Ancient Nalanda University Pdf To Excel

Ancient nalanda university pdf to excel

The highly formalized methods of Vedic scholarship helped inspire the establishment of large teaching institutions such as Taxila , Nalanda, and Vikramashila , [7] which are often characterised as India's early universities.

The subsequent centuries were a time of gradual decline, a period during which the tantric developments of Buddhism became most pronounced in eastern India under the Pala Empire. At its peak the school attracted scholars and students from near and far, with some travelling from Tibet , China , Korea , and Central Asia. Much of our knowledge of Nalanda comes from the writings of pilgrim monks from Asia, such as Xuanzang and Yijing , who travelled to the Mahavihara in the 7th century CE.

Vincent Smith remarked that "a detailed history of Nalanda would be a history of Mahayanist Buddhism. Their curriculum also included other subjects, such as the Vedas , logic, Sanskrit grammar, medicine, and Samkhya. Nalanda was very likely ransacked and destroyed by an army of the Mamluk Dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate under Bakhtiyar Khalji in c.

Nalanda University

Systematic excavations commenced in , which unearthed eleven monasteries and six brick temples neatly arranged on grounds 12 hectares 30 acres in area. A trove of sculptures, coins, seals, and inscriptions have also been discovered in the ruins, many of which are on display in the Nalanda Archaeological Museum, situated nearby.

Nalanda is now a notable tourist destination, and a part of the Buddhist tourism circuit. On November 25, , the Indian government, through an Act of Parliament, resurrected the ancient university through the Nalanda University Bill, and subsequently a new Nalanda University was established.

Ancient nalanda university pdf to excel

It has been designated as an "International University of National Importance. Nalanda was initially a prosperous village by a major trade route that ran through the nearby city of Rajagriha modern Rajgir which was then the capital of Magadha. Gautama Buddha too is said to have delivered lectures in a nearby mango grove named Pavarika and one of his two chief disciples, Shariputra , was born in the area and later attained nirvana there.

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Recent archaeological discoveries have pushed back Nalanda's history to BC. The earliest occurrences of Northern Black Polished Ware have been recorded and carbon dated from the site of Juafardih. A mud brick stupa has also been carbon dated to 6th-5th century BC which bolsters the case for Nalanda as an important Buddhist site since its early period. Not much is known of Nalanda in the centuries hence.

He also places 3rd-century CE luminaries such as the Mahayana philosopher, Nagarjuna , and his disciple, Aryadeva , at Nalanda with the former also heading the institution. Taranatha also mentions a contemporary of Nagarjuna named Suvishnu building temples at the location.

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While this could imply that there was a flourishing centre for Buddhism at Nalanda before the 3rd century, no archaeological evidence has been unearthed to support the assertion. When Faxian , an early Chinese Buddhist pilgrim to India, visited Nalo , the site of Shariputra's parinirvana , at the turn of the 5th century CE, all he found worth mentioning was a stupa. The Guptas were traditionally a Brahmanical dynasty.

The Chinese monk also noted that Baladitya's son, Vajra, who commissioned a sangharama as well, "possessed a heart firm in faith".

Courses at Nalanda University

The post-Gupta period saw a long succession of kings who continued building at Nalanda "using all the skill of the sculptor". At some point, a "king of central India" built a high wall along with a gate around the now numerous edifices in the complex.

However, after the decline of the Guptas, the most notable patron of the Mahavihara was Harsha , the 7th-century emperor of Kannauj. Harsha was a converted Buddhist and considered himself a servant of the monks of Nalanda. He built a monastery of brass within the Mahavihara and remitted to it the revenues of villages. He also directed households in these villages to supply the institution's monks with requisite amounts of rice, butter, and milk on a daily basis.

Around a thousand monks from Nalanda were present at Harsha's royal congregation at Kannauj. Xuanzang also known as Hiuen Tsang travelled around India between the years of and CE, [32] and visited Nalanda first in and then again in , spending a total of around two years at the monastery.

He believed that the aim of his arduous overland journey to India had been achieved as in Shilabhadra he had at last found an incomparable teacher to instruct him in Yogachara , a school of thought that had then only partially been transmitted to China.

