Jawaharlal Nehru

Born: 14 November 1889
passed away: 27 May 1964

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of independent India. He was a member the Congress Party that led the freedom movement against British Empire. Nehru was one of the architects who had the opportunity to steer the newly freed-nation. He was also the chief framer of domestic and international policies between 1947 and 1964. It was under Nehru’s supervision that India launched its first Five-Year Plan in 1951. Nehru’s predominant roles in substantiating India’s role in the foundation of institutions like NAM had surprised the then stalwarts of international politics. He advocated the policy of Non-Alignment during the cold war and India, subsequently, kept itself aloof from being in the process of “global bifurcation”.

Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14 November 1889, to a wealthy Kashmiri Brahmin family in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father Motilal Nehru was a renowned advocate and also an influential politician.

The atmosphere in the Nehru family was different from that of other prominent families of that society. English was spoken and encouraged. His father, Motilal Nehru had appointed some English and Scottish teachers at home.

For higher education, young Nehru was sent to Harrow school and then later to Cambridge University in England. After spending two years at the Inner Temple, London, he qualified as a barrister. During his stay in London, Nehru was attracted by the ideas of liberalism, socialism and nationalism. In 1912, he had returned to India and joined the Allahabad High Court Bar.

Kamala, his wife
upon his return to India, Nehru’s marriage was arranged with Kamala on 8 February, 1916. Brought up in a traditional Hindu Brahmin family, Kamala felt alienated amongst the progressive Nehrus. During the Non Cooperation movement of 1921, Kamala played a vital role. In Allahabad, she organized groups of women and picketed shops selling foreign cloth and liquor. On19 November, 1917 she gave birth to Indira Priyadarshini, popularly known as Indira Gandhi. Kamala died from tuberculosis in Switzerland while Jawaharlal Nehru was languishing in Indian prison.

Freedom Struggle
In 1916, Nehru participated in the Lucknow Session of the Congress. There, after a very long time, member of both the extremist and moderate factions of the Congress party had come. All the members equivocally agreed to the demand for “swaraj” (self rule). Although the means of the two sections were different, the motive was “common” – freedom.

In 1921 Nehru was imprisoned for participating in the first civil disobedience campaign as general secretary of the United Provinces Congress Committee. The life in the jail helped him in understanding the philosophy followed by Gandhi and others associated with the movement. He was moved by Gandhi’s approach of dealing with caste and “untouchablity”. With the passing of every minute, Nehru was emerging as a popular leader, particularly in Northern India.

In 1922, some of the prominent members including his father Motilal Nehru had left the congress and launched the “Swaraj Party”. The decision, no doubt upset Jawahar but he rejected the possibility of leaving the Congress party. He was also elected as the president of the Allahabad municipal corporation in 1920.

European Tour
In 1926, he along with his wife Kamala and daughter India, traveled to the flourished European nations like Germany, France and the Soviet Union. Here, Nehru got an opportunity to meet various Communists, Socialists, and radical leaders from Asia and Africa. Nehru was also impressed with the economic system of the communist Soviet Union and wished to apply the same in his own country. In 1927, he became a member of the League against Imperialism created in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium.

During the Guwahati Session in 1928, Mahatma Gandhi announced that the Congress would launch a massive movement if the British authority did not grant dominion status of India within next two years. It was believed that under the pressure of Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose, the deadline was reduced to one year. Jawaharlal Nehru criticized the famous “Nehru Report” prepared by his father Motilal Nehru in 1928 that favored the concept of a “dominion status for India within the British rule”.

In 1930 Mahatma Gandhi advocated Nehru as the next president of the Congress. The decision was also an attempt to abate the intensity of “communism” in the Congress. The same year, Nehru was arrested for the violation of the Salt Law.

In 1936, Nehru was re-elected as the president of the Indian National Congress. Sources suggest that a heated argument between the classical and young leaders had taken place in the Lucknow Session of the party. The young and “new-gen” leaders of the party had advocated for an ideology, based on the concepts of Socialism.

Nehru as PM
Fifteen years after the Guwahati Session, on 15 August, 1947, the congress succeeded to overthrow the influential British Empire. Nehru was recognized as the first Prime Minister of independent India. He was the first PM to hoist the national flag and make a speech from the ramparts of Lal Quila (Red Fort). The time had come to implement his ideas and construct a healthy nation.

Following Gandhi’s assassination in 1948, Jawaharlal Nehru felt very much alone. All the time he would contemplate over the issues pertaining to the economic sector of the country. In the year 1949, Jawaharlal Nehru made his first visit to the United States, seeking a solution to India’s urgent food shortage. In 1951, Jawaharlal Nehru launched the country’s “First Five-Year Plan” emphasizing on the increase in the agricultural output.

Nehru’s Foreign Policy
Jawaharlal Nehru was supporter of the anti-imperialist policy. He extended his support for the liberation of small and colonized nations of the world. He was also one of the prominent architects of the Non-Aligment Movement. Following the policies of NAM, India decided stay away from being a part of the global bifurcation.

In 1957, despite of the major victory attained the elections, the Nehru led central government faced rising problems and criticism. The election of his daughter Indira as Congress President in 1959 was viewed by many, as Nepotism.

In 1964, Jawaharlal Nehru suffered a stroke and a heart attack. On 27 May 1964, Nehru passed away. Nehru was cremated at the Shantivana on the banks of the Yamuna River, Delhi.

 मोहनदास करमचन्द गांधी

(2 अक्टूबर 186930 जनवरी 1948) भारत एवं भारतीय स्वतंत्रता आंदोलन के एक प्रमुख राजनैतिक एवं आध्यात्मिक नेता थे। वे सत्याग्रह (व्यापक सविनय अवज्ञा) के माध्यम से अत्याचार के प्रतिकार के अग्रणी नेता थे, उनकी इस अवधारणा की नींव सम्पूर्ण अहिंसा के सिद्धान्त पर रखी गयी थी जिसने भारत को आजादी दिलाकर पूरी दुनिया में जनता के नागरिक अधिकारों एवं स्वतन्त्रता के प्रति आन्दोलन के लिये प्रेरित किया। उन्हें दुनिया में आम जनता महात्मा गांधी के नाम से जानती है। संस्कृत भाषा में महात्मा अथवा महान आत्मा एक सम्मान सूचक शब्द है। गांधी को महात्मा के नाम से सबसे पहले 1915 में राजवैद्य जीवराम कालिदास ने संबोधित किया[। उन्हें बापू (गुजराती भाषा में બાપુ बापू यानी पिता) के नाम से भी याद किया जाता है। सुभाष चन्द्र बोस ने 6 जुलाई 1944 को रंगून रेडियो से गान्धी जी के नाम जारी प्रसारण में उन्हें राष्ट्रपिता कहकर सम्बोधित करते हुए आज़ाद हिन्द फौज़ के सैनिकों के लिये उनका आशीर्वाद और शुभकामनाएँ माँगीं थीं। प्रति वर्ष 2 अक्टूबर को उनका जन्म दिन भारत में गांधी जयंती के रूप में और पूरे विश्व में अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय अहिंसा दिवस के नाम से मनाया जाता है।

सबसे पहले गान्धी ने प्रवासी वकील के रूप में दक्षिण अफ्रीका में भारतीय समुदाय के लोगों के नागरिक अधिकारों के लिये संघर्ष हेतु रोजगार करना शुरू किया। 1915 में उनकी भारत वापसी हुई। उसके बाद उन्होंने यहाँ के किसानों, मजदूरों और शहरी श्रमिकों को अत्यधिक भूमि कर और भेदभाव के विरुद्ध आवाज उठाने के लिये एकजुट किया। 1921 में भारतीय राष्ट्रीय कांग्रेस की बागडोर संभालने के बाद उन्होंने देशभर में गरीबी से राहत दिलाने, महिलाओं के अधिकारों का विस्तार, धार्मिक एवं जातीय एकता का निर्माण व आत्मनिर्भरता के लिये अस्पृश्‍यता के विरोध में अनेकों कार्यक्रम चलाये। इन सबमें विदेशी राज से मुक्ति दिलाने वाला स्वराज की प्राप्ति वाला कार्यक्रम ही प्रमुख था। गाँधी जी ने ब्रिटिश सरकार द्वारा भारतीयों पर लगाये गये नमक कर के विरोध में 1930 में नमक सत्याग्रह और इसके बाद 1942 में अंग्रेजो भारत छोड़ो आन्दोलन से खासी प्रसिद्धि प्राप्त की। दक्षिण अफ्रीका और भारत में विभिन्न अवसरों पर कई वर्षों तक उन्हें जेल में भी रहना पड़ा।

गान्धी जी ने सभी परिस्थितियों में अहिंसा और सत्य का पालन किया और सभी को इनका पालन करने के लिये वकालत भी की। उन्होंने साबरमती आश्रम में अपना जीवन गुजारा और परम्परागत भारतीय पोशाक धोती व सूत से बनी शाल पहनी जिसे वे स्वयं चरखे पर सूत कातकर हाथ से बनाते थे। उन्होंने सादा शाकाहारी भोजन खाया और आत्मशुद्धि के लिये लम्बे-लम्बे उपवास रक्खे।

प्रारम्भिक जीवन

मोहनदास करमचन्द गान्धी का जन्म पश्चिमी भारत में वर्तमान गुजरात के एक तटीय शहर पोरबंदर नामक स्थान पर 2 अक्टूबर सन् 1869 को हुआ था। उनके पिता करमचन्द गान्धी सनातन धर्म की पंसारी जाति से सम्बन्ध रखते थे और ब्रिटिश राज के समय काठियावाड़ की एक छोटी सी रियासत (पोरबंदर) के दीवान अर्थात् प्रधान मन्त्री थे। गुजराती भाषा में गान्धी का अर्थ है पंसारी[3] जबकि हिन्दी भाषा में गन्धी का अर्थ है इत्र फुलेल बेचने वाला जिसे अंग्रेजी में परफ्यूमर कहा जाता है।[4] उनकी माता पुतलीबाई परनामी वैश्य समुदाय की थीं। पुतलीबाई करमचन्द की चौथी पत्नी थी। उनकी पहली तीन पत्नियाँ प्रसव के समय मर गयीं थीं। भक्ति करने वाली माता की देखरेख और उस क्षेत्र की जैन परम्पराओं के कारण युवा मोहनदास पर वे प्रभाव प्रारम्भ में ही पड़ गये थे जिन्होंने आगे चलकर उनके जीवन में महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभायी। इन प्रभावों में शामिल थे दुर्बलों में जोश की भावना, शाकाहारी जीवन, आत्मशुद्धि के लिये उपवास तथा विभिन्न जातियों के लोगों के बीच सहिष्णुता।

कम आयु में विवाह

मई 1883 में साढे 13 साल की आयु पूर्ण करते ही उनका विवाह 14 साल की कस्तूरबा माखनजी से कर दिया गया। पत्नी का पहला नाम छोटा करके कस्तूरबा कर दिया गया और उसे लोग प्यार से बा कहते थे। यह विवाह उनके माता पिता द्वारा तय किया गया व्यवस्थित बाल विवाह था जो उस समय उस क्षेत्र में प्रचलित था। लेकिन उस क्षेत्र में यही रीति थी कि किशोर दुल्हन को अपने माता पिता के घर और अपने पति से अलग अधिक समय तक रहना पड़ता था। 1885 में जब गान्धी जी 15 वर्ष के थे तब इनकी पहली सन्तान ने जन्म लिया। लेकिन वह केवल कुछ दिन ही जीवित रही। और इसी साल उनके पिता करमचन्द गन्धी भी चल बसे। मोहनदास और कस्तूरबा के चार सन्तान हुईं जो सभी पुत्र थे। हरीलाल गान्धी 1888 में, मणिलाल गान्धी 1892 में, रामदास गान्धी 1897 में और देवदास गांधी 1900 में जन्मे। पोरबंदर से उन्होंने मिडिल और राजकोट से हाई स्कूल किया। दोनों परीक्षाओं में शैक्षणिक स्तर वह एक औसत छात्र रहे। मैट्रिक के बाद की परीक्षा उन्होंने भावनगर के शामलदास कॉलेज से कुछ परेशानी के साथ उत्तीर्ण की। जब तक वे वहाँ रहे अप्रसन्न ही रहे क्योंकि उनका परिवार उन्हें बैरिस्टर बनाना चाहता था।

विदेश में शिक्षा व विदेश में ही वकालत

अपने 19वें जन्मदिन से लगभग एक महीने पहले ही 4 सितम्बर 1888 को गान्धी यूनिवर्सिटी कॉलेज लन्दन में कानून की पढाई करने और बैरिस्टर बनने के लिये इंग्लैंड चले गये। भारत छोड़ते समय जैन भिक्षु बेचारजी के समक्ष हिन्दुओं को मांस, शराब तथा संकीर्ण विचारधारा को त्यागने के लिए अपनी अपनी माता जी को दिए गये एक वचन ने उनके शाही राजधानी लंदन में बिताये गये समय को काफी प्रभावित किया। हालांकि गांधी जी ने अंग्रेजी रीति रिवाजों का अनुभव भी किया जैसे उदाहरण के तौर पर नृत्य कक्षाओं में जाने आदि का। फिर भी वह अपनी मकान मालकिन द्वारा मांस एवं पत्ता गोभी को हजम.नहीं कर सके। उन्होंने कुछ शाकाहारी भोजनालयों की ओर इशारा किया। अपनी माता की इच्छाओं के बारे में जो कुछ उन्होंने पढा था उसे सीधे अपनाने की बजाय उन्होंने बौद्धिकता से शाकाहारी भोजन का अपना भोजन स्वीकार किया। उन्होंने शाकाहारी समाज की सदस्यता ग्रहण की और इसकी कार्यकारी समिति के लिये उनका चयन भी हो गया जहाँ उन्होंने एक स्थानीय अध्याय की नींव रखी। बाद में उन्होने संस्थाएँ गठित करने में महत्वपूर्ण अनुभव का परिचय देते हुए इसे श्रेय दिया। वे जिन शाकाहारी लोगों से मिले उनमें से कुछ थियोसोफिकल सोसायटी के सदस्य भी थे। इस सोसाइटी की स्थापना 1875 में विश्व बन्धुत्व को प्रबल करने के लिये की गयी थी और इसे बौद्ध धर्म एवं सनातन धर्म के साहित्य के अध्ययन के लिये समर्पित किया गया था।

उन्हों लोगों ने गान्धी जी को श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता पढ़ने के लिये प्रेरित किया। हिन्दू, ईसाई, बौद्ध, इस्लाम और अन्य धर्मों .के बारे में पढ़ने से पहले गांन्धी ने धर्म में विशेष रुचि नहीं दिखायी। इंग्लैंड और वेल्स बार एसोसिएशन में वापस बुलावे पर वे भारत लौट आये किन्तु बम्बई में वकालत करने में उन्हें कोई खास सफलता नहीं मिली। बाद में एक हाई स्कूल शिक्षक के रूप में अंशकालिक नौकरी का प्रार्थना पत्र अस्वीकार कर दिये जाने पर उन्होंने जरूरतमन्दों के लिये मुकदमे की अर्जियाँ लिखने के लिये राजकोट को ही अपना स्थायी मुकाम बना लिया। परन्तु एक अंग्रेज अधिकारी की मूर्खता के कारण उन्हें यह कारोबार भी छोड़ना पड़ा। अपनी आत्मकथा में उन्होंने इस घटना का वर्णन अपने बड़े भाई की ओर से परोपकार की असफल कोशिश के रूप में किया है। यही वह कारण था जिस वजह से उन्होंने सन् 1893 में एक भारतीय फर्म से नेटाल दक्षिण अफ्रीका में, जो उन दिनों ब्रिटिश साम्राज्य का भाग होता था, एक वर्ष के करार पर वकालत का कारोवार स्वीकार कर लिया।

गांधी दक्षिण अफ्रीका में (१८९५)

दक्षिण अफ्रीका में गान्धी को भारतीयों पर भेदभाव का सामना करना पड़ा। आरम्भ में उन्हें प्रथम श्रेणी कोच की वैध टिकट होने के बाद तीसरी श्रेणी के डिब्बे में जाने से इन्कार करने के लिए ट्रेन से बाहर फेंक दिया गया था। इतना ही नहीं पायदान पर शेष यात्रा करते हुए एक यूरोपियन यात्री के अन्दर आने पर चालक की मार भी झेलनी पड़ी। उन्होंने अपनी इस यात्रा में अन्य भी कई कठिनाइयों का सामना किया। अफ्रीका में कई होटलों को उनके लिए वर्जित कर दिया गया। इसी तरह ही बहुत सी घटनाओं में से एक यह भी थी जिसमें अदालत के न्यायाधीश ने उन्हें अपनी पगड़ी उतारने का आदेश दिया था जिसे उन्होंने नहीं माना। ये सारी घटनाएँ गान्धी के जीवन में एक मोड़ बन गईं और विद्यमान सामाजिक अन्याय के प्रति जागरुकता का कारण बनीं तथा सामाजिक सक्रियता की व्याख्या करने में मददगार सिद्ध हुईं। दक्षिण अफ्रीका में भारतीयों पर हो रहे अन्याय को देखते हुए गान्धी ने अंग्रेजी साम्राज्य के अन्तर्गत अपने देशवासियों के सम्मान तथा देश में स्वयं अपनी स्थिति के लिए प्रश्न उठाये।

१९०६ के ज़ुलु युद्ध में भूमिका

१९०६ में, ज़ुलु (Zulu) दक्षिण अफ्रीका में नए चुनाव कर के लागू करने के बाद दो अंग्रेज अधिकारियों को मार डाला गया। बदले में अंग्रेजों ने जूलू के खिलाफ युद्ध छेड़ दिया। गांधी जी ने भारतीयों को भर्ती करने के लिए ब्रिटिश अधिकारियों को सक्रिय रूप से प्रेरित किया। उनका तर्क था अपनी नागरिकता के दावों को कानूनी जामा पहनाने के लिए भारतीयों को युद्ध प्रयासों में सहयोग देना चाहिए। तथापि, अंग्रेजों ने अपनी सेना में भारतीयों को पद देने से इंकार कर दिया था। इसके बावजूद उन्होने गांधी जी के इस प्रस्ताव को मान लिया कि भारतीय घायल अंग्रेज सैनिकों को उपचार के लिए स्टेचर पर लाने के लिए स्वैच्छा पूर्वक कार्य कर सकते हैं। इस कोर की बागडोर गांधी ने थामी।२१ जुलाई (July 21), १९०६ को गांधी जी ने भारतीय जनमत इंडियन ओपिनिय (Indian Opinion) में लिखा कि २३ भारतीय[5] निवासियों के विरूद्ध चलाए गए आप्रेशन के संबंध में प्रयोग द्वारा नेटाल सरकार के कहने पर एक कोर का गठन किया गया है।दक्षिण अफ्रीका में भारतीय लोगों से इंडियन ओपिनियन में अपने कॉलमों के माध्‍यम से इस युद्ध में शामिल होने के लिए आग्रह किया और कहा, यदि सरकार केवल यही महसूस करती हे कि आरक्षित बल बेकार हो रहे हैं तब वे इसका उपयोग करेंगे और असली लड़ाई के लिए भारतीयों का प्रशिक्षण देकर इसका अवसर देंगे।[6]

गांधी की राय में, १९०६ का मसौदा अध्यादेश भारतीयों की स्थिति में किसी निवासी के नीचे वाले स्तर के समान लाने जैसा था। इसलिए उन्होंने सत्याग्रह (Satyagraha), की तर्ज पर “काफिर (Kaffir)s ” .का उदाहरण देते हुए भारतीयों से अध्यादेश का विरोध करने का आग्रह किया। उनके शब्दों में, ” यहाँ तक कि आधी जातियां और काफिर जो हमसे कम आधुनिक हैं ने भी सरकार का विरोध किया है। पास का नियम उन पर भी लागू होता है किंतु वे पास[7] नहीं दिखाते हैं।

भारतीय स्वतंत्रता संग्राम के लिए संघर्ष (१९१६ -१९४५)

१९१५ में, गांधी दक्षिण अफ्रीका से भारत में रहने के लिए लौट आएं। उन्होंने भारतीय राष्ट्रीय कांग्रेस के अधिवेशनों पर अपने विचार व्य‍क्त किए, लेकिन वे भारत के मुख्य मुद्दों, राजनीति तथा उस समय के कांग्रेस दल के प्रमुख भारतीय नेता गोपाल कृष्ण गोखले (Gopal Krishna Gokhale), जो एक सम्मानित नेता थे पर ही आधारित थे। .

