Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: A Visionary Teacher

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, an Indian scholar, politician, and philosopher, was India’s second and first President. Radhakrishnan spent much of his career trying to defend, describe and spread Hinduism (Vedanta). His goal was to prove its philosophical and ethical viability; therefore, he found comfort in writing about Indian and Western philosophical contexts for his prose writing – making Radhakrishnan an iconic figure known in academic circles worldwide.

This biography will outline his early years, family life, education, school teaching career and political activism until his eventual demise.

Early Life Of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

This section will introduce Radhakrishnan’s parents and family.

  • Radhakrishnan of Sarvepalli was born on 5 September 1888.
  • Born into a Telugu-speaking Niyogi Brahmin Family in Tiruttani Madras Presidency (now Tamil Nadu), where British India once was, he attended college before taking over his father’s fortune-telling business in 1874.
  • Sarvepalli Veeraswami was his father’s name; he worked as an under-revenue official at a local zamindar, and his mother’s name was Sarvepalli Sita.
  • Sarvepalli was raised in Thiruttani and Tirupati before making his way through other towns of Andhra Pradesh. He finally returned home to Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore District, where his family hails.
  • Radhakrishnan has earned numerous scholarships throughout his academic career.

Education of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

  • He began his formal education at Thiruttani K.V High School. Subsequently, he attended Hermannsburg Evangelical Lutheran Mission School and Walajapet Government Secondary High Schools until 1896.
  • At Voorhees College in Vellore, he completed his high school education. After completing First of Art classes and enrolling at Madras Christian College when he was 17, he eventually earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously from that same institution.
  • Sarvepalli wrote his bachelor thesis, “The Ethics of Vedanta, and Its Metaphysical Presuppositions.” In response to accusations that Vedanta lacks ethical principles, he composed it. Reverend William Meston, Dr. Alfred George Hogg and Radhakrishnan all praised it; Radhakrishnan published his dissertation at just 20 years old!

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Family

  • When they married at 16 years old, Sarvepalli and Sivakamu made headlines as being part of an unusual couple.
  • Radha Krishnan was Radha’s distant cousin.
  • Radhakrishnan and Sivakamu have been happily married for over 51 years, sharing over 51 years of wedded bliss.
  • Radhakrishnan was the father of six children – five daughters and one son.
  • Sarvepalli was an esteemed Indian historian. He wrote his father’s biographies: Radhakrishnan: A Biography and Jawaharlal: A Biography.

Radha Krishnan Began her Academic Career

  • He enrolled at Madras Presidency College Department of Philosophy in April 1909.
  • In 1918, he was appointed Professor of Philosophical Studies at the University of Mysore and taught at Maharaja’s College of Mysore.
  • At Maharaja’s College, he wrote numerous articles for esteemed publications like the Quest Journal of Philosophy and the International Journal of Ethics.
  • Rabindranath Tagore’s Philosophy was completed as his debut novel. Tagore believed it to be “a true reflection of Indian Spirit.”
  • He published The Reign of Religion In Contemporary Philosophy in 1920.
  • In 1921, he was appointed professor of philosophy at Calcutta University, where he held the King George V Chair of Moral and Mental Science.
  • He represented the University of Calcutta at the British Empire Universities Congress and Harvard’s International Congress of Philosophy held in September 1926.
  • At this point in his academic life, a significant academic event occurred when he accepted and delivered the Hibbert Lectures on Ideals of Life at Manchester College, Oxford, in 1929. He wrote and published his book entitled An Idealist View of Life later that same year.
  • Radhakrishnan was invited to Manchester College as the replacement Principal J. Estlin Carpenter in 1929 and presented a Comparative Religion Lecture to the University of Oxford Students.
  • George V knighted him for his contributions to education. Earl Willingdon, Governor-General of India at that time, bestowed this honor upon him in April 1932.
  • After India gained Independence, he abandoned his former title and assumed the academic designation “Doctor”.
  • He served as vice-chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1938.
  • Radhakrishnan became a fellow at All Souls College and later received Oxford’s Spalding professorship of Eastern Religions and Ethics in 1936.
  • 1937, he was first nominated for a Nobel Prize for Literature; subsequent nominations continued until 1960.
  • He was asked to take over for Pt. Madan Mohan Malik as Vice-Chancellor at Banaras Hindu University from January 1948 until January 1949, serving in that position between January 1948 and January 1949.
  • Radha Krishnan’s Political Career
  • This section will present Radha Krishnan’s views and career. He served as Vice President before assuming the Radhakrishnan Presidentship.