Besides Buddhist studies, the monk also attended courses in grammar, logic, and Sanskrit, and later also lectured at the Mahavihara. In the detailed account of his stay at Nalanda, the pilgrim describes the view out of the window of his quarters thus, [36].

History of Nalanda University

Moreover, the whole establishment is surrounded by a brick wall, which encloses the entire convent from without. One gate opens into the great college, from which are separated eight other halls standing in the middle of the Sangharama. The richly adorned towers, and the fairy-like turrets, like pointed hill-tops are congregated together. The observatories seem to be lost in the vapours of the morning , and the upper rooms tower above the clouds. Xuanzang was a contemporary and an esteemed guest of Harsha and catalogued the emperor's munificence in some detail.

According to Xuanzang's biographer, Hwui-Li , Nalanda was held in contempt by some Sthaviras for its emphasis on Mahayana philosophy.

They reportedly chided King Harsha for patronising Nalanda during one of his visits to Odisha , mocking the "sky-flower" [ clarification needed ] philosophy taught there and suggesting that he might as well patronise a Kapalika temple.

Xuanzang returned to China with Buddhist texts many of them Mahayanist and relics carried by 20 horses in cases, and translated 74 of the texts himself.

He stayed there for fourteen years, ten of which he spent at the Nalanda Mahavihara. Unlike his predecessor, Xuanzang, who also describes the geography and culture of 7th-century India, Yijing's account primarily concentrates on the practice of Buddhism in the land of its origin and detailed descriptions of the customs, rules, and regulations of the monks at the monastery. In his chronicle, Yijing notes that revenues from villages as opposed to in Xuanzang's time had been assigned toward the maintenance of Nalanda.

Each morning, a bell was rung signalling the bathing hour which led to hundreds or thousands of monks proceeding from their viharas towards a number of great pools of water in and around the campus where all of them took their bath. This was followed by another gong which signalled the ritual ablution of the image of the Buddha. The chaityavandana was conducted in the evenings which included a "three-part service", the chanting of a prescribed set of hymns, shlokas , and selections from scriptures.

While it was usually performed at a central location, Yijing states that the sheer number of residents at Nalanda made large daily assemblies difficult. This resulted in an adapted ritual which involved a priest, accompanied by lay servants and children carrying incense and flowers, travelling from one hall to the next chanting the service.

Nalanda University – An ancient center of Learning

The ritual was completed by twilight. The Palas established themselves in North-eastern India in the 8th century and reigned until the 12th century. Although they were a Buddhist dynasty, Buddhism in their time was a mixture of the Mahayana practised in Nalanda and Vajrayana , a Tantra -influenced version of Mahayanist philosophy.

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Nalanda, a cultural legacy from the great age of the Guptas, was prized and cherished by the Palas, prolific builders whose rule oversaw the establishment of four other Mahaviharas modeled on the Nalanda Mahavihara at Jagaddala , Odantapura , Somapura , and Vikramashila respectively.

Remarkably, Odantapura was founded by Gopala , the progenitor of the royal line, only 6 miles 9.

Ancient nalanda university pdf to excel

Inscriptions at Nalanda suggest that Gopala's son, Dharmapala , who founded the Mahavihara at Vikramshila, also appears to have been a benefactor of the ancient monastery in some form. It is, however, Dharmapala's son, the 9th century emperor and founder of the Mahavihara at Somapura, Devapala , who appears to have been Nalanda's most distinguished patron in this age.

A number of metallic figures containing references to Devapala have been found in its ruins as well as two notable inscriptions. The first, a copper plate inscription unearthed at Nalanda, details an endowment by the Shailendra King, Balaputradeva of Suvarnadvipa Sumatra in modern-day Indonesia. This Srivijayan king, "attracted by the manifold excellences of Nalanda" had built a monastery there and had requested Devapala to grant the revenue of five villages for its upkeep, a request which was granted.

The Ghosrawan inscription is the other inscription from Devapala's time and it mentions that he received and patronised a learned Vedic scholar named Viradeva who was later elected the head of Nalanda.

Ancient nalanda university pdf to excel

The now five different seats of Buddhist learning in eastern India formed a state-supervised network and it was common for great scholars to move easily from position to position among them.

