Dr. Prema Nandakumar obtained her PhD summa cum laude in 1961, at the age of 22, for her study of Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri. Her¹s was the first in-depth study of Savitri and opened the way for many subsequent scholars to take up Savitri or Savitri-related subjects for academic dissertations. Dr. Nandakumar¹s doctoral dissertation was followed by post-doctoral research work comparing Dante and Sri Aurobindo. Since the publication of these early research works, Prema, who is the daughter of Prof. ICR. Srinivasa Iyengar, the first biographer of Sri Aurobindo, has written and spoken to audiences the world over, about Sri Aurobindo’s writings and philosophy.
Dr. Nandakumar is a frequent contributor to several Ashram-related journals including Sri Aurobindo’s Action, Mother India, The Advent and The Call Beyond. She has just completed a three-year series of articles on The Evolution of the Aurobindonian Heroine for The Advent and is soon to begin a new series on The Book of Fate. Her latest series of articles has Mahasaraswati as the main theme. She has drawn on sources as varied as the Vedas, the Mahabharata, Karnada literature and Bengali poetry for this. Prema is a frequent contributor of literary essays, reviews and short stories (in Tamil and English) to various other publications in India and abroad.
Prema¹s most recent book is entitled Women in Vedas and is a translation of women-related hymns from the Vedas. Dr. Nandakumar, who has been giving workshops on the writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother for more than thirty years, is also an acclaimed critic and translator and has been recognized with several awards for her contributions to Indian literature.
Dr. Nandakumar has been a member of the Academic Council, Central Institute of Higha Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi (1988-91); Member, Board of Studies in English, Andhra University, Waltair; Manba, National Executive of The Indian P.E.N., Senate member of Bharathidasan University and Visiting Professor, Swami Vivekananda Chair, Mahatma Gandhi University.
Courtesy: AUM 2001