चंपारण और खेड़ा

गांधी की पहली बड़ी उपलब्धि १९१८ में चम्पारन (Champaran) और खेड़ा सत्याग्रह, आंदोलन में मिली हालांकि अपने निर्वाह के लिए जरूरी खाद्य फसलों की बजाए नील (indigo) नकद पैसा देने वाली खाद्य फसलों की खेती वाले आंदोलन भी महत्वपूर्ण रहे। जमींदारों (अधिकांश अंग्रेज) की ताकत से दमन हुए भारतीयों को नाममात्र भरपाई भत्ता दिया गया जिससे वे अत्यधिक गरीबी से घिर गए। गांवों को बुरी तरह गंदा और अस्वास्थ्यकर (unhygienic); और शराब, अस्पृश्यता और पर्दा से बांध दिया गया। अब एक विनाशकारी अकाल के कारण शाही कोष की भरपाई के लिए अंग्रेजों ने दमनकारी कर लगा दिए जिनका बोझ दिन प्रतिदिन बढता ही गया। यह स्थिति निराशजनक थी। खेड़ा (Kheda), गुजरात में भी यही समस्या थी। गांधी जी ने वहां एक आश्रम (ashram) बनाया जहाँ उनके बहुत सारे समर्थकों और नए स्वेच्छिक कार्यकर्ताओं को संगठित किया गया। उन्होंने गांवों का एक विस्तृत अध्ययन और सर्वेक्षण किया जिसमें प्राणियों पर हुए अत्याचार के भयानक कांडों का लेखाजोखा रखा गया और इसमें लोगों की अनुत्पादकीय सामान्य अवस्था को भी शामिल किया गया था। ग्रामीणों में विश्‍वास पैदा करते हुए उन्होंने अपना कार्य गांवों की सफाई करने से आरंभ किया जिसके अंतर्गत स्कूल और अस्पताल बनाए गए और उपरोक्त वर्णित बहुत सी सामाजिक बुराईयों को समाप्त करने के लिए ग्रामीण नेतृत्व प्रेरित किया।

लेकिन इसके प्रमुख प्रभाव उस समय देखने को मिले जब उन्हें अशांति फैलाने के लिए पुलिस ने गिरफ्तार किया और उन्हें प्रांत छोड़ने के लिए आदेश दिया गया। हजारों की तादाद में लोगों ने विरोध प्रदर्शन किए ओर जेल, पुलिस स्टेशन एवं अदालतों के बाहर रैलियां निकालकर गांधी जी को बिना शर्त रिहा करने की मांग की। गांधी जी ने जमींदारों के खिलाफ़ विरोध प्रदर्शन और हड़तालों को का नेतृत्व किया जिन्होंने अंग्रेजी सरकार के मार्गदर्शन में उस क्षेत्र के गरीब किसानों को अधिक क्षतिपूर्ति मंजूर करने तथा खेती पर नियंत्रण, राजस्व में बढोतरी को रद्द करना तथा इसे संग्रहित करने वाले एक समझौते पर हस्ताक्षर किए। इस संघर्ष के दौरान ही, गांधी जी को जनता ने बापू पिता और महात्मा (महान आत्मा) के नाम से संबोधित किया। खेड़ा में सरदार पटेल ने अंग्रेजों के साथ विचार विमर्श के लिए किसानों का नेतृत्व किया जिसमें अंग्रेजों ने राजस्व संग्रहण से मुक्ति देकर सभी कैदियों को रिहा कर दिया गया था। इसके परिणामस्वरूप, गांधी की ख्याति देश भर में फैल गई।

असहयोग आन्दोलन

गांधी जी ने असहयोग, अहिंसा तथा शांतिपूर्ण प्रतिकार को अंग्रेजों के खिलाफ़ शस्त्र के रूप में उपयोग किया। पंजाब में अंग्रेजी फोजों द्वारा भारतीयों पर जलियावांला नरसंहार जिसे अमृतसर नरसंहार के नाम से भी जाना जाता है ने देश को भारी आघात पहुंचाया जिससे जनता में क्रोध और हिंसा की ज्वाला भड़क उठी। गांधीजी ने ब्रिटिश राज तथा भारतीयों द्वारा ‍प्रतिकारात्मक रवैया दोनों की की। उन्होंने ब्रिटिश नागरिकों तथा दंगों के शिकार लोगों के प्रति संवेदना व्यक्त की तथा पार्टी के आरंभिक विरोध के बाद दंगों की भंर्त्सना की। गांधी जी के भावनात्मक भाषण के बाद अपने सिद्धांत की वकालत की कि सभी हिंसा और बुराई को न्यायोचित नहीं ठहराया जा सकता है।[8] किंतु ऐसा इस नरसंहार और उसके बाद हुई हिंसा से गांधी जी ने अपना मन संपूर्ण सरकार आर भारतीय सरकार के कब्जे वाली संस्थाओं पर संपूर्ण नियंत्रण लाने पर केंद्रित था जो जल्‍दी ही स्वराज अथवा संपूर्ण व्यक्तिगत, आध्‍यात्मिक एवं राजनैतिक आजादी में बदलने वाला था।

दिसम्बर १९२१ में गांधी जो भारतीय राष्ट्रीय कांग्रेस.का कार्यकारी अधिकारी नियुक्त किया गया। उनके नेतृत्व में कांग्रेस को स्वराज.के नाम वाले एक नए उद्देश्‍य के साथ संगठित किया गया। पार्दी में सदस्यता सांकेतिक शुल्क का भुगताने पर सभी के लिए खुली थी। पार्टी को किसी एक कुलीन संगठन की न बनाकर इसे राष्ट्रीय जनता की पार्टी बनाने के लिए इसके अंदर अनुशासन में सुधार लाने के लिए एक पदसोपान समिति गठित की गई। गांधी जी ने अपने अहिंसात्मक मंच को स्वदेशी नीति — में शामिल करने के लिए विस्तार किया जिसमें विदेशी वस्तुओं विशेषकर अंग्रेजी वस्तुओं का बहिष्कार करना था। इससे जुड़ने वाली उनकी वकालत का कहना था कि सभी भारतीय अंग्रेजों द्वारा बनाए वस्त्रों की अपेक्षा हमारे अपने लोगों द्वारा हाथ से बनाई गई खादी पहनें। गांधी जी ने स्वतंत्रता आंदोलन[9] को सहयोग देने के लिएपुरूषों और महिलाओं को प्रतिदिन खादी के लिए सूत कातने में समय बिताने के लिए कहा। यह अनुशासन और समर्पण लाने की ऐसी नीति थी जिससे अनिच्छा और महत्वाकाक्षा को दूर किया जा सके और इनके स्थान पर उस समय महिलाओं को शामिल किया जाए जब ऐसे बहुत से विचार आने लगे कि इस प्रकार की गतिविधियां महिलाओं के लिए सम्मानजनक नहीं हैं। इसके अलावा गांधी जी ने ब्रिटेन की शैक्षिक संस्थाओं तथा अदालतों का बहिष्कार और सरकारी नौकरियों को छोड़ने का तथा सरकार से प्राप्त तमगों और सम्मान (honours) को वापस लौटाने का भी अनुरोध किया।

असहयोग को दूर-दूर से अपील और सफलता मिली जिससे समाज के सभी वर्गों की जनता में जोश और भागीदारी बढ गई। फिर जैसे ही यह आंदोलन अपने शीर्ष पर पहुंचा वैसे फरवरी १९२२ में इसका अंत चौरी-चोरा, उत्तरप्रदेश में भयानक द्वेष के रूप में अंत हुआ। आंदोलन द्वारा हिंसा का रूख अपनाने के डर को ध्‍यान में रखते हुए और इस पर विचार करते हुए कि इससे उसके सभी कार्यों पर पानी फिर जाएगा, गांधी जी ने व्यापक असहयोग[10] के इस आंदोलन को वापस ले लिया। गांधी पर गिरफ्तार किया गया १० मार्च, १९२२, को राजद्रोह के लिए गांधी जी पर मुकदमा चलाया गया जिसमें उन्हें छह साल कैद की सजा सुनाकर जैल भेद दिया गया। १८ मार्च, १९२२ से लेकर उन्होंने केवल २ साल ही जैल में बिताए थे कि उन्हें फरवरी १९२४ में आंतों के ऑपरेशन के लिए रिहा कर दिया गया।

गांधी जी के एकता वाले व्यक्तित्व के बिना इंडियन नेशनल कांग्रेस उसके जेल में दो साल रहने के दौरान ही दो दलों में बंटने लगी जिसके एक दल का नेतृत्व सदन में पार्टी की भागीदारी के पक्ष वाले चित्त रंजन दास तथा मोतीलाल नेहरू ने किया तो दूसरे दल का नेतृत्व इसके विपरीत चलने वाले चक्रवर्ती राजगोपालाचार्य और सरदार वल्लभ भाई पटेल ने किया। इसके अलावा, हिंदुओं और मुसलमानों के बीच अहिंसा आंदोलन की चरम सीमा पर पहुंचकर सहयोग टूट रहा था। गांधी जी ने इस खाई को बहुत से साधनों से भरने का प्रयास किया जिसमें उन्होंने १९२४ की बसंत में सीमित सफलता दिलाने वाले तीन सप्ताह का उपवास करना भी शामिल था।[11]

दांडी में गाँधी, ५ अप्रैल, १९३०, के अंत में नमक मार्च

गांधी जी सक्रिय राजनीति से दूर ही रहे और १९२० की अधिकांश अवधि तक वे स्वराज पार्टी और इंडियन नेशनल कांग्रेस के बीच खाई को भरने में लगे रहे और इसके अतिरिक्त वे अस्पृश्यता, शराब, अज्ञानता और गरीबी के खिलाफ आंदोलन छेड़ते भी रहे। उन्होंने पहले १९२८ में लौटे .एक साल पहले अंग्रेजी सरकार ने सर जॉन साइमन के नेतृत्व में एक नया संवेधानिक सुधार आयोग बनाया जिसमें एक भी सदस्य भारतीय नहीं था। इसका परिणाम भारतीय राजनैतिक दलों द्वारा बहिष्कार निकला। दिसम्बर १९२८ में गांधी जी ने कलकत्ता में आयोजित कांग्रेस के एक अधिवेशन में एक प्रस्ताव रखा जिसमें भारतीय साम्राज्य को सत्ता प्रदान करने के लिए कहा गया था अथवा ऐसा न करने के बदले अपने उद्देश्य के रूप में संपूर्ण देश की आजादी के लिए असहयोग आंदोलन का सामना करने के लिए तैयार रहें। गांधी जी ने न केवल युवा वर्ग सुभाष चंद्र बोस तथा जवाहरलाल नेहरू जैसे पुरूषों द्वारा तत्काल आजादी की मांग के विचारों को फलीभूत किया बल्कि अपनी स्वयं की मांग को दो साल[12] की बजाए एक साल के लिए रोक दिया। अंग्रेजों ने कोई जवाब नहीं दिया।.नहीं ३१ दिसम्बर १९२९, भारत का झंडा फहराया गया था लाहौर में है।२६ जनवरी १९३० का दिन लाहौर में भारतीय स्वतंत्रता दिवस के रूप में इंडियन नेशनल कांग्रेस ने मनाया। यह दिन लगभग प्रत्येक भारतीय संगठनों द्वारा भी मनाया गया। इसके बाद गांधी जी ने मार्च १९३० में नमक पर कर लगाए जाने के विरोध में नया सत्याग्रह चलाया जिसे १२ मार्च से ६ अप्रेल तक नमक आंदोलन के याद में ४०० किलोमीटर (२४८ मील) तक का सफर अहमदाबाद से दांडी, गुजरात तक चलाया गया ताकि स्वयं नमक उत्पन्न किया जा सके। समुद्र की ओर इस यात्रा में हजारों की संख्‍या में भारतीयों ने भाग लिया। भारत में अंग्रेजों की पकड़ को विचलित करने वाला यह एक सर्वाधिक सफल आंदोलन था जिसमें अंग्रेजों ने ८०,००० से अधिक लोगों को जेल भेजा।

लार्ड एडवर्ड इरविन द्वारा प्रतिनिधित्व वाली सरकार ने गांधी जी के साथ विचार विमर्श करने का निर्णय लिया। यह इरविन गांधी की संधि मार्च १९३१ में हस्ताक्षर किए थे। सविनय अवज्ञा आंदोलन को बंद करने के लिए ब्रिटिश सरकार ने सभी राजनैतिक कैदियों को रिहा करने के लिए अपनी रजामंदी दे दी। इस समझौते के परिणामस्वरूप गांधी को भारतीय राष्ट्रीय कांग्रेस के एकमात्र प्रतिनिधि के रूप में लंदन में आयोजित होने वाले गोलमेज सम्मेलन में भाग लेने के लिए आमंत्रित किया गया। यह सम्मेलन गांधी जी और राष्ट्रीयवादी लोगों के लिए घोर निराशाजनक रहा, इसका कारण सत्ता का हस्तांतरण करने की बजाय भारतीय कीमतों एवं भारतीय अल्पसंख्‍यकों पर केंद्रित होना था। इसके अलावा, लार्ड इरविन के उत्तराधिकारी लार्ड विलिंगटन, ने राष्‍ट्रवादियों के आंदोलन को नियंत्रित एवं कुचलने का एक नया अभियान आरंभ करदिया। गांधी फिर से गिरफ्तार कर लिए गए और सरकार ने उनके अनुयाईयों को उनसे पूर्णतया दूर रखते हुए गांधी जी द्वारा प्रभावित होने से रोकने की कोशिश की। लेकिन, यह युक्ति सफल नहीं थी।

हरिजन आंदोलन और निश्चय दिवस

१९३२ में, दलित नेता और प्रकांड विद्वान डॉ. बाबासाहेब अम्बेडकर के चुनाव प्रचार के माध्यम से, सरकार ने अछूतों को एक नए संविधान के अंतर्गत अलग निर्वाचन मंजूर कर दिया। इसके विरोध में दलित हतों के विरोधी गांधी जी ने सितंबर १९३२ में छ: दिन का अनशन ले लिया जिसने सरकार को सफलतापूर्वक दलित से राजनैतिक नेता बने पलवंकर बालू द्वारा की गई मध्‍यस्ता वाली एक समान व्यवस्था को अपनाने पर बल दिया। अछूतों के जीवन को सुधारने के लिए गांधी जी द्वारा चलाए गए इस अभियान की शुरूआत थी। गांधी जी ने इन अछूतों को हरिजन का नाम दिया जिन्हें वे भगवान की संतान मानते थे। ८ मई १९३३ को गांधी जी ने हरिजन आंदोलन[13] में मदद करने के लिए आत्म शुद्धिकरण का २१ दिन तक चलने वाला उपवास किया। यह नया अभियान दलितों को पसंद नहीं आया तथापि वे एक प्रमुख नेता बने रहे। डॉ. बाबासाहेब अम्बेडकर ने गांधी जी द्वारा हरिजन शब्द का उपयोग करने की स्पष्ट निंदा की, कि दलित सामाजिक रूप से अपरिपक्व हैं और सुविधासंपन्न जाति वाले भारतीयों ने पितृसत्तात्मक भूमिका निभाई है। अम्बेडकर और उसके सहयोगी दलों को भी महसूस हुआ कि गांधी जी दलितों के राजनीतिक अधिकारों को कम आंक रहे हैं। हालांकि गांधी जी एक वैश्य जाति में पैदा हुए फिर भी उन्होनें इस बात पर जोर दिया कि वह डॉ. अम्बेडकर जैसे दलित मसिहा के होते हुए भी वह दलितों के लिए आवाज उठा सकता है। पूना संधी के बाद पुरी दुनिया जाना की गांधी नहीं डॉ. बाबासाहेब अम्बेडकर ही है दलितों के असली नेता। भारतीय स्वतंत्रता संग्राम के दिनों में हिन्दुस्तान की सामाजिक बुराइयों में में छुआछूत एक प्रमुख बुराई थी जिसके के विरूद्ध महात्मा गांधी और उनके अनुयायी संघर्षरत रहते थे। उस समय देश के प्रमुख मंदिरों में हरिजनों का प्रवेश पूर्णतः प्रतिबंधित था। केरल राज्य का जनपद त्रिशुर दक्षिण भारत की एक प्रमुख धार्मिक नगरी है। यहीं एक प्रतिष्ठित मंदिर है गुरुवायुर मंदिर, जिसमें कृष्ण भगवान के बालरूप के दर्शन कराती भगवान गुरूवायुरप्पन की मूर्ति स्थापित है। आजादी से पूर्व अन्य मंदिरों की भांति इस मंदिर में भी हरिजनों के प्रवेश पर पूर्ण प्रतिबंध था।

केरल के गांधी समर्थक श्री केलप्पन ने महात्मा की आज्ञा से इस प्रथा के विरूद्ध आवाज उठायी और अंततः इसके लिये सन् 1933 ई0 में सविनय अवज्ञा प्रारंभ की गयी। मंदिर के ट्रस्टियों को इस बात की ताकीद की गयी कि नये वर्ष का प्रथम दिवस अर्थात 1 जनवरी 1934 को अंतिम निश्चय दिवस के रूप में मनाया जायेगा और इस तिथि पर उनके स्तर से कोई निश्चय न होने की स्थिति मे महात्मा गांधी तथा श्री केलप्पन द्वारा आन्दोलनकारियों के पक्ष में आमरण अनशन किया जा सकता है। इस कारण गुरूवायूर मंदिर के ट्रस्टियो की ओर से बैठक बुलाकर मंदिर के उपासको की राय भी प्राप्त की गयी। बैठक मे 77 प्रतिशत उपासको के द्वारा दिये गये बहुमत के आधार पर मंदिर में हरिजनों के प्रवेश को स्वीकृति दे दी गयी और इस प्रकार 1 जनवरी 1934 से केरल के श्री गुरूवायूर मंदिर में किये गये निश्चय दिवस की सफलता के रूप में हरिजनों के प्रवेश को सैद्वांतिक स्वीकृति मिल गयी। गुरूवायूर मंदिर जिसमें आज भी गैर हिन्दुओं का प्रवेश वर्जित है तथापि कई घर्मो को मानने वाले भगवान भगवान गुरूवायूरप्पन के परम भक्त हैं। महात्मा गांधी की प्रेरणा से जनवरी माह के प्रथम दिवस को निश्चय दिवस के रूप में मनाया गया और किये गये निश्चय को प्राप्त किया गया। [14]। १९३४ की गर्मियों में, उनकी जान लेने के लिए उन पर तीन असफल प्रयास किए गए थे।

जब कांग्रेस पार्टी के चुनाव लड़ने के लिए चुना और संघीय योजना के अंतर्गत सत्ता स्वीकार की तब गांधी जी ने पार्टी की सदस्यता से इस्तीफा देने का निर्णय ले लिया। वह पार्टी के इस कदम से असहमत नहीं थे किंतु महसूस करते थे कि यदि वे इस्तीफा देते हैं तब भारतीयों के साथ उसकी लोकप्रियता पार्टी की सदस्यता को मजबूत करने में आसानी प्रदान करेगी जो अब तक कम्यूनिसटों, समाजवादियों, व्यापार संघों, छात्रों, धार्मिक नेताओं से लेकर व्यापार संघों और विभिन्न आवाजों के बीच विद्यमान थी। इससे इन सभी को अपनी अपनी बातों के सुन जाने का अवसर प्राप्त होगा। गांधी जी राज के लिए किसी पार्टी का नेतृत्व करते हुए प्रचार द्वारा कोई ऐसा लक्ष्‍य सिद्ध नहीं करना चाहते थे जिसे राज[15] के साथ अस्थायी तौर पर राजनैतिक व्यवस्‍था के रूप में स्वीकार कर लिया जाए।

गांधी जी नेहरू प्रेजीडेन्सी और कांग्रेस के लाहौर अधिवेशन के साथ ही १९३६ में भारत लौट आए। हालांकि गांधी की पूर्ण इच्छा थी कि वे आजादी प्राप्त करने पर अपना संपूर्ण ध्‍यान केंद्रित करें न कि भारत के भविष्य के बारे में अटकलों पर। उसने कांग्रेस को समाजवाद को अपने उद्देश्‍य के रूप में अपनाने से नहीं रोका। १९३८ में राष्ट्रपति पद के लिए चुने गए सुभाष बोस के साथ गांधी जी के मतभेद थे। बोस के साथ मतभेदों में गांधी के मुख्य बिंदु बोस की लोकतंत्र में प्रतिबद्धता की कमी तथा अहिंसा में विश्वास की कमी थी। बोस ने गांधी जी की आलोचना के बावजूद भी दूसरी बार जीत हासिल की किंतु कांग्रेस को उस समय छोड़ दिया जब सभी भारतीय नेताओं ने गांधी[16] जी द्वारा लागू किए गए सभी सिद्धातों का परित्याग कर दिया गया।

द्वितीय विश्व युद्ध और भारत छोड़ो आन्दोलन

द्वितीय विश्व युद्ध १९३९ में जब छिड़ने नाजी जर्मनी आक्रमण पोलैंड.आरंभ में गांधी जी ने अंग्रेजों के प्रयासों को अहिंसात्मक नैतिक सहयोग देने का पक्ष लिया किंतु दूसरे कांग्रेस के नेताओं ने युद्ध में जनता के प्रतिनिधियों के परामर्श लिए बिना इसमें एकतरफा शामिल किए जाने का विरोध किया। कांग्रेस के सभी चयनित सदस्यों ने सामूहिक तौर[17] पर अपने पद से इस्तीफा दे दिया। लंबी चर्चा के बाद, गांधी ने घोषणा की कि जब स्वयं भारत को आजादी से इंकार किया गया हो तब लोकतांत्रिक आजादी के लिए बाहर से लड़ने पर भारत किसी भी युद्ध के लिए पार्टी नहीं बनेगी। जैसे जैसे युद्ध बढता गया गांधी जी ने आजादी के लिए अपनी मांग को अंग्रेजों को भारत छोड़ो आन्दोलन नामक विधेयक देकर तीव्र कर दिया। यह गांधी तथा कांग्रेस पार्टी का सर्वाधिक स्पष्ट विद्रोह था जो भारतीय सीमा[18] से अंग्रेजों को खदेड़ने पर लक्षित था।

गांधी जी के दूसरे नंबर पर बैठे जवाहरलाल नेहरू की पार्टी के कुछ सदस्यों तथा कुछ अन्य राजनैतिक भारतीय दलों ने आलोचना की जो अंग्रेजों के पक्ष तथा विपक्ष दोनों में ही विश्‍वास रखते थे। कुछ का मानना था कि अपने जीवन काल में अथवा मौत के संघर्ष में अंग्रेजों का विरोध करना एक नश्वर कार्य है जबकि कुछ मानते थे कि गांधी जी पर्याप्त कोशिश नहीं कर रहे हैं। भारत छोड़ो इस संघर्ष का सर्वाधिक शक्तिशाली आंदोलन बन गया जिसमें व्यापक हिंसा और गिरफ्तारी हुई।[19] पुलिस की गोलियों से हजारों की संख्‍या में स्वतंत्रता सेनानी या तो मारे गए या घायल हो गए और हजारों गिरफ्तार कर लिए गए। गांधी और उनके समर्थकों ने स्पष्ट कर दिया कि वह युद्ध के प्रयासों का समर्थन तब तक नहीं देंगे तब तक भारत को तत्‍काल आजादी न दे दी जाए। उन्होंने स्पष्ट किया कि इस बार भी यह आन्दोलन बन्द नहीं होगा यदि हिंसा के व्यक्तिगत कृत्यों को मूर्त रूप दिया जाता है। उन्होंने कहा कि उनके चारों ओर अराजकता का आदेश असली अराजकता से भी बुरा है। उन्होंने सभी कांग्रेसियों और भारतीयों को अहिंसा के साथ करो या मरो (अंग्रेजी में डू ऑर डाय) के द्वारा अन्तिम स्वतन्त्रता के लिए अनुशासन बनाए रखने को कहा।

