President unveils gold statue of Ramanujacharya

HYDERABAD, Feb 13: President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled a gold statue of 11th century saint Ramanujachrya at the statue of equality campus on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

He participated in Sahasrabdi Samaroham, the 1000th birth anniversary celebrations of Ramanjuacharya and took part in the rituals.

The 120-kg gold statue was unveiled a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated 216-feet tall statue of equality to the world.

Chinna Jeeyar Swamy welcomed the President, who went around the campus and the giant statue, which commemorates Ramanujacharya’s teachings promoting equality in all aspects of living including faith, caste and creed.

The President was all praise for the manner in which the campus was created including 108 Divya Desams or ornately carved temples.

Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and state minister T. Srinivas Yadav also attended the programme.

In his remarks on the occasion, the President said that Ramanujacharya’s ‘Vishishtadvait’ is not only a singular contribution to philosophy, but he also showed the relevance of philosophy in day-to-day life. “What is called philosophy in the West has been reduced to a subject of only scholarly study. But what we call ‘Darshan’ is not a matter of dry analysis; it is a way of looking at the world and also a way of life. That has always remained true in India, thanks to philosopher-saints like Shri Ramanujacharya,” he said.

Kovind said saint-poets and philosophers like Ramanujacharya have created and nurtured India’s cultural identity, continuity, and unity. “They have built the concept of a nation based on cultural values. This culture-based concept of nation is different from how it is defined in the western thought. References to the Bhakti tradition that united India in a single-thread centuries ago are found in the Puranas. This tradition can be seen in the form of the Bhakti sects inspired by Sri Ramanujacharya, which had spread from Srirangam and Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Thus, the emotional unity of Indians is centuries old.”

The President said Dr B.R. Ambedkar, the main architect of our Constitution, who stood for social justice, had clearly stated that the fundamental constitutional ideals of our modern republic are based on the cultural heritage of India. “Babasaheb had also mentioned with great respect, the egalitarian ideals of Sri Ramanujacharya. Thus, our concept of equality is not derived from western countries. It has developed on the cultural soil of India. Our eternal vision of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is based on equality. Equality is the corner-stone of our democracy. Equality before law, prohibition of all forms of discrimination, equality of opportunity, abolition of untouchability – all these fundamental rights have been enshrined in our constitution. To achieve the constitutional objective of establishing an equitable society, many programmes of public welfare are run by the government,” he said.

(IANS)