‘To alleviate the misery of others, I don’t mind facing the throes of Hell.’
‘All are eligible to enter a temple. The Creator showed no partiality, nor should we.’
‘All are equally qualified to chant the name of God.’
‘All are equal in the eyes of God.’
-Sri Ra:ma:nu:jacha:rya Swami.
BHAGAWAD RAMANUJACHARYA’S MESSAGES
- Shed your ego. Serve all beings as service to God.
- Serve society which is the universal form of God.
- Nobody is infallible.
- Do not humiliate anyone.
- What is of supreme importance is purity of mind and deed
Born in 1017 CE, at Sri:pe:rumbudur, India, Ra:ma:nu:jacha:rya, is revered worldwide as a Vedic philosopher, social reformer and one of the most important exponents of Sri Vaishnava tradition.
In his 120 year life, travelled across Bharat, understanding the way of life of all sections, at the same time, focusing on individual needs.
Sri Ra:ma:nu:jacha:rya, a spiritual revolutionary
- Brought the treasure of Vedic literature to the doorsteps of the common man.
- Advocated the philosophy of Visista:dvaitha, qualified monism.
- Dispelled the Ma:ya:va:da concept, the world is illusionary.
- Became the preceptor of the Bhakthi movement and the source for all other Bhakthi Schools of thought.
- Was an inspiration for mystic poets like Kabir, Meerabai, Annama:cha:rya, Bhaktha Ra:mdas, Thya:garaja and many others.
- Initiated the concept that Nature and her resources like Water, Air, Soil, Trees etc., are sacred and should be protected from pollution.
Sri Ra:ma:nu:jacha:rya, an erudite scholar
Sri Ramanujacharya wrote 9 scriptures, the Navrathnas.
- Vedartha-Sangraha – A treatise presenting the tenets of Visishtadvaita, a reconciliation of different conflicting srutis.
- Sri Bhashya – A detailed commentary on the Vedanta Sutras. Sri Bhashyam is Sri Ramanuja’s magnum opus, which is the greatest commentary on Bramha Sutras. This monumental contribution was part of the 3 wishes Sri Ramanujacharya fulfilled for His revered master and Guru Sri Yamunacharya, who breathed His last even before meeting Sri Ramanuja in person.
- Gita-Bhasya – A detailed commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita.
- Vedanta-Dipa – A brief commentary on the Vedanta Sutras.
- Vedanta-Sara – Another brief commentary on the Vedanta Sutras meant for beginners.
- Saranagati-Gadya – A prayer of complete surrender to the lotus feet of Lord Srimannarayana.
- Sriranga-Gadya – Manuals of self surrender to Lord Vishnu.
- Shri Vaikuntha-Gadya – Describes Shri Vaikuntha-loka and the position of the liberated souls.
- Nitya-Grantha – A short manual intended to guide the devotees about day to day worship and activities.
Sri Ra:ma:nu:jacha:rya, an icon of Equality
- The epitome of Egalitarian thought, embraced those who were discarded by society
- Brought light into their darkened lives.
- Blessed them with manthra and 5 samska:ras.
- Opened temple doors for them and included them in the administration.
- Allotted 50% of tasks as reserved for the rest of the communities, including the downtrodden
Sri Ra:ma:nu:jacha:rya, a social reformer
- Bridged the gap between literate and illiterate, rulers and the ruled.
- Gave impetus to the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the Universe as One Family.
Ra:ma:nu:jacha:rya is that gigantic reservoir from which, all present day schools of thought that advocate Equality, have flowed out as creeks, rivulets and tributaries. This is a historical fact.
1000 YEARS HAVE PASSED
The world is advocating his ideology, without giving due credit to him. His name remains in the shadows. So, the magical essence of his teachings is missing and the values he advocated have gone into oblivion.
Today, invisible, but invincible, walls have been built, dividing our society. The world is fraught with divisiveness and populism. People are pitted against one other over conflicts of religion and economics.
The word ‘Equality’ has become just a slogan. The need of the hour is the effulgence of Sri Ra:ma:nu:ja’s ideology.
His form and his words can inspire society. What better time to experience this inspiration, than the millennium of his birth!
THAT IS WHY THE STATUE OF EQUALITY HAS EMERGED
RAMANUJACHARYA SWAMY – THE ICON OF EQUALITY
Heavenly Stars rarely descend on Earth and Sri Ramanuja was one such human manifestation who lit the path of equality and bhakthi. Born in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, in 1017 A.D, dedicated His entire life for reformism and left no stone unturned in dispelling darkness from the minds and lives of people. His ultimate objective was to inculcate vedic way of life into society. He was a saint who propagated universal brotherhood. He embraced the untouchables and treated them on par with the elite. Seeing His compassion towards the oppressed, His delighted guru honoured him with the coveted title “ Em-perum- anar” you are ahead of us. Sri Ramanuja named subjugated classes Thirukkulathar-Born Divine.
It would not be wrong to acclaim Him as a legendary personality who revolted against the inhuman practices inflicted on the less privileged. He gave the secretly guarded mantra to the oppressed and allowed them to enter temples at a time when it was strictly forbidden! He was a great visionary and free thinker, who revived society on the grounds of universal salvation through Bhakti, compassion, humility, equality and mutual respect! He spread the Divine message of God to the common man, irrespective of caste, gender or creed.
The Sri Vaishnavam Sampradaya is a genius system designed as a dissoluble tie by Ramanujacharya to unite the heterogeneous population of the universe through mutual respect, equality and thereby, the whole world in one spiritual bond. The social philosophy of Ramanujacharya was designed to cross the boundary of caste system and embrace the whole of humanity. He has thus been acclaimed as a great religious and social genius, and has been rightly given the title “Bhagwad”.
He disclosed the secret, quintessential knowledge and true essence of the Vedas to the common man from temple tops. He established the correct procedures for rituals performed in temples throughout India, the most famous being Tirumala and Srirangam. He composed numerous commentaries on our Vedic scriptures. He was a great philosopher-Saint, theologian, social reformer and chief exponent of the Visishtadvaita School of Vedanta or qualified non-dualism.
Bhagawad Ramanujacharya made strenuous journeys in His lifetime, to distant places across the Indian subcontinent and taught that the social order is actually a moral order (rule of conduct) and the crux of all values is man’s desire for the better. 2017 marks the 1000th year since Bhagawad Ramanujacharya’s birth. To honor His contributions to society and India as a whole, a 216 feet tall statue will be erected and consecrated.