गांधी जी और कांग्रेस कार्यकारणी समिति के सभी सदस्यों को अंग्रेजों द्वारा मुबंई में ९ अगस्त १९४२ को गिरफ्तार कर लिया गया। गांधी जी को पुणे के आंगा खां महल में दो साल तक बंदी बनाकर रखा गया। यही वह समय था जब गांधी जी को उनके निजी जीवन में दो गहरे आघात लगे। उनका ५० साल पुराना सचिव महादेव देसाई ६ दिन बाद ही दिल का दौरा पड़ने से मर गए और गांधी जी के १८ महीने जेल में रहने के बाद २२ फरवरी १९४४ को उनकी पत्नी कस्तूरबा गांधी का देहांत हो गया। इसके छ: सप्ताह बाद गांधी जी को भी मलेरिया का भयंकर शिकार होना पड़ा। उनके खराब स्वास्थ्‍य और जरूरी उपचार के कारण ६ मई १९४४ को युद्ध की समाप्ति से पूर्व ही उन्हें रिहा कर दिया गया। राज उन्हें जेल में दम तोड़ते हुए नहीं देखना चाहते थे जिससे देश का क्रोध बढ़ जाए। हालांकि भारत छोड़ो आंदोलन को अपने उद्देश्य में आशिंक सफलता ही मिली लेकिन आंदोलन के निष्‍ठुर दमन ने १९४३ के अंत तक भारत को संगठित कर दिया। युद्ध के अंत में, ब्रिटिश ने स्पष्ट संकेत दे दिया था कि संत्ता का हस्तांतरण कर उसे भारतीयों के हाथ में सोंप दिया जाएगा। इस समय गांधी जी ने आंदोलन को बंद कर दिया जिससे कांग्रेसी नेताओं सहित लगभग १००,००० राजनैतिक बंदियों को रिहा कर दिया गया।

स्वतंत्रता और भारत का विभाजन

गांधी जी ने १९४६ में कांग्रेस को ब्रिटिश केबीनेट मिशन (British Cabinet Mission) के प्रस्ताव को ठुकराने का परामर्श दिया क्योकि उसे मुस्लिम बाहुलता वाले प्रांतों के लिए प्रस्तावित समूहीकरण के प्रति उनका गहन संदेह होना था इसलिए गांधी जी ने प्रकरण को एक विभाजन के पूर्वाभ्यास के रूप में देखा। हालांकि कुछ समय से गांधी जी के साथ कांग्रेस द्वारा मतभेदों वाली घटना में से यह भी एक घटना बनी (हालांकि उसके नेत्त्व के कारण नहीं) चूंकि नेहरू और पटेल जानते थे कि यदि कांग्रेस इस योजना का अनुमोदन नहीं करती है तब सरकार का नियंत्रण मुस्लिम लीग के पास चला जाएगा। १९४८ के बीच लगभग ५००० से भी अधिक लोगों को हिंसा के दौरान मौत के घाट उतार दिया गया। गांधी जी किसी भी ऐसी योजना के खिलाफ थे जो भारत को दो अलग अलग देशों में विभाजित कर दे। भारत में रहने वाले बहुत से हिंदुओं और सिक्खों एवं मुस्लिमों का भारी बहुमत देश के बंटवारे[तथ्य वांछित] के पक्ष में था। इसके अतिरिक्त मुहम्मद अली जिन्ना, मुस्लिम लीग के नेता ने, पश्चिम पंजाब, सिंध, उत्तर पश्चिम सीमांत प्रांत और पूर्वी बंगाल[तथ्य वांछित] में व्यापक सहयोग का परिचय दिया। व्यापक स्तर पर फैलने वाले हिंदु मुस्लिम लड़ाई को रोकने के लिए ही कांग्रेस नेताओं ने बंटवारे की इस योजना को अपनी मंजूरी दे दी थी। कांगेस नेता जानते थे कि गांधी जी बंटवारे का विरोध करेंगे और उसकी सहमति के बिना कांग्रेस के लिए आगे बझना बसंभव था चुकि पाटर्ठी में गांधी जी का सहयोग और संपूर्ण भारत में उनकी स्थिति मजबूत थी। गांधी जी के करीबी सहयोगियों ने बंटवारे को एक सर्वोत्तम उपाय के रूप में स्वीकार किया और सरदार पटेल ने गांधी जी को समझाने का प्रयास किया कि नागरिक अशांति वाले युद्ध को रोकने का यही एक उपाय है। मज़बूर गांधी ने अपनी अनुमति दे दी।

उन्होंने उत्तर भारत के साथ-साथ बंगाल में भी मुस्लिम और हिंदु समुदाय के नेताओं के साथ गर्म रवैये को शांत करने के लिए गहन विचार विमर्श किया। १९४७ के भारत-पाकिस्तान युद्ध के बावजूद उन्हें उस समय परेशान किया गया जब सरकार ने पाकिस्तान को विभाजन परिषद द्वारा बनाए गए समझौते के अनुसार ५५ करोड़ रू0 न देने का निर्णय लियाथा। सरदार पटेल जैसे नेताओं को डर था कि पाकिस्तान इस धन का उपयोग भारत के खिलाफ़ जंग छेड़ने में कर सकता है। जब यह मांग उठने लगी कि सभी मुस्लिमों को पाकिस्तान भेजा जाए और मुस्लिमों और हिंदु नेताओं ने इस पर असंतोष व्य‍क्त किया और एक दूसरे[20] के साथ समझौता करने से मना करने से गांधी जी को गहरा सदमा पहुंचा। उन्होंने दिल्ली में अपना पहला आमरण अनशन आरंभ किया जिसमें साम्प्रदायिक हिंसा को सभी के लिए तत्काल समाप्त करने और पाकिस्तान को 55 करोड़ रू0 का भुगतान करने के लिए कहा गया था। गांधी जी को डर था कि पाकिस्तान में अस्थिरता और असुरक्षा से भारत के प्रति उनका गुस्सा और बढ़ जाएगा तथा सीमा पर हिंसा फैल जाएगी। उन्हें आगे भी डर था कि हिंदु और मुस्लिम अपनी शत्रुता को फिर से नया कर देंगे और उससे नागरिक युद्ध हो जाने की आशंका बन सकती है। जीवन भर गांधी जा का साथ देने वाले सहयोगियों के साथ भावुक बहस के बाद गांधी जी ने बात का मानने से इंकार कर दिया और सरकार को अपनी नीति पर अडिग रहना पड़ा तथा पाकिस्तान को भुगतान कर दिया। हिंदु मुस्लिम और सिक्ख समुदाय के नेताओं ने उन्हें विश्‍वास दिलाया कि वे हिंसा को भुला कर शांति लाएंगे। इन समुदायों में राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ और हिंदू महासभा शामिल थे। इस प्रकार गांधी जी ने संतरे का जूस[21] पीकर अपना अनशन तोड़ दिया।


मुख्य लेख : मोहनदास करमचंद गांधी की हत्या

राज घाट (Raj Ghat):आगा खान पैलेस में गांधी की अस्थियां (पुणे, भारत) .

मैनचेस्टर गार्जियन, १८ फरवरी, १९४८, की गलियों से ले जाते हुआ दिखाया गया था।

३० जनवरी, १९४८, गांधी की उस समय गोली मारकर हत्या कर दी गई जब वे नई दिल्ली के बिड़ला भवन (बिरला हाउस के मैदान में रात चहलकदमी कर रहे थे। गांधी का हत्यारा नाथूराम गौड़से हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी थे जिनके कट्टरपंथी हिंदु महासभा के साथ संबंध थे जिसने गांधी जी को पाकिस्तान[22] को भुगतान करने के मुद्दे को लेकर भारत को कमजोर बनाने के लिए जिम्मेदार ठहराया था। गोड़से और उसके उनके सह षड्यंत्रकारी नारायण आप्टे को बाद में केस चलाकर सजा दी गई तथा १५ नवंबर १९४९ को इन्हें फांसी दे दी गई। राज घाट, नई दिल्ली, में गांधी जी के स्मारक पर “देवनागरी में हे राम ” लिखा हुआ है। ऐसा व्यापक तौर पर माना जाता है कि जब गांधी जी को गोली मारी गई तब उनके मुख से निकलने वाले ये अंतिम शब्द थे। हालांकि इस कथन पर विवाद उठ खड़े हुए हैं।[23]जवाहरलाल नेहरू ने रेडियो के माध्यम से राष्ट्र को संबोधित किया :

गांधी जी की राख को एक अस्थि-रख दिया गया और उनकी सेवाओं की याद दिलाने के लिए संपूर्ण भारत में ले जाया गया। इनमें से अधिकांश को इलाहाबाद में संगम पर १२ फरवरी १९४८ को जल में विसर्जित कर दिया गया किंतु कुछ को अलग[24] पवित्र रूप में रख दिया गया। १९९७ में, तुषार गाँधी ने बैंक में नपाए गए एक अस्थि-कलश की कुछ सामग्री को अदालत के माध्यम से, इलाहाबाद में संगम[24][25] नामक स्थान पर जल में विसर्जित कर दिया। ३० जनवरी२००८ को दुबई में रहने वाले एक व्यापारी द्वारा गांधी जी की राख वाले एक अन्य अस्थि-कलश को मुंबई संग्रहालय[24] में भेजने के उपरांत उन्हें गिरगाम चौपाटी नामक स्थान पर जल में विसर्जित कर दिया गया। एक अन्य अस्थि कलश आगा खान जो पुणे[24] में है, (जहाँ उन्होंने १९४२ से कैद करने के लिए किया गया था १९४४) वहां समाप्त हो गया और दूसरा आत्मबोध फैलोशिप झील मंदिर में लॉस एंजिल्स.[26] रखा हुआ है। इस परिवार को पता है कि इस पवित्र राख का राजनीतिक उद्देश्यों के लिए दुरूपयोग किया जा सकता है लेकिन उन्हें यहां से हटाना नहीं चाहती हैं क्योंकि इससे मंदिरों .[24] को तोड़ने का खतरा पैदा हो सकता है।

गांधी के सिद्धांत

इन्हें भी देखें: गांधीवाद


गांधी जी ने अपना जीवन सत्य, या सच्चाई की व्यापक खोज में समर्पित कर दिया। उन्होंने इस लक्ष्य को प्राप्त करने करने के लिए अपनी स्वयं की गल्तियों और खुद पर प्रयोग करते हुए सीखने की कोशिश की। उन्होंने अपनी आत्मकथा को सत्य के प्रयोग का नाम दिया।

गांधी जी ने कहा कि सबसे महत्वपूर्ण लड़ाई लड़ने के लिए अपने दुष्टात्माओं , भय और असुरक्षा जैसे तत्वों पर विजय पाना है। .गांधी जी ने अपने विचारों को सबसे पहले उस समय संक्षेप में व्य‍क्त किया जब उन्होंने कहा भगवान ही सत्य है बाद में उन्होने अपने इस कथन को सत्य ही भगवान है में बदल दिया। इस प्रकार , सत्य में गांधी के दर्शन है ” परमेश्वर ” .


हालांकि गांधी जी अहिंसा के सिद्धांत के प्रवर्तक बिल्कुल नहीं थे फिर भी इसे बड़े पैमाने [27]पर राजनैतिक क्षेत्र में इस्तेमाल करने वाले वे पहले व्यक्ति थे। अहिंसा (nonviolence), अहिंसा (ahimsa) और अप्रतिकार (nonresistance)का भारतीय धार्मिक विचारों में एक लंबा इतिहास है और इसके हिंदु, बौद्ध, जैन, यहूदी और ईसाई समुदायों में बहुत सी अवधारणाएं हैं। गांधी जी ने अपनी आत्मकथा द स्टोरी ऑफ़ माय एक्सपेरिमेंट्स विथ ट्रुथ ” (The Story of My Experiments with Truth)में दर्शन और अपने जीवन के मार्ग का वर्णन किया है। उन्हें कहते हुए बताया गया था:

जब मैं निराश होता हूं तब मैं याद करता हूं कि हालांकि इतिहास सत्य का मार्ग होता है किंतु प्रेम इसे सदैव जीत लेता है। यहां अत्याचारी और हतयारे भी हुए हैं और कुछ समय के लिए वे अपराजय लगते थे किंतु अंत में उनका पतन ही होता है -इसका सदैव विचार करें।

” मृतकों, अनाथ तथा बेघरों के लिए इससे क्या फर्क पड़ता है कि स्वतंत्रता और लोकतंत्र के पवित्र नाम के नीचे संपूर्णवाद का पागल विनाश छिपा है।

एक आंख के लिए दूसरी आंख पूरी दुनिया को अंधा बना देगी।

मरने के लिए मैरे पास बहुत से कारण है किंतु मेरे पास किसी को मारने का कोई भी कारण नहीं है।

इन सिद्धातों को लागू करने में गांधी जी ने इन्हें दुनिया को दिखाने के लिए सर्वाधिक तार्किक सीमा पर ले जाने से भी मुंह नहीं मोड़ा जहां सरकार, पुलिस और सेनाए भी अहिंसात्मक बन गईं थीं। ” फॉर पसिफिस्ट्स.”[28] नामक पुस्तक से उद्धरण लिए गए हैं।

विज्ञान का युद्ध किसी व्यक्ति को तानाशाही , शुद्ध और सरलता की ओर ले जाता है। अहिंसा का विज्ञान अकेले ही किसी व्यक्ति को शुद्ध लोकतंत्र के मार्ग की ओर ले जा सकता है।प्रेम पर आधारित शक्ति सजा के डर से उत्पन्न शक्ति से हजार गुणा अधिक और स्थायी होती है। यह कहना निन्दा करने जैसा होगा कि कि अहिंसा का अभ्यास केवल व्यक्तिगत तौर पर किया जा सकता है और व्यक्तिवादिता वाले देश इसका कभी भी अभ्यास नहीं कर सकते हैं। शुद्ध अराजकता का निकटतम दृष्टिकोण अहिंसा पर आधारित लोकतंत्र होगा;;;;;;संपूर्ण अहिंसा के आधार पर संगठित और चलने वाला कोई समाज शुद्ध अराजकता

वाला समाज होगा।

मैं ने भी स्वीकार किया कि एक अहिंसक राज्य में भी पुलिस बल की जरूरत अनिवार्य हो सकती है। पुलिस रैंकों का गठन अहिंसा में विश्‍वास रखने वालों से किया जाएगा। लोग उनकी हर संभव मदद करेंगे और आपसी सहयोग के माध्यम से वे किसी भी उपद्रव का आसानी से सामना कर लेंगे …श्रम और पूंजी तथा हड़तालों के बीव हिंसक झगड़े बहुत कम होंगे और अहिंसक राज्यों में तो बहुत कम होंगे क्योंकि अहिंसक समाज की बाहुलता का प्रभाव समाज में प्रमुख तत्वों का सम्मान करने के लिए महान होगा। इसी प्रकार साम्प्रदायिक अव्यवस्था के लिए कोई जगह नहीं होगी;;;;;;

 शांति एवं अव्यवस्था के समय सशस्त्र सैनिकों की तरह सेना का कोई

अहिंसात्मक कार्य उनका यह कर्तव्य होगा कि वे विजय दिलाने वाले समुदायों को एकजुट करें जिसमें शांति का प्रसार, तथा ऐसी गतिविधियों का समावेश हो जो किसी भी व्यक्ति को उसके चर्च अथवा खंड में संपर्क बनाए रखते हुए अपने साथ मिला लें। इस प्रकार की सैना को किसी भी आपात स्थिति से लड़ने के लिए तैयार रहना चाहिए तथा भीड़ के क्रोध को शांत करने के लिए उसके पास मरने के लिए सैनिकों की पर्याप्त नफरी भी होनी चाहिए;;;;;;सत्याग्रह (सत्यबल) के बिग्रेड को प्रत्येक गांव तथा शहर तक भवनों के प्रत्येक ब्लॉक में संगठित किया जा सकता हैयदि अहिंसात्मक समाज पर हमला किया जाता है तब अहिंसा के दो मार्ग खुलते हैं। अधिकार पाने के लिए हमलावर से सहयोग न करें बल्कि समर्पण करने की अपेक्षा मृत्यु को गले लगाना पसंद करें। दूसरा तरीका होगा ऐसी जनता द्वारा अहिंसक प्रतिरोध करना हो सकता है जिन्हें अहिंसक तरीके से प्रशिक्षित किया गया हो …इस अप्रत्याशित प्रदर्शन की अनंत राहों पर आदमियों और महिलाओं को हमलावर की इच्छा लिए आत्मसमर्पण करने की बजाए आसानी से मरना अच्छा लगता है और अंतंत: उसे तथा उसकी सैनिक बहादुरी के समक्ष पिघलना जरूर पड़ता है;;;;। ऐसे किसी देश अथवा समूह जिसने अंहिंसा को अपनी अंतिम नीति बना लिया है उसे परमाणु बम भी अपना दास नहीं बना सकता है। उस देश में अहिंसा का स्तर खुशी-खुशी गुजरता है तब वह प्राकृतिक तौर पर इतना अधिक बढ़ जाता है कि उसे सार्वभोमिक आदरमिलने लगता है।

इन विचारों के अनुरूप १९४० में जब नाजी जर्मनी द्वारा अंग्रेजों के द्वीपों पर किए गए हमले आसन्न दिखाई दिए तब गांधी जी ने अंग्रेजों को शांति और युद्ध [29]में अहिंसा की निम्नलिखित नीति का अनुसरण करने को कहा।

मैं आपसे हथियार रखने के लिए कहना पसंद करूंगा क्योंकि ये आपको अथवा मानवता को बचाने में बेकार हैं।आपको हेर हिटलर और सिगनोर मुसोलिनी को आमत्रित करना होगा कि उन्हें देशों से जो कुछ चाहिए आप उन्हें अपना अधिकार कहते हैं।यदि इन सज्जनों को अपने घर पर रहने का चयन करना है तब आपको उन्हें खाली करना होगा।यदि वे तुम्हें आसानी से रास्ता नहीं देते हैं तब आप अपने आपको , पुरूषों को महिलाओं को और बच्चों की बलि देने की अनुमति देंगे किंतु अपनी निष्ठा के प्रति झुकने से इंकार करेंगे।

१९४६ में युद्ध के बाद दिए गए एक साक्षात्कार में उन्होंने इससे भी आगे एक विचार का प्रस्तुतीकरण किया।

यहूदियों को अपने लिए स्वयं कसाई का चाकू दे देना चाहिए था।उन्हें अपने आप को समुद्री चट्टानों से समुद्र के अंदर फैंक देना चाहिए था।

फिर भी गांधी जी को पता था कि इस प्रकार के अहिंसा के स्तर को अटूट विश्वास और साहस की जरूरत होगी और इसके लिए उसने महसूस कर लिया था कि यह हर किसी के पास नहीं होता है। इसलिए उन्होंने प्रत्येक व्यक्ति को परामर्श दिया कि उन्हें अहिंसा को अपने पास रखने की जरूरत नहीं है खास तौर पर उस समय जब इसे कायरता के संरक्षण के लिए उपयोग में किया गया हो।

गांधी जी ने अपने सत्याग्रह आंदोलन में ऐसे लोगों को दूर ही रखा जो हथियार उठाने से डरते थे अथवा प्रतिरोध करने में स्वयं की अक्षमता का अनुभव करते थे। उन्होंने लिखा कि मैं मानता हूं कि जहां डरपोक और हिंसा में से किसी एक को चुनना हो तो मैं हिंसा के पक्ष में अपनी राय दूंगा।[30]

प्रत्येक सभा पर मैं तब तक चेतावनी दोहराता रहता था जब तक वन्हें यह अहसास नहीं हो जाता है कि वे एक ऐसे अंहिसात्मक बल के अधिकार में आ गए हैं जिसके अधिकार में वे पहले भी थे और वे उस प्रयोग के आदि हो चुके थे और उनका मानना था कि उन्हें अहिंसा से कुछ लेना देना नहीं हैं तथा फिर से हथियार उठा लिए थे। खुदाई खिदमतगार (Khudai Khidmatgar)के बारे में ऐसा कभी नहीं कहना चाहिए कि जो एक बार इतने बहादुर थे कि बादशाह खान (Badshah Khan)के प्रभाव में अब वे डरपोक बन गए। वीरता केवल अच्छे निशाने वालों में ही नहीं होती है बल्कि मृत्यु को हरा देने वालों में तथा अपनी छातियों को गोली [31]खाने के लिए सदा तैयार रहने वालों में भी होती है।

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan  listen (help·info) (5 September 1888 – 17 April 1975) was an Indian philosopher and statesman[1] who was the first Vice President of India (1952–1962) and the second President of India from 1962 to 1967.[web 1]

One of India’s most distinguished twentieth-century scholars of comparative religion and philosophy,[2][web 2] his academic appointments included the King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science at the University of Calcutta (1921–1932) and Spalding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics at University of Oxford (1936–1952).

His philosophy was grounded in Advaita Vedanta, reinterpreting this tradition for a contemporary understanding.[web 2] He defended Hinduism against “uninformed Western criticism”,[3] contributing to the formation of contemporary Hindu identity.[4] He has been influential in shaping the understanding of Hinduism, in both India and the west, and earned a reputation as a bridge-builder between India and the West.[5]

Radhakrishnan was awarded several high awards during his life, including a knighthood in 1931, the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India, in 1954, and honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963. Radhakrishnan believed that “teachers should be the best minds in the country”. Since 1962, his birthday is celebrated in India as Teachers’ Day on 5 September.[web 3]


Early life

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born in a Telugu Brahmin family in a village near Thiruttani India, in the erstwhile Madras Presidency near the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states. His father’s name was Sarvepalli Veeraswami and his mother’s was Sitamma. His early years were spent in Thiruttani and Tirupati. His father was a subordinate revenue official in the service of a local zamindar (landlord). His primary education was at K.V High School at Thiruttani. In 1896 he moved to the Hermansburg Evangelical Lutheran Mission School in Tirupati and Government Higher Secondary School, Walajapet.[6]

Indian President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan with US President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office, 1963


Radhakrishnan was awarded scholarships throughout his academic life. He joined Voorhees College in Vellore but switched to the Madras Christian College at the age of 17. He graduated from there in 1906 with a master’s degree in Philosophy, being one of its most distinguished alumni.[7]

Radhakrishnan studied philosophy by chance rather than choice. Being a financially constrained student, when a cousin who graduated from the same college passed on his philosophy textbooks in to Radhakrishnan, it automatically decided his academic course.[8][9]

Radhakrishnan wrote his thesis for the M.A. degree on “The Ethics of the Vedanta and its Metaphysical Presuppositions”.[10] It “was intended to be a reply to the charge that the Vedanta system had no room for ethics.”[11] He was afraid that this M.A. thesis would offend his philosophy professor, Dr. Alfred George Hogg. Instead, Hogg commended Radhakrishnan on having done most excellent work.[citation needed] Radhakrishnan’s thesis was published when he was only twenty. According to Radhakrishnan himself, the criticism of Hogg and other Christian teachers of Indian culture “disturbed my faith and shook the traditional props on which I leaned.”[11] Radhakrishnan himself describes how, as a student,

The challenge of Christian critics impelled me to make a study of Hinduism and find out what is living and what is dead in it. My pride as a Hindu, roused by the enterprise and eloquence of Swami Vivekananda, was deeply hurt by the treatment accorded to Hinduism in missionary institutions.[3]

This led him to his critical study of Indian philosophy and religion[11] and a lifelong defence of Hinduism against “uninformed Western criticism”.[3]

Marriage and family

Radhakrishnan was married to Sivakamu,[note 1] a distant cousin, at the age of 16.[12] As per tradition the marriage was arranged by the family. The couple had five daughters and a son, Sarvepalli Gopal. Sarvepalli Gopal went on to a notable career as a historian. Sivakamu died in 1956. They were married for over 51 years. Former Indian Test Cricketer VVS Laxman is his great grand nephew.[13]

Academic career

hand made portrait of Mr. President.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan drawn by Bujjai and signed by Radhakrishnan in Telugu as “Radhakrishnayya”.

