The year 2017 was the year of millennium birth anniversary of famous Vaishnava Theologist, Swami Ramanujacharya. The Madras High Court directed the state government to make proper arrangements for the smooth conduct of the 1000th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Ramanuja Acharya at his birth place Sriperumbudur. Such is the importance of Ramanuja in our spiritual tradition.
Key Facts about Ramanujacharya
- Born in 1017 CE, Ramanujacharya was a Hindu theologian, philosopher, and one of the most important exponents of the Sri Vaishnavism tradition within Hinduism.
- He was born in a Tamil Brāhmin family in the village of Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.
- Rāmānuja’s guru was Yādava Prakāsa, a scholar who was a part of the more ancient Advaita Vedānta monastic tradition.
- Rāmānuja followed in the footsteps of Indian Alvārs tradition, the scholars Nāthamuni and Yamunāchārya. Rāmānujacharya is famous as the chief proponent of Vishishtadvaita sub-school of Vedānta,
- Rāmānuja himself wrote influential texts, such as bhāsya on the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, all in Sanskrit.
Rāmānuja presented the epistemic and soteriological importance of bhakti, or the devotion to a personal God (Vishnu in Rāmānuja’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), while he also affirmed that there is unity of all souls and that the individual soul has the potential to realize identity with the Brahman.