Nachruf Roque Mesquita

von Himal Trikha und Karin Preisendanz

Roque Mesquita passed away peacefully on September 22, 2016 after a protracted illness. He leaves behind his wife Erika, their children Sushila, Dominik and Sunanda, and a granddaughter, Marcia.

Born and educated in Goa, Mesquita deepened his theological education at the Gregorian University, Rome, before taking up the study of Indology at the University of Vienna’s Department of Indology with Gerhard Oberhammer. He initially specialized in the study of Viśiṣṭādvaitavedānta, especially the teachings of Yāmunamuni. In 1971, he completed his doctoral dissertation on the problem of the cognition of God in Yāmunamuni’s writings, which was followed by a critical edition and annotated translation of Yāmunamuni’s Saṃvitsiddhi, including a reconstruction of the lost parts of this work, published in 1988. The Saṃvitsiddhi remained at the center of Mesquita’s research interests and was also the topic of his habilitation thesis on Yāmunamuni’s philosophy of cognition submitted in 1987 and published in revised and enlarged form in 1990. From the mid-nineties onwards, he turned to Dvaitavedānta and studied Madhva’s work. He wrote several books on Madhva which were published in the monograph series of the De Nobili Research Library:

Madhva und seine unbekannten literarischen Quellen. Einige Beobachtungen. [PDNRL No. 24]. Vienna 1997, 151p. (also translated into English)

Madhva, Viṣṇutattvanirṇaya. Annotierte Übersetzung mit Studie. [PDNRL No. 28]. Vienna 2000, Hardcover, 562p. (partly translated in revised form into English, see below)

Madhvas Zitate aus den Purāṇas und dem Mahābhārata. Eine analytische Zusammenstellung nicht identifizierbarer Quellenzitate in Madhvas Werken nebst Übersetzung und Anmerkungen. [PDNRL No. 34]. Vienna 2007, Hardcover, 643p. (also translated into English)

His final book, a partial revised translation of "Madhva, Viṣṇutattvanirṇaya. Annotierte Übersetzung mit Studie," was seen through the press by his family and published as "Studies on Madhva’s Viṣṇutattvanirṇaya," New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 2016, 308p.

Mesquita engaged in lively discussions on his research as long as his health permitted. His last article, "Rejoinder II: Madhva's Unknown Literary Sources," appeared in 2014 in Rivista di Studi Orientali 87.
From 1972 until his retirement in 2002, Mesquita was a faculty member at the Department of Indology, from 2000 onwards Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies. He was a member of the founding executive board of the association "De Nobili Research Library – Association for Indology and the Study of Religion" in the function of deputy chairperson from 1989 until 2004, and was co-editor of “Hermeneutics of Encounter. Essays in Honour of Gerhard Oberhammer on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday” (Publications of the De Nobili Research Library 20).

The Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies of the University of Vienna and the association have lost a dear and gentle colleague. His friendly and good-spirited nature will be very much missed.