Sunday, April 15, 2007


There are not too many people who represent the great Indian ethos so perfectly and fiercely, Dr. S Radhakrishnan is surely one of them. He belongs to that rare class who revived the true genius of India and received laud appraisal and respect in the country and abroad equally.

A great philosopher, teacher and once the President of India, Dr. S Radhakrishnan was a master of Hindu faith. An exceptional genius and a scholar, he was like an Acharya of ancient Vedic tradition. He has helped to revive the lost and derelict wisdom of Hinduism, not merely in words, but formulated in works also.

We are living in a world which is virtually becoming spiritual wasteland, a place which is unfertile to any deeper consciousness of living, and if anyone realizes the folly thinks of eliminating the evils only in terms of social, political and economic readjustments. But, he believed that what we need today is a spiritual reawakening, rediscovery of Belief. He writes in his book Recovery Of Faith: “The spiritual homelessness of modern man cannot last long. To belong nowhere, to be incapable of committing oneself is to be isolated. It is not ease but a personal burden. We must win back our lost security.” He insists on the reawakening of spiritual belief for, he says: “to live without faith is impossible. If nature has horror of a vacuum, the human soul has fear of emptiness.” This idea forms the human nature, it will stand somewhere, if not positive then negative.

Dr. S Radhakrishnan gives the reference of Blake: “Man must and will have some religion, if he has not the religion of Jesus, he will have the religion of Satan, and will erect the synagogue of Satan, calling the Prince of this world God and destroying all who do not worship Satan under the name of God.” There are different cults and Philosophies about the way and purpose of life; each religion carries with itself philosophy as of how to come closer to the ultimate reality. But often those people become the adherent of such belief, who doesn’t have the faintest idea about the metaphysical and supernatural order; and from here religion becomes the homeland of intolerance, extremism and bigotry.

The growing starvation of modern man from spiritual faith prepares the ground for the hedonistic attitude towards the life that leads to inactivity, listlessness and apathy. T.S Eliot in his poem The Wasteland aptly presents the same diagnosis of the spiritual distemper of the age as Dr. Radhakrishnan; a malady that arises from the degeneration, vulgarization and aimlessness of our consciousness. He expresses the utter futility, chaos and disillusionment of the modern age when he says:

I think we are in rat’s alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.

Dr. Radhakrishnan connote with what T. S. Eliot expressed, he writes, “We live in an age which is numbed and disillusioned. Our values are blurred, our thought is confused and our aims are wavering.” Dr. Radhakrishnan insisted on the need for belief, belief in God, belief in transcendental reality, because, to quote him again. “Belief may be difficult but the need for believing is inescapable. We must present struggling and aspiring humanity with a rational faith, which does not mock the free spirit of man by arbitrary dogmas or hesitating negations, a new vision of God in whose name we can launch a crusade against the strange cults which are now competing for mastery over the soul of men.”

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