- Born in 1017 CE in Tamil Nadu, Ramanujacharya is revered as a Vedic philosopher and social reformer. He travelled across India, advocating equality and social justice.
- Ramanuja revived the Bhakti movement, and his preachings inspired other Bhakti schools of thought. He is considered to be the inspiration for poets like Annamacharya, Bhakt Ramdas, Thyagaraja, Kabir, and Meerabai.
- From the time he was a young budding philosopher, Ramanuja appealed for the protection of nature and its resources like air, water, and soil. He went on to write nine scriptures known as the navaratnas which included three important commentaries on the Vedartha-Sangraha, the Sribhasya, and the Bhagavadgita-bhasya, all of which attempted to provide a philosophical framework for devotional worship. He also composed numerous commentaries on Vedic scriptures.
- Ramanuja is also credited with establishing the correct procedures for rituals performed in temples throughout India, the most famous being Tirumala and Srirangam.
- He is known for his Sri Vaishnavism ideology and is the main proponent of the Vishishtadvaita subschool of Vedanta.
- According to Vishishtadvaita philosophy (or qualified monism), Brahman is eternal, but also includes elements of plurality. The soul, or the Self, and the material world both exist only through Brahman. Unlike some Hindu philosophies, Vishishtadvaita doesn’t see the world as simply an illusion, which would make it separate from Brahman. The material world is a part of Brahman’s nature.
- Moksha, or spiritual liberation, is seen as the joy of contemplating Brahman (rather than release from the life-death-rebirth cycle), and that joy is the result of devotion, praise, worship and contemplating divine perfection.
Why in News?
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Sri Ramanujacharya on his Jayanti (April 25).