Since , his birthday has been celebrated in India as Teachers' Day on 5 September every year. His early years were spent in Thiruttani and Tirupati. His father was a subordinate revenue official in the service of a local zamindar local landlord. His primary education was at K.
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V High School at Thiruttani. Radhakrishnan was awarded scholarships throughout his academic life. He joined Voorhees College in Vellore for his high school education. After his F. First of Arts class, he joined the Madras Christian College at the age of He graduated from there in , and also finished his Masters the same college. Radhakrishnan studied philosophy by chance rather than choice.
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Being a financially constrained student, when a cousin who graduated from the same college passed on his philosophy textbooks in to Radhakrishnan, it automatically decided his academic course. Radhakrishnan wrote his thesis for the M. William Meston and Dr. Alfred George Hogg, commended Radhakrishnan's dissertation.
According to Radhakrishnan himself, the criticism of Hogg and other Christian teachers of Indian culture "disturbed my faith and shook the traditional props on which I leaned.
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The challenge of Christian critics impelled me to make a study of Hinduism and find out what is living and what is dead in it. My pride as a Hindu, roused by the enterprise and eloquence of Swami Vivekananda , was deeply hurt by the treatment accorded to Hinduism in missionary institutions.
This led him to his critical study of Indian philosophy and religion  and a lifelong defence of Hinduism against "uninformed Western criticism". In reciprocation, Radhakrishnan dedicated one of his early books to William Skinner. Radhakrishnan was married to Sivakamu, [note 1] a distant cousin, at the age of The couple had five daughters and a son, Sarvepalli Gopal. Sarvepalli Gopal went on to a notable career as a historian. Sivakamu died in They were married for over 51 years.
Thereafter, in , he was selected as Professor of Philosophy by the University of Mysore , where he taught at its Maharaja's College, Mysore. He also completed his first book, The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore. He believed Tagore 's philosophy to be the "genuine manifestation of the Indian spirit". Another important academic event during this period was the invitation to deliver the Hibbert Lecture on the ideals of life which he delivered at Manchester College, Oxford in and which was subsequently published in book form as An Idealist View of Life.
In Radhakrishnan was invited to take the post vacated by Principal J. Estlin Carpenter at Manchester College.
This gave him the opportunity to lecture to the students of the University of Oxford on Comparative Religion. For his services to education he was knighted by George V in the June Birthday Honours , [web 5] and formally invested with his honour by the Governor-General of India , the Earl of Willingdon , in April He was the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from to That same year, and again in , he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, although this nomination process, as for all laureates, was not public at the time.
Further nominations for the award would continue steadily into the s. In Pt. Radhakrishnan started his political career "rather late in life", after his successful of his academic career. In he was nominated to the League of Nations Committee for Intellectual Cooperation , where after "in Western eyes he was the recognized Hindu authority on Indian ideas and a persuasive interpreter of the role of Eastern institutions in contemporary society. He was also elected to the Constituent Assembly of India. Radhakrishnan was elected as the first Vice-President of India in , and elected as the second President of India — Radhakrishnan did not have a background in the Congress Party, nor was he active in the struggle against British rules.
He was the politician in shadow. His motivation lay in his pride of Hindu culture , and the defence of Hinduism against "uninformed Western criticism". He had always defended Hindu culture against uninformed Western criticism and had symbolized the pride of Indians in their own intellectual traditions. When he became the President of India, some of his students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrate his birthday, on 5 September. He replied,.
Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5th is observed as Teachers' Day. His birthday has since been celebrated as Teacher's Day in India. Along with Ghanshyam Das Birla and some other social workers in the pre-independence era, Radhakrishnan formed the Krishnarpan Charity Trust. He was against State institutions imparting denominational religious instruction as it was against the secular vision of the Indian State.
Radhakrishnan tried to bridge eastern and western thought,  defending Hinduism against "uninformed Western criticism",  but also incorporating Western philosophical and religious thought. Radhakrishnan was one of the most prominent spokesmen of Neo-Vedanta. According to Radhakrishnan, maya is not a strict absolute idealism, but "a subjective misperception of the world as ultimately real.
For Radhakrishnan, theology and creeds are intellectual formulations, and symbols of religious experience or "religious intuitions". Radhakrishnan saw Hinduism as a scientific religion based on facts, apprehended via intuition or religious experience. They are the pioneer researchers in the realm of the spirit who saw more in the world than their followers. Their utterances are not based on transitory vision but on a continuous experience of resident life and power. When the Vedas are regarded as the highest authority, all that is meant is that the most exacting of all authorities is the authority of facts.
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The worshippers of the absolute are of the highest rank; second to them are the worshippers of the personal God; then come the worshippers of the incarnations of Rama, Krishna, Buddha; below them are those who worship deities, ancestors, and sages, and lowest of all are the worshippers of petty forces and spirits. The deities of some men are in water i. The man of action finds his God in fire, the man of feeling in the heart, and the feeble minded in the idol, but the strong in spirit find God everywhere".
The seers see the supreme in the self, and not the images. To Radhakrishnan, Advaita Vedanta was the best representative of Hinduism, as being grounded in intuition, in contrast to the "intellectually mediated interpretations" [web 2] of other religions. The Vedanta is not a religion, but religion itself in its most universal and deepest significance.
Radhakrishnan saw other religions, "including what Radhakrishnan understands as lower forms of Hinduism," [web 2] as interpretations of Advaita Vedanta, thereby Hinduising all religions. Although Radhakrishnan was well-acquainted with western culture and philosophy, he was also critical of them. He stated that Western philosophers, despite all claims to objectivity , were influenced by theological influences of their own culture.
In the January issue of Modern Review , the Bengali philosopher Jadunath Sinha made the sensational claim that parts of his doctoral thesis, Indian Psychology of Perception , published in , were copied by his teacher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan into his book Indian Philosophy II , published in Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan for infringement of his copyrights. Sinha claimed damages for Rs 20, Sinha's case was strong as many of his articles were already published.
Syama Prasad Mookerjee mediated between them.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Biography Essay Short Words of Life - Short Biography
They then settled the issue out of court. Radhakrishnan was one of India's best and most influential twentieth-century scholars of comparative religion and philosophy. Radhakrishnan's defence of the Hindu traditions has been highly influential,  both in India and the western world. In India, Radhakrishnan's ideas contributed to the formation of India as a nation-state.
In figures such as Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan we witness Vedanta traveling to the West, where it nourished the spiritual hunger of Europeans and Americans in the early decades of the twentieth century. Nor would it be possible to find a more excellent example of a living "bridge" between the East and the West than Professor Radhakrishnan.
Steeped, as Radhakrishnan has been since his childhood, in the life, traditions, and philosophical heritage of his native India, he has also struck deep roots in Western philosophy, which he has been studying tirelessly ever since his undergraduate college-days in Madras Christian College, and in which he is as thoroughly at home as any Western philosopher. Radhakrishnan's concern for experience and his extensive knowledge of the Western philosophical and literary traditions has earned him the reputation of being a bridge-builder between India and the West.
He often appears to feel at home in the Indian as well as the Western philosophical contexts, and draws from both Western and Indian sources throughout his writing. Because of this, Radhakrishnan has been held up in academic circles as a representative of Hinduism to the West. His lengthy writing career and his many published works have been influential in shaping the West's understanding of Hinduism, India, and the East.
Radhakrishnan's ideas have also received criticism and challenges, for their perennialist   and universalist claims,   and the use of an East-West dichotomy. This added to his fame.
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