World’s oldest university

by Sharique on August 27, 2006

Nalanda

Nalanda was one of the first residential universities, i.e. it had dorms. During its days it was a flourishing residential university with over 10,000 students and 1500 teachers. The university was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. The library was located in a nine storied building. The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of learning. The Tang Dynasty Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang left detailed accounts of the university in the 7th century.

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{ 32 comments }

1

trip 09.01.06 at 3:13 am

You have picked up the description straight from wikipedia. wikipedia also writes abt what caused the destruction of Nalanda and most of the great centres of learning in India.

2

Sharique 09.01.06 at 5:45 am

well i can make out what are ur intentions here. I don’t know why people don’t understand few forthride things in life. A ruler of a state is all powerful and he does things as he pleases. They were muslims fine and they did according to their wishes. Muslims was spreading its wing out of Arabia and in the process trying to convert people into Islam, as any religious leader would do. What about Ashoka and his mission to sri lanka? Something similar happened to the statues in afghanistan.

3

trip 09.04.06 at 10:31 pm

my intention here is to provoke you into facing some facts
Your faith might be the most important thing for you, but the same has inflicted untold misery on others and left deep scars. When 7-11 happens, these scars deepen.
When you opposed Vande Mataram on indianmuslims blog because it features in a ‘bad book’, you forget that by the same association, others can call your faith bad as its been used to justify evil acts.
Dear friend, there is a difference between ‘a faith spreading it wings’ and destroying a university and butchering the inhabitants because they don’t have your holy book. long before that time, hinduism had ‘spread its wings’ from afghanistan to phillipines, buddhism from afghanistan to japan… demanding blood for ‘spreading one’s wings’ and sanction for the same one’s scriptures can not be justified. why i insist on you facing these wrongs, is because when you face the outcome, your faith will become enlightened and not blind. you really should have had the courage to reporduce the whole article.

4

Anonymous 09.04.06 at 10:54 pm

I totally disagree with what is being said about Nalanda University. What the Muslim rulers did was not in the name of Islam – it was because they had political ambitions which they guised in the name of Islam.

Its not Islam’s fault that they destroyed the university – it is the fault of the empire builder and also the fault of those who were there – who couldnt protect their own nation from Empire Building.

Had Islam been so brutal – today the majority population wouldnt have been Hinduism but it would have been Islam.

Ashoka butchered in Kalinga – The Shaivaites butchered Vaishanvites – the Gupta Kings butchered the Buddhists – History of India is galore with such tales of butchering.

The Hindu King Bimbisara butchered the Buddhist republic of Vaishali.

Blood was spilled in the spread of Gupta Empire – in the spread of Maurya Empire.

Why no one talks of those butcherings??

Well because they were hindus killing hindus – thats why

Why this enemity and step-motherly attitude to Islam??

No one demands blood – blood flows in battles and civilians suffer.

Ancient Indian History is not bereft of such stories.

Till the mentality of hindu community changes – the sole grievance that India belongs to hindus and they should have been the rightful rulers changes –

Accusations and counter-accusations will continue unabated.

I ask you to look in what you are professing – have a glimpse of the chapters of ancient indian history – and then come and accuse muslims of butchery and blood-letting.

5

trip 09.04.06 at 11:19 pm

JUST ONE QUESTION – WHAT POLITICAL AMBITIONS WERE BEING SERVED BY DESTROYING CENTRES OF LEARNING OR BY DESTROYING TEMPLES (NOT FORTS)??? You are talking through your hat sir.

6

Anonymous 09.04.06 at 11:27 pm

[maroon]

And what political ambitions were served in killing Buddhists and destroying their relics and absorbing Buddha in Hinduism by Gupta emperors??

What political ambitions were served in destroying the whole kingdom of Kalinga??

7

trip 09.04.06 at 11:31 pm

political bloody war – resulted in the growth of buddhism and promotion of peace. no religious sanction sought or given.

