Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on 5 September, 1888 in Tirutani, a well-known religious center in the Madras State. He was the second son of Veera Samayya, a tehsildar in a zamindari. It was a middle-class, respectable Hindu Brahmin family. As usual in those days, Radhakrishnan was married in 1906, at the tender age of 18 and while still a student, to Sivakamamma, and spent a happy conjugal life with her for half a century before she died in 1956. He graduated with a Master's Degree in Arts from Madras University. In partial fulfilment for his M.A. degree, Radhakrishnan wrote a thesis on the ethics of the Vedanta titled "The Ethics of the Vedanta and Its Metaphysical Presuppositions", which was a reply to the charge that the Vedanta system had no room for ethics. It was, indeed, an indubitably significant fact that Radhakrishnan's parents, though orthodox, thought it fit to send their beloved son to Christian Missionary schools and colleges: Lutheran Mission School, Tirupathi (1896-1900), Vellore College, Vellore (1900-1904), Madras Christian College (1904-1908). Radhakrishnan's choice of Philosophy as his main or Honours subject in his B.A. degree course was due to a very fortunate accident. He studied Sanskrit and Hindi also; and had a good deal of interest in the traditional languages of India. He read also the Vedas and the Upanishads with great care and reverence. The following are some of the main posts held by him most fittingly and efficiently: Lecturer in Philosophy, Presidency College, Madras, in the Madras Provincial Educational Service, after graduation; Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the same College for five years; Professor of Philosophy, Mysore University (1918-1921); King George V Professor of Philosophy, Calcutta University (1921-1931) and again (1937-1944); Vice-Chancellor of the Andhra University (1931); Spaulding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics, Oxford University (1932-1953) - first Indian to...
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