Ramana Maharshi was an Indian sage and jivanmukta. He was born as Venkataraman Iyer, but is most known by the name Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, he was born in what is now Tamil Nadu, India. In 1895, an attraction to the sacred hill Arunachala and the 63 Nayanars was aroused in him, in 1896, at the age of 16, he had a "death-experience" where he became aware of a "current" or "force" which he recognised as his true "I" or "self", which he identified with "the personal God, or Iswara", that is, Shiva; this resulted in a state that he described as "the state of mind of Iswara or the jnani". Six weeks he left his uncle's home in Madurai, journeyed to the holy mountain Arunachala, in Tiruvannamalai, where he took on the role of a sannyasin, remained for the rest of his life, he soon attracted devotees who regarded him as an avatar and came to him for darshan, in years an ashram grew up around him, where visitors received upadesa by sitting silently in his company asking questions. Since the 1930s his teachings have been popularized in the West, resulting in his worldwide recognition as an enlightened being.
Ramana Maharshi approved a number of paths and practices, but recommended self-enquiry as the principal means to remove ignorance and abide in Self-awareness, together with bhakti or surrender to the Self. Ramana Maharshi was born Venkataraman Iyer on 30 December 1879 in the village Tiruchuzhi near Aruppukkottai, Madurai in Tamil Nadu, South India, he was the second of four children in an orthodox Hindu Brahmin family. His father was Sundaram Iyer, from the lineage of Parashara, his mother was Azhagammal, he had two brothers Nagasundaram, along with a younger sister Alamelu. Venkataraman's father was a court pleader. Both a paternal uncle of his father and his father's brother had become sannyasins. Venkataraman's family belonged to the Smarta denomination, regular worship of Lord Siva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesa, Lord Surya and Goddess Shakti took place in their home; when Venkataraman was seven he had his upanayana, the traditional initiation of the three upper varnas into Brahmanical learning and the knowledge of Self.
He had a good memory, was able to recall information after hearing it once, an ability he used to memorise Tamil poems. Narasimha notes that Venkataraman used to sleep deeply, not waking up from loud sounds, nor when his body was beaten by others; when he was about twelve years old, he may have experienced spontaneous deep meditative states. Sri Ramana Vijayam, the Tamil biography that first appeared in the 1920s, describes a period a few years before the death-experience in Madurai: Some incomplete practice from a past birth was clinging to me. I would be putting attention within, forgetting the body. Sometimes I would be sitting in one place, but when I regained normal consciousness and got up, I would notice that I was lying down in a different narrow space; when he was about eleven his father sent him to live with his paternal uncle Subbaiyar in Dindigul as he wanted his sons to be educated in the English language so that they would be eligible to enter government service. Only Tamil was taught at the village school in Tiruchuzhi.
In 1891, when his uncle was transferred to Madurai and his elder brother Nagaswami moved with him. In Dindigul, Venkataraman attended a Hindu School where English was taught, stayed there for a year, his father, Sundaram Iyer, died on 18 February 1892. After his father's death, the family split up. Venkataraman first attended Scott's Middle School and the American Mission High School where he became acquainted with Christianity. In November 1895 Venkataraman realized that the sacred mountain, was a real place, he had known of its existence from an early age, was overwhelmed by the realisation that it existed. During this time he read Sekkizhar's Periyapuranam, a book that describes the lives of the 63 Nayanars, which "made a great impression" on him, revealed to him that "Divine Union" is possible. According to Osborne, a new current of awareness started to awaken during his visits to the Meenakshi Temple at Madurai, "a state of blissful consciousness transcending both the physical and mental plane and yet compatible with full use of the physical and mental faculties".
