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RESPONSETOOFFHANDEDREMARKSBYDALAILAMAONABCNEWS ByHanMaung InitialPublication:April24,2013 http://abcnews.go.com/International/dalailamapleadsmyanmarmonksendviolenceami d/story?id=19013148#.UXiAxMrSyHc ThefollowingismyresponsetoABCNewsreportpreparedbyMuhammadLilaonApril22, 2013. TheesteemedDalaiLamawasbushwhackedintomakinganoffhandedcommentbynone otherthanMUHAMMADLILAofABCNews.Though,allthattheDalaiLamasaidwas"Allthe majorreligionsteachusthepracticeoflove,compassionandforgiveness.Soagenuine practitioneramongthesedifferentreligioustraditionswouldnotindulgeinsuchviolenceand bullyingofotherpeople."ItwaswrittenupintheABCNewsreportasifitwasamessagefor themonksinMyanmartoendviolence,forgettingthefactthemonkshavenohandinitatall. Thisreportwasapropagandapiecetojustifythefalseclaimsbeingpropagatedbythe Muslimsaroundtheworld. TheDalaiLamawasonlymakingacaseforuniversallove,compassionandforgiveness. However,cananyIslamicleaderofficiallystatethatIslamteachesuniversallove,compassion andforgivenessirrespectivewhethertheotherpersoninmuslimornonmuslimandwhether menorwomen?Ifso,willSaudiArabiaandotherShariamuslimcountrieschangetheirlaws toallownonmuslimtopracticetheirreligioninpublicandwithoutfearofbeingbeheaded? EvenifDalaiLamahadintendedhisremarksforthemonks,weneedtoexamineitcarefully. Afterall,DalaiLamahadalwaysquoted"Myfollowersshouldnotacceptmyteachingsoutof faithanddevotion,butafterinvestigationandexperimentation.'Again,accordingtoDalai LamaThesocalledTibetanBuddhism,hasentirelybeenborrowedfromIndia,more preciselyfromNalanda.Nalanda,intheancientMagadhacountry,wasaplacevisitedbythe BuddhaandLordMahaviraseveraltimes.ItisthehometownofVen.Sariputra;andwhere KingAsoka,oneofIndia'sgreatestemperors,haderectedaStupaatthespotwherehewas cremated. However,historyrevealedgenocidehadoccurredatNalandaandwhereoncetherewasa greatBuddhistuniversity,andnownoneofthesegreatuniversitiesexist.Thesewerethe earliestuniversitiesintheworld,predatingOxfordandCambridge,notonlydevotedto religionbutalsotosciencesandmathematicsandattractedscholarsandstudentsfromasfar
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awayasTibet,China,Greece,andPersia.TheresidentialNalandaUniversityhadupto30,000 studentsbutitwastotallydestroyedandburneddownbyMusliminvadersunderasmallbut barbaricarmyledbyBakhtiyarKhaljiin1193.Theuniversitywassolargethatittookover threemonthstoburn.InsteadoftakingarmsorconversiontoIslam,theBuddhistsoptedto beslainbytheinvadersandthousandswereburnedalive.Thebrightestandthebestmindsof thetimeandcountlessbookswerelost,andthecountrysidewaslaidtowaste.Similarly, BuddhismthatwasonceapredominantreligionincountriesasfarasAfghanistan,Maldives, India,IndonesiahavecompletelydisappearedduetorelentlessattacksbybarbaricIslamic forcesandthepacifistnatureofBuddhism.Bycomparison,thedamagetoTibetbycommunist ChinawasfarlessthanthoseinflictedbythebarbaricIslamicforces. LetusalsoexaminethecaseofTibet,whichwasonceanindependentcountryheadedbythe DalaiLama,andnowapartofChina.TheDalaiLama,withhisvastwisdomandcompassion wasunabletostoptheChineseannexationofTibet.Heandhisretinueoffollowerswiththe helpofUSCentralIntelligenceAgency(CIA)hadtofleeTibetandarecurrentlylivinginexile inDharamshala,India,withverylittlehopeofreturningtotheirancestralhomeland.If MyanmarorotherBuddhistcountriesweretofollowtheTibetanwayagainstforeign infiltrationandinvasionorviolencebyanalienbarbaricculture,theindigenousBuddhist peopleinthosecountrieswouldeitherbecomerefugeesinathirdcountryorbeannihilated asinthecaseofNalanda. Buddhismcanonlyexistiftheotherpartyiswillingtoreasonanddiscuss.LikeBakhtiyar KhaljiwhoissuedaFatwahtoannihilateBuddhists,accordingtoMuslimSharialaw, Buddhistsarenonbelieversanditisthedutyofallmuslimstokillthem.Hence,inRakhine statein2012,theriotwascausedafterseveralmuslimmenraped,sodomizedandmurdered ayoungBuddhistgirl.Similarly,inMeikhtila2013,theviolencestartedafteraninnocent Buddhistmonkwhowasridingbehindamotorcyclethroughthemuslimpartofthetownwas hacked,draggedaliveINTOaMOSQUEandtortured,brutalized,burnedandexecutedbya bunchofmuslimmen;whiletherestofthetownspeoplecheeredon.Thus,allviolenceand assaultinMyanmarwereinitiatedbythemuslims,andiftheBuddhistslaypeoplehadnot beenthemajorityandwillingtotakeuparms,itwouldbeakintosuicideandtheywouldhave sufferedthesamefateastheNalandaUniversity.Whenneeded,evenAsokaTheGreatwas notabsolutelynonviolentafterhisconversiontoBuddhism. Therefore,IamsadtoinformtheesteemedDalaiLama,peryourownguidance,youroff handedremarksifintendedtothemonksinMyanmar,havebeentestedandfoundwanting. LETNOTTHEHISTORYOFNALANDAREPEATITSELFAGAIN.
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Instead,pleasehelpformaninternationalorganizationofpredominantlyBuddhistnations suchasASSOCIATIONOFBUDDHISTNATIONS(ABC)orORGANIZATIONOFBUDDHIST NATIONS(OBN)(startingwithSriLanka,Thailand,Cambodia,Laos,Myanmar,Bhutan,Japan andMongolia)notonlytocounterthethreatfromMuslimfundamentalismandotherformsof terrorismbutalsotohaveaunitedvoiceinworldaffairs.ThequestionregardingChinaand Tibetwillneedtobesortedout.CountrieswithminorityBuddhistpopulationcanbeadmitted onobserverstatusonacasebycasebasis. FINALLY,ALLBUDDHISTSMUSTREMEMBERNALANDAANDPLEDGENEVERAGAIN

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LISTOFATTACHMENTS A ABCNewReport(2pages) B NalandaWikipedia(12pages) C NalandaThePursuitofScience(3pages) D ThelastlessonatNalanda(2pages) E TheSixBuddhistUniversitiesofAncientIndia(7pages) PriortoinvasionbythebarbaricIslamicforcesthePLAEMPIREwasanIndianimperialpower, duringtheClassicalperiodofIndia,thatexistedfrom7501174CE.ItwasruledbyaBuddhist dynastyfromBengalintheeasternregionoftheIndiansubcontinent,alltherulersbearingnames endingwiththesuffixPala(ModernBengali:pl),whichmeansprotector. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pala_Empire

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http://abcnews.go.com/International/dalai-lama-pleads-myanmar-monks-end-violence-amid/story?id=19013148#.UXkrs0rh

Dalai Lama Pleads for Myanmar Monks to End Violence Amid Damning Rights Report
By MUHAMMAD LILA DHARAMSALA, India, April 22, 2013

