A French Indologist and brilliant linguist with wide-ranging scholarly interests. He was director of the École Française d'Extrème-Orient from 1956 to 1977, as well as the founder director of L'Institut Français d'Indologie in Pondicherry (1955), where he established a collection of Śaivite manuscripts. He published on a wide variety of subjects, giving equal weight to both Sanskrit and Tamil sources. Among his better known publications are his collaboration with Louis Renou (1896–1966) on L'Inde Classique (vol. 1, 1947; vol. 2, 1953), his works on classical Indian medicine, and his studies of the influence of the Sanskritic tradition on Southeast Asia.