Step motherly? there were huge protests dring the cartoon controversy in india. however not a whimper when an anti Indian (read anti Hindu?) terrorist organization used the holy name of the prophet (jaish – e …)???

similarly when bush came to india, there were protests again and four traders of a particular supremacist community in lucknow had to die for it. why the protests? its just a war in which civilians suffer. why bother?

8

Sharique 09.05.06 at 12:12 pm

[i]there were huge protests dring the cartoon controversy in india. however not a whimper when an anti Indian (read anti Hindu?) terrorist organization used the holy name of the prophet (jaish – e …)???[/i]

I perfectly agree with you. No objections at all. Even this issue bothers me. Terrorists have used the sacred names with ease. What we lack as a community is an organization. Lack of education is a major problem. People are divided and are more concerned with their internal problems rather than issues facing the country. Same is the case with hindus even but because of the majority here they don’t need to justify themselves. And plus many non-muslims are slowly turning secular but as a muslim our faith is of more importance rather than nationality. But that doesn’t mean we associate ourselves with pakistan. Well in short it all boils down to education. Until and unless muslims educate themselves, nothing can change. I sometimes wonder why a muslim is involved in every social crime, irrespective of quran teachings but when it comes to education and being open minded, he quotes distorted islamic verses to stay away from them!!

9

trip 09.06.06 at 2:09 am

Well said S.

As far as your faith remaining more important than nation, nobody would object as long as faith does not try to become nation. Because there are ideas and ‘ideals’ of theocratic states even today. Since in a theocratic state not all are equal, naturally there are misgivings abt the idea. I mean if (for example) a ‘pure’ nation like ‘taleban’ exists next to India, and there is a war between India and this ‘pure’ state with cries of a holy war etc etc… which side will you take? according to your argument, religion is more imp than nation in all aspects of life? how will you interprete the situation? will you be a fifth column? just trying to understand your full argument abt religion being more imp than nation.

10

Sharique 09.06.06 at 2:31 am

Well first thing there are no ‘pure islamic nation’. Taliban, as far as i know, was more governed my uneducated mullahs or perhaps the media projected them like that (and plus there is a lot of controversy regarding that..lets not get into it). If suppose a pure Islamic nation does exists then it would never be wage a war against India, considering the fact that India is a home to second largest muslim populated country. The situation is highly unlikely. And plus Islam doesn’t allow killing behind the back. How can the muslims citizens of this country help? India is home to us, just that organisations like the RSS want us modify religion so as to strengthen our allegiance to the nation but they don’t realise one thing, a good muslim is far better than a person whi adheres to their ideology (regarding muslims).
And if suppose India goes on to butcher muslims in some part of the world then i would oppose but never resolve to violent means like killing innocent citizens. And if the situation really gets worse then i would be left with no other option but to leave this country because of the resentment that would grow in me. Well in short muslims cannot change or their image to others until and unless they are better muslims and i suppose i don’t have to repeat that a good muslim doesnt mean anti-non-muslism!

11

trip 09.06.06 at 5:38 am

Ok I’m not judging you or anything, but i think your thoughts are quite acceptable. btw have you been to harishchandra gadh? do u trek at all? do IITB guys do it even today?

12

Sharique 09.06.06 at 6:03 am

I am not from IITB so really can’t comment

13

hidayath 09.06.06 at 7:20 am

hey trip .. we meet again :)
yeah iitb guys trek “even today” .. i havent been to harishchandra gadh yet though .. maybe this year :)

and about the heavy discussion above .. i mainly agree with what sharique said. the common muslim in india does not balance his views to what would seem rational and balanced. in fact i would go so far as to say there are contradictions in their actions. this is because they are not educated enough, and this makes it easy for people with vested interests to lead them on using misplaced emotions and not brains. and of course, to make it seem palatable and honorable to them, they just throw in a few words to make a religious flavor apparent to the onlooker. this is the state of the masses among indian muslims today..what can one get by bashing them because of such things? it’s a monumental thing to change, and believe me, education and thinking muslims are trying to bring about a massive change in that.

and as for another thing you brought up, as i’d said in another comment on this blog, muslims are obligated to take the side of justice. that does not always mean muslims. the Qur’an commands us to do justice even if it means going against the interests of oneself, family, or anyone close to you. so taking the side of justice is not the same as taking the side of your co-religionists. i hope that answers your question.

ansari

14

trip 09.06.06 at 9:33 pm

Opps sorry S.

