WikiNow lets you discover the news you care about, follow the topics that matter to you and share your favourite stories with your friends.

© WikiNow

Ramanuja was a Hindu theologian, philosopher, and one of the most important exponents of the Sri Vaishnavism tradition within Hinduism. He was born in a Tamil Brahmin family in the village of Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. His philosophical foundations for devotionalism were influential to the Bhakti movement.

Ramanuja
Ramanujacharya.jpg
Born Iḷayāḻvār
1017 CE
Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, India
Died 1137 CE
Sri Rangam, Tamil Nadu, India
Titles/honours Emberumaar, Udayavar, Yatiraja (king of sannyasis)
Philosophy Vishishtadvaita
Literary works Traditionally 9 Sanskrit texts, including Vedartha Sangraham, Sri Bhashyam, Gita Bhashyam

Ramanuja (traditionally, 1017–1137 CE) was a Hindu theologian, philosopher, and one of the most important exponents of the Sri Vaishnavism tradition within Hinduism. He was born in a Tamil Brahmin family in the village of Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. His philosophical foundations for devotionalism were influential to the Bhakti movement.

Ramanuja's guru was Yadava Prakasha, a scholar who was a part of the more ancient Advaita Vedanta monastic tradition. Sri Vaishnava tradition holds that Ramanuja disagreed with his guru and the non-dualistic Advaita Vedanta, and instead followed in the footsteps of Indian Alvars tradition, the scholars Nathamuni and Yamunacharya. Ramanuja is famous as the chief proponent of Vishishtadvaita subschool of Vedanta, and his disciples were likely authors of texts such as the Shatyayaniya Upanishad. Ramanuja himself wrote influential texts, such as bhasya on the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, all in Sanskrit.

His Vishishtadvaita (qualified monism) philosophy has competed with the Dvaita (theistic dualism) philosophy of Madhvacharya, and Advaita (monism) philosophy of Adi Shankara, together the three most influential Vedantic philosophies of the 2nd millennium. Ramanuja presented the epistemic and soteriological importance of bhakti, or the devotion to a personal God (Vishnu in Ramanuja's case) as a means to spiritual liberation. His theories assert that there exists a plurality and distinction between Atman (soul) and Brahman (metaphysical, ultimate reality), while he also affirmed that there is unity of all souls and that the individual soul has the potential to realize identity with the Brahman.