Vidyabhusan, Satish Chandra

Vidyabhusan, Satish Chandra (1870-1920) Sanskrit and Pali scholar, was born at baliakandi upazila in rajbari district on 30 July 1870. Son of Pitamvar Vidyavagish, an astronomer, Satish Chandra passed the Entrance examination in 1888 from Navadwip Hindu College. He then studied Suryasiddhanta under Gurudas Roy, an astronomer and kaviraj (Ayurvedic physician), residing in faridpur. In 1892, he passed the BA examinations with Honours in sanskrit from Krishnanagar College. In the following year, he obtained the MA degree from sanskrit college. He was awarded the PhD degree from Calcutta University for his thesis 'The Medieval School of Indian Logic' and for its distinctive contributions to knowledge he was honoured with the Griffith Award.

Satish Chandra taught Sanskrit at a number of colleges such as Krishnanagar College, Sanskrit College and presidency college. He also taught for some time at calcutta university. He was principal (1909) of Mahinda College in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). He edited Babgiya Sahitya Parisat Patrika from 1894 to 1916.

Satish Chandra was proficient in pali language and Buddhist scriptures. In 1901 he obtained the MA degree in Pali language. He was appointed assistant editor of the Buddhist Text Society by the government and continued to work in this capacity for twenty-two years. He also wrote a number of books in Pali. In 1897 he was employed as a Tibetan translator and along with Rai Bahadur Sharachchandra Das compiled a Tibetan-English dictionary. For his scholarship in Buddhist literature, he was conferred the titles of 'Tripitaka Vagishvar', 'Shastrasudhakar', 'Siddhanta Mahodadhi', and 'Vidyabhusan'. In 1906 the government of India honoured him with the title of 'Mahamahopadhyay'.

Satish Chandra was a member of the Royal Asiatic Society (London) and the Bengal Asiatic Society (Calcutta). He was also a member of the executive committee of the Buddhist Textbook Society. Apart from Bangla, English, Pali and Tibetan, he also knew Chinese, Japanese, German and French. He wrote twenty-two books in Bangla and English, among them Atmatattva Prakash, Buddhadev, Bharabhuti, Tibetan Dictionary (co-author), Nyayasutras and Gautama, Six Systems of Indian Philosophy, A History of Indian Logic. He died on 25 April 1920. [Dilip Kumar Bhattacharya]