In April 1909, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was appointed to the Department of Philosophy at the Madras Presidency College. Thereafter, in 1918, he was selected as Professor of Philosophy by the University of Mysore, where he taught at its Maharaja’s College, Mysore. [web 4][14] By that time he had written many articles for journals of repute like The Quest, Journal of Philosophy and the International Journal of Ethics. He also completed his first book, The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore. He believed Tagore‘s philosophy to be the “genuine manifestation of the Indian spirit”. His second book, The Reign of Religion in Contemporary Philosophy was published in 1920.

In 1921 he was appointed as a professor in philosophy to occupy the King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science at the University of Calcutta. He represented the University of Calcutta at the Congress of the Universities of the British Empire in June 1926 and the International Congress of Philosophy at Harvard University in September 1926. Another important academic event during this period was the invitation to deliver the Hibbert Lecture on the ideals of life which he delivered at Harris Manchester College, Oxford in 1929 and which was subsequently published in book form as An Idealist View of Life.

In 1929 Radhakrishnan was invited to take the post vacated by Principal J. Estlin Carpenter at Harris Manchester College. This gave him the opportunity to lecture to the students of the University of Oxford on Comparative Religion. For his services to education he was knighted by George V in the June 1931 Birthday Honours,[web 5] and formally invested with his honour by the Governor-General of India, the Earl of Willingdon, in April 1932.[web 6] However, he ceased to use the title after Indian independence,[15]:9 preferring instead his academic title of ‘Doctor’.

He was the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936. In 1936 Radhakrishnan was named Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at the University of Oxford, and was elected a Fellow of All Souls College. That same year, and again in 1937, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature (although this nomination process, for all laureates, was not public at the time. Further nominations for the award would continue steadily into the 1960s.) In 1939 Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya invited him to succeed him as the Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU).[16] He served as its Vice-Chancellor till January 1948.

Political career

Radhakrishnan started his political career “rather late in life”,[17] after his successful academic career.[17] His international authority preceded his political career.[3] In 1931 he was nominated to the League of Nations Committee for International Cooperation, where after “in Western eyes he was the recognized Hindu authority on Indian ideas and a persuasive interpreter of the role of Eastern institutions in contemporary society.”[3] When India became independent in 1947, Radhakrishnan represented India at UNESCO (1946–52) and was later Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union, from 1949 to 1952. He was also elected to the Constituent Assembly of India. Radhakrishnan was elected as the first Vice-President of India in 1952, and elected as the second President of India (1962–1967).

Radhakrishnan did not have a background in the Congress Party, nor was he active in the struggle against British rule.[3] His motivation lay in his pride of Hindu culture, and the defence of Hinduism against “uninformed Western criticism”.[3] According to Brown,

He had always defended Hindu culture against uninformed Western criticism and had symbolized the pride of Indians in their own intellectual traditions.[3]

Teachers’ Day

When he became the President of India, some of his students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrate his birthday, on September 5. He replied,

“Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5th is observed as Teachers’ Day.”

[citation needed] His birthday has since been celebrated as Teachers’ Day in India.[web 7]


Along with Ghanshyam Das Birla and some other social workers in the pre-independence era, Radhakrishnan formed the Krishnarpan Charity Trust.

As President of India, Radhakrishnan made 11 state visits including visits to both the US and the USSR.[web 8]


Radhakrishnan tried to bridge eastern and western thought,[18] defending Hinduism against “uninformed Western criticism”,[3] but also incorporating Western philosophical and religious thought.[19]

Advaita Vedanta

Radhakrishnan was one of the most prominent spokesmen of Neo-Vedanta.[20][21][22] His metaphysics was grounded in Advaita Vedanta, but he reinterpreted Advaita Vedanta for a contemporary understanding.[web 2] He acknowledged the reality and diversity of the world of experience, which he saw as grounded in and supported by the absolute or Brahman.[web 2][note 2] Radhakrishnan also reinterpreted Shankara‘s notion of maya. According to Radhakrishnan, maya is not a strict absolute idealism, but “a subjective misperception of the world as ultimately real.”[web 2]

Intuition and religious experience

“Intuition”, or anubhava,[web 2] synonymously called “religious experience”,[web 2] has a central place in Radhakrishnan’s philosophy as a source of knowledge which is not mediated by conscious thought.[19] His specific interest in experience can be traced back to the works of William James (1842–1910), Francis Herbert Bradley (1846–1924), Henri Bergson (1859–1941), and Friedrich von Hügel (1852–1925),[19] and to Vivekananda,[24] who had a strong influence on Radhakrisnan’s thought.[25] According to Radhakrishnan, intuition is of a self-certifying character (svatassiddha), self-evidencing (svāsaṃvedya), and self-luminous (svayam-prakāsa).[web 2] In his book An Idealist View of Life, he made a powerful case for the importance of intuitive thinking as opposed to purely intellectual forms of thought.[web 9] According to Radhakrishnan, intuition plays a specific role in all kinds of experience.[web 2] Radhakrishnan discernes five sorts of experience:[web 2]

  1. Cognitive Experience:
    1. Sense Experience
    2. Discursive Reasoning
    3. Intuitive Apprehension
  2. Psychic Experience
  3. Aesthetic Experience
  4. Ethical Experience
  5. Religious Experience

Classification of religions

For Radhakrishnan, theology and creeds are intellectual formulations, and symbols of religious experience or “religious intuitions”.[web 2] Radhakrishnan qualified the variety of religions hierarchically according to their apprehension of “religious experience”, giving Advaita Vedanta the highest place:[web 2][note 3]

  1. The worshippers of the Absolute
  2. The worshippers of the personal God
  3. The worshippers of the incarnations like Rama, Kṛiṣhṇa, Buddha
  4. Those who worship ancestors, deities and sages
  5. The worshippers of the petty forces and spirits

Radhakrishnan saw Hinduism as a scientific religion based on facts, apprehended via intuition or religious experience.[web 2] According to Radhakrishnan, “[i]f philosophy of religion is to become scientific, it must become empirical and found itself on religious experience”.[web 2] He saw this empiricism exemplified in the Vedas:

The truths of the ṛṣis are not evolved as the result of logical reasoning or systematic philosophy but are the products of spiritual intuition, dṛṣti or vision. The ṛṣis are not so much the authors of the truths recorded in the Vedas as the seers who were able to discern the eternal truths by raising their life-spirit to the plane of universal spirit. They are the pioneer researchers in the realm of the spirit who saw more in the world than their followers. Their utterances are not based on transitory vision but on a continuous experience of resident life and power. When the Vedas are regarded as the highest authority, all that is meant is that the most exacting of all authorities is the authority of facts.[web 2]

To Radhakrishnan, Advaita Vedanta was the best representative of Hinduism, as being grounded in intuition, in contrast to the “intellectually mediated interpretations”[web 2] of other religions.[web 2][note 4] He objected against charges of “quietism”[note 5] and “world denial”,[31] instead stressing the need and ethic of social service,[31] giving a modern interpretation of classical terms as tat-tvam-asi.[32] According to Radhakrishnan, Vedanta offers the most direct intuitive experience and inner realisation, which makes it the highest form of religion:

The Vedanta is not a religion, but religion itself in its most universal and deepest significance.[web 2]

Radhakrishnan saw other religions, “including what Radhakrishnan understands as lower forms of Hinduism,”[web 2] as interpretations of Advaita Vedanta, thereby Hinduizing all religions.[web 2]

Although Radhakrishnan was well-acquainted with western culture and philosophy, he was also critical of them. He stated that Western philosophers, despite all claims to objectivity, were influenced by theological influences of their own culture.[33]


Radhakrishnan was one of India’s best and most influential twentieth-century scholars of comparative religion and philosophy,[2][web 2]

Radhakrishnan’s defence of the Hindu traditions has been highly influential,[34] both in India and the western world. In India, Radhakrishnan’s ideas contributed to the formation of India as a nation-state.[35] Radhakrishnan’s writings contributed to the hegemonic status of Vedanta as “the essential worldview of Hinduism”.[36] In the western world, Radhakrishnan’s interpretations of the Hindu tradition, and his emphasis on “spiritual experience”, made Hinduism more readily accessible for a western audience, and contributed to the influence Hinduism has on modern spirituality:

In figures such as Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan we witness Vedanta traveling to the West, where it nourished the spiritual hunger of Europeans and Americans in the early decades of the twentieth century.[36]


Radhakrishnan has been highly appraised. According to Paul Artur Schillp:

Nor would it be possible to find a more excellent example of a living “bridge” between the East and the West than Professor Radhakrishnan. Steeped, as Radhakrishnan has been since his childhood, in the life, traditions, and philosophical heritage of his native India, he has also struck deep roots in Western philosophy, which he has been studying tirelessly ever since his undergraduate college-days in Madras Christian College, and in which he is as thoroughly at home as any Western philosopher.[37]

And according to Hawley:

Radhakrishnan’s concern for experience and his extensive knowledge of the Western philosophical and literary traditions has earned him the reputation of being a bridge-builder between India and the West. He often appears to feel at home in the Indian as well as the Western philosophical contexts, and draws from both Western and Indian sources throughout his writing. Because of this, Radhakrishnan has been held up in academic circles as a representative of Hinduism to the West. His lengthy writing career and his many published works have been influential in shaping the West’s understanding of Hinduism, India, and the East.[web 2]

Criticism and context

Radhakrishnan’s ideas have also received criticism and challenges, for their perennialist[20][38] and universalist claims,[39][40] and the use of an East-West dichotomy.[web 2]


Main article: Perennial philosophy

According to Radhakrishnan, there is not only an underlying “divine unity”[38] from the seers of the Upanishads up to modern Hindus like Tagore and Gandhi,[38] but also “an essential commonality between philosophical and religious traditions from widely disparate cultures.”[20] This is also a major theme in the works of Rene Guenon, the Theosophical Society, and the contemporary popularity of eastern religions in modern spirituality.[20][19][41] Since the 1970s, the Perennialist position has been criticised for its essentialism.[19][41] Social-constructionists give an alternative approach to religious experience, in which such “experiences” are seen as being determined and mediated by cultural determants:[19][41][note 6] As Michaels notes:

Religions, too, rely not so much on individual experiences or on innate feelings – like a sensus numinosus (Rudolf Otto) – but rather on behavioral patterns acquired and learned in childhood.[42]

Rinehart also points out that “perennialist claims notwithstanding, modern Hindu thought is a product of history”,[38] which “has been worked out and expressed in a variety of historical contexts over the preceding two hundreds years.”[38] This is also true for Radhakrishan, who was educated by missionaries[43] and, like other neo-Vedantins used the prevalent western understanding of India and its culture to present an alternative to the western critique.[20][44]

Universalism, communalism and Hindu nationalism

According to Richard King, the elevation of Vedanta as the essence of Hinduism, and Advaita Vedanta as the “paradigmatic example of the mystical nature of the Hindu religion”[45] by colonial Indologists but also neo-Vedantins served well for the Hindu nationalists, who further popularised this notion of Advaita Vedanta as the pinnacle of Indian religions.[46] It

…provided an opportunity for the construction of a nationalist ideology that could unite Hindus in their struggle against colonial oppression.[47]

This “opportunity” has been criticised. According to Sucheta Mazumdar and Vasant Kaiwar,

… Indian nationalist leaders continued to operate within the categorical field generated by politicized religion […] Extravagant claims were made on behalf of Oriental civilization. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s statement – “[t]he Vedanta is not a religion but religion itself in its “most universal and deepest significance” – is fairly typical.[39]

Rinehart also criticises the inclusivism of Radhakrishnan’s approach, since it provides “a theological scheme for subsuming religious difference under the aegis of Vedantic truth.”[40][note 7] According to Rinehart, the consequence of this line of reasoning is communalism,[40] the idea that “all people belonging to one religion have common economic, social and political interests and these interests are contrary to the interests of those belonging to another religion.”[web 10] Rinehart notes that Hindu religiosity plays an important role in the nationalist movement,[40] and that “the neo-Hindu discource is the unintended consequence of the initial moves made by thinkers like Rammohan Roy and Vivekananda.”[40] Yet Rinehart also points out that it is

…clear that there isn’t a neat line of causation that leads from the philosophies of Rammohan Roy, Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan to the agenda of […] militant Hindus.[48][note 8]


Main articles: Orientalism and Post-colonialism

Colonialism left deep traces in the hearts and minds of the Indian people, influencing the way they understood and represented themselves.[20] The influences of “colonialist forms of knowledge”[web 2] can also be found in the works of Radhakrishnan. According to Hawley, Radhakrishnan’s division between East and West, the East being spiritual and mystical, and the West being rationt and colonialist forms of knowledge constructed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Arguably, these characterizations are “imagined” in the sense that they reflect the philosophical and religious realities of neither “East’ nor West.”[web 2]

Since the 1990s, the colonial influences on the ‘construction’ and ‘representation’ of Hinduism have been the topic of debate among scholars of Hinduism[52] Western Indologists are trying to come to more neutral and better-informed representations of India and its culture, while Indian scholars are trying to establish forms of knowledge and understanding which are grounded in and informed by Indian traditions, instead of being dominated by western forms of knowledge and understanding.[52][note 9]

Awards and honours

  • 1931: appointed a Knight Bachelor in 1931,[web 5] although he ceased to use the title “Sir” after India attained independence.[53]
  • 1938: elected Fellow of the British Academy.
  • 1954: The Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India.[web 3]
  • 1954: German “Order pour le Merite for Arts and Science”[web 11]
  • 1961: the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.
  • 1962: Institution of Teacher’s Day in India, yearly celebrated at 5 September, Radhakrishnan’s birthday, in honour of Radhakrishnan’s belief that “teachers should be the best minds in the country”.[web 3]
  • 1963: the British Order of Merit.
  • 1968: Sahitya Akademi fellowship,The highest honour conferred by the Sahitya Akademi on a writer(he is the first person to get this award)
  • 1975: the Templeton Prize in 1975, a few months before his death, for advocating non-aggression and conveying “a universal reality of God that embraced love and wisdom for all people.”[web 12][note 10] He donated the entire amount of the Templeton Prize to Oxford University.
  • 1989: institution of the Radhakrishnan Scholarships by Oxford University in the memory of Radhakrishnan. The scholarships were later renamed the “Radhakrishnan Chevening Scholarships”.[54]


  • “It is not God that is worshipped but the authority that claims to speak in His name. Sin becomes disobedience to authority not violation of integrity.”[55]
  • “Reading a book gives us the habit of solitary reflection and true enjoyment.”[56]
  • “When we think we know, we cease to learn.”[57]
  • “A literary genius, it is said, resembles all, though no one resembles him.”[58]
  • “There is nothing wonderful in my saying that Jainism was in existence long before the Vedas were composed.”[59]


Works by Radhakrishnan

  • The philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore (1918), Macmillan, London, 294 pages
  • Indian Philosophy (1923) Vol.1, 738 pages. Vol 2, 807 pages. Oxford University Press.
  • The Hindu View of Life (1926), 92 pages
  • An Idealist View of Life (1929), 351 pages
  • Eastern Religions and Western Thought (1939), Oxford University Press, 396 pages
  • Religion and Society (1947), George Allen and Unwin Ltd., London, 242 pages
  • The Bhagavadgītā: with an introductory essay, Sanskrit text, English translation and notes (1948), 388 pages
  • The Dhammapada (1950), 194 pages, Oxford University Press
  • The Principal Upanishads (1953), 958 pages, HarperCollins Publishers Limited
  • Recovery of Faith (1956), 205 pages
  • A Source Book in Indian Philosophy (1957), 683 pages, Princeton University Press, with Charles A. Moore as co-editor.
  • Religion, Science & Culture (1968), 121 pages

Biographies and monographs on Radhakrishnan

Several books have been published on Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan:

See also


  • Radhakrishnan’s wife’s name is spelled differently in different sources. It is spelled Sivakamu by Sarvepalli Gopal (1989); Sivakamuamma by Mamta Anand (2006); and still differently by others.[citation needed]
  • Neo-Vedanta seems to be closer to Bhedabheda-Vedanta than to Shankara’s Advaita Vedanta, with the acknowledgement of the reality of the world. Nicholas F. Gier: “Ramakrsna, Svami Vivekananda, and Aurobindo (I also include M.K. Gandhi) have been labeled “neo-Vedantists,” a philosophy that rejects the Advaitins’ claim that the world is illusory. Aurobindo, in his The Life Divine, declares that he has moved from Sankara’s “universal illusionism” to his own “universal realism” (2005: 432), defined as metaphysical realism in the European philosophical sense of the term.”[23]
  • This qualification is not unique to Radhakrishnan. It was developed by nineteenth-century Indologists,[26][27] and was highly influential in the understanding of Hinduism, both in the west and in India.[20][28]
  • Anubhava is a central term in Shankara’s writings. According to several modern interpretators, especially Radakrishnan, Shankara emphasises the role of personal experience (anubhava) in ascertaining the validity of knowledge.[29] Yet, according to Rambacham himself, sruti, or textual authority, is the main source of knowledge for Shankara.[24]
  • Sweetman: “[T]he supposed quietist and conservative nature of Vedantic thought”[30]
  • See, especially, Steven T. Katz:
    • Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis (Oxford University Press, 1978)
    • Mysticism and Religious Traditions (Oxford University Press, 1983)
    • Mysticism and Language (Oxford University Press, 1992)
    • Mysticism and Sacred Scripture (Oxford University Press, 2000)
  • Rinehart: “Though neo-Hindu authors prefer the idiom of tolerance to that of inclusivism, it is clear that what is advocated is less a secular view of toleration than a theological scheme for subsuming religious difference under the aegis of Vedantic truth. Thus Radhakrishnan’s view of experience as the core of religious truth effectively leads to harmony only when and if other religions are willing to assume a position under the umbrella of Vedanta. We might even say that the theme of neo-Hindu tolerance provided the Hindu not simply with a means to claiming the right to stand alongside the other world religions, but with a strategy for promoting Hinduism as the ultimate form of religion itself.”[40]
  • Neither is Radhakrishnan’s “use” of religion in the defence of Asian culture and society against colonialism unique for his person, or India in general. The complexities of Asian nationalism are to be seen and understood in the context of colonialism, modernisation and nation-building. See, for example, Anagarika Dharmapala, for the role of Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lankese struggle for independence,[49] and D.T. Suzuki, who conjuncted Zen to Japanese nationalism and militarism, in defence against both western hegemony and the pressure on Japanese Zen during the Meiji Restoration to conform to Shinbutsu Bunri.[50][51]
  • Sweetman mentions:

    See also Postcolonialism and Mrinal Kaud, The “Pizza Effect” in Indian Philosophy

  1. “Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was President of India from 1962 to 1967. An Oxford Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics, he consistently advocated non-aggression in India’s conflicts with neighbouring Pakistan. His accessible writings underscored his country’s religious heritage and sought to convey a universal reality of God that embraced love and wisdom for all people.”[web 12]

                               मेजर ध्यानचंद सिंह


मेजर ध्यानचंद सिंह (२९ अगस्त, १९०५ -३ दिसंबर, १९७९) भारतीय फील्ड हॉकी के भूतपूर्व खिलाडी एवं कप्तान थे। उन्हें भारत एवं विश्व हॉकी के क्षेत्र में सबसे बेहतरीन खिलाडियों में शुमार किया जाता है। वे तीन बार ओलम्पिक के स्वर्ण पदक जीतने वाली भारतीय हॉकी टीम के सदस्य रहे हैं जिनमें १९२८ का एम्सटर्डम ओलोम्पिक, १९३२ का लॉस एंजेल्स ओलोम्पिक एवं १९३६ का बर्लिन ओलम्पिक शामिल है। उनकी जन्म तिथि को भारत में “राष्ट्रीय खेल दिवस” के तौर पर मनाया जाता है |

जीवन परिचय

मेजर ध्यानचंद का जन्म 29 अगस्त सन्‌ 1905 ई. को इलाहाबाद में हुआ था। उनके बाल्य-जीवन में खिलाड़ीपन के कोई विशेष लक्षण दिखाई नहीं देते थे। इसलिए कहा जा सकता है कि हॉकी के खेल की प्रतिभा जन्मजात नहीं थी, बल्कि उन्होंने सतत साधना, अभ्यास, लगन, संघर्ष और संकल्प के सहारे यह प्रतिष्ठा अर्जित की थी। साधारण शिक्षा प्राप्त करने के बाद 16 वर्ष की अवस्था में 1922 ई. में दिल्ली में प्रथम ब्राह्मण रेजीमेंट में सेना में एक साधारण सिपाही की हैसियत से भरती हो गए। जब ‘फर्स्ट ब्राह्मण रेजीमेंट’ में भरती हुए उस समय तक उनके मन में हॉकी के प्रति कोई विशेष दिलचस्पी या रूचि नहीं थी। ध्यानचंद को हॉकी खेलने के लिए प्रेरित करने का श्रेय रेजीमेंट के एक सूबेदार मेजर तिवारी को है। मेजर तिवारी स्वंय भी प्रेमी और खिलाड़ी थे। उनकी देख-रेख में ध्यानचंद हॉकी खेलने लगे देखते ही देखते वह दुनिया के एक महान खिलाड़ी बन गए। सन्‌ 1927 ई. में लांस नायक बना दिए गए। सन्‌ 1932 ई. में लॉस ऐंजल्स जाने पर नायक नियुक्त हुए। सन्‌ 1937 ई. में जब भारतीय हाकी दल के कप्तान थे तो उन्हें सूबेदार बना दिया गया। जबद्वितीय महायुद्ध प्रारंभ हुआ तो सन्‌ 1943 ई. में ‘लेफ्टिनेंट’ नियुक्त हुए और भारत के स्वतंत्र होने पर सन्‌ 1948 ई. में कप्तान बना दिए गए। केवल हॉकी के खेल के कारण ही सेना में उनकी पदोन्नति होती गई। 1938 में उन्हें ‘वायसराय का कमीशन’ मिला और वे सूबेदार बन गए। उसके बाद एक के बाद एक दूसरे सूबेदार, लेफ्टीनेंट और कैप्टन बनते चले गए। बाद में उन्हें मेजर बना दिया गया।

