- The Prime Minister will inaugurate the giant statue of Ramanujacharya “Statue of Equality” in Hyderabad on February 5 (today).
- Upholding his idea of ’Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family)’, India is celebrating his 1,000th birth anniversary as a ‘festival of equality’.
Facts about the statue:
- This 216 feet high statue, made of ‘Panchlauha’ i.e. a combination of five metals- gold, silver, copper, brass and zinc, is one of the tallest metal statues in the world in a seated posture.
- This statue is installed on a 54 feet high building named ‘Bhadra Vedi’. It includes a Vedic digital library and research centre, ancient Indian texts, a theater and an educational gallery detailing the many works of Sri Ramanujacharya.
- Born in the year 1017 in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, Ramanujacharya was a Vedic philosopher and social reformer.
- He was named Lakshman at the time of his birth. He was also known as Ilaya Perumal, which means radiant.
- He traveled across India advocating equality and social justice.
- He revived the Bhakti movement and his teachings inspired many Bhakti ideologies. He is considered an inspiration for poets like Annamacharya, Bhakta Ramdas, Tyagaraja, Kabir and Mirabai.
- Ramanujacharya is famous as the main proponent of Vishishtadvaita’s sub-branch of Vedanta.
- Vishishtadvaita is a monistic tradition of Vedanta philosophy.
- This is the monism of the omnipotent Supreme Being, in which only Brahman is believed to exist, but its manifestation is in various forms.
- He composed nine scriptures known as Navaratnas and composed many commentaries on Vedic scriptures.
- Ramanuja’s most important writings include his commentary on the ‘Vedanta Sutra’ (Sri Bhashya or ‘true commentary’) and his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita (Gitabhasya or ‘Commentary on the Gita’).
- His other writings include ‘Vedanta Sangrah’ (summary of the meaning of Veda), Vedantasar (essence of Vedanta) and Vedantdeep (Lamp of Vedanta).
- He has also stressed on the need to harmonize with nature and not over-exploit the resources.
Statue of Equality:
- Ramanuja was an advocate of social equality among all classes of people centuries ago and encouraged the opening of temple doors to all irrespective of caste or status in society, at a time when people of many castes were allowed to enter temples was not allowed.
- He took education to those who were deprived of it. His greatest contribution is the promotion of the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, which is often translated as ‘the whole universe is one family’.
- He traveled across India for many decades, preaching his ideas of social equality and universal brotherhood in temples through his speeches.
- He embraced the socially marginalized people and condemned the reasons for their condition and asked the royal courts to treat them equally.
- He spoke of universal salvation through devotion to God, compassion, humility, equality and mutual respect known as the Sri Vaishnava sect.
- Ramanujacharya freed millions of people from social, cultural, gender, educational and economic discrimination with the fundamental belief that every human being is equal before nationality, gender, caste and creed.