Madhvacharya is the proponent of the Dvaita school of Vedanta philosophy.
This school, unlike the other schools of Vedanta, believes:
- God, souls, and the universe are all eternally distinct and separate.
- Souls can be trapped in hell for eternity.
- Souls have their own nature. There are "good souls", "ok souls", and "bad souls" that God creates. These souls are destined to heaven, eternal transmigration, or eternal hell, respectively.
These beliefs are almost identical to the Abrahamic religions, with a slight Vedantic twist.
Madhvacharya lived from 1238 to 1317, when Islam started making its way into south India and started converting people. Is it possible that he tweaked Vedantic teachings to cater towards converts to Islam, in the hopes that they return to Vedanta?
This is similar to the commonly held belief by most previous Acharyas (Ramanujacharya, etc) that Shankaracharya of the Advaita Vedanta school, who lived when Buddhism was very popular, was preaching Vedanta that was very similar to Buddhism, leading people of later times to think that he was doing so in order to bring followers of Buddhism back to Vedanta.
This is also similar to a much more recent claim, that Swami Vivekananda was preaching a form of Vedanta that was highly politicized and fitting for its time (early 1900s India), with claims like "all religions are the same", "castes are discriminatory so abolish it", "Hinduism is pro women", "Yugas and kalpas aren't true" (because it conflicted with Darwinism).
So, is it possible that Madhvacharya was influenced by Islam, or at least took into consideration?
Are there any works in which Madhvacharya speaks about Islam? Or did he arrive at his Vedantic conclusions solely through an independent study of the Vedas?
NOTE: I am not disparaging Madhvacharya.