This work is a result of study for the doctoral degree of the Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India. The author is the Assistant Curator of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune, where the manuscripts collected by Georg Bühler are deposited. Along with source materials available in India, she consulted those in Germany and Austria. This work deals with the life and pioneering work of Georg Bühler in the various fields of Indology. The book argues that Bühler's interactions with the 19th c. India influenced his approach as a researcher and in turn his methodology which then followed his self-developed path of Ethno-Indology.
... it is a detailed study and critical analysis of his (Bühler's) groundbreaking work in the last third of the nineteenth century in fields including manuscript collection, Dharmaśāstra, the Jain religion, Sanskrit literature, Sanskrit and Prakrit lexicography, and especially epigraphy and paleography.... (p.1003)
... this book is rich in details about and insights into Georg Bühler’s unique contributions to Indology. (p.1004)
... the author’s extensive and painstaking compilation and evaluation of Georg Bühler’s work yield a useful and insightful reinterpretation from a modern Indian perspective of his remarkable career. (p.1005)
-- Excerpts from Richard Salomon, JAOS 142.4 (2022)
Natu gives an elaborate account of Bühler’s multi-faceted work in India spread over 17 years (1863-1880) – covering teaching, manuscript collection, preparation of Digest of Hindu Law, meeting people of high and low ranks, interaction with Sanskrit Pandits and Shastris, inspection of schools, and manuscript collection, visits to religious places and monuments, etc. It is this exposure to the Indian way of life which influenced him to adopt an ‘insider’ approach to the study of India’s heritage. (p.157)
... [The author] makes a laudable attempt to find a secure place for Bühler in the development of theory and methodology of Indological investigations. (p.158)
Another aspect of Bühler’s work retrieved and brought before the scholarly world by Natu’s book concerns his perception of continuity of tradition in India. His prolonged exposure to the Indian way of life, tradition-bound nature of society, visits to places of worship, and the role of Shastris and Pandits in keeping alive native traditions of knowledge made him realize the importance of the use of the present in India for approaching its past. This is an aspect of methodology which Natu calls Ethno-Indology. (p.159)
Let me conclude by complimenting Natu for producing this comprehensive biographical account of Bühler. It is a welcome addition to the historiography of Indology. Some Bühler memorabilia in the form of photographs and facsimiles of travel documents and a complete bibliography of his works add to the academic merits of Natu’s book. It deserves a place in all libraries devoted to Indological Studies. (p.159)
-- Prof. K. Paddayya, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute 2022 Write your own review Only registered users can write reviews
Amruta Chintaman Natu ( M.A., Sanskrit; M.A., Indology; Ph.D., Sanskrit) is the Assistant Curator of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.