The great religious reformer Shri Madhwacharya advocated Dvaita philosophy. He is the Paramaguru of the Gowda Saraswat Brahmin community. Madhwanavami is celebrated on the punya thithi of this guru, which falls on the navami day in the shuklapaksha of the Maghamasa. Shri Madhwacharya is regarded as a third incarnation of the Wind-God Vayu after Hanuman and Bheema.
He was born as Vasudeva, in 1199 A.D. at Velali, Udupi, Karnataka, South India. He was born to Madhyageha Bhatta and Vedavati in a Tulu Brahmin family. His mother Vedavati is a pious, virtuous woman. He was born on the auspicious day of Vijayadashami. Sri Madhwa Jayanthi falls on Vijayadasami day on the day he was born.
He was initiated into Sanyasa at the age of eleven, by his Guru Achyuta Preksha and renamed as Purna Prajna. He defeated a well known pandit Tarka in a theological debate. This electrified the whole place and made him the head of the matha and named his as Ananda Theertha.
It is said that on this day, while Sri Madhvacharya was teaching his disciple at Udupi Sri Anantheshwara Temple, suddenly a mountain of flowers showered on him and he disappeared from it. His followers still believe that Sri Madhwacharya is still present even today in Northern Himalayas (Greater Badari) continuing his spiritual pursuit with Sage Sri Vedavyasa, but beyond ordinary vision.
His famous works are Gita Bhaashya, Gita Taarparya, Bhaashya on all ten Upanishads, Brahma Sutra Bhaashya, Anu Bhaashya, Anuvyaakhyaana, Bhaagavatha Taatparya Nirnaya.
Sri Madhvacharya installed the Sri Bala Krishna idol at the famous Lord Sri Krishna temple at Udupi. This idol is worshipped by none other prime consort of Lord Sri Krishna Rukmini Devi during Dwapara Yuga. He composed Dwaadasanama Sthothram at the time of installation in praise of Lord Sri Krishna.
He established Ashta Matas of Udupi, Palimar Mutt, Adamaru Mutt, Krishnapura Mutt, Puttige Mutt, Shirur Mutt, Sode Mutt, Kaniyoor Mutt, and Pejavara Mutt. These are named after the village they are surrounded by. He appointed eight prime disciples as head of these mathas. The eight prime disciples are Sri Hrishikesha Theertha, Sri Narasimha Theertha, Sri Janardhana Theertha, Sri Upendra Theertha, Sri Vamana Theertha, Sri Vishnu Theertha, Sri Rama Theertha and Sri Adhokshaja Theertha.