43 Facts About Nalanda


Nalanda was a renowned Buddhist monastic university in ancient Magadha, India.

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Nalanda played a vital role in promoting the patronage of arts and academics during the 5th and 6th century CE, a period that has since been described as the "Golden Age of India" by scholars.

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Nalanda was established during the Gupta Empire era, and was supported by numerous Indian and Javanese patrons – both Buddhists and non-Buddhists.

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Nalanda Mahavihara taught six major Buddhist schools and philosophies such as Yogacara and Sarvastivada as well as subjects such as grammar, medicine, logic and mathematics.

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Many of the texts composed at Nalanda played an important role in the development of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism including the Mahavairocana Tantra and the Bodhisattvacaryavatara of Shantideva.

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Nalanda offers an alternate meaning "charity without intermission", from "na-alam-da"; however, this split does not mean this.

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In some Tibetan sources, including the 17th-century work of Taranatha, Nalanda is referred to as Nalendra, and is likely synonymous with Nala, Nalaka, Nalakagrama found in Tibetan literature.

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Nalanda 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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Nalanda wrote a travelogue, which inspired other Chinese and Korean Buddhists to visit India over the centuries; in it he mentions many Buddhist monasteries and monuments across India.

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Nalanda, thus flourished through the 5th and 6th centuries under the Guptas.

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Nalanda was a seventh-century emperor with a capital at Kannauj .

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The total number of known rooms and their small size is such that either the number of monks must have been far less than Xuanzang's claims or the Nalanda site was many times larger than numerous excavations have so far discovered and what Xuanzang describes.

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Nalanda was warmly welcomed in Nalanda where he received the Indian name of Mokshadeva and studied under the guidance of Shilabhadra, the venerable head of the institution at the time.

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Nalanda 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.

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Nalanda arrived in 673 CE, and stayed in India for fourteen years, ten of which he spent at the Nalanda Mahavihara.

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Nalanda described there being eight vihara with as many as 300 cells.

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The Nalanda Nikaya has many such daily procedures and rituals set out for the monks to follow.

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However, under the Palas, the traditional Mahayana Buddhism of Nalanda that inspired East Asian pilgrims such as Xuanzang was superseded by the then newly emerging Vajrayana tradition, a Tantra-imbibed, eros- and deity-inclusive esoteric version of Buddhism.

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Nalanda continued to get support from the Palas, but they subscribed to Vajrayana Buddhism and they were prolific builders of new monasteries on Vajrayana mandala ideas such as those at Jagaddala, Odantapura, Somapura, and Vikramashila.

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Inscriptions, literary evidence, seals, and ruined artwork excavated at the Nalanda site suggest that Nalanda remained active and continued to thrive under the Palas.

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Nalanda described the condition in the decades after the sack of Nalanda and other Buddhist monasteries in Magadha-region of India.

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Nalanda recites the arrest of their patron and lay-supporter Jayadeva by Muslim soldiers who threaten to kill him for honoring the monks of Nalanda.

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Johan Elverskog – a scholar of religious studies and history, states that it is incorrect to say Nalanda's end was sudden and complete by about 1202, because it continued to have some students well into the 13th century.

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Nalanda adds that it is wrong to say that Buddhism ended in India around the 13th or 14th century or earlier, because "[Buddha] Dharma survived in India at least until the 17th-century".

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Nalanda took with him several Indian masters: Sugatasri, ; Jayadatta ; Vibhuticandra, Danasila, Sanghasri, Jivagupta, Mahabodhi, ; and Kalacandra .

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Nalanda still continued to operate into the 14th century as the Indian monk, Dhyanabhadra was said to have been a monk at Nalanda prior to his travels in East Asia.

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Nalanda did not associate the mounds of earth and debris with famed Nalanda.

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Nalanda University is an international and research-intensive university located in the historical city of Rajgir in Bihar, India.

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The idea to resurrect Nalanda University was endorsed in 2007 at the East Asia Summit, represented mostly by Asian countries including China, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam, apart from Australia and New Zealand, and as such, the university is seen as one of the flagship projects of the Government of India.

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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.

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Nalanda flourished under the patronage of the Gupta Empire in the 5th and 6th centuries, and later under Harsha, the emperor of Kannauj.

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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.

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All students at Nalanda studied Mahayana, as well as the texts of the eighteen sects of Buddhism.

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Nalanda was destroyed three times but was rebuilt only twice.

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Nalanda is a notable tourist destination, and a part of the Buddhist tourism circuit.

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Traditional Tibetan sources mention the existence of a great library at Nalanda named Dharmaganja which comprised three large multi-storeyed buildings, the Ratnasagara, the Ratnodadhi, and the Ratnaranjaka .

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Exact number of volumes in the Nalanda library is not known, but it is estimated to have been in the hundreds of thousands.

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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:.

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Nalanda was invited by the Tibetan king, Khri-sron-deu-tsan, and established the monastery at Samye, serving as its first abbot.

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Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent.

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Traditional sources state that Nalanda was visited by both Mahavira and the Buddha in c 6th and 5th century BCE.

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Nalanda did not associate the mounds of earth and debris with famed Nalanda.

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Nalanda is a popular tourist destination in the state attracting a number of Indian and overseas visitors.

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