Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Essay in 500 Words
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a teacher, philosopher, author and a politician, was a distinguished academician. He was a brilliant student and an avid reader with a philosophical outlook. He was born on 5th September 1888 in Andhra Pradesh to a Telugu speaking Brahmin family.
His father’s name was Veeraswami and mother’s Sita. He commenced his career as a teacher and was the first Vice President of India and second President of India. Therefore, from then every year teacher’s day is celebrated on 5th September in India to commemorate his birthday.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan – Academic and Life Achievements
Because of his intellectual calibre, he was always awarded scholarships. He completed his high school study from Voorhees College in Vellore. After completion of his high school, he enrolled in Madras Christian College at the age of 17 and completed his graduation and masters in philosophy from the same college.
Later he was appointed as a professor of Indian Philosophy in Mysore University in 1916 and remained until 1921. During his tenure in Mysore, he wrote two important books-“the Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore” and the “Reign of Religion in Contemporary Philosophy” in 1920. The latter is generally considered one of the greatest works of his life.
Dr. Radhakrishnan wrote many books and articles on philosophy. Among them, the book called ‘An Idealist View of Life’ gained a lot of popularity, and he became famous worldwide. He even delivered lectures on philosophy at the Manchester College of Oxford and was offered a position.
He was willing to accept the offer but under one condition that he would spend six months of the year in India. The college did not accept his decision, and he returned to take a post at Calcutta University. In Calcutta, he wrote a book entitled “Eastern Religion and Western Thought,” which was published later.
The Benaras Hindu University appointed him the Vice Chancellor from 1939 to 1946. Here, too, he worked with zeal and proved his excellence and competence. Also, he served as a Chancellor of Delhi University.
In his book called, ‘Indian Philosophy ‘he composed ideology of Vedas, Jainism, Buddhism, Upanishads and Bhagwat Gita.
In 1947 after independence, he represented India at UNESCO and became a diplomat to the Soviet Union. He was also elected to the constituent assembly of India.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan – Educational Ideas and Beliefs
He was a visionary and believed that a teacher should be the best minds in the country. He has been instrumental in shaping the young in terms of understanding Hinduism, in both India and west and hence earned a stature of a bridge-builder between India and west.
He was a patron of Hinduism and opined that only the right kind of education could foster creativity and solve problems of life. He did not encourage seeking knowledge for namesake but to think critically and practically, to adhere to truth and create a power to resist mob passion.
He desired to have a classless society through education to reduce the distinction between rich and poor and develop a universal brotherhood. He also supported spiritual education and thought that spiritual knowledge moulds a student into a better individual. Without religious feelings, intellectual and physical development ceases to grow.
With the aim of education, he wanted to bring people nearer to God. Education should instil the values of integrity, honesty, simple living and high thinking. Learning provides eyesight through look beyond space and time and to yield productivity; education must be adequately utilised. This, in return, aids in living with harmony with others.
He adopted learning by example method of teaching and imparted the same. While teaching, he provided real examples and advocated learning arithmetic through imitation. He advocated yoga and meditation for inclusive growth and reaching his goal. He defined religion as an arduous effort to comprehend the truth.
Furthermore, he also emphasized that religion is the self-realization and based on experiences and has three stages of life–hearing, reflection and disciplined meditation. He stressed on learning, not one but various subjects for better outlook towards life. As a major in philosophy, he imbibed philosophical meaning in his teachings.
He never intended educating children and youth for their self-interest but for natural development and prosperity. Moral qualities are always better than intellectual accomplishments. He guided his students to think out of the box and have a superior outlook towards life. For him, every student has an innate spark of knowledge and power, which surfaces only with the right quality of learning.
Attaining degrees is not an education but absorption of the values and ideas for man-making, character forming and life-building. It is not mere rote learning or memorising but applying the words and meaning practically to life and word. The soul is enlightened as it dispels ignorance and promotes awareness among individuals.
He was awarded the highest civilian award of India-Bharat Ratna in 1954 for his exceptional benefaction as a teacher, philosopher and politician. He was knighted in 1931. He received Sahitya Academic Fellowship for his writing skills and was nominated sixteen times for Nobel Prize in literature and eleven times for Nobel Peace Prize.
He carved a niche as a philosopher-thinker all over the world and gained worldwide recognition. He succeeded in creating a powerful impact on his readers and the world leaders and was a proficient administrator. He was an educationist, spiritualist, an excellent orator, a genius and a charmer with his words.
He highly regarded teachers and believed that real teachers are those who help us think for ourselves. Moreover, a teacher should display dedication towards its work and strive to develop the all-round progress of a child. Motivating children to read and process the knowledge learnt should be one of the skills a teacher should possess.
He clearly expressed that the end-product of education should be a free creative mind who can fight against the adversities of nature. After his term as a President, Dr. Radhkrishnan’s health deteriorated, and he passed away on 17th April 1975, due to a cardiac arrest. Wherever Dr. Radhakrishnan went, he brought solace to the people, and his own insight brought them closer to each other.