Indologists of India

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Over the last two hundred years, several Indian and Western scholars have done a lot of work on Indology and published several works also. Various aspects of the religion, philosophy, scriptures and culture have been dealt with in these treatises. An attempt has been made here to give brief biographical sketches of such Indologists.

Prasanna Kumar Acharya

He was also nicknamed as Acharya P.K. He lived in A.D. 1890-1960. Architecture was a highly developed subject in the ancient country. Mānasāra by an unknown author was the standard work dealing with the following aspects:

  1. Architecture
  2. Town-planning
  3. Iconography
  4. Allied subjects

Prasanna Kumār Acārya has successfully edited it and brought it out in seven volumes under the Mānasāra Series. Educated in the Calcutta University, he obtained the D.Litt. degree from the London University for his monumental work Dictionary of Indian Architecture. He was the professor of Sanskrit in the Allahabad University for 27 years. He got the title Mahāmahopādhyāya, the highest for a Sanskrit Scholar, in A. D. 1945.

Anant Sadaśiv Altekar

He was nicknamed as Altekar A. S. He lived in A.D. 1898-1959. Altekar belonged to the Maharashtra State. He got his D.Litt. degree from the Banaras Hindu University for his thesis. The History of the Rāstrakutas in A. D. 1928. He worked as professor of Ancient Indian History and Culture in the Patna University. For some time he was the director of the Jayaswal Research Institute at Patna. Among his many books, special mention should be made of his two books:

  1. Sources of the Hindu Dharma
  2. Education in Ancient India

Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyaya

He was nicknamed as Banerji R. D. He lived in A. D. 1885-1930. He was a student of the Presidency College of Calcutta. He started working in the Archaeological Department first as a student and later as an employee. He did original work on the temples of the Gupta period as also on the Haihaya-Kalacuri dynasties[1] which ruled over the Gorakhpur area in Uttar Pradesh.

But the main work for which he is remembered is his discovery of the Mohen-jo-Daro ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization in Sindh, now in Pakistan, in A. D. 1922, while excavating below a Buddhist stupa. He rightly estimated that these remains preceded the Buddhist structures by two or three thousand years.[2]

Barooah

He lived in A. D. 1850-1889. He belonged to Assam. After passing the I.C.S. examination, he served in Bengal Government. He was a great Sanskrit scholar. He compiled a Sanskrit-English Dictionary in three volumes during A. D. 1877-1880. His other works are:

  1. Higher Sanskrit Grammar
  2. Ancient Geography of India

Śrīpāda Krśṇa Belvālkar

He lived in A.D. 1880-1967. A Sanskrit scholar and Indologist S. K. Belvālkar was the co-founder of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute at Pune. He also served as its General Secretary for many years. He was the General Editor of the Critical Edition of the Mahābhārata published by the Institute.

Bhagavān Lāl Indraji

He lived in A. D. 1839-1888. Coming from a Gujarāti brāhmaiia family of Junagadh in Gujarat, he became a scholar of Sanskrit. Early in life he got deeply interested in epigraphy and became well-versed in it. He successfully read the inscriptions of Aśoka,[3] Rudradāman[4] and Skandagupta.[5] He traveled all over India discovering and reading inscriptions, making their transcripts and collecting manuscripts. The university of Leyden in Netherlands honored him with a Ph.D. degree. His chief works are:

  1. Nāsik Pāndu Lena Caves
  2. Twenty-three Sanskrit Inscriptions from Nepal
  3. Inscriptions from the Cave Temples of Western India

Ramakṛṣna Gopal Bhandarkar

He was nicknamed as Bhaṇḍārkar R. G. He lived in A. D. 1837-1925. He was a great savant in whose name the now well-known Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune was started in A. D. 1917. He was an outstanding scholar. He worked in the Bombay Education Department for about three decades. He also served as Professor of Sanskrit in the Deccan College at Pune and was the Vice-Chancellor of the Bombay University later. He contributed research articles to the journals of learned Societies, especially in Bombay. His five voluminous books contain a lot of material on Sanskrit manuscripts found in Western India and Rajasthan. He was a leader of the Prārthanā Samāj. Some of his published works are:

  1. Early History of Deccan
  2. Vaiṣnavism, Śaivism and Minor Religious Systems
  3. A Peep into the Early History of India

Viṣnu Narayaṇ Bhathkhande

He was nicknamed as Bhāthkhaṇḍe V. N. He lived in A. D. 1860-1936. Though a lawyer by profession, Bhāthkhaṇḍe devoted his whole life to research in North Indian classical music. He is mainly remembered for systematizing the North Indian or Uttarādi musical scales into ten primary scales called thāts. He wrote a large number of books on music in Sanskrit and Marathi. His magnum opus is Hindustani Sañgita Paddhati-Kramik Pustakmālikā in six parts.

