Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, fully Sir or Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Sarvepalli
Radhakrishnan, fully Sir or Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
1888
1975

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

Author Quotes

If the ideas of the upaniShads help us to rise above the glamour of the fleshy life, it is because their authors, pure of soul, ever striving towards the divine, reveal to us their pictures of the splendors of the unseen. The upaniShads are respected not because they are a part of shruti or revealed literature and so hold a reserved position but because they have inspired generations of Indians with vision and strength by their inexhaustible significance and spiritual power. Indian thought has constantly turned to these scriptures for fresh illumination and spiritual recovery or recommencement, and not in vain. The fire still burns bright on their altars. Their light is for the seeing eye and their message is for the seeker after truth.

It is one of the hardest things to criticize the actions of those of whom we are fond, but it is what one expects and longs for from true friendship. Every time the courage is found, the bond becomes stronger. A true friend not only seeks and inquires, but probes and pierces, digs his fists into the heart, though this process of ruthless unveiling or pitiless exposure is most painful and costing. But then the only way to attain peace of mind and inward harmony is by means of knowledge and adjustment. We must be completely sincere with ourselves and then adjust ourselves to circumstances. We must never lie to ourselves. If it is true that we do not know perfectly until we love perfectly, it is also true that we do not love perfectly until we know perfectly.

Every attempt to gain universality on the part of the historical religions (brings) them to the Indian religious thought.

Feeling the unity of himself and the universe, the man who lives in spirit is no more a separate and self-centered individual but a vehicle of the universal spirit. [Like the artist, the moral hero does not turn his back on the world. Instead], He throws himself on the world and lives for its redemption, possessed as he is with an unshakable sense of optimism and an unlimited faith in the powers of the soul.

For Madhva there are five eternal distinctions between (1) God and the individual soul, (2) God and matter, (3) soul and matter, (4) one soul and another, (5) one particle of matter and another. The supreme being endowed with all auspicious qualities is called viShNu, and lakShmI is His power dependent on Him. mokSha is release from rebirth and residence in the abode of nArAyaNa. Human souls are innumerable, and each of them is separate and eternal. The divine souls are destined for salvation. Those who are neither very good nor very bad are subject to samsAra, and the bad go to hell. Right knowledge of God and devotion to Him are the means to salvation. Without divine grace there can be no salvation.

Hinduism accepts all religious notions as facts and arranges them in the order of their more or less intrinsic significance. The worshippers of the Absolute are the highest in rank; second to them are the worshippers of the personal God; then come the worshippers of the incarnations like Rama, K???a, Buddha; below them are those who worship ancestors, deities and sages, and the lowest of all are the worshippers of the petty forces and spirits.

Even in the act of composition, the poet is in a state in which the reflective elements are subordinated to the intuitive. The vision, however, is not operative for so long as it continues, its very stress acts as a check on expression.

Education, to be complete, must be humane, it must include not of the sonly the training of the intellect but the refinement of the heart and the discipline spirit. No education can be regarded as complete if it neglects the heart and the spirit. ? Humanism in Education - No nation in this world can hold its place of primacy in perpetuity. What counts is the moral contribution we make to human welfare.

All art is the expression of experience in some medium.

Among the races, religions, and nations which live side by side on the small globe, there is not that sense of fellowship necessary for good life. They rather feel themselves to be antagonistic forces. Though humanity has assumed a uniform outer body, it is still without a single animating spirit. The world is not of one mind? The provincial cultures of the past and the present have not always been loyal to the true interests of the human race. They stood for racial, religious, and political monopolies, for the supremacy of men over women and of the rich over the poor. Before we can build a stable civilization worthy of humanity as a whole, it is necessary that each historical civilization should become conscious of its limitations and it's unworthiness to become the ideal civilization of the world.

Anyone who reads the upaniShads in the original Sanskrit will be caught up and carried away by the elevation, the poetry, the compelling fascination of the many utterances through which they lay bare the secret and sacred relations of the human soul and the Ultimate Reality. When we read them, we cannot help being impressed by the exceptional ability, earnestness and ripeness of mind of those who wrestled with these ultimate questions. These souls who tackled these problems remain still and will remain for all time in essential harmony with the highest ideals of civilization.

