Professor M.N. Narasimhachary, twice OCHS-Shivdasani Fellow and OCHS Director of Academic Affairs has passed away in Chennai, India, on Wednesday 6 March 2013, aged 74.
Born in Arthamuru village in East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, Prof. Narasimhachary was educated in Chennai. He earned his Ph.D. in Sanskrit from the University of Madras for his work on Yamunacharya.
He was revered at the OCHS as an excellent scholar, a gentleman, and a friend to all who met him. OCHS alumnus Dr Ravi Gupta remembers him thus: “Some thirteen years ago, I met Prof. Narasimhachary for the first time when he arrived as a visiting professor at the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies. That fortunate encounter changed my life in more ways that I can describe. In the years that have passed, Prof. Narasimhachary served as my doctoral examiner, wrote a reference for my first job, offered advice on all my writing projects, attended my wedding, and showered blessings on the births of both my boys. But more importantly, Prof. Narasimhachary was for me a life-long mentor, a loving well-wisher, and a model of Vaishnava scholarship”.
C.S. Radhakrishnan, Professor and Head of Department of Sanskrit, Pondicherry University, describes Prof. Narasimhachary as “an indomitable researcher, an inspiring teacher, an impromptu poet, an eloquent speaker and an easy exponent of the most terse principles of Vedanta, who charmed the scholars and the students alike.”
Prof. Narasimhachary started his career as a lecturer in Sanskrit in Vivekananda College, Chennai. Subsequently he became Reader in Sanskrit in the University of Madras. He also founded and chaired the Department of Vaishnavism in the University of Madras. After a short stint as a professor of Sanskrit in the University of Malaysia, he was appointed the first Head of Department of Vaishnavism at the University of Madras.