Hi Ansari, nice to hear from you. you must do harishchandra gadh. There’s a board there on konkan kada stating the its was iitb guys why conquered the cliff first (if my memory serves me right).its the best in that area in my opinion. wish i could go there too.

15

Imran 09.12.06 at 10:20 pm

about the accusition of muslims for destroying the nalanda university-thats kind of true…But…Nalanda university was within the Pala Empire.After the resistence against the muslim invaders became hopeless the Pala forces took shelter in the university and built up resistance against Bakhtiar khilji.Besides the gigantic structure of the Nalanda university was mistaken by the forces of Bakhtiar as fortified castles.So they had nothin to do but to rage it to the ground.I am a Bangladeshi and Muslim.But i mam proud of our Buddhist ancestors.I think the destruction of the universities of Nalanda,Vikramshila,Jagaddala vihar was a severe blow towards the civilization and archaeological relics of Bengal which could be avoided by the Muslims.But Sompur Mahavihara the greatest buddhist vihara in the sub-continent is still standing in Paharpur in Bangladesh which is announcing the excellence of the Buddhist Pala empire with all its grandeur.I here want to mention a remark by Mr.J.C.French who said with frief: “Every year we spend milliond of dollar for the research of the Pyramids of egypt had we spent only one percent of that mone for the excavation of the gigantic structure in Paharpur who knows what extrra-ordinary discoveries could have been made.”About the perishing of budhism from India what i want to say the Guptas did not exterminated buffhism.As the Guptas were Bengali they were more liberal.Many ministers and courtmen of the Guptas were Buddhist and dong forget that the later Guptas accepted Budhism – Buddhagupta,Vanugupta,Tathagata gupta et al.After Harshavardhana when buddhists were persecuted throughout India and was gradually being absorved into Hinduism the PAlas emerge as the saviour of Buddhism.They patroned Buddhism for 400 years.After the fall of the Palas the Sena dynasty who came from Karnataka introduced caste system and orthodox Brahminism.The people of Eastern Bengal who were Buddhist majority disgusted at this accepted Islam en masse while the hindu majority west Bengal remained so.]

About Osama bin LAden and other terrorist groups i want to say that they are cowards.They are mutilating the image of Islam.If u want to oust the government and the USa army from your home ground why dont you fight with their armies.IF the USA armies killling your children and women why dont you fight their armied who are killing them.Do they think they can wn by killing women and children of USA?NO. Look at the Islami revolutionists of Iran.They have overthrown the Shah by revolution.Why dont Laden go to Saudi Arabia and build such a revolution.Killin women and children wont bring him anything or other terrorist groups.This is cowardice and ignorance.

What did Prophet (sm) do when the quraish were oppressing the muslims?Did he avenged by killing quraish women and children?NO.He fouth with the Quraish army with arms in his hand.

I dont know how many youth LAden is leading towars hell.LAden is a great fraud.In quran it has been foretold that such muslim leaders will appear who wll lead the muslims in a wrong path in the name of islam they are perceivers.Laden is one of them.It is time for greater muslim brotherhood.Islamic nations should come together for the safety of muslims and fight the enemies in the right path.Not terrorism.

16

Sharique 09.14.06 at 5:17 am

@imran
interesting aspect of the conquest….was unaware of that. In fact i also have this feeling that most of the accusations against islamic rulers are flawed and can be justified on something similar to the above.

and i agree about laden. very true

17

colorguy 10.10.06 at 1:01 pm

interesting comments- but can we make it a bit more readable- the black background, blue text- can we have a white background and black text- i’m sure ashoka will like it..

