Ramanuja Jayanti or Ramanujacharya Jayanthi celebrates the birthday of Ramanujacharya, the philosopher who advocated bhakti or devotional worship as a method to attain salvation or moksha. Ramanuja amalgamated bhakti and philosophy of Upanishads and gave bhakti tradition an intellectual basis. In 2014, Sri Ramanujacharya Jayanthi is on May 5. Some communities will be observing it on May 4.
The three major works of Ramanuja, who is also referred as Ilaiya Perumal in Tamil, are the Vedartha Samgraha (commentary on the Vedas), the Sri Bhasya (commentary on the Brahmasutras) and the Bhagavad Gita Bhasya.
Freedom to choose a personal god and reach Brahman realization through Bhakti or devotion was preached by Ramanuja and this form of spiritual path is followed by a large section of Hindus.
Ramanuja organized temple worship and founded centers to propagate the devotion of Lord Vishnu and his consort Sri or Mahalakshmi.
He preached that the phenomenal world is real and taught to reach the ultimate reality (Brahman) by proceeding to a conclusion by reason or argument rather than intuition. This was just opposite to the Vedanta of Shankaracharya.
It is believed that Ramanujacharya was born in 1017 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu and died in 1137 in Srirangam.