खिलाडी जीवन

ध्यानचंद को फुटबॉल में पेले और क्रिकेट में ब्रैडमैन के समतुल्य माना जाता है। गेंद इस कदर उनकी स्टिक से चिपकी रहती कि प्रतिद्वंद्वी खिलाड़ी को अक्सर आशंका होती कि वह जादुई स्टिक से खेल रहे हैं। यहाँ तक हॉलैंड में उनकी हॉकी स्टिक में चुंबक होने की आशंका में उनकी स्टिक तोड़ कर देखी गई। जापान में ध्यानचंद की हॉकी स्टिक से जिस तरह गेंद चिपकी रहती थी उसे देख कर उनकी हॉकी स्टिक में गोंद लगे होने की बात कही गई। ध्यानचंद की हॉकी की कलाकारी के जितने किस्से हैं उतने शायद ही दुनिया के किसी अन्य खिलाड़ी के बाबत सुने गए हों। उनकी हॉकी की कलाकारी देखकर हॉकी के मुरीद तो वाह-वाह कह ही उठते थे बल्कि प्रतिद्वंद्वी टीम के खिलाड़ी भी अपनी सुधबुध खोकर उनकी कलाकारी को देखने में मशगूल हो जाते थे। उनकी कलाकारी से मोहित होकर ही जर्मनी के रुडोल्फ हिटलर सरीखे जिद्दी सम्राट ने उन्हें जर्मनी के लिए खेलने की पेशकश कर दी थी। लेकिन ध्यानचंद ने हमेशा भारत के लिए खेलना ही सबसे बड़ा गौरव समझा। वियना में ध्यानचंद की चार हाथ में चार हॉकी स्टिक लिए एक मूर्ति लगाई और दिखाया कि ध्यानचंद कितने जबर्दस्त खिलाड़ी थे।[3]

जब ये ब्राह्मण रेजीमेंट में थे उस समय मेजर बले तिवारी से, जो हाकी के शौकीन थे, हाकी का प्रथम पाठ सीखा। सन्‌ 1922 ई. से सन्‌ 1926 ई. तक सेना की ही प्रतियोगिताओं में हाकी खेला करते थे। दिल्ली में हुई वार्षिक प्रतियोगिता में जब इन्हें सराहा गया तो इनका हौसला बढ़ा। 13 मई सन्‌ 1926 ई. को न्यूजीलैंड में पहला मैच खेला था। न्यूजीलैंड में 21 मैच खेले जिनमें 3 टेस्ट मैच भी थे। इन 21 मैचों में से 18 जीते, 2 मैच अनिर्णीत रहे और और एक में हारे। पूरे मैचों में इन्होंने 192 गोल बनाए। उनपर कुल 24 गोल ही हुए। 27 मई सन्‌ 1932 ई. को श्रीलंका में दो मैच खेले। ए मैच में 21-0 तथा दूसरे में 10-0 से विजयी रहे। सन्‌ 1935 ई. में भारतीय हाकी दल के न्यूजीलैंड के दौरे पर इनके दल ने 49 मैच खेले। जिसमें 48 मैच जीते और एक वर्षा होने के कारण स्थगित हो गया। अंतर्राष्ट्रीय मैचों में उन्होंने 400 से अधिक गोल किए। अप्रैल, 1949 ई. को प्रथम कोटि की हाकी से संन्यास ले लिया।

ओलंपिक खेल

एम्सटर्डम (1928)

1928 में एम्सटर्डम ओलम्पिक खेलों में पहली बार भारतीय टीम ने भाग लिया। एम्स्टर्डम में खेलने से पहले भारतीय टीम ने इंगलैंड में 11 मैच खेले और वहाँ ध्यानचंद को विशेष सफलता प्राप्त हुई। एम्स्टर्डम में भारतीय टीम पहले सभी मुकाबले जीत गई। 17 मई सन्‌ 1928 ई. को आस्ट्रिया को 6-0, 18 मई को बेल्जियम को 9-0, 20 मई को डेनमार्क को 5-0, 22 मई को स्विट्जरलैंड को 6-0 तथा 26 मई को फाइनल मैच में हालैंड को 3-0 से हराकर विश्व भर में हॉकी के चैंपियन घोषित किए गए और 29 मई को उन्हें पदक प्रदान किया गया। फाइनल में दो गोल ध्यानचंद ने किए.

लास एंजिल्स (1932)

1932 में लास एंजिल्स में हुई ओलम्पिक प्रतियोगिताओं में भी ध्यानचंद को टीम में शामिल कर लिया गया। उस समय सेंटर फॉरवर्ड के रूप में काफ़ी सफलता और शोहरत प्राप्त कर चुके थे। तब सेना में वह ‘लैंस-नायक’ के बाद नायक हो गये थे। इस दौरे के दौरान भारत ने काफ़ी मैच खेले। इस सारी यात्रा में ध्यानचंद ने 262 में से 101 गोल स्वयं किए। निर्णायक मैच में भारत ने अमेरिका को 24-1 से हराया था। तब एक अमेरिका समाचार पत्र ने लिखा था कि भारतीय हॉकी टीम तो पूर्व से आया तूफान थी। उसने अपने वेग से अमेरिकी टीम के ग्यारह खिलाड़ियों को कुचल दिया।

बर्लिन (1936)
१९३६ के बर्लिन ओलम्पिक के हॉकी के निर्णायक मैच में जर्मनी के विरुद्ध गोल दागते हुए ध्यानचन्द

1936 के बर्लिन ओलपिक खेलों में ध्यानचंद को भारतीय टीम का कप्तान चुना गया। इस पर उन्होंने आश्चर्य प्रकट करते हुए कहा- “मुझे ज़रा भी आशा नहीं थी कि मैं कप्तान चुना जाऊँगा” खैर, उन्होंने अपने इस दायित्व को बड़ी ईमानदारी के साथ निभाया। अपने जीवन का अविस्मरणिय संस्मरण सुनाते हुए वह कहते हैं कि 17 जुलाई के दिन जर्मन टीम के साथ हमारे अभ्यास के लिए एक प्रदर्शनी मैच का आयोजन हुआ। यह मैच बर्लिन में खेला गया। हम इसमें चार के बदले एक गोल से हार गए। इस हार से मुझे जो धक्का लगा उसे मैं अपने जीते-जी नहीं भुला सकता। जर्मनी की टीम की प्रगति देखकर हम सब आश्चर्यचकित रह गए और हमारे कुछ साथियों को तो भोजन भी अच्छा नहीं लगा। बहुत-से साथियों को तो रात नींद नहीं आई। 5 अगस्त के दिन भारत का हंगरी के साथ ओलम्पिक का पहला मुकाबला हुआ, जिसमें भारतीय टीम ने हंगरी को चार गोलों से हरा दिया। दूसरे मैच में, जो कि 7 अगस्त को खेला गया, भारतीय टीम ने जापान को 9-0 से हराया और उसके बाद 12 अगस्त को फ्रांस को 10 गोलों से हराया। 15 अगस्त के दिन भारत और जर्मन की टीमों के बीच फाइनल मुकाबला था। यद्यपि यह मुकाबला 14 अगस्त को खेला जाने वाला था पर उस दिन इतनी बारिश हुई कि मैदान में पानी भर गया और खेल को एक दिन के लिए स्थगित कर दिया गया। अभ्यास के दौरान जर्मनी की टीम ने भारत को हराया था, यह बात सभी के मन में बुरी तरह घर कर गई थी। फिर गीले मैदान और प्रतिकूल परिस्थितियों के कारण हमारे खिलाड़ी और भी निराश हो गए थे। तभी भारतीय टीम के मैनेजर पंकज गुप्ता को एक युक्ति सूझी। वह खिलाड़ियों को ड्रेसिंग रूम में ले गए और सहसा उन्होंने तिरंगा झण्डा हमारे सामने रखा और कहा कि इसकी लाज अब तुम्हारे हाथ है। सभी खिलाड़ियों ने श्रद्धापूर्वक तिरंगे को सलाम किया और वीर सैनिक की तरह मैदान में उतर पड़े। भारतीय खिलाड़ी जमकर खेले और जर्मन की टीम को 8-1 से हरा दिया। उस दिन सचमुच तिरंगे की लाज रह गई। उस समय कौन जानता था कि 15 अगस्त को ही भारत का स्वतन्त्रता दिवस बनेगा।

हिटलर व ब्रैडमैन

ध्यानचंद ने अपनी करिश्माई हॉकी से जर्मन तानाशाह हिटलर ही नहीं बल्कि महान क्रिकेटर डॉन ब्रैडमैन को भी अपना क़ायल बना दिया था। यह भी संयोग है कि खेल जगत की इन दोनों महान हस्तियों का जन्म दो दिन के अंदर पर पड़ता है। दुनिया ने 27 अगस्त को ब्रैडमैन की जन्मशती मनाई तो 29 अगस्त को वह ध्यानचंद को नमन करने के लिए तैयार है, जिसे भारत में खेल दिवस के रूप में मनाया जाता है। ब्रैडमैन हाकी के जादूगर से उम्र में तीन साल छोटे थे। अपने-अपने फन में माहिर ये दोनों खेल हस्तियाँ केवल एक बार एक-दूसरे से मिले थे। वह 1935 की बात है जब भारतीय टीम आस्ट्रेलिया और न्यूजीलैंड के दौरे पर गई थी। तब भारतीय टीम एक मैच के लिए एडिलेड में था और ब्रैडमैन भी वहाँ मैच खेलने के लिए आए थे। ब्रैडमैन और ध्यानचंद दोनों तब एक-दूसरे से मिले थे। ब्रैडमैन ने तब हॉकी के जादूगर का खेल देखने के बाद कहा था कि वे इस तरह से गोल करते हैं, जैसे क्रिकेट में रन बनते हैं। यही नहीं ब्रैडमैन को बाद में जब पता चला कि ध्यानचंद ने इस दौरे में 48 मैच में कुल 201 गोल दागे तो उनकी टिप्पणी थी, यह किसी हॉकी खिलाड़ी ने बनाए या बल्लेबाज ने। ध्यानचंद ने इसके एक साल बाद बर्लिन ओलिम्पिक में हिटलर को भी अपनी हॉकी का क़ायल बना दिया था। उस समय सिर्फ हिटलर ही नहीं, जर्मनी के हॉकी प्रेमियों के दिलोदिमाग पर भी एक ही नाम छाया था और वह था ध्यानचंद


उन्हें १९५६ में भारत के प्रतिष्ठित नागरिक सम्मान पद्मभूषण से सम्मानित किया गया था। ध्यान चंद को खेल के क्षेत्र में १९५६ में पद्म भूषण से सम्मानित किया गया था। उनका जन्म 29 अगस्त 1905 इलाहाबाद, संयुक्त प्रांत, ब्रिटिश भारत में हुआ था। उनके जन्मदिन को भारत का राष्ट्रीय खेल दिवस घोषित किया गया है। इसी दिन खेल में उत्कृष्ट प्रदर्शन के लिए राष्ट्रीय पुरस्कार अर्जुन और द्रोणाचार्य पुरस्कार प्रदान किए जाते हैं। भारतीय ओलम्पिक संघ ने ध्यानचंद को शताब्दी का खिलाड़ी घोषित किया था। फिलहाल ध्यानचंद को भारत रत्न देने की मांग भी की जा रही है | भारत रत्न को लेकर ध्यानचंद के नाम पर अब भी विवाद जारी है।

Subhas Chandra Bose

Netaji debaditya chatterjee.jpg

Subhas Chandra Bose
Native name সুভাষচন্দ্র বসু
Born Subash Chandra Bose
23 January 1897
Cuttack, Orissa Division, Bengal Province, British India
Died August 18, 1945 (aged 48)[1]
Taipei (Taihoku), Japanese Taiwan[1]
Nationality Indian
Ethnicity Bengali
Alma mater University of Calcutta
University of Cambridge
Known for Figure of Indian independence movement
Title President of Indian National Congress (1938)
Head of State, Prime Minister, Minister of War and Foreign Affairs of Provisional Government of Free India based in the Japanese-occupiedAndaman and Nicobar Islands(1943–1945)
Political party Indian National Congress 1921–1940,
Forward Bloc faction within the Indian National Congress, 1939–1940
Religion Hinduism
Spouse(s) or companion,[2] Emilie Schenkl
(secretly married without ceremony or witnesses in 1937, unacknowledged publicly by Bose.[3])
Children Anita Bose Pfaff
Relatives Bose family
Signature of Subhas Chandra Bose

Subhas Chandra Bose (About this sound listen ; 23 January 1897 – 18 August 1945[1]), was an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India, but whose attempt during World War II to rid India of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany andImperial Japan left a troubled legacy.[4][5][6] The honorific Netaji, (Hindustani: “Respected Leader”), first applied to Bose in Germany, by the Indian soldiers of the Indische Legion and by the German and Indian officials in the Special Bureau for India in Berlin, in early 1942, was by 1990 used widely throughout India.[7]

Earlier, Bose had been a leader of the younger, radical, wing of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s, rising to become Congress President in 1938 and 1939.[8] However, he was ousted from Congress leadership positions in 1939 following differences with Mohandas K. Gandhi and the Congress high command.[9] He was subsequently placed under house arrest by the British before escaping from India in 1940.[10]

Bose arrived in Germany in April 1941, where the leadership offered unexpected, if sometimes ambivalent, sympathy for the cause of India’s independence, contrasting starkly with its attitudes towards other colonised peoples and ethnic communities.[11][12] In November 1941, with German funds, a Free India Centre was set up in Berlin, and soon a Free India Radio, on which Bose broadcast nightly. A 3,000-strong Free India Legion, comprising Indians captured by Erwin Rommel‘s Afrika Korps, was also formed to aid in a possible future German land invasion of India.[13] During this time Bose also became a father; his wife, [3] or companion,[2]Emilie Schenkl, whom he had met in 1934, gave birth to a baby girl.[3][11] By spring 1942, in light of Japanese victories in southeast Asia and changing German priorities, a German invasion of India became untenable, and Bose became keen to move to southeast Asia.[14] Adolf Hitler, during his only meeting with Bose in late May 1942, suggested the same, and offered to arrange for a submarine.[15] Identifying strongly with the Axis powers, and no longer apologetically, Bose boarded a German submarine in February 1943.[16][17] In Madagascar, he was transferred to a Japanese submarine from which he disembarked in Japanese-heldSumatra in May 1943.[16]

With Japanese support, Bose revamped the Indian National Army (INA), then composed of Indian soldiers of the British Indian army who had been captured in the Battle of Singapore.[18] To these, after Bose’s arrival, were added enlisting Indian civilians in Malaya and Singapore. The Japanese had come to support a number of puppet and provisional governments in the captured regions, such as those in Burma, the Philippines and Manchukuo. Before long the Provisional Government of Free India, presided by Bose, was formed in the Japanese-occupied Andaman and Nicobar Islands.[18][19] Bose had great drive and charisma—creating popular Indian slogans, such as “Jai Hind,”—and the INA under Bose was a model of diversity by region, ethnicity, religion, and even gender. However, Bose was regarded by the Japanese as being militarily unskilled,[20] and his military effort was short lived. In late 1944 and early 1945 the British Indian Army first halted and then devastatingly reversed the Japanese attack on India. Almost half the Japanese forces and fully half the participating INA contingent were killed.[21] The INA was driven down the Malay Peninsula, and surrendered with the recapture of Singapore. Bose had earlier chosen not to surrender with his forces or with the Japanese, but rather to escape to Manchuria with a view to seeking a future in the Soviet Union which he believed to be turning anti-British. He died from third degree burns received when his plane crashed in Taiwan.[22] Some Indians, however, did not believe that the crash had occurred,[23] with many among them, especially in Bengal, believing that Bose would return to gain India’s independence.[24][25]

The Indian National Congress, the main instrument of Indian nationalism, praised Bose’s patriotism but distanced itself from his tactics and ideology, especially his collaboration with Fascism.[26] The British Raj, though never seriously threatened by the INA,[27][28] charged 300 INA officers with treason in the INA trials, but eventually backtracked in the face both of popular sentiment and of its own end.[29][26][6]

Swami Vivekananda 

Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda

Vivekananda in Chicago, September 1893. On the left, Vivekananda wrote: “one infinite pure and holy – beyond thought beyond qualities I bow down to thee”.[1]
Born Narendranath Dutta
12 January 1863
(now Kolkata)
Died 4 July 1902 (aged 39)
Belur Math, Bengal Presidency,British Raj
(now in Belur, West Bengal)
Nationality Indian
Founder of Ramakrishna Mission
Ramakrishna Math
Guru Ramakrishna
Philosophy Modern Vedanta,[2][3] Rāja yoga[3]
Literary works Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, My Master,Lectures from Colombo to Almora
Notable disciple(s) Ashokananda, Virajananda,Paramananda, Alasinga Perumal,Abhayananda, Sister Nivedita,Swami Sadananda
Quotation Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached
(more in Wikiquote)

Swami Vivekananda (Bengali: স্বামী বিবেকানন্দ Bengali: [ʃami bibekanɒnɖo], Shāmi Bibekānondo; 12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), born Narendranath Dutta (Bengali: [nɔrend̪ro nat̪ʰ d̪ɔt̪t̪o]), was an Indian Hindu monk and chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world[4] and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century.[5] He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India.[6] Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.[4] He is perhaps best known for his speech which began, “Sisters and brothers of America …,”[7] in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893.

Born into an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta, Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality. He was influenced by his Guru, Ramakrishna Deva, from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self; therefore, service to God could be rendered by service to mankind. After Ramakrishna’s death, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent extensively and acquired first-hand knowledge of the conditions prevailing in British India. He later travelled to the United States, representing India at the 1893 Parliament of the World Religions. Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States, England and Europe. In India, Vivekananda is regarded as apatriotic saint and his birthday is celebrated there as National Youth Day.

Early life (1863–88)[edit]

Birth and childhood[edit]

A Bengali woman , sitting
Vivekananda as a wandering monk
(left) Bhubaneswari Devi (1841–1911); “I am indebted to my mother for the efflorescence of my knowledge.”[8] – Vivekananda
(right) 3, Gourmohan Mukherjee Street, birthplace of Vivekananda, now converted into a museum and cultural centre

Vivekananda was born Narendranath Dutta (shortened to Narendra or Naren)[9] at his ancestral home at 3 Gourmohan Mukherjee Street in Calcutta, the capital of British India, on 12 January 1863 during the Makar Sankranti festival.[10] He belonged to a traditional Bengali Kayastha family and was one of nine siblings.[11] His father, Vishwanath Dutta, was an attorney at the Calcutta High Court.[12][13] Durgacharan Dutta, Narendra’s grandfather, was a Sanskrit and Persian scholar[14] who left his family and became a monk at age twenty-five.[15]His mother, Bhubaneswari Devi, was a devout housewife.[14] The progressive, rational attitude of Narendra’s father and the religious temperament of his mother helped shape his thinking and personality.[16][17]

Narendranath was interested spiritually from a young age, and used to meditate before the images of deities such as Shiva, Rama, Sita, and Mahavir Hanuman.[18] He was fascinated by wandering ascetics and monks.[17] Naren was naughty and restless as a child, and his parents often had difficulty controlling him. His mother said, “I prayed to Shiva for a son and he has sent me one of his ghosts”.[15]

Education [edit]

In 1871, at the age of eight, Narendranath enrolled at Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar‘s Metropolitan Institution, where he went to school until his family moved to Raipur in 1877.[19] In 1879, after his family’s return to Calcutta, he was the only student to receive first-division marks in the Presidency College entrance examination. [20] He was an avid reader in a wide range of subjects, including philosophy, religion, history, social science, art and literature.[21] He was also interested in Hindu scriptures, including theVedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. Narendra was trained in Indian classical music,[22] and regularly participated in physical exercise, sports and organised activities.Narendra studied Western logic, Western philosophy and European history at the General Assembly’s Institution (now known as the Scottish Church College).[23] In 1881 he passed the Fine Arts examination, and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1884.[24][25] Narendra studied the works of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Baruch Spinoza, Georg W. F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Auguste Comte, John Stuart Mill and Charles Darwin.[26][27] He became fascinated with the evolutionism of Herbert Spencer and corresponded with him,[28][29] translating Spencer’s book Education (1861) into Bengali.[30] While studying Western philosophers, he also learned Sanskrit scriptures and Bengali literature.[27] William Hastie (principal of General Assembly’s Institution) wrote, “Narendra is really a genius. I have travelled far and wide but I have never come across a lad of his talents and possibilities, even in German universities, among philosophical students’ Some accounts have called Narendra a shrutidhara (a person with a prodigious memory)

Spiritual apprenticeship – influence of Brahmo Samaj[edit]

In 1880 Narendra joined Keshab Chandra Sen‘s Nava Vidhan, which was established by Sen after meeting Ramakrishna and reconverting from Christianity to Hinduism.[31]Narendra became a member of a Freemasonry lodge “at some point before 1884”[32] and of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in his twenties, a breakaway faction of the Brahmo Samaj led by Keshub Chandra Sen and Debendranath Tagore.[31][23][33][34] From 1881 to 1884 he was also active in Sen’s Band of Hope, which tried to discourage the youth from smoking and drinking.[31]

It was in this cultic[35] milieu that Narendra became acquainted with western esotericism.[36] His initial beliefs were shaped by Brahmo concepts, which included belief in a formless God and the deprecation of idolatry,[18][37] and a “streamlined, rationalized, monotheistic theology strongly coloured by a selective and modernistic reading of the Upanisads and of the Vedanta.”[38] Rammohan Roy, the founder of the Brahmo Samaj who was strongly influenced by Unitarianism, strived toward an universalistic interpretation of Hinduism.[38]His ideas were “altered […] considerably” by Debendranath Tagore, who had a Romantic approach to the development of these new doctrines, and questioned central Hindu beliefs like reincarnation and karma, and rejected the authority of the Vedas.[39] Tagore also brought this “neo-Hinduism” closer in line with western esotericism, a development which was furthered by Keshubchandra Sen.[40] Sen was influencded by Transcendentalism, an American philosophical-religious movement stringly connected with Unitarianism, which emphasized personal religious experience over mere reasoning and theology.[41] Sen strived to “an accessible, non-renunciatory, everyman type of spirituality,” introducing “lay systems of spiritual practice” which can be regarded as proto-types of the kind of Yoga-exercises which Vivekananda populurized in the west.[42]