Each establishment had its own official seal with a dharmachakra flanked by a deer on either side, a motif referring to Buddha's deer park sermon at Sarnath. While there is ample epigraphic and literary evidence to show that the Palas continued to patronise Nalanda liberally, the Mahavihara was less singularly outstanding during this period as the other Pala establishments must have drawn away a number of learned monks from Nalanda.

The Vajrayana influence on Buddhism grew strong under the Palas and this appears to have also had an effect on Nalanda. What had once been a centre of liberal scholarship with a Mahayanist focus grew more fixated with Tantric doctrines and magic rites. Taranatha's 17th-century history claims that Nalanda might have even been under the control of the head of the Vikramshila Mahavihara at some point.

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The subjects taught at Nalanda covered every field of learning, and it attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia , Persia and Turkey. Xuanzang left detailed accounts of the school in the 7th century. He described how the regularly laid-out towers, forest of pavilions, harmikas and temples seemed to "soar above the mists in the sky" so that from their cells the monks "might witness the birth of the winds and clouds".

It is evident from the large numbers of texts that Yijing carried back with him after his year residence at Nalanda, that the Mahavihara must have featured a well-equipped library. Traditional Tibetan sources mention the existence of a great library at Nalanda named Dharmaganja Piety Mart which comprised three large multi-storeyed buildings, the Ratnasagara Ocean of Jewels , the Ratnodadhi Sea of Jewels , and the Ratnaranjaka Jewel-adorned.

Ratnodadhi was nine storeys high and housed the most sacred manuscripts including the Prajnyaparamita Sutra and the Guhyasamaja.

Ancient nalanda university pdf to excel

The exact number of volumes in the Nalanda library is not known, but it is estimated to have been in the hundreds of thousands. In his biography of Xuanzang, Hwui-Li states that all the students of Nalanda studied the Great Vehicle Mahayana as well as the works of the eighteen Hinayana sects of Buddhism.

Xuanzang himself studied a number of these subjects at Nalanda under Shilabhadra and others. Besides Theology and Philosophy, frequent debates and discussions necessitated competence in Logic.

History of Nalanda University नालंदा विश्वविद्यालय का इतिहास UNESCO World Heritage site

A student at the Mahavihara had to be well-versed in the systems of Logic associated with all the different schools of thought of the time as he was expected to defend Buddhist systems against the others. Other subjects believed to have been taught at Nalanda include law, astronomy, and city-planning.

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In the 7th century, Xuanzang recorded the number of teachers at Nalanda as being around Of these, approximately were able to explain 20 collections of sutras and shastras, were able to explain 30 collections, and only 10 teachers were able to explain 50 collections. Xuanzang was among the few who were able to explain 50 collections or more.

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At this time, only the abbot Shilabhadra had studied all the major collections of sutras and shastras at Nalanda. The Chinese monk Yijing wrote that matters of discussion and administration at Nalanda would require assembly and consensus on decisions by all those at the assembly, as well as resident monks: [61]. If the monks had some business, they would assemble to discuss the matter. With the objection of a single monk, it would not pass.

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There was no use of beating or thumping to announce his case. In case a monk did something without consent of all the residents, he would be forced to leave the monastery. If there was a difference of opinion on a certain issue, they would give reason to convince the other group. No force or coercion was used to convince.

Xuanzang also noted: [52]. The lives of all these virtuous men were naturally governed by habits of the most solemn and strictest kind.

Ancient nalanda university pdf to excel

Thus in the seven hundred years of the monastery's existence no man has ever contravened the rules of the discipline. The king showers it with the signs of his respect and veneration and has assigned the revenue from a hundred cities to pay for the maintenance of the religious.

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A vast amount of what came to comprise Tibetan Buddhism , both its Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions, stems from the teachers and traditions at Nalanda. Shantarakshita , who pioneered the propagation of Buddhism in Tibet in the 8th century was a scholar of Nalanda.

He was invited by the Tibetan king, Khri-sron-deu-tsan , and established the monastery at Samye , serving as its first abbot. He and his disciple Kamalashila who was also of Nalanda essentially taught Tibetans how to do philosophy.