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Sylvain Levi (1863 - 1935)

Sylvain Levi, one of the world's great orientalists, had been the first Visiting Professor at Visva-Bharati. Rabindranath met him on his visit to Paris 1920-21. It was in Paris that Rabindranath invited him to join Visva-bharati and his invitation was readily accepted.
Levi and his wife were present at the Inauguration ceremony of Visva-Bharat. They stayed in Santiniketan from November 1921 until August 1922. Levi taught French, Chinese and Tibetan languages.

After accompanying Rabindranath in South India, they parted from him and visited Nepal, China, Japan and other far eastern countries on a tour that eventually produced an important dictionary of Buddhism based on Chinese and Japanese sources.

About Santiniketan, Levi wrote to Rabindranath in 1923:
"I do not know if Santiniketan will ever rank among the most developed institutions of learning in the world, but you can be satisfied that you have built up an abode of unparallel peace. I long [for] the day when I can sit again in the shade of the mango-trees, walk along the noble alley of shals, talk, dream, listen to music, to verses, enjoy your delightful, sweet, dear company together with the beloved friends there."