Madhvacharya is the proponent of the Dvaita school of Vedanta philosophy.

This school, unlike the other schools of Vedanta, believes:

  1. God, souls, and the universe are all eternally distinct and separate.
  2. Souls can be trapped in hell for eternity.
  3. 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.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Pandya
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 1:57
  • Um, Swami Vivekananda was opposed to Darwinism.
    – user9969
    Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 5:30
  • This lack of knowledge this is not statement if madhva philosophy it's in BG 16.19 to 16.21 slokha it's only rananujacharya contradicts this gita statement
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Jul 4, 2021 at 3:28

2 Answers 2


Even though it appears as something weird to followers of Madhvacharya, this particular has a point and a sense hidden it.

Points that clearly denote acharya Madhva's ideology is same as Islam:- Acharya Madhva's friendship with Jalaluddin khilji. Acharya Madhva saying Muslim God and Narayana are same. Acharya Madhva accepting Allah as Vishnu. Acharya Madhva speaking Muslim language. Acharya Madhva teaches taratamya for hindu gods but says Allah and Vishnu are same. Many apparent similarities with Islam.

Reference for all such is here:- https://www.pakkapatriot.com/biography-of-madhvacharya-his-philosophy-with-photos/ http://gururaghavendra1.org/~srsmutt/acharya/north_second.html

Madhvaachaarya's dvaita cannot be and is not completely Vedantic which is known to every Vedic followers, hence we can conclude that Madhva philosophy was influenced by Islam.

Islam says Muhammad is servant messenger of God, which is similar to "Allah sarvottama mohammada jeevottama" in the same way Acharya madhva considers himself as servant messenger of God Vishnu.

Considering some of the very strong points like Madhvacharya's friendship with Islam kings, Madhvacharya speaking Muslim language and he saying Muslim God is his God. Moreover just like modern Islamic people fight for their religion's supremacy over other, the madhva people of South India are also such people who try to mislead people by preaching pure wrong stuff about advaita and Vishistadvaita and try to glorify their Dvaita-vada.

Hence, Madhvaacharya can be considered as a being who was influenced by Islamic people to be frank and honest.

  • 2
    Can you point his Islamic influence directly from his works? That will be more authentic claim than referring to websites or biographies. Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 7:21
  • 2
    The Madhva vijaya authored by a person called Narayana pandit is accepted by all madhvas as authentic history of Madhvacharya as that author was grand disciple of Madhvacharya himself. That book has authentic text of Madhvacharya encountering Islam king (interpreted as Jalaluddin khilji by later authors) and he compromising that Allah is his god. Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 11:32
  • 1
    regardless of which religion one belongs to, what they call their God, whom they believe is supreme etc. all religions and their believers agree on one essential thing. There is only one GOD. Nobody says there can be 2 GODs. Therefore, either my God is the only one there is, or All Gods refer to the same being.
    – ram
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 1:31
  • @ShaivamruthaSudhakara Nowhere did Shri Madhvacharya say anything about “allah = Narayana”. Only the meeting with the king is true. Kindly quote the vaakya from Sumadhva Vijaya, where he stated so. Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 2:52
  • Dear @Garudadhvaja Daasa kindly checkout the links that I have given in the answer. Commented May 22, 2023 at 17:26

Harihi Om.

No, this claim has pretty much no basis. It is only made by Western historians and "Indologists", who also consider the Vedas to be interpolated. Even they fail to provide any basis for this claim, since there was no known link between Shripaada Madhvacharya and practitioners of abrahamic religions. Let us look at some so-called similarities to the abrahamic religions, one by one:

1. God, souls, and the universe are all eternally distinct and separate.

Firstly, it's common sense that an effect is always inferior to its cause. Shri Adi Shankaracharya himself used this analogy in his Brahma Sutra bhaashya, Adhyaaya 2, Paada 2, Sutras 42-45, while criticizing the concepts of the Vaishnava Matha, as to how the cause of something always remains superior to it. Nonetheless, the main basis for Dvaitavaada comes directly from the Vaishnava Aagamas, which promote bheda between jeeva and Eeshvara. This is why Shripaada Ramanujacharya refuted several concepts of Kevaladvaita and prove Jeeva-Eeshvara bheda, though Vishishtaadvaita says that it ceases upon moksha, in order to make it suitable for the philosophy of Vaishnavism. A Shri Vaishnava article itself says that as per the Pancharaatra philosophy, during moksha, the identity of the jeeva is still conserved. This pretty much sums up the basic tenets of Shri Madhvacharya's philosophy! Sadagopan.org's article on the Pancharaatra Aagamas

Further, there are a good number of direct pramaanas from the Vedas that explicitly mention bheda between jeeva and Eeshvara. Advaitis would obviously reinterpret these, but one can only deny their straightforward Dvaitin meaning only by being biased.

