Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Social Harmony, Equality and Co-existence at Ramanujar 1000th celebrations


Sri Ramanujar Aayiramvathu Jayanthi Celebration Committee, Tamil Nadu 

Excitement and Serenity - this was the rare combination of the atmosphere in Srimad Andavan Arts & Science College, Srirangam, Tiruchirappalli on the evening of Sunday, 28th May 2017. There was excitement because something new, what has not been seen by the present generation is happening, Serenity, because the subject matter of the event was a great spiritual leader's social ideals. 



The event, "Social Harmony, Equality and Co-existence" was organised by Sri Ramanujar Aayiramvathu Jayanthi Vizhakkuzhu, Tamil Nadu, founded under the guidance of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, with the objective celebrating the 1000th Jayanthi year of Sri Ramanuajcharya, in a meaningful manner, taking home the social messages of Sri Acharya to every household in every part of Tamilnadu. Seven more organisations celebrating the memory and teachings of joined hands in organising the programme. The Committee and other organisations, have been celebrating the 1000th Jayanthi year of Sri Ramanuajcharya, by organizing various events, programmes, competitions etc, since May 2016 in various parts of Tamilnadu.    
 


The committee joined hands with seven other organisaitons to organize a grand event at Srirangam, the holiest and most important Vaishnavite place on earth, and the place where Sri Ramanujacharya spent most part of his life, on May 28th 2017, on the birth star of Sri Ramanujacharya.

Functionaries of the Committee from various parts of Tamilnadu and functionaries of other associate organizations, the residents of Srirangam and Tiruchirapally attended the function in a large number. It was estimated that about 750 persons would have participated in the event.

This event was preceded by a meeting of community leaders, in which the Dr.R.Vanniyarajan, President of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Tamilnadu and Kerala, Mananeeya Dr.Krishna Gopal Ji, All India Joint General Secretary, Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, Shri.Pon Radhakrishnan, Honourable Minister of Shipping, Road Transport, participated.

There were about 50 persons representing various communities and interests and they had come together to meet and understand each other better and thus build social harmony.

Shri T. Chakravarthy, Secretary, Sri Ramanuja Jayanthi Vizhakkuzhu, Tamil Nadu, welcomed the dignitaries and the public.

Dr.A.V.Rangachary, Former Head of Department of Economics, and Director of Distance Education, Annamalai University and President of Sri Ramanuja Jayanthi Vizhakkuzhu, Tamil Nadu, presented a report on the activities of the Committee during the past 12 months. A transcript of his speech is attached as Annexure II.

Shri.N.Gopalaswami IAS(Retd), Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, presided over the meeting in his presidential address he recalled the harmonizing influence of Sri Ramanuja and the things he did one thousand years which were unimaginable in at that point of time. He added that following Sri Ramanujacharay's time, bakthi and surrender became the hallmark of religion in India, and this approach to religion spread from Tamilnadu upto Manipur in north east. Dr.Gopalaswami pleaded to the Minister of Culture and Tourism that the Government of India should celebrate Sri Ramanujacharya's 1000th year on a national level in a befitting manner.   
 
Dr.Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Government of India, honoured and felicitated 12 eminent persons who had contributed for promotion of Social harmony and equality and other social ideals of Sri Ramanuja.
In his speech Dr.Sharma stated that Sri Ramanujacharya gave us very valuable teachings and that is the reason why we remember and celebrate his memory. He further said that inequality is the cause of unrest, in every society all over the world. Ramanujacharya taught us to deal with inequality and bring harmony and we should nurture the same. He called upon everyone to take a pledge that each will follow the principle of harmony taught by Sri Ramanuja. He added that he would like to take up the suggestions of Dr.N.Gopalaswami to take the teachings and preachings of Sri Ramanuja on a national level, particularly to the youth of the Nation.

Mananeeya Dr.Krishna Gopal Ji, All India Joint General Secretary, Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, released 6 books published on Sri Ramanujacharya and also addressed the gathering. A brief account of his address is given below:

"We are all present here to Celebrate the 1000th Year of Celebration of Sri Ramanujacharya. I basically belong to Mathura, the birth place of Sri Krishna and a place of Sri Vaishnavas. Hindu Society and Hindu Dharma is a peculiar dharma. It is not like as stagnated water. It is like a running stream. Whenever difficulty comes in our life, some noble soul comes and guides and brings the Society to its original aspects and this was done by Sri Ramanujacharya . 1000 years ago, there was a great crisis was faced by our country. Many invaders attacked our temples, burnt the libraries, there was a great need to explain our Shastras, Scripts, Vedanthas etc. and Swamy Ramanujacharya explained all these in Sanskit, Tamil and many other languages. That is why he has disciples from all over the country. He propagated Bakthi Movement which was followed by many people from all walks of life and from all directions. The Great Disciple of Sri Ramanujacharya is Saiant Ramananth, one of whose disciples was Kabir Das, a muslim.

There were more than 25000 disciples who got Deeksha from Ramananth. Thulsidas wrote Ramayana in local language. His Ramacharith Manas gained great recognition, though it was initially not accepted by many. This emphasizes that Bakthi is beyond religion, caste, creed and language. All that Bakthi needs is surrender and faith. Sri Ramanujacharya went to all places like Badrinath, Mathura, Kashi etc.and spread the great message of Bakthi and laid emphasis that Almighty is one and this thought brought about a great impact on the society. He believed in oneness (equality). When Sri Ramanujacharya went to Delhi to bring the Statue of Lord, a muslim woman came along with him. Today, she is known as Beevi Nachiyar. He was the first person to accept a muslim woman and it shows that Bakthi is beyond Religion and that soul has no discrimination. Basic philosophy of Vedantha is that Almighty is one and soul has no discrimination . This great message of oneness (equality) is the main concept of this 1000th year of Celebration".
Shri.Pon Radhakrishnan, Honourable Minister of State, Shipping, Road Transport, in his address said that, humanity, since beginning has been divided in many respects and discrimination was common. Only a few great persons tried to unite humanity though love and they created history. Sri Ramanuja created history as he united people and he did it not by preaching alone, but by practicing what he preached. He could do it because of his selfless penance. The way to continue to reap the benefits of Sri Ramanujacharya's teachings is to celebrate Ramanujacharya and propagate his message to the gross root level of the society.
Shrimad Emberumnar Jeer, Offered benediction and blessed the participants of the event. Dr.R.Vanniayarajan, President of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, Tamilnadu and Kerala, Srimad Chendalngara Senbagamannar Ramanuja Jeer of Mannargudi, were also present on the dais.

Shri.Aranga Varadarajan, Joint Secretary of Sri Ramanujar Aayiramvathu Jayanthi Vizhakkuzhu, proposed vote of thanks.

*****

Annexure I

List of organizations that joined together to organise the event on 28th May 2017.

1 Sri Ramanujar 1000th Jayanthi Year Celebrations Committee, Tamilnadu

2 Lifco Charities Trust

3 Shri Ramanuja Millennium Trust, Chennai.

4 Seva Bharati Tamilnadu

5 Sri Bhagavat Ramanujacharya Darshana Kainkarya Trust

6 Samarpanam Sevai Maiyam

7 Kinchitkaram Trust

8 Vivekananda Educational Society


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