18

Sharique 10.10.06 at 4:01 pm

Colorguy
Oh is it so? is this background really unreadable? I kind of like this theme and don’t wanna shift :)

19

Pigeon 10.17.06 at 1:26 am

Hi All,

I accept the view of Imran. Adding to that, if Muslim’s can shout against Bush, why don’t they shout against Farook Abdullah OR Azad, present Kashmir CM who are opposing Md.Afzal’s hanging? Farooq was one step ahead and he has openly commented (Courtesy: The Hindu) that the Judge who has passed this order should be given proper protection. What does this means? Judge is a secular person and his judgement is always based on law and order and not of his/her own interest. CHEAP POLITICS.

Also I accept the fact that majority of the muslim and Christian population in present day India and Pakistan were converted from Hinduism or Buddhism. This is eveident from the historical facts.

But let me say one thing… Whatever religion we might follow, they all teach the same thing. ACT BASED ON YOUR OWN CONSCIENCE THAT DOESN’T AFFECT OTHERS.

Even if we follow violence path, it leads to nothing at the end except for the restless life. He/she who follows violence will have no peace in their own life. Then how come they are going to achieve something for them or for others? It’s funny.

Finally, if there is no cheap politics and no terrorism, people in all countries will be together and they will be happy to participate in each others festivals. Kashmir can be a part of India. Let muslims and pandits be the people of kashmir. Others can visit and be happy to see how closely they live together without any conflicts. Allow people from other countries also to visit and enjoy their holidays in Kashmir (it is not a problem since it already enjoying an autonomous state OR a state within another state status)…

After all people live for few years in this world and let them enjoy some happiness rather than seeing the bloodshed path…

20

Sharique 10.18.06 at 1:39 am

Pigeon,
Agreed! but will politicians allow that to happen? what will fetch them votes if they resolve each of these issues?

21

Jay 11.07.06 at 4:27 am

Hi All,

Thats our fault that we vote and elect such politicians. They are oppertunists.. I agree with some your comments that proper education will help us in uplifting the masses in different community and throw out this suspecion that we have within ourselves. The lack of knowledge of the good thing in each others faith leads to all the problems. As educated people we have to fight against such oppertinists within our community. Its time to declare a Holy war againsts these anti-social elements who support Killing of innocent life. The responsibility is on our shoulders… We have to trigger the revelution of educating the masses. Its a diffrent type of revolution. I support an open society with no boundries..

Thanks,
Jay

22

Varun Shekhar 01.03.07 at 2:11 pm

Notice how “anonymous” is very emphatic when he says “Hindus butchered…so and so” but with Nalanda university, he talks around it, and avoids the reference to Moslems butchering Buddhist Monks and Nuns. By the way, that’s a fanciful theory of the Palas taking shelter in Nalanda, then Khilji mistaking Nalanda for a fort! How were monks and nuns beheaded if the operation was a purely military one? And why were thousands of books burned? The old chestnut of Hindus persecuting Buddhists before the Moslems came, just doesn’t wash. There was hardly any conflict between Hindus and Buddhists, and at no time in history was there an army of Hindus fighting an army of Buddhists, and that too in the name of religion. There are academics who fight shy of admitting to gross Islamic atrocities in India for a thousand years, by making up silly stories of Hindus denigrating Buddhism. And how many Hindus today defend, excuse or glorify this supposed persecution of Buddhism, in the way Moslems, led by Pakistan, defend, excuse and glorify Islamic conquerors like Mahmud of Ghazni and Mohammed of Ghor?

23

Sanjay kumar singh 07.21.07 at 1:14 pm

I am from Bihar. Nalanda university is glary of my sate. so, i wish all.

24

Sanjay kumar singh 07.21.07 at 1:38 pm

HI All

I am posting comment from Delhi. I am sanjay kumar singh. I belong to Bihar.
Marui laxmipur Roh Nawada (Bihar).
I want to say to my all young friends who are from Bihar, that Nalanda Uneversity is glory of our state. So we should save him.

