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Statue of Equality

Context:

  • Muchintal, near Hyderabad, hogged the nationwide limelight during the unveiling of the Statue of Equality, ‘Samatha Murthi’, of the 11th century Saint Ramanujacharya.
  • It is considered as one of the largest statues in the world, the statue of Ramanuja, in the sitting posture, is about 216 feet in height.
  • Sri Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar Swamy was the brain behind this mammoth statue.

About Sri Ramanujacharya:

  • Sri Ramanujacharya was an Indian Hindu philosopher, guru and a social reformer.
  • He is noted to be one of the most important exponents of the Sri Vaishnavism tradition within Hinduism.
  • 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 philosophical foundations for devotionalism were influential to the Bhakti movement.
  • Ramanuja is famous as the chief proponent of Vishishtadvaita subschool of Vedānta, and his disciples were likely authors of texts such as the Shatyayaniya Upanishad.
  • His Vishishtadvaita(qualified non-dualism) philosophy has competed with the Dvaita (theistic dualism) philosophy of Madhvāchārya, and Advaita (non-dualism) philosophy of Ādi Shankara, together the three most influential Vedantic philosophies of the 2nd millennium.
  • Ramanuja presented the epistemic and soteriological importance of bhakti,  or the devotion to a personal God (Vishnu in Ramanuja’s case) as a means to spiritual liberation.
  • His theories assert that there exists a plurality and distinction between Ātman(soul) and Brahman (metaphysical, ultimate reality).
  • He also affirmed that there is unity of all souls and that the individual soul has the potential to realize identity with the Brahman.
  • He bridged the gap between literate and illiterate, rulers and the ruled.
  • He gave impetus to the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the Universe as One Family.

About Vishishtadvaita:

  • It is a school of Hindu philosophy belonging to the Vedanta.
  • Vedanta refers to the profound interpretation of the Vedas based on Prasthanatrayi.
  • Vishishta Advaita, meaning “non-duality with distinctions”, is a non-dualistic philosophy that recognizes Brahman as the supreme reality while also acknowledging its multiplicity.
  • This philosophy can be characterized as a form of qualified monism, attributive monism, or qualified non-dualism.

  • It upholds the belief that all diversity ultimately stems from a fundamental underlying unity.

Syllabus: Prelims

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