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Sunday, June 26, 2016

NALANDA ANCIENT UNIVERSITY..





THE history of Nalanda, the ancient university town of Bihar India, goes back to the days of Buddha and Mahavira in the Sixth Century B.C. The town was home to Nalanda Mahavihara, a monastic university of international repute.
Both Buddha and Mahavira often stayed at Nalanda during the rainy season. Buddhist scriptures reveal that they once stayed at Nalanda at the same time, but there is no record of them meeting one another.
Ancient Buddhist sources say that Asoka, the Mauryan emperor (Third Century B.C) built a temple at Nalanda. It was a flourishing hub where the philosopher and alchemist, Nagarjuna, studied and taught in the Second Century A.D. However, excavations have not revealed anything to suggest that the site was occupied before the Gupta period (Fifth Century A.D.), the earliest finds being a copper plate of Samudragupta and a coin of Kumaragupta (414-455 A.D.). Fa-Hien who visited in the Fifth Century A.D. makes no mention of the massive monastic establishments at Nalanda. But Hiuen Tsang who came in A.D 637 during Harsha's reign (606-647 A.D.) refers to the great monastery that Harsha endowed with liberal grants.