Who was Ramanujacharya? Why is his statue being criticized?

A statue of Ramanujacharya has been erected in the village of Muchintala near Shamshabad, adjacent to Hyderabad.

sri ramanujacharya statue

It will be the second tallest statue in India and the 26th tallest in the world, builders say.

The statue was erected in the ashram of Vaishnavite monk Tridandi Chinna Jiya Swami. The construction of the statue, which started in 2014, was finally completed in 2021.

Who was Ramanujacharya? Why is his statue being criticized?
Who was Ramanujacharya? Why is his statue being criticized?

A special function has been organized on the occasion of Ramanujacharya’s 1000th birth anniversary.

Features of the statue

The height of the main statue is 108 feet. The trident (Vaishnava Peethadhipati usually carries such a fine) is 135 feet.

The height of the fourth is 54 feet. The height of Padma Peetha is 27 feet. The height of the statue is 216 feet with the fourth floor at the bottom.

The quadrangle has 54 lotus petals, with 36 elephant carvings on it. There are 18 chakras on the lotus. There are 108 steps to reach the statue.

Sculpture marks of various Dravidian empires can be seen on this statue. This statue is in a position where Ramanujacharya is meditating.

120 kg of gold was used for this statue and it was made at Bhadrapeetham. Ramanujacharya lived for 120 years, so 120 kg of gold was used for this statue.

Along with this statue, 108 small temples have also been erected in the premises of this monastery. Vaishnava people consider these 108 temples to be 108 incarnations of Vishnu.

These temples are built in black stone in Hoysala style. It has a total of 468 columns. Sculptors and experts from various places have contributed to this.

In addition to the statue and the temple, a museum displaying the life of Ramanujacharya, a Vedic library, a hall for seminars and the Omnimax Theater have also been constructed.

This statue has been named as ‘Samata Murti’. “We have erected a statue of equality as an invigorating cultural symbol to make the world more egalitarian for all.

We are organizing the one thousandth birth anniversary of Ramanujacharya with the aim of spreading the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

Ramanuja had liberated millions of people from social discrimination, “said Chinna Jiyar.

Billions spent

The organizers say that a thousand crore rupees has been spent on this project. The entire project is spread over 45 acres.

The land was donated by renowned industrialist Jupalli Rameshwar Rao to Telangana Chief Minister K.S. Chandrasekhar Rao said while talking to the media.

According to Jiyar Integrated Vedic Academy (Jiva), Rs 1,000 crore has been collected from donations.

The main statue cost Rs 130 crore, the organization said.

Made-in-China

Aerogen Corporation, part of the Chengguang Group in Ninjiang, played a major role in the construction of the statue.

The company has built many large statues around the world. According to the organizers, 7,000 tons of traditional five metals were used for the construction of the statue.

The contract for the construction of the statue was signed on August 14, 2015 between Jiva and Aerogen Corporation.

Many Indian companies were also interested in erecting the statue, but eventually a company from China was selected.

Who is Ramanujacharya?

“I have to go to hell alone to get rid of everyone’s sorrow, but I will go there happily. All are equal before God.

Every caste has the right to Ishwarnama. People of any caste have the right to go to the temple, “he said.

Ramanujacharya was an important philosopher in the Hindu devotional tradition. He was born in 1017 AD and died in 1137 AD.

Born into a Brahmin family in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, Ramanujacharya was educated at Kanchipuram.

There he remained as a follower of Varadaraja Swami. His karma bhoomi was Srirangam.

He proposed a special duality theory. Followers of these ideas are considered Vaishnavas. Sadhus of this sect are called Jiyar.

Vedartha, Sangraham, Shri Bhashyam, Gita Bhashyam, etc. were important texts of Ramanujacharya. He strongly disagreed with Shankaracharya’s Advaita philosophy.

Despite the rule that Ashtakshari mantra should not be recited to anyone else, Ramanuja recited this mantra aloud from the temple ornaments.

He arranged for the worship of Tirumala at the Tirupati temple and appointed Jiyaras for it. He also worked for the entry of Dalits in some temples.

He accommodated people from lower castes in Vaishnava sect. He even made some of the lower castes priests in the temples.

Mahayagya

Mahayagya will be performed on the occasion of unveiling of the statue. For this Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mahayagya 144 Homeshala, 1035 Kumbh will be used and five thousand Vedic Pandits will participate in it.

This yajna will last for fourteen days and mantras from nine Vedic sects will be recited at this time.

Narayan Ashtakshari Mantra will be recited one crore times. 1.5 lakh pure ghee of native cow has been collected for this yajna. Samidhas of four types of trees have been collected.

Prime Minister Modi will unveil the 216-foot-tall statue on February 5 and President Ramnath Kovind will unveil the 120-kg gold statue on February 13.

Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramanna, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Pralhad Joshi, Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat and others will be participating in the 14-day program.

Discussions on social media

However, the erection of such a large statue and naming it ‘Samata Murti’ has caused a great deal of controversy.

Although Ramanujacharya taught some progressive values, it did not affect the caste system, some people have mentioned on social media.

At the same time, some of the statements made by Chinna Jiyar during the erection of the statue were controversial. “There should be no caste system. There should be caste system. Each caste should do its own thing”, his statement was controversial.

K., a retired professor at Osmania University. Speaking to the BBC, Srinivasulu said: “Statues are erected to commemorate social reformers and others who have had a positive impact on society. This is done here. Research is done there in the name of eminent persons.