Rāmakṛṣṇa Vital Lād

He was nicknamed as Bhāu Dāji. He lived in A. D. 1822-1874. He latern on changed his name to Bhāu Dāji when, as a doctor, he set up his practice. He belonged to Goa. His greatest service was in the field of Indology as an epigraphist. He traveled throughout India collecting a large number of copper plates and manuscripts. While probing through the old palm-leaf manuscripts of Āyurveda, he discovered a manuscript of Āryabhatiya, the work of Āryabhaṭa I[6] who was an astronomer and mathematician.

Suniti Kumar Chatterjee

He was nicknamed as Chatterjee S. K. He lived in A. D. 1890-1977. Hailing from Shibpur in West Bengal he was educated at the Presidency College, Calcutta.[7] He obtained his Ph.D. degree from the London University on his thesis Origin and Development of the Bengali Language. He became the Professor of Indian Linguistics and Phonetics at the Calcutta University in A. D. 1922 and continued in the post till A. D. 1952. Later on, he was the National Professor of India in Humanities. He was also the chairman of the Sanskrit Commission.[8] Some of his published works are:

  1. Indo-Āryan and Hindi
  2. The Indo- Mongoloids their contribution to the History and Culture of India
  3. Balts and Aryans

Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy

He was nicknamed as Coomaraswamy A. K. He lived in A. D. 1877-1947. He was one of the foremost interpreters of Indian Art. He obtained a doctorate in geology from the London University and joined the department of mineral survey in Sri Lanka in A. D. 1903. He soon got interested in Indian and Ceylonese art. He joined the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in A. D. 1916 as a research worker and continued in it till his demise in A. D. 1947. He was a prolific writer on Indian music, dance, ancient literature and philosophy. His magnum opus is the History of Indian and Indonesian Art brought out in A. D. 1927.

Ramachandra Narayan Dandekar

He was nicknamed as Dāṇḍekar R. N. He lived in A. D. 1909-2001. Hailing from Satara in Maharashtra State, he was educated at the Deccan College of Pune and the Heidelberg University of Germany. He was the Professor of Sanskrit and Ancient Indian Culture at the Fergusson College of Pune from A. D. 1993 to 1950. Some of his publications are:

  1. A History of the Guptas
  2. Some Aspects of the History of Hinduism
  3. Vedic Bibliography

Surendranath Dāsgupta

He was nicknamed as Dāsgupta S. N. He lived in A. D. 1885-1952. A History of Indian Philosophy, in five volumes is the monumental work of S. N. Dāsgupta. After getting his M.A. degree in Sanskrit, he entered the Education Department of the Government of Bengal. Later, he was the principal of the Sanskrit College and Professor of Moral and Mental Science in the Calcutta University up to A. D. 1945. He had attended the International Congress of Philosophy at Naples[9] and Harward.[10] His other works are:

  1. A Study of Patañjali
  2. Yoga Philosophy in relation to other Indian systems of Thought
  3. Hindu Mysticism
  4. A History of Sanskrit Literature
  5. Religion and Rational Outlook

Gaṅgānāth Jhā

He lived in A. D. 1872-1941. Hailing from Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, Gaṅgānāth Jhā became Professor of Sanskrit at the Muir College. Later, he worked as the Principal of the Banaras Sanskrit College and the Vice-Chancellor of the Allahabad University. To perpetuate his name, the Gaṅgānāth Jhā Research Institute was established in A. D. 1934 in Allahabad. The name was changed to Gaṅgānāth Jhā Kendrīya Saiṅskṛta Vidyāpīṭha in A. D. 1971 and placed under Rāṣṭrīya Saṅskṛta Saiṅsthāna of Delhi. A profound scholar of Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy, he has translated about 50 works including the bhāṣyas of the various schools such as:

  1. Mīmānsā
  2. Nyāya
  3. Vaiśeṣika
  4. Sāṅkhya
  5. Yoga

Mīmānsā was his special field of study.

Amalānanda Ghosh

He was nicknamed as Ghosh A. He lived in A.D. 1910-1981. He was educated at the Universities of Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh and London. He joined the Archaeological Survey of India in A. D. 1937 and became its Director General from A. D. 1953 to 1968. He was responsible for discovering a large number of photo-historic sites in the Ghaggar valley of Rajasthan including the site of Kālībaṅgan, the third largest town of the Indus Valley Civilization.

