Rama Nath Sharma was born (1939) in a family of traditional Sanskrit scholars. He studied Sanskrit from his father Padmashree Pandit Raghunath Sharma, the author of the commentary Ambakartri on the Vakyapadiyam of Bhartrihari. After doing MA in Hindi Literature and MA in General Linguistics, he taught Linguistics at the University of Allahabad during 1962-66. He earned his PhD (1971) in General Linguistics from the University of Rochester, New York, and also taught Linguistics there (1971-76). He joined the faculty of University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii (1976). He also served as the Chairman of South Asian Studies and became Professor in 1987, and also was Chairman of the Department of Hawaiian and Indo-Pacific Languages (1997–2000).
Prof. Sharma is an internationally recognized scholar of Sanskrit, with expertise in Panini’s Sanskrit grammar, the Ashtadhyayi 5th century bce. He published a six-volume translation study of the Ashtadhyayi (1987–2003), and a five-volume study on the Kashikavritti of Vamana and Jayaditya (in print with D.K. Printworld, 2017).