Radhakrishnan Began his Political Career

Late in life, after establishing an impressive academic and research career, but following an international impactful impact. From then on, he started his political journey.

  • He was one of the leading members of Andhra Mahasabha in 1928. He proposed that the Ceded Districts Division be renamed Rayalaseema at this meeting.
  • He was then appointed in 1931 to the League of Nations Committee for Intellectual Cooperation, where he quickly earned acclaim as an authoritative Hindu on Indian ideas and an engaging communicator about Eastern institutions’ place within modern Society from Western perspectives.
  • Radhakrishnan became increasingly involved with Indian politics and foreign affairs following India’s Independence.
  • Radhakrishnan served on the Executive Board of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), leading India’s delegation from 1946 until 1951.
  • Radhakrishnan served in India’s Constituent Assembly during its inaugural two years after Independence.
  • Radhakrishnan had to balance the demands of Oxford’s University Commission and UNESCO with his ongoing responsibilities as Spalding professor at Oxford.
  • Radhakrishnan served as Indian Ambassador to Moscow from 1949 until 1952, when Jawaharlal completed the Universities Commission report. Following this election to Rajya Sabha, Radhakrishnan put his political and philosophical ideals into effect.
  • Radhakrishnan was elected India’s second President in 1962 after serving as its first Vice-President from 1952.
  • During his term in office, Radhakrishnan understood the growing need for universal peace and cooperation.
  • Radhakrishnan realized its significance while watching global crises unfold; when he became Vice President, the Korean War had already started.
  • Radhakrishnan’s presidency was marked by political tensions between India and China at the start of 1960.
  • Cold War divisions also created distrust between East and West, leaving each party on the defensive against the other and wary of potential attacks from either side.
  • Radhakrishnan took issue with what he saw as the divisive and authoritarian nature of self-proclaimed international organizations such as the League of Nations.
  • He advocated instead for promoting a new internationalism based on metaphysical foundations of integral experience; only then could cultural tolerance and understanding among nations flourish.

Radha Krishnan: Philosophical Thoughts

Radhakrishnan sought to combine Eastern and Western ideologies, defending Hinduism against uninformed Western criticism while simultaneously incorporating Western philosophical ideas and religions.

  • Radhakrishnan is one of the leading Neo-Vedanta representatives.
  • He based his metaphysics on Advaita-Vedanta but modified it for modern audiences.
  • He recognized truth and diversity within human nature as being supported by Brahman (absolute truth or absoluteness).
  • Radhakrishnan believes that theology and creeds can serve as intellectual constructs and symbols to symbolize religious experiences or intuitions.
  • Radhakrishnan ranked religious traditions according to their interpretation of religious experiences, with Advaita Vedanta taking first place.
  • Radhakrishnan thought Advaita Vedanta, which relies on intuition rather than rational analysis, provided the best representation of Hinduism among other religions that relied more heavily on intellectual arguments.
  • Radhakrishnan considers Vedanta the highest form of religion because it offers intuitive experience and inner realization.
  • Radhakrishnan was highly critical of Western culture and philosophy despite his familiarity. He asserted that, regardless of their claims to objectivity, Western philosophers remained subject to religious pressure from within their societies.

Death of Sarvepalli Rakhnath

  • Radha Krishnan’s Sivakamu passed away on November 26, 1956, without remarrying. Thus, he remained a widower until his passing on April 23, 1957.
  • Radhakrishnan retired from public life in 1967.
  • He spent his final eight years living in Mylapore, Madras, in a home designed by himself.
  • Radhakrishnan passed away on April 17, 1975.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: Awards and Honours

  • In 1954, Radhakrishnan received India’s highest civilian award – Bharat Ratna – which honors excellence among citizens.
  • In 1931, King George V knighted him for his contributions to education.
  • 1954, Germany honored him with the Pour le Merite for Science and Arts.
  • Mexico honored him with the Sash of First Class for the Aztec Eagle Order in 1954.
  • In 1963, he was honored by his country and awarded membership in the Order of Merit.
  • Record 27 times, 16 for literature and 11 for peace, he was nominated for a Nobel Prize.
  • In 1938, he was honored to become a Fellow of the British Academy.
  • In 1961, he received the Peace Prize in the German Book Trade.
  • In 1968, he became the inaugural recipient of the Sahitya Akademi fellowship, its highest award.
  • Since 1962, India has observed Teacher’s Day annually on 5 September–Radhakrishnan’s birthday–in honour of his belief that teachers are some of the finest minds available.
  • In 1975, he received the Templeton Prize for advocating nonviolence and sharing a belief system that included compassion and knowledge among humanity.

