SCHAYER, Stanisław. Sędziszów 8.5.1899 — Otwock 1.12.1941. Polish Indologist. Professor in Warsaw. From 1916 studies at Warsaw, then soon philosophy and Indology at Heidelberg (under Liebich and Walleser) and Freiburg i.Br. (E. Leumann, Husserl). Ph.D. 1921 Freiburg. Further studies at Munich under Scherman. PD 1924 Lwów, in 1926 moved to Warsaw. Earned his living as schoolteacher in Warsaw, in 1928 contracted tuberculosis. From 1929 Assistant Professor of Philosophy and from 1930 eo. for Indian philology at Warsaw, from 1938 ord. Professor. In August 1939 emigrated to London, but returned soon seriously ill and had to witness the destroying of his Oriental Institute (founded 1932) through bombs. He had asthma and chronic tuberculosis and died in the age of 42 at the sanatorium of Otwock. He was formally Professor until his death, but could no longer work after 1939. Married 1925.
SS was a famous specialist of Buddhist and Indian philosophy, who was also much interested in Western philosophy and used it in his interpretation of Indian traditions. He worked on philosophical and soteriological problems of Mahāyāna, specially of Mādhyamika, but his interests covered Indian thought from Veda to Nyāya. In the 1930s he criticized German scholarship and rejected their “Aryan” approach (thus joining Przyluski), the search of “original” Buddhism and other similar ideas, but was also critical towards the Kantian interpretation of Ščerbatskoj. He created the Warsaw Indological school, founding both the Oriental Institute and the Oriental Division of Warsaw Society of Sciences (with its Biuletyn). During his last years he learned Tibetan and started Chinese. Among his students were M. Falk, K. Regamey, A. Kunst, L. Skurzak and J. Jaworski.
Publications: diss. Vorarbeiten zur Geschichte der mahāyānistischen Erlösungslehren. 56 p. München 1921 & in Z. f. Buddh. 3, 1921, 235-251, 334-368, English transl. Mahāyāna Doctrine of Salvation. 1923.
– “Die Erlösungslehren der Yogācāra’s nach dem Sūtrālaṁkara des Asaṅga”, ZII 2, 1923, 99-123; “Precanonical Buddhism”, ArO 7, 1935, 121-132.
– “Die Weltanschauung der Brāhmaṇa-Texte”, RO 2, 1919/24 (1925), 26-32; “Über die Bedeutung des Wortes upaniṣad”, RO 3, 1925 (1927), 57-67; “Die Struktur der magischen Weltanschauung nach dem Atharvaveda und den Brāhmaṇa-Texten”, Z. f. Buddh. 6, 1925, 259ff.
– tr. into Polish: Kalidasa, Siakuntala. 1924, 2nd ed. 1957.
– tr. Ausgewählte Kapitel aus der Prasannapadā. 33+128 p. Pr. kom. or. Po. Akad. Um. 14. Cracow 1931 (chapters 5 and 12–16), ch. 7 in RO 7, 1929, 383-409.
– “Über die Methode der Nyāya-Forschung”, Fs. Winternitz 1933, 247-257.
– Contribution to the Problem of Time in Indian Philosophy. 1938.
– articles in ZII, RO, OLZ, AO, ZDMG, Przeglad filozoficzny, Polski Biul. Orient., Polska Akad. Umiej., Przeglad Wspolczesny.
– popular books in Polish on Hinduism, Buddhism and philosophy.
– O filozofowaniu Hindusów. Artykuły wybrane / On philosophizing of the Hindus. Selected Papers. Ed. by M. Mejor. 31+539 p. Warsaw 1988.
Sources: A. Kunst, IAS 7:2, 1958, 148-164 (from RO 21, 1957, with photo); T. Pobożniak, Sanskrit St. Outside India. 125f.; *A. Zajączkowski, “S.S. jako organizator orientalistyki warszawskiej”, Szkice z dziejów orientalistyki polskiej 1, Warszawa 1957; *Polish Wikipedia with some further references.