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abcnews.go.com

The Dalai Lama Condemns the Buddhist-Led Violence in Myanmar Amid a damning new report showing official Myanmar complicity in ethnically cleansing entire Muslim towns and villages, the world's foremost Buddhist leader has a message to the Buddhist monks accused of spearheading the violence. Please stop. The recent remarks, made by the Dalai Lama during an exclusive interview with ABC News from his home-in-exile in Dharamsala, India, represent his most public condemnation of the Buddhist-led violence that has left hundreds dead and an estimated hundreds of thousands homeless. "It's very sad," the Dalai Lama said. "All the major religions teach us the practice of love, compassion and forgiveness. So a genuine practitioner among these different religious traditions would not indulge in such violence and bullying of other people." When asked what he would say if he could speak directly with Buddhist monks in Myanmar, who stand accused of exhorting followers to attack Myanmar's minority Muslims, the Tibetan leader made a personal plea. "We are religious people," he said earlier this month, gesturing to his Saffron colored robes. "Buddha always teaches us about forgiveness, tolerance, compassion. "If from one corner of your mind, some emotion makes you want to hit, or want to kill, then please remember Buddha's faith. We are followers of Buddha." It's unclear how much weight the Dalai Lama's words will carry in violence-stricken areas of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), where a new report accuses Buddhist monks, political party operatives, and ordinary Myanmar residents of committing brutal acts of violence against the country's tiny Rohingya minority. The report, issued by Human Rights Watch, shows a pre-planned pattern of violence in the Southeast Asian country, including entire villages razed to the ground and the bodies of men, women and children buried in mass graves, some with their hands bound behind their backs. In another village, 70 people, including 28 children, were allegedly hacked to death. It's unclear whether Myanmar has responded to the report. The violence, which began during the summer of 2012 as a series of small skirmishes between Buddhists and Muslims in central Myanmar, has spread considerably. Nearly all the violence has been directed toward Myanmar's minority Rohingya Muslims, a small ethnic group that represents no more than 3 to 5 percent of Myanmar's total population. The Myanmar government classifies the Rohingyas as Bangladeshi immigrants, denying them official citizenship. Burmese laws prevent them from travelling without permission and owning land. Recent satellite photos released by Human Rights Watch show a huge scale of destruction: During a three-day period in March, more than 800 buildings in a single Burmese village, mostly in Rohingya neighborhoods, were completely destroyed. 1
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http://abcnews.go.com/International/dalai-lama-pleads-myanmar-monks-end-violence-amid/story?id=19013148#.UXkrs0rh Several residences were also reduced to ash, suggesting arson as a-widespread tactic. Many of those who fled now ATTACHMENT A live in overcrowded camps where they lack sufficient access to water, food, shelter and medicine. Human Rights Watch accuses Burmese authorities of turning a blind eye, and in some cases participating in the violence. It accuses the government of "systematically restricting humanitarian aid" and "imposing discriminatory policies" on its Muslim minority, warning of a humanitarian crisis if the violence isn't brought to an end. During his interview with ABC News, the Dalai Lama's tone and mood noticeably changed when the issue of Myanmar's ongoing violence was raised. While parts of the interview were jovial and filled with laughter, the Dalai Lama's tone became slow and somber when discussing Buddhist violence. "We're in the 21st century" the Dalai Lama, 77, said. "All problems must be solved through dialogue, through talk. The use of violence is outdated, and never solves problems." Born Tenzin Gyatso in China's Qinghai province in 1935, the Dalai Lama has millions of followers spread primarily throughout China, Mongolia, India and the Himalayan mountain range. He does not have official contact with Burmese authorities, and unlike other religious leaders, does not have the power to issue an edict, or fatwa, demanding the violence come to an end. Tibetan Buddhism flows from the Theravada school of Buddhism, the same denomination that is widely practiced in Myanmar, Thailand and much of Southeast Asia, though many of the rituals are different. The Dalai Lama revealed that at the outset of the violence, he had spoken directly to Burmese pro-democracy activist and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Ski, asking her to intervene to help quell the violence. Suu Kyi has been harshly criticized for failing to speak out on behalf of the Rohingyas. In April, critics pounced after she told a conference in Japan, "we must learn to accommodate those with different views from ours," saying the words amounted to lip service that were, in effect, too little too late. Despite the criticism, the Dalai Lama remains hopeful that Suu Kyi can still intervene to solve the crisis. "As a fellow Nobel laureate, I'm quite sure that behind the scenes, she can help," he said. "I'm quite sure."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Internet Ventures

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Nalanda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nalanda

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Coordinates: 25.1367959N 85.4438281E

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nland was an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India.[1] The site is located about 88 kilometres south east of Patna, and was a religious center of learning from the fifth century CE to 1197 CE.[2][3] Nalanda flourished between the reign of the akrditya (whose identity is uncertain and who might have been either Kumara Gupta I or Kumara Gupta II) and 1197 CE, supported by patronage from the Hindu Gupta rulers as well as Buddhist emperors like Harsha and later emperors from the Pala Empire.[4] The complex was built with red bricks and its ruins occupy an area of 14 hectares. At its peak, the university attracted scholars and students from as far away as Tibet, China, Greece, and Persia.[5] Nalanda was ransacked and destroyed by an army under Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193. The great library of Nalanda University was so vast that it is reported to have burned for three months after the invaders set fire to it, ransacked and destroyed the monasteries, and drove the monks from the site. In 2006, Singapore, China, India, Japan, and other nations, announced a proposed plan to restore and revive the ancient site as Nalanda International University.

Nalanda
city

Ruins of Nalanda University

Nalanda

Coordinates: 25.1367959N 85.4438281E Country State District India Bihar Nalanda IST (UTC+5:30) 803115 +91-6112 BR 21 Rajgir

1 Etymology 2 History 2.1 History of the university and the Gupta heyday 2.2 Nalanda in the Pla era 2.3 Decline and end

Time zone PIN Telephone code Vehicle registration Nearest city

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3 Overview 3.1 Libraries 3.2 Curriculum 3.3 Influence on Buddhism 4 Excavations 5 Ruins 6 Plans for revival 7 Institutions 8 Railway Station 9 In popular culture 10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links

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Nalanda Nalanda

The Chinese pilgrim-monk Xuanzang[6] gives several explanations of the name Nland. One is that it was named after the Nga who lived in a tank in the middle of the mango grove. Another, the one he accepted, is that Shakyamuni Buddha once had his capital here and gave "alms without intermission", hence the name. riputra died at the village called 'Nalaka,' which is also identified as Nalanda by many scholars.
[citation needed]

Some historical studies suggest that the University of Nalanda was established during the reign of a king called akrditya, of the Gupta Dynasty.[7] Both Xuanzang and Prajavarman cite him as the founder, as does a seal discovered at the site.[4] As historian Sukumar Dutt describes it, the history of Nalanda university "falls into two main divisionsfirst, one of growth, development and fruition from the sixth century to the ninth, when it was dominated by the liberal cultural traditions inherited from the Gupta age; the second, one of gradual decline and final dissolution from the ninth century to the thirteena period when the tantric developments of Buddhism became most pronounced in
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Replica of the seal of Nalanda University set in terracotta on display in the ASI Museum in Nalanda

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eastern India."[8]???

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A number of monasteries grew up during the Pla period in ancient Bengal and Magadha. According to Tibetan sources, five great Mahaviharas stood out: Vikramashila, the premier university of the era; Nalanda, past its prime but still illustrious, Somapura, Odantapur, and Jaggadala.[9] The five monasteries formed a network; "all of them were under state supervision" and there existed "a system of co-ordination among them . . it seems from the evidence that the different seats of Buddhist learning that functioned in eastern India under the Pla were regarded together as forming a network, an interlinked group of institutions," and it was common for great scholars to move easily from position to position among them.[10] During the Pl period, the Nlnda was less singularly outstanding, as other Pla establishments "must have drawn away a number of learned monks from Nlnda when all of them . . came under the aegis of the Pls."[8]

Evidence in literature suggests that in 1193, the Nalanda University was sacked by[11] the fanatic Bakhtiyar Khilji, a Turk.[12] Muslim conquest in India is seen by scholars as one of the reasons of the decline of Buddhism in India. The Persian historian Minhaj-i-Siraj, in his chronicle the Tabaqat-I-Nasiri , reported that thousands of monks were burned alive and thousands beheaded as Khilji tried his best to uproot Buddhism[13] the burning of the library continued for several months and "smoke from the burning manuscripts hung for days like a dark pall over the low hills."[14] The last throne-holder of Nalanda, Shakyashribhadra, fled to Tibet in 1204 CE at the invitation of the Tibetan translator Tropu Lotsawa (Khro-phu Lo-tsa-ba Byams-pa dpal). In Tibet, he started an ordination lineage of the Mulasarvastivadin lineage to complement the two existing ones. When the Tibetan translator Chag Lotsawa (Chag Lo-tsa-ba, 11971264) visited the site in 1235, he found it damaged and looted, with a 90-year-old teacher, Rahula Shribhadra, instructing a class of about 70 students.[15][16] During Chag Lotsawa's time there an incursion by Turkish soldiers caused the remaining students to flee. Despite all this, "remnants of the debilitated Buddhist community continued to struggle on under scarce resources until c. 1400 CE when Chagalaraja was reportedly the last king to have patronized Nalanda."[17] Ahir considers the destruction of the temples, monasteries, centres of learning at Nalanda and northern India to be responsible for the demise of ancient Indian scientific thought in mathematics, astronomy, alchemy, and anatomy.[18]

