Life’s philosophy by Jawaharlal Nehru
Life’s philosophy by Jawaharlal Nehru. Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru was a serious man. Once he was asked by an American philosopher to spell out the philosophy of his life. At that time Pt. Nehru was passing through a period of crisis.
It was virtually a crisis of faith he seemed to be pursuing his goals half-heartedly. In such a spirit he did not think it wise to write the article for the publisher.
But the question haunted him and provided him a sort of challenge to clarify his thoughts and viewpoints regarding the goal of man’s life, the place of religion in man’s life, the actual practice of religion in India, the nature of politics, the revolutionary role of science and technology, the advancing areas of scientific research, and above all, the importance of Mahatma Gandhi on the scene of India, on the world scene and the developments in Russia.
Life’s philosophy summary
All these had seriously influenced him. And when he came to the principles that had gained his life he thought afresh about all these influences and tried to come to the common threads amongst them all.
The essay is therefore wholly subjective in approach – it seeks to establish what philosophy could be ideal for man. Pt. Nehru discusses religion first because he finds that even outside India it has been the sheet-anchor for millions of men and women.
But, frankly, Pt. Nehru, though conscious of the ned of religion, also of its depths, does not think that it has ever given a true direction to man. In the present scenario when science is coming up with verifiable, the Stories of space and time religion has become even more irrelevant of course.
Pt. Nehru refers not only to the outward form of religion but also to its metaphysical structure. in neither he finds anything to be of real value.
Analysis of life’s philosophy
He, therefore, advocates wholly in favor of science which has provided a rational philosophy and has made human life more comfortable, bringing economic and medical benefits to the whole of the world.
Although modem science is sometimes’ speaking terms of Advaita philosophy it is less disturbing than religion which offers little rational explanation for its instructions. Pt. Nehru also speaks of the importance of ethics, a demonstration of which he saw in the Gandhian emphasis on the inseparability of the ends and the means.
Summarise the leading ideas of Life’s Philosophy
At times Pt. Nehru in practical life witnessed the divorce between the means and the ends, but he believed in their harmony as a matter of logic.
This he found to be consistent with the theory of Karma which was a rigorous theory of cause and effect applicable to life on earth. As a student of current political affairs, PL. Nehru was profoundly affected by the Russian revolution.
He saw that its benefits reached the masses; he understood that the liberty of the individual could be sacrificed for social goals: he clearly realized that a few mistakes were bound to take place in such a large-scale social change.
He, therefore, expresses his faith in the Marxist- Leninist philosophy and believes that such a revolution had lessons for the whole. No political leader in the world could thwart popular aspirations for long-the Russian revolution had shown a way out of human suffering and exploitation.
Having thus outlined his preferences of Gandhian ideology, science, and socialism, Pt. Nehru tums to man’s capacity for beauty, truth, and self-sacrifice. In man’s history, he finds how man has triumphed over evil, how he häs been engaged in exploring and creating monuments of beauty.
And man has not hesitated at all in sacrificing all that he had for the sake of what he held dear and valuable. This is a great power and has acted as the beacon light of human progress.
In the end therefore Pt. Nehru salutes this self-denying spirit of man and asks his readers to cultivate this for the sake of the progress of the individual, the society, and the nation.
There is thus a happy blend of realism and idealism in the philosophy of Pt. Nehru and there is a goal of universal development and progress.
He does not criticize religion as such, he criticizes only that part of the religion that is dogmatic and which enslaves man instead of suggesting to him any formula for liberation.