Literary Works by Sarvepalli Radha Krishnan

  • Her first published work was on Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy in 1918.
  • His second book was published in 1923 under the name Indian Philosophy.
  • Radha Krishnan published her third work on Hindu philosophy and beliefs, entitled The Hindu View of Life, in 1926.
  • An Idealist View of Life was published in 1929.
  • Kalki, or The Future of Civilization, was published in 1929.
  • He published his sixth book, Eastern Religions and Western Thought, in 1939.
  • Religion and Society was published as the seventh book in 1947.
  • In 1948, The Bhagavadgita, with an introduction essay, Sanskrit text, English translation and notes, was first released for publication.
  • In 1950, his book Dhammapada was published.
  • His tenth book, The Principal Upanishads, was published in 1953.
  • Recovery of Faith was published in 1956.
  • A Source Book on Indian Philosophy was published in 1957.
  • The Brahma Sutra: The Philosophy of Spiritual Life was published in 1959.]
  • Religion, Science & Culture was published as his final work in 1968.

This biography provided us with insight into who Dr Radhakrishnan was, his early life and education, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s date of birth, teaching career, tenures as Vice president and President of India, literary works produced, awards received and achievements, as well as his death.

Understanding Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Biographie – Early Life, Education and Awards is Essential

We provide students with an interactive Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan biography that helps them gain invaluable knowledge of him. Students learn about his Early Life, Education, and Awards throughout his lifetime, which made India proud. Teacher’s Day was dedicated in his honor – being his birthday, it’s celebrated across India as Teacher’s Day!

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was an outstanding teacher, philosopher, and innovator before entering politics. For nearly forty years, he taught at some of India’s renowned universities; not only was his lecture content beloved among Indians, but its unique ideas also appealed to global audiences. Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan inspired members of Society on both counts; teaching itself was highly valued by him while inspiring efforts made towards providing teachers with the respect due them within Society.

We are here to inform you that Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan viewed the world as an educational institution and believed that education alone could teach humans the correct path. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was an exceptional philosopher. Through his ideas, writings, and speeches, he introduced many people around the globe to Indian philosophy. Born to Telugu parents on September 5, 1888, in Thiruttani Madras Presidency of British India (Thiruvantani Madras Presidency of Madras Presidency of Tamilnadu Presidency of British India), son to Sarvepalli Veeraswami and Sitamma. His father worked as a subordinate revenue official under a local zamindar, making their family life very modest.

However, Radhakrishnan wanted nothing more than to pursue an English education so that he might become a priest – however, life had other plans! After attending Kendriya Vidyalaya High School at Tiruttani, he attended Hermannsburg Evangelical Lutheran Mission School at Tirupati before eventually enrolling at Hermannsburg Lutheran Mission School for further studies.

He excelled academically, earning several scholarships to attend Voorhees College in Vellore and Madras Christian College. Choosing to specialize in philosophy instead of engineering or science, he earned his master’s degree in 1906. Studies of individuals like Sir Sarveppali Radhakrishanan can motivate and inspire them in numerous ways, changing their outlook towards every task – big or small – with a more positive approach and optimism towards life overall.

Reading biographies of such noteworthy figures helps increase general knowledge while aiding academically. Biographies contain questions that might appear on essential examinations in the future. Students also learn more about the value and significance of teachers, teaching, and their profession, which should be appreciated more. Therefore, reading about Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan – his early life, education, awards, etc. – enables them to gain more insight academically and morally into how things operate for a brighter future.


Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was an Indian academic, philosopher, and statesman known for being one of the leading thinkers in academic circles during the twentieth century. Radhakrishnan spent his life and career writing to describe, defend, and propagate his faith – variously termed Hinduism, Vedanta, or spiritualism by him – rather than becoming President himself; instead, he became widely revered for both his academic abilities as a teacher.


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