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Nalanda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nalanda

Nalanda was one of the world's first residential universities, i.e., it had dormitories for students. It is also one of the most famous universities. In its heyday, it

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Pilgrimage to

Buddha's Holy Sites

The Four Main Sites Lumbini Bodh Gaya Sarnath Kushinagar Four Additional Sites Sravasti Rajgir Sankissa Vaishali Other Sites Pataliputra Gaya Kosambi Kapilavastu Devadaha Kesariya Pava Nalanda Varanasi Later Sites Sanchi Mathura Ellora Ajanta Vikramshila Ratnagiri Udayagiri Lalitgiri Bharhut Barabar Caves view talk edit (//en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:BuddhasHolySites&action=edit)

accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers. The university was considered an architectural masterpiece, and was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. Nalanda had eight separate compounds and ten temples, along with many other meditation halls and classrooms. On the grounds were lakes and parks. The library was located in a nine storied building where meticulous copies of texts were produced. The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of learning, and it attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey.[3] During the period of Harsha, the monastery is reported to have owned 200 villages given as grants. The Tang Dynasty Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang left detailed accounts of the university 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."[19] The pilgrim states: "An azure pool winds around the monasteries, adorned with the full-blown cups of the blue lotus; the dazzling red flowers of the lovely kanaka hang here and there, and outside groves of mango trees offer the inhabitants their
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dense and protective shade."[20]

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The entrance of many of the viharas in the Nalanda University ruins can be seen with a bow marked floor; the bow was the royal sign of the Guptas.

Structure The library at Nalanda University was an immense complex. Called the Dharmaganja, or Piety Mart, it was separated into three large buildings: the Ratnasagara, the Ratnadadhi, and the Ratnaranjaka. The Ratnadadhi, meaning the Ocean of Gems, was nine stories high and housed the most sacred manuscripts including the Prajnaparamita Sutra and the Samajguhya.[21] The towers were supposedly immense, bejewelled and gilded to reflect the rays of the sun.[22] According to the Bhaskara Samhita, an ancient text on organizational practices, the library was to be built in a finely built stone building and each manuscript would have been placed on iron shelves or stack and covered with cloth and tied up. Furthermore, the librarian in charge, according to the text, was not only responsible for maintaining the materials but also for guiding readers in their studies[23] The exact number of volumes of the Nalanda University Library is not known but it is estimated to have been in the hundreds of thousands.[24] The library not only collected religious manuscripts but also had texts on such subjects as grammar, logic, literature, astrology, astronomy, and medicine[25] Classification It is clear that Nalanda University library had a classification scheme[26] which was possibly based on a text classification scheme developed by the great Sanskrit linguist Panini.[27] Buddhists texts were most likely divided in three classes based on the Tripitakas three main divisions: the Vinaya, Sutra, and the Abhidamma.[28] Like most other Indian ancient and medieval period libraries, Nalanda would have used a basic catalogue to help patrons find materials. This bibliography, or Anukamanikas, would have listed the books by hymns, authors, form of sutras, Rishis name, and the hymnal metre.[29] Destruction The library was destroyed in 11971203 during the Muslim invasion in which Bakhtiyar Khalji sacked it and set it to flames.[30] According to Tibetan legend, the university and library were reportedly repaired shortly after by Muditabhadra, a Buddhist sage. Unfortunately, the library was again burned by Tirthaka medicants.[31]

In nalanda university,the Tibetan tradition holds that there were "four doxographies" (Tibetan: grub-mtha) which were taught at Nland, and Alexander Berzin specifies these as:[32] 1. Sarvstivda Vaibhika 2. Sarvstivda Sautrntika 3. Mdhyamaka, the Mahyna philosophy of Ngrjuna
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4. Cittamatra, the Mahyna philosophy of Asaga and Vasubandhu According to an unattributed article of the Dharma Fellowship (2005), the curriculum of Nalanda University at the time of Majurmitra contained: ...virtually the entire range of world knowledge then available. Courses were drawn from every field of learning, Buddhist and Hindu, sacred and secular, foreign and native. Students studied science, astronomy, medicine, and logic as diligently as they applied themselves to metaphysics, philosophy, Samkhya, Yoga-shastra, the Veda, and the scriptures of Buddhism. They studied foreign philosophy likewise. In the 7th century, Xuanzang records the number of teachers at Nland as being around 1510.[33] Of these, approximately 1000 were able to explain 20 collections of stras and stras, 500 were able to explain 30 collections, and only 10 teachers were able to explain 50 collections.[33] Xuanzang was among the few who were able to explain 50 collections or more.[33] At this time, only the abbot labhadra had studied all the major collections of stras and stras at Nland.[33] Yijing wrote that matters of discussion and administration at Nland would require assembly and consensus on decisions by all those at the assembly, as well as resident monks:[34] If the monks had some business, they would assemble to discuss the matter. Then they ordered the officer, Vihrapla, to circulate and report the matter to the resident monks one by one with folded hands. With the objection of a single monk, it would not pass. 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 writes: "The lives of all these virtuous men were naturally governed by habits of the most solemn and strictest kind. 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."[20]

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A vast amount of what came to comprise Tibetan Buddhism, both its Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions, stems from the late (9th12th century) Nalanda teachers and traditions. The scholar Dharmakirti (ca. 7th century), one of the Buddhist founders of Indian philosophical logic, as well as and one of the primary theorists of Buddhist atomism, taught at Nalanda. Other forms of Buddhism, such as the Mahyna Buddhism followed in Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan, flourished within the walls of the ancient university. A number of scholars have associated some Mahyna texts such as the ragama Stra, an important stra in East Asian Buddhism,
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ATTACHMENT - B [35][36] with the Buddhist tradition at Nland. Ron

Epstein also notes that the general doctrinal position of the stra does indeed correspond to what is known about the Buddhist teachings at Nland toward the end of the Gupta period when it was translated.[37] According to Hwui-Li, a Chinese visitor, Nland was held in contempt by some Sthaviras for its emphasis on Mahayana philosophy. They reportedly chided King Hara for patronising Nalanda during one of his visits to Odisha, mocking the "sky-flower" philosophy taught there and suggesting that he might as well patronise a Kapalika temple.[38] When this occurred, Hara notified the chancellor of Nland, who sent the monks Sgaramati, Prajrami, Siharami, and Xuanzang to refute the views of the monks from Odisha.[39]

Excavations conducted by Archaeological Survey of India during 191537 and 197482 have exposed the extensive remains of six major brick temples and eleven monasteries arranged on a systematic layout and spread over an area of more than a square kilometre. Basically a hundred feet wide passage runs north-south with the row of temples on the west and that of the monasteries on the east of it. The monasteries are quite identical in general layout and appearance. Central courtyard, row of cells all around with a common verandah, a secret chamber for keeping valuables, staircase for going to upper stories, kitchen, well, granary, single entrance and common place for prayer or meeting etc. are some characteristic features of almost all the monasteries at Nalanda. The main temple site 3 is the largest and most imposing structure at southern extremity of the row of temples and is surrounded by votive stupas. Originally it had four corner towers out of which two are in existence and decorated with rows of niches containing beautiful stucco images of Buddha and Bodhisattvas which are fine specimens of Gupta art. A temple different in character and not conforming to the general layout of the remains is represented by temple site 2. The interesting feature of this temple is the dado of two hundred and eleven sculptured panels over the moulded plinth. Another mound called 'Sarai Tila' very close to the monastery complex has revealed ruins of a temple with murals and feet portion of a colossal stucco image of Lord Buddha. Other than structures, the excavations have unearthed many sculptures and images in stone, bronze and stucco. Significant among the Buddhist sculptures are Buddha in different postures,
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Avalokitesvara, Manjusri, Tara, Prajnaparamita, Marichi, Jambhala etc. and a few images are of Brahmanical deities like Vishnu, Siva-Parvati, Mahishasura-mardini, Ganesa, Surya etc. Other noteworthy discoveries of excavations include the murals, copper plates, inscriptions, sealings, plaques, coins, terracottas, potteries etc. The antiquities have been exhibited for the visitors in the site museum maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

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A number of ruined structures survive. Nearby is the Surya Mandir, a Hindu temple. The known and excavated ruins extend over an area of about 150,000 square metres, although if Xuanzang's account of Nalanda's extent is correlated with present excavations, almost 90% of it remains unexcavated. Nland is no longer inhabited. Today the nearest habitation is a village called Bargaon. In 1951, a modern centre for Pali (Theravadin) Buddhist studies was founded nearby by Bhikshu Jagdish Kashyap, the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara (http://www.nnm.ac.in).[40] Presently, this institute is pursuing an ambitious program of satellite imaging of the entire region. The Nalanda Museum contains a number of manuscripts, and shows many examples of the items that have been excavated. India's first Multimedia Museum (http://www.prachinbharat.com) was opened on 26 January 2008, which recreates the history of Nalanda using a 3D animation film narrated by Shekhar Suman. Besides this there are four more sections in the Multimedia Museum: Geographical Perspective, Historical Perspective, Hall of Nalanda and Revival of Nalanda.

