Dvaita Vedanta- One Of The Dominant Branches of the Hindu philosophical system of Vedanta
Hinduism is believed to be the oldest religion that is in existence. Nobody has the exact date when who and where started the tradition of Hinduism. Hinduism today is one of the largest religions in the world. The religion itself is surrounded by mysteries. The main thing the religion is not called Hinduism, its true name is Sanatana Dharma. The name Hindu religion was given by the foreigners who visited the land in the past.
The religion was followed by the people living on the bank of the Indus River, which became the Hindu religion. Another unique thing about religion is that the religion itself is remarkably diverse, it accepts all ideologies so much so that one can be an atheist Hindu. Dvaita Vedanta, Advaita Vedanta, Vaishnav are some of the various ideologies that various groups of Hinduism follow.
Hindu people believe that Hinduism or Sanatana dharma is the religion that existed before the time itself among the deities. Then when the first humans were created, they also followed and lived by the principle of Sanatan Dharma. That was the starting point and it got to the point where we are now. Whatever may be the beginning of Hinduism, one utter truth is that it has been here and followed for an extended period, thousands of years. During this period, various subgroups and ideologies arose. There started acting as the branch of Hinduism. They followed the same gods; the deities were the same however the hierarchy of the deities varies according to these divisions.
The hierarchy of the deities is one thing, their ideologies also may differ from each other very much. Some so similar that it is hard to distinguish between them. While some so diverse and polarizing that it is hard to believe that they belong to the same religion Hinduism. Due to these divisions within Hinduism and its branches, one who is just knowing about Hinduism can get very confused. And, getting confusion is also rational as the field itself is extremely vast and is the combination of multiple ideologies and beliefs.
Origin of Dvaita Vedanta
Dvaita Vedanta is one of the dominant branches of the Hindu philosophical system of Vedanta. There are three prominent ideologies to be exact and Devita is Vedanta is one of them. Advaita (non-dualism) and Visista Dvaita (qualified non-dualism) are the other two and share a quite different ideology than Dvaita Vedanta.
This sub-branch was formed centuries ago, scholars claim that it came into existence around the late 13th century. It was formed by a great sage Madhav Acharya who people believed was the incarnation of the god. Madhav Acharya in the 13th century gave the ideas and the philosophy of this belief. He is also the chief proponent of this belief. Dvaita Vedanta considers lord Vishnu as the central figure of their belief and has the ideologies and basis around him.
Madhav Acharya is the one who gave the concept of Dvaita Vedanta to the world. He was the sage that lived in ancient India around the 13th century. Scholars claim that he was born in a place called pajaka. The place now in the present world is the state of Karnataka in the country India. He was born in the Brahmin family and had access to the knowledge of the Vedas and scriptures from the early point of his life. At that time learning was not for all.
The name he received at the time of his birth was Vasudeva. Acharya showed an inclination to the ascetic way of living and choose that in his teenage life. Later he received his other names while he continued his sage journey and lived an exemplary life. Madhav Acharya or Madhava are his other names aside from Vasudev. The mention of the various names in various texts can be found in various texts and scriptures.
Incarnation of God
Madhav Acharya is believed to be the incarnation of the Hindu mythological elemental god Vayu (wind god). He incarnated into this world when the supreme lord told him to incarnate here. The time was when people were people were walking other paths and forgetting the true path of Dharma. Then seeing the condition of the world supreme Lord Vishnu sent Lord Vayu to give the true knowledge and the teachings to the humans. With the mission to give the true knowledge of the world and the god, Madhav Acharya was incarnated. It is believed by the people who follow Dvaita Vedanta.
The teachings of Dvaita Vedanta or the path of Dvaita Vedanta
Dvaita Vedanta is the path of Dualism. It believes that the world is two realities and both realities are true. Both exist separately but one cannot deny or reject the existence of the other. Lord Vishnu is the first reality or path of dualism. He is also the central figure of Dvaita Vedanta.
Lord Vishnu (Para Brahma)
Lord Vishnu is one of the trinities of the General mainstream Hinduism. He completes the role of protector in the universe. Every life or even non-living after being created by the creator god Brahma is protected by Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu protects them and nurtures them when it completes its life and is destroyed by the god of destruction Shiva. This is the mainstream belief of Hinduism.
Dvaita Vedanta believes that Lord Vishnu is the supreme being of the universe. He is the para-Brahma himself, the complete one in himself. The lord is the only one without any flaws and the one with all the characters. There is no one equal to the supreme being and he is the other reality that exists simultaneously with the physical world.
Lord Vishnu is depicted as a beautiful blue-skinned man who is always depicted as sleeping in the eternal serpent Sesh Naag. Sesh Naag is the thousands of-headed snake that is believed to put the earth in one of its heads to balance it.