The same search for direct intuition and understanding can be seen with Vivekananda. Not satisfied with his knowledge of philosophy, Narendra came to “the question which marked the real beginning of his intellectual quest for God.”[33] He asked several prominent Calcutta residents if they had come “face to face with God”, but none of their answers satisfied him.[43][25] At this time, Narendra met Debendranath Tagore (the leader of Brahmo Samaj) and asked if he had seen God. Instead of answering his question, Tagore said “My boy, you have the Yogi ’s eyes.”[33][30] According to Banhatti, it was Ramakrishna who really answered Narendra’s question, by saying “Yes, I see Him as I see you, only in an infinitely intenser sense.”[33] Nevertheless, Vivekananda was more influenced by the Brahmo Samaj’s and its new ideas, than by Ramakrishna.[42] It was Sen’s influence who brought Vivekananda fully into contact with western esotericism, and it was also via Sen that he met Ramakrishna.[44]

With Ramakrishna[edit]

In 1881 Narendra first met Ramakrishna, who became his spiritual focus after his own father had died in 1884.[45]

Narendra’s first introduction to Ramakrishna occurred in a literature class at General Assembly’s Institution when he heard Professor William Hastie lecturing on William Wordsworth‘s poem, The Excursion.[37] While explaining the word “trance” in the poem, suggested that his students visit Ramakrishna of Dakshineswar to understand the true meaning of trance. This prompted some of his students (including Narendra) to visit Ramakrishna.[46][47][48]

Image of Ramakrishna, sitting.
Ramakrishna, guru of Vivekananda
Image of Vivekananda, sitting in meditative posture, eyes opened
Vivekananda in Cossipore 1886

They probably first met personally in November 1881,[a] though Narendra did not consider this their first meeting, and neither man mentioned this meeting later.[46] At this time Narendra was preparing for his upcoming F. A. examination, when Ram Chandra Datta accompanied him to Surendra Nath Mitra‘s, house where Ramakrishna was invited to deliver a lecture.[50] According to Paranjape, at this meeting Ramakrishna asked young Narendra to sing. Impressed by his singing talent, he asked Narendra to come to Dakshineshwar.[51]

In late 1881 or early 1882, Narendra went to Dakshineswar with two friends and met Ramakrishna.[46] This meeting proved to be a turning point in his life.[52] Although he did not initially accept Ramakrishna as his teacher and rebelled against his ideas, he was attracted by his personality and began to frequently visit him at Dakshineswar.[53] He initially saw Ramakrishna’s ecstasies and visions as “mere figments of imagination”[16] and “hallucinations”.[54] As a member of Brahmo Samaj, he opposed idol worship, polytheism and Ramakrishna’s worship of Kali.[55] He even rejected the Advaita Vedanta of “identity with the absolute” as blasphemy and madness, and often ridiculed the idea.[54] Narendra tested Ramakrishna, who faced his arguments patiently: “Try to see the truth from all angles”, he replied.[53]

Narendra’s father’s sudden death in 1884 left the family bankrupt; creditors began demanding the repayment of loans, and relatives threatened to evict the family from their ancestral home. Narendra, once a son of a well-to-do family, became one of the poorest students in his college.[56] He unsuccessfully tried to find work and questioned God’s existence,[57] but found solace in Ramakrishna and his visits to Dakshineswar increased.[58]

One day Narendra requested Ramakrishna to pray to goddess Kali for their family’s financial welfare. Ramakrishna suggested him to go to the temple himself and pray. Following Ramakrishna’s suggestion, he went to the temple thrice, but failed to pray for any kind of worldly necessities and ultimately prayed for true knowledge and devotion from the goddess.[59][60][61] Narendra gradually grew ready to renounce everything for the sake of realising God, and accepted Ramakrishna as his Guru.[53]

In 1885, Ramakrishna developed throat cancer, and was transferred to Calcutta and (later) to a garden house in Cossipore. Narendra and Ramakrishna’s other disciples took care of him during his last days, and Narendra’s spiritual education continued. At Cossipore, he experienced Nirvikalpa samadhi.[62] Narendra and several other disciples received ochre robes from Ramakrishna, forming his first monastic order.[63] He was taught that service to men was the most effective worship of God.[16][62] Ramakrishna asked him to care for the other monastic disciples, and in turn asked them to see Narendra as their leader.[64] Ramakrishna died in the early-morning hours of 16 August 1886 in Cossipore.[64][65]

Founding of first Ramakrishna Math at Baranagar[edit]

Main article: Baranagar Math

After Ramakrishna’s death, his devotees and admirers stopped supporting his disciples. Unpaid rent accumulated, and Narendra and the other disciples had to find a new place to live.[66] Many returned home, adopting a Grihastha (family-oriented) way of life.[67] Narendra decided to convert a dilapidated house at Baranagar into a new math (monastery) for the remaining disciples. Rent for the Baranagar Math was low, raised by “holy begging” (mādhukarī). The math became the first building of the Ramakrishna Math: the monastery of the monastic order of Ramakrishna.[52] Narendra and other disciples used to spend many hours in practising meditation and religious austerities every day.[68]Narendra later reminisced about the early days of the monastery:[69]

We underwent a lot of religious practice at the Baranagar Math. We used to get up at 3:00 am and become absorbed in japa and meditation. What a strong spirit of detachment we had in those days! We had no thought even as to whether the world existed or not.

In 1887, Narendra compiled a Bengali song anthology named Sangeet Kalpataru with Vaishnav Charan Basak. Narendra collected and arranged most of the songs of this compilation, but could not finish the work of the book for unfavourable circumstances.[70]

Monastic vows[edit]

In December 1886, the mother of Baburam[b] invited Narendra and his other brother monks to Antpur village. Narendra and the other aspiring monks accepted the invitation and went to Antpur to spend few days. In Antpur, in the Christmas Eve of 1886, Narendra and eight other disciples took formal monastic vows.[68] They decided to live their lives as their master lived.[68] Narendranath took the name “Swami Vivekananda”.[71]

Travels in India (1888–93)[edit]

In 1888, Narendra left the monastery as a Parivrâjaka— the Hindu religious life of a wandering monk, “without fixed abode, without ties, independent and strangers wherever they go”.[72] His sole possessions were a kamandalu (water pot), staff and his two favourite books: the Bhagavad Gita and The Imitation of Christ.[73] Narendra travelled extensively in India for five years, visiting centres of learning and acquainting himself with diverse religious traditions and social patterns.[74][75] He developed sympathy for the suffering and poverty of the people, and resolved to uplift the nation.[74][76] Living primarily on bhiksha (alms), Narendra travelled on foot and by railway (with tickets bought by admirers). During his travels he met, and stayed with Indians from all religions and walks of life: scholars, dewans, rajas, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, paraiyars (low-caste workers) and government officials.[76] Narendra left Bombay for Chicago on 31 May 1893 with the name “Vivekananda”, as suggested by Ajit Singh of Khetri,[77] which means “the bliss of discerning wisdom”.[78]

First visit to the West (1893–97)[edit]

Vivekananda started his journey to the West on 31 May 1893[79] and visited several cities in Japan (including Nagasaki, Kobe, Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo),[80] China and Canada en route to the United States,[79] reaching Chicago on 30 July 1893,[81][79] where the “Parliament of Religions” took place in September 1893.[82] The Congress was an initiative of the Swedenborgian layman, and judge of the Illinois Supreme Court, Charles C. Bonney,[83][84] to gather all the religions of the world, and show “the substantial unity of many religions in the good deeds of the religious life.”[83] It was one of the more than 200 adjunct gatherings and congresses of the Chicago’s World’s Fair,[83] and was “an avant-garde intellectual manifestation of […] cultic milieus, East and West,”[85] with the Brahmo Samaj and the Theosophical Society being invited as being representative of Hinduism.[86]

Vivekananda wanted to join, but was disappointed to learn that no one without credentials from a bona fide organisation would be accepted as a delegate.[87] Vivekananda contacted Professor John Henry Wright of Harvard University, who invited him to speak at Harvard.[87] Vivekananda wrote of the professor, “He urged upon me the necessity of going to the Parliament of Religions, which he thought would give an introduction to the nation”.[88][c] Vivekananda submitted an application, “introducing himself as a monk ‘of the oldest order of sannyāsis … founded by Sankara,'”[86] supported by the Brahmo Samaj representative Protapchandra Mozoombar, who was also a member of the Parliament’s selection committee, “classifying the Swami as a representative of the Hindu monastic order.”[86]

Parliament of the World’s Religions[edit]

A group of men are sitting and looking forward
Five men are standing
(left) Vivekananda on the platform at the Parliament of Religions, September 1893; left to right: Virchand Gandhi, Dharmapala, Vivekananda
(right) Swami Vivekananda with the East Indian group, in the photo: (from left to right) Narasimha Chaira, Lakeshnie Narain, Vivekananda, H. Dharmapala, and Virchand Gandhi

The Parliament of the World’s Religions opened on 11 September 1893 at the Art Institute of Chicago as part of the World’s Columbian Exposition.[89][90][91] On this day, Vivekananda gave a brief speech representing India and Hinduism.[92] He was initially nervous, bowed to Saraswati (the Hindu goddess of learning) and began his speech with “Sisters and brothers of America!”.[93][91] At these words, Vivekananda received a two-minute standing ovation from the crowd of seven thousand.[94] According to Sailendra Nath Dhar, when silence was restored he began his address, greeting the youngest of the nations on behalf of “the most ancient order of monks in the world, the Vedic order of sannyasins, a religion which has taught the world both tolerance, of and universal acceptance”.[95][d] Vivekananda quoted two illustrative passages from the “Shiva mahimna stotram“: “As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take, through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee!” and “Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths that in the end lead to Me.”[98] According to Sailendra Nath Dhar, “[i]t was only a short speech, but it voiced the spirit of the Parliament.”[98][99]

Parliament President John Henry Barrows said, “India, the Mother of religions was represented by Swami Vivekananda, the Orange-monk who exercised the most wonderful influence over his auditors”.[93] Vivekananda attracted widespread attention in the press, which called him the “cyclonic monk from India”. The New York Critique wrote, “He is an orator by divine right, and his strong, intelligent face in its picturesque setting of yellow and orange was hardly less interesting than those earnest words, and the rich, rhythmical utterance he gave them”. The New York Herald noted, “Vivekananda is undoubtedly the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions. After hearing him we feel how foolish it is to send missionaries to this learned nation”.[100] American newspapers reported Vivekananda as “the greatest figure in the parliament of religions” and “the most popular and influential man in the parliament”.[101] The Boston Evening Transcript reported that Vivekananda was “a great favourite at the parliament… if he merely crosses the platform, he is applauded”.[102] He spoke several more times “at receptions, the scientific section, and private homes”[95] on topics related to Hinduism, Buddhism and harmony among religions until the parliament ended on 27 September 1893. Vivekananda’s speeches at the Parliament had the common theme of universality, emphasising religious tolerance.[103] He soon became known as a “handsome oriental” and made a huge impression as an orator.[104]

Lecture tours in the UK and US[edit]

“I do not come”, said Swamiji on one occasion in America, “to convert you to a new belief. I want you to keep your own belief; I want to make the Methodist a better Methodist; the Presbyterian a better Presbyterian; the Unitarian a better Unitarian. I want to teach you to live the truth, to reveal the light within your own soul.”[105]

After the Parliament of Religions, he toured many parts of the US as a guest. His popularity opened up new views for expanding on “life and religion to thousands”.[104] During a question-answer session at Brooklyn Ethical Society, he remarked, “I have a message to the West as Buddha had a message to the East.”

Vivekananda spent nearly two years lecturing in the eastern and central United States, primarily in Chicago, Detroit, Boston, and New York. He founded the Vedanta Society of New York in 1894.[106] By spring 1895 his busy, tiring schedule had affected his health.[107] He ended his lecture tours and began giving free, private classes in Vedanta and yoga. Beginning in June 1895, Vivekananda gave private lectures to a dozen of his disciples at Thousand Island Park in New York for two months.[107]

During his first visit to the West he travelled to the UK twice, in 1895 and 1896, lecturing successfully there.[108] In November 1895 he met Margaret Elizabeth Noble an Irish woman who would become Sister Nivedita.[107] During his second visit to the UK in May 1896 Vivekananda met Max Müller, a noted Indologist from Oxford University who wrote Ramakrishna’s first biography in the West.[99] From the UK, Vivekananda visited other European countries. In Germany he met Paul Deussen, another Indologist.[109] Vivekananda was offered academic positions in two American universities (one the chair inEastern Philosophy at Harvard University and a similar position at Columbia University); he declined both, since his duties would conflict with his commitment as a monk.[107]

Left: Vivekananda in Greenacre, Maine (August 1894).[110] Right: Vivekananda at Mead sisters house, South Pasadena in 1900.

His success led to a change in mission, namely the establishment of Vedanta centres in the West.[111]Vivekananda adapted traditional Hindu ideas and religiosity to suit the needs and understandings of his western audiences, who were especially attracted by and familiar with western esoteric traditions and movements like Transcendentalism and New thought.[112] An important element in his adaptation of Hindu religiosity was the introduction of his four yoga’s model, which includes Raja yoga, his interpretation of Patanjali’s Yoga sutras,[113] which offered a practical means to realize the divine force within which is central to modern western esotericism.[112] In 1896 his book Raja Yoga was published, which became an instant success and was highly influential in the western understanding of Yoga.[114][115]

Vivekananda attracted followers and admirers in the U.S. and Europe, including Josephine MacLeod, William James, Josiah Royce, Robert G. Ingersoll, Nikola Tesla, Lord Kelvin, Harriet Monroe, Ella Wheeler Wilcox,Sarah Bernhardt, Emma Calvé and Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz.[16][107][109][116] He initiated several followers : Marie Louise (a French woman) became Swami Abhayananda, and Leon Landsberg became Swami Kripananda,[117] so that they could continue the work of the mission of the Vedanta Society. This society even to this day is filled with foreign nationals and is also located in Los Angeles.[118] During his stay in America, Vivekananda was given land in the mountains to the Southeast of San Jose, CA to establish an asrama (retreat) for Vedanta students. He called it Peace retreat or Shanti Asrama.[119] The largest American center is the Vedanta Society of Southern California in Hollywood, CA (one of the twelve main centers). There is also a Vedanta Press in Hollywood which publishes books about Vedanta and translations of Hindu scriptures and texts in English. [120] Christina Greenstidel of Detroit was also initiated by Vivekananda with a mantra and she became Sister Christine,[121] and they established a close father–daughter relationship.[122]

From the West, Vivekananda revived his work in India. He regularly corresponded with his followers and brother monks,[e] offering advice and financial support. His letters from this period reflect his campaign of social service,[123] and were strongly worded.[124] He wrote to Swami Akhandananda, “Go from door to door amongst the poor and lower classes of the town of Khetri and teach them religion. Also, let them have oral lessons on geography and such other subjects. No good will come of sitting idle and having princely dishes, and saying “Ramakrishna, O Lord!”—unless you can do some good to the poor”.[125][126] In 1895, Vivekananda founded the periodical Brahmavadin to teach the Vedanta.[127] Later, Vivekananda’s translation of the first six chapters of The Imitation of Christ was published in Brahmavadin in 1889.[128] Vivekananda left for India on 16 December 1896 from England with his disciples, Captain and Mrs. Sevier and J.J. Goodwin. On the way they visited France and Italy, and set sail for India from Naples on 30 December 1896.[129] He was later followed to India by Sister Nivedita, who devoted the rest of her life to the education of Indian women and India’s independence.[107][130]

Back in India (1897–99)[edit]

The ship from Europe arrived in Colombo, British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on 15 January 1897,[129] and Vivekananda received a warm welcome. In Colombo he gave his first public speech in the East, India, the Holy Land. From there on, his journey to Calcutta was triumphant. Vivekananda travelled from Colombo to Pamban, Rameswaram, Ramnad,Madurai, Kumbakonam and Madras, delivering lectures. Common people and rajas gave him an enthusiastic reception. During his train travels, people often sat on the rails to force the train to stop so they could hear him.[129] From Madras, he continued his journey to Calcutta and Almora. While in the West, Vivekananda spoke about India’s great spiritual heritage; in India, he repeatedly addressed social issues: uplifting the people, eliminating the caste system, promoting science and industrialisation, addressing widespread poverty and ending colonial rule. These lectures, published as Lectures from Colombo to Almora, demonstrate his nationalistic fervour and spiritual ideology.[131]

A group photo of Vivekananda and his disciples.
Image of Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, a branch of the Ramakrishna Math
(left) Vivekananda at Chennai 1897 (right) Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati (a branch of theRamakrishna Math founded on 19 March 1899) later published many of Vivekananda’s work and now publishes Prabuddha Bharata.

On 1 May 1897 in Calcutta, Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission for social service. Its ideals are based on Karma Yoga,[132][133] and its governing body consists of the trustees of the Ramakrishna Math (which conducts religious work).[134] Both Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission have their headquarters at Belur Math.[99][135] Vivekananda founded two other monasteries: one in Mayavati in the Himalayas (near Almora), the Advaita Ashrama and another in Madras. Two journals were founded: Prabuddha Bharata in English and Udbhodan in Bengali.[136] That year, famine-relief work was begun by Swami Akhandananda in the Murshidabad district.[99][134]

Vivekananda earlier inspired Jamsetji Tata to set up a research and educational institution when they travelled together from Yokohama to Chicago on Vivekananda’s first visit to the West in 1893. Tata now asked him to head his Research Institute of Science; Vivekananda declined the offer, citing a conflict with his “spiritual interests”.[137][138][139] He visited Punjab, attempting to mediate an ideological conflict between Arya Samaj (a reformist Hindu movement) and sanatan (orthodox Hindus).[140] After brief visits to Lahore,[134] Delhi and Khetri, Vivekananda returned to Calcutta in January 1898. He consolidated the work of the math and trained disciples for several months. Vivekananda composed “Khandana Bhava–Bandhana“, a prayer song dedicated to Ramakrishna, in 1898.[141]

Second visit to the West and final years (1899–1902)[edit]

Vivekananda sitting, wearing white shawl
Image of Vivekananda relaxing in a chair.
(left) Vivekananda at Belur Math on 19 June 1899
(right) Vivekananda (photo taken in Bushnell Studio, San Francisco, 1900)

Despite declining health, Vivekananda left for the West for a second time in June 1899[142] accompanied by Sister Nivedita and Swami Turiyananda. Following a brief stay in England, he went to the United States. During this visit, Vivekananda established Vedanta Societies in San Francisco and New York and founded a shanti ashrama (peace retreat) in California.[143] He then went to Paris for the Congress of Religions in 1900.[144] His lectures in Paris concerned the worship of the lingam and the authenticity of the Bhagavad Gita.[143] Vivekananda then visitedBrittany, Vienna, Istanbul, Athens and Egypt. The French philosopher Jules Bois was his host for most of this period, until he returned to Calcutta on 9 December 1900.[143]

After a brief visit to the Advaita Ashrama in Mayavati Vivekananda settled at Belur Math, where he continued co-ordinating the works of Ramakrishna Mission, the math and the work in England and the U.S. He had many visitors, including royalty and politicians. Although Vivekananda was unable to attend the Congress of Religions in 1901 in Japan due to deteriorating health, he made pilgrimages to Bodhgaya and Varanasi.[145] Declining health (includingasthma, diabetes and chronic insomnia) restricted his activity.[146]


On 4 July 1902 (the day of his death)[147] Vivekananda awoke early, went to the chapel at Belur Math and meditated for three hours. He taught Shukla-Yajur-Veda, Sanskrit grammar and the philosophy of yoga to pupils,[148][149] later discussing with colleagues a planned Vedic college in the Ramakrishna Math. At 7:00 p.m. Vivekananda went to his room, asking not to be disturbed;[148] he died at 9:10 p.m. while meditating.[150] According to his disciples, Vivekananda attained mahasamādhi;[151] the rupture of a blood vessel in his brain was reported as a possible cause of death.[152] His disciples believed that the rupture was due to his brahmarandhra (an opening in the crown of his head) being pierced when he attained mahasamādhi. Vivekananda fulfilled his prophecy that he would not live forty years. [153] He was cremated on a sandalwood funeral pyre on the bank of the Ganga in Belur, opposite whereRamakrishna was cremated sixteen years earlier.[154]

Teachings and philosophy[edit]

Vivekananda believed that a country’s future depends on its people, and his teachings focused on human development.[155] He wanted “to set in motion a machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest”.[156]Vivekananda believed that the essence of Hinduism was best expressed in the Vedanta philosophy, based on Adi Shankara‘s interpretation. He summarised the Vedanta as follows:[157]

Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or mental discipline, or philosophy—by one, or more, or all of these—and be free.

This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.

