Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Biography l President of India

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the first Vice President and second President of independent India. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was a scholar of Indian culture, a great educationist, a great philosopher, a great orator. Dr. Radhakrishnan spent 40 years of his life as a teacher.

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the first Vice President and second President of independent India. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was a scholar of Indian culture, a great educationist, a great philosopher, a great orator. Dr. Radhakrishnan spent 40 years of his life as a teacher. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on 5 September 1888 in Tirutani village, Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu. His birthday (5 September) is celebrated as Teachers’ Day in India. He belonged to a Brahmin family. His birth place has been famous as a place of pilgrimage. The family members wanted that along with their name, the sense of the village of their birth place should always be there. For this reason, his relatives started wearing Sarvapalli before his name.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s father’s name was Sarvepalli Veeraswamy and mother’s name was Sitamma. His father worked in the Alternate Office in the Revenue Department. Radhakrishnan was responsible for the maintenance of a large family. He had five sons and one daughter. Radhakrishnan’s place was second among them. The childhood of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was spent at religious places like Tirutani and Tirupati.


He spent the first eight years in Tirutani only. Radhakrishnan was sent to Christian missionary institution Lutheran Mission School, Tirupati for studies between 1896-1900. Then the next 4 years (1900 to 1904) were educated in Vellore. After this, he got education at Madras Christian College, Madras. He was brilliant since childhood.

He passed the matriculation level examination in 1902 and also received a scholarship. After this he passed the Faculty of Arts examination in 1904 in the first division. He also received the remark of special merit in psychology, history and mathematics due to his high marks. Apart from this, Christian College, Madras also gave him scholarship.

He did M.A. in Philosophy and in 1916 was appointed assistant professor of philosophy at Madras Residency College. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan introduced the world to Indian philosophy through his writings and speeches. His writings were praised all over the world.


He got married in 1903 at the age of 16. At that time his wife was only 10 years old. So after three years his wife started living with him. Radhakrishnan couple were blessed with a daughter in 1908. In 1908 itself, he obtained the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the first class and obtained a distinction in philosophy. In 1909, only after 6 years of marriage, he also passed the postgraduate examination in Arts. His subject remained philosophy.

During his higher studies, he also continued to do the work of teaching tuition to children for his personal income. In 1908, he did M.A. Wrote a thesis to get the degree. At this time his age was only twenty years. This increased his thirst for knowledge towards the scriptures. Soon he also made a deep study of Vedas and Upanishads. He also studied Hindi and Sanskrit language with interest.

He never smoked or drank. After the birth of the first daughter in the family, the Radhakrishnan couple had six other children in the next fifteen years. During this, his wife’s life was completely devoted to her family and husband.

Read this 28 February National Science Day

Teacher’s Life

At the age of 21, i.e. in 1909, Radhakrishnan started teaching philosophy as a junior lecturer at the Madras Presidency College. Here he not only did teaching work for 7 years but also studied Indian philosophy and Indian religion in depth. In 1910, Radhakrishnan started taking teaching training in Madras. At this time his salary was only 37 rupees. Professor of the Department of Philosophy, was greatly overwhelmed by the classical knowledge of Radhakrishnan.

He granted him permission to remain absent from philosophy classes. But in return, he placed a condition that he should teach in philosophy classes in his place. Then Radhakrishna gave thirteen such impressive lectures to his classmates, which left the students amazed. He had a deep hold on the subject, his approach regarding philosophy was clear and he had also chosen appropriate words. In 1912 Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s Essential Elements of Psychology was published which was a collection of his lectures delivered in the classroom.

His ability was proved through this book that he had an incomparable store of words to explain each post and the memory power was also very unique. In 1916 Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was transferred to Anantapur.  Here he stayed for six months. After this, Punaru returned to the Presidency College as a professor. He was confirmed as Professor of Philosophy and transferred to Rajahmundry. Here his teaching got very famous. Radhakrishnan helped his students to the maximum. This is the reason that the students used to respect him wholeheartedly. In 1918, Radhakrishnan appointed as Additional Professor at the New Mysore University and taught there for 13 years (1921).

 Honours and Awards

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was invited by Oxford University in 1922 to deliver a lecture on the subject of The Hindu View of Life. He also represented the University of Calcutta in the Conference of Universities under the British Empire in London.He was also honored by the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Princeton and Chicago. As an educationist, he was considered rich of immense talent. In 1968, Radhakrishnan given the membership of the Sahitya Akademi, giving him the best honor by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

He wrote more than 150 works as a great writer. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, conferred the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest decoration for philosophy, on Dr. Radhakrishnan, a great philosopher, educationist and writer, in 1954. Sarvepalli Dr. Radhakrishnan breathed his last on April 17, 1975 after a prolonged illness. Dr. Radhakrishnan’s invaluable contribution in the field of education will always be unforgettable.

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