As a part of the Veda, the upaniShads belong to sruti or revealed literature. They are immemorial, sanAtana, timeless. Their truths are said to be breathed out by God or visioned by the seers. They are the utterances of the sages who speak out of the fullness of their illumined experience. They are not reached by ordinary perception, inference or reflection, but seen by the seers, even as we see and not infer the wealth and riot of color in the summer sky. The seers have the same sense of assurance and possession of their spiritual vision as we have of our physical perception. The sages are men of 'direct' vision, in the words of yAska, sAkShAt-kRhta-dharmANaH, and the records of their experiences are the facts to be considered by any philosophy of religion. The truth revealed to the seers are not mere reports of introspection which are purely subjective. The inspired sages proclaim that the knowledge they communicate is not what they discover for themselves. It is revealed to them without their effort.

Asceticism is an excess indulged in by those who exaggerate the transcendent aspect of reality. Instead, the rational mystic does not recognize any antithesis between the secular and the sacred. Nothing is to be rejected; everything is to be raised.

Besides, at a time when moral aggression is compelling people to capitulate to queer ways of life, when vast experiments in social structure and political organization are being made at enormous cost of life and suffering, when we stand perplexed and confused before the future with no clear light to guide our way, the power of the human soul is the only refuge. If we resolve to be governed by it, our civilization may enter upon its most glorious epoch. There are many 'dissatisfied children of the spirit of the west', to use Romain Rolland's phrase, who are oppressed that the universality of her great thoughts has been defamed for ends of violent action, that they are trapped in a blind alley and are savagely crushing each other out of existence. When an old binding culture is being broken, when ethical standards are dissolving, when we are being aroused out of apathy or awakened out of unconsciousness, when there is in the air general ferment, inward stirring, cultural crisis, then a high tide of spiritual agitation sweeps over peoples and we sense in the horizon something novel, something unprecedented, the beginnings of a spiritual renaissance. We are living in a world of freer cultural intercourse and wider world sympathies. No one can ignore his neighbor who is also groping in this world of sense for the world unseen. The task set to our generation is to reconcile the varying ideals of the converging cultural patterns and help them to sustain and support rather than combat and destroy one another. By this process they are transformed from within and the forms that separate them will lose their exclusivist meaning and signify only that unity with their own origins and inspirations.

Conceptual expressions are tentative and provisional... [because] the intellectual account... are constructed theories of experience. [And he cautions us to] distinguish between the immediate experience or intuition which might conceivably be infallible and the interpretation which is mixed up with it.

Creative insight is not the final link in a chain of reasoning. If it were that, it would not strike us as inspired in its origin. Intuition is not the end, but part of an ever-developing and ever-dynamic process of realization. There is continual system of ?checks and balances? between intuition and the logical method of discursive reasoning. Cognitive intuitions are not substitutes for thought, they are challenges to intelligence. Mere intuitions are blind while intellectual work is empty. All processes are partly intuitive and partly intellectual. There is no gulf between the two.

Democracy has become confused with ignorance, lack of discipline, and low tastes ? Though educational facilities are within the reach of large numbers, the level of culture is not high. It has become more easy to get into a college and more difficult to get educated. We are taught to read but not trained to think ? Those who know better are afraid to speak out but keep step with the average mind. Uncivilized mass-impulses, crowd emotions and class-resentments have taken the place of authority and tradition.

Difference and non-difference are positive facts of experience and yet cannot be reconciled. It is an incomprehensible synthesis of opposites.

A proper knowledge of the texts is an indispensable aid to the understanding of the upaniShads. There are parts of the upaniShads which repel us by their repetitiveness and irrelevance to our needs, philosophical and religious. But if we are to understand their ideas, we must know the atmosphere in which they worked. We must not judge ancient writings from our standards. We need not condemn our fathers for having been what they were or ourselves for being somewhat different from them. It is our task to relate them to their environment, to bridge distances of time and space and separate the transitory from the permanent.

A stone is not self any more than a self is a stone.

Tolerance is the homage which the finite mind pays to the inexhaustibility of the Infinite.

We must recall humanity to those moral roots from which both order and freedom spring.

Wealth, power and efficiency are the appurtenances of life and not life itself.

A large part of the world received its religious education from India … In spite of continuous struggle with theological baggage, India has held fast for centuries to the ideals of spirit.

Hinduism is an inheritance of thought and aspiration, living and moving with the movement of life itself.

Author Picture
First Name
Sarvepalli
Last Name
Radhakrishnan, fully Sir or Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Birth Date
1888
Death Date
1975
Bio

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