F. Otto Schräder

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F. Otto Schräder was a German Orientalist who was an important director of the library at the Theosophical Society in Adyar. Born in 1876, he was educated at German universities and earned a doctorate in Oriental languages. He was proficient in Sanskrit, Pāli, and Prakrit (Ardhamagadhi, which was used extensively to write Jain scriptures). While he served as Director of the Adyar Library from September 30, 1905 to 1915, he acquired rare manuscripts and wrote a descriptive catalogue of Sanskrit works. He was assisted by Dutch journalist Johann van Manen, who had mastered several languages including Tibetan.[1]

According to the General Report of the Theosophical Society for 1909-1910,

Dr. Schräder has spent the year in steady and unwearied work, and the first volume of his critical edition of the Upaniṣhaṭs is nearly ready for the press. The new year will also see the issue of another volume of the Catalogue. Dr Schräder's scholarly work is drawing the attention of Eureopean Orientalists to our Library, and his quiet, gentle ways and ready helpfulness endear him the the household.[2]

Dr. Schrader represented the Theosophical Society as a delegate to the 1912 Congress of Orientalists in Athens.[3]

Later career

In 1921 he became a Professor at the University of Kiel in Germany, with his wife as a co-worker. [4] Dr. Schrader died in 1961.


Dr. Schrader was awarded the Subba Row Medal in 1912 for his outstanding contributions to literature. These are some of his books, listed by publication date:

  • Uber den Stand der indischen Philosophie zur Zeit Mahaviras und Buddhas. Strasbourg: Trübner, 1902.
  • Maya-Lehre und kantianismus. Berln, 1904.
  • Die Fragen des Königs Menandros. Berlin: Verlag von Paul Raatz, 1905.
  • Erster (älterer) Teil. Berlin: Paul Raatz, 1905. Series: Die Fragen des Königs Menandros / aus dem Pali zum ersten Mal ins Deutsche übers. von F. Otto Schrader.
  • Tattvasarayana. An ancient Vedantic Itihasa. Issued in monthly parts. Madras, 1906. Edited by a staff of Pandits under the superintendence of Dr. F. Otto Schrader. Sanskrit. O.P.C.L. Series No. 4.
  • Bibliography of Sankhya-Yoga-Samuccaya Works. Adyar: Madras, 1906. Appendix to the Upanishads.
  • A Descriptive Catalogue of the Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Adyar Library (Theosophical Society). Madras: Adyar Library, 1908. The Adyar Library Series No. 2.
  • Baskalamantropanisadvrtti. Madras: Oriental Publishing, 1908.
  • The Minor Upanishats. Madras: Adyar Library, 1912.
  • Samnyasa-Upanisads. Madras: Adyar Library, 1912.
  • The problem of Free-will in Indian Philosophy. Bangalore: Higginbothams Ltd., 1914.
  • Buddhism. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1914.
  • Buddhism. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1914.
  • The Religion of Goethe. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1914. Adyar Pamphlet Series No. 38.
  • Review: J.C. Chatterji, Kashmir Shaivism. Ayar, 1914.
  • Introduction to the Pañcaratra and the Ahirbudhnya Samhita. Adyar: Adyar Library, 1916.
  • The Minor Upanisads: Critically edited for the Adyar-Library (Theosophical Society) by F. Otto Schrader. (Text.) 2. Madras: Adyar Library, 1920.
  • The Minor Upanisads: Critically edited for the Adyar-Library (Theosophical Society) by F. Otto Schrader. (Text.) 3. Madras: Adyar Library, 1921.
  • The Minor Upanisads: Critically edited for the Adyar-Library (Theosophical Society) by F. Otto Schrader. (Text.) 4. Madras: Adyar Library, 1923.
  • The Minor Upanisads: Critically edited for the Adyar-Library (Theosophical Society) by F. Otto Schrader. (Text.) 5. Madras: Adyar Library, 1925.
  • Religionsgeschichtliches Lesebuch. Tübingen: Mohr, 1930.
  • The Kashmir Recension of the Bhagavadgita. [With variant passages in the Kashmir recension and the corresponding passages of the vulgate.] Stuttgart, 1930. Contributions to Indian Philology and History of Religion. vol. 3.
  • Der Hinduismus. Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1930.
  • Nachlese zu Asvaghosa's Buddhacarita. Tokyo: The Taisho University, 1930.
  • A Critical Study of Isopanisad. Bombay: India Press, 1933.
  • On some Tibetan names of the Buddha. Calcutta: Calcutta Oriental Press, 1933.
  • Vedanta and Samkhya in Primitive Buddhism. 1934.
  • On the 'Uralien' Element in the Dravida and the Munda Languages. 1936.
  • Zenna and Dhyana. 1900s.
  • Das Sastitantra. Leipzig: Kreysing, 1900s.
  • Die Geschichte von der Laus und der Wanze (nach dem Pancatantra). 1900s.
  • Hindu realism: a review (Besprechung des Buches "Hindurealism" von J. Ch. Chatterji). Madras: The Vasanta Press, 1900s.
  • Textkritische und exegetische Bemerkungen zur Svetasvatara-Upanisad, Adhyayas I, V-VI, III-V, II.

Additional resources


  1. Clara Codd, So Rich a Life (Pretoria: Institute for Theosophical Publicity, 1956), 113.
  2. "The Adyar Library," General Report of the Thirty-Fourth Anniversary and Convention of the Theosophical Society.7.
  3. The International Theosophical Year Book 1938 (Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1938): 213.
  4. Year Book 1938, 213.