After Adishankaracharya, people started to know about hinduism, nirguna brahman, jiva, worship etc, so similarly what our people known from Ramanujacharya.

What changes are done to people mindset and what traditions are added and how people are influenced by Ramanujacharya with his vishishta advaitha?

Are there any changes in definitions of rebirth, brahman, moksha etc.?

What revolutions he made in public?

1 Answer 1


There are many changes Sri Ramanujacharya made to change mindset of the people. I will list a few

  1. Brahman and Jiva : He interprets Brahman as essentially a Personal God, of a real world, permeated and animated by His spirit. There is no distinction between Nirguna and Saguna Brahman. Brahman is Savisesha Brahman, i.e., Brahman with attributes- with the qualities of omnipotence, omniscience and infinite love. When the Vedic texts declare that He is Nirguna, it means that there are no base or lower qualities such as sorrow, pain, mortality, change and old age in Him. The Lord is interpenetrating everything. He is the essence of the soul. He is the Antaryamin or the Inner Ruler. He is all prevading. He is full of auspicious attributes. He is of the nature of Satya (Truth), Jnana (Intelligence) and Ananda (Bliss). Matter and soul depend on Him. He is the Adhara or support for this world and all souls. Jiva is Niyama or Sesha (one who is being controlled). The Lord is immanent. He is also transcendent. He is unchanging.
  2. Concept of Moksha : Lord Vishnu dwells in Vaikuntha with His eternal consort, Sri Lakshmi. Devine Mother introduces the devotee to Her Lord and obtains for him salvation. Ramanujacharya stresses on Concept of Prapatti - selfless and pure Surrender to Lord. Bhaktas accept that they are incapable of attaining Moksha by their efforts and surrender everything including ego to Lord. They depend on Grace of Lord alone to liberate them.
  3. Worship : His greatest contribution was to blend Vedanta methodology and theory with Bhakti - devotion and the Pancharatra ritualsin a grand symphony of spiritual harmony along with wonderful works of Alvars.
  4. Attitude on Caste and Women : He judged people not by their birth but the quality of their character. Outstanding examples are his relationship with Kanchipurna, and his disciples the wrestler Dhanurdasan and the prostitute Kanakamba. According to Ramanujacharya, Everyone is entitled to be initiated through the Panchasamskara : Butchers, Fishermen, Tribals, Sanitary Workers, Adivasis, Dalits and even Europeans! He taught both sexes without exception and was the first Hindu acharya to initiate women into Sanyasa. He initiated about 300 women as attested to on the walls of the Adikesava Perumal temple in Sriperumbudur.
  5. Causeless Mercy : When he learned the sacred liberating mantra (Om Namo Narayana) from Gosthipurna under the threat of going to hell if he revealed it without rigorously testing the recipient, he rushed to the local temple to broadcast it to everyone present without the prerequisite testing. When reproached by his Guru he fell at his feet and said that he would gladly go to hell if everyone else was liberated!! No other acharya would have ever done that. In fact Gosthipurna requests Ramanujacharya to accept him as his student! Never we can see a Guru requesting a Student to make him his disiple!!

Swami Vivekananda writes

Ramanuja with a most practical philosophy, with a great appeal to the emotions, an entire denial of birthrights before spiritual attainments, and appeals through the popular tongue completely succeeded in bringing the masses back to the Vedic religion. You may mark one characteristic since the time of Ramanuja — the opening of the door of spirituality to every one. Did not Ramanuja feel for the lower classes? Did he not try all his life to admit even the Pariah to his community? Did he not try to admit even Mohammedans to his own fold? The brilliant Ramanuja had a great heart. He felt for the downtrodden, he sympathised with them. He took up the ceremonies, the accretions that had gathered, made them pure so far as they could be, and instituted new ceremonies, new methods of worship, for the people who absolutely required them. At the same time he opened the door to the highest; spiritual worship from the Brahmin to the Pariah. That was Ramanuja's work.

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