Main article: Nalanda International University On 9 December 2006, the New York Times detailed a plan in the works to spend $1 billion to revive Nalanda University near the ancient site. A consortium led by Singapore and including China, India, Japan and other nations will attempt to raise $500 million to build a new university and another $500 million to develop necessary infrastructure.[3] On 28 May 2007, Merinews reported that the revived university's enrolment will be 1,137 in its first year, and 4,530 by the fifth. In the 'second phase', enrolment will reach 5,812.[41] On 12 June 2007, News Post India reported that the Japanese diplomat Noro Motoyasu said that "Japan will fund the setting up an international university in Nalanda in Bihar". The report goes on to say that "The proposed university will be fully residential, like the ancient seat of learning at Nalanda. In the first phase of the project, seven schools with 46 foreign faculty members and over 400 Indian academics would come up." ... "The university will impart courses in science, philosophy and spiritualism along with other subjects. A renowned international scholar will be its chancellor."[42]
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Nalanda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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On 15 August 2007, The Times of India reported that Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has accepted the offer to join the revived Nalanda International University sometime in September 2007."[43] NDTV reported on 5 May 2008 that, according to Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, the foundation of University would likely be in the year 2009 and the first teaching class could begin in a few years from then. Sen, who heads the Nalanda Mentor Group, said the final report in this regard, is expected to be presented to the East Asia Summit in December 2008. On 11 May 2008, The Times of India reported that host nation India and a consortium of East Asian countries met in New York to further discuss Nalanda plans. It was decided that Nalanda would largely be a post-graduate research university, with the following schools: School of Buddhist studies, philosophy, and comparative religion; School of historical studies; School of International Relations and Peace; School of Business Management and Development; School of Languages and Literature; and, School of Ecology and Environmental Studies. The objective of the school was claimed to be "aimed at advancing the concept of an Asian community...and rediscovering old relationships."[44] On 13 September 2010, the Jakarta Globe Reported Parliament in New Delhi passed a bill approving plans to rebuild the campus as a symbol of India's global ambitions.[45]

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Revived Nalanda University (http://nalandauniv.edu.in) India, China, Japan and Singapore are rebuilding the ancient university."/> Nava Nalanda Mahavihara (http://www.nnm.ac.in/) Nava Nalanda Mahavihara is a modern centre for Pali (Theravadin) Buddhist studies.[40]

Nalanda

1970: Hindi movie Johny Mera Naam uses the location of Nalanda ruins for its climactic song.o mere raja

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Ancient Universities of India Benares I Ching (monk) Nava Vihara

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1. ^ "Destinations :: Patna" (http://bstdc.bih.nic.in /Patna.htm). 2. ^ Scharfe, Hartmut (2002). Education in Ancient India (http://books.google.co.uk /books?id=7s19sZFRxCUC& printsec=frontcover& dq=Education+in+Ancient+India#v=onepage& q=nalanda&f=false). Brill. p. 149. ISBN 978-90-04-12556-8. 3. ^ a b c "Really Old School (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/09/opinion /09garten.html?scp=1&sq=Nalanda&st=cse)," Garten, Jeffrey E. New York Times, 9 December 2006. 4. ^ a b Sukumar Dutt (1962). Buddhist Monks And Monasteries of India: Their History And Contribution To Indian Culture. George Allen and Unwin Ltd, London. p. 329. ISBN 81-208-0498-8. 5. ^ Nalanda Digital Library. "Nalanda Digital Library-Nalanda Heritage-Nalanda,the first residential international University of the World" (http://www.nalanda.nitc.ac.in/about /NalandaHeritage.html). Nalanda.nitc.ac.in. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 6. ^ Beal: op. cit., ii.167f 7. ^ Altekar, Anant Sadashiv (1965). Education in Ancient India, Sixth, Varanasi: Nand Kishore & Bros. 8. ^ a b Sukumar Dutt (1962). Buddhist Monks And Monasteries of India: Their History And Contribution To Indian Culture. George Allen and Unwin Ltd, London. p. 344. ISBN 81-208-0498-8. 9. ^ Vajrayogini: Her Visualization, Rituals, and Forms by Elizabeth English. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-329-X pg 15 10. ^ Sukumar Dutt (1962). Buddhist Monks And Monasteries of India: Their History And Contribution To Indian Culture. George Allen

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and Unwin Ltd, London. pp. 352353. ISBN 81-208-0498-8. ^ "The Buddha and the Sahibs" by William Dalrymple ^ Scott, David (May 1995). "Buddhism and Islam: Past to Present Encounters and Interfaith Lessons". Numen 42 (2): 141. doi:10.1163/1568527952598657 (http://dx.doi.org /10.1163%2F1568527952598657). ^ Young Oon Kim (1976). World Religions: Volume 2: India's Religious Quest. Golden State Publishing Co. ^ Gertrude Emerson Sen (1964). The Story of Early Indian Civilization. Orient Longmans. ^ "About Us" (http://www.nalandaopenuniversity.com/images /about.htm). Nalanda Open University. 29 December 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-22. ^ "The Historical Interaction between the Buddhist and Islamic Cultures before the Mongol Empire" (http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en /archives/e-books/unpublished_manuscripts /historical_interaction /pt3/history_cultures_20.html) The Berzin Archives. ^ Le Huu Phuoc (2010). Buddhist Architecture (http://books.google.com/?id=9jb364g4BvoC& printsec=frontcover& dq=%22Buddhist+Architecture%22#v=onepage &q=nalanda&f=false). Grafikol. p. 60. ISBN 0-9844043-0-9. ^ D.C. Ahir (2005). Buddhism Declined in India : How and Why?. B. R. Publishing. ISBN 81-7646-447-3. ^ Rene Grousset. In the Footsteps of the Buddha. JA Underwood (trans) Orion Press. New York. 1971 p158 ^ a b Rene Grousset (1971). In the Footsteps of the Buddha. Orion Press. p. 159.

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23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32.

