Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was one of the greatest philosophers of modern times. He was born in Tiruttani now in Tamilnadu on 5th of September 1888. Born in an orthodox Brahmin family, it was not very difficult for him to study epics and puranas at an early age.
After his education at school where he was always a brilliant student, he did his F.A. (Intermediate) at the Voorhees College, Vellore and degree at the Christian College, Madras. While studying at the Christian College, he came under the influence of the Bible. He analyses the truths in both the Hindu and the Christian religions and was convinced that truth is the same in all religions.
In 1908 he wrote a paper, Moral Principles of Vedanta. After securing his Masters degree in Philosophy he was appointed first as Assistant Professor and later as Professor of Philosophy in the Presidency College, Madras (Now Chennai). Radhakrishnan was a very great orator. He could critically analyses and explains philosophical truths. Students liked his lectures and he was considered as an ideal teacher. He often used to say teaching gave him satisfaction and peace of mind.
He served as a Junior Professor in Government Training College, Rajahmundry for some time. In 1918, he joined the Maharaja College, Mysore as a Professor of Philosophy. He was a prolific writer. He wrote books, (1) Reason of Religion in Contemporary Philosophy (2) India Philosophy (in two volumes). These books made him world famous and he was a visiting Professor of Philosophy to many Western Universities including Oxford University, England. He served as Vice Chancellor of many universities notably, the Calcutta University, Andhra University, and Banaras Hindu University. It is while serving at Banaras that he came under the influence of Gandhiji.
He had an ‘exceptional style’ in delivering lectures which was his forte. After Independence he served as an Ambassador of India in Moscow and he was the first one to be received in person by the great leader Stalin. He served as Vice-President of India and later succeeded Dr. Rajendra Prasad as President of India.
Dr. Radhakrishnan relinquished his office as President in 1967 and he died in April 1975. He was honoured with the Bharat Ratna Award. His birthday is being celebrated as Teacher’s Day throughout the nation every year on 5th of September. That is the great honour and tribute being paid to this great philosopher by the nation.
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