Ramkaran Sharma, 1927-2018


Summer 2013 at Ananda Ashram (click for high-res).

From Robert P. Goldman on the Indology discussion list comes the sad news of R.K. Sharma’s passing:

Sharma was one of the great stalwarts of Sanskrit Studies both as a scholar and an administrator. He was, among many things, the Vice Chancellor of Darbhanga University, the Founding Director of the Rāṣṭrīya Saṃskṛta Saṃsthāna and the President of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies. He taught widely in India and the West, including at Berkeley, Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania

He took his doctorate under the guidance of the late Professor Murray Barnson Emeneau at my home institution, the University of California at Berkeley and was an inspiration and mentor to me and several generations of Sanskrit scholars from around the world. He was always available to advise and help with knotty problems in a vast variety of Sanskrit texts and his knowledge of vyākaraṇa and all manner of śāstraic fields was immense and his sharing of it magnanimous. He was my teacher, colleague an friend for some fifty years and was always ready to advise us on difficult passages in the Rāmāyaṇa commentaries.

He and his vast learning will be deeply missed by scholars around the world.

I had the privilege of meeting him during the summer of 2013 at Ananda Ashram in New York, when he was teaching through Patañjali’s Mahābhāṣya. He was warm and patient with my questions, and despite his advanced age even then, it seemed that his love of Sanskrit propelled him forward through long lectures, full of recitations from memory of śāstric texts.

About Malcolm Keating

Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Humanities Division at Yale-NUS College, Singapore.

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