Dr. Radhakrishnan, a great scholar and philosopher of international repute, was one of the most illustrious sons of mother India. It was on the fitness of things that this great son of the land was unanimously elected president of India.
Men are here and men and there. But great men are very rare.
It has rightly been said that great men are very difficult to be found. Dr. Sarvpalli Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888. He was the second son of his parents. From early childhood, his love for reading book was evident. During most of his leisurely time he used to have the company of books.
Books were his true friends. Being a brilliant student, he topped both in his B.A. and M.A. examinations. Of all the professions open to him, he chose to be a teacher. His long career began with an assignment in Madras Presidency College as the Assistant Professor of Philosophy.
Then he moved to the University of Maysore and later to Calcutta University. His trip abroad took him to Oxford, Cambridge and Havard Universities.
Later he became the Vice Chancellor of Andhra University. He represented India in the UNESCO and was appointed India’s ambassador to Russia. He died after occupying the highest post in the country, that of the President of India.
There are several lessons that we can learn from this great Indian. The first is the love he had for learning. He spent a lot of time in reading and reflecting on what he had read.
He developed a beautiful style which attracted his listeners. He was determined to work hard and became a teacher and educate the children and thus serve his motherland, he even used to study in street lights. He was proud of being an Indian
Radhakrishnan was a die-hard idealist. The core of his argument was that the universe is not a blind process; the course of evolution is not accidental but in some way expresses a purpose. He contended that a man can only be satisfied when he recognises the spirit in him as of highest reality.
He was a great patriot. He tried to instill in everyone the same love for country. After God, he believed country is prior to every thing and dedicated his whole life for her cause. His lectures abroad helped change the views about people of India.
He was a great philosopher and a devout Hindu, but he had great respect for all the religions. He was of the view that religion consists in doing justice to everyone, and making the fellowmen happy. He taught that it was better to be good than to be successful.
His life shows that he believed in plain living and high thinking. He said that we should live for others and not for ourselves. Service to others was foremost in his mind. We learn from his life that we ought not to care for ease and comfort but for service to others.
We should practice truth for our own sake and get ready for the service to the mankind. Success or greatness should not be thrust upon anyone. We have to make our way in life. We should respect all religious. We all are one and are the children of the same God. He said that it was foolishness to fight over religion.
He said that such kind of fights hamper the progress of the country. From him we learn that humility and simplicity are two great qualities that endear a person to others; likewise high position or honour should not make us a changed person; we should not be overjoyed by our success and disheartened by failures.
Practice makes a man perfect. One who learns from his failures achieves success in life. Speaking about God he said “God is the maker who is deeply interested in what is going on in this world. He is the judge and friend of mankind. He saves us from all evils.
Philosopher, thinker and writer Dr. Radha Sarvpalli Krishnan is one of the outstanding intellectuals of twentieth century. Profound in his philosophy and modern in his outlook he interpreted doctrine of Hindu religion in a manner easily comprehensible by any educated man in the east and the west.
He has defined the civilization of India as an effort to embody the philosophical wisdom in social life. As an intellectual being, all through out his life he preached for an awareness of the finer values of the life of humanity and realisation of such values in a non-permanent world.
As a scholar, statesman, spiritual mentor he epitomized the east at its best while being no stranger to western thought. He urged the need for a new vital religion which does not require us to surrender the right to reason.
Equally and emphatically, he demanded that there should be no suppression of individual liberty. He ridiculed the tendency to seek salvation in huts. In a synthesis of understanding, he blended today’s space age with wisdom of the Upanishads.
His life will continue to be an outstanding example for the generations to come. The bright ideas of this exemplary person will always remain in our memory.
Radhakrishnan regards means as more important than the ends “If we are sincere in our intentions and earnest in our effort, it does not matter whether we succeed or not.
Radhakrishnan was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1954. He was elected President of Indian in 1962. The office he held for a full term realising Plato’s dream of a philosopher king and retired from life in 1967.
As a teacher he has set an example for others to emulate. It is significant that his birth day is observed as the Teacher Day on 5th of September every year which is tribute to the ideal men and women dedicated to knowledge and scholarship.