Although born in the Brahmin community, he was initially initiated by a non-brahmin guru, Goshti Purna by a special mantra for human salvation.
Ramanuja against the wishes of his guru, proclaimed the Mantra in a temple so that all people can be benefited by it, irrespective of caste and creed. He was against all orthodoxy of his family. He sent his wife away to her parents, and took Sanyasa. He then wanted to become a disciple of Yamuna (also known as Alvander) the great Bhakti Acharya of Srirangam in South India, but before he reached the place the master’s body was laid for cremation, however, Ramanuja noticed three fingers of the Guru clenched and wanted to know the reason for it, he was told that it was the wish of the master before his death, that Ramanuja should write commentaries of Bhagavad- Gita, Brahma Sutra and the Vishnu Sahasranamam and extol the glory of Vishnu and the path of Bhakti.
Accordingly, Ramanuja expounded the great philosophy which later came to be known as Visishtadwita and succeeded the Guru, he postulated that the Soul, Matter (Body) and God are distinct but the former two are inseparable from God and may be referred as his attributes. Many poet saints known as Alwars in South India created a new wave of devotional life with miracles and Divine grace, they worshiped only Vishnu thus creating a distinction between Saivites (devotees of Siva also called Nayanmars) and Vaishnavites (devotees of Vishnu).
Vaishnavites strongly believe in rituals as the religious paths for ultimate Bliss and thus Ramanuja can be said to have bridged the gulf between philosophy and religion by his great devotion to God and deep love for mankind. He is reported to have lived the full span of human life, one hundred and twenty years, and just before his end he had summoned all his disciples and reported to have given them several injunctions for propagating amongst his followers.