Parashuram Kṛṣṇa Gode

He was nicknamed as Gode P. K. He lived in A.D. 1891-1961. A product of Bombay University, Gode was the curator of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute at Pune. Among his works, the best one is Studies in Indian Literary History, in three volumes.

Gopinātha Kavirāja

He lived in A. D. 1887-1976. He was A scholar of great repute. He was the Librarian and Professor of Sanskrit at the Sanskrit College of Banaras. He later resigned from the job and devoted the rest of his life to the study of religion and religious philosophy. He became a scholar of all religious systems of India including Buddhism. However Kāśmir Saivism was his favorite subject. Most of his works are in Sanskrit and Bengali.

Hiriyaṇṇa M.

He lived in A.D. 1871-1950. He belonged to Mysore. After getting his M.A. degree from the Christian College of Madras[11] he joined the Educational Service of the erstwhile Mysore State. He worked as the Professor of Sanskrit in the Maharaja’s College at Mysore for nine years. He was a scholar of Vedānta and Indian Philosophy. He critically edited three well-known works of Advaita Vedānta, like:

  1. Vedāntasāra of Sadānanda[12]
  2. Naiskarmyasiddhi of Sureśvara[13]
  3. Istasiddhi of Vimuktātman[14]

His original works are:

  1. Outlines of Indian Philosophy
  2. Essentials of Indian Philosophy

Paṇḍuraṅga Vāmana Kāṇe

He was nicknamed Kāṇe P. V. He lived in A. D. 1880-1972. An encyclopedic scholar of the religion belonged to the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. He began his professional life as a school teacher and rose to be the Vice-Chancellor of the Bombay University. He was also a practicing lawyer of the Bombay High Court. He was conferred as the Bhārat Ratna, the highest civilian award for any citizen of India, in A. D. 1963. His monumental work is the History of Dharmaśāstra in five volumes containing eight parts. His other works are:

  1. Hindu Customs
  2. Modern Law and History of Sanskrit Poetics

Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi

He was nicknamed as Kosambi D. D. He lived in A. D. 1907-1966. He belonged to Goa. Though he specialized in Mathematics he devoted his life to History and Languages. He made numismatics an exact science. He made a large collection of microliths, discovered the Brāhmī inscription at Karle[15] and a large number of megaliths with rock-engraving. His literary works are:

  1. Editing Vidyākara’s[16]
  2. Subhāsita-ratnakośa,[17] Myth and Reality
  3. The Culture and Civilization of Ancient India

Kuppusvāmi Śāstri S.

He lived in A. D. 1880-1943. He belonged to Tanjavur.[18] District of Tamil Nadu. After post-graduation[19] he was the Principal of Sanskrit College, first at Mylapore[20] and later at Tiruvadi. He rose to the position of Curator, Government Oriental Manuscript Library at Madras. He wrote many articles and edited several Sanskrit texts. A Primer of Indian Logic is the only book written by him. The Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute started in A. D. 1945 at Madras stands as a monument of his dedicated scholarship.

Mahāliṅgam T. V.

He lived in A. D. 1907. Hailing from a small village in the Tanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, Mahāliṅgam rose to be the Professor of Ancient History and Archaeology in the Madras University. Out of his several works, mention should be made of two:

  1. Early South Indian Palaeography
  2. Report on the Excavation in the Lower Kaveri Valley

Nani Gopal Majumdar

He was nicknamed as Majumdār N. G. He lived in A.D. 1897-1938. Born in Jessore, now in Bangladesh, and educated at the Calcutta University, he joined the Archaeological Department in A. D. 1927 and carried out excavations in many places including Mahāsthāna.[21] He earned fame by discovering Chānhu-dāro, Amri and other Indus Valley sites in Sind.[22] He is the author of one valuable work, Explorations in Sind.

Rādhā Kumud Mookerji

He was nicknamed as Mookerji R. K. He lived A. D. 1881-1963. After obtaining his Ph.D. from the Calcutta University. He served as the Professor of History in the Lucknow University. He had been associated with a few other universities also. Among his 17 works, the following books may be mentioned:

  1. A History of Indian Shipping
  2. Local Government in Ancient India'
  3. Chandragupta Maurya and his Times

Achyuta Dattatreya Pusalkar

He was nicknamed as Pusalkar A. D. He lived in A. D. 1905-1973. A reputed scholar who had made a deep study of the purāṇas, A. D. Pusalkar obtained his M. A. degree in Sanskrit from the Bombay University. He served as a Professor of Sanskrit and Assistant Director of the Bhāratīya Vidyābhavan’s Post-graduate and Research Department. He was Assistant Editor of The History and Culture of the Indian People, in eleven volumes, published by the Bhāratīya Vidyā Bhavan. Studies in the Epics and Purāṇas is his best work.

