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Education in Ancient India: Part 2

अपडेट करने की तारीख: 16 अग॰ 2023

The education system in Vedic Era between 500 BC to 1500 BC:

The Vedas, Brahmanas, Upanishads, and Dharmasutras were all part of the ancient educational system. The names Aryabhata, Panini, Katyayana, and Patanjali must be familiar to you. One of the learning resources was their writings, along with the medical treatises of Charaka and Sushruta. Separations were also made between Kavyas (creative and imaginative literature) and Shastras (learned disciplines).

Learning materials came from a variety of disciplines, including Varta (agriculture, trade, commerce, animal husbandry), Itihas (history), Anviksiki (logic), Mimamsa (interpretation), Shilpashastra (architecture), Arthashastra (polity), and Dhanurvidya (archery). The organization of shastrartha (learned debates) served to evaluate the learning of the students.

Institution of Higher Learning:

Takshashila(Taxila), Nalanda, Valabhi, Vikramshila, Odantapuri, and Jagaddala were among the most illustrious universities to emerge during this time. The viharas and these universities went hand in hand. Those in the locations of Benaras, Navadeep, and Kanchi grew in connection with temples and turned into hubs of local life.

1.Taxila University –

The first university in the world was founded in 700 BC in Takshila, Taxila, or Takshashila (now in Pakistan). This educational facility was located in Pakistan, about 50 kilometers to the west of Rawalpindi. It was renowned for its higher education, and its course offerings included the study of the eighteen silpas, or arts, as well as ancient scriptures, law, medicine, astronomy, and other sciences.

The name Taxila has been used to refer to both the Gandhara kingdom's capital and a significant educational hub. In their writings, Chinese travelers like Fa Hian (Faxain) and Huien Tsang (XuanZang) also mention Takshashila in their writings.

The influential Prime Minister of Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan Empire, Chanakya and great Indian grammarian Panini, who lived in the fifth century BCE, are also said to have taught at Taxila.

According to Yuan Chwang, a Chinese Buddhist monk and traveller from the third century, Kumralta, the founder of the Sautrntika school, was also a superb instructor at Taxila University who drew students from as far away as China.

2. Nalanda University –

From the fifth century CE to the 12th century CE, the ancient city of Nalanda served as a centre for learning. Nalanda, one of the world's oldest universities, was situated in the modern Indian state of Bihar; UNESCO designated the ruins of Nalanda Mahavihara as a world heritage site.

Nearly all of the then-available knowledge was covered by the courses of study offered by Nalanda University. In addition to studying the Vedas, Nalanda students received training in the fine arts, medicine, math, astronomy, politics, and the art of war.

2,000 teachers and more than 10,000 students attended Nalanda University at that time. Between the fifth and the twelfth centuries, or roughly 700 years, Nalanda served as the epicentre of learning and Buddhist studies in antiquity. Over 9 million manuscripts were destroyed in a massive fire, and the university was looted by the Muslim invader Bakhtiyar Khalji at the start of the 12th century.

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