But Ramana stated that he remained uninterested in religion or spirituality until his awakening eight months later. According to Narasimha, in July 1896, at age 16, a sudden fear of death befell him, he was struck by "a flash of excitement" or "heat", like some avesam, a "current" or "force" that seemed to possess him, while his body became rigid. He initiated a process of self-enquiry asking himself, he concluded that the body dies, but that this "current" or "force" remains alive, recognised this "current" or "force" as his Self, which he identified with "the personal God, or Iswara".}}In one of his rare written comments on this process Ramana Maharshi wrote, "Enquiring within Who is the seer? I saw. No thought arose to say. How could the thought arise to say I did not see."Later in life, he called his death experience akrama mukti, "sudden liberation", as opposed to the krama mukti, "gradual liberation" as in the Vedanta path of jnana yoga. It resulted in a state of mind which he described as "the state of mind of Iswara or the jnani:" After reading the language of the sacre
Samkhya or Sankhya is one of the six āstika schools of Hindu philosophy. It is most related to the Yoga school of Hinduism, it was influential on other schools of Indian philosophy. Sāmkhya is an enumerationist philosophy whose epistemology accepts three of six pramanas as the only reliable means of gaining knowledge; these include anumāṇa and śabda. Sometimes described as one of the rationalist schools of Indian philosophy, this ancient school's reliance on reason was exclusive but strong. Samkhya is dualist. Sāmkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of puruṣa and prakṛti. Jiva is; this fusion, state the Samkhya scholars, led to the emergence of ahaṅkāra. The universe is described by this school as one created by purusa-prakṛti entities infused with various permutations and combinations of variously enumerated elements, feelings and mind. During the state of imbalance, one of more constituents overwhelm the others, creating a form of bondage of the mind; the end of this imbalance, bondage is called kaivalya, by the Samkhya school.
The existence of God or supreme being is not directly asserted, nor considered relevant by the Samkhya philosophers. Sāṃkhya denies the final cause of Ishvara. While the Samkhya school considers the Vedas as a reliable source of knowledge, it is an atheistic philosophy according to Paul Deussen and other scholars. A key difference between Samkhya and Yoga schools, state scholars, is that Yoga school accepts a "personal, yet inactive, deity" or "personal god". However, Radhanath Phukan, in the introduction to his translation of the Samkhya Karika of Isvarakrsna has argued that commentators who see the unmanifested as non-conscious make the mistake of regarding Samkhya as atheistic, though Samkhya is as much as theistic as Yoga is. Samkhya is known for its theory of guṇas. Guṇa, it states, are of three types: sattva being goodness, compassion and positivity. All matter, states Samkhya, in different proportions; the interplay of these guṇas defines the character of someone or something, of nature and determines the progress of life.
The Samkhya theory of guṇas was discussed and refined by various schools of Indian philosophies. Samkhya's philosophical treatises influenced the development of various theories of Hindu ethics. Samkhya referred to as Sankhya, Sāṃkhya, or Sāṅkhya, is a Sanskrit word that, depending on the context, means "to reckon, enumerate, deliberate, reasoning by numeric enumeration, relating to number, rational." In the context of ancient Indian philosophies, Samkhya refers to the philosophical school in Hinduism based on systematic enumeration and rational examination. The word samkhya means relating to numbers. Although the term had been used in the general sense of metaphysical knowledge before, in technical usage it refers to the Samkhya school of thought that evolved into a cohesive philosophical system in early centuries CE; the Samkhya system is called so because "it ` enumerates' twenty true principles. Some 19th and 20th century scholars suggested. Richard Garbe stated in 1898, "The origin of the Sankhya system appears in the proper light only when we understand that in those regions of India which were little influenced by Brahmanism the first attempt had been made to solve the riddles of the world and of our existence by means of reason.
For the Sankhya philosophy is, in its essence, not only atheistic but inimical to the Veda." Dandekar wrote in 1968, "The origin of the Sankhya is to be traced to the pre-Vedic non-Aryan thought complex". Some scholars disagreed with this view. Surendranath Dasgupta, for example in 1922, Samkhya can be traced to Upanishads such as Katha and Maitrayani, the "extant Samkhya" is a system that unites the doctrine of permanence of the Upanishads with the doctrine of momentariness of Buddhism and the doctrine of relativism of Jainism. Arthur Keith in 1925 stated, "Samkhya owes its origin to the Vedic-Upanisadic-epic heritage is quite evident," and "Samkhya is most derived out of the speculations in the Vedas and the Upanishads."Johnston in 1937, analyzed available Hindu and Buddhist texts for the origins of Samkhya wrote "the origin lay in the analysis of the individual undertaken in the Brahmanas and earliest Upanishads, at first with a view to assuring the efficacy of the sacrificial rites and in order to discover the meaning of salvation in the religious sense and the methods of attaining it.
