Former President of India Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan was a great thinker, philosopher, communicator, teacher all rolled into one in a remarkable manner.Last week’s Sunday story carried the Part II of his concept of GOOD LIFE! Enthused by the responses of our valued viewers, i am bold to give this week Part III and I do hope this too will be very well received by all.
Let us read what he has to convey on the theme.
Radhakrishnan’s concept of yoga which is similar to Hindu tradition is
associated with his concept of dharma. He suggests that yoga harnesses man’s energies by the most intense concentration of personality and there by forces “the passage from the narrow ego to the transcendental personality.” The basis for this theory of yoga is his metaphysics, is the realization of unity of Atman and Brahman.
Man is not necessarily liberated by dharma or yoga any more than by metaphysics,but yoga like dharma is the discipline that makes Radhakrishnan’s metaphysics to liberation. Radhakrishnan notes, “Man is not saved by the metaphysics, spiritual life involves a change of consciousness.” There are at least three ways or margas or yogas by which this change of consciousness can be effected, but according to Radhakrishnan, all of these lead to Jnana Yoga or the way of Knowledge. He says’“we can distinguish certain broad ways to man’s realization, the karma marga, the way of work, bhakti marga, the way of devotion, the dhyana marga, the way of mediation. All these lead to Jnana, wisdom or enlightenment. All yoga is one and includes the different aspects of work, devotion and knowledge.” For each of these margas the model is the exceptional personality, whether the exemplar of the faithful
performance of one’s duty, the religious devotee or the contemplative in each case the goal is the kind of knowledge which is conducive to and ultimately identical with moksa or liberation. The ideal personality, according to Radhakrishanan, is the integration of both internally and in relation to his environment, so also dharma “has two sides -the social and individual, the varnadharma and the asramadharma?’ He relates the theory of dharma with the theory of reality. He says “dharma tells us that
while our life is the first instance for our own satisfaction, it is more essentially for the community and most of all for that universal self which is in each of us and all beings.” Thus, dharma is the obligation or duty to become a universal self, also the realization of Brahma- Atman unity in a cultural as well as in individual context. In this sense dharma comes to mean the ideal of the summum bonum of life. Radhakrishnan says that, ideal of civilization are generated and prescribed by dharma.
Thus we find that Radhakrishnan is not only concerned with individual well being but also with all human community as a whole.
Since Radhakrishnan’s ethics has a metaphysical basis, therefore ifwe do not
discuss the concept of world and Reality – god in relation to human being then his moral theory cannot find its fulfillment. His theory gives a reconciliation of these concepts, so it is refreshingly a new and original one. His concept of liberation follows from the concept of ‘reality, world and man’. If reality is ultimately one and if, man is man only in creation and if man as man is finite-infinite then the ultimate human end can be nothing else but the realization of oneness with the Supreme. Until and unless man is in the embodied state he cannot attain his highest good, he would
be freed from embodied existence. Radhakrishnan says, “The destiny of human soul is to realize it oneness with the Supreme.” The world is real though imperfect. Since the supreme is the basis of the world, world cannot be unreal. As a social being man loves those with whom he lives in close association. The world is a place where the human being has to attain integration, his fulfillment. They are called upon to act in a
disinterested way, freed from egoism. Human being should not become victims of material interests and vulgar appetites. The soul bound so long as it has a sense of mineness, with the absence of the sense of mineness, it is liberated. Radhakrisbnan says that virtue is heaven, self sufficiency and health of the soul and vice on the other hand is hell, suffering and disease of the Goodness is its own reward and evil doing carries its own penalty with it. He says, “Ideal conduct is that which requires us to refrain from anger, covetousness, to be pure and loving in thought word and deed.” According to Radhakrishnan, the highest virtue consists in doing to others as we
would be done by. The different types of virtues of fortitude, justice, love,
compassion, self control are not separate qualities but are the different facets of the personality. According to Radhakrishnan, inward awareness or Satya and the life of compassion or Ahimsa are the two principal sides of a spiritual life. We must be truthful in our words and deeds. The Divine is expressed in natural as an impersonal non-ethical creative power and as ethical consciousness in human life. When we are able to realize that the Divine is expressed in us as in others we feel the obligation to help others. Thereby the individual spirit becomes enriched. “Ahimsa is reverence for
all life, active devotion to and a sense of union with all that exists.” If we believe in God we will adopt the principle of ahimsa When ahimsa is said to be the supreme moral law it is not merely abstention from injury to living beings, but positive love for them all. He says, “Love is non-resistance. Conflicts are to be over not by force, but by love.” Non-violence, of course is emphasized throughout as a major comprehensive practical virtue. Sympathy and compassion are its expressions. Charity with kind words, knowledge without pride and courage with forbearance and wealth with renunciation – these four are difficult to attain, but they make for man’s
progress. We should cultivate love not only in words but in thoughts and deeds. All religions teach us that. He says, “When we see the universal spirit of truth in each individual, we shall love the meanest of creation as oneself.”24 In the spiritual common wealth every one has a definite place by reason of his specific mode of being. No man has any claim to precedence over others. We should love our enemies. Radhakrishnan says, “Even our enemies are not objects of contempt and aversion as they are moral personalities.” Non-violence thus is a comprehensive practical virtue.
