An Obituary to an Outstanding Sanskrit Scholar: Ramanuja Devanathan
Editor’s Note: It was wrongly mentioned that Acharya passed away on Jan 6, 2017. Dr. S Venugopalan has clarified that he passed away on the morning of Jan 7, 2017 at 6.45 AM. The necessary changes have been made.
Ramanuja Devanathan, traditional Sanskrit scholar and former Vice Chancellor of Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Rajasthan Sanskrit University, passed away due to exhaustion and kidney failure on early morning of Jan 7, 2017 in Mumbai.
Devanathan, who was fondly called as “Acharya” by his students and admirers, was working as Principal, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, at the time of his death. According to tweets posted by Dr. S. Venugopalan, another Sanskrit scholar, Acharya was admitted to hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday night (Jan 4) after he vomited due to exhaustion. He was 57 years old.
Acharya was a scholar, researcher and educationist with more than 30-years of experience in teaching profession. He was well-versed in many languages, including Sanskrit, Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, and English, and had made enormous contributions in the field of Vyakarana, Nirukta, Chandas, Educational Psychology and Cognitive Psychology.
He had guided many PhD scholars, wrote more than 100 research papers, and attended many seminars and workshops. He had also edited many books, including 18 books by various authors published by Rashtriya Sanskrit Samsthan. His own publication includes around 12 books on Sanskrit and 10 books on education.
Acharya was conferred with many awards, including Shastravidvanmani by TTD, Tirupati; Brahmarshi Award from the President of India instituted by PJSS, Rajasthan; Samskritasri by Bhasha Pracharini Sabha, Kanchi, TN; and Vidyavachaspati by the Varanaseya Pandita Parishad, Varanasi. In 2013, he was also conferred with Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF)’s 32nd annual award.
He was very active on twitter under the handle @iksusara and guided many in learning Sanskrit and Hindu scriptures. Since, October, Acharya had started writing a new series on Manu Smriti for IndiaFacts with an intention to address the supposed controversial verses from the Smriti and bring forth the true import of the Shastras.
His passing away is a great loss to not only Sanskrit lovers, but to entire Indian knowledge tradition as a whole. He will be missed by his students, admirers, and everyone who knew him.
May he attain Sadgathi.