Statue of Equality Inauguration: A Proud Moment for Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple-Houston Devotees

Sri Swamiji with Indian PM Sri Narendra Modi, Minister of Tourism Sri G. Kishan Reddy, Honorable Governor of Telangana Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan, and Sri Jupally Rameswar Rao, Chief Patron, and family at the Statue of Equality Inauguration

By Aparna Tamirisa and Ranganath Kandala

HYDERABAD: As we speak, the inaugural ceremony of the Statue of Equality is taking place in Telangana, India.  A magnificent symbol of inclusion, The Statue of Equality was entirely conceptualized by Acharya His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Tridandi Chinnajeeyar Swamiji. The Statue is a reminder, at a time where divisiveness has become the norm, that we have a responsibility towards one another to create a fairer and more compassionate place for all.

In 2014, His Holiness Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji brought forward the plan to establish the Statue of Equality on the occasion of the 1000th birth anniversary of Sri Ramanujacharya, generating immense energy and inspiring millions of people around the world. Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji, Acharya of the Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple, Houston invoked the same inspiration in our local devotees who were fortunate to take part in the project.

Sri Swamiji with some members of Prajna Houston during the Bhagavad Gita Avadhanam

The Statue of Equality was unveiled by the Honorable Prime Minister of India Sri Narendra Modi on February 5, 2022. The inaugural ceremonies started on February 2, 2022 and will culminate on February 14, 2022.  Sitting at 216 feet high on a 45-acre area in Sriramanagar, a suburb of Hyderabad in Telangana, is the statue of Sri Ramanujacharya, iconic social reformer, philosopher and powerful influencer of the Bhakti movement. Sri Ramanujacharya lived more than 1000 years ago from 1017 AD to 1137 AD.  Equality, bhakti, and active service to our society are the thoughts that come to mind when one expounds upon Sri Ramanajucharya’s philosophy.   At a time when equality was a non-existent concept, Sri Ramanujacharya fought for it and preached it at the expense of being chastised himself.

Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji is a Jeeyar (spiritual leader) in the lineage of Sri Ramanujacharya.  His Acharya, His Holiness Pedda Jeeyar Swamiji strived for social causes and was also a freedom fighter.  Chinnajeeyar Swamji continued to pursue the path of social reform much along the lines of Sri Ramanujacharya.  Swamiji preaches to promote harmony and peace by following two principles, “Serve all beings as service to God” and “Worship your own, Respect all”.  Chinnajeeyar Swamiji has established a Vedic University and Vedic schools, conducted mass prayer programs for universal peace, organized free medical camps which have benefitted hundreds of thousands of people, has actively propagated animal and environmental welfare activities, and has established Schools and Colleges for the visually challenged and underprivileged children of remote areas, empowering them for success.

Swamiji’s discourses are profound and he incorporates examples from all subjects and walks of life enabling the common man to relate to complex Vedic principles.

Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji as founder of the Jeeyar Educational Trust (JET) and VT Seva organizations, has inspired many towards bhakti through JET and service to the community through VT Seva. Swamiji educates communities to live in harmony with the environment. He established ‘Prajna’, a comprehensive Vedic educational and development program for children, that is conducted in numerous centers across the USA.  Through Prajna, Swamiji is preserving Vedic cultural value systems and promoting service.

Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji at Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple Houston

During the inaugural event of the Statue of Equality ceremonies are being conducted in a most magnificent and authentic fashion and in the presence of an august audience and devotees.  One highlight of the event is that Sri Lakshmi Narayana Maha Yagna is being conducted with1035 kundas by 5000 ruthviks for good health and universal harmony.  The celebratory event has featured visits by The Indian Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi, Indian President Sri Ram Nath Kovind, Union Home Minister Sri Amit Shah, Chief Minister of Telangana Sri K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Sri Jaganmohan Reddy, and many others. Saints and spiritual leaders from all over India are attending the event and have participated actively in meaningful discussions.  Many internationally renowned artists have performed during the event as well.

Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple in Houston is one of only two Jeeyar Educational Trust Temples in the United States, the other one being in New Jersey.  Ashtalakshmi Temple was established with the guidance of Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji and follows the practices as detailed by Sri Ramanujacharya around 1000 years ago.  Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple is a place for worshiping Lord Lakshmi Narayana along with eight (Ashta) forms of Maha Lakshmi. It is also a center for Vedic learning.  The vision of Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple is to promote the mission of H.H. Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji to revitalize our Vedic heritage and spread the Vedic knowledge to the present and future generations through learning and worship.

Ashtalakshmi Temple Houston and Katy Prajna centers are among the largest centers in the United States and have been instrumental in producing responsible and high achieving individuals.  Students of our local Prajna centers participated at the Statue of Equality Inaugural ceremony Vishnu Sahasranama and Bhagavad Gita avadhanams.  Our local VT Seva (Volunteering Together for Service) chapters are active in promotion of volunteerism and philanthropy for the betterment of our local and global communities.

At a time when equality has come to question worldwide, whether related to gender, color, race or economic status, the Statue of Equality makes an incredibly powerful statement and will continue to stand in the annals of time as a reminder to mankind.

A wealth of information on the Statue of Equality can be found at  Please visit for information about Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple, Houston.