Vivekananda linked morality with control of the mind, seeing truth, purity and unselfishness as traits which strengthened it.[158] He advised his followers to be holy, unselfish and to have śraddhā (faith). Vivekananda supported brahmacharya (celibacy),[159]believing it the source of his physical and mental stamina and eloquence.[160] He emphasised that success was an outcome of focused thought and action; in his lectures on Raja Yoga he said, “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is way great spiritual giants are produced”.[161]

Influence and legacy[edit]

Vivekananda was one of the main representatives of Neo-Vedanta, a modern interpretation of selected aspects of Hinduism in line with western esoteric traditions, especially Transcendentalism, New Thought and Theosophy.[3] His reinterpretation was, and is, very successful, creating a new understanding and appreciation of Hinduism within and outside India,[3] and was the principal reason for the enthusiastic reception of yoga, transcendental meditation and other forms of Indian spiritual self-improvement in the West.[162]Agehananda Bharati explained, “…modern Hindus derive their knowledge of Hinduism from Vivekananda, directly or indirectly”.[163]Vivekananda espoused the idea that all sects within Hinduism (and all religions) are different paths to the same goal.[164] However, this view has been criticised as an oversimplification of Hinduism.[164]

Statue in a garden
at Shri Ramakrishna Vidyashala, Mysore, India
(left) Vivekananda statue near the Gateway of India, Mumbai
(right) at Shri Ramakrishna Vidyashala, Mysore, India

In the background of emerging nationalism in British-ruled India, Vivekananda crystallised the nationalistic ideal. In the words of social reformer Charles Freer Andrews, “The Swami’s intrepid patriotism gave a new colour to the national movement throughout India. More than any other single individual of that period Vivekananda had made his contribution to the new awakening of India”.[165] Vivekananda drew attention to the extent of poverty in the country, and maintained that addressing such poverty was a prerequisite for national awakening.[166] His nationalistic ideas influenced many Indian thinkers and leaders. Sri Aurobindo regarded Vivekananda as the one who awakened India spiritually.[167] Mahatma Gandhi counted him among the few Hindu reformers “who have maintained this Hindu religion in a state of splendor by cutting down the dead wood of tradition”.[168]

The first governor-general of independent India, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, said “Vivekananda saved Hinduism, saved India”.[169] According to Subhas Chandra Bose, a proponent of armed struggle for Indian independence, Vivekananda was “the maker of modern India”;[170] for Gandhi, Vivekananda’s influence increased Gandhi’s “love for his country a thousandfold”. Vivekananda influenced India’s independence movement;[171] his writings inspired independence activists such as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose,Aurobindo Ghose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bagha Jatin and intellectuals such as Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, Romain Rolland.[172] Many years after Vivekananda’s death Rabindranath Tagore told French Nobel laureate Romain Rolland,[173] “If you want to know India, study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive and nothing negative”. Rolland wrote, “His words are great music, phrases in the style of Beethoven, stirring rhythms like the march of Händel choruses. I cannot touch these sayings of his, scattered as they are through the pages of books, at thirty years’ distance, without receiving a thrill through my body like an electric shock. And what shocks, what transports, must have been produced when in burning words they issued from the lips of the hero!”[174]

Jamsetji Tata was inspired by Vivekananda to establish the Indian Institute of Science, one of India’s best-known research universities.[139] Abroad, Vivekananda communicated with orientalist Max Müller, and scientist Nikola Tesla was one of those influenced by his Vedic teachings. While National Youth Day in India is observed on his birthday, 12 January, the day he delivered his masterful speech at the Parliament of Religions, 11 September 1893 is “World Brotherhood Day”.[175][176] In September 2010, India’s Finance Ministry highlighted the relevance of Vivekananda’s teachings and values to the modern economic environment. The Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee approved in principle the Swami Vivekananda Values Education Project at a cost of 1 billion (US$15 million), with objectives including involving youth with competitions, essays, discussions and study circles and publishing Vivekananda’s works in a number of languages.[177] In 2011, the West Bengal Police Training College was renamed the Swami Vivekananda State Police Academy, West Bengal.[178] The state technical university in Chhattisgarh has been named the Chhattisgarh Swami Vivekananda Technical University.[179] In 2012, the Raipur airport was renamed Swami Vivekananda Airport.[180]

The 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda was celebrated in India and abroad. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India officially observed 2013 as the occasion in a declaration.[181] Year-long events and programs were organised by branches of the Ramakrishna Math, the Ramakrishna Mission, the central and state governments in India, educational institutions and youth groups. Bengali film director Tutu (Utpal) Sinha made a film, The Light: Swami Vivekananda as a tribute for his 150th birth anniversary.[182]


Lectures from Colombo to Almora front cover 1897 edition
Vedanta Philosophy An address before the Graduate Philosophical Society 1901 cover page
(left) Lectures from Colombo to Almora front cover 1897 edition
(right) Vedanta Philosophy An address before the Graduate Philosophical Society 1901 cover page


Although Vivekananda was a powerful orator and writer in English and Bengali,[183] he was not a thorough scholar,[184]and most of his published works were compiled from lectures given around the world which were “mainly delivered […] impromptu and with little preparation”.[184] His main work, Raja Yoga, consists of talks he delivered in New York.[185]

Literary works[edit]

According to Banhatti, “[a] singer, a painter, a wonderful master of language and a poet, Vivekananda was a complete artist”,[186] composing many songs and poems, including his favourite,[citation needed]Kali the Mother“. Vivekananda blended humour with his teachings, and his language was lucid. His Bengali writings testify to his belief that words (spoken or written) should clarify ideas, rather than demonstrating the speaker (or writer’s) knowledge.[citation needed]

Bartaman Bharat meaning “Present Day India” [187] is an erudite Bengali language essay written by him, which was first published in the March 1899 issue of Udbodhan, the only Bengali language magazine of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. The essay was reprinted as a book in 1905 and later compiled into the fourth volume of The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda.[188] In this essay his refrain to the readers was to honour and treat every Indianas a brother irrespective of whether he was born poor or in lower caste.[189]


Published in his lifetime[190]
Published posthumously

Here a list of selected books by Vivekananda that were published after his death (1902)[190]

  • Addresses on Bhakti Yoga
  • Bhakti Yoga
  • The East and the West (1909)[194]
  • Inspired Talks (1909)
  • Narada Bhakti Sutras – translation
  • Para Bhakti or Supreme Devotion
  • Practical Vedanta
  • Speeches and writings of Swami Vivekananda; a comprehensive collection
  • Complete Works: a collection of his writings, lectures and discourses in a set of nine volumes


हरिवंश राय “बच्चन”

download (1)हरिवंश राय श्रीवास्तव “बच्चन” (२७ नवम्बर १९०७ – १८ जनवरी २००३) हिन्दी भाषा के एक कवि और लेखक थे।’हालावाद’ के प्रवर्तक बच्चन जी हिन्दी कविता के उत्तर छायावाद काल के प्रमुख कवियों मे से एक हैं। उनकी सबसे प्रसिद्ध कृति मधुशाला है। भारतीय फिल्म उद्योग के प्रख्यात अभिनेता अमिताभ बच्चन उनके सुपुत्र हैं।उन्होनेइलाहाबाद विश्वविद्यालय में अध्यापन किया। बाद में भारत सरकार के विदेश मंत्रालय में हिन्दी विशेषज्ञ रहे। अनन्तर राज्य सभा के मनोनीत सदस्य। बच्चन जी की गिनती हिन्दी के सर्वाधिक लोकप्रिय कवियों में होती है।बच्चन का जन्म 27 नवम्बर 1907 को इलाहाबाद से सटे प्रतापगढ़ जिले के एक छोटे से गाँव बाबूपट्टी में एककायस्थ परिवार मे हुआ था। इनके पिता का नाम प्रताप नारायण श्रीवास्तव तथा माता का नाम सरस्वती देवी था। इनको बाल्यकाल में ‘बच्चन’ कहा जाता था जिसका शाब्दिक अर्थ ‘बच्चा’ या संतान होता है। बाद में ये इसी नाम से मशहूर हुए। इन्होंने कायस्थ पाठशाला में पहले उर्दू की शिक्षा ली जो उस समय कानून की डिग्री के लिए पहला कदम माना जाता था। उन्होने प्रयाग विश्वविद्यालय से अंग्रेजी में एम. ए. औरकैम्ब्रिज विश्वविद्यालय से अंग्रेजी साहित्य के विख्यात कवि डब्लू बी यीट्स की कविताओं पर शोध कर पीएच. डी. पूरी की ।१९२६ में १९ वर्ष की उम्र में उनका विवाह श्यामा बच्चन से हुआ जो उस समय १४ वर्ष की थीं। लेकिन १९३६ में श्यामा की टीबी के कारण मृत्यु हो गई। पांच साल बाद १९४१ में बच्चन ने एक पंजाबन तेजी सूरी से विवाह किया जो रंगमंच तथा गायन से जुड़ी हुई थीं। इसी समय उन्होंने ‘नीड़ का पुनर्निर्माण’ जैसे कविताओं की रचना की। तेजी बच्चन से अमिताभ तथा अजिताभ दो पुत्र हुए। अमिताभ बच्चन एक प्रसिद्ध अभिनेता हैं। तेजी बच्चन ने हरिवंश राय बच्चन द्वारा शेक्सपियर के अनूदित कई नाटकों में अभिनय का काम किया है।उनकी कृति दो चट्टाने को १९६८ में हिन्दी कविता का साहित्य अकादमी पुरस्कार से सम्मनित किया गया था। इसी वर्ष उन्हें सोवियत लैंड नेहरू पुरस्कार तथा एफ्रो एशियाई सम्मेलन के कमल पुरस्कार से भी सम्मानित किया गया। बिड़ला फाउण्डेशन ने उनकी आत्मकथा के लिये उन्हें सरस्वती सम्मान दिया था। बच्चन को भारत सरकार द्वारा १९७६ में साहित्य एवं शिक्षा के क्षेत्र मेंपद्म भूषण से सम्मानित किया गया था।

कविता संग्रह

  1. तेरा हार (1929),2. मधुशाला (1935),3. मधुबाला (1936),4. मधुकलश (1937),5. निशा निमंत्रण (1938),6. एकांत संगीत (1939),7. आकुल अंतर (1943),8. सतरंगिनी (1945),9. हलाहल (1946),10. बंगाल का काव्य (1946),11. खादी के फूल (1948),12. सूत की माला (1948),13. मिलन यामिनी (1950),14. प्रणय पत्रिका (1955),15. धार के इधर उधर (1957),16. आरती और अंगारे (1958),17. बुद्ध और नाचघर (1958),18. त्रिभंगिमा (1961),19. चार खेमे चौंसठ खूंटे (1962),20. दो चट्टानें (1965),21. बहुत दिन बीते (1967),22. कटती प्रतिमाओं की आवाज़ (1968),23. उभरते प्रतिमानों के रूप (1969),24. जाल समेटा (1973)


  1. क्या भूलूँ क्या याद करूँ (1969),2. नीड़ का निर्माण फिर (1970),3. बसेरे से दूर (1977),4. बच्चन रचनावली के नौ खण्ड (1983),5. दशद्वार से सोपान तक (1985)


बचपन के साथ क्षण भर (1934), खय्याम की मधुशाला (1938), सोपान (1953), मैकबेथ (1957), जनगीता (1958), ओथेलो (1959), उमर खय्याम की रुबाइयाँ (1959), कवियों के सौम्य संत: पंत (1960), आज के लोकप्रिय हिन्दी कवि: सुमित्रानंदन पंत (1960), आधुनिक कवि (1961), नेहरू: राजनैतिक जीवनचित्र (1961), नये पुराने झरोखे (1962), अभिनव सोपान (1964), चौसठ रूसी कविताएँ (1964), नागर गीत (1966), बचपन के लोकप्रिय गीत (1967), डब्लू बी यीट्स एंड औकल्टिज़्म (1968), मरकट द्वीप का स्वर (1968), हैमलेट (1969), भाषा अपनी भाव पराये (1970), पंत के सौ पत्र (1970), प्रवास की डायरी (1971), किंग लियर (1972), टूटी छूटी कड़ियाँ (1973), मेरी कविताई की आधी सदी (1981), सोहं हंस (1981), आठवें दशक की प्रतिनिधी श्रेष्ठ कवितायें (1982), मेरी श्रेष्ठ कविताएँ (1984), आ रही रिव की सवारी

डॉ बी0आर0अम्बेडकर की जीवनी

downloadभारत को संविधान देने वाले महान नेता डा. भीम रावअंबेडकर का जन्म 14 अप्रैल 1891 को मध्य प्रदेश के एक छोटे से गांव में हुआ था। डा. भीमराव अंबेडकर के पिता का नाम रामजी मालोजी सकपाल और माता का भीमाबाई था। अपने माता-पिता की चौदहवीं संतान के रूप में जन्में डॉ. भीमराव अम्बेडकर जन्मजात प्रतिभा संपन्न थे।

भीमराव अंबेडकर का जन्म महार जाति में हुआ था जिसे लोग अछूत और बेहद निचला वर्ग मानते थे। बचपन में भीमराव अंबेडकर (Dr.B R Ambedkar) के परिवार के साथ सामाजिक और आर्थिक रूप से गहरा भेदभाव किया जाता था। भीमराव अंबेडकर के बचपन का नाम रामजी सकपाल था. अंबेडकर के पूर्वज लंबे समय तक ब्रिटिश ईस्ट इंडिया कंपनी की सेना में कार्य करते थे और उनके पिता ब्रिटिश भारतीय सेना की मऊ छावनी में सेवा में थे. भीमराव के पिता हमेशा ही अपने बच्चों की शिक्षा पर जोर देते थे।
1894 में भीमराव अंबेडकर जी के पिता सेवानिवृत्त हो गए और इसके दो साल बाद, अंबेडकर की मां की मृत्यु हो गई. बच्चों की देखभाल उनकी चाची ने कठिन परिस्थितियों में रहते हुये की। रामजी सकपाल के केवल तीन बेटे, बलराम, आनंदराव और भीमराव और दो बेटियाँ मंजुला और तुलासा ही इन कठिन हालातों मे जीवित बच पाए। अपने भाइयों और बहनों मे केवल अंबेडकर ही स्कूल की परीक्षा में सफल हुए और इसके बाद बड़े स्कूल में जाने में सफल हुये। अपने एक देशस्त ब्राह्मण शिक्षक महादेव अंबेडकर जो उनसे विशेष स्नेह रखते थे के कहने पर अंबेडकर ने अपने नाम से सकपाल हटाकर अंबेडकर जोड़ लिया जो उनके गांव के नाम “अंबावडे” पर आधारित था।
8 अगस्त, 1930 को एक शोषित वर्ग के सम्मेलन के दौरान अंबेडकर ने अपनी राजनीतिक दृष्टि को दुनिया के सामने रखा, जिसके अनुसार शोषित वर्ग की सुरक्षा उसकी सरकार और कांग्रेस दोनों से स्वतंत्र होने में है।
अपने विवादास्पद विचारों, और गांधी और कांग्रेस की कटु आलोचना के बावजूद अंबेडकर की प्रतिष्ठा एक अद्वितीय विद्वान और विधिवेत्ता की थी जिसके कारण जब, 15 अगस्त, 1947 में भारत की स्वतंत्रता के बाद, कांग्रेस के नेतृत्व वाली नई सरकार अस्तित्व में आई तो उसने अंबेडकर को देश का पहले कानून मंत्री के रूप में सेवा करने के लिए आमंत्रित किया, जिसे उन्होंने स्वीकार कर लिया। 29 अगस्त 1947 को अंबेडकर को स्वतंत्र भारत के नए संविधान की रचना के लिए बनी संविधान मसौदा समिति के अध्यक्ष पद पर नियुक्त किया गया। 26 नवंबर, 1949 को संविधान सभा ने संविधान को अपना लिया।
14 अक्टूबर, 1956 को नागपुर में अंबेडकर ने खुद और उनके समर्थकों के लिए एक औपचारिक सार्वजनिक समारोह का आयोजन किया। अंबेडकर ने एक बौद्ध भिक्षु से पारंपरिक तरीके से तीन रत्न ग्रहण और पंचशील को अपनाते हुये बौद्ध धर्म ग्रहण किया। 1948 से अंबेडकर मधुमेह से पीड़ित थे. जून से अक्टूबर 1954 तक वो बहुत बीमार रहे इस दौरान वो नैदानिक अवसाद और कमजोर होती दृष्टि से ग्रस्त थे। 6 दिसंबर 1956 को अंबेडकर जी की मृत्यु हो गई

Dr.Har Gobind Khorana


H. Gobind Khorana
Har Gobind Khorana was born of Hindu parents in Raipur, a little village in Punjab, which is now part of eastern Pakistan. The correct date of his birth is not known; that shown in documents is January 9th, 1922. He is the youngest of a family of one daughter and four sons. His father was a «patwari», a village agricultural taxation clerk in the British Indian system of government. Although poor, his father was dedicated to educating his children and they were practically the only literate family in the village inhabited by about 100 people.
Har Gobind Khorana attended D.A.V. High School in Multan (now West Punjab); Ratan Lal, one of his teachers, influenced him greatly during that period. Later, he studied at the Punjab University in Lahore where he obtained an M. Sc. degree. Mahan Singh, a great teacher and accurate experimentalist, was his supervisor.
Khorana lived in India until 1945, when the award of a Government of India Fellowship made it possible for him to go to England and he studied for a Ph. D. degree at the University of Liverpool. Roger J. S. Beer supervised his research, and, in addition, looked after him diligently. It was the introduction of Khorana to Western civilization and culture.
Khorana spent a postdoctoral year (1948-1949) at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich with Professor Vladimir Prelog. The association with Professor Prelog molded immeasurably his thought and philosophy towards science, work, and effort.
After a brief period in India in the fall of 1949, Khorana returned to England where he obtained a fellowship to work with Dr. (now Professor) G. W. Kenner and Professor (now Lord) A. R. Todd. He stayed in Cambridge from 1950 till 1952. Again, this stay proved to be of decisive value to Khorana. Interest in both proteins and nucleic acids took root at that time.
A job offer in 1952 from Dr. Gordon M. Shrum of British Columbia (now Chancellor of Simon Fraser University, British Columbia) took him to Vancouver. The British Columbia Research Council offered at that time very little by way of facilities, but there was «all the freedom in the world», to use Dr. Shrum’s words, to do what the researcher liked to do. During the following years, with Dr. Shrum’s inspiration and encouragement and frequent help and scientific counsel from Dr. Jack Campbell (now Head of the Department of Microbiology at the University of British Columbia), a group began to work in the field of biologically interesting phosphate esters and nucleic acids. Among the many devoted and loyal colleagues of this period, there should, in particular, be mention of Dr. Gordon M. Tener (now a Professor in the Biochemistry Department of the University of British Columbia), who contributed much to the spiritual and intellectual well-being of the group.

In 1960 Khorana moved to the Institute for Enzyme Research at the University of Wisconsin. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States. As of the fall of 1970 Khorana has been Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Biology and Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Har Gobind Khorana was married in 1952 to Esther Elizabeth Sibler, who is of Swiss origin. Esther brought a consistent sense of purpose into his life at a time when, after six years’ absence from the country of his birth, Khorana felt out of place everywhere and at home nowhere. They have three children: Julia Elizabeth (born May 4th, 1953), Emily Anne (born October 18th, 1954), and Dave Roy (born July 26th, 1958).From Nobel Lectures, Physiology or Medicine 1963-1970, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1972
This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.

H. Gobind Khorana died on 9 November 2011.

Dr Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963)

dr rajendraOne of the chief architects of modern India, Dr.Rajendra Prasad was an eminent freedom fighter, a renowned jurist, an eloquent parliamentarian, an able administrator, a statesman par excellence and above all, a humanist to the core. An ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, he represented all that is best in Indian culture. As the President of the Constituent Assembly and subsequently as the President of India for two consecutive terms, Dr. Rajendra Prasad played a very important role in shaping the destiny of the nation and left an indelible imprint of his personality on our national life and polity.
Dr.Rajendra Prasad, affectionately addressed as ‘Rajen Babu’, was born at Village Ziradei in Saran district (now in Siwan) of Bihar on 3 December 1884. His parents, Mahadev Sahay and Kamaleshwari Devi, led a simple life even though the family had sufficient landed property. The environment at home in particular, and in his village in general, which symbolized peace and serenity, had a profound impact on the mind of young Rajen resulting in the inculcation in him of the finest ideals of fellow-feeling, selfless service, sacrifice, humility and simplicity.
Rajendra Prasad began his early education at the age of five under the guidance of a village Maulvi who also taught him Persian. Later, he went to a High School in Chhapra district from where he passed the entrance examination of the University of Calcutta with flying colours and joined the prestigious Presidency College and was elected by a huge margin to the post of Secretary of the College Union. After his post-graduation, he also completed his studies in law and started legal practice in Calcutta in 1911. Very soon, he built up a large clientele, not merely because of his legal acumen, but also because of his noble character and innate integrity, which earned him the praise and respect of the judges and his colleagues. Once, when he was arguing a case before the eminent jurist and scholar Justice Ashutosh Mukherjee, who was also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta, the latter was so much impressed by Rajendra Prasad’s style of presentation of the case and forcefulness of arguments that he offered him a faculty position in the Law Department of the University, which Rajendra Prasad accepted with humility. He completed his Master of law in 1915 was so much impressed by Rajendra Prasad’s style of presentation of the case and forcefulness of arguments that he offered him a faculty position in the Law Department of the University, which Rajendra Prasad accepted with humility. He completed his Master of Law in 1915 by topping the list. ln1916, after the creation of the Patna High Court, Rajendra Prasad started practicing at Patna.
Rajendra Prasad came under the spell of Mahatma Gandhi in 1917 when the latter organized the Champaran Satyagraha to liberate the peasants from exploitation by the British Indigo planters. Gandhiji invited Rajendra Prasad and some other advocates to assist him in the cause of the affected peasants. The Champaran Satyagrahna of only brought him closer to Mahatma Gandhi, but also changed the entire course of his life. Under the active guidance of Mahatma Gandhi, he gave a new lead to the various movements in Bihar, with a view to taking the country nearer to the goal of freedom and economic regeneration Inspired by Gandhian ideology, his clarion call to the countrymen and his distinct and unprecedented mode of protest against he colonial rulers, Rajendra Prasad took the plunge into the political struggle with the unflinching aim of freeing the country from the clutches of colonialism.
The Rowlatt Act of 1918 and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919 pushed Rajendra Prasad closer to Gandhiji; he concurred with Gandhiji that the only effective weapon to deal with the British Government’s inhuman actions and repressive laws was, ‘non-cooperation’. He was the first leader from Bihar to sign and undertake a pledge requiring every Satyagrahi to remain non-violent during the protest against the Rowlatt Act which came to be dubbed as the ‘Black Act’. lt was around this time that Rajendra Prasad gave up the lucrative law practice to fully devote himself to the cause of liberation of the Motherland. ln 1923, Rajendra Prasad actively participated in the Flag Satyagraha at Nagpur. During this period, he came into close contact with Sardar Patel whole friendship and association he cherished as one of the most pleasant memories of his life. The British Government arrested him for taking part in the 1930 Satyagraha. The second long spell of imprisonment that Rajendra Prasad suffered was immediately after the passing of the Quit India Resolution in 1942 and he remained in jail for nearly three years till 1945.
Joining the Indian NationaI Congress as s an ordinary worker, Rajendra Prasad served the organization in various capacities for more than four decades. For him, the Indian NationaI Congress was an instrument for serving the people and fighting for the cause of India’s freedom. Even when he had a flourishing law practice, he devoted his time to the Congress. After the Indian National Congress declared Swaraj as its ultimate goal at its Nagpur Session in 1920, Rajendra Prasad toured the length and breadth of Bihar, explaining to the people the plans and programmes of the movement. He was elected President of the lndian National Congress in1935 and again in 1939 following the resignation of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. He was elected President of the Indian National Congress for the third time in 1947, following the resignation of Acharya J.B.Kripalani.
Rajendra Prasad demonstrated his effectiveness and skills as a negotiator whenever he was called upon to do so. Alongwith Sardar Patel, he served on the Partition CounciI setup under the Chairmanship of Lord Mountbatten. It was primarily because of his clear perception, farsightedness and dexterity that he was able to obtain an equitable, just and fair settlement of the assets and settle various issues relating to centraI Services, currency and coinage, economic relations, armed forces and so on, in favour of India.
In 1946, Rajendra Prasad joined the Interim Government of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as the Minister of Food and Agriculture. A firm believer in the maximization of agricultural production and amelioration of the lot of the peasants, he gave the slogan of “Grow More Food”. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, under his able and active guidance, launched an effective campaign to that end. In view of his family background and active involvement in the cause of the peasants, he believed that any effort to integrate the village life should be based on the Gandhian values.
When the Constituent Assembly was formed in 1946 to frame a Constitution for free lndia, Dr.RajendraPrasad, who had been elected as a member of the Assembly from the Bihar Province, was given the onerous responsibility of being its President. As President of the Constituent Assembly, he guided and regulated its proceedings with utmost firmness, infinite patience, incisive intellect and abundant grace. He always permitted members to have a free, frank and full discussion on issues before them and won the appreciation of every section of the House for his quanlities, objectivity and impartiality. When the Constitution was finally adopted on 26 November 1949, Rajendra Prasad, in his characteristic humility, heartily congratulated of the Constituent Assembly for accomplishing the stupendous task of framing the Constitution.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was unanimously elected as the provisional President of India on 24 January 1950, the penultimate day of the last session of the Constituent Assembly. He took the oath of office on 26 January1950. It was indeed a rare honour that the person who presided over the Constitution-making body was also given the equally challenging task of defending, protecting and preserving the Constitution. In 1952, he was elected as the first President of the Republic of India and was re-elected as the President of India for the second term in 1957.
Rajendra Prasad, along with India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, was able to establish many precedents and conventions culminating in a healthy political relationship between the Head of State and the Head of Government. With the passage of time, these precedents have become the cornerstone of our vibrant parliamentary democracy and have helped it in striking firm roots.
Even though Rajendra Prasad occupied the highest office in India, he led a very simple life. His integrity, purity of character, humility and devotion, love of humanity and depth of vision marked him out as a towering personality in our national firmament Rajendra Prasad not only gave the most precious years of his life to the freedom struggle but also worked for the betterment of the under-privileged throughout his life. He was a great humanist whose heart always went to the poor and the distressed. lt was his total identification with the needy and the deprived and the spirit of dedication for their cause, which endeared him to millions of his countrymen. Infact, realizing his selflessness and dedicated social work, way back in January1934, even the British Government had released Rajendra Prasad from jail to enable him to lead the Relief Committee to help the victims of the earthquake that had devastated Bihar at that time. Rajendra Prasad threw his heart and soul into the relief work and the whole nation appreciated the zeal, sincerity and humaneness with which he organized the relief services. A year later, when another earthquake hit Quetta (Now in Pakistan), he was again chosen as the President of the Quetta Earthquake Relief Committee. Whatever work he took upon himself, he did it with total devotion, selflessness and sensitivity. ln this sense, he was indeed a Karmayogi.
Dr.Rajendra Prasad was a litterateur in his own right. Besides Hindi, he was well-versed in Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian and English. He wrote a number of books in English and Hindi, apart from editing a few newspapers. In the early 1920s, he took up the editing of a Hindi weekly Desh and an English biweekly, Searchlight. He also authored several books including lndia Divided, Rajendra Prasad – Autobiography and At the Feet of Mahatma Gandhi.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad relinquished the office of the President of India in 1962, an office which he had adorned for 17 long years and shifted to an Ashram in Patna. He spent the remaining part of his life in its peaceful and quiet surroundings 1963. The entire nation mourned the sad demise of this colossus who had strode across India’s national scene for decades. Condoling the death of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the then President of India, Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, described him as “an outstanding patriot and a selfless worker in the cause of our freedom whose sacrificial services will always be remembered”. The then Vice-President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Dr. Zakir Husain, described Dr. Rajendra Prasad as “a perfect gentleman, the embodiment of the best in Indian life, a symbol of the good… whose extreme simplicity, great humility and complete lack of ostentation marked him out as a man of the people, the people he struggled to secure freedom for and guided in shaping a worthy life in the newly won freedom…”. The Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said: “Rajendra Babu’s death removes one of the greatest of our leaders, one who was so closely connected with Gandhiji. The great part he played in our independence struggle is a shining chapter in our history.” Paying tributes to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the then Speaker of Lok Sabha, Sardar Hukam Singh, described him as “a great freedom fighter and an ardent patriot who laid the foundations and established traditions worthy of the constitutionaI Head of a State”.
In recognition of the yeoman’s service rendered by this illustrious son of India, Dr.Rajendra Prasad was conferred the Bharat Ratna, the nation’s highest civilian award, in 1963.

