Sahitya Akademi organized National Seminar on Sri Ramanujacharya, to commemorate 1000th birth anniversary of the seer on 14th and 15th December, 2018 at the Akademi premises in New Delhi.
In the inaugural session, Dr K. Sreenivasarao, Secretary, Sahitya Akademi, welcomed the participants and audience and stated that " Yatiraja, as Sri Ramanujacharya is Ramanujacharya is fondly referred to even today, is one of the greatest acharyas of Vaidika Dharma, without argument greatest reformer of temple worship systems, a saint who was responsible for propagation and spreading of Bhakti traditions across India, a person who was the seed out of which a number of medieval movements sprouted, a scholar non-peril whose influence is felt even after 1000 years."
He further emphasized that the phenomenal work of Sri Ramanuja thrived with time and spread across other regions few centuries after his giving up mortal coil, worked as backbone for masses who were suffering under the alien rule and these events in turn spurred the surge of Vaishnava Sampradaya in the remote lands of North East India.
In his inaugural address Anantshree Vibhushit Shreemad Jagatgugu Ramanujacharya 'Vidyabhaskar' said that Seshavatara Sriramanujacharya was a great saint and his influence was not limited to one or few particular communities but is felt among masses even today. He established the famous Visishtadvaitadarshana, which is considered as one of the best philosophical schools in Indian philosophy.
He said that the Sri Bhashyam by Sri Ramanaujacharya is one of the greatest literary productions which reveals the eternal secret of the Vedic wisdom. As influential thinker, he made remarkable contribution for the propagation of Bhakti tradition and it his effort made Bhakti a major force within diverse cultural traditions of Indian culture.
He gave special emphasis on practical application of Bhakti (devotion) and Jnana (knowledge) for self-realization. His speech was mainly focused on the philosophy of Sri Ramanuja, his social reforms, his influences on movements and traditions across India through a millennium and relevance of his works and philosophy to the contemporary society.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Guest and eminent Sanskrit scholar Prof. Satyavrata Shastri said that India has produced remarkable personalities over the centuries and the millennia. Most them was Sri Ramanujacharya, the great saint and philosopher, who occupies an unique place in the social, religious and philosophical matrix of the country. He took religion and reach the masses. He made the foundation of new philosophical school known by the name Vishistadvaita with the stress on Bhakti. He harmonised the insights of the Vedas and the Upanishads.
In his keynote address, Sri M.A. Alwar, eminent Sanskrit scholar emphasized on the philosophical peculiarities of the teachings of Sri Ramanujacharya. He was the first person who reconcile both Advaita and Dvaita and established the school of Vishistadvaita.
In his concluding remarks, Dr. Madhav Kaushik, Vice-President, Sahitya Akademi gave special emphasis of the teachings of Sri Ramanujacharya not only in the sphere of religion but also socio-cultural as well. Despite of his philosophical achievements he had worked for oppressed and the downtrodden, he took them along with him and showed them the path of salvation.
On this occasion translation of the monograph on Sri Ramanujacharya by M. Narasimhachari was also released in Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Maithili and Dogri languages. In the two sessions, i.e. Relevance of Sri Ramanujacharya in the 21st century and Sri Ramanujacharya and Medieval Movements were chaired by J. Srinivasa Murthy and Sri Abhiraj Rajendra Mishra. Eminent scalars, academician and literary lovers from all over India participated in the seminar. Sri Anupam Tiwari, Editor, Sahitya Akademi co-ordinated the programme.
National Seminar on Sri Ramanujacharya, which is being organized by Sahitya Akademi as part of the commemoration of 1000th birth anniversary of the seer, continued for the second day at Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi on 15 December, 2018. The first and second session which were devoted to Social Reengineering of Sri Ramanujacharya and Philosophical Literature of Sri Ramanujacharya and chaired by Sri S.R. Bhatt. Five eminent scholars, Raj Lakshmi Verma, Satyajit Layek, Godavarisha Mishra, D. Ramakrishna and Ramji Tiwari presented their papers.
In her speech, Ms. Raj Lakshmi Verma said that Sri Ramanujacharya was a reformer and he reconstituted the society based on ancient insights. She highlighted that the Vaishnavic consciousness as propagated by Sri Ramanujacharya made a remarkable contribution for the development of various forms of fine arts during that time. Prof. Satyajit Layek said that Ramanujacharya happened to be the prolific product of Mother India. His theological insight elevated him to the exalted positioned became a renowned saint of the then contemporary India. The same unfading glory is continuing till date. He removed all the misconceptions and rejuvenate the tradition the tradition in the name of qualified monism where devotion happened to be the key of obtaining liberation (moksha). Prof. Godabarisha Mishra in his speech said that in the millennia journey of the Upanishads, Acharya Ramanuja stands out as a milestone who gave a different direction to the Philosophy of Vedanta with a radical format and challenged the existing hegemony of the other Indian schools of philosophizing with fresh exegesis and logical reasoning. Sri Ramji Tiwari said Sri Ramanujacharya was a saint who moulded the communities, shaped them and built them with humanitarian values. He applied the spirit of social justice, equality and fundamental doctrines of Indian thought process for the overall development of the society. Sri D. Ramakrishna said that Sri Ramanujacharya established the famous school of Indian Philosophy, i.e. Vishistadvaita. He presented the greatness of the textual tradition laid by Sri Ramanujacharya and interconnectedness with different schools of Indian philosophy. He also presented the peculiarities of rituals and worship system of the Vaishnava tradition. Speaking on the occasion, Sri S. R. Bhatt also said that there is no doubt that Vedantic thought is the culmination of. Indian wisdom and for its formulation, systematization and propagation, the contribution of Sri Ramanuja is very deep and significant. Cutting across all barriers of caste, creed, region and language he put forth the essence of Vedanta in a harmonious way which may provide an efficacious paradigm of modes of thinking and ways of living to meet the menaces of fundamentalism, conflicts, violence and terrorism in the contemporary strief-tom world.
The third session which was devoted to Reach and Impact of Sri Ramanujacharya and chaired by Sri Gautam Bhai Patel. Two eminent scholars, Sri Pradip Jyoti Mahanta and Mohd. Azam presented their papers. Sri Pradip Jyoti Mahanta said that Ramanujacharya was a visionary philosopher achieving sainthood in his lifetime itself. Along the journey of his life, his teachings and Sadhana, lays a deeper stream of humanistic strain. Through the integration of Vedanta and Bhakti he brought about a togetherness of the Lord and the lover-dwatee, principles of philosophy and practical application of principles all subjected to the Kalyanam or well being of man through service to the Lord and Man. Dr. Mohammed Azam presented his ideas related to origin and evolution of Vaishnava tradition and contribution of Sri Ramanujacharya for the development of Vaishnavism. He also highlighted the similarities and dissimilarities between the different faiths of Vaishnavism. In his paper, he highlighted the glory of Sri Ramanujacharya by giving examples of Guru-shishya paramapra (teacher-taught tradition). Eminent scalars, academician and literary lovers from all over India participated in the seminar. Sri Anupam Tiwari, editor, Sahitya Akademi co-ordinated the programme.