A seeker came to saint Ramanuja and said:
– I wish to find a way to God. Help me!
Ramanuja looked at him attentively and asked:
– First of all, tell me whether you ever loved anybody.
The seeker answered:
– I am not interested in love and other worldly affairs. I wish to come to God!
– And still, think again whether you loved a woman, a child or anybody in your life.
– I have already told you that I am not an ordinary lay-man. I am a person who wishes to know God. I am not interested in the rest. I have never loved anybody.
Ramanuji’s eyes filled with deep grief and he answered the seeker:
– In that case, it is impossible. At first you should learn what it means to really love someone. You are asking me about the last step on the way to God and meanwhile you have not reached the first step yet. You’d better go and love somebody!
Shree Ramanuja Acharia was born in 1017 in a village of Shreeperumbudur in the south of India nearby Madras, in a family of Vedic scientists. A boy of amazing abilities, he quickly mastered Sanskrit, logic and Vedas. He got diksha and got married at the age of sixteen.
Ramanuja’s teacher was guru-mayavadi Yadava Prakashi. Thanks to communication with him he studied philosophy of mayavadi and learnt to deny it. As brilliant Ramanuja continued to deny arguments of mayavadi, Yadava Prakasha decided to kill him. Having failed, Yadava Prakasha expelled Ramanuja from his ashram. Before leaving his guru, Ramanuja completely destroyed the theory of homogeneous unity of all real which was professed by his guru.
Ramanuja explained the following: «Though there is a kind of interrelation in the nature of different things, everything that is found in this Universe has irresistible distinctive properties. Pearls strung on a thread are perceived as a certain unity as taken all together they form a necklace. And still, every separate pearl possesses special qualities. As spirit, matter and God possess unique qualities, the principle of absolute unity of Shankary does not stand any criticism. On the contrary, the consistency is proved by the principle of unity which includes qualitative differences».
Ramanuja was a theist. He worshipped god Vishnu; in his honour Ramanuja erected a lot of temples and monasteries. The universal spirit of his belief attracted to him a great number of followers-scientists who told his theological and philosophical ideas to the future generations. Ramanuja died in 1137.
Ramanuja created a method of spiritual self-actualization which got a name "vishisht-advayta" that means "the concept of qualitative unity". The essence of the method of Ramanuji who worked out Vedas in his own way consists in establishing love (bhakti) between an (alive) soul of a man and God Vishnu due to the believer’s getting into a specially changed "consciousness conditions in accordance with a special psychotechnics". And at the final stage this psychotechnics presupposes exit of dzhiva from a physical body and attainment of eternal abode of immutable Absolute - Parabrakhman.
Ramanuja said that Shankara deviated from a Vedic way - siddkhanta - and maintained qualitative unity of dzhiva and the Absolute. Ramanuja considered that Space is a material body of God Vishnu. After the release, a man’s soul for ever remains in a space spiritual body.
Ramanuja taught that man’s soul gains experience when it settles in a physical body the form of which depends on karma. So, body defines only the kind of karmic experience of jiva (soul) in a chain of regenerations till the moment of release.
<>Ramanuja considered Space to be alive and inspired, and a man’s task is to get a release owing to trance and to "leave" into Space. Modern researchers are interested in Ramanuja as a philosopher, a religious reformer, an interpreter of Vedas and a great yogi, an expert in the field of reserved capabilities of a human’s mentality and author of a vishishtadvayt method.