Sri Madhvacharya was born in the year 1238 A.D, on the Vijayadashami day of the month of Aswayuja in a village about three miles from Udupi in South Canara. His father was a pious brahmin belonging to Bhagavata Sampradaya and a pauranic by profession. Sri Madhvacharya was born at a late period in his father’s life after constant prayer and dedication of vows to Ananteswara in Udipi.
Madhyageha Bhatta, the father, was therefore happy and proud in no ordinary degree in his son whom he christened Vasudeva. Boy Vasudeva was very precocious and his father taught him the three Rs in the privacy of his house. Not even had the boy attained his teens, when he felt an inner urge he could not resist, to taking to the holy orders and took sanyasa under Achutaprekshacharya in Udipi.
Achutaprekshacharya had been brought up in the then current Adwaita school of thought but the philosophy of that school did not appeal to the new sanyasi. Achutaprekshacharya was somewhat displeased with his new disciple but he was however very much impressed with the earnestness, and scholarship of his disciple whom he had named as Purnaprajna. Purnaprajna thereupon began to preach his own philosophy according to which the world is real, the individual souls are different from Brahman, and Vishnu is the Highest Entity in the universe. Many a pandit and scholar of other schools came to him for debate and went back defeated by his keen and irrefutable logic. Purnaprajna, in order to propagate his faith undertook a pilgrimage to various shrines in South India and the pilgrimage was also an opportunity to meet opponents of other schools in the different places. Immediately after he returned from the pilgrimage Purnaprajna wrote the commentary on BhagavadGeeta. The Geeta Bhashya (commentary on the Geeta ) is the first work of the Acharya.
Seven years after he took to holy orders Purnaprajna commenced a pilgrimage to the North where he touched Benares, Allahabad, Dwaraka, Delhi and other places and reached the famous Badrikshetra. He composed the Brahmasutra Bhashya at this place and went further North alone, all by himself, to the depths of Himalayas, where Sri Vedavyasa is said to have his abode.. On his return journey Purnaprajna came to the banks of Godavari and had debates with two eminent and scholarly pandits Sobhana Bhatta and Samasastry belonging to Adwaita school.