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Zee Media Bureau | Hyderabad | Feb 10, 2022:: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who visited `Statue of Equality` here on Thursday, said that it is his belief that the statue will propagate ideals and values of 11th-century Bhakti Saint Swami Ramanujacharya in future, while addressing a gathering near the temple. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the statue on February 6 as part of the 12-day Sri Ramanuja Sahasrabdi Samaroham, the ongoing 1,000th birth anniversary celebrations of the saint.
Rajnath Singh said, “I see this grand and colossal statue of Swami Ramanujacharya, the Statue of Equality, as his reincarnation. It is my belief that in future, through this statue, his teachings, ideals and values will be propagated for ages and ages,” adding “It is a matter of great pride for me, that in the millennium year celebrations of the incarnation of one of the great personalities of human history, Swami Ramanujacharya ji, I have got the opportunity to be present amongst all of you great personalities.”
Addressing a gathering after praying at the temple, the Defence Minister said the culture of our country has been full of diversity from the very beginning due to caste system in our society, adding that Ramanujacharya was the first saint to give the message of equality by removing caste inequality from Hinduism.
He said, “The saint freed religion and Hindu saint tradition from the clutches of caste,” and termed Swami Ramanujacharya a great `setupurush`.
He further said that the saint balanced variations in the society then, adding “After Aadi Shankara, the Mahatma who had the greatest impact on Sanatan Dharma was Ramanujacharya. Acharya Shankar, Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya were three such personalities who gave a consolidated basis to Hindu spiritual life.”
The minister said, “Thousand years ago, Ramanujacharyaji broke the inequality by waving the flag of equality. He opened the Vaishnava sect to all castes. He opened doors of religion, devotion and worship for untouchables and backward castes also,” adding “We wish to be free from caste today and take a pledge to break castes and make a harmonious India”.
He said, “Imagine a thousand years ago Ramanujacharya proclaimed equality in devotion while living within the periphery of the then social order,” adding “that is why Ramanujacharya is relevant even today.”Even today there is inequality in the society.”
Rajnath Singh further said, “We see the solution related to the challenges being faced by government and society these days in the teachings of Ramanujacharya ji,” adding “The principle of equality which we adopted 72 years ago in our constitution, Ramanujacharya started that voice a thousand years ago. He gave a liberal humanistic social base to the Vaishnava community.”
Saint Ramanujacharya, who revived the Bhakti Movement and was revered as a Vedic philosopher, was responsible for opening temple doors to all people 1,000 years ago, even to those marginalized and discriminated against in society.
Considered to be one of the timeless icons of equality and social reformists around the world, Ramanujacharya’s teachings are known to have inspired ancient poets like Annamacharya, Bhakt Ramdas, Thyagaraja, Kabir, and Meerabai.
Saint Ramanujacharya, who was born in 1017 in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu to mother Kanthimathi and father Asuri Kesava Somayaji, is known for his regard for all human and being against practices that differentiated between people.
Courtesy: All sources and links used above.