Sāhib Rām

Some Notes on Sāhib Rām (†1872)

Due to a lack of verifiable literature on the reign and court of Ranbir Singh and due to relevant archives being inaccessible, we know very little about Sahib Ram, which might be surprising, considering that the year of his death was 1872. His father was a Pandit by the name Dillārām, and his sons Dāmodar und Dayārām would be important informants for Indologists visiting Kashmir (like Stein, Bühler and Hultzsch) later on.

Sahib Ram was the head of the royal Sanskrit school (saṃskṛtapāṭhaśālā) under Ranbir Singh (r. 1857-1885) and composed several works in Sanskrit, of which 15 are recorded in manuscript collections, and probably 2 in Persian. Of these, only his Sanskrit fragments on the history of Kashmir have been edited, namely by Anett Krause in 2016.
The author’s motivation for this adaptation and it’s relation to the Maharajas institutions is still uncertain.

Stein on Sāhib Rām (1894: Catalogue of the Sanskrit manuscripts in the Raghunatha temple library, p. VIf):

[…] the Mahārāja bestowed during the whole of his reign much thought and expense on the production of an extensive series of translations which throw an interesting light on his educational policy. Translations into Hindi of standard works […] were executed, and partly printed, with the object of spreading a knowledge of classical Hindu learning among the Mahārāja’s Dogra subjects. Again, Persian and Arabic works on historical, philosophical and other subjects were translated into Sanskrit with the assistance of competent Maulvis […] Among the translations preserved in the Library may be mentioned the Vīraratnaśekharaśikhā, […] an extensive work on polity, translated from the Akhlaq-i-Mohsini and furnished with a full commentary by Paṇḍit Sāhibrāma […]

statue of Maharaja Ranbir Singh at the Ranbireshwar Temple, Jammu