A 216-foot tall statue of 11th century social reformer and saint, Ramanujacharya, is all set to be dedicated to the world on February 5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the statue, billed as the world's second largest statue in a sitting position, at the 45-acre complex on the outskirts of the city, as per a statement issued by Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji's ashram.
The Rs 1,000-crore project was funded by donations from devotees globally. The inner sanctorum deity of Sri Ramanujacharya is made of 120 kilos of gold to commemorate the 120 years the saint spent on earth.
President Ram Nath Kovind will unveil the inner chamber's golden statue of Ramanuja, weighing 120 kg, on February 13.
In his comments, the Chinna Jeeyar Swami, said: "We heartily welcome everyone including chief guests, dignitaries, devotees, and people from all walks of life for the grand opening of Statue of Equality. Bhagavad Ramanujacharya has remained a true icon of equality for 1,000 years and this project will ensure his teachings are practiced for at least another 1,000 years."
To celebrate the 1,000th birth anniversary of the saint, several events including a 1035 yajna (fire ritual), and spiritual activities such as mass mantra chanting are to be conducted as part of Sri Ramanuja Sahasrabdi 'Samaroham'.
Events will begin from February 2, and Telangana Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao will be co-hosting the event with Chinna Jeeyar Swami. Several other chief ministers, politicians, celebrities, and actors are also expected to attend the function.
The outdoor 216-ft Statue of Equality will be the world's second tallest statue featuring a sitting posture. It is composed of 'panchaloha', a combination of five metals comprising gold, silver, copper, brass, and zinc.
The complex has identical recreations of 108 Divya Desams, the 108 ornately carved Vishnu temples mentioned in the works of the Alvars, mystic Tamil saints. The Buddha statue in Thailand is said to be world's tallest statue in a sitting pose.
Born in 1017 in Sri Perumbudur, Tamil Nadu, Sri Ramanujacharya liberated millions from social, cultural, gender, educational and economic discrimination with the foundational conviction that every human is equal regardless of nationality, gender, race, caste, or creed. He opened the doors of temples to all people, including those subjected to extreme discrimination. For many sections of society, he is a timeless icon of equality for social reformists around the world.
"Our mission is to make Statue of Equality a culturally paramount destination for people across the globe and inspire everyone to make the world a more equal place to live. Today, as the world is fraught with divisiveness and populism, the need of the hour is Sri Ramanujacharya's ideology. A torch bearer of Vaishnavism, Bhagavad Ramanuja distilled the essence of Vedas and ancient wisdom to promote the timeless message of equality. Inherently, non-discrimination and equality are the cornerstones of life," the Chinna Jeeyar Swami explained.
The foundation stone for the project was laid in 2014. The 54-ft high base building, named 'Bhadra Vedi', has dedicated floors for a Vedic digital library and research centre, ancient Indian texts, a theatre, an educational gallery and a robust multi-language audio tour detailing many works of Sri Ramanuja Acharya.