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Wrestling Between The Master and Disciples

Acharya Madhwa attached much importance to good physique. "People of our country should be strong both in mind and body" - this was his life-message. if the body is weak, the growth of the intellect too will be weak. But one should take care to be strong not in body alone but in mind too."

The Acharya made it compulsory that even the monk-disciples, apart from others, should practise physical exercises. He would always tell them: "Don’t bow to anybody but God. Hold your heads high and learn to live without fear."

An incident occurred when the Acharya was in his forties. Once he was staying at Varanasi with fifteen of his disciples. He happened to hear them discussing about their physical strength. He called them and laughingly said: "Many times I have tested your intellect. Now I want to test your physical strength.

All of you should fight me at the same time. If anybody hesitates and stays behind, he would be violating the guru’s injunction."

It was a strange wrestling bout between the Acharya, now in his forties, and the fifteen disciples who were around twenty. The Acharya warded off his disciples with a single blow to each. All of them fell to the ground. Flexing his arm further, the Acharya smilingly asked them:

"Why have you fallen down like this? Free yourself from my grip and stand up." The devotees, still prostrate, pleaded: "Your every finger seems to us like an iron grip. Please free us."

The disciples knew that their Master was well-versed in vedantic philosophy. But he could also be a sturdy wrestler when occasion arose.

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