1. On the sacred occasion of #MadhvaNavami , a thread on the invaluable contribution of Acharya Madhva made to firm up the very foundation of Sanatana Dharma in the age of Kali. And that contribution's name is "Sriman Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya." [MBTN]
2. As was done by the earlier Acharyas i.e. Sri Sankara & Sri Ramanuja, Acharya Madhva too had commented up on Vedas, Upanishads & Brahma Sutras. Many independent works were also written but MBTN by the Acharya is the unique & only full length commentary available on Bharata.
3. Acharya was of the opinion that learning Veda, Upanishads & Shadangas alone won't suffice the need of the hour [facing the ill effects of Kali]. Acharya felt that the in-depth knowledge of Itihaasa & Purana also is quite essential as it offers the much needed 'vichakshaNa.'
4. This thought process has led Acharya Madhva to create an unique source of critical info which other Acharyas of ancient & contemporary lore haven't touched [or commented partly e.g. Gita & Sahasranama]. Thus came the great work called Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnayana. [MBTN]
5. Here is the cover page of the magnum opus published in the much famed Belgaum print [early 20th century print]
6. MBTN is not limited to Mahabharata alone but encompasses crucial aspects of another great itihAsa i.e. Ramayana & purANarAja Bhagavata as well. Hence MBTN can be called as that advanced instrument with which a seeker can have a 3D vision of Sanatana Dharma.
7. As a firm believer of the axiom "itihAsa purANAbhyAm vEdaM samupabRuMhayEt"[Itihasa & Purana convey Vedic purport], Acharya not only narrates the important occurrences from Ramayana, Bharata & Bhagavata but also gives the background of each occurrence collected from 18 Puranas
8. Through a meticulous & methodical reconciliation of Itihasas with Puranas, Dharma & Neeti Shastra-s, Acharya Madhva unveils a known Itihasa incident from hitherto unknown angle & thus opens the 3rd eye of the seeker.
9. The very purpose of Acharya's great labour of building MBTN is to equip the future generations of Dharmikas who are ought to face the adhArmik forces that use Itihasa & Puranic anecdotes as the launchpads to further their viscous attacks against Dharma.
10. The sole motive of Acharya behind writing MBTN is to strengthen the understanding of critical but contradicting aspects of Itihasa & Puranas. A Dharmika equipped not just with logic but also with deep insight, can easily counter the willful distortions done by Adharmiks.
11. With MBTN, Acharya Madhva didn't attempt to retell the already known stories from Mahabharata but strive to "(1) fix the authentic version of Mahabharata & (2) To unearth the in-depth meanings by going beyond mere stories, episodes, events & personalities." [Prof. Pandurangi]
12. After being ordered to write a book on Mahabharata by none other than Veda Vyasa Himself, Acharya Madhva undertook the 'project' after preparing a detailed flowchart, so to say the least. With great caution & with calibrated measures Acharya approached the subject on hand.
13. Acharya didn't begin to write his book soon Bhagawan Vyasa asked to do it. But he first went on a country-wide trip to collect the various versions of Bharata [and also Ramayana & Bhagavata] then prevalent in various parts of Bharatadesha.
14. From 3rd to 8th shlOka of 2nd Adhyaya, Acharya describes the steps taken to collecting the sources, researching, identifying the contradictions, assessing the exactness of the texts & arriving at an original text [as composed by Veda Vyasa].
15. In 3rd shloka of Adhyaya-2, Acharya states that the texts collected were having many distortions, manipulations, omissions & commissions.
16. In 4th shloka, Acharya thus points out "texts that aren't destroyed got corrupted. Many were lost. If the texts are corrupted how can we get the proper meaning [of them]? As Bharata is considered to be incomprehensible for dEvatAs how can mortals can get it with corruption?"
17. In 5th & 6th shlokas, Acharya says that by ordained by Sri Hari who incarnated as Veda Vyasa, an attempt being made to present the original version of Maha Bharata in an abridged version.
