ancient indian history

Nalanda Inscription

Nalanda was founded by King Shakraditya. He introduced the tradition of ancient sanatna dharma learnings from Nalanda to inspire the world by founding large teachings centres. He created big class rooms and provided necessary facilities and faculties. 
Another evidence discovered at Nalanda site corroborates that Kumaragupta 1, was the founder patron of the Nalanda monastery-university.
Inscriptions, literary evidence, seals, and ruined artwork discovered at the archeological site suggest that Nalanda University had continued to grow under the Palas dynasity. A number of 9th-century metallic statues containing references to Devapala were also found in its ruins. King Srivijayan had built a monastery there and had contributed in upkeep of adjoining villages. An inscription from Devapala’s time mentions that he received and patronised a learned Vedic scholar named Vira-deva, who was later elected as the head of Nalanda University.
After the Islamic invasions, the destruction and the demise of Nalanda University, and adjoining monasteries had started.
Islamic troops headed by Muhammad Bakhtiar, had also destroyed large library of Nalanda University, having books containing ancient wisdom. Successive islamic invasions thereafter led to the demise of Nalanda and other monasteries near it, such as the Odantapura Vihar (now called Bihar Sharif) about 6 miles away from Nalanda.
This destruction may be corroborated with several resources/biographies of buddhist monks who had visited the sites. Archaeological evidences are also available in the form ruins, charcoal remains of the Nalanda libraries, and the damaged artworks.
Several historians described loot and cold blooded massacres of natives of the villages adjoining nalanda by the islamists.
Muhammad-i-Bakhtiyar captured Bihar sharif palace & killed most of the inhabitants of that place. Various other great Mahaviharas, such as Vikramshila Jagaddala, etc, also met their ends at the hands of the Turk soldiers at around the same time.
These were the decades of widespread systematic destruction of monasteries in this region.
Historical records available in Tibet confirm that some monks from Nalanda and nearby monasteries such as the Vikramashila monastery had somehow survived the slaughter and fled to Tibet. Some Tibetan monks had also shifted to Nepal.
 Among the Tibetan records, the most useful is the biography of the Tibetan monk-pilgrim, Dharma-svamin
discovered in 1936. Dharma-svamin had met a few fleeing monks during his studies from about mid 1200s to 1226.
He had learnt Indian languages and Sanskrit, he walked to and stayed in Nepal starting in 1226 and visited Bihar about 1234, including spending one monsoon season in Nalanda. He described the condition in the decades after the sack of Nalanda and other Buddhist monasteries in Magadha-region of India. His account states that the destruction of Nalanda was not an accident or misunderstanding, but a part of the widespread destruction of Buddhist monasteries and monuments including a destruction of Bodhgaya. The vast manuscript libraries of Magadha had been mostly lost. 
Inspite of this systematic destruction by turk soldiers, some brave brahmin teachers had gathered confidence and resumed the scholastic activities in Nalanda, but at a micro scale.
Nalanda Mahavihara site is in the State of Bihar, in north-eastern India. It comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. It includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal. Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. It engaged in the organized transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years. The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions.

Inscription number
51. Nalanda Brick Inscription Gupta Year 197. (516-17 A.D.)
Provenance: A Votive stupa attached to the main stupa of Nalanda, Bihar.
Script : Brahmi of the 6th century A.D.
Language: Sanskrit.
References: A Ghosh, Ep.Ind, XXIV, pp-20-22.
Transliterated from EpInd, XXIV, pp-21-22, No facsimile having been published with the text. The inscription gives the text of the Nidana-Sutra or the Pratityasemutpada-sutra together
with the nirodha portion, called here the achaya and apachaya of dharma. It is the sense as that found in the Kasia copper-plate and the inscribed
brick from Gopalpur. See AS.I, Ann. Rep – 1910-11, pp-.76 f and Proc A.S.B. 1896, pp. 99 ff. To other
Brick inscriptions from Nalanda published by N.P Chakravarti (Ep.Ind. XXI, pp.194 ff), give the sutra
together with its vibhanga. It is also found in Kurram Relic casket Inscription of the Year 21 in Gandhar
Prakrit (Ep.Ind.. XVIII, pp.16 ff and supra,Vol.1, Number 77.
(under the Kushanas).
1.The whole sutra has been summed up in the Verses:-
ये धर्मा हेतु प्रभवा – तेