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Devadattīyam

Johannes Bronkhorst Felicitation Volume

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Edited By François Voegeli, Vincent Eltschinger, Danielle Feller, Maria Piera Candotti, Bogdan Diaconescu and Malhar Kulkarni

Johannes Bronkhorst, professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, from 1987 to 2011, undoubtedly belongs to the most talented and significant indologists of the last three decades. His abundant work testifies to an unparalleled range of interests from early Buddhism to grammar, mathematics to asceticism, philosophy to archaeology, and is characterized by the determination to challenge preconceived ideas, clichés and traditional (mis)constructs.
The present felicitation volume includes thirty-two essays by some of the finest scholars in the field of indology, which reflect Johannes Bronkhorst’s main scholarly contributions: Grammar, Philosophy, Vedic Studies, Buddhism and Jainism, Dharmaśāstra and Arthaśāstra, Epics and Purāṇas. It presents an almost complete spectrum of the intellectual and spiritual pursuits and speculations in Ancient India, and will be of inestimable value to the specialists of all fields of Indology. The volume also includes a presentation of Johannes Bronkhorst’s academic career and contribution to Indian Studies by Jan E.M. Houben, and an ongoing bibliography of his work.

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Foreword xiii

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Foreword When it came to our attention that Johannes Bronkhorst would retire – at least, from his teaching-assignment in Lausanne University – in 2011, we, as his former students, immediately thought that this was an excel- lent opportunity to publish a Felicitation Volume for him. Indeed, it was unthinkable not to honour one who, by his example, his teaching, and his research, has been able to inspire so many of us in a great variety of fields of research. The departure of Johannes provokes a feeling of re- gret, because after him, and in spite of his great achievements, the future of Sanskrit studies in Lausanne remains uncertain. This of course is in line with what is taking place nowadays in so many institutions around the world, but especially regrettable in Switzerland, where Lausanne was one of the very few universities that retained a full chair of Sanskrit studies. Publishing a Felicitation Volume for a scholar like Johannes Bronk- horst has proved a challenging task, for there seems to be no limit to the areas of investigation covered by his vast scholarship, nor to the energy and enthusiasm with which he pursues his interests, in the form of arti- cles, books, lectures and seminars. We could not put it better than James L. Fitzgerald, who has kindly allowed us to quote here a passage from his own contribution to this Festschrift, which deals with the alātacakra, or wheel of fire, to which arrow-shooting warriors are often compared in the Great Epic...

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