|Regions with significant populations|
|Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu|
|Kannada, Telugu, Marathi|
|Hinduism - Dvaita Vedanta - Gaudiya Vaishnavism|
Madhwa also refers to a particular sect of Vaishnava Hinduism to which many members of the sect belong: they generally follow the Dvaita school of Vedanta philosophy as espoused by Sripada Madhvacharya and later followers, according to the Tattvavada spiritual path. One need not belong to the Madhwa caste to be part of the Madhwa sect, however; anyone of any caste can follow the Madhwa sect, although generally the sect limits assumption of the position of guru or sannyasi exclusively to those males of a Brahmin caste.
Some Madhwas by caste also follow Gaudiya Vaishnavism, a separate Vaishnava branch founded by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu which also traces its spiritual lineage to Sripada Madhvacharya through the disciplic succession.
Madhwa community members generally hail from Karnataka, although there are also significant communities in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and within the Indian diaspora scattered throughout the world. Gotras represented in the Madhwa community include Atreya, Bharadwaja, and Vishvamitra, among various others.
- Bhattacharya, Jogendra Nath. Hindu Castes and Sects: An Exposition of the Origion of the Hindu Caste System and the Bearing of the Other Sects Towards Each Other and Towards Other Religious Systems. p. 442.
- A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. "Bhagavad Gita As It Is: Introduction". Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.