Here – in Kaushitaki Upanishad and Chandogya Upanishad – the germ are to be found two of the main ideas of classical Samkhya."Chandradhar Sharma in 1960 affirmed that Samkhya in the beginning was based on the theistic absolute of Upanishads, but on under the influence of Jaina and Buddhist thought it rejected theistic monism and was content with spiritualistic pluralism and atheistic realism. This explains why some of the Samkhyas, e.g. Vijnanabhiksu in the sixteenth century, tried to revive the earlier theism in Samkhya. More recent scholarship offers a
Sri Vedanta Desikan was a Sri Vaishnava guru/philosopher and one of the most brilliant stalwarts of Sri Vaishnavism in the post-Ramanuja period. He was a poet, devotee and master-teacher, he was the disciple of Kidambi Appullar known as Aathreya Ramanujachariar, who himself was of a master-disciple lineage that began with Ramanuja. Swami Vedanta Desika is considered to be avatar of the divine bell of Venkateswara of Tirumalai by the Vadakalai sect of Sri Vaishnavite. Vedanta Desika belongs to Vishwamitra gotra. Desika was born in the year 1268 CE, to a pious couple named Ananta Suri and Totaramba, who named him ‘Venkatanatha’; when he was five, his maternal uncle, Kidambi Appullar took him to attend a spiritual discourse of Nadadhoor Ammal, a revered Sri Vaishnava scholar of that time. As soon as Ammal saw the divine radiance of the child, he stopped his discourse, hugged Venkatanatha affectionately; when Ammal told the audience that he had forgotten where he had stopped his discourse, it was Venkatanatha who reminded him to the astonishment of the assembled scholars.
Impressed, Ammal blessed him and predicted that Venkatanatha would become the main torch-bearer for Sri Vaishnavism. When Desika turned seven, Kidambi Appullar accepted Venkatanaatha as his disciple, taught him arts and scriptures. By the age of 20, Desika became famous for his mastery over poetry, linguistics, Vedanta and allied arts. Though Desika was multi-faceted and famous, he lived a humble and simple life with the support of his wife, Thirumangai, he undertook a vow called uchhavritti, whereby he depended wholly on the Supreme Lord for his household needs by accepting grains and vegetables donated by disciples voluntarily, without seeking it. Desika stayed in several cities and towns through his life such as Thiruvaheendrapuram, Srirangam and Melkote, he travelled all over India on foot. At each place, he composed many different works in languages such as Tamil, Sanskrit and Manipravala that revealed his ingenuity, logic, linguistic expertise, devotional fervour and erudite scholarship.
He composed over hundred works in the following genre: • 28 devotional poems in Sanskrit such as Hayagriva-stotram, Kamasika-ashthakam and Gopala-vimshati • 24 devotional poems and treatises in Tamil such as Gitartha-sangraham and Charama-sloka-churkku • 11 philosophical treatises such as Shata-dushani, Mimamsa-paduka and Tattva-mukta-kalapam • 10 commentaries on the works of previous acharyas such as Stotra-ratna-bhashya, Chatus-shloki-bhashya and Tatparya-chandrika • 5 Narrative poems such as his magnum-opus, the Paduka-sahasram, the epic poem called Yadavabhyudaya which rivals the decorative poetry of Mahakavi Kalidasa’s works, the Hamsa-sandesha • 32 esoteric texts revealing the hidden meanings of prappati-marga such as Srimad Rahasya-traya-saram, Paramapada-sopanam, Amrita-ranjani and Amrita-svadhini • 1 drama named Sankalpa-suryodayam • 13 works on arts and sciences such as Bhugola-nirnayam and Silpartha-saram • 4 works that codified religious rites and practices such as Sri-vaishnava-dinasari and Bhagavad-aradhana-vidhi Appaya Dikshitar, the great mediaeval scholar appreciated Desika by composing a verse in Sanskrit: tam vichintyas sarvatra bhavaah santi pade padhe kavi tarkika simhasya kavyeshu laliteshvapi "Even in the simple and soft compositions of this lion of poetry and lion of logic, there is poetic excellence evident at every step he took, indeed in every word he wrote.”
