1. What is the nature of world?
Sri Madhwacharya tells us that Lord Narayana is supreme. He is full of all
divine attributes and absolutely free from defects. The world consisting of and sentient jeevas
and insentient prakrti (Nature) is entirely different from God. It is real and
dependent on Him forever. All activities of the world take place under his aegis. He is ever
independent. The entities of all other gods and Jivas are distinct. There is also gradation
among them. This essential difference in their nature continues even after liberation.
2. Realizing God
The world created by God is not illusionary but real. Therefore in this real world
we must do our duty on the foundation of devotion to God; develop virtues such as truth,
sympathy, sacrifice, philanthropy, non-violence, honesty etc which sustain humanity and the
world; do the prescribed duties and all actions as a service to God without expecting any
reward; attain purity of mind; make devotion to God more firm by means of hearing,
contemplation and meditation (Shravana, Manana and Dhyana); achieve the realization of God dwelling
within us and finally attain the divine bliss by the grace of God. Concentration of mind on God is the
essential requirement for the practice of meditation. This concentration requires a high level of sustained
devotion or Bhakti. It is the experience of one and all in the world that one can have undiluted
focus on an object only when one genuinely loves it. Our love and affection towards God should
be firm to make our mind continuously flow towards Him. This bond should gradually grow stronger till
it occupies the entire mind to the exclusion of all other thoughts. It is only then that one
could be deemed as fit to meditate on Him.
3. Total control of God over all Jeevas
Though the nature of Jivas is inherent, any activity requires God's will and inspiration. Without these,
the Jeeva is as good as Jada (Inanimate). The Shrutis say that without His will not even a blade of
4. What are the five fold differences?
The Madhwa school of thought tells us that the supreme Lord is Vishnu, Jivas are his servants and
totally dependent on Him. This world is real.
There are five fundamental differences which should be clearly understood, before we can assimilate
the Truth (Tatwa).
The Pancha Bhedas or the five differences are:
Difference between God (Deva) and Jiva (Sentient being)
Difference between Deva and the insentient (Jada)
Difference between Jiva and Jada
Individual difference among Jivas
Difference among Jadas
These will enable one to know one's standing in this world and the level of possible interaction
among the different categories.
5. Art of performing (Karmayoga)
All of us want happiness always and no sorrow at any time. In this world, it is always a
mixture of happiness and sorrow. If we had full control on our own lives, we would have managed to corner all
happiness and drive away all the sorrow. Our best-laid plans go awry for no apparent reason. Of course, we can
always rationalize after the event as to why things happened the way they did. The next time we take care of
that contingency which caused the glitch and make our scheme "fool proof". But again, something else happens,
which we had not or could not have anticipated and things don't work out the way we wanted them to. This should
set us thinking. Is there something else beyond us which determines what should happen?! We cannot accept it.
But, after many a fall, in spite of very best efforts we are reluctantly compelled to accept this fact. After
this realization, our mind set changes or rather re-orients itself. Our new mindset still makes us plan
things meticulously, but with a difference. It is conditioned to take the result in a more balanced fashion.
If it is a success, it will thank the unseen power beyond us. If it is a failure, it will allow us to view
the case more objectively. It takes away the despondency from our thinking and put more objectivity. This,
you will all agree is an excellent attitude which will make us more productive, and more positive. In essence
it will make us realize that it is our duty to do our jobs sincerely and put in our best efforts and not get
too emotional about the result. The next stage is to fervently pray to that Supreme Power to give us success
after putting in our best efforts and present it to Him as our offering. If our efforts meet with success,
thank Him for giving us the opportunity to serve Him well and for getting the thing done through us. On the
other hand, if it is not a success, we will accept the result with the same humility and take it that
it was not His will. This is what our elders called "Arpana Bhava" that is, all our actions should be dedicated
to Him as our offering. Our attitude should be "Naham Karta, Harih Karta" which means, "we are not performing
this action, Sri Hari is (through us)". If this frame of mind is cultivated, it would gradually
take away a major part of all the unnecessary tension, bickering, hatred and jealousy, from our lives.
We will be more positive and we will find that the people with whom we interact are more cooperative.
Try this for a starter.