[INDOLOGY] Yves Ramseier - a short obituary

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at umich.edu
Mon May 27 22:22:39 UTC 2013

This is a very sad news indeed!  ईश्वरेच्छा बलीयसी.

Madhav Deshpande

On Mon, May 27, 2013 at 7:32 AM, Eltschinger, Vincent <
Vincent.Eltschinger at oeaw.ac.at> wrote:

> Dear Friends and Colleagues,
> I am sad to announce the passing of Yves Ramseier in the early hours last
> Saturday (19 May 2013). Yves Ramseier was born on 26 July 1956 in Lausanne,
> Switzerland. After studying Greek and Latin at the Gymnase de la Cité
> (Lausanne), he became a student at the University of Lausanne, where he
> studied Oriental languages (mainly Sanskrit) and civilizations under the
> guidance of Professors Jacques May and Heinz Zimmermann, who exerted a
> decisive influence on Ramseier’s intellectual development by arousing his
> interest in Buddhism and Madhyamaka on the one hand, and in the Sanskrit
> Grammarians on the other hand. These two areas of interest coalesced around
> 1985 as the recently graduated Ramseier moved to Kyoto, Japan, in order to
> study Vyaakara.na under Professor Yutaka Ojihara. Besides working on
> Patañjali and especially Bhart.rhari, Ramseier enjoyed life in Japan – and
> life tout court, as those who knew him can attest. With his friend Hitomi
> and his first daughter Kyoko, Ramseier left Japan for Lausanne in 1990,
> where he became the assistant of Professor Johannes Bronkhorst, who had
> been appointed Heinz Zimmermann’s successor in 1987. Ramseier started
> working on a PhD thesis on the Jaatisamudde’sa of Bhart.hari’s
> Vaakyapadiiya, which unfortunately he never completed. As a young doctoral
> student he also had to teach classes of elementary Sanskrit for
> undergraduate students (more precisely “Travaux pratiques de Sanskrit”),
> which took place on Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m., after which he and his
> students enjoyed frequenting the restaurants and bars of Lausanne, which he
> knew  intimately. Ramseier’s five years as an assistant of Professor
> Bronkhorst are marked by his first (and last) publications as an
> indologist: “Bhart.rhari et la nescience” (Asiatische Studien/Etudes
> Asiatiques 48/4 [1994], pp. 1363-1368), a bibliography, “Bibliography on
> Bhart.rhari” (pp. 235-268 in Saroja Bhate and Johannes Bronkhorst [ed]:
> Bhart.rhari, Philosopher and Grammarian. Proceedings of the First
> International Conference on Bhart.rhari. Delhi 1994 [Bern 1993]: Motilal
> Banarsidass), and an index (Johannes Bronkhorst and Yves Ramseier: Word
> index to the Pra’sastapaadabhaa.sya: A complete word index to the printed
> editions of the Pra’sastapaadabhaa.sya. Delhi 1994: Motilal Banarsidass).
> After leaving his position as an assistant, Ramseier embarked on Johannes
> Bronkhorst’s ambitious project (Swiss National Science Foundation) of a
> critical edition of the Kaa’sikaav.rtti. In spite of the significant number
> of Sanskrit manuscripts of this text that he helped to discover in India,
> the project was aborted around 1997. From that time on, Yves Ramseier was
> no longer active in the Indological field but continued to attend
> international conferences, to update the online version of his
> “Bibliography on Bhart.rhari,” and to maintain the innumerable friendships
> he had made in the field. All those who have had the privilege of being his
> friends will remember his sharp and provocative intelligence and his deep
> and empathetic love of people. Yves Ramseier leaves two daughters, Kyoko
> and Aska, to whom I offer my most sincere condolances – which I also extend
> to his friend Carole, who remained close to him until he died. Dors bien,
> Capitaine!
> Vincent Eltschinger
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Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor of Sanskrit and Linguistics
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
202 South Thayer Street, Suite 6111
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608, USA

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