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What were the views of Ramanujacharya on varna?

Which instances in Ramanujacharya's life made him idol of equality?

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  • One reason maybe - hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/22370/…
    – Vivikta
    Feb 25, 2022 at 2:25
  • Interesting question. Basically Sri Vaishnavas are followers of the Pancharatras. In order to have adhikara for Upasana of Bhagavan, the Pancharatras do not discrimate on basis of birth but they provide the pancha samskara process of purification for a sadhaka regardless of caste or creed. So they provide a path so that the sadhaka can attain svarupa siddhi and moksha from birth and death. It may not be in recorded history where Sri Ramanujacharya had initiated the 4th varna, but interestingly one who confirms to this standard is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, as seen in his authorised biographies.
    – Krsna Dasa
    Feb 25, 2022 at 5:42
  • People thought Birth alone was sufficient for varna/respect. He proved that Hari Bhakti was required. That was the equalizing factor. The key operative word is Hari Bhakti. If you want to compare varnas & traits, this would be the right order of hierarchy : 1. brahmin with hari bhakti 2. sudra with hari bhakti 3. brahmin without hari bhakti 4. sudra without hari bhakti. Those today who claim that all varnas are equal - forget that they are only equal if they have Hari Bhakti. Without it, the standard order of varnas stands. @Vivikta
    – ram
    Jun 20, 2022 at 4:46

2 Answers 2

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Sri Ramanujacharya was known for his liberal views on caste. This is the reason for considering him as an idol of equality. I have given below an example of his liberal attitude.

Kancipurna, the great devotee who went every day from Poonamallee to Kanci for the service of Lord Varadaraja, was already like a respected teacher to Ramanuja from his early days in his native village. Ramanuja now approached him and fell down at his feet in prostration in spite of Kancipurna's protest; for he was a Sudra, a man of low caste, while the other was a high-born Brahmana, and master of Sanskrit and philosophy. But Ramanuja justified his act on the ground that Kancipurna's mature devotion to the Lord was far superior to high birth and learning, which generally went only to augment one's pride and egotism. Thereupon Kancipurna instructed him to carry every day a vesselful of water from a neighboring holy well for the service of Varadraja who, he assured him, would fulfil his devotional aspirations.

Bhakti Schools of Vedanta by Swami Tapasyananda

It took considerable courage to take a Sudra Guru one thousand years ago.

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  • Taking a "Sudra Guru" is a misleading context. A "Sudra Guru with Hari Bhakti", the operative keyword being Hari Bhakti. If you want to compare, this would be the right order of hierarchy : 1. brahmin with hari bhakti 2. sudra with hari bhakti 3. brahmin without hari bhakti 4. sudra without hari bhakti. people seem to love to take the best of one group and compare it with the worst of another group like a cinema. @Harsh
    – ram
    Jun 20, 2022 at 4:43
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He opened the gates of Sharanagati & Prapatti for all irrespective of Varna, Jati, Gender etc. Everyone got the provision for Diksha, Hari Upasna, Nama Japa etc and all Vaishnavas are considered greater then the Bramhanas.

It doesn't mean Sripad Ramanujaacharya rejected Varnashram, absolutely not but he made Bhakti open to all irrespective of ones Vyavharik Designation

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