October 23, 2005


Sir Charles Wilkins in 1785 presented the translation of Bahavadgita (included in the eighteenth chapter of Mahabharata, most probably in the fourth century); translation of Hitopodesa in 1787 and Grammar of Sanskrit Language.

Sir William Jones tranlsated Kalidasa’s Sakuntala in 1789, Gitagovinda in 1789, Manusamhita in 1794 and edited Ritusamhara in 1792. In case of Persian literature, Sir William Jones translated Laila Majnu.

Sir Henry Thomas Colebrooke translated Vivadadhangarnava of Jagannath Tarkapanchanan under the title of Digest of Hindu Law on Contracts and Succession in 1798. It is a book which well read lawyers still use in courts for their pleading and has force of evidence in many judgements. In 1808, Colebrooke published Amarakosha, a Sanskrit dictionary of Gupta period.

H. H. Wilson published Kalidasa’s Meghaduta in 1813. He published Kalhana’s Rajatarangani in 1825. Rajatarangani, is considered as the first historic book of India produced in the twelfth century. It is the history of Kashmir up to the rule of Varmans. It was after this period, that the Islamic rule was established in Kashmir which contradicts the claims of the JKLF, a separatist movement of Kashmir. Wilson also arranged the translation of eighteen Puranas into English during his secretary tenure of the Asiatic socieyt from 1811 to 1833.

Sir John Shore, who had contended the legal basis of Permanent Settlement of Cornwallis, published an English translation of Yoga Vasistha by Ptanjali from a Persian version produced by Dara Shikoh, son of Shahjahan and elder brother of Aurangzeb.

In 1814, the Asiatic Soceity started a public Museum. With in its first thirty years of its existence, it brought before the public, William Jone’s Third Annual Discourse in 1788 on Indo-Euroepan Language and Culture; Charles Wilkins’s :A Royal Grant of Land on a Copper Plate of 1788; S. Davis’s: On Astronomical Calculations of the Hindus in 1795; H. T. Colebrooke’s: On Vedas in 1805; J Malcom’s : Sketch of the Sikhs in 1810; F. Wilford’s: On On the Ancients Geography of India in 1815 and E Strachey’s: On Early History of Algebra in 1816.

Charles Wilkins (1770), Nathaniel Brassey Halhed (1772) and Jonathan Duncan (1772) were highly acclaimed indologist of eighteenth century who had worked even before William Jones.

August Wilhelm von Schlegal was appointed the first professor of Sanskrit in the Bonn University of Germany in 1817.

Friedrich Schlegel (Brother of August Wilhelm von Schlegal) wrote " Upon the Languages and Wisdom of the Hindus" in 1807.

Hern Wilhelm von Humboldt along with August Wilhelm von Schlegal edited an edition of Bhagvat Gita.

Arthur Schopenhauer was the great admirer of Sanskrit literature and Vedic wisdom.

French writer Anquetil du Perron wrote the Latin translation of Sirre Akbar which was a Persian translation of Upnishads prepared by Dara Shikoh

Prof. Winternitz was also a known admirer of Indian literature.

Dr. Spiegel was highly appreciative of the Indian and Persian literature.

Eugene Burnouf occupied the chair of Professor of Sanskrit in France from 1800 to 1838. He was the indologist with whom the names of two famous indologist, namely Roth and Max Muller, (Both Germans) are associated. Rudolph Roth and Muller were students of Burnouf.

Rudolph Roth wrote his thesis 'Zur Literatur und Geschichte des Veda". In 1851, he also wrote an edition of Nirukta of Yaska. However, the German scholar was more appreciative of German knowledge of philology and underrated the value of Nirukta in understanding the Vedas.

In 1832, Horace Hayman Wilson became the Boden Professor of Sanskrit in the Oxford University. He had written 'The Religious and Philosophical System of the Hindus".

Prof. M. Monier-Williams succeeded H. H. Wilson on the chair of Boden in Oxford University. He wrote 'The Study of Sanskrit in Relation to Missionary work in India' (1861 A.D. London).

John Muir was another important Sanskrit scholar and indologist. However, he was highly critical of Hindu religion.

The French scholar Louis Jacolliot, Chief Judge in Chandranagar, wrote a book called 'La Bible dans l'Inde' in 1868. Next year an English translation of it was also published. In this work, he showed his great admiration for Bhagvatgita.

Albert Weber was another German scholar of Sanskrit. However, he did not rate Sanskrit literature of highest standard. There were other two scholars who supported his work and they were Lorinser and E. Washburn Hopkin. Lorinser and Hopkin were also Sanskrit scholars.

Weber and Boehtlingk prepared a dictionary of the Sanskrit language called the 'Sanskrit Worterbuch’. They were assisted by Prof. Kuhn.

Prof. Goldstucker was another German scholar of Sanskrit who was great admirer of Sanskrit literature and Indian philosophy.

Rudolf Hoernle was the Principal of Queen's College, Banaras, in Samvat 1874. He had met Swami Dayananda Saraswati. He was also a Sanskrit Scholar but highly critical of Swami Dayananda Sarawati and his work to uplift the Hindus.

RICHARD von GARBE was another German scholar of Sanskrit. He wrote 'Indien und das Christentum'. He also wrote, Akbar, the Emperor of India. However, he was highly biased against the Hindu religion and ethics.

Prof. Winternitz was established Sanskrit scholar of twentieth century. However, he was highly critical of Schopenhauer who was a great admirer of Sanskrit literature and philosophy.

Prof. McKenzie from Bombay was another leading Sanskrit scholar and indologist of his time.

Western Indologists by Purohit Bhagvan Dutt

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