṭêśvara Brâhmaṇas of South Canara are adherents of nine other Maṭhas, viz. eight Maṭhas at Uḍipi
and one at Subrahmaṇya (with a branch at Bhaṇḍârakêri near Bârukûr). Lists of Mâdhva Gurus are preserved in
each of the three chief Maṭhas and are available for inscription. A similar list has been published by
Dr. Bhandarkar in his Report on the Search for Sanskrit Manuscripts for 1882-83. Appendix II. p. 203.
 The chief incidents in the life of Madhvâchârya as related in the Madhvavijaya have been put together in
a pamphlet entitled “ Madhwacharya.─ A short historic sketch,” by Mr. C. N. Krishnasvami Aiyar, M.A., of the
 Madhvavijaya, vi. verse 33.
 The nine Maṭhas of South Canara recognise only Padmanâbhatîrtha and their nine founders as direct
disciples of Ânandatîrtha.
 Printed at Bombay by the Nirṇyasâgara Press in 1897.
 The lists (See note 1 above) give the name Râmaśâstrin.
 This probably refers to the commentary of Ânandatîrtha on the Prasthânatraya ; see below, p. 265, note 5.