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Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's Legacy: Once a Philosopher, No Return After (By Mr. Ogbule Chibuzo Isaac)

Updated: Feb 9

A charming village.

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Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, full name Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, was an Indian philosopher, statesman, and the second President of India. He was born on September 5, 1888, in a small village in the present-day Thiruttani taluk of Tamil Nadu, India. Dr. Radhakrishnan was a highly respected academic and played a significant role in shaping India's education system.

Radhakrishnan began his career as a professor of philosophy, teaching at several prestigious institutions, including the University of Mysore, the University of Calcutta, and the University of Oxford. His profound knowledge and expertise in the subject earned him recognition both in India and abroad.

Dr. Radhakrishnan's philosophy focused on the integration of Eastern and Western philosophical traditions. He emphasized the importance of spiritual and ethical values, and he believed that all religions share a common spiritual core. He advocated for a more comprehensive understanding of religion, and he sought to promote religious harmony and tolerance.

In addition to his academic career, Radhakrishnan also had a distinguished political career. He served as the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936 and as the Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University from 1939 to 1948. He was a prominent member of the Indian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly and served as the Indian Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1949 to 1952.

In 1962, Dr. Radhakrishnan was elected as the President of India, a position he held until 1967. As President, he brought a scholarly and intellectual approach to the role and was widely admired for his humility and integrity.

After his presidency, Radhakrishnan continued to contribute to academia and philosophy. He wrote extensively on Indian philosophy and religion and received numerous awards and honors for his work. His birthday, September 5th, is celebrated in India as Teacher's Day to honor his contributions to education.

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's legacy as a philosopher, statesman, and academic continues to inspire generations in India and beyond. His commitment to education, philosophy, and religious harmony remains influential.

Dr. S. Radhakrishman Works:

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan was a renowned philosopher, and his works have made significant contributions to the field of philosophy. He wrote extensively on various philosophical topics.

"Indian Philosophy" (1923):

"Indian Philosophy" is one of the notable works by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, published in 1923. In this book, Radhakrishnan provides a comprehensive exploration of Indian philosophical traditions, presenting a scholarly analysis of their key concepts, theories, and thinkers.

The book covers a wide range of philosophical schools and systems that have emerged in India, such as Vedanta, Buddhism, Jainism, and other schools of Hindu philosophy. Radhakrishnan examines the fundamental questions addressed by these traditions, such as the nature of reality, the concept of self, the nature of knowledge, and the ultimate goal of human life.

Radhakrishnan's approach in "Indian Philosophy" is to present a sympathetic understanding of the various schools of thought, highlighting their unique contributions to the philosophical landscape. He emphasizes the diversity and richness of Indian philosophy, showcasing its profound insights into the nature of existence, consciousness, and the human spirit.

Through his analysis, Radhakrishnan aims to convey the profound philosophical heritage of India to a broader audience. He explores the connections between Indian philosophy and other philosophical traditions, inviting comparative and cross-cultural perspectives.

"Indian Philosophy" not only serves as an introduction to Indian philosophical thought but also provides a deep exploration of its nuances and complexities. The book showcases Radhakrishnan's expertise as a philosopher and his ability to present complex ideas in a lucid and accessible manner.

Due to its comprehensive and insightful treatment of Indian philosophy, Radhakrishnan's "Indian Philosophy" remains a significant contribution to the field and continues to be widely read and studied by scholars, students, and enthusiasts of philosophy.

"The Philosophy of the Upanishads" (1924):

"The Philosophy of the Upanishads" is another notable work by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, published in 1924. In this book, Radhakrishnan explores the philosophical teachings of the Upanishads, which are ancient Indian scriptures and a foundational text of Hindu philosophy.

Radhakrishnan delves into the profound insights and wisdom contained in the Upanishads, offering an interpretation and analysis of their key philosophical concepts. He explores themes such as the nature of reality, the nature of the self (Atman), the concept of Brahman (the ultimate reality), and the relationship between the individual and the cosmic consciousness.

Radhakrishnan emphasizes the metaphysical and spiritual dimensions of the Upanishads, presenting them as a guide to understanding the nature of existence and the ultimate truth. He discusses the Upanishadic teachings on the unity of all beings, the concept of Maya (illusion), and the quest for self-realization and liberation (Moksha).

Through his exploration of the Upanishads, Radhakrishnan highlights the emphasis placed on direct personal experience and introspection as means of gaining spiritual insight. He illuminates the Upanishadic vision of a transcendent reality that can be realized through deep contemplation and self-discovery.

"The Philosophy of the Upanishads" not only provides an exposition of the philosophical teachings of the Upanishads but also situates them within the broader context of Indian philosophy.

Radhakrishnan discusses the relationship between the Upanishads and other philosophical systems, such as Vedanta and Buddhism, showcasing their mutual influences and divergences.

The book reflects Radhakrishnan's deep engagement with the Upanishads and his attempt to make their profound wisdom accessible to a wider audience. His insightful analysis and interpretations continue to inspire scholars and readers interested in Indian philosophy and the spiritual dimensions of human existence.

