From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Ramanuja, Vishishtadvaita
Mains level : Not Much
Work is going apace on the 216-ft tall ‘Statue of Equality’ of the 11th century reformer and Vaishnavite saint, Sri Ramanuja, to be unveiled by PM Modi next month in Hyderabad.
Statue of Equality
- The ‘Statue of Equality’, as it is called, is being installed to mark the 1,000th birth anniversary of Sri Ramanuja.
- It was built of panchaloha, a combination of gold, silver, copper, brass and zinc, by the Aerospun Corporation in China and shipped to India.
- It is the second largest in the world in sitting position of the saint.
- The monument will be surrounded by 108 “Divya Desams” of Sri Vaishnavite tradition (model temples) like Tirumala, Srirangam, Kanchi, Ahobhilam, Badrinath, Muktinath, Ayodhya, Brindavan, Kumbakonam and others.
- The idols of deities and structures were constructed in the shape at the existing temples.
Who was Sri Ramanuja?
Ramanuja or Ramanujacharya (1017–1137 CE) was a philosopher, Hindu theologian, social reformer, and one of the most important exponents of Sri Vaishnavism tradition within Hinduism.
- His philosophical foundations for devotionalism were influential to the Bhakti movement.
- Ramanuja’s philosophical foundation was qualified monism and is called Vishishtadvaita in the Hindu tradition.
- His ideas are one of three subschools in Vedanta, the other two are known as Adi Shankara’s Advaita (absolute monism) and Madhvacharya’s Dvaita (dualism)
- Important writings include:
- Vedarthasangraha (literally, “Summary of the Vedas meaning”),
- Sri Bhashya (a review and commentary on the Brahma Sutras),
- Bhagavad Gita Bhashya (a review and commentary on the Bhagavad Gita), and
- The minor works titled Vedantapida, Vedantasara, Gadya Trayam (which is a compilation of three texts called the Saranagati Gadyam, Sriranga Gadyam and the Srivaikunta Gadyam), and Nitya Grantham.