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ATTACHMENT - B ISBN 0-7661-9347-0. 565 34. ^ Walser, Joseph. Ngrjuna in Context: ^ Datta, B. K. (1970). Libraries & librarianship Mahyna Buddhism and Early Indian Culture. of ancient and medieval India. Delhi: Atma Ram 2005. p. 102 ^ Dutt, S. (2008). Buddhist monks and 35. ^ Humphreys, Christmas. The Wisdom of monasteries of India: Their history and their Buddhism. 1995. p. 111 contribution to Indian culture. Delhi: Motilal 36. ^ Dutt, Sukumar. Buddhist Monks and Banarsidass. ^ Patel, J., & Krishan, K. (2001). Libraries and Monasteries of India. 1962. p. 264 librarianship in India. Westport: Greenwood 37. ^ "The Shurangama Sutra (T. 945): A Press. Reappraisal of its Authenticity" ^ Khurshid, A. (1972). Growth of libraries in (http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism India. International Library Review. 4:2165. /authenticity.htm). ^ Bhatt, R.K. (1995). History and Development 38. ^ Sukumar Dutt (1962). Buddhist Monks And Monasteries of India: Their History And of libraries in India. New Delhi: Mittal Contribution To Indian Culture. George Allen Publications. and Unwin Ltd, London. p. 334. ^ Datta, 1979 ISBN 81-208-0498-8. ^ Patel & Kumar 2001, p.4 39. ^ Joshi, Lalmai. Studies in the Buddhistic ^ Taher, M. & Davis, D.G. (1994). Librarianship Culture of India. 1987. p. 171 and library science in India. New Delhi: Ashok Kumar Mittal, p.37. 40. ^ a b Nava Nalanda Mahavihara ^ Taher & Davis, 1994, p.37 (http://www.nnm.ac.in/) ^ Bhatt, 1995, p. 22 41. ^ "Nalanda Intl University: A commendable ^ Datta, 1970, p. 28 initiative (http://www.merinews.com ^ Berzin, Alexander (2002). The Four Indian /catFull.jsp?articleID=125171)", K.jha, Ashok, Buddhist Tenet Systems Regarding Illusion: A Merinews, 28 May 2007. Practical Approach. Berlin, Germany. Source: 42. ^ "Japan eager to invest in university at [1] (http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en Nalanda" (http://www.indiaenews.com /archives/sutra/level5_analysis_mind_reality /education/20070612/55820.htm). India eNews. /four_indian_buddhist_tenet_systems 12 June 2007. Retrieved 2010-02-22. /four_indian_tenets_illusion_.html) (accessed: 2 43. ^ "Kalam to join Nalanda University soon," The January 2008). "In the Indian Mahayana Times of India, 15 August 2007. Buddhist monasteries, such as Nalanda, monks 44. ^ "Nalanda to move from ruins to riches studied four systems of Buddhist tenets. Two (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow Vaibhashika and Sautrantika were subdivisions /3029197.cms)", 11 May 2008. of the Sarvastivada school within Hinayana. The 45. ^ India Plans to Lift Ancient University From other two Chittamatra and Madhyamaka the Ashes (http://www.thejakartaglobe.com were subdivisions within Mahayana." /education/india-plans-to-lift-ancient-universityabcd Mookerji, Radhakumud. Ancient Indian from-the-ashes/395949) ^ Education: Brahmanical and Buddhist. 1989. p.

Behl, Benoy K. (1 March 2008). "Art: Thoughts and Images (15 of 25)" (http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2505/stories/20080314250506600.htm). Frontline 25 (5).

World Heritage (http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5407/)


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Nalanda travel guide from Wikivoyage Entry on Nalanda in the Buddhist Dictionary of Pali Proper Names (http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/n/naalandaa.htm) An Ancient Glory Rises (http://www.newsweek.com/id/117812) Manuscript originally from Nalanda (http://www.asiasocietymuseum.com/buddhist_trade /himalaya_tibet.html) Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Bihar State, India (http://navanalandamahavihara.org/index.html) Villages linked to Nalanda located (http://www.dailynews.lk/2008/11/01/news11.asp) Nalanda District Official website (http://nalanda.bih.nic.in) Nalanda First Portal (http://ebiharportal.com/) Photographs on Nalanda (http://www.indiamonuments.org/Bihar/Upload%20Bihar%2004 /Bihar%2004.htm)

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Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nalanda&oldid=551923896" Categories: 5th-century establishments Buddhist universities and colleges Former Buddhist temples Ruins in India Education in Bihar History of Bihar Places connected with Jainism Ancient universities of the Indian subcontinent Buddhist pilgrimages Cities and towns in Nalanda district Former populated places in India Archaeological sites in Bihar Educational institutions established in the 5th century This page was last modified on 24 April 2013 at 07:43. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

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Nalanda and the pursuit of science - The Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article1063459.ece?homepage=t...

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Opinion Op-Ed
Published: January 8, 2011 01:56 IST | Updated: January 14, 2011 18:30 IST

Nalanda and the pursuit of science


Amartya Sen

CENTRE OF LEARNING: 'Science has to fight parochialism, and Nalanda was firmly committed to just that.'

Special Arrangement

Nalanda stood for the passion of propagating knowledge, understanding.' Amartya Sen's keynote address at the 98th Indian Science Congress in Chennai on January 4.

The subject of this talk is Nalanda and the pursuit of science, but before I go into that rather complex issue, I must say something about Nalanda itself, since it is still an obscure entity for most people in the world. Since the university is being, right now, re-established under a joint Asian initiative, the fact that Nalanda was a very ancient university is becoming better known. But how does it compare with other old universities in the world? Well, what is the oldest university in the world? In answering this question, one's mind turns to Bologna, initiated in 1088, to Paris in 1091, and to other old citadels of learning, including of course Oxford University which was established in 1167, and Cambridge in 1209. Where does Nalanda fit into this picture? Nowhere is the short answer if we are looking for a university in continuous existence. Nalanda was violently destroyed in an Afghan attack, led by the ruthless conqueror, Bakhtiyar Khilji, in 1193, shortly after the beginning of Oxford University and shortly before the initiation of Cambridge. Nalanda university, an internationally renowned centre of higher education in India, which was established in the early fifth century, was ending its continuous existence of more than seven hundred years as Oxford and Cambridge were being founded, and even compared with the oldest European university, Bologna, Nalanda was more than six hundred years old, when Bologna was born. Had it not been destroyed and had it managed to survive to our time, Nalanda would be, by a long margin, the oldest university in the world. Another distinguished university, which did not stay in existence continuously either, viz. Al-Azhar University in Cairo, with which Nalanda is often compared, was established at a time, 970 AD, when Nalanda was already more than five hundred years old. That is enough vaunting of age (as you know, in India we take age quite seriously), and I hope you have got the point: we are talking about the oldest university in the world by a long margin, that is, if we do not insist on continuous existence. The university is being re-started right now, and since I happen to have the difficult task of chairing its interim governing body, I am finding out how hard it is to re-establish a university after an 800 year hiatus. But we are getting there. This meeting here gives me an opportunity to recollect the pursuit of science in old Nalanda which will inspire and guide our long-run efforts in new Nalanda. I say long run, because mainly for cost reasons indeed entirely for cost reasons we cannot start the science faculties immediately (physical and

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biological sciences cost much more money than the humanities and the social sciences do). The recollection and more challengingly, assessment of the scientific tradition in old Nalanda are important right now, partly because we have to start thinking about the long run (even as we try to raise money for initiation and expansion), but also because a scientific attitude and disciplined thought are important for the entire conception of new Nalanda, including the teaching of and research in humanities (such as history, languages and linguistics, and comparative religion), as well as the social sciences and the world of practice (such as international relations, management and development, and information technology). Let me identify a few questions about the pursuit of science in Nalanda. First, was the old Nalanda sufficiently large to be a factor in whatever pursuit it might have been championing? Was it not merely a drop in an ocean of superstition and ignorance that some people see as the characteristic feature of the Indian old world: you only have to read James Mill's History of India, which was obligatory reading for all British civil servants sent off to run the Raj, to see how firm and politically important this conception of the past was in keeping modern India in check. Well, Nalanda was an old centre of learning that attracted students from many countries in the world, particularly China and Tibet, Korea and Japan, and the rest of Asia, but a few also from as far in the west as Turkey. Nalanda, a residential university, had at its peak 10,000 students, studying various subjects. Chinese students in particular, such as Xuanzang and Yi Jing in the seventh century, wrote extensively on what they saw and what they particularly admired about the educational standards in Nalanda. Incidentally, Nalanda is the only non-Chinese institution in which any Chinese scholar was educated in the history of ancient China. It is also important to recognise that while Nalanda was very special, it was still a part of a larger tradition of organised higher education that developed in that period in India in Bihar in particular. In addition to Nalanda, there were in the vicinity other such institutions, such as Vikramshila and Odantapuri. Indeed, Xuangzang wrote about them too, even though he himself studied in Nalanda. There was a larger social culture to which Nalanda belonged, and this is important to recollect in thinking about the tradition of Nalanda. The second question to ask is the difficult one about the room for science in what was after all a religious institution. Nalanda was a Buddhist foundation, as were Vikramshila and Odantapuri, and surely the central focus of these institutions were studies of Buddhist philosophy and practice. The point to remember here is that by the nature of the philosophy of Buddha, whose focus of preaching was on enlightenment (the name given to Gautama, viz Buddha, itself means enlightened), there was a basic epistemic and ethical curiosity in the tradition of intellectual Buddhism that sought knowledge in many different fields. Some of the fields were directly related to Buddhist commitments, such as medicine and healthcare; others went with the development and dissemination of Buddhist culture, such as architecture and sculpture; and still others linked Buddhist intellectual queries with interest in analytical discipline. Let me comment briefly on the last not specifically with reference to Nalanda, but as a way of understanding better the Buddhist intellectual impact. One of the connections on which evidence of intellectual connections between China and India is plentiful is the impact of Buddhists in general, and of adherents of Tantric Buddhism in particular, on Chinese mathematics and astronomy in the seventh and eighth centuries, in the Tang period. Yi Jing, who was a student of Nalanda, and to whom I referred earlier, was one of many translators of Tantric texts from Sanskrit into Chinese. Tantrism became a major force in China in the seventh and eighth centuries, and had followers among Chinese intellectuals of the highest standing. Since many Tantric scholars had a deep interest in mathematics (perhaps connected, at least initially, with Tantric fascination with numbers), Tantric mathematicians had a significant influence on Chinese mathematics as well. Indeed, as Joseph Needham notes, the most important Tantrist was I-Hsing (+672 to +717), the greatest Chinese astronomer and mathematician of his time. Needham goes on to remark that this fact alone should give us pause, since it offers a clue to the possible significance of this form of Buddhism for all kinds of observational and experimental sciences. Yi Xing (or I-Hsing, to use Needham's spelling), who was in fact never a student of Nalanda, but belonged to a tradition of which Nalanda was one of the results, was fluent in Sanskrit. (I request the audience to be careful of the distinction between Yi Xing, the mathematician, and Yi Jing, the intellectual trained in Nalanda, who was, among other things, interested in medicine.) As a Buddhist monk, Yi Xing was familiar with the Indian religious literature, but he had acquired a great expertise also on Indian writings on mathematics and astronomy. Despite his own religious connection, it would be a mistake to assume that Yi Xing's mathematical or scientific work was somehow motivated by religious concerns. As a general mathematician who happened to be also a Tantrist, Yi Xing dealt with a variety of analytical and computational problems, many of which had no particular connection with Tantrism or Buddhism at all. The combinatorial problems tackled by Yi Xing included such classic ones as calculating the total number of possible situations in chess. Yi Xing was particularly concerned with calendrical calculations, and even constructed, on imperial order, a new calendar for China. Calendrical studies in which Indian astronomers located in China in the eighth century, along with Yi Xing, were

