Statue of Equality, more than a monument
The Statue of Equality Project which is set to be inaugurated on February 2 wherein the President of India Ramnadh Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are likely to participate, is a dedication to the great icon of Equality, Sri Ramanujacharya Swamiji
The Statue of Equality Project which is set to be inaugurated on February 2 wherein the President of India Ramnadh Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are likely to participate, is a dedication to the great icon of Equality, Sri Ramanujacharya Swamiji.
He had created ripples in society 1000 years ago with His revolutionary thoughts and brought the neglected on the same platform on par with the elite when society was gripped with social evils of untouchability and class-based discrimination.
According to Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar swami, Ramanuja was the first one to bring the down-trodden into temples and give the "Ashtakshari Manthra" to the common man, denying all odds.
In the times of Ramanujacharya, temples were the centres of administration, under the control of one section of society and caste. Ramanujacharya, encouraged inclusiveness by allotting 50% of tasks to persons belonging to the rest of the castes. That's the reason, from then on, there are no restrictions based on caste, to enter temples.
However, the relapse of casteism occurred during the foreign rules in Bharath. Caste was used as a ploy to divide and rule.
Over the 75 years of independence, casteism has been made into a cancerous growth in Indian society. The very purpose of The Statue Of Equality is to provide a panacea for it. Let the rulers and society be inspired, Swamy ji says. Foundation stone for the Rs 1000 crore project was laid on 2nd May 2014 by HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji on the auspicious day of Akshaya thrithiya and now the project is nearing completion for inauguration.
Sri Ramanuja Sahasrabdi, chief architect Sriman Prasadji and his team worked for six months, researching and collecting data of various divya desams. They visited 98 divya desams and 12,000 photographs were taken to design the 108 divya desam models. Sketches of the mula murthis and uthsava murthis were prepared after visiting each divya desam. They researched and collected data on each divya desam. Prepared notes on the vaibhavam of the vimanas after consulting the local authorities and scriptures. This effort was completed in Dec 2014.
A contract was signed on Aug 14, 2015 with a Chinese company for making of the statue. Initially Sri Ramanuja's padukas were placed in front of the statue. But later Jeeyar Swamy replaced it with a unique fountain.
On January 1 2017-the first shipment of Statue of Equality arrived at the JIVA campus. In 2018 Carving of stones for 100 temples had commenced. Sculpting of roof stones for another 12 temples was completed. Creation of Moolavar and Uthsavar deities for the Divya Desam temples has started. Construction of Divya Desa Mandapam in the much admired Hoysala architectural style has commenced. It also has 12 exquisitely carved pillars adding to the beauty of the much-awaited Divya Desa mandapam. An educational gallery featuring exhibits about the inspiring life story of Ramanujacharya, a library with all the Vedic scriptures, Auditorium for seminars and panditha sabhas. Omnimax theatre for different shows. A few reminiscences of Ramanujacharya's life will come alive through technology.
It also has another important significance. The construction is based on nine 'Vikaras.' Sort of theory of causation. To highlight the importance of number nine, it has been decided that the height of the statue would be 216 ft. It adds to number nine. The Bhadravedi, the base of statue is 54 feet wide, the Padma Peetham is 27 feet. Similarly, the are 36 elephants, three row of lotus each with 36 lotus flowers. The Tridandi of Sri Ramanujacharya is 144 ft long and the statue weighs 54 tons. There are also 108 Divya Kshetras and fountains which are of 36 feet each.
The Statue of Equality will certainly provide new inspiration to the world and will become a place for enlightenment. It will also bring livelihood and improve living conditions to a few districts of people in the area, bring revenue to India via tourism for years to come and create a new landmark on the world map.