Lord Vishnu is eternal and his form cannot be grasped by the human mind and eyes, it is much beyond that. The Lord is worshipped is giving him the form that resembles humans. Chatur vuj (Four arms) form is the most depicted form of lord Vishnu.
In this form, Lord Vishnu wears golden pieces of jewelry, yellow clothes. He holds the Kaumudiki mace in one hand, Conch in another. Other hands hold the Sudharsana chakra, the disc weapon of Lord Vishnu that he uses to destroy the evildoers. He rides mighty Garud as his bahana. The wife of Lord Vishnu is called Goddess Laxmi. Lord Vishnu is the one who saves humanity time and time in various times.
The other gods by Dvaita Vedanta
Dvaita Vedanta also explains the other gods. If Lord Vishnu is the supreme god, who are the other gods, and where did they come from?
As we know Hindu mythology has lots of gods and goddesses. So, how did they come into existence?
They were created by Lord Vishnu or the exact word would be turned. When a human does Dharma in their lives, they live for the good of themselves and the good of the other peoples, reject negativity and Adharma they will be rewarded by the supreme god in their afterlife.
According to Dvaita Vedanta, only Lord Vishnu who is the supreme being cannot be changed other than him everyone can be changed to another nature if he willed so. For example, turning the souls of the people into gods and allowing them to live in the heavens. The supreme lord can promote or demote the consciousness and level of the souls according to their behavior and karma. Many gods in Hinduism were once humans and were converted to the gods with their novel deeds and good karma.
Hierarchy of the Gods according to Dvaita Vedanta
The supreme one is Lord Vishnu himself. After he is his wife Goddess Laxmi, who comes second. She is the energy of Lord Vishnu and came into the existence when the energy took the feminine form. She is eternal and divine like Lord Vishnu but comes behind him in the universal hierarchy. The lower from the supreme gods state are the Vayu (the wind god) and Brahma (the creator god) with their wives. The wife of Brahma is Sarswati and the wife of Vayu is Bharati. Then other gods come simultaneously that we know like, Ganesh, Indra, Agni, and so on.
The world (Paratantra) by Dvaita Vedanta
The world is another reality of Dvaita Vedanta. It is another way aside from the eternal Lord Vishnu. Many of the religions or sub-divisions of Hinduism say that the world is made of Maya and one should avoid it to get to the god. One who gets moksha gets to reject the world and go to God. The various philosophies of Hinduism differ in the aspect of how they perceive the real world.
Dvaita Vedanta accepts the world also as real as the god. The world needs to run and we as humans will run it. Everything we see in this world and which exists with us even the things we cannot see belongs to this reality. Our voices, soul, the physical universe, other living beings all belong to the world.
The major difference by which Dvaita Vedanta perceives the world is to accept its reality. It is not some illusion to be cast away or the inferior place that needs to be crossed to attain God. Yes, the world is dependent on the supreme being but is not seen as an inferior part or fake but another part of the reality that needs to be tested and explored.
Karma is the basis of the world. The physical world runs with the law of Karma. Everybody and everyone are bound by the nature of their karma to the world. Even the nonliving things have Karma the karma of stones is to be strong, the karma of light is to give vision, and so on. By rejecting the world people try to escape their karma, when the world is told fake it takes away the motivation of the karma itself. Why work for something that is fake?
Dvaita Vedanta counters this logic in a strong way. The world is real as well as karma. Accepting the world as the real and is reality what drives everyone to karma. If it was not really, why do we have Karma? Then why we must do the right? Can we just reject the world by calling it a fake or illusion? Can the body survive by calling food a fake part of the world? No, it cannot both the food and hunger are real. The karma of the food is to satisfy your hunger and the karma of the body is to want food to run itself.
Karma runs the world there is no doubt about it. Karma of everyone is the basis on which the foundation of the society itself rests, there is nothing that can deny this logic.
Relation of the Supreme God (Lord Vishnu) and the world
Dvaita Vedanta says that Lord Vishnu and the world are the two realities. Despite that our reality is dependent on the supreme lord and he is the one who takes care of it. The lord is filled with love, compassion, and mercy which he has for our world and ourselves. Lord Vishnu protects all and everyone who lives in this world and cares deeply for them.
Lord Vishnu has arrived in our world many times. Time and time Lord Vishnu has incarnated into our world in various forms to teach people how to live their lives and walk into the path of righteousness. From the beginning of the time to the end of time, Lord Vishnu will arrive a total of 10 times to teach Dharma and the right paths to the people of the real world.
They collectively are called the Dash avatars. Nine have been completed now one remains. They are the major avatars; some scriptures say that there are more than twenty but more than 10 are the minor avatars and contain the fragments of his consciousness and powers.