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particularly involved, made good use of the progress of trigonometry that had already occurred in India by then (going much beyond the original Greek roots of Indian trigonometry). The movement east of Indian trigonometry to China was a part of a global exchange of ideas that also went West around that time. Indeed, this was also about the time when Indian trigonometry was having a major impact on the Arab world (with widely used Arabic translations of the works of Aryabhata, Varahamihira, Brahmagupta and others), which would later influence European mathematics as well, through the Arabs (Gherardo of Cremona would make the first Latin translation of Arab mathematical texts that reported on Indian work in 1150, just before the time when Nalanda would come to its sudden end). It is this general intellectual animation, including animation in analytical and scientific questions, that we have to appreciate in interpreting what was going on in old Nalanda. I take the liberty of mentioning here that it is not, of course, unique to Nalanda that as a religious foundation, it nevertheless pursued general intellectual and scientific studies the products of which were of great interest also to people who were not religious, or did not share the religion of the foundations involved. Isaac Newton was religious indeed very mystically oriented and while he revolutionised the nature of physics, mathematics and optics, he had no problem with his (and, as it happens, mine and Venky Ramakrishnan's) college's (that is Trinity's) the-then religiosity, and did not raise the kind of questions about compatibility that some later Trinity-men, like Henry Sidgwick, would with powerful arguments. The mixture of religion and science was by no means unique to Nalanda, and to illustrate with another example, it was the Christian university of Padua one of the earliest of the extant universities in the world that produced Galileo Galilei. (I was, incidentally amused when, while receiving an honorary doctorate at Padua, I heard Paul Ricoeur, another recipient, chastising the University of Padua for not standing up sufficiently for Galileo. Ricoeur's arguments were impeccable, though it seemed a little unfair to blame the current Rector of Padua for Padua's lack of support for Galileo.) To what extent such conflict arose in Nalanda, I do not know, but as more documents come to light, we may well find out whether there were tensions in the relation between science and religion in Nalanda. What is, however, absolutely clear is that this Buddhist foundation made much room for the pursuit of analytical and scientific subjects within the campus of Nalanda university. A third question concerns the subjects that were actually taught in Nalanda. Here we do have a problem, since the documents in Nalanda were indiscriminatingly burnt by Bakhtiyar and his conquering army. We have to rely therefore of the accounts of students of Nalanda who wrote about what they had seen, and given the reticence of Indians to write about history (a subject of interest in itself), we have to rely mostly on the accounts of outsiders who did not share that reticence, such as Xuangzang and Yi Jing. We do know that among the subjects taught, and on which there was on-going research, were medicine, public health, architecture, sculpture, and astronomy, in addition to religion, history, law and linguistics. What about mathematics? As it happens the Chinese chroniclers from Nalanda, such as Yi Jing and Xuangzang, were not involved in mathematical studies. Those in China who were deeply involved in Indian mathematics, such as Yi Xing, did not train in Nalanda. There may have been others, in India or China or elsewhere, from Nalanda who were involved in mathematics (a subject that was flourishing in India in this period) and whose documents have been lost. However, we do know, from Indian accounts, that logic was a subject that was taught in Nalanda, and my guess is that eventually evidence would emerge on this part of the curriculum in Nalanda as well. Further indirect evidence in the direction of the presence of mathematics in Nalanda curriculum was the inclusion of astronomy in Nalanda. Xuangzang comments on that, and refers elegantly to the observational tower that seemed to rest among the cloudy fog high up, and provided an eye-catching sight in the Nalanda campus. In that period the progresses in Indian and Chinese astronomy were closely linked with developments with mathematics, particularly trigonometry. Indeed, all the Indian experts that the Chinese brought to China for astronomical work were mathematicians (one of these Indian mathematicians became the Director of the official Board of Astronomy of China in the 8th century). We do not know enough about the ancestry of the Indian mathematicians who went to China to decide whether any of them had Nalanda connections, but we do know that from early fifth century Kusumpur, in nearby Pataliputra (Patna), was the place were the mathematicians doing front-line innovative work on the subject were congregating. I end with two final remarks. The first one concerns an aspect of the intellectual life of Nalanda that emerges powerfully from the accounts we do actually have about Nalanda from Chinese as well as Indian scholars. The faculty and the students in Nalanda loved to argue, and very often held argumentative encounters. I have discussed elsewhere how deep this argumentativeness is in Indian intellectual history, but I want to add here that it is a part of the scientific tradition as well, to seek arguments and defences, refusing to accept positions and claims on grounds of faith. There were plenty of organised argumentative matches going on in Nalanda, and this too fits, in a very general way, into the scientific connections of Nalanda. The final remark concerns the passion for propagating knowledge and understanding that Nalanda stood for. This

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was one reason for its keenness to accept students from abroad. Xuangzang as well as Yi Jing mentions the warm welcome they received as they arrived in Nalanda from China. Indeed, Xuangzang used this commitment in an argument with the faculty in Nalanda when he was asked and pressed to stay on as a faculty member in Nalanda, after he had completed his studies. He mentioned his commitment, and here he invoked Buddha himself, to spread enlightenment to all lands. He asked the rhetorical question: Who would wish to enjoy it alone, and to forget those who are not yet enlightened? If the seeking of evidence and vindication by critical arguments is part of the tradition of science, so is the commitment to move knowledge and understanding beyond locality. Science has to fight parochialism, and Nalanda was firmly committed to just that. (Dr. Amartya Sen, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 and was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1999, is Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University in the U.S. and chairman of the Interim Governing Board of Nalanda University.) Keywords: Nalanda University, Amartya Sen, 98th Indian Science Congress, ancient knowledge, religious literature, Buddhist culture, Venky Ramakrishnan
Printable version | Apr 25, 2013 6:47:34 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/nalanda-and-the-pursuit-of-science/article1063459.ece The Hindu

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I had to attend a wedding at Patna and managed a side trip to Nalanda. As I walked into the ruins, a huge dark sadness descended on me. Nalanda, the greatest ever Buddhist university, with its hundreds of monks and thousands of books, was destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khaljis Turki troops around 1200 AD. As I looked at walls still blackened by the bonfires of books, I began my search for answers. The museum nearby gives you a glimpse of Nalandas sanctity and fame across the Buddhist world: Tibet, China, Japan and most of Southeast Asia. While inside, I saw a group of Tibetan monks walking through, placing sacred white scarves on some statues. Back home, I downloaded the pages of the past. Buddhism was not swallowed up by Sanatana Dharma, as we now believe. It thrived, with sincere patrons like Harsha. Even the infamous Jaichand built a monastery to honour his Guru, Srimitra. No, what finished Buddhism off was that it revolved around the Sangha. To alien invaders, a monasterys imposing walls and towers made it an obvious military target. After Odantapura, the monastery near Nalanda, was razed and all the monks beheaded, the Turks found no treasure and certainly no arms. All they found were books, and with none left to explain their meaning, they were burnt and Odantapura turned into a military camp. Let me quickly add that Bakhtiyar Khiljis Turkic forefathers, the White Huns of Mihirakula behaved no differently towards the Sangha although they were Shiva-bhakts. It was with the greatest difficulty that the Guptas and others managed to save their lands from their depredations in the sixth century.

