Which one of the following statements correctly represents the teachings of Ramanuja?


05:23 AM

UPSC Prelims 2022 Question:

The world’s second tallest statue in sitting pose of Ramanuja was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India at Hyderabad recently. Which one of the following statements correctly represents the teachings of Ramanuja?

a) The best means of salvation was devotion.

b) Vedas are eternal, self-existent and wholly authoritative.

c) Logical arguments were essential means for the highest bliss.

d) Salvation was to be obtained through meditation.

Correct Answer: Option a) The best means of salvation was devotion

Learn more about Ramanuja’s Teachings in the given explanation below.


  • Philosopher and social reformer, Saint Ramanujacharya born in 1017 in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, travelled across India, advocating equality and social justice.
  • He advocated universal salvation through devotion to God, compassion, humility, equality, and mutual respect, which is known as Sri Vaishnavam Sampradaya.
  • Ramanuja revived the Bhakti movement, and his preachings inspired other Bhakti schools of thought. He is considered to be the inspiration for poets like Annamacharya, Bhakt Ramdas, Thyagaraja, Kabir, and Meerabai.

Key Teachings of Ramanuja

  1. Qualified Monism: Ramanuja's philosophy of qualified monism, also known as Vishishtadvaita, asserts that the ultimate reality, Brahman, is not just an impersonal oneness but a personal God with attributes, known as Vishnu. This personal God is the source and creator of the universe and all individual souls.
  2. Bhakti Yoga: Ramanuja advocated for the path of devotion, or Bhakti Yoga, as the primary means of attaining liberation from the cycle of rebirth (samsara). Bhakti Yoga involves cultivating a deep and personal relationship with God through love, surrender, and selfless service.
  3. Divine Grace (Prarabdha Karma): Ramanuja emphasized the importance of divine grace (Prarabdha Karma) in achieving salvation. He believed that while individuals have the freedom to act, their actions are ultimately influenced by God's grace.
  4. Equality of Souls: Ramanuja taught that all souls are equal in the eyes of God and that social distinctions should not hinder one's spiritual progress. He advocated for inclusivity and compassion towards all beings.
  5. Nature of Maya: Ramanuja explained the concept of Maya, often translated as illusion, as a divine power that veils the true nature of reality, causing individuals to perceive separation from God. Overcoming Maya requires spiritual awakening and a deep connection with God.
  6. Role of Scriptures: Ramanuja considered the Hindu scriptures, particularly the Vedas, as authoritative sources of spiritual knowledge and guidance. He believed that these scriptures provide insights into the nature of God, the path to salvation, and the true purpose of human existence.
  7. Social Responsibility: Ramanuja stressed the importance of social responsibility and ethical conduct. He believed that individuals should act in accordance with dharma, or righteous living, and contribute to the betterment of society.

Therefore, option (a) is the correct answer.

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