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University of Oxford names a building after Dr Lakshman Sarup, the first student to be awarded D.Phil on Sanskrit treatise on etymology

Dr Lakshman Sarup (1894–1946) was the first student at Oxford to submit for a DPhil degree, which he was awarded in 1919 on the subject of Yaksa’s Nirukta, the oldest Sanskrit treatise on etymology.

The Balliol college at the University of Oxford has decided to name a new building after Dr Lakshman Sarup, The first candidate at Oxford to pass his thesis for a Doctorate of Philosophy (DPhil) degree. The college’s decision came after a move to name new buildings in the college campuses after notable alumni and academics who reflect the diversity, values and history of the College. 

In a statement released, Balliol College said, “Balliol’s newest buildings at the Master’s Field have been named after historic Balliol alumni and academics who reflect the diversity, values and history of the College. Block C1 has been named after Dr Lakshman Sarup (Balliol 1916).” Highlighting Dr Sarup’s contributions, the statement read, “Dr Lakshman Sarup (1894–1946) was the first student at Oxford to submit for a DPhil degree, which he was awarded in 1919 on the subject of Yaksa’s Nirukta, the oldest Sanskrit treatise on etymology.” The University of Oxford announced the decision on Twitter saying, “A new building in Balliol, Oxford has been named after Indian scholar Dr Lakshman Sarup.”

Dr Sarup who came to Oxford in 1916 as a recipient of the Indian state scholarship, had earlier obtained his MA in Sanskrit degree from Lahore’s Oriental College. Sarup was one of only two students who enrolled at the newly introduced DPhil course in Britain in 1917. After completing his thesis, he returned to India in 1920 where he was appointed as a Professor of Sanskrit Literature at Punjab University. His accolades also include the record of being appointed as the first Principal of the Oriental College of the University of Punjab.

Books written and translated by Dr. Laxman Sarup along with his thesis on the treatise Nirukta by Yaksa, written in the Rigvedic times.

Dr Sarup being an expert in Sanskrit, went on to study and translate the critical edition of a treatise ‘Nirukta’ written by Sanskrit Grammarian Yaksa in the Rigvedic ages. Nirukta – which means ‘pronounced’ deals with etymology – the knowledge of ascertaining the meaning of words and also involves the study of roots with archaic meanings.

Talking about his research thesis, the statement noted, “His DPhil was supervised by one of the foremost British scholars in the field, Arthur Macdonell, the Boden Professor of Sanskrit and a Fellow of Balliol. Sarup’s English translation of Nirukta was the first critical edition of the text, examining the contribution of ancient India and Greece to modern linguistics. He established that it was written sometime between 700 and 500 BCE.”

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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