Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday released a commemorative stamp on the 1,000th birth anniversary of Saint Ramanujacharya and said the central message of his life was inclusive society and religion.
“The central message of Saint Ramanujacharya’s life was inclusive society, religion and philosophy,” Modi said at a function here.
He said Ramanujacharya taught that remaining steeped in radicalism or ritualism and treating it as religion was the way of cowards, superstitious and unreasonable persons.
“Hence every person who stands up against caste and economic inequities and violence becomes like Guru Nanak, Kabir,” Modi said.
Modi said Ramanujacharya saw the manifestation of God in human beings and saw all devotees of God as equal.
“He broke the settled prejudice of his times. Indian society’s liberal and tolerant characteristic was strengthened. Several social movements were born in these 1,000 years inspired by his thoughts,” Modi said.
He said that a distinctive feature of Indian society has been its getting rid of practices that do not stand the test of time.
“The country has been blessed with great souls from time to time who took risks but worked for removing social evils and awakening the conscience of the country,” he said.
Modi said that the saint’s heart cried for the downtrodden at a time when being downtrodden was recognised and accepted as part of one’s karma. “Saint Ramanujacharya broke the settled prejudice of his times. His thinking was much ahead of his era,” the Prime Minister said.
“When caste distinction and hierarchy had been recognized as integral to society and religion and every one had accepted her place as high and low in the hierarchy, Ramanujacharya rebelled against it — in his personal life and religious teachings,” Modi said.
Referring to the saint’s initiative to get an artificial lake made over 200 acres, Modi said it continues to exist as a living example of his work for the welfare of the people.
He said that the lake was proof that tasks undertaken for water conservation benefit people for centuries