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As I browsed, a terribly poignant account of the last lesson at Nalanda emerged. Incredibly, it was by Nalandas last student: A Tibetan monk called Dharmaswamin. He visited Nalanda in 1235, nearly forty years after its sack, and found a small class still conducted in the ruins by a

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ATTACHMENT - D ninety-year old monk, Rahul Sribhadra. Weak and old, the teacher was kept fed and alive by a local Brahmin, Jayadeva. Warned of a roving band of 300 Turks, the class dispersed, with Dharmaswamin carrying his nonagenarian teacher on his back into hiding. Only the two of them came back, and after the last lesson (it was Sanskrit grammar) Rahul Sribhadra told his Tibetan student that he had taught him all he knew and in spite of his entreaties asked him to go home. Packing a raggedy bundle of surviving manuscripts under his robe, Dharmaswamin left the old monk sitting calmly amidst the ruins. And both he and the Dharma of Sakyamuni made their exit from India.

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The six Buddhist universities of ancient India

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t is well-known that with the rise of Buddhism in India there dawned the golden age of Indias culture and civilisation. There was progress in all aspects of Indian civilisation under the impact of Buddhism. This is very much in contrast to what happened in the Roman empire in Europe with the rise of Christianity. With the coming of Christianity into power the Dark Ages dawned upon Europe. During this era whatever progress that was achieved by the Greeks and the Romans received a set-back and came to a stand-still. Schools and centres of philosophy were closed down. The famed library at Alexandria was burnt down by a Christian mob led by a prelate. Hypatia the learned philosopher and teacher was dragged into a Church and her flesh was torn off her body. As a result of these barbarities Europe was plunged into the darkness of ignorance and poverty for a thousand years. The Dark Ages of European history was really the golden age of the Christian Church, because it did the conversion of the barbarians to Christianity during this time. The great philosophers and intellectuals of Europe who left their mark on human civilisation were all pre-Christian pagans who lived prior to the rise of Christianity, e.g. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Pliny, etc. The Christian era was masked by an absence of such men. Illiteracy and religious intolerance prevailed during the Dark Ages. At the end of this period the Muslims had conquered parts of the Roman empire and established their rule in Spain, Portugal and parts of France. They introduced the learning of the Greeks and Romans as well as knowledge gathered from their contacts with India. This set the pace for Martin Luthers reformation which broke the power of the Catholic Church. The ensuing liberal policies persuaded by the Protestants brought about the Renaissance, after this the Europeans pushed back the power of the Churches and began to make progress in civilisation. In contrast to this with the rise of Buddhism in India, there arose many centres of learning which did not exist before. Buddhist monks could opt for a life of meditation in the forests, or a life of teaching, preaching, propagating the Dharma as a result of the activities of the teaching monks, seats of learning arose. These seats of monastic learning (Pirivenas) gradually developed and some of them became full-fledged universities. As a result Buddhist India came to have five major
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The six Buddhist universities of ancient India

