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

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.

One has to achieve not merely technical efficiency but greatness of spirit.

Technique without inspiration, is barren. Intellectual powers, sense facts and imaginative fancies may result in clever verses, repetition of old themes, but they are only manufactured poetry. It is not simply a difference of quality but a difference of kind in the source itself.

Peace can come not by political or economic changes but through a change in human nature.

The art of discovery is confused with the logic of proof and an artificial simplification of the deeper movements of thought results. We forget that we invent by intuition though we prove by logic.

Poetic truth is different from scientific truth since it reveals the real in its qualitative uniqueness and not in its quantitative universality. Poetry is the language of the soul, while prose is the language of science. The former is the language of mystery, of devotion, of religion. Prose lays bare its whole meaning to the intelligence, while poetry plunges us in the mysterium tremendum of life and suggests the truths that cannot be stated.

The barriers of dogmatic religions are sterilizing men?s efforts to coordinate their forces to shape the future.

If the new harmony glimpsed in the moments of insight is to be achieved, the old order of habits must be renounced. Moral intuitions result in a redemption of our loyalties and a remaking of our personalities.

It is quite true that we attempt to regulate war, as we cannot suppress it; but the attempt cannot succeed. For war symbolizes the spirit of strife between two opposing national units which is to be settled by force. When we allow the use of force as the only argument to put down opposition, we cannot rightly discriminate between one kind of force and another. We must put down opposition by mobilizing all the forces at our disposal. There is no real difference between a stick and a sword, or gunpowder and poison gas. So long as it is the recognized method of putting down opposition, every nation will endeavor to make its destructive weapons more and more efficient. War is its only law add the highest virtue is to win, and every nation has to tread this terrific and deadly road. To approve of warfare but criticize its methods, it has been well said is like approving of the wolf eating the lamb but criticizing the table-manners. War is war and not a game of sport to be played according to rules.

If we leave aside the fanatics with whom no argument is possible, the leaders of every historical civilization to-day are convinced that mankind in all its extent and history is a single organizm, worshipful in its growing majesty and capable of a capable of a progress upon which none dare set any bounds. Dante proclaimed: "There is not one goal for this civilization and one for that, but for the civilization of all mankind there is a single goal." If there is a single goal for all civilization, it does not mean that all shall speak a common tongue or profess a common creed, or that all shall live under a single government, or all shall follow an unchanging pattern in customs and manners.

It is the intense spirituality of India, and not any great political structure or social organization that it has developed, that has enabled it to resist the ravages of time and the accidents of history.

In any concrete act of thinking the mind?s active experience is both intuitive and intellectual.

It is true that internationalism is growing. Economists warn us that war does not pay. It is bad business. Some of us are growing pacifist by policy, though not by conviction. The spirit of internationalism is but skin-deep. Except a small minority in each country who remained heroically faithful to its principles, the rest sacrificed their humanity at the altar of their country in the last war. Even the dignitaries of the Church proved themselves to be of the school of Mephistopheles, "who built God a church and laughed his word to scorn." Churches were turned into recruiting offices. The fanatic appeals of all sides to the Almighty must have confused God himself, and the frame of mind in which the onlookers were is well expressed in J. C. Squire's quatrain : ? God heard the embattled nations sing and shout

In emotional vibrancy experience is recollected not in tranquility... but in excitement.

It is true that we have the League of Nations, but it is only a mechanical frame and the soul has still to grow into its body. The spirit of ill-will and distrust is widespread. Internationalism is only an idea cherished by a few and not a part of human psychology. Ten years after the peace, the sky is not clearer than it was in August, 1914. Europe has a million more men under arms than there were before the war.

In the chessboard of life, the different pieces have powers which vary with the context and the possibilities of their combination are numerous and unpredictable. The sound player has a sense of right and feels that, if he does not follow it, he will be false to himself. In any critical situation the forward move is a creative act.

It takes centuries to make a little history; it takes centuries of history to make a tradition.

In the mystic traditions of the different religions we have a remarkable unity of spirit. Whatever religion they may profess, they are spiritual kinsmen. While the different religions in their historic forms bind us to limited groups and militate against the development of loyalty to the world community, the mystics have already stood for the fellowship ofhumanity in harmony with the spirit of the mystics of ages gone by.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Radhakrishnan, fully Sir or Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Birth Date
Death Date

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