Dr. Ram Karan Sharma, Sanskrit poet and scholar was born in 1927 at Shivapur in Saran District in Bihar. He received an M.A. in Sanskrit and Hindi from Patna University as well as Sahityacharya, Vyakarana Shastri and Vedanta Shastri degrees. He earned a Ph.D. in Sanskrit from the University of California.
Over the years, he has held many prestigious positions in government and academic institutions. From 1961-1970, he was Special Officer (Sanskrit), Govt. of India. Subsequently, he was Director of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan from 1970-1974 and 1980-1983. From 1983-1984, he was Joint Educational Advisor, Govt. of India. He was Vice-Chancellor of Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga University, Darbhanga from 1974-1980 and Sampurnananda Sanskrit University, Varanasi from 1984-1985. Truly an esteemed international scholar, Dr. Sharma has held visiting professorships at Columbia and Chicago.
Dr. Sharma is known for actively organizing Oriental conferences and seminars promoting the international exchange of ideas. For his many and varied contributions to Sanskrit literature he has received many awards including the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1989, the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award in 1989, the Delhi Sanskrit Academy Award, and one of India’s most prestigious awards, the Presidential Award.
Dr. Sharma writes in both Sanskrit and English. His literary works include the poetry collections Sandhya, Patheyasatakam and Vina, and the novels, Rayisah and Sima. “Elements of poetry in the Mahabharata” is considered his most significant work as a critic of Sanskrit literature. Apart from his literary works he also translated and edited books on Indian medicine, epics, and puranas. He also contributed research papers in various seminars, journals and books in the field of Indology.
Dr. Sharma is well-known not only in India but also in other countries for his contributions towards Sanskrit literature. The Library of Congress has twenty-one works by Dr. Sharma.