[INDOLOGY] sad news: Werner Knobl

Nataliya Yanchevskaya markandeia at gmail.com
Wed Oct 4 07:53:09 UTC 2023

Dear Collegues,
I am so sorry to pass along the sad news: Werner Knobl, a scholar of Vedic
language, texts, and culture, passed away on September 28, 2023.
He will be greatly missed by many.
Below I am forwarding Werner's orbituary written by Natālija Burišina who
is not a member of the list.


Dear All,

 On behalf of Dr. Werner Knobl’s students, I have very sad news to
announce… Our Beloved Teacher, Werner, the Master of Vedic lore whose ocean
of knowledge was enormous and absolutely unique in its own way, passed away
last Thursday, on 28th September. There are no words to express how much I
am already missing our Great Teacher, our classes, discussions, and our
Little Vedic Sanskrit Lovers community.

Let me briefly sketch our first encounter and further collaboration.
Alongside with other Vedic Sanskrit learners, I joined the Leiden Summer
School in Languages and Linguistics in 2022, where we spent two beautiful
and saturated weeks studying fragments from the Ṛgveda and Brāhmaṇas. Thus,
when the Summer School was nearing to the end some of us expressed a wish
to continue our studies online. After that Werner discussed it with the
Director, Sasha Lubotsky to receive his approval, which was then generously

And so, until the next Summer School in Leiden we were lucky to meet online
10 times during the autumn-winter of 2022, and the same in the spring of
2023. Our group was formed of former and current Werner’s students, who
joined the classes from different corners of the world. Werner always
welcomed questions either sent to him by email, or asked during the class.
He was happy to give elaborate answers to any difficult questions, and did
not hesitate to discuss and oppose the opinions of other scholars, and even
His teacher, the late Paul Thieme, whom he frequently recalled with great
veneration, however, He always did so with great respect. Moreover, He
continuously encouraged us to have our own analyses and never missed to add
the phrase: “You are not obliged to trust me,” or else “If you want to
accept this argument […]”. I dare to say that most of us were impatiently
looking forward to our weekly online sessions that allowed us not only to
get immersed in the realm of Vedic mythopoetics that dates back for more
than 3000 years, but also to look at the aspects of Historical Linguistics,
intricate Grammar matters, Vedic intonation, philology, translation
problems of some difficult passages, etc.

I was lucky to meet Our Great Teacher, Werner, again in Leiden during the
closing party of the Summer School.

This was my second and last encounter in life with our Beloved Teacher and
his companion Carole with whom we had a wonderful conversation about our
passion for Vedic Sanskrit, about how she met Werner in Japan and many more…

I am immensely grateful to Our Beloved Teacher for all the knowledge He
shared with us, for allowing us to discern all the subtleties of the Vedic
poetry through His lens; for His kindness and all the support that every
aspiring student and scholar needs so much at the initial stages. I still
keep on receiving messages expressing gratitude for His kindness from
scholars and students whom He had supported with both critique and advice…

For all of this, I am ineffably grateful to You, our Beloved Teacher, and
as such You will always remain in my memories. I am somehow certain that
our souls will meet again, somewhere in *svargaloka*…


[image: image.png]

Ar cieņu
Met vriendelijke groet,
Best regards,

Natālija Burišina
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