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universities which achieved wide fame. These five were 1. Nalanda, 2. Vickramasila, 3. Odantapuri, 4. Jagadalala and 5. Somapura. Nalanda University Nalanda is the best known of ancient Indias universities. Its site has been discovered and its ruins have been preserved by Indias Department of Archeology. It is situated in Bihar State, the ancient Magadha country. Magadha is well known as the cradle of Buddhism. Bihar is so called because it had a large number of Viharas or Buddhist monasteries. Nalanda was a prosperous city during the days of the Buddha. He visited it during his preaching itineraries. When in Nalanda, the Buddha sojourned at Ambavana the mango-park with his disciples. Nalanda was also the home town of Ven. Sariputra, King Asoka had erected a Stupa at the spot where he was cremated. We get a comprehensive account of Nalanda university from Hieun Tsang the brilliant Chinese scholar who came there for his studies during the reign of King Harsha-Siladitya. Back in China he wrote this famed "Ta - Tang - Si - Yu - Ki" Buddhist Travels in the western world. This has been translated into English by Samuel Beal a British scholar who was once the ambassador to Peking, China. It has been called the treasure house of accurate information by European Archeologists. They found the information given there invaluable for them to locate the sacred shrines of the Buddhist in India. Indians and their scholars were hopelessly ignorant of these places and could do nothing to help the archeologists. I - Tsing (675-685) was another Chinese monk who came to India and studied at Nalanda. He too like Hiuen Tsang has left an account of his travels. In this he gives an account of Nalanda and his stay there. At the time of Fa-Hions visit it was an ordinary Buddhist monastery. Lama Taranata the Tibetan historian also gives an account of Nalanda in his works. It appears that King Kumara Gupta (AC 415-455) built the first monastery at Nalanda. It was a seminary for training Buddhist monks. Its site was not too for nor too close to the city. Hence it was selected as an ideal centre for the pursuit of Buddhist studies by monks. Nalanda University was an expansion and extension of this seminary. King Buddha Gupta (AC 455-467) Jatagatha Gupta (AC 467-500) Baladitya (500-525) and Vijra (525) made additions and expansions to the buildings. King Baladitya made a shrine-room a house of worship which was 300 feet high. His son Vijra built the fifth monastery. King Harsha Siladitya built the sixth monastery and surrounded the university buildings with 9 high wall. In the 10th century when Hieun Tsang entered the university, there were 10,000 resident students. They came from all parts of India and foreign lands. It was Indias
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leading University. Its chancellorship was reserved for Indias foremost Buddhist scholar when Hieun-Tsang visited Nalanda Silabhadra Maha Thera held the post. At that time there were 10,000 students, 1510 teachers, and about 1,500 workers at Nalanda. Students from foreign lands such as Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, Sumatra, Java and Sri Lanka were found there. Admission to Nalanda was by oral examination. This was done by a professor at the entrance hall. He was called Dvara Pandita. Proficiency in Sanskrit was necessary, as it was the medium of instruction. All Chinese monks going to India for higher studies in Buddhism had to go to Java and brush up their Sanskrit. Hieum Tsang reports that of the foreign students only 20% managed to pass the stiff examinations. Of the Indian students only 30% managed to pass and gain admission. Therefore the standard required were high. Casts, creed and nationality were no barriers in keeping with the Buddhist spirit. There were no external students at the university. Nalanda was maintained by the revenue from seven villages which were granted by the king. The study of Mahayana was compulsory for Buddhists. One could also study the doctrines of 18 other Buddhist sects. One could also study secular subjects like science, medicine, astrology, fine-arts, literature etc. The six systems of Hindu philosophy were also taught. One could study Hinayana forms of Buddhism. This included the Theravada commerce, administration and astronomy were also taught. The observatory of the university was situated in a very tall building. Lectures, debates and discussions were part of the educational curriculum. Hieun Tsang states that 100 lectures were delivered there every day. The discipline was exemplary. Nalanda university occupied an area of 30 acres. There were three large libraries bearing the names Ratna-Sagara, Ratna-Nidi and Ratna-Ranjana. One of these was nine storeys high. Nalanda was graced by the presence of Indias most brilliant Buddhist luminaries. Some of them were Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Dharmapala, Silabhadra, Santarakshita, Kamalaseela, Bhaviveka, Dignaga, Dharmakeerty etc. The works they left behind are mostly available 14 Tibetan and Chinese translations. The originals perished when Muslim invaders under Bhaktiar Khilji set fire to Nalanda and beheaded the monks. (AD 1037), Prior to that Nalanda flourished for a thousand years, a lighthouse of wisdom and learning, the first of its kind in the world. Bhaktiar Khilji the invader of Magadha set fire to Nalanda. When the monks were about to have their meals. This is revealed in the archeological remains which show food abandoned in a great hurry. Charred rice from the granaries also tell this sorry tale. Nalandas ruins and excavations are preserved in a Museum by the Indian government. On 19.11.58 the President of India, Rajendra Prasad inaugurated the Nava Nalanda Viharaya at a site close to the ancient university. Master of the Tripitaka Ven. Jagadish Kashyap was appointed head of the institution on 12. 01. 1957 the Dalai Lama handed over the ashes of Nalandas famed alumni - Hieun Tsang to the Indian government,
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headed by Pandit Nehru. The Chinese government donated five lakhs of rupees for a mausoleum which enshrines these relics. The Muslims carried the university idea to the West, and after that universities came up in the western - world. Vickramasila Vickramasila is said to have been situated on the banks of the Ganges near the northern part of Magadha. Although its site was undiscovered, the Indian newspaper Searchlight of 25.4.80 carried an account of the discovery of the ruins of Vickramsila by Dr. B. S. Varma, Superintending Archeologist in charge of the discovery of the ruins of the Vickramsila Excavation Project. According to this Vickramasila was situated at Antichak Village, Kahalagon, Bagalpur District Vickramasila was said to be a sister institution of Nalanda and was said to have been founded by a monk called Kamapala, under the patronage of King Dharmapala. (AC 770-810). The King granted land-endowments for its upkeep later King Yasapala also patronised the institutions by liberal land endowments. Under the Pala Kings Vickramasila rose to 9 positions when it rivalled Nalanda and bade well to outshine it. In the centre of the university was the main lecture-hall. It was called Vidyagriha. There were six entrances to this building and near each entrance was a monastery for resident monks about 150 teachers were accommodated in each monastery. Like Nalanda Vickramasila was also surrounded by a high-wall. There were six Dvara Panditas i.e Professors who examined candidates seeking admission. Here too high standards were maintained. 108 Professors were engaged in teaching and administrative duties. The curriculum of studies was similar to that of Nalanda. Here preference was given to the Tantric form of Buddhism. Dipankara Sri Gnana who is also known as Atisha (AC 960-1055) was the more-famous of the scholars of Vickramasila. His fame spread far and wide as the propagator of Buddhism in Tibet Tibetans hold his name in the highest veneration. When he was at Vickramasila he was invited to teach and propagate Buddhism in Tibet. He postponed it for some time till he completed his work at Vickramasila and then undertook the task. Vickramasila achieved its high water mark of prosperty and fame under him. Sri Gnanas period was the golden era of Vickramasila. In 1038 Sri Gnana left Vickramsila for Tibet to organise Buddhist studies in that country. Vickramasila was managed by a staff of Professors. They constituted the Board of Education, Board of Administration, Board of Discipline and the Board in charge of entrance examinations. Inaugurated in about 800 A.C. it graced the land until it was demolished by the Muslim invaders. Odantapuri
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Odantapuri was considered the second oldest of Indias universities. This was situated in Maghada, about 6 miles away from Nalanda. Acharya Sri Ganga of Vickramasila had been a student here. Later he joined Odantapuri King Gopala (660-705) was the patron who helped to found this university. According to the Tibetan records there were about 12,000 students at Odantapuri. Our knowledge of this seat of learning is obscure, and we are not in a position to give more details. This too perished at the hands of the Muslim invaders. It is said they mistook the universities with their high walls for fortresses. They thought the Buddhist monks were "Shaven headed Brahmins" who were idolaters. Somapura Somapura was situated in East Pakistan. King Devapala (AC 810-850) is said to have erected the Dharmapala-Vihara at Somapura. The ruins of these buildings cover an area of about 1 square mile. There was a large gate and the buildings were surrounded by a high-wall. There were about 177 cells for monks in additions to the shrines and image houses. A common refectory and a kitchen are among the ruins, Remains of three -strayed buildings are to be seen. This university flourished for about 750 years before it was abandoned after the Muslim invasion. Jagaddala King Ramapala (1077-1129) is said to be the founder of this University. Jagaddala University was the largest construction works undertaken by the Pala Kings. This was a centre for the study and dissemination of Tantric Buddhism. It followed the methods, practices, and traditions of Nalanda. According to Tibetan works many books were translated to the Tibetan language at Jagaddala. The Buddhist teacher Sakya Sri Bhadra, seeing that Nalanda, Vickramsila, and Odantapuri were in ruins after the Muslim invasion, entered Jagaddala for his studies. It is said that his pupil Danaseela translated ten books to Tibetan Sakya Sri Bhadra was responsible for the propagation of Tatntric Buddhism in Tibet. He lived for seven years at Jagaddala. In 1027 the Muslim invaders sack and destroyed Jagaddala. Vallabhi Vallabhi University achieved as much fame as Nalanda. The Maitraka kings who ruled Western India constructed a monastery at Vallabhitheir capital. While Nalanda was the centre for Mahayana Buddhism, Vallabhi achieved fame as the centre for Hinayana Buddhism. The Maitraka kings spent lavishly to maintain their university. They gave every encouragement and assistance to Buddhist studies at this institution. In the 7th century Vallabhi was as prosperous and famous as Nalanda. Hieum Tsang visited Vallabhi, and reported in his "Ta-Tang-Si-Yu-Ki" as follows:
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-"The population of Vallabhi is very large. The country is rich and prosperous. There are over a hundred millionaire families there. Imported luxury goods are seen in this city. There are about 100 monasteries with about 6,000 Buddhist monks. Most of them belong to the Sammitiya Sect. There are also many Hindu temples and a large Hindu population in this past of the country. The Buddha had visited this land during his ministry. There are stupas erected by King Asoka to mark the spots hallowed by the Buddhas visit." There are about 100 shrines and about 6,000 resident monks studying at Vallabhi. They do not believe that Abhidharma was the teaching of the Buddha. They believed in the Antarabhava doctrine and were exponents of Puggalavada a traditions that disregards Abhidharma teachings that are inconsistent with the Sutra-Teachings. I -Tsing s record I-Tsing records that foreign students were found at Vallabhi. They come from many lands far and near from these facts we know that like Nalanda-Vallabhi was internationally recognised. There was a large library. This was maintained by a fund established by the King. An inscription put up by King Guhasena confirms this. Precedence was given to Sammitiya doctrines at this University. The course of studies included Comparative Religion. The Six systems of Hindu Philosophy and various other schools of Buddhism, Politics, Law, Agriculture, Economics also formed a part of the curriculum. I-Tsing records that the graduates of Vallabhi, displayed their skill in the presence of the royalty, nobbles, and other eminent people. The Elders Gunamoti and Sthiramatic were Nalandas alumni and were teaching there for a time. They are said to be the founders of Vallabhi. As the founders came from Nalanda, Vallabhi followed the Nalanda pattern in most of its activities. It flourished from 475 to 1200 A.C. It met the same fate as other Universities at the hands of the Muslim invaders. Thus it would be seen that as long as Buddhism was a power to reckon with in India, it rendered yoemen service in the field of learning and culture. This is how it should be in a religion that teaches that ignorance is the worst enemy of Mao and the cause of ace his sufferings while knowledge (Pragnya) is his highest asset. Pragnya wins all that is good in this world, and finally brings him the highest happiness, mundane as well as supra-mundane. When the Portuguese conquered the Kotte Kingdom there were flourishing Buddhist Seminaries (Pirivenas) at Totagamauwa, Keragala, and Wattala. The Sandesa poems of the period give glowing descriptions of them and their rectors.
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They were all raised to the ground "leaving not one stone upon another" according to Portuguese writers of the period. Quyroz mentions the demolition of the Wattala Vijayabahu Pirivena and the erection of the R. C. Church on its land. Then followed an age of ignorance, decay and corruption for some 200 years. Finally during the reign of King Kirti Sri Rajasinha, Ven. Weliwita Saranankara started his Buddhist revival opening his Seminary at Niyamakanda, Udunnwara. His papillary successors opened the Vidyoda and Vidyalankara Pirivenas in Colombo. These Seminaries were upgraded and converted to secular Universities by the S.L.F.P. Government. -ooOoo-

Source: The Island, Sri Lanka, 15 May 2003, http://www.island.lk/index.html [Back to English Index]
last updated: 21-05-2003

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