"An Idealist View of Life" (1932):

"An Idealist View of Life" is a significant work by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, first published in 1932. In this book, Radhakrishnan presents his philosophical worldview, which is rooted in idealism—a philosophical position that asserts the primacy of consciousness and emphasizes the importance of ethical values.

Radhakrishnan explores various aspects of life and reality from an idealist perspective. He delves into metaphysical questions, discussing the nature of reality, the relationship between the mind and the external world, and the role of consciousness in shaping our understanding of the world.

One of the central themes of "An Idealist View of Life" is the interplay between the individual and society. Radhakrishnan argues for the importance of ethical values and their significance in personal and social transformation. He explores the ethical dimensions of life and advocates for a harmonious integration of personal ideals and societal values.

The book also addresses the tension between reason and faith, with Radhakrishnan emphasizing the role of both in shaping our worldview. He discusses the need to strike a balance between rational inquiry and intuitive insights, recognizing the limitations of reason alone in comprehending the deeper dimensions of human existence.

Furthermore, Radhakrishnan engages with the ideas of other philosophers and scholars, including Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, and Henri Bergson, among others, to present a broader philosophical context for his idealist view of life.

An Idealist View of Life" showcases Radhakrishnan's philosophical thought and his commitment to ethical values and spirituality. It reflects his belief in the power of ideas and the transformative potential of human consciousness. The book remains relevant for those interested in idealist philosophy, ethics, and the exploration of the human condition.

"Recovery of Faith" (1939):

"Recovery of Faith" is a significant work by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, first published in 1939. In this book, Radhakrishnan explores the significance of faith in the modern world and examines the relationship between religion, reason, and science.

Radhakrishnan argues for the recovery of faith as a vital aspect of human existence, emphasizing that faith is not necessarily opposed to reason or incompatible with scientific inquiry. He contends that faith plays a crucial role in addressing the deeper questions of human existence that science and reason alone may not fully answer.

In "Recovery of Faith," Radhakrishnan discusses the challenges faced by religion in the face of modern scientific and rationalistic thinking. He examines the limitations of a purely materialistic worldview and contends that a comprehensive understanding of reality requires an integration of both scientific knowledge and religious insights.

Radhakrishnan advocates for a more inclusive and tolerant approach to religion, promoting a broad and universalistic understanding that transcends dogma and rituals. He emphasizes the importance of religious experience, moral values, and spiritual transformation in the pursuit of a meaningful and fulfilling life.

The book engages with a range of philosophical, theological, and scientific perspectives, drawing on thinkers such as William James, Friedrich Schleiermacher, and Albert Einstein. Radhakrishnan explores the points of convergence and divergence between religion and science, highlighting their complementary aspects and the need for dialogue and mutual understanding.

"Recovery of Faith" reflects Radhakrishnan's commitment to promoting religious harmony and his belief in the transformative power of faith. The book offers insights into the challenges and possibilities of religious belief in the modern world and continues to be relevant for those interested in the intersections of religion, reason, and spirituality.

"Eastern Religions and Western Thought" (1939):

"Eastern Religions and Western Thought" is another significant work by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, published in 1939. In this book, Radhakrishnan explores the encounter between Eastern religions, particularly Hinduism and Buddhism, and Western philosophical traditions.

Radhakrishnan delves into the philosophical and spiritual insights of Eastern religions and compares them with Western thought. He seeks to bridge the gap between these two philosophical traditions and highlight the unique perspectives offered by Eastern philosophies.

The book examines the fundamental concepts and teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism, such as karma, dharma, nirvana, and the concept of the self. Radhakrishnan explores how these concepts differ from the Western philosophical notions of God, morality, and the nature of existence.

Through comparative analysis, Radhakrishnan highlights the distinctiveness of Eastern religions, emphasizing their focus on spiritual experience, the illusory nature of the material world, and the unity of all beings. He discusses the ways in which Eastern philosophies offer alternative perspectives on topics like metaphysics, ethics, and the nature of consciousness.

Radhakrishnan's intention in "Eastern Religions and Western Thought" is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of Eastern philosophical traditions among Western readers. He advocates for an inclusive approach that recognizes the validity and richness of diverse philosophical perspectives.

The book reflects Radhakrishnan's scholarship and his commitment to intercultural dialogue. By examining the encounter between Eastern religions and Western thought, Radhakrishnan seeks to promote cross-cultural understanding and the recognition of the universal insights found in various philosophical traditions.

"Eastern Religions and Western Thought" remains a significant work for those interested in comparative religion, intercultural philosophy, and the exploration of Eastern philosophical perspectives. It showcases Radhakrishnan's ability to engage with complex ideas and foster dialogue between different intellectual traditions.

A Philosophical Appraisal on Dr.S. Radhakrishman Works:

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's philosophical works have garnered significant appraisal for their depth, scholarship, and unique contributions to the field of philosophy.

In Conclusion, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's philosophical works have received widespread appreciation for their depth, clarity, and their ability to bridge diverse philosophical traditions. His contributions continue to inspire scholars, students, and readers interested in Indian philosophy, comparative religion, and the exploration of fundamental questions about human existence.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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