General Studies IART AND CULTURE

Statue of Equality


The Prime Minister will inaugurate the Statue of Equality, a statue of Ramanujacharya, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, Telangana.

About Statue of Equality:

  • Statue of Equality, also referred to as Ramanuja statue, is a statue of the 11th-century Vaishnavaite Saint Bhagavad Ramanuja, located at the premises of Chinna Jeeyar Trust at Muchintal, Hyderabad.
  • The statue costing an estimated ₹1,000 crore (US$130 million) was built commemorating 1000 years since his birth, entirely from the donations of devotees.
  • The statue is dedicated to Ramanuja who believed that everyone is equal in the eyes of Īśvara.
    • He advocated against the disparities in the societ
  • The statue is a 216-feet tall statue, which is made of ‘panchaloha’, a combination of five metals: gold, silver, copper, brass, and zync.
  • It is among one of the tallest metallic statues in sitting position in the world.
  • The statue is mounted on a 54-feet high base building named ‘Bhadra Vedi’. It has floors devoted for a vedic digital library and research center, ancient Indian texts, a theater, an educational gallery detailing many works of Sri Ramanujacharya.

Sri Ramanujacharya- Key Points

  • Birth: Sri Ramanujacharya, also referred to as Ilaya Perumal was born in 1017 CE at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.
  • The term ‘Ilaya Perumal’ means the radiant one.
  • About: Sri Ramanujacharya was a social reformer who worked to end the social, cultural, gender, educational, and economic discrimination from society.
  • Belief: Sri Ramanujacharya liberated millions with the foundational conviction that every human is equal regardless of nationality, gender, race, caste, or creed.
  • Vishishtadvaita: Sri Ramanujacharya was a famous proponent of Vishishtadvaita, a sub-school of Vedānta.
  • Bhakti Movement: Bhakti movement was greatly influenced by Sri Ramanujacharya’s philosophical teachings of devotionalism.
  • Temple Entry: Sri Ramanujacharya opened the doors of temples to all people, including those subjected to extreme discrimination.
  • Literary Contributions: Sri Ramanujacharya,s literary contributions include bhāsya on the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, all in Sanskrit.

About Bhakti Movement

  • The Bhakti movement was an important historical religious movement in medieval Hinduism that sought to bring religious reforms to all strata of society by adopting the method of devotion to achieve salvation
  • It was prominent in eighth-century south India (now Tamil Nadu and Kerala states), and spread northwards.
  • Bhakti refers to passionate devotion (to a deity).
  • It swept over east and north India from the 15th century onwards, reaching its zenith between the 15th and 17th century CE.
  • The Bhakti movement regionally developed around different gods and goddesses, and some sub-sects were Vaishnavism (Vishnu), Shaivism (Shiva), Shaktism (Shakti goddesses), and Smartism.
  • Bhakti movement preached using the local languages so that the message reached the masses.
  • The movement was inspired by many poet-saints, who championed a wide range of philosophical positions ranging from theistic dualism of Dvaita to absolute monism of Advaita Vedanta.
  • The movement has traditionally been considered an influential social reformation in Hinduism in that it provided an individual-focused alternative path to spirituality regardless of one’s birth or gender
  • The Bhakti movement began with the aim of reforming traditional Hinduism with its strict caste system partly due to the rise and influence of ideas from Islam.
  • Contemporary scholars question whether the Bhakti movement ever was a reform or rebellion of any kind. They suggest the Bhakti movement was a revival, reworking, and recontextualization of ancient Vedic traditions.
  • Scriptures of the Bhakti movement include the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavata Purana and Padma Purana.


Why is it called the Statue of Equality?

  • Ramanuja was an advocate of social equality among all sections of people centuries ago, and encouraged temples to open their doors to everyone irrespective of caste or position in society at a time when people of many castes were forbidden from entering them.
  • He took education to those who were deprived of it. His greatest contribution is the propagation of the concept of “vasudhaiva kutumbakam”, which translates as “all the universe is one family”.
  • He traveled across India for several decades, propagating his ideas of social equality and universal brotherhood from temple podiums.
  • He embraced the socially marginalized and condemned, and asked royal courts to treat them as equals.
  • He spoke of universal salvation through devotion to God, compassion, humility, equality, and mutual respect, which is known as Sri Vaishnavam Sampradaya.
  • Ramanujacharya liberated millions from social, cultural, gender, educational, and economic discrimination with the foundational conviction that every human is equal regardless of nationality, gender, race, caste, or creed.

Source: Indian Express

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