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Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli (1888–1975)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-F079-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved August 14, 2020, from

Article Summary

As a modern interpreter of Indian thought to Western scholars and a major influence on later Indian thinkers, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s teaching, writing and worldwide lecturing introduced the West to Indian religion and philosophy as essentially an all-inclusive monism. He was actively committed to participation in Indian and international society as an educator, statesman and leader of the Indian republic and defended Hinduism against Western critics as essentially tolerant, world-affirming, progressive and socially and politically conscious. Radhakrishnan’s neo-Advaita was based on one major strand of Indian monism with modifications based on assumptions from his education in Christian institutions. While maintaining that the Absolute is identical with one’s true self, he emphasized the reality of the universe. The truly religious person, he argued, does not flee the world but withdraws to attain personal realization and returns to apply the insight thereby gained to better society.

Citing this article:
Minor, Robert N.. Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli (1888–1975), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-F079-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2020 Routledge.

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