Digital Rare Book:
Life of Sri Ramanuja
By Swami Ramakrishnananda
Published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Madras - 1959
Read Book Online:
Download pdf Book:
What makes Sri Ramanuja relevant today? Dr. Prema Nandakumar wites in The Hindu on the saint-philospher in the context of his 1000 birth anniversary.
One thousand years have gone by. Ten centuries. In India alone, so many kingdoms which would do their best to put an end to the religious and cultural traditions that had flourished from time immemorial. The Delhi Sultanate, the five Sultanates of the South - Berar, Bidar, Golkonda, Bijapur and Ahmednagar. Sher Shah and the Suri interregnum. The Moghuls. The British Empire. In spite of all that, Vedic culture not only survived but also gained new spaces. For, the adherents of the culture have had the benefit of leadership by spiritual personalities from time to time, re-formatting the culture in a positive manner without losing any of its seminal strengths. Of such great men, Sri Ramanuja, who was born in the 11 century, takes the pride of place as he remains relevant even today.
How shall we crown Sri Ramanuja? Is he a fine-tuned philosopher or a poet? Does his sociological thinking exceed the commentator? Does he loom large as a temple-builder or as a management expert? Does his concern for helping the common man out-top his blazing spirituality? Is he greater as a student or as a teacher? A deeper and wider engagement in his life and ministry makes it very, very difficult to decide. But one thing is clear. His virtue was compassion: his means, integration. The two main reasons why Sri Ramanuja remains perfectly relevant even today.
Vaisnava Saint Ramanuja (traditionally, 1017–1137 CE)
Late 18th or 19th century
Seated figure of Ramanuja sitting on a lotus throne. His hands are joined in the gesture of devotion (anjali mudra).
In his left hand is a 'dhwaja'.
Ramanuja was an historical personage who, like his famous predecessor Shankaracharya (d.850 A.D.), was a teacher (acharya) who helped put the devotional movement (bhakti) on a firm philosophical footing.
Text and image credit:
Copyright: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London