Introduction

Bhagawan Sri Vedavyasa, the very incarnation of Sri Vishnu for awarding sacred knowledge and freedom from fear, is the author of eighteen Puranas (lit. narratives of ancient times) running into four hundred thousand shlokas or verses. The names and extent of each of the eighteen Puranas is given in detail in Chapter 31 of the twelfth canto of Srimad Bhagavatham, which is one among the eighteen, having 18000 shlokas.

While Srimad Bhagavatham is not the lengthiest of the Puranas (Skanda Purana with 81100 being the longest), it is certainly the crown jewel among them. It has been said that the other Puranas spread their luster in an assemblage of the righteous only so long as the Glorious Bhagavatha is not directly visible. It is considered to be the cream and essence of the Upanishads and a person sated with its nectarine flavour will not find delight anywhere else. The Bhagavatha is the delight of Vaishnavas – the devotees of Sri Vishnu – is free from faults and impurities and has the sole aim of Kaivalya or liberation which is the goal of Parmahamsas.

Sri Madhwacharya (1238 – 1317), the propounder of Tattvavada, was an extraordinary genius having travelled all over India and by his sheer brilliance won over all those who came in contact with him. Sri Madhwa born as Vasudeva was initiated into sanyas with the name of Poornaprajna and later he was named Ananda Teertha. The Krishna temple and the eight maths which he established in Udupi to this day continue in their vibrant tradition.

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