Desika composed his poems in various poetic metres. Vedic literature is written in the form of hymns set rhythmically to different metres, called ‘chandas’; each metre is governed by the number of syllables specific to it. Poets are expected to conform to these norms in their compositions. Swami Desikan has employed 22 metres in the 862 verses he composed on presiding deities of various temples in India; the following are some of the compositions of Vedanta Desika that provide a glimpse of his mastery over poetry, logic and philosophy: Hayagriva Stotram: a hymn on Lord Hayagriva, the Lord of Learning, who bestows real knowledge to the reciter, banishing the darkness of ignorance from within him. Abheethistavam: a prayer to Lord Ranganatha for relief from different types of fear seeking and being bestowed refuge at the lotus feet of the Lord Achyutha Satakam: hundred verses in praise of the Lord of Lords Devanatha, in which Desika expresses his passionate love in the form of a bride Bhagavat Dhyana Sopanam: twelve stanzas that describe the steps for meditating upon the Lord of Srirangam, Ranganathaswami Dasavatara Stotram: describes the ten important incarnations of the Lord to protect the world and uphold the principles of dharma or righteousness Daya Satakam: hundred verses eulogising the mercy or daya of the Lord of Tirumala.
The work is divided into 10 decads, each portraying different qualities of the personified mother, Dayadevi. It commences with the short anushtab metre; each successive decad employs a more complex metre, till it culminates in decorative poetry, a sheer delight to hear. Sri Suti: a prayer to ‘Sridevi’ the Goddess of Fortune, said to have been composed when a bachelor was sent to Desika, seeking financial help for his marriage. Since Desika himself lived a life of voluntary poverty, he took him to the temple of the Goddess and sang Sri Stuti; this culminated in a shower of gold coins. Sudarshanasthaka: eight verses set in the rare ‘dhritichhandas.
Vaishnavism is one of the major traditions within Hinduism along with Shaivism and Smarthism. It is called Vishnuism, its followers are called Vaishnavas, it considers Vishnu as the Supreme Lord; the tradition is notable for its avatar doctrine, wherein Krishna is revered in one of many distinct incarnations. Of these, ten avatars of Vishnu are the most studied. Rama, Narayana, Hari, Kesava, Govinda, Sri Nathji and Jagannath are among the popular names used for the same supreme being; the tradition has traceable roots to the 1st millennium BCE, as Bhagavatism called Krishnaism. Developments led by Ramananda created a Rama-oriented movement, now the largest monastic group in Asia; the Vaishnava tradition has many sampradayas ranging from the medieval era Dvaita school of Madhvacharya to Vishishtadvaita school of Ramanuja. The tradition is known for the loving devotion to an avatar of Vishnu, it has been key to the spread of the Bhakti movement in South Asia in the 2nd millennium CE. Key texts in Vaishnavism include the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Pancaratra texts and the Bhagavata Purana.
Vaishnavism originates in the latest centuries BCE and the early centuries CE, as an amalgam of the heroic Krishna Vasudeva, the "divine child" Bala Krishna of the Gopala traditions, syncretism of these non-Vedic traditions with the Mahabharata canon, thus affiliating itself with Vedism in order to become acceptable to the orthodox establishment. Krishnaism becomes associated with bhakti yoga in the medieval period. Although Vishnu was a Vedic solar deity, he is mentioned more compared to Agni and other Vedic deities, thereby suggesting that he had a major position in the Vedic religion. Other scholars state that there are other Vedic deities, such as water deity Nara, who together form the historical roots of Vaishnavism. In the late-Vedic texts, the concept of a metaphysical Brahman grows in prominence, the Vaishnavism tradition considered Vishnu to be identical to Brahman, just like Shaivism and Shaktism consider Shiva and Devi to be Brahman respectively; the ancient emergence of Vaishnavism is unclear, the evidence inconsistent and scanty.
