SCHRADER, Friedrich Otto. Hamburg 19.3.1876 — Kiel 3.11.1961. German Indologist. Professor in Kiel. Son of a judge, educated in Hamburg. Following father’s wishes he worked in business in 1892-95, but continued then studies privately (matriculation 1897). In 1897-1902 studied Indology at Göttingen (Kielhorn), Strassburg (Leumann) and Kiel. Ph.D. 1902 Strassburg. Further studies of Buddhism and Germanistics at Berlin and Leipzig. Just married he travelled in 1905 to London and Madras, where he became the first Western Librarian of the Adyar Library. He travelled much, learnt the main Dravidian languages and collected manuscripts. During the war he was interned in Ahmednagar and used his time learning Tibetan and Thai, while his family was in Switzerland at his wife’s home. The office in Adyar ended in 1916, but he was released only in 1920. Now he returned to Germany and became in 1921 Professor at Kiel (succeeding Sieg), where he spent the rest of his life (in 1944-47 evacuated in Bavaria). Retired in 1945, but as the chair was closed down, he continued teaching in 1947-50. Vidyāsāgara 1924.
FOS started his career as Buddhist scholar (he had also studied Chinese), but the long stay in India opened new alleys, such as Dravidian linguistics and Hindu studies. He was also interested in ethnology and prehistory and put forth the theory of “Uralic substrate” in Indian languages. He founded Pañcarātra studies and worked much on the Śvetāśvataropaniṣad and the Bhagavadgītā, also on Thai. Much of his learning was put on reviews. His students were Spitzler, Eggers, Hertz, P. M. Modi, and G. Hartmann.
Publications: diss. Über den Stand der indischen Philosophie zur Zeit Mahāvīras und Buddhas. 10+68 p. Lp. 1902.
– Māyā-Lehre und Kantianismus. 30 p. B. 1904; Wille und Liebe in der Lehre Buddhas. B. 1905
– transl. Die fragen des Königs Menandros. 1. B. 1907.
– The lingua franca of Future India. 46 p. Madras 1909 (suggesting Sanskrit).
– A descriptive Catalogue of the Sanskrit MSS. in the Adyar Library. 1. Upaniṣads. Madras 1908; Introduction to the Pāñcarātra and the Ahirbudhnya Saṁhitā. Madras 1916.
– ed. The Minor Upaniṣads. 1. Saṁnyāsa Upaniṣads. Madras 1912.
– The Kashmir Recension of the Bhagavadgītā. 3+52 p. Btr. z. ind. Sprachwiss. u. Religionsgesch. 3. St. 1930.
– Der Hinduismus. 7+87 p. Religionsgeschichtliche Lesebuch 14. Tübingen 1930.
– nearly 150 articles and reviews in ZDMG, OLZ, DLZ, ZII, Kant-Studien, Philosophy, JRAS. BSOS, IC, IA, NIA, IHQ, Theosophist, etc.
– Kleine Schriften. Hrsg. von J. F. Sprockhoff. 522 p. Glasenapp-St. 19. Wb. 1983.
Sources: J. F. Sprockhoff, ZDMG 113, 1963, 1-23, with bibliography and photo (also Rau 101, another in Sardesai); briefly D.B.E. 9, 1998, 124.