Current Affairs – May, 2019National Affairs Dose

Vice president issued Postage Stamp to commemorate 750th Birth Anniversary of Sri Vedanta Desika – Gk Dose

On 2 May 2019, Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu released postage stamp in New Delhi to commemorate 750th birth anniversary of Sri Vedanta Desikan and his great philosopher’s life and highly valued work.

Importance

  • Releasing commemorative postage stamps is an initiative to pay tribute to great contributions of visionaries like Sri Vedanta Desikan but it also aims to inspire our younger generation to follow in their footsteps.
  • It emphasizes that children must internalize and practice lofty ideals of humanism, peace and compassion propagated by the great saint and spiritual icon.

Sri Vedanta Desikan

  • He is one of most prominent preceptors in ‘Sri Vaishnava’ tradition post Ramanuja period.
  • He had authored brilliant poems, prose, drama, epics, commentaries, scientific texts and philosophical treatises in many languages, mainly Sanskrit, Tamil, Prakrit and Manipravalam.
  • He was a multi-faceted personality which included philosopher, master-teacher (desikan),spiritual teacher, scientist, logician, poet, mathematician, literary genius, linguist, military strategist etc.
  • The most essential features of his philosophy is the ‘aspect of inclusion’ which means anyone, irrespective of any caste or creed could join Sri Vaishnava fold. This was a truly democratizing movement in eradication caste distinctions. He truly worked towards shaping our Bharat into a “Jnana Bhoomi”.
  • The basis of his spiritual teachings were peace and humanity.

Achievements

  • He has been awarded many titles for his vast range of achievements, including title of ‘kavi tarkika-kesari’ (the lion amongst poets and logicians). He was celebrated as ‘sarva-tantra-svatantra’ (means master of all arts and crafts) and glorified as ‘ramanuja-daya-patram’ (the recipient of Ramanuja’s blessings).
  • His written masterpiece ‘Rahasya Traya Sara’, is a treatise on Prapatti (surrendering oneself to divine).
  • His great work ‘Paduka Sahasram’ shows his poetic eloquence and his mathematical ingenuity. In two verses of this collection, he gave a solution to mathematical problem that was solved about 500 years later by mathematician, Leonard Euler.
  • His works like ‘Silpartha-Saram’, a treatise on sculpture, and ‘Bhugola Nirnayam’, a research text on geography showed his knowledge of the arts and sciences.
  • Desikan’s ‘Subhashita Neevi’ contains a fund of moral and ethical advice which are still relevant and practical.
  • His authored ‘Aahaara Niyamam’ explains how different food items help in maintaining healthy mind and disease-free life.
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