According to Dalal, the origins may be in Vedic deity Bhaga. According to Preciado-Solís, the Vedic deities Nara and Narayana form one of the Vedic roots of Vaishnavism. According to Dandekar, Vaishnavism may have emerged from merger of several ancient theistic traditions, where the various deities were integrated as different avatars of the same god. In Dandekar theory, Vaishnavism emerged at the end of the Vedic period before the second urbanisation of northern India, in the 7th to 4th century BCE. Vasudeva and Krishna, "the deified tribal hero and religious leader of the Yadavas," gained prominence, merged into Bhagavan Vasudeva-Krishna, due to the close relation between the Vrsnis and the Yadavas; this was followed by a merger with the cult of Gopala-Krishna of the cowherd community of the Abhıras at the 4th century CE. The character of Gopala Krishna is considered to be non-Vedic. According to Dandekar, such mergers consolidated the position of Krishnaism between the heterodox sramana movement and the orthodox Vedic religion.
The "Greater Krsnaism", states Dandekar merged with the Rigvedic Vishnu. Syncretism of various traditions and Vedism resulted in Vaishnavism. At this stage that Vishnu of the Rig Veda was assimilated into non-Vedic Krishnaism and became the equivalent of the Supreme God; the appearance of Krishna as one of the Avatars of Vishnu dates to the period of the Sanskrit epics in the early centuries CE. The Bhagavad Gita was incorporated into the Mahabharata as a key text for Krishnaism; the Narayana-cult was included, which further brahmanized Vaishnavism. The Nara-Narayana cult may have originated in Badari, a northern ridge of the Hindu Kush, absorbed into the Vedic orthodoxy as Purusa Narayana. Purusa Narayana may have been turned into Arjuna and Krsna; this complex history is reflected in the two main historical denominations of Vishnavism. The Bhagavats, worship Vasudeva-Krsna, are followers of brahmanic Vaishnavism, while the Pacaratrins regard Narayana as their founder, are followers of Tantric Vaishnavism.
According to Hardy, there is evidence of early "southern Krishnaism," despite the tendency to allocate the Krishna-traditions to the Northern traditions. South Indian texts show close parallel with the Sanskrit traditions of Krishna and his gopi companions, so ubiquitous in North Indian text and imagery. Early writings in Dravidian culture such as Manimekalai and the Cilappatikaram present Krishna, his brother, favourite female companions in the similar terms. Hardy argues that the Sanskrit Bhagavata Purana is a Sanskrit "translation" of the bhakti of the Tamil alvars. Devotion to southern Indian Mal may be an early form of Krishnaism, since Mal appears as a divine figure like Krishna with some elements of Vishnu; the Alvars, whose name can be translated "sages" or "saints", were devotees of Mal. Their poems show a pronounced orientation to the Vaishnava, Krishna, side of Mal, but they do not make the distinction between Krishna and Vishnu on the basis of the concept of the Avatars. Yet, according to Hardy the term "Mayonism" should be used instead of "Krishnaism" when referring to Mal or Mayon.
Most of the Gupta kings, beginning with Chandragupta II were known as Parama Bhagavatas or Bhagavata Vaishnavas. After the Gupta age, Krishnaism rose to a major current of Vaishnavism, Vaishnavism developed into various sects and subsects
The Nyāya Sūtras is an ancient Indian Sanskrit text composed by Akṣapāda Gautama, the foundational text of the Nyaya school of Hindu philosophy. The date when the text was composed, the biography of its author is unknown, but variously estimated between 6th-century BCE and 2nd-century CE; the text may have been composed over a period of time. The text consists of five books, with two chapters in each book, with a cumulative total of 528 aphoristic sutras, about rules of reason, logic and metaphysics; the Nyāya Sūtras is a Hindu text, notable for focusing on knowledge and logic, making no mention of Vedic rituals. The first book is structured as a general introduction and table of contents of sixteen categories of knowledge. Book two is about pramana, book three is about prameya or the objects of knowledge, the text discusses the nature of knowledge in remaining books, it set the foundation for Nyaya tradition of the empirical theory of validity and truth, opposing uncritical appeals to intuition or scriptural authority.
