Sunday 7 May 2017
Ramanuja (Ramanujacharya) was a Hindu theologian, philosopher, and one of the most important exponents of the Sri Vaishnavism tradition within Hinduism. He was born in the year 1017 A.D., in the village of Perumbudur, about twenty-five miles west of Madras (Chennai). His father was Kesava Somayaji and his mother was Kantimathi, a very pious and virtuous lady. Ramanuja's Tamil name was Ilaya Perumal. Quite early in life, Ramanuja lost his father. Then he came to Kancheepuram to prosecute his study of the Vedas under one Yadavaprakasha, a teacher of Advaita philosophy. Ramanuja's guru was Yadava Prakasa, a scholar who was a part of the more ancient Advaita Vedanta monastic tradition. Yadava Prakasha's interpretations of Vedic texts were not quite up to his satisfaction.
Ramanuja is famous as the chief proponent of Vishishtadvaita subschool of Vedanta and his disciples were likely authors of texts such as the Shatyayaniya Upanishad. Ramanuja himself wrote influential texts, such as bhasya on the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, all in Sanskrit. His philosophical foundations for devotionalism were influential to the Bhakti movement. When caste distinction and hierarchy had been recognized as integral to society and religion and everyone had accepted her place as high and low in the hierarchy, Saint Shri Ramanujacharya rebelled against it - In his personal life and religious teachings.
A Commemorative Stamp was released on the occasion of the one thousandth birth anniversary of the great social reformer and Saint Shri Ramanujacharya by Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi in New Delhi on 1st May, 2017. The Governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Shri E.S.L. Narasimhan, the Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information & Broadcasting, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, the Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Ananth Kumar, the Minister of State for Communications and Railways, Shri Manoj Sinha, the Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and the Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Shri P. Radhakrishnan were present on the occasion.