Prakrit Jñanabharati International Award - Award Ceremony In Berlin

Posted: 26.05.2008
Updated on: 29.11.2012



On Sunday 25th May 2008, the award ceremony of Prakrit Jnanabharati International Award 2005 and 2006 took place in Berlin. The award was bestowed on Prof. Willem Bollée (2005) and Prof. Klaus Bruhn (2006). Two scholars from Shravanabelagola, Karnataka, India, Prof. Jain, director of renowned „National Institute of Prakrit Studies and Research“ and Prof. Nagarajaiah Hampana, prof. em. at Bangalore University had come to Berlin for the ceremony. Prof. Bollée had come to Berlin for the function from his domicile in Bamberg, Oberfranken, Germany. Prof. Bollée was accompanied by his wife Prof. Annegret Bollée daughter of late Prof.Ludwig Alsdorf, doyen of indological studies in Germany. The couple had to leave already the same afternoon to be present at the university lecture of the Indian scholars on Monday in Würzburg.

Mr. Ajit K. Benadi, president of Jain Association International (Germany) e.V. and chairman of reception committee had organised a wonderful function bringing the Indian spirit of granting honours to Berlin. He also had come to Berlin for the ceremony from his domicile near Hamburg. The awardees, the Indian scholars, and the chairman of the reception committee welcomed the guests at the entrance of the Indian restaurant in front of Berlin Technical University where the award ceremony took place.



F. r. l.: Prof. Bollée, Prof. Bruhn, Prof. Jain, Prof. Hampana, Mr. Benadi, 2nd row: face of Prof. Lutze, Dipl.-Ing. Gerd Mevissen

Guests from Berlin, Würzburg, Heidelberg, Münster & even London Universities participated in the ceremony, Prof. Bruhn’s family including the two grandchildren, as well as those involved or interested in indological studies.


F. l.: Dipl.-Ing. Gerd Mevissen, Dr. Peter Flügel (SOAS), half-profile of Dr. Jain, wife of Prof. Prem Suman Jain


For us, this function was also a very welcome occasion to meet personally with Prof. Willem Bollée.


Editor Karuna Jain congratulates Prof. Willem Bollée.


Many already were gathered in the hall. When editor Karuna Jain saw Mrs. Krishna Bruhn, she complimented her for the wonderful hosting of so many people three days ago. Prof. Annegret Bollée sat next to Mrs. Krishna Bruhn. Both are familiar to each other since many years and were dressed in beautiful colours.


Mrs. Krishna Bruhn (m) acquainted Editor Karuna Jain with Prof. Annegret Bollée (l). Editor Aparigraha Jain immediately took photo!


The audience. Front row: Mrs. Krishna Bruhn acquaints Prof. Annegret Bollée with her eldest daughter. Many scholars were among the audience.


From Münster University Prof. Bhatt with Mrs. Bhatt, from Heidelberg University Prof. Lothar Lutze, from Würzburg University Prof. Heidrun Brückner, and from SOAS, London University, Dr. Peter Flügel. Also Trupti Pandya, Berlin based long time student of Gurudev Chitrabhanu was there. Background: Mr. Sharma, owner of the restaurant.


The function was opened by Prof. Prem Suman Jain, director of and professor at “National Institute of Prakrit Studies and Research” from Shravanabelagola, Karnataka, India, who recited a prayer in Prakrit language in which he also gave his complete speech!


Mr. Ajit Benadi president of Jain Association International (Germany) e.V. and chairman of reception committee thereafter addressed the audience in English language, as did all speakers after him.


Convener Prof. Hampana then gave hisIntroductory Speechof the Bestowal Function.


Prof. Willem Bollée received a beautifully made artificial flower chain, and so did Prof. Bruhn.


Mr. Benadi awarded a splendid shawl and a headgear handmade in India to Prof. Bollée. Prof. Hampana handed the framed charter of the 2005 award to him, and Prof. Jain the Saraswati sculpture together with the cash (in Euros).


The honours of the 2006 award then were bestowed on Prof. Bruhn.


Prof. Annegret Bollée was awarded a meticulously embroidered shawl by Dr. Jain (r) wife of Prof. Jain. And so was Mrs. Krishna Bruhn. Prof. Hampana commented, “Behind every successful man is a successful woman.”

Prof. Bollée gave his speech describing how he got involved with Indology and said that he feels very happy when students are entering this wonderful field actually, and therefore supports them as much as possible. He kindly granted permission for publication of his speech to HereNow4U.


Professor Bollée in his speech

Prof. Bollée donated the cash amount to Würzburg University Library to make possible the purchase of indological books. When after his speech Prof. Willem Bollée rushed to her seat and handed over the envelope with the money to her, Prof. Heidrun Brückner of Würzburg University beamed with joy for this unexpected and generous donation. German universities are submitted to very strong belt-tightening, and indological studies, especially Jaina studies, are not receiving any support from Indian institutions, be it in form of sending books or other materials. They nevertheless have internationally very well received academic results. One wonders how they are succeeding despite the poor support.


Professor Heidrun Brückner, Würzburg University, holding the envelope with the cash from Prof. Willem Bollée.

Prof. Bruhn then described his background and how happy he was for the opportunity to spend 3 research years in India in the early fifties of the last century. His research stay resulted in his still path breaking book “The Jina Images Of Deogarh” [Deogarh, Uttar Pradesh, India]. Find more details in the publication of Prof. Bruhn's speech which he kindly agreed to publish in HereNow4U.

Prof. Bruhn donated the money to two charity organisations: One half for "Children's Hospital At Shravanabelagola", a generous gesture received with great joy by the Indian scholars, the other for "Loomba Foundation", founded in 1997 by Raj Loomba to benefit impoverished women and children around the world. Sensitised to the predicament of women while working on his latest publication,The Predicament of Women in Ancient India Prof. Bruhn's attention was attracted to the Loomba Foundation when he watched TV news telling Mrs. Laura Bush, actually First Lady of the USA, was awarded by this organisation for her activities.


Prof. Bruhn in his speech


These half relief images of Goddess Saraswati are part of the award.

Prof. Hampana then started for his final remarks, when Prof. Heidrun Brückner asked for permission to address the audience. She perfect in form expressed her thanks in behalf of Würzburg University for Prof. Willem Bollées donation in favour of extending the book inventory of its indological library making possible acquirement of actual indological standard works missing in the library until now.


Prof. Heidrun Brückner of Würzburg University expressing her vote of thanks for Prof. Willem Bollée’s donation

Prof. Hampana closed the function expressing his happiness for having been selected to be part of the Indian delegation bringing the prestigious awards to the highly respected German scholars. The audience took the opportunity to have a closer look on the books the awardees had brought for presentation.

Prof. Annegret Bollée had brought the book she had edited from the diaries of her late father Prof. Ludwig Alsdorf, “Vom Ganges zum Himalaya” [“From Ganga to the Himalayas”]. Unfortunately until now she did not succeed in interesting an Indian publisher to translate it into English language, a fact more than astonishing, as Prof. Alsdorf has described his encounter with eminent Indian personalities of the first half of the last century. Someone feeling activated? Please contact her under:


The book “Vom Ganges zum Himalaya” [“From Ganga to the Himalayas”] was edited by Prof. Annegret Bollée from the diaries of her late father, Prof. Ludwig Alsdorf.


To make the event unforgettable, all gathered for a group photo.


Prof. Willem Bollée (2005) and Prof. Klaus Bruhn (2006) after being awarded with Prakrit Jnanabharati International Award in Berlin 2008.


The event was followed by a delicious lunch in a nearby vegetarian Indian restaurant.

More photos available: click on any here to enter full album.

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