Tributes to Acharya Ramanuja in London


A 300-year-old Telugu composition on Acharya Ramanuja transcribed by Ragasudha Vinjamuri was released at British Parliament…reports Asian Lite News


5 Book Launch_Bob Blackman_ Dr Yarlagadda
Ragasudha with Bob Blackman MP and Dr Yarlagadda releasing the book

The release took place at the Committee Room of British Parliament with an event to celebrate the 999th birth anniversary of 11th century saint Acharya Ramanuja’s. Harrow East MP Bob Blackman hosted the event. The Parliament’s committee room was bustling with members of 20 different community, spiritual and cultural organisations who have travelled from as far afield as Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham, Coventry etc. to attend the event.

Speakers included Dr M. Nanda Kumara, Executive Director of Bharatiya Vidya  Bhavan, writer and twice Sahitya Academy awardee Padma Bhushan Dr Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad,  Shri Satish Sharma,  Secretary of National Council for Hindu Temples UK, Pandit Madhava Turumella, and Minister for Coordination from High Commission of India, Mr A.S Rajan, who have all  highlighted the contributions of the great Acharya to the religious philosophy and social fabric of India.

Ragasudha Vinjamuri explained that the text transcribed was present on 70 palm leaf folios in British Library, of which some were lightly readable and some were largely damaged. She further narrated on her discussions with various historians and scholars in India that led to ascertaining the author of the work as Illindala Paravastu Ramanujacharyulu, a scholar who lived near Madanapalli. The process of transcribing the text and filling the missing content consumed more than 3 years.

Ramanuja Jayanti celebrations at House of Parliament
Ramanuja Jayanti celebrations at House of Parliament

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Laxmi Prasad, himself a former MP of Indian Parliament, has complimented Bob Blackman MP and Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence for hosting the special event at the British Parliament. Dr Nanda Kumara has stressed on the social inclusion policy of Ramanuja, while Madhava Turumella presented a comparison of Advaita and Visishtadvaita. Satish Sharma has emphasised the relevance of Ramanuja’s teachings in the modern day context and highlighted that Ragasudha’s years-long efforts in bringing out old texts to public awareness demonstrated her perseverance and commitment to heritage and culture.

Lord and Lady Dholakia who were present on the occasion have also expressed their appreciation for the work done. Singer Sirisha Jammi presented an Annamacharya kirtana on Ramanujachaya, while Sakshi Vishwesh and Sushil Rapatwar introduced the elite speakers to the audiences. Vote of thanks was rendered acknowledging the organisational representations and everyone involved.

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