18. In 7th shloka, Acharya tells us that before commencing the work of building a unified, original version of Mahabharata, various versions of it from different parts of the country have been studied thoroughly.
19. If we take a closer look at the steps taken by the Acharya to write MBTN, we can understand that these very steps are still being followed by research scholars in modern universities i.e. from making a research proposal to collection of data to writing the dissertation!
20. Thus, some good 750 years ago, Acharya Madhva has demonstrated to the Dharmikas on how to put their presentations in the public domain. Acharya showcased that research, assessment & comparative study alone can bring out original thesis.
21. Some sources within mAdhva fold say that the Acharya has collected not less than 500 varieties of Mahabharata, Ramayana & Bhagavata from length & breadth of the country.
22. Though the Acharya hasn't given the exact nos. it can be understood many versions have been collected, collated & reconciled before writing MBTN. Thus, Acharya Madhva undertook a massive effort in 13th cent. that involved hard labour & accomplished it with great ease.
23. Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnayana is divided into 32 chapters & on whole is composed with 5,202 shlokas. It covers important developments of Ramayana, Bhagavata & Bharata. Offers the situation (sannivESha) & context (sandarbha) & background (nEpadhya) of critical aspects.
24. Now, here is a glimpse of Tatparya Nirnaya that can counter the commonly held opinion against Bhima that he hit Duryodhana below the navel [below the belt] which is a violation of code of righteous warfare.
25. For this, Acharya explains the movements made by Bhima & Duryodhana during their mace-duel. In order to trick Bhima into a false move & become vulnerable to hit by him in his next move, Duryodhana made a somersault [which is prohibited in face-to-face combat].
26. Capitalising on this wrong move by Duryodhana, Bhima hit him exactly at the navel level [but on the backside as Duryodhana was also making a revolving move while doing somersault]. Thus Bhima didn't indulge in "adharma yuddha.'
27. When Balarama objects to this, Krishna counters him saying 'one shouldn't be hit below navel when moving in circular way, coming forward or while withdrawing. And Duryodhana wasn't doing none of these. Hence Bhima was right."
28. Krishna further says "Moreover, Bhima has taken an oath to break thighs of Duryodhana when he showed his thigh to Draupadi signaling to her to sit on it. Keeping an oath is greater Dharma above all & that too against a person who disrespected a respectable woman."
29. Likewise, Acharya Madhva quotes from Yuddha Dharma & Neeti Shastra and proves how wicked Duryodhana was even in the face of certain defeat in the war began by him.
29. This is how Acharya firms up the Dharmik understanding of Bhima's act of severing the thighs of Duryodhana which in no way violated dharma & nIti.
30. By studying MBTN rigorously & repeatedly, many illusions, disinformation & misinterpretations can be driven away from mind. One will get equipped with greater logic & sound knowledge to give easy rebuttal to the malcontents preying on gullible.
31. Acharya Madhva, with a great foresight of how the Adharmik forces would harm Dharma by distorting the Itihasa & Purana contexts, has bestowed the Dharmiks with MBTN which is as powerful & as fierce as the mace of Bhima.
32. I prostrate before the lotus feet Acharya Madhva for bestowing me with the righteous knowledge through Tatparya Nirnaya. May the Guru grace all Dharmikas & strengthen their will to take on Adharma.

प्रथमॊ हनुमन्नाम् द्वितीयॊ भीम ऎव च।
पूर्णप्रज्ञ तृतीयस्तु भगवत्कार्य साधकः॥
Sources: (1) Preface to Lakshalankara Samskruta edition by Dr. D. Prahladacharya (now Sri Vidyasreesha Tirtha Swamiji, Sri Vyasaraja Matha)

(2) English translations of MBTN by Prof. KT Pandurangi & Dr. Vyasakere Prabhanjanacharya

(3) Samskruta edition of MBTN, Belgaum print.
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