Universal love, forgiveness and non-violence as well as renunciation and suffering are never to be considered negative. As Radhakrishnan consciously says, “Detachment of spirit and not renunciation of the world is what is demanded from us.” Thus essence of the god life is detachment i.e. the control of our worldly desire and the directing our entire life towards its spiritual destiny are the core of good life. He accepts Patanzali’s statement of the major vices: ignorance, egoism, attachment, hatred and self love. So he says, “These five are different expression of the fundamental ignorance. Only when a man rises to dispassion and acts without selfish attachment is
he really free.” By analyzing this version we find that to achieve good life
knowledge is necessary, so also consideration of other people’s love is also a
necessary requirement for good life. Radhakrishnan says, “To know oneself and not to be untrue to it is the essence of the good life.”28 It does not mean that we should impose our views on our neighbors. Instead of incessantly resisting the evil in the name of an ideal, we are to endure it lovingly on its behalf. Love of neighbor means endurance of evil. Radhakrishnan regards truth as the supreme virtue. It provides the
proper basis of the right way of living. Man can know the truth by controlling his narrow selfish motive by transcending his egocentricity. The follower of truth can lead a truly moral life. He says, “In order to know the truth we must cease to shut up the walls of the body, life and mind. We must renounce the narrow horizon, the no selfish interest, the unreal objective. This is an ethical process. Truth can never be perceived except by those who are in love with goodness.” Thus we find that a morally developed human being is able to attain victory over the suffering and evils of life. He must be inspired by inner spirit not by the conventional standard. When a
human being develops his moral and spiritual freedom, then external standard has nothing to do. Therefore inner development on duty rather than the externally imposed standard is more essential in leading a spiritually and morally developed life. So the real goal of human life is the attainment of perfection or spiritual self realization. Like Hinduism Radhakrishnan also believes that all true existence is non material, unchangeable and eternal. So the good of man consists not in transforming
the world which is a vale of woe but in transcending it. His aim is not to change the world but turn away from it. God is taken as being as the ground of human morality. According to Radhakrishnan man as a finite being moves together with other beings in the vegetable and animal world. But man’s action is different from that of animal due to a remarkable attitude i.e. the capacity to be rational and to distinguish right from wrong and therefore, the unique capacity to be moral. He says, “The quality of deciding what is right or dharma is special to man. Hunger, sleep, fear and sex are common to men and animals. What distinguishes men from animals is the knowledge
of right and wrong.
Many of our esteemed viewers are interested to know what is this ITHACA!
Google Guru explains this. I am sure it is satisfying to all these seekers.
Ithaca, Ithaki or Ithaka (/ˈɪθəkə/; Greek: Ιθάκη, Ithaki [iˈθaci]; Ancient Greek: Ἰθάκη, Ithakē [i.tʰá.kɛː]) is a Greek island located in the Ionian Sea, off the northeast coast of Kefalonia and to the west of continental Greece.
Ithaca’s main island has an area of 96 square kilometres (37 sq mi) and had a population in 2011 of 3,231. It is the second-smallest of seven main Ionian Islands, after Paxi. Ithaca is a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. The capital is Vathy (or Vathi).
Modern Ithaca is generally identified with Homer’s Ithaca, the home of Odysseus, whose delayed return to the island is the plot of the classical Greek tale the Odyssey.
- Val di Compare (Valley of the Bestman), Piccola (Small) Cephallonia, Anticephallonia (Middle Ages until the beginning of the Venetian period)
- Ithaki nisos (Greek for island), Thrakoniso, Thakou, Thiakou (Byzantine period)
- Thiaki (Byzantine and before the Venetian period)
- Teaki (Venetian period)
- Fiaki (Ottoman period)