The Nyaya sutras cover a wide range of topics, including Tarka-Vidyā, the science of debate or Vāda-Vidyā, the science of discussion. The Nyāya Sutras are related to but metaphysical system. Commentaries expanded and discussed Nyaya sutras, the earlier surviving commentaries being by Vātsyāyana, followed by the Nyāyavārttika of Uddyotakāra, Vācaspati Miśra's Tātparyatīkā, Udayana's Tātparyapariśuddhi, Jayanta's Nyāyamañjarī; the Nyaya-sutras is attributed to Gautama, at least the principal author. According to Karl Potter, this name has been a common Indian name, the author is reverentially referred to as Gotama and Aksapada Gautama. Little is known about Gautama. Scholarly estimates, based on textual analysis, vary from the 6th century BCE, making him a contemporary of Buddha and Mahavira, to as late as the 2nd century CE; some scholars favor the theory that the cryptic text Nyaya-sutras was expanded over time by multiple authors, with the earliest layer from about mid-first millennium BCE, composed by Gautama.
The earliest layer is to be Book 1 and 5 of the text, while Book 3 and 4 may have been added last, but this is not certain. One may sum up the situation pretty safely by saying that we have not the vaguest idea who wrote the Nyayasutras or when he lived, it is states Jeaneane Fowler, that Nyaya and the science of reason stretch back into the Vedic era. The Nyaya school of Hinduism influenced all other schools of Hindu philosophy, as well as Buddhism. Despite their differences, these scholars studied with each other and debated ideas, with Tibetan records suggesting that Buddhist scholars spent years residing with Hindu Nyaya scholars to master the art of reasoning and logic; this cooperation has enabled scholars to place the surviving version of the Nyayasutras, to a terminus ante quem date of about the 2nd century CE, because one of the most famous and established Buddhist scholars of that era, explicitly states, "sutra 4.2.25 is addressed against the Madhyamika system" of Buddhism. Other ancient Buddhist texts confirm that Nyayasutras existed before them, the text is considered the primary text of old Nyaya school of Hinduism.
The text is written in sutra genre. A sutra is a Sanskrit word that means "string, thread", represents a condensed manual of knowledge of a specific field or school; each sutra is any short rule, like a theorem distilled into few words or syllables, around which "teachings of ritual, grammar or any field of knowledge" can be woven. Sutras were compiled to be remembered, used as reference and to help teach and transmit ideas from one generation to the next; the Nyayasutra is divided into each book subdivided into two chapters each. The structure of the text is, states Potter, a layout of ahnikas or lessons served into daily portions, with portion consisting of a number of sutras or aphorisms; the architecture of the text is split and collated into prakaranas or topics, which commentators such as Vatsyayana and Vacaspati Misra utilized to compose their bhasya, ancient texts that have survived into the modern era. There are several surviving manuscripts of the Nyayasutras, with a slight difference in number of sutras, of which the Chowkhamba edition is studied.
