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Seer Jayateertharu (c. 1365 – c. 1388[1]) was the sixth pontiff of Sri Madhvacharya Peetha. He is one of the most important seers in the Dvaita philosophy on account of his elucidations of Sri Ananda Teertha's masterpieces. He is the one who elucidated Sri Madhvacharya’s philosophy clearly and simply so as to be understood by the common man which helped much to spread the Madhva philosophy.


Early life

He was born as Dhondupant (a.k.a. Dhondurao) to Raghunath and Sakubai Deshpande. His birthplace is Mangalavedhe which lies near Pandharapur in today’s Maharashtra. Because he was born to a local Brahmin chieftain’s family, he had all the wealth, power, affection. He was very handsome, healthy, intelligent, endowed with physical vigor, and given to outdoor activity such as horse riding.


Teekacharya, Sree Jayatirtha

Sri Jayateertha was supposed to have been born as a bull in his previous life – the bull that traveled with Sri Ananda Teertha carrying his library of his teachings. With such close proximity, the bull would stand and listen to Sri Ananda Teertha’s teachings. When some disciples approached Sri Ananda Teertha to seek the privilege of writing commentaries on his works he told them it would not be any of them but the bull that would get the privilege. This resulted in jealousy amongst some of the disciples and the bull being cursed by them to die of snakebite. Sri Anand Teertha when he heard of this he changed the wordings of the curse such that the snake that bit the bull would die rather than the bull. When a young Dhondupant was crossing the Bheema River once on a horseback he bent down without dismounting or even stopping the horse and drank water directly from the river. Sri Akshobhya Teertha, a direct disciple of Sri Anand Teertha who happened to witness the event asked him in Sanskrit “kim pashuH pûrva-dehe?” meaning “Did you have an animal’s body previously?”. This triggered the memory of his previous birth within young Dhondupant and reminded him of his duties to Sri Ananda Teertha. He was overcome by a desire to renounce material life and devote his life to the services of his master. Sri Akshobhya Teertha then initiated him in to Sanyasa. When Raghunath Deshpande, Dhondupant’s father came to know about this, he was very angry with Sri Akshobhya Teertha and forcibly took him back home in order to get him married. Forced in to marriage against his wishes Dhondupant took the form of a snake which made his father realize that his son is no ordinary being but born to great deeds. He acquiesced to Dhondupant’s sainthood and Dhondupant after blessing his father for another son who would take care of the family attained sainthood and became Sri Jayateertha.

His significance

Nyayasudha is known as Sri Jayateertha’s magnum opus and is the exhaustive and detailed commentary (Teeka is Sanskrit for commentary, hence he also known as Teekacharya) of Sri Madhvacharya’s Anuvyakhyana which in turn itself is a commentary on Brahma Sutra’s by Veda Vyasa. Sri Jayateertha has brilliantly and more importantly, sincerely captured the pithy statements of his master in lucid and simple language. It is universally admitted in the Dvaita tradition that the depth and breadth of the philosophical ocean of Tatvavada can only be appreciated with the help of the Nyaya Sudha. In a very attractive and lucid style, Sri Jayatirtha not only presents and strongly defends almost all the important philosophical and epistemological issues from the Dvaita point of view, but also severely criticizes other major philosophical systems of India such as the Bauddha, Jaina, Nyaya-Vaisesika, Bhatta-Prabhakara Mimamsa, Advaita and Visishtadvaita. Thus, in the Dvaita tradition, the work is held in very high esteem and it is believed that scholarship in Dvaita Vedanta is incomplete without a thorough study of this monumental work.


Sri Jayateertha's Brindavana is at Malkhed, Gulbarga District in the north of modern Karnataka.


There are totally 18 works accredited to Sri Jayatirtha, most of them are direct commentary (Tika) on Sri Madhvacharya's work. Some well known works of Sri Jayatirtha are

  • Nyaya sudha (Nectar of logic) - a commentary on Sri Madhvacarya's Anuvyakhyana
  • Tattva prakashika (The light of truth) - a commentary on Sri Madhvacarya's Brahma Sutra Bhashya
  • Prameya deepika (The light of object of knowledge) - a commentary on Sri Madhvacarya's Geeta Bhashya
  • Nyaya deepika (The light of logic) - a commentary on Sri Madhvacarya's Geeta Tatparya

He is also credited with commentaries on Sri Madhva's Dasaprakaranas and two out of ten Upanishad Bhashyas.

His independent works are Vadavali, Pramana Paddati and Padyamala


  1. ^ Daniel P. Sheridan, "Jayatirtha", in Great Thinkers of the Eastern World, Ian McGready, ed., New York: Harper Collins, 1995, p. 236.

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