य आत्मनि तिष्ठन् आत्मनोऽन्तरो यमात्मा न वेद यस्यात्मा शरीरं य आत्मानमन्तरो यमयति स त आत्मान्तर्याम्यमृतः ।

He who is in the Aatma, distinct from the Aatma, whom the Aatma is not aware of, whose body is the Aatma and who controls the Aatma — That Spirit is the Immortal Inner Ruler.

-Shatapatha Braahmana, Khanda 14, Adhyaaya 6, Braahmana 7, Mantra 30

यथोदकं शुद्धे शुद्धमासिक्तं तादृगेव भवति ।
एवं मुनेर्विजानत आत्मा भवति गौतम ॥ १५ ॥

As (one quantity of) pure water poured into (another quantity of) pure water only becomes similar to that, O Gautama, so the Ātma of the Muni, who knows, becomes like that (with Brahman).

-Katha Upanishad, Adhyaaya 2, Valli 1, Mantra 15

There is another conspiracy for this reason, that Vaishnavism itself was inspired by Christianity, which is false, as texts older than 1,000 BC also mention the Ekaayana or Pancharaatra philosophy. One may refer to this answer for a detailed explanation.

2. Souls can be trapped in hell for eternity.

This is actually hinted in the Vedas themselves.

indrāsomā duṣkṛto vavre antar anārambhaṇe tamasi pra vidhyatam |
yathā nātaḥ punar ekaś canodayat tad vām astu sahase manyumac chavaḥ ||

Indra and Soma, chastise the malignant (rākṣasas), having plural send them in surrounding and inextricable darkness, so that not one of them may again issue from it; so may your wrathful might be triumphant over them.

-Rgveda, Mandala 7. Sukta 104, Mantra 3

Andhantamas is even mentioned by name in the 9th and 12th mantras of the Eesha Upanishad!

अन्धं तमः प्र विशन्ति ये ऽसंभूतिम् उपासते ।
ततो भूय ऽ इव ते तमो य ऽ उ संभूत्याꣳ रताः ॥

अन्धं तमः प्र विशन्ति ये ऽविद्याम् उपासते ।
ततो भूय ऽ इव ते तमो य ऽ उ विद्यायाꣳ रताः ॥

Further, the Mahaabhaarata and Garuda Puraana do mention an eternal naraka, though these pramaanas are usually unnoticed.

यक्ष उवाच — अक्षयोनरकः केन प्राप्यते भरतर्षभ। एतन्मे पृच्छतः प्रश्नं तच्छीघ्रं वक्तुमर्हसि ॥ युधिष्ठिर उवाच — रब्राह्मणं स्वयमाहूय याचमानमकिंचनम्। पश्चान्नास्तीति योब्रूयात्सोक्षयंनरकं व्रजेत् ॥ वेदेषु धर्मशास्त्रेषु मिथ्या यो वै द्विजातिषु। देवेषु पितृध्रमेषु सोऽक्षयंनरकं व्रजेत् ॥

“The Yakṣa asked —'O bull of the Bharata race, who is he that is condemned to everlasting hell? It behoveth thee to soon answer the question that I ask!' Yudhiṣṭhira answered — ''He that summoneth a poor Brahmaṇa promising to make him a gift and then tells him that he hath nothing to give, goeth to everlasting hell. He also must go to everlasting hell, who imputes falsehood to the Vedas, the scriptures, the Brahmaṇas , the gods, and the ceremonies in honour of the Pitṛ-s.”

-Mahaabhaarata, Parva 3, Adhyaaya 314, Shlokas 105–107

3. 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.

This concept actually differs from that of the abrahamic religions! As per the abrahamics, there is only one life and everyone has only two options - hell or heaven. However, as per Tattvavada, there is a middle route, being permanently in samsaara, the fate of the raajasika jeevas. And these do not take place after one birth, but after several janmas and definitely by the end of one Brahmaa's lifespan.

These concepts are mentioned in a few of the Puraanic statements quoted by Shripaada Madhvacharya. Not just Tattvavadis, but even Shri Vaishnavas have a similar concept of nitya samsaaris, who are the raajasika souls as per Tattvavada. Shri Vedaanta Deshika mentioned this in one of his works.

The concept of raajasika and taamasika jeevas is also directly supported by the Bhagavat Geeta, Adhyaaya 16, Shlokas 19-20.

These cruel and hateful persons, the vile and vicious of humankind, I constantly hurl into the wombs of those with similar demoniac natures in the cycle of rebirth in the material world. These ignorant souls take birth again and again in demoniac wombs. Failing to reach Me, O Arjun, they gradually sink to the most abominable type of existence.

Now, the only record of Shri Madhvacharya ever meeting a non-Hindu comes once in his biography, where he met a muslim king. However, this was much after establishing the Siddhaanta of Tattvavada and he definitely wouldn’t have been influenced by the meeting with the king!

Therefore, in conclusion, there are several variations between the Siddhaanta of Tattvavada and the abrahamic religions, and many of them, such as jeeva-Eeshvara bheda, are accepted by other Vaishnava sampradaayas too, though they do not give too much importance to them.

Shri Krshnaarpanamastu.

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