Obituary-Pandit Nilkanth Gurtoo (A Sanskrit Pandit from Kashmir)

Mrinal Kaul mrinalkaul81 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 19 17:15:27 UTC 2008

Dear all,
                 I think not many scholars would know Pandit Nilkanth Gurtoo
whom I regarded the last traditional Sanskrit pandit of Kashmir. He passed
away on 18 December 2008 in New Delhi. With him the Kashmirian tradition of
Sanskrit scholarship comes to an end. He  prepared editions and translations
of many difficult texts belonging to Kashmirian Trika domain of Saivism.
Many of his works remained unpublished because of want of resources. Here is
a list of his publications;

1.Paratrisikavivarana with Hindi translation and commentary, Motilal
Banarsidass, New Delhi. (1985).
2.Spandakarika with Kallata's vrtti translated into Hindi with commentary,
Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi. (1981).
3.Harsesvaramahatmayam translated into English with detailed anottations,
Penma Publishers, Delhi. (2000).
4.Parmarthasara with Hindi translation of Yogaraja's commentary with an
elaborate introduction, Penman Publishers, Delhi. (2004).
5.Sambapancasika with Ksemaraja's commentary translated into Hindi, Penman
Publishers, Delhi. (2002)
6.Sivastotravali of Utpaladeva with Ksemaraja's commentary and Hindi
translation by Swami Lakshman Joo. Edited by Nilkanth Gurtoo, Ishwar Ashram
Trust, Srinagar (Kashmir).
7.Parapravesika of Ksemaraja explaned into Kashmiri and edited by Makhanlal
Kukiloo, Ishwar Ashram Trust, Srinagar, Kashmir. (1996).
8.Amareshwaramahatmayam translated into Hindi with Pandit Dinanath Yaksha,
Srinagar, Kashmir. (?).
9.Rajatarangini of Jonaraja translated into Hindi (only a part of it).
10.Pratyabhijnahrdayam of Ksemaraja translated into Hindi with elaborated
notes and annotations with the help of Professor Balajinnath Pandit and
Swami Lakshman Joo. (Unpublished).
11.Kashmira-saiva-darsana-brhat-kosa (in two volumes) edited jointly with
Prof Yashpal Khajuriya and Prof Balajinnath Pandit. Rashtriya Sanskrit
Sansthan, Jammu (J&K). (2001-2005).

Pandit Nilkanth Gurtoo was born on 2 January, 1925 in Srinagar (Kashmir). He
was initiated into Sanskrit studies by Pandit Maheshwar Nath Nehru and
Pandit Jankinath Dhar. Later, he learned advanced texts of Sanskrit grammar
and linguistics from Pandit Lalkak Langoo, Pandit Harbhatta Shastri and
Pandit Sarvadananda Handoo. He also qualified the traditional degrees of
Prajna, Visharada and Shastri in Sanskrit from Government Sanskrit College
in Srinagar. After qualifying for Prabhakar degree he went ahead and earned
a B.A. in Sanskrit.

Pandit Gurtoo initially worked in Government Sanskrit School of Tral village
in Kashmir as a Sanskrit teacher. While teaching there he also earned a M.A.
in Sanskrit. Thereafter, in 1955 he was appointed as Head-pandit in the
Jammu & Kashmir Research and Publication Department of Government of Jammu &
Kashmir. Later, while teaching in the Government Souer College in his
capacity as a lecturer of Sanskrit, he also obtained a degree of M.A. in
Hindi. Since 1958 till the time of his retirement he taught in Amar Singh
College in Srinagar (Kashmir).

Pandit Nilkanth Gurtoo was not only confined to teaching in academic
institutions, but he covered that extra mile and went ahead to learn about
the Kashmirian Saiva schools from his teachers like Professor Balajinnath
Pandit and Swami Lakshman Joo.

Mrinal Kaul
# 37/4 Pandoka Colony
Paloura, Jammu - 181121
Jammu & Kashmir INDIA
Phone: 91-191-2532549
Cell: 91-9999488911 (Delhi)
Cell: 91-9419789213 (J&K)
Cell: 44-7909640319 (UK)

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