The teachings and philosophy that inspired the Statue of Equality, and the movement it represents, originated from renowned spiritual leader Sri Ramanuja almost 1000 years ago. Throughout his life, Sri Ramanuja distilled ageless vedic scriptures and ancient wisdom, including the notions that nothing in nature is inherently discriminatory and equality is the cornerstone of life.
In addition to being a spiritual leader, Sri Ramanuja was also a revolutionary social reformer and humanitarian, who spent his entire life promoting the belief that every human is equal regardless of gender, nationality, caste, creed, race, social, cultural, and economic status. Sri Ramanuja liberated millions of people from social, cultural, and, economic discrimination, which was incredibly common in 11th century India.
Following in Sri Ramanuja’s footsteps, renowned spiritual leader and humanitarian Chinna Jeeyar continued to promote the values of Sri Ramanuja and created a variety of non-profit organizations to help fulfill them, starting with JET, Jeeyar Educational Trust, in India in 1984. In 1994, Chinna Jeeyar founded JET USA Inc. aka JET World, Jeeyar Educational Trust, another global, non-profit organization committed to improving human lives through education, service, and ancient wisdom, including the philosophies of Ramanuja.
In 2014, Sri Chinna Jeeyar came up with the idea to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of Sri Ramanuja’s birth and honor his inspirational life and teachings by building the Statue of Equality near Hyderabad, India.
Like Sri Ramanuja before him, Sri Chinna Jeeyar continues to help those less fortunate and encourage equality in all its forms through his non-profit organizations, like JET. In India alone, where the notion of human organ donation is considered a social stigma, Sri Chinna Jeeyar actively promotes multi-organ donation campaigns and has enlisted more than 50,000 pledges. JET frequently conducts free medical camps, dental camps, animal welfare camps, and blood donation camps all over the world. To date, JET has screened more than 748,000 women for breast and cervical cancer and trained 200,000 people in disaster response, and is committed to a wide variety of other philanthropic initiatives.
As India’s foremost spiritual leader, vedic scholar and humanitarian, Sri Chinna Jeeyar believes in world peace, harmony, spiritual practices, religious tolerance, nonviolence, and mutual respect for all living beings. His goal is to share these beliefs with the world through the Statue of Equality.
Today, geopolitics is in a state of flux, people face multitudes of challenges, including fear of war, political strife, poverty, global disparity, depleting natural resources, and religious fundamentalism is more common than ever. We believe that inequality is the root cause of many of these problems, making the message of equality, promoted by Sri Ramanuja 1000 years ago, as relevant today as it’s ever been. We also believe that the Statue of Equality and the movement it represents can help address many of these issues and make the world a fairer and more equal place for all.