Heinz Bechert

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Heinz Bechert (born June 26, 1932 in Munich , † June 14, 2005 in Göttingen ) was a German Indologist and Buddhologist .


He was the son of the lawyer Rudolf Bechert and his wife Herta nee Bade.

Bechert held the Indology chair at the University of Göttingen from 1965 to 2000 . In 1971, on his initiative, the former “Indological Seminar” was renamed “Seminar for Indology and Buddhist Studies”.

Bechert's main research areas were Indology and Buddhism, with a focus on Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka , Southeast Asia and Nepal . In addition, he dealt with Buddhist Sanskrit tradition in Central Asia as well as the political and social significance of the Buddhist religious community to the present day.

His language skills included Sanskrit , Middle Indian languages ​​( Pali , several Prakrits ), Tibetan , Sinhala and Burmese .

He published numerous scientific papers and works. Together with Ernst Waldschmidt he was the editor of the Sanskrit dictionary of Buddhist texts from the Turfan finds .


  • Académie Royale de Belgique in Brussels
  • Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Academy (Royal Swedish Academy)
  • Academia Europaea (Cambridge)
  • Membership in the Board of Trustees for the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • Royal Asiatic Society, Sri Lanka Branch (Colombo)
  • The Siam Society (Bangkok)
  • International Institute of Tamil Studies (Chennai)
  • Maha Bodhi Society (Kolkata)
  • Tokai Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies (Nagoya)

Fonts (selection)

as an author
as editor
  • The speeches of the Buddha ( Gautama Buddha ). Doctrine, verses, stories (Herder spectrum; 4797). Herder, Freiburg / B. 2000, ISBN 3-451-04797-7 .
  • together with Klaus Wille : Sanskrit manuscripts from the Turfan finds . Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1989 ff.
  • Burmese manuscripts . Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2000 ff.
  • together with Ernst Waldschmidt : Sanskrit dictionary of Buddhist texts from the Turfan finds and the canonical literature of the Sarvāstivāda school . Verlag Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1993 ff. (Appears in deliveries; volumes 1 to 3 published until 2014, volume 4 in part).


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