The first sutra 1.1.1 of the text asserts its scope and the following sixteen categories of knowledge as a means to gain competence in any field of interest: Perfection is attained by the correct knowledge about true nature of sixteen categories: means of right knowledge. These sixteen categories cover many sections of the text; the verse 1.1.2 of the Nyāya Sūtra declares the text's goal is to study and describe the attainment of liberation of soul from wrong knowledge and sorrow, through the application of above sixteen categories of perfecting knowledge. The Nyaya-sutras assert the premise that "all k
Ramanuja was an Indian theologian and one of the most important exponents of the Sri Vaishnavism tradition within Hinduism. His philosophical foundations for devotionalism were influential to the Bhakti movement. Ramanuja's guru was Yādava Prakāśa, a scholar, a part of the more ancient Advaita Vedānta monastic tradition. Sri Vaishnava tradition holds that Ramanuja disagreed with his guru and the non-dualistic Advaita Vedānta, instead followed the footsteps of Indian Alvārs tradition, the scholars Nāthamuni and Yamunāchārya. Ramanuja is famous as the chief proponent of Vishishtadvaita subschool of Vedānta, his disciples were authors of texts such as the Shatyayaniya Upanishad. Ramanuja himself wrote influential texts, such as bhāsya on the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, all in Sanskrit, his Vishishtadvaita philosophy has competed with the Dvaita philosophy of Madhvāchārya, Advaita philosophy of Ādi 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 as a means to spiritual liberation. His theories assert that there exists a plurality and distinction between Ātman and Brahman, while he affirmed that there is unity of all souls and that the individual soul has the potential to realize identity with the Brahman. Ramanuja was born in the village of Tamil Nadu, his followers in the Vaishnava tradition wrote hagiographies, some of which were composed in centuries after his death, which the tradition believes to be true. The traditional hagiographies of Ramanuja state he was born to mother Kānthimathi and father Asuri Kesava Somayāji, in Sriperumbudur, near modern Chennai, Tamil Nādu, he is believed to have been born in the month of Chitra under the star Tiruvadhirai. They place his life in the period of 1017 -- 1137 CE; these dates have been questioned by modern scholarship, based on temple records and regional literature of 11th- and 12th-century outside the Sri Vaishnava tradition, modern era scholars suggest that Ramanuja may have lived between 1077-1157.
Ramanuja married, moved to Kānchipuram, studied in an Advaita Vedānta monastery with Yādava Prakāśa as his guru. Ramanuja and his guru disagreed in interpreting Vedic texts the Upanishads. Ramanuja and Yādava Prakāśa separated, thereafter Ramanuja continued his studies on his own, he attempted to meet another famed Vedanta scholar of 11th-century Yamunāchārya, but Sri Vaishnava tradition holds that the latter died before the meeting and they never met. Ramanuja was the great-grandson of Yamunāchārya through a grand-daughter. However, some hagiographies assert that the corpse of Yamunāchārya miraculously rose and named Ramanuja as the new leader of Sri Vaishnava sect led by Yamunāchārya. One hagiography states that after leaving Yādava Prakāśa, Ramanuja was initiated into Sri Vaishnavism by Periya Nambi called Māhapurna, another Vedānta scholar. Ramanuja renounced his married life, became a Hindu monk. However, states Katherine Young, the historical evidence on whether Ramanuja led a married life or he did renounce and became a monk is uncertain.
Ramanuja became a priest at the Varadharāja Perumal temple at Kānchipuram, where he began to teach that moksha is to be achieved not with metaphysical, nirguna Brahman but with the help of personal god and saguna Vishnu. Ramanuja has long enjoyed foremost authority in the Sri Vaishnava tradition. A number of traditional biographies of Ramanuja are known, some written in 12th century, but some written centuries such as the 17th or 18th century after the split of the Śrīvaiṣṇava community into the Vadakalais and Teṉkalais, where each community created its own version of Ramanuja's hagiography; the Muvāyirappaṭi Guruparamparāprabhāva by Brahmatantra Svatantra Jīyar represents the earliest Vadakalai biography, reflects the Vadakalai view of the succession following Ramanuja. Ārāyirappaṭi Guruparamparāprabhāva, on the other hand, represents the Tenkalai biography. Other late biographies include the Yatirajavaibhavam by Andhrapurna. Modern scholarship has questioned the reliability of these hagiographies.
Scholars question their reliability because of claims which are impossible to verify, or whose historical basis is difficult to trace with claims such as Ramanuja learned the Vedas when he was an eight-day-old baby, he communicated with God as an adult, that he won philosophical debates with Buddhists and others because of supernatural means such as turning himself into "his divine self Sesha" to defeat the Buddhists, or God appearing in his dream when he prayed for arguments to answer Advaita scholars. According to J. A. B. van Buitenen, the hagiographies are "legendary biographies about him, in which a pious imagination has embroidered historical details". Ramanuja grew up in a stable society during the rule of the Chola dynasty; this period was one of pluralistic beliefs, where Vaishnava, Smarta traditions and Jainism thrived together. In Hindu monastic tradition, Advaita Vedānta had been dominant, Ramanuja's guru Yādava Prākāsha belonged to this tradition. Prior to Ramanuja, the Sri Vaishnava sampradaya was an established organization under Yamunāchārya, bhakti songs and devotional ideas a part of south Indian culture because of the twelve Alvārs.
