Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrisnan (1886-1975 ) or Dr. Debi Prosad Chattopadhyaya ( 1918-1993 )
This post, like several other earlier posts, will also result in a lot of flak, censure and brickbats for me , but I have never bothered about that.
I am not a publicity or popularity seeker, in fact I have a poor opinion of publicity or popularity seekers. I have often said things which I knew would make me, at least for some time, very unpopular..
So let me come directly to what I have to say.
Today is teacher's day, and it is celebrated every year on the birthday of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, former President of India.
Dr. Radhakrishnan is acclaimed as a great Indian philosopher and thinker, but that is really a myth.To my mind Radhakrishnan was a very superficial thinker, and the really great seminal thinker in philosophy in modern times was Dr. Debi Prosad Chattopadhyaya,( who was born in 1918, and is not to be confused with another Debi Prosad Chattopadhyaya born in 1938 who was also in the field of philosophy ).
Dr. Radhakrishnan was a staunch advocate of Advait Vedant, which I regard as a false philosophy ( see his book "Indian Philosophy ")
Vedant proclaims that the whole world is in the ultimate analysis Maya ( i.e. illusion ), and the only reality is Brahman
The falsity in this philosophy is evident. If everything is Maya, or an illusion, then hunger and thirst are also illusions. The Vedantis should therefore ignore hunger and thirst, treating them as Maya, and should not eat and drink. The fact that they eat and drink shows they are not practising what they preach. In fact the Mimansak Kumaril Bhat levied this charge against them.
Radhakrishnan was therefore propagating a false philosophy.
The true Indian philosophy is in the first two systems of our 6 classical systems ( shatdarshanas ), i.e. Nyaya and Vaisheshik ( see in this connection my articles on Indian Philosophy on my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in )
The Nyaya system of philosophy says that nothing is acceptable, unless it is in accordance with reason and experience, which is precisely the scientific approach.
The Nyaya philosophy is atheistic.There are 16 categories in the Nyaya system, and god is not one of them.
Nyaya philosophy is (1) realistic, as it regards the world as real and (2) pluralistic, as it regards several separate entities in the world as real, e.g. humans, animals. tables, chairs , trees, etc. In these two respects Nyaya differs from Vedant, which is monistic ( i.e. it regards only one real thing in the world called brahman ) and regards the world and all things in it as unreal ( maya ).
Vaisheshik is the physics of ancient times, presenting a rudimentary, primitive, atomic theory ( parmanu theory ). Physics is part of science, and so at one time Vaisheshik was treated as part of Nyaya, but since physics is the most fundamental of all sciences, it was later separated from science generally ( i.e. the Nyaya system ) and made a separate philosophy.
D.P. Chattopadhyaya' book " What is Living and what is dead in Indian Philosophy " is in my opinion the best book on Indian philosophy, and is a seminal work, dealing in detail with Nyaya philodsophy It is far superior to Radhakrishnan's book on Indian Philosophy, which I regard as a totally superficial work..
Teachers Day should be on the birthday of D.P. Chattopadhyaya, not of Radhakrishnan