होमी जहाँगीर भाभा

DOB:30 October 1909

Bombay, British India (present-day India)
Died 24 January 1966 (aged 56)
Mont Blanc, France
Residence New Delhi, India
Citizenship India
Nationality Indian
Fields Nuclear Physics
Institutions Atomic Energy Commission of India
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Cavendish Laboratory
Indian Institute of Science
Turmbay Atomic Energy Establishment
Alma mater University of Mumbai
University of Cambridge
Doctoral advisor Ralph H. Fowler
Other academic advisors Paul Dirac
Known for Indian nuclear programme
Cascade process of Cosmic radiations
point particles
Bhabha Scattering
Notable awards Adams Prize ( 1942)
Padma Bhushan (1954)
Fellow of the Royal Society



Deputy Prime Minister of India
In office :15 August 1947 – 15 December 1950
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Morarji Desai
Minister of Home Affairs
In office:15 August 1948 – 15 December 1950
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari
Personal details
Born Vallabhai Jhaverbhai Patel
31 October 1875
Nadiad, Gujarat, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died 15 December 1950 (aged 75)
Bombay, Bombay State, India
Nationality Indian
Political party Indian National Congress
Children Maniben Patel, Dahyabhai Patel
Alma mater Inns of Court
Profession Lawyer
Political activist
Religion Hinduism
Awards Bharat Ratna
Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel ( 31 October 1875 – 15 December 1950) was an Indian barrister and statesman, one of the leaders of the Indian National Congress and one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India. He was a social leader who played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation. In India and elsewhere, he was often addressed as Sardar,[1] which means Chief in Hindi, Urdu and Persian.

He was raised in the countryside of Gujarat.[2] Patel was employed in successful practice as a lawyer. He subsequently organised peasants from Kheda, Borsad, and Bardoli in Gujarat in non-violent civil disobedience against oppressive policies imposed by the British Raj; in this role, he became one of the most influential leaders in Gujarat. He rose to the leadership of the Indian National Congress, in which capacity he would organise the party for the elections held in 1934 and 1937, as well as continue to promote the Quit India Movement.

As the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India, Patel organised relief for refugees fleeing from Punjab and Delhi and led efforts to restore peace across the nation. Patel took charge of the task to forge a united India by integrating into the newly liberated nation those British colonial provinces “allocated” to India. Besides those provinces under direct British rule, approximately 565 self-governing princely states had been released from British suzerainty by the Indian Independence Act 1947. Through both frank diplomacy as well an option to deploy military force, Patel would persuade almost every princely state to accede to India. Patel’s commitment to national integration in the newly liberated country was total and uncompromising, earning him the sobriquet “Iron Man of India”. He is also affectionately remembered as the “Patron saint of India’s civil servants” for having established the modern all-India services system.

An annual commemoration of Patel, known as the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day), was introduced by the Government of India in 2014 and is to be held annually on his birthday, 31 October.



Srinivasa Aiyangar Ramanujan

Born: 22 Dec 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu state, India Died: 26 April 1920 in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu state, India

Ramanujan’s brief life and death are symbolic of conditions in India. Of our millions how few get any education at all; how many live on the verge of starvation.

Jawaharlal Nehru in his Discovery of India

Srinivasa Ramanujan was one of India’s greatest mathematical geniuses. He made substantial contributions to the analytical theory of numbers and worked on elliptic functions, continued fractions, and infinite series.

Ramanujan was born in his grandmother’s house in Erode, a small village about 400 km southwest of Madras. When Ramanujan was a year old his mother took him to the town of Kumbakonam, about 160 km nearer Madras. His father worked in Kumbakonam as a clerk in a cloth merchant’s shop. In December 1889 he contracted smallpox.

When he was nearly five years old, Ramanujan entered the primary school in Kumbakonam although he would attend several different primary schools before entering the Town High School in Kumbakonam in January 1898. At the Town High School, Ramanujan was to do well in all his school subjects and showed himself an able all round scholar. In 1900 he began to work on his own on mathematics summing geometric and arithmetic series.

Ramanujan was shown how to solve cubic equations in 1902 and he went on to find his own method to solve the quartic. The following year, not knowing that the quintic could not be solved by radicals, he tried (and of course failed) to solve the quintic.

It was in the Town High School that Ramanujan came across a mathematics book by G S Carr called Synopsis of elementary results in pure mathematics.This book, with its very concise style, allowed Ramanujan to teach himself mathematics, but the style of the book was to have a rather unfortunate effect on the way Ramanujan was later to write down mathematics since it provided the only model that he had of written mathematical arguments. The book contained theorems, formulae and short proofs. It also contained an index to papers on pure mathematics which had been published in the European Journals of Learned Societies during the first half of the 19thcentury. The book, published in 1856, was of course well out of date by the time Ramanujan used it.

By 1904 Ramanujan had begun to undertake deep research. He investigated the series ∑(1/n) and calculated Euler‘s constant to 15 decimal places. He began to study the Bernoulli numbers, although this was entirely his own independent discovery.

Ramanujan, on the strength of his good school work, was given a scholarship to the Government College in Kumbakonam which he entered in 1904. However the following year his scholarship was not renewed because Ramanujan devoted more and more of his time to mathematics and neglected his other subjects. Without money he was soon in difficulties and, without telling his parents, he ran away to the town of Vizagapatnam about 650 km north of Madras. He continued his mathematical work, however, and at this time he worked on hypergeometric series and investigated relations between integrals and series. He was to discover later that he had been studying elliptic functions.

In 1906 Ramanujan went to Madras where he entered Pachaiyappa’s College. His aim was to pass the First Arts examination which would allow him to be admitted to the University of Madras. He attended lectures at Pachaiyappa’s College but became ill after three months study. He took the First Arts examination after having left the course. He passed in mathematics but failed all his other subjects and therefore failed the examination. This meant that he could not enter the University of Madras. In the following years he worked on mathematics developing his own ideas without any help and without any real idea of the then current research topics other than that provided by Carr’s book.

Continuing his mathematical work Ramanujan studied continued fractions and divergent series in 1908. At this stage he became seriously ill again and underwent an operation in April 1909 after which he took him some considerable time to recover. He married on 14 July 1909 when his mother arranged for him to marry a ten year old girl S Janaki Ammal. Ramanujan did not live with his wife, however, until she was twelve years old.

Ramanujan continued to develop his mathematical ideas and began to pose problems and solve problems in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society. He devoloped relations between elliptic modular equations in 1910. After publication of a brilliant research paper on Bernoulli numbers in 1911 in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society he gained recognition for his work. Despite his lack of a university education, he was becoming well known in the Madras area as a mathematical genius.

In 1911 Ramanujan approached the founder of the Indian Mathematical Society for advice on a job. After this he was appointed to his first job, a temporary post in the Accountant General’s Office in Madras. It was then suggested that he approach Ramachandra Rao who was a Collector at Nellore. Ramachandra Rao was a founder member of the Indian Mathematical Society who had helped start the mathematics library. He writes in [30]:-

A short uncouth figure, stout, unshaven, not over clean, with one conspicuous feature-shining eyes- walked in with a frayed notebook under his arm. He was miserably poor. … He opened his book and began to explain some of his discoveries. I saw quite at once that there was something out of the way; but my knowledge did not permit me to judge whether he talked sense or nonsense. … I asked him what he wanted. He said he wanted a pittance to live on so that he might pursue his researches.

Ramachandra Rao told him to return to Madras and he tried, unsuccessfully, to arrange a scholarship for Ramanujan. In 1912 Ramanujan applied for the post of clerk in the accounts section of the Madras Port Trust. In his letter of application he wrote [3]:-

I have passed the Matriculation Examination and studied up to the First Arts but was prevented from pursuing my studies further owing to several untoward circumstances. I have, however, been devoting all my time to Mathematics and developing the subject.

Despite the fact that he had no university education, Ramanujan was clearly well known to the university mathematicians in Madras for, with his letter of application, Ramanujan included a reference from E W Middlemast who was the Professor of Mathematics at The Presidency College in Madras. Middlemast, a graduate of St John’s College, Cambridge, wrote [3]:-

I can strongly recommend the applicant. He is a young man of quite exceptional capacity in mathematics and especially in work relating to numbers. He has a natural aptitude for computation and is very quick at figure work.

On the strength of the recommendation Ramanujan was appointed to the post of clerk and began his duties on 1 March 1912. Ramanujan was quite lucky to have a number of people working round him with a training in mathematics. In fact the Chief Accountant for the Madras Port Trust, S N Aiyar, was trained as a mathematician and published a paper On the distribution of primes in 1913 on Ramanujan’s work. The professor of civil engineering at the Madras Engineering College C L T Griffith was also interested in Ramanujan’s abilities and, having been educated at University College London, knew the professor of mathematics there, namely M J M Hill. He wrote to Hill on 12 November 1912 sending some of Ramanujan’s work and a copy of his 1911 paper on Bernoulli numbers.

Hill replied in a fairly encouraging way but showed that he had failed to understand Ramanujan’s results on divergent series. The recommendation to Ramanujan that he read Bromwich‘s Theory of infinite series did not please Ramanujan much. Ramanujan wrote to E W Hobson and H F Bakertrying to interest them in his results but neither replied. In January 1913 Ramanujan wrote to G H Hardy having seen a copy of his 1910 book Orders of infinity. In Ramanujan’s letter to Hardy he introduced himself and his work [10]:-

I have had no university education but I have undergone the ordinary school course. After leaving school I have been employing the spare time at my disposal to work at mathematics. I have not trodden through the conventional regular course which is followed in a university course, but I am striking out a new path for myself. I have made a special investigation of divergent series in general and the results I get are termed by the local mathematicians as ‘startling’.

Hardy, together with Littlewood, studied the long list of unproved theorems which Ramanujan enclosed with his letter. On 8 February he replied to Ramanujan [3], the letter beginning:-

I was exceedingly interested by your letter and by the theorems which you state. You will however understand that, before I can judge properly of the value of what you have done, it is essential that I should see proofs of some of your assertions. Your results seem to me to fall into roughly three classes:(1) there are a number of results that are already known, or easily deducible from known theorems; (2) there are results which, so far as I know, are new and interesting, but interesting rather from their curiosity and apparent difficulty than their importance; (3) there are results which appear to be new and important…

Ramanujan was delighted with Hardy‘s reply and when he wrote again he said [8]:-

I have found a friend in you who views my labours sympathetically. … I am already a half starving man. To preserve my brains I want food and this is my first consideration. Any sympathetic letter from you will be helpful to me here to get a scholarship either from the university of from the government.

Indeed the University of Madras did give Ramanujan a scholarship in May 1913 for two years and, in 1914, Hardy brought Ramanujan to Trinity College, Cambridge, to begin an extraordinary collaboration. Setting this up was not an easy matter. Ramanujan was an orthodox Brahmin and so was a strict vegetarian. His religion should have prevented him from travelling but this difficulty was overcome, partly by the work of E H Neville who was a colleague of Hardy‘s at Trinity College and who met with Ramanujan while lecturing in India.

Ramanujan sailed from India on 17 March 1914. It was a calm voyage except for three days on which Ramanujan was seasick. He arrived in London on 14 April 1914 and was met by Neville. After four days in London they went to Cambridge and Ramanujan spent a couple of weeks in Neville’s home before moving into rooms in Trinity College on 30th April. Right from the beginning, however, he had problems with his diet. The outbreak of World War I made obtaining special items of food harder and it was not long before Ramanujan had health problems.

Right from the start Ramanujan’s collaboration with Hardy led to important results. Hardy was, however, unsure how to approach the problem of Ramanujan’s lack of formal education. He wrote [1]:-

What was to be done in the way of teaching him modern mathematics? The limitations of his knowledge were as startling as its profundity.

Littlewood was asked to help teach Ramanujan rigorous mathematical methods. However he said ([31]):-

… that it was extremely difficult because every time some matter, which it was thought that Ramanujan needed to know, was mentioned, Ramanujan’s response was an avalanche of original ideas which made it almost impossible for Littlewood to persist in his original intention.

The war soon took Littlewood away on war duty but Hardy remained in Cambridge to work with Ramanujan. Even in his first winter in England, Ramanujan was ill and he wrote in March 1915 that he had been ill due to the winter weather and had not been able to publish anything for five months. What he did publish was the work he did in England, the decision having been made that the results he had obtained while in India, many of which he had communicated to Hardy in his letters, would not be published until the war had ended.

On 16 March 1916 Ramanujan graduated from Cambridge with a Bachelor of Science by Research (the degree was called a Ph.D. from 1920). He had been allowed to enrol in June 1914 despite not having the proper qualifications. Ramanujan’s dissertation was on Highly composite numbersand consisted of seven of his papers published in England.

Ramanujan fell seriously ill in 1917 and his doctors feared that he would die. He did improve a little by September but spent most of his time in various nursing homes. In February 1918 Hardy wrote (see [3]):-

Batty Shaw found out, what other doctors did not know, that he had undergone an operation about four years ago. His worst theory was that this had really been for the removal of a malignant growth, wrongly diagnosed. In view of the fact that Ramanujan is no worse than six months ago, he has now abandoned this theory – the other doctors never gave it any support. Tubercle has been the provisionally accepted theory, apart from this, since the original idea of gastric ulcer was given up. … Like all Indians he is fatalistic, and it is terribly hard to get him to take care of himself.

On 18 February 1918 Ramanujan was elected a fellow of the Cambridge Philosophical Society and then three days later, the greatest honour that he would receive, his name appeared on the list for election as a fellow of theRoyal Society of London. He had been proposed by an impressive list of mathematicians, namely Hardy, MacMahon, Grace, Larmor, Bromwich,Hobson, Baker, Littlewood, Nicholson, Young, Whittaker, Forsyth andWhitehead. His election as a fellow of the Royal Society was confirmed on 2 May 1918, then on 10 October 1918 he was elected a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge, the fellowship to run for six years.

The honours which were bestowed on Ramanujan seemed to help his health improve a little and he renewed his effors at producing mathematics. By the end of November 1918 Ramanujan’s health had greatly improved. Hardy wrote in a letter [3]:-

I think we may now hope that he has turned to corner, and is on the road to a real recovery. His temperature has ceased to be irregular, and he has gained nearly a stone in weight. … There has never been any sign of any diminuation in his extraordinary mathematical talents. He has produced less, naturally, during his illness but the quality has been the same. ….

He will return to India with a scientific standing and reputation such as no Indian has enjoyed before, and I am confident that India will regard him as the treasure he is. His natural simplicity and modesty has never been affected in the least by success – indeed all that is wanted is to get him to realise that he really is a success.

Ramanujan sailed to India on 27 February 1919 arriving on 13 March. However his health was very poor and, despite medical treatment, he died there the following year.

The letters Ramanujan wrote to Hardy in 1913 had contained many fascinating results. Ramanujan worked out the Riemann series, the elliptic integrals, hypergeometric series and functional equations of the zeta function. On the other hand he had only a vague idea of what constitutes a mathematical proof. Despite many brilliant results, some of his theorems onprime numbers were completely wrong.

Ramanujan independently discovered results of Gauss, Kummer and others on hypergeometric series. Ramanujan’s own work on partial sums and products of hypergeometric series have led to major development in the topic. Perhaps his most famous work was on the number p(n) of partitions of an integer n into summands. MacMahon had produced tables of the value ofp(n) for small numbers n, and Ramanujan used this numerical data to conjecture some remarkable properties some of which he proved using elliptic functions. Other were only proved after Ramanujan’s death.

In a joint paper with Hardy, Ramanujan gave an asymptotic formula for p(n). It had the remarkable property that it appeared to give the correct value ofp(n), and this was later proved by Rademacher.

Ramanujan left a number of unpublished notebooks filled with theorems that mathematicians have continued to study. G N Watson, Mason Professor of Pure Mathematics at Birmingham from 1918 to 1951 published 14 papers under the general title Theorems stated by Ramanujan and in all he published nearly 30 papers which were inspired by Ramanujan’s work.Hardy passed on to Watson the large number of manuscripts of Ramanujan that he had, both written before 1914 and some written in Ramanujan’s last year in India before his death.

The picture above is taken from a stamp issued by the Indian Post Office to celebrate the 75th anniversary of his birth.

Courtesy :


  1. 1. – Biography of Srinivasa Ramanujan
  2. 2.     Wolfram Research – Biography of Ramanujan, Srinivasa
  3. 3.     Mike Hoffman’s Page – Biography of Srinivasa Ramanujan
  4. 4.     K. Srinivasa Rao’s Website – Biography of Srinivasa Ramanujan
  5. 5.     Vigyan Prasar – Biography of Srinivasa Ramanujan



  1. Ramanujan: Twelve Lectures on the Subjects Suggested by His Life and Work by G. H. Hardy, Chelsea Publishing Co, New York, 1940.
  2. The Man Who Knew Infinity : A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by R. Kanigel, Abacus Books, London, 1992.
  3. Ramanujan’s Notebooks (Part I&II) by B.C. Berndt Springer, New York, 1985-1989.
  4. Ramanujan:The Man and the Mathematician by S.R. Ranganathan, Asia Publishing House, Bombay, 1967.
  5. Srinivasa Ramanujan : A Mathematical Genius by K. Srinivasa Rao; East West Books (Madras) Pvt. Ltd. 1998.
  6. Srinivasa Ramanujan, Suresh Ram, National Book Trust India, 1989. 7) Ganit Jagater Bismay Ramanujan by Satyabachi Sar, Gyan Bichitra Prakashani, Agartala, 2000. A well-written book in Bengali.
  1. Dictionary of Scientific Biography
  2. Biography in Encyclopaedia Britannica
  3. R A Rankin, Ramanujan’s manuscripts and notebooks, Bull. London Math. Soc. 14 (1982), 81-97.
  4. R A Rankin, Ramanujan’s manuscripts and notebooks II, Bull. London Math. Soc. 21 (1989), 351-365.
  5. B Berndt, Srinivasa Ramanujan, The American Scholar 58 (1989), 234-244.
  6. B Berndt and S Bhargava, Ramanujan – For lowbrows, Amer. Math. Monthly 100 (1993), 644-656.
  7. J M Borwein and P B Borwein, Ramanujan and pi, Scientific American 258 (2) (1988), 66-73.
  8. S Ram, Srinivasa Ramanujan (New Delhi, 1979).
  9. L Debnath, Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920) : a centennial tribute,International journal of mathematical education in science and technology 18 (1987), 821-861.
  10. R A Rankin, Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887- 1920), International journal of mathematical education in science and technology 18(1987), 861- .

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