Ganganatha Jha (1871-1941) was a great indologist of his time. Bron and brought up in a milieu that was pulsating with Sanskrit learning, he pursued his career through the medium of English education at Darbhanga in the beginning and then at Varanasi. Drawing inspiration fron such famous indologists as G. Thibaut and A. Venis and learning Mimansa, Nyaya, Smriti, etc. from Mahamahopadhyaya Shiva Kumar Shastri, Mahamahpadhyaya Jaya Deva Mishra and others, he set out a life that, according to Otto strauss, eventually made him “the happy blend of ancient pandit, with his depth of knowledge, and of the modern scholar with his wide horizon.” He produced dozens of books in English, Sanskrit, Hindi and Maithili all substantially enriching the tradition of indology and rose in eminence becoming ultimately the Vice Chancellor of Allahabad University.
Professor Hetukar Jha attempts, in this monograph, to present some glimpses of Ganganatha jha’s generation and a few snatche of his life-long mission. Those interested in the field of indology in general and Ganganatha Jha in particular may find it useful.
This monograph is intended to present a profile of Ganganatha Jha through the events of his life-time which were crucial both for his career as well as his socio-cultural milieu. Such event were social events and a comprehensive perception of them may reveal the working of the forces that shaped the person that was Ganganatha Jha. Attempts have been made for explaining the various social, historical and cultural aspects of such events. Let me state frankly in this context that I have not been able to present a critical appraisal of his scholarship. In fact, it is far beyond my capacity of his intellectual output are not entirely missing in this account. A bibliography of his works has also been given in the end (See Appendix-I).
Sahitya Akademi gave me the opportunity to write this monograph for which I shall ever remain grateful. Prof. Damodar Thakur read the manuscript and gave some valuable suggestions. My debt to him is great. Dr. Vedanatha Jha, Dr. Lakshminatha Jha and Shri Guneshwar Jha were always ready to extend their assistance to this entend their endeavour. I shall remain indebted to all of them.
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