Ramanuja's fame grew because he was considered the first thinker in centuries that disputed Shankara's theories, offered an alternate interpretat
Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Datta, was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century, he was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission, he is best known for his speech which began with the words - "Sisters and brothers of America..." in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893. Born into an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta, Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality, he was influenced by his guru, from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self. After Ramakrishna's death, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent extensively and acquired first-hand knowledge of the conditions prevailing in British India.
He travelled to the United States, representing India at the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions. Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States and Europe. In India, Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint, his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day. Vivekananda was born Narendranath Datta in a Bengali family at his ancestral home at 3 Gourmohan Mukherjee Street in Calcutta, the capital of British India, on 12 January 1863 during the Makar Sankranti festival, he was one of nine siblings. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was an attorney at the Calcutta High Court. Durgacharan Datta, Narendra's grandfather was a Sanskrit and Persian scholar who left his family and became a monk at age twenty-five, his mother, Bhubaneswari Devi, was a devout housewife. The progressive, rational attitude of Narendra's father and the religious temperament of his mother helped shape his thinking and personality. Narendranath was interested in spirituality from a young age and used to meditate before the images of deities such as Shiva, Rama and Mahavir Hanuman.
He was fascinated by wandering monks. Naren was naughty and restless as a child, his parents had difficulty controlling him, his mother said, "I prayed to Shiva for a son and he has sent me one of his ghosts". In 1871, at the age of eight, Narendranath enrolled at Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's Metropolitan Institution, where he went to school until his family moved to Raipur in 1877. In 1879, after his family's return to Calcutta, he was the only student to receive first-division marks in the Presidency College entrance examination, he was an avid reader in a wide range of subjects, including philosophy, history, social science and literature. He was interested in Hindu scriptures, including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. Narendra was trained in Indian classical music, participated in physical exercise and organised activities. Narendra studied Western logic, Western philosophy and European history at the General Assembly's Institution.
In 1881 he passed the Fine Arts examination, completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1884. Narendra studied the works of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Baruch Spinoza, Georg W. F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Auguste Comte, John Stuart Mill and Charles Darwin, he became fascinated with the evolutionism of Herbert Spencer and corresponded with him, translating Spencer's book Education into Bengali. While studying Western philosophers, he learned Sanskrit scriptures and Bengali literature. William Hastie wrote, "Narendra is a genius. I have travelled far and wide but I have never come across a lad of his talents and possibilities in German universities, among philosophical students, he is bound to make his mark in life". Narendra was known for the ability at speed reading. Several incidents have been given as examples. In a talk, he once quoted verbatim, three pages from Pickwick Papers. Another incident, given is his argument with a Swedish national where he gave reference to some details on Swedish history that the Swede disagreed with but conceded.
In another incident with Dr. Paul Deussen's at Kiel in Germany, Vivekananda was going over some poetical work and did not reply when the professor spoke to him, he apologized to Dr. Deussen explaining that he was too absorbed in reading and hence did not hear him; the professor was not satisfied with this explanation but Vivekananda quoted and interpreted verses from the text leaving the professor dumbfounded about his feat of memory. Once, he requested some books written by Sir John Lubbock from a library and returned them the next day claiming that he had read them; the librarian refused to believe him until cross examination about the contents convinced him that Vivekananda was being truthful. Some accounts have called Narendra a shrutidhara. In 1880 Narendra joined Keshab Chandra Sen's Nava Vidhan, established by Sen after meeting Ramakrishna and reconverting from Christianity to Hinduism. Narendra became a member of a Freemasonry lodge "at some point before 18