25

Anonymous 07.21.07 at 1:42 pm

:razz: how r u

26

praveen 01.21.09 at 1:18 pm

hi friends

i am a guy from kerala and this answer comes in frame of the,, ”anonymous ”quoting out that mughals were not responsible for the destruction of of nalanda,
i am from kerala and over here in kerala there are around more than 1000 temples and hindu centres of education destroyed by tipu sultan, i would like to ask ”’anonymous” what political ambitions tipu has to fulfil by destroying the temples accross kerala.
this just 1% of the temple destroyed accross india ,there more than 60000 temples in india that was destroyed by moghul invasion and mosques built in its place, it nothing of political ambition ,this was done with a sole purpose to destroy india’s very culture ”’hinduism”’ and bring in islam to flourish in india.
what was ambition in imposing religious tax during the moghuls reign for non -muslims ?
have u ever heard of place called mehruli in delhi,where qutab minar stands know,the actual name of that place was mehrawalli and there were 28 temples standing there ,until ”qutab u din” destroyed them and used the stones for the construction of minar,this is nothing concerning politcal ambitions, it was all a step taken force islam into india.

i would like to quote out one more thing,why did akbar succeed as a good ruler,the main reason is he was secular and loved his country and his countrymen more than his faith and religion

my objective is very clear destroying institutions which are wealth of knowledge is never accepted no mater who does it and forcing anything one anyone, won t speard religion it will make people hate it.

and love for the country should come first than faith or religion.

27

Anonymous 01.09.10 at 12:14 pm

association of nalanda university Bihar with Ashoka

28

J.P.Gupta 01.13.10 at 8:30 pm

Abbal to no religion preaches to betray your country, but if there is truly a conflict between my religion and my country, I will go for my country because my religion itself teaches me to love my country and to be ever ready to give supreme sacrifice of oneself for the safety and honour of my country.Besides, if the country is there, your freedom to practice your religion along with all the other freedoms are there. I don’t understand how can a religlion become more important than country?

29

ANONYMOUS 2 03.27.10 at 4:08 pm

question for argument given by imran and others – do you mean to say that Muslims / islamic hoards coming on to Nalanda were just a bunch of marauding looters who would take any well built structure to be a fort?? or was it great khilji with his good spy network.

some other arguments which my islamic friends can use next time :
” burning of books in Nalanda university was done to smoke out enemies of state (Islam)”
” monks were killed beacuse they looked like shaolin warriors”
” Buddhists were killed because they were wearing robes and could have been hiding WMDs against army of Khilji”

Now lets see counter arguments : hindus habe been killing hindus or hindus have been killing buddhists therefore Islamists killing hindus /buddhists is not a big deal . So why all hell breaks loose for israel and plaistine . isn’t is part of history that Islamist butchered a lot of jew tribe . ( Time and reason for soing so doesnot apply because in your argument time and reason is not part of argument- it is pure killing was part of game and islamists became part of game.

In whole argument not a single person of book , has denounced the destruction – even for sake of keeping the book straight.

30

Anonymous 05.04.10 at 5:26 pm

well I totally agree with the last commnet of Anonymous 2….But I am glad the mentality of our Muslim bretheren is evolving and we are realizing that Education is the main reformer ,Be it Muslim or the Hindus.

31

kamal khan 10.02.10 at 11:35 pm

Very bad information.We won’t tolerate anything againstHINDUTVA…
You will be killed

32

Anonymous 09.19.11 at 12:46 pm

Singh
what happened was past,,,,,civilization grow and learn from time,,,,its not the religions that destroys things its the evil ridding ones head………
We have always preached non violence and tolerance and we always will…
We have a long history in front of us to learn from : The Vedic civilization,,, the ancient India: Maurya>Gupta> Modern:Arabs>Mugals>british……some people with some racist ideologies based on religions, color etc will rise up claiming to be superior to others. Its the education which could enlighten everybody’s mind and help us become the human and not a Hindu , Muslim or christian….
sabko su-mati de bhagwan…..
….

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