Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, fully Sir or Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Radhakrishnan, fully Sir or Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Indian Advaita Vedantist Philosopher, Writer and Politician, Vice President and later President of India

Author Quotes

The institution of caste illustrates the spirit of comprehensive synthesis characteristic of the Hindu mind with its faith in the collaboration of races and the co-operation of cultures. Paradoxical as it may seem, the system of caste is the outcome of tolerance and trust.

The upaniShads are the foundations on which the beliefs of millions of human beings, who were not much inferior to ourselves, are based. Nothing is more sacred to man than his own history. At least as memorials of the past, the upaniShads are worth our attention.

The main function of a university is not to grant degrees and diplomas, but to develop the university spirit and advance learning. The former is impossible without corporate life, the latter without honors and post-graduate

The upaniShads are vehicles more of spiritual illumination than of systematic reflection. They reveal to us a world of rich and varied spiritual experience rather than a world of abstract philosophical categories. Their truths are verified not only by logical reason but by personal experience. Their aim is practical rather than speculative. Knowledge is a means to freedom. Philosophy, brahma-vidyA, is the pursuit of wisdom by a way of life.

The man of faith, whether he be Hindu or Buddhist, Muslim or Christian, has certainty, and yet there is a difference between the two pairs. The attitude of the cultivated Hindu and the Buddhist to other forms of worship is one of sympathy and respect, and not criticism and contempt for their own sake. This friendly understanding is not inconsistent with deep feeling and thought. Faith for the Hindu does not mean dogmatism. He does not smell heresy in those who are not entirely of his mind. It is not devotion that leads to the assertive temper, but limitation of outlook, hardness, and uncharity. While full of unquestioning belief, the Hindu is at the same time devoid of harsh judgment. It is not historically true that in the knowledge of truth there is of necessity great intolerance.

The upaniShads contain accounts of the mystic significance of the syllable aum, explanations of mystic words like tajjalAn, which are intelligible only to the initiated, and secret texts and esoteric doctrines. upaniShad became a name for a mystery, a secret, rahasyam, communicated only to the tested few.

The marginalization of intuition and the abandonment of the experimental attitude in matters of religion has lead Christianity to dogmatic stasis. It is an unfortunate legacy of the course which Christian theology has followed in Europe that faith has come to connote a mechanical adherence to authority. If we take faith in the proper sense of truth or spiritual conviction, religion is faith or intuition.

Religion in terms of ?personal experience is an independent functioning of the human mind, something unique, possessing and autonomous character. It is something inward and personal which unifies all values and organizes all experiences. It is the reaction to the whole of man to the whole of reality. It may be called spiritual life, as distinct from a merely intellectual or moral or aesthetic activity or a combination of them.

The disciples surrounded with cheap marvels and wonders the lonely figure of that serene Soul, simple and austere in his yellow robes, walking with bared feet and bowed head towards Benares.

Religion includes faith in human brotherhood and politics is the most effective means of rendering it into visible form.

The East and the West are not so sharply divided as the alarmists would make us believe. The products of spirit and intelligence, the positive sciences, the engineering techniques, the governmental forms, the legal regulations, the administrative arrangements, and the economic institutions are binding together peoples of varied cultures and bringing them into closer reciprocal contact. The world today is tending to function as one organism.

Religion is a kind of life or experience.

The experience or the vision is the artist?s counterpart to the scientific discovery of a principle or law. What the scientist does when he discovers a new law is to give a new ordering to observed facts. The artist is engaged in a similar task. He gives new meaning to our experience and organizes it in a different way due to his perception of subtler qualities in reality.

Religion is essentially the art and the theory of the remaking of man. Man is not a finished creation.

The Flag links up the past and the present. It is the legacy bequeathed to us by the architects of our liberty. Those who fought under this Flag are mainly responsible for the arrival of this great day of Independence for India. Pandit Jawaharlal has pointed out to you that it is not a day of joy unmixed with sorrow. The Congress fought for unity and liberty. The unity has been compromised; liberty too. I feel, has been compromised, unless we are able to face the tasks which now confront us with courage, strength and vision. What is essential to-day is to equip ourselves with new strength and with new character if these difficulties are to be overcome and if the country is to achieve the great ideal of unity and liberty which it fought for. Times are hard. Everywhere we are consumed by phantasies. Our minds are haunted by myths. The world is full of misunderstandings, suspicions and distrusts. In these difficult days it depends on us under what banner we fight. Here we are Putting in the very center the white, the white of the Sun's rays. The white means the path of light. There is darkness even at noon as some People have urged, but it is necessary for us to dissipate these clouds of darkness and control our conduct-by the ideal light, the light of truth, of transparent simplicity which is illustrated by the color of white.

Religious intuition informs, conjoins, and transcends an otherwise fragmentary consciousness.

The friend takes the place of an analyst, who succeeds in removing the blind urges and fixations by exposing them to view. Some are silent, because they have nothing to say; others are silent because they have no one to say it to. To a true friend, even the most perverse will pour out their hearts and thus get relieved. He is not afraid to face the dismal reality and see it as it really is. For the soul of man is essentially a lovable thing. No human being is innately wicked or incapable of improvement. No one can succeed in stifling the soul or drugging or deceiving it for all time. The best side of a human being is his real side, his true self. Such an attitude to life makes one turn a blind eye to human inertia and weakness. 'Love', says St. Paul, 'is never glad when others go wrong, love is gladdened by goodness, always slow to expose, always eager to believe the best, always hopeful, always patient'.

Religious intuition is a unique form of experience. Religious intuition is more than simply the confluence of the cognitive, aesthetic, and ethical sides of life. However vital and significant these sides of life may be, they are but partial and fragmented constituents of a greater whole, a whole which is experienced in its fullness and immediacy in religious intuition.

The future of civilization depends upon the return of spiritual awareness to the hearts and minds of men.

Rules change from age to age.

The Gita asks us to live in the world and to save it.

Shankara derives the word upaniShad as a substantive from the root sad, 'to loosen', 'to reach' or 'to destroy' with upa and ni as prefixes and kvip as termination. [ Introduction to the KaTha upaniShad. In his commentary on TaittirIya upaniShad, he says, upaniShannaM vA asyAm paraM sreya iti.]If this derivation is accepted, upaniShad means brahma-knowledge by which ignorance is loosened or destroyed. The treatises that deal with brahma-knowledge are called the upaniShads and so pass for the VedAnta. The different derivations together make out that the upaniShads give us both spiritual vision and philosophical argument. There is a core of certainty which is essentially incommunicable except by a way of life. It is by a strictly personal effort that one can reach the truth.

The greatest gift of life is the dream of a higher life.

My ambition is to unfold the sources of India in the profound plane of human nature.

So many civilizations have come, floated on the surface, disappeared again. What remains is humanity. It is for the sake of that humanity that we have to work.

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Indian Advaita Vedantist Philosopher, Writer and Politician, Vice President and later President of India