Rādhākṛṣṇan

He was called as Rādhākṛṣṇan S. He lived in A. D. 1888-1975. One of the most well-known savants of modern India, Sarvepalli Rādhākṛṣṇan distinguished himself not only in the Academic field but also as a statesman. He hailed from Andhra Pradesh. He served as the Professor of Philosophy at the Universities of Mysore and Calcutta. He also worked as the Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at the Oxford University. For some time, he was the ambassador of India to Soviet Russia. He was the Vice-President of India for two terms[23] and the President during the period A. D. 1962- 1967. He has left behind him several works from which some of them are:

  1. Indian Philosophy
  2. The Principal Upaniṣads
  3. The Bhagavadgītā', The Brahmasutra
  4. Eastern Religions and Western Thought
  5. An Idealist View of Life

Ray Chaudhuri

He was also called as Ray Chaudhuri H. He lived in A. D. 1892-1957. Hemacandra Ray Caudhuri belonged to the Barisal district now in Bangladesh. After being educated at the Presidency College of Calcutta, he joined the Bengal Education Service. He taught in various colleges. He was the Professor of Ancient Indian History and Culture for several years at the Calcutta University. Out of his works, the following need special mention:

  1. Political History of Ancient India
  2. Early History of Deccan
  3. History of Bengal
  4. Studies in Indian Antiquities

Dinesh Chandra Sircar

He was nicknamed as Sircar D. C. He lived in A.D. 1907-1985. After being educated at the Calcutta University, he was appointed there itself as a lecturer. Later he joined the Archaeological Department of India. He also worked as the Government Epigraphist of India and as the Professor of Ancient Indian History and Culture at the Calcutta University. He was a prolific writer. The number of papers contributed by him exceeds 1200. Some of his books are:

  1. Select Inscriptions Bearing on Indian History
  2. The Śākta Pīthas
  3. Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieval India

Sudhākara Dvivedi

He lived in A. D. 1860-1910. He was an authority on Hindu Astronomy. He was educated from the Vārāṇasī Sanskrit College. He first worked as the Librarian of the Sarasvatī Bhavan and later as the Professor of Astronomy at the Sanskrit College itself. He wrote a large number of books on Mathematics and Astronomy. The most noteworthy of them are:

  1. Calarāśikalana
  2. Ganakatarañginl[24]
  3. He wrote commentaries on Bhāskarācārya’s Lilāvati
  4. He edited Siddhānta-śiromani

Tārānātha Tarkavācaspati

He lived in A.D. 1806-1885. Vācaspatyam is a monumental encyclopedic dictionary of Sanskrit which was penned by Tārānātha Tarkavācaspati. He belonged to Kalna in West Bengal. Being the best student of the Sanskrit College of Calcutta, he won the title Tarkavācaspati. He did his higher studies in Vedānta and Pāṇinī's sutras at Vārāṇasī. Later, he served as the professor of grammar at Calcutta Sanskrit College. Apart from Vācaspatyam, his other work is the commentary Saralā on the Siddhāntakaumudī of Bhaṭṭoji Dīkṣita.[25]


References

  1. This dynasties were in A. D. 600-1500.
  2. J. H. Marshall’s Mohenjodāro and Indus Civilization, pp. 10-11
  3. He ruled in period of rule 272-232 B. C.
  4. He existed in A. D. 200.
  5. He ruled in the period of rule, circa A. D. 455-467.
  6. He lived in 5th century A. D.
  7. It is present Kolkota.
  8. He was chairman for the period 1956-1957.
  9. He existed in A. D. 1924.
  10. He existed in A. D. 1926.
  11. It is now in Chennai.
  12. He lived in 16th century A. D.
  13. He lived in 8th century A. D.
  14. He lived in circa A. D. 900
  15. Karle are the Buddhist Caves near Mumbai.
  16. He lived in 12th century A. D.
  17. He was the oldest known Sanskrit anthology.
  18. He lived in Tanjore.
  19. He was M.A. degree in Sanskrit.
  20. It is in Madras, now Chennai.
  21. Mahāsthāna was a famous archaeological site now in Bangladesh.
  22. It is now in Pakistan.
  23. He was as president from A. D. 1952-1962.
  24. Both of them were written in Sanskrit.
  25. He lived in 17th Century.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore