(Last Updated on : 05-08-2011)
Jayatirtha had elucidated Sri Madhvacharya
's philosophy simply so that it is understood by the common man. This helped in spreading the philosophy of Madhvacharya. He was born as Dhondupant to Raghunath and Sakubai Deshpande. He was born in Mangalavedhe near Pandharapur in present Maharashtra
There are legends associated with him. It is believed that he was born as a bull in his previous life, a bull that travelled with Sri Ananda Teertha carrying his philosophical works. The bull would stand closely and listen to Sri Ananda Teertha's teachings. When Sri Ananda Teertha was approached by disciples to seek the privilege of writing commentaries on his works, they were told that it would be the bull that would get the privilege. This made them jealous and the bull was cursed by them to die of snakebite. Sri Anand Teertha came to know of this and changed the wordings of the curse so that the snake that would bite the bull would die, and not the bull.
There is also another legend attached to him. A young Dhondupant was crossing the river Bheema on horseback. He was chasing a group of bandits. As he was tired he bent down without stopping the horse and drank some water. Sri Akshobhya Teertha who was a direct disciple of Sri Ananda Teertha witnessed the event. This activated the memory of the previous birth within young Dhondupant and reminded him of his duties to Sri Ananda Teertha. He renounced material life and devoted his life to the services of his master. Sri Akshobhya Teertha initiated him in to Sanyasa. Dhondupant's father was angry when he came to know this and he forcibly took his son back home in order to get him married. Dhondupant took the form of a snake on the first night which made the wife scary and run away from the room. His father realized that his son was no ordinary being. He agreed to Dhondupant's sainthood. He attained sainthood and became Sri Jayateertha.
Sri Jayateertha's Nyayasudha is a masterpiece. It is the detailed commentary of Sri Madhvacharya's Anuvyakhyana which is a commentary on Brahma Sutras by Veda Vyasa. In this he has captured the brief statements of his master in a simple language. Sri Jayatirtha presents and defends all important philosophical and epistemic issues. It also criticizes other philosophical systems of India such as the Bauddha, Jaina, Nyaya-Vaisheshika Philosophy
, Bhatta-Prabhakara Mimamsa, Advaita and Visistadvaita
. Sri Jayateertha's Brindavana or the place where he is buried is at Gajagavhara in the north of modern Karnataka
Around eighteen works have been composed by him. Most of them are direct commentaries on Sri Madhvacharya's work. Some of the prominent works are Nyaya sudha, Tattva prakashika, Prameya deepika, Nyaya deepika. He is also credited with commentaries on Sri Madhvacharya's Dasaprakaranas and two out of ten Upanishad Bhashyas. Other works are Vadavali, Pramana Paddati and Padyamala.