Sri Ramanujacharya (1017 AD - 1137 AD)
Ramanuja was a devotee of Vishnu par excellence. Most of his one hundred and twenty years of life were spent in utmost service to humanity at large. To him goes the credit of granting entry into temples for the Harijans (Dalits) a thousand years back when caste still ruled the roost in India. He initiated the distribution of holy food (Prasadam) to all devotees without discrimination. This he can be called as the initiator of the noon meal scheme. He introduced worship in local languages at the temples (Previously done only in Sanskrit). He advocated total surrender (Prapatti) as the easiest way to god.
Some interesting links..
- Amar Chitra Katha book on Sri Ramanujacharya
- The Story of Ramanuja by Swami Sivananda
- Beautiful Telugu Kirtan on Ramanuja composed by Saint Annamacharya - 6 minutes
- Ramanujacharya Vaibhavam - Discourse by Vellukudi Krishnan - 1.5 hours