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Much has been said and written about Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan — scholar and teacher par excellence, world renowned philosopher, and the former President of India.

However, most of the younger generation might not know that Dr. Radhakrishnan is also one of the foremost writers of Indian English literature. His books and essays particularly focus on how Indian culture and philosophy can offer a solution to the many problems of the modern world. Today when most of the world is affected by conflict and decline in ethical values, when terror organizations like the ISIS have unleashed horrifying bloodshed across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, when mass shootings and black versus white conflicts plague the U.

As per Hindu Puranas or ancient scriptures, Kalki is the name of the last avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Kalki, it is predicted, will rise in the Kali Yuga, the most sinful of all ages, the end of the world, and defeat the evil doers, destroy the old order and establish a new order. Radhakrishnan wrote the book decades ago, but it seems especially relevant to the present times when we face a crisis of values in every sphere. The ideas in this volume can act as a guiding force to us in these difficult times.

Firstly, Dr. Radhakrishnan tells us that what we are facing today is a periodic crisis in human civilization. It is not something to be panicky about, for, it has been happening at regular intervals. The chief reason for this current crisis is that science and technology has advanced far more rapidly than the human mind and soul.

The world has become uniform and united, too close together in the age of globalization, but we have grown far apart. Our modern inventions have reduced the impact of physical distances, but have not been able to bring together our hearts and minds. Therefore, Dr. In the next part of his book, Radhakrishnan presents a stunningly accurate analysis of the current state of every major sphere of human life — Religion, Family Life, Politics, and International Relations.

It seems as if he is predicting all the issues and problems we are facing currently. The extreme selfishness of man has made religion ineffectual. On the one hand are those who wish to have all the comforts of religion by indulging in blind faith and avoiding all responsibilities and silencing their consciences.

On the other hand are those intellectuals who have given up on religion and consider religion to be a dead-end. For them there is no God, no escape, no vice or virtue, only the cold darkness of death.

It is only a minority who belongs to the third category, and considers religion as a means to improve the world. Today, we have bands of fanatics for whom terrorism in the name of religion is a great thing to do! As far as Family Life is concerned, Radhakrishnan says that the changing economic situations, lack of proper moral and sexual education and advances in science have transformed marriage from a holy sacrament to a mere trial contract. On the one hand, it is good that women are refusing to be bound by moral codes that are not followed by men.

But, the lack of respect for the marriage bond, the refusal to adapt or to sacrifice, and huge egos have made couples grow apart. Divorces abound and children suffer. Marriage is a burden for many, and this has led to the urge to seek sexual pleasure outside marriage.

This is now glorified as self-expression. Radhakrishnan observes that those who adopt this way of life are not as happy as they claim to be! Next, Dr. Radhakrishnan turns to Economy. In the modern world, he feels, all economy is heavily industrialized.

Industrialization has resulted in lot of wealth for a few and had made our lives easier. But it has also made life very dull and boring. In the age of mass production and monotonous routine jobs, we are reduced to machines; there is no scope for creativity and happiness in work. Above all, our wants are increasing by the day and so is our work. We have no leisure, no time to enjoy the pleasures of nature or home, no time to spend with and for ourselves and our dear ones, no concentration, no wisdom and no peace.

Politics is the next area of his focus. The author says that democracy is not a very ideal form of government because it is wrongly practiced. It is not the really capable men who become our rulers. Those who become our rulers are ultimately slaves of the rich and the powerful. And economic inequality leads to political inequality. Democracy is actually dictatorship. Our democracy cannot succeed until our people become really cultured and educated.

As far as International Relations are concerned, Radhakrishnan is very direct. He says that no nation is genuine. They are all selfish and wish to dominate the world.

The worst massacres are glorified in the name of nationalism. And once war breaks out, all civilization is lost and every nation becomes worse than a beast. Here Radhakrishnan tries to identify the root cause of all the issues facing mankind today. The actual problem is that we have failed to see human beings as a union of body, mind and soul.

Our civilization has reached only the first level of body. We are all still focusing on and trying to satisfy the animal instincts within ourselves. It is concerned more with the world and its power than with the soul and its perfection…. We have a long way to go; we need to move towards focusing on the mind and the soul.

We are still a young civilization in this vast and timeless universe and we need to honestly identify and rectify our errors. Here Radhakrishnan speaks of the solution to our modern day crisis. Coming to Religion, he says that, removing religion from human life will not solve the problem.

We need to realize that science and religion are not enemies. Like Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Radhakrishnan feels that science can in fact make us more aware of the power of God or the cosmic energy pervading the universe. It is also important to accept all the various ways in which people have been seeking God over the ages.

This will stop wars in the name of religion. Religion teaches that suffering and sacrifice are not a curse; they are a challenge, a means to get more and truer joy out of life. Such an attitude will increase our faith in spirituality and grant peace to the globe. In Marriage, the final goal should be spiritual bliss and satisfaction. All other joys of marriage should be stepping stones towards this goal.

Men and women should have a mature approach, the same moral codes, and devote more time and space to each other in marriage. Children are a joy and a blessing, and must be brought up with utmost parental care. Marriage calls for responsibility and must never be approached lightly. In Economics, it must be realized that wealth is not all.

After the satisfaction of our genuine basic needs, we must devote time to leisure, to enjoy our work and our lives. In Politics, democracy to be successful must have minimum governance.

We need to focus on removing economic disparity and on producing intelligent voters and honest leaders. Finally, in International Relations, Dr. Radhakrishnan calls for an end to narrow-minded nationalism and the feeling that only my nation is the best. A genuine affection and regard for all of humanity is essential. Under no circumstances should war or bloodshed be supported.

Looking at the world as one family is the only way to survival. It is up to the youth of India to re-discover the magic of Dr. By , the average age of India will be 29 and we will have the largest youth population in the world. Let us remember the words of Dr. The soul of all improvement, it has been rightly said, is the improvement of the soul….

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Kalki or Future Civilization







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