BUITENEN, Johannes (Hans) Adrianus Bernardus van (U.S. Van B.). the Hague 21.5.1928 — Champaign, Ill. 21.9.1979. Dutch Indologist in the U.S.A. Professor in Chicago. As a schoolboy in the Hague learned some Sanskrit from —> Ali Beth, then studies at Utrecht 1946-51 under Gonda, in 1951-53 his assistant. Ph.D. 1953 Utrecht. In 1953-56 Sub-Editor of the Sanskrit Dictionary at Deccan College Research Institute in Pune; 1956-57 Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in India. He travelled much in South India, photographed Vedic rituals and was allowed to record the great Vājapeya in Pune. In 1957-59 Research Associate (Assistant Professor) at University of Chicago. In 1959-61 lektor in de Indische wijsbegeerte at Utrecht, and 1961-64 Associate Professor of Sanskrit at University of Chicago. From 1964 until his death Professor of Sanskrit and Indic Studies at Chicago, from 1964 also chairman of Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization. In 1975 rejected a chair in the Netherlands.
Van Buitenen was a philologist mainly interested in philosophical literature. His early work on Rāmānuja took a much neglected subject. In Pune he also studied on Vedic ritual (Vājapeya), photographing, recording and filming. A major work of his later years, started in 1967, the full English translation of the Mahābhārata, was left unfinished at his death (books 1-5 published in 3 vols). Among his students were J.- L. Fitzgerald and Y. Ikari.
Publications: Diss. Rāmānuja on the Bhagavadgītā. Condensed rendering of his Gītābhāṣya. 201 p. 1953; crit. ed. & transl. Rāmānuja’s Vedārthasamgraha. 332 p. Deccan Coll. Monogr. ser. 16. Poona 1956.
– Transl.: Sprookjes van een Spook. 131 p. Ld. 1952 (Vetālapañcaviṁśati in the Kathāsaritsāgara version).
– “Studies in Sāṁkhya”, JAOS 76, 1956, 153-157 & 77, 1957, 15-25, 88-107.
– Maitrāyaṇīya Upaniṣad. Critical essay, text, transl. & comm. 157 p. Disp. Rh.-Tr. 6. the Hague 1962.
– The Pravargya. An Ancient Indian iconic ritual described and annotated. 163 p. Deccan Coll. Building Cent. & Silver Jubilee Series 58. Poona 1968.
– Transl. into English: Tales from Ancient India. 260 p. Chicago 1959 (from KSS, BKŚS & Daśak.c.), Dutch version, Verhalen uit India. 191 p. Utrecht 1962; Two plays of ancient India. The little clay cart, and the Minister’s seal. 287 p. N.Y. 1968; “The Hermit and the Harlot”, MAHFIL 7:3-4, 1971, 149-166 (Bhagavadajjukīya); The Bhagavadgītā in the Mahābhārata. 188 p. Chicago 1981 (with text).
– With J. Ensink: A Glossary of Sanskrit from Indonesia. 219 p. Vāk 6. Poona 1964.
– Edited & transl.: Yāmuna’s Āgama Prāmāṇyam, or, treatise on the validity of Pañcarātra. 20+51+80+145 p. Madras 1971.
– Translated into English: Mahābhārata. 1-3. 541+864+572 p. Chicago 1973-75-78.
– Transl. with E. Deutsch: Source Book of Advaita Vedānta. 344 p. Honolulu 1971; with C. Dimmitt: Classical Hindu Mythology. A Reader in Sanskrit Purāṇas. 13+373 p. Philadelphia 1978.
– The Bhagavadgita in the Mahabharata. Tr. by J.A.B.v.B., ed. by James L. Fitzgerald. 12+176 p. Chicago 1981.
– Studies in Indian Literature and Philosophy. Collected Articles. Ed. by L. Rocher. 339 p. N.D. 1988.
Sources: Short note in IIJ 2, 1958, 324; Dir. Am. Sch. 6th ed. 3; “een bescheiden onderkomen” 1981, 139f.; J. Gonda, Jaarboek der K.N.A.W. 1979, 1-5; Dutch Indology homepage (with small photo); *Coll. Articles. 1988 (Preface by Gonda & Ingalls, Introduction by L. Rocher); Wikipedia; photo in https://www.dwc.knaw.nl/biografie/pmknaw/?pagetype=authorDetail&aId=PE00004466.