Mådhva Exclusivity: An Instance of Vaishnava Sectarianism

How to Cite

Deepak Sarma. (2022). Mådhva Exclusivity: An Instance of Vaishnava Sectarianism: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 19(1), 113–119. Retrieved from https://ivsjournal.com/index.php/jvs/article/view/210


One often hears such claims about Vashnavas. While it may be true for some forms of Vaishnavism, it is definitely not so in the case
of Mådhva Vedånta. In fact, and in contrast, Mådhva Vedånta is an exclusivist tradition. Madhvåcårya, the founder of the tradition, also
required its ideal (and idealized) members, namely the saµnyåsis, to affirm Mådhva exclusivity and to take oaths to have only restricted contact with those outside of the Mådhva fold. The oaths are even prerequisites for being given guru-prasåda (grace of the teacher), essential to obtaining moksa (release from the cycle of birth and rebirth).1 Exclusive truth claims and sectarianism are thus integral to Mådhva Vedånta and to being a Mådhva. Such exclusivity and prohibitions against consorting with the proverbial enemy are found in several verses of the (Yati)Pra∫avakalpa˙ (The Oµ Ritual (for the saµnyåsi)), a text composed by Madhvåcårya, that prescribes the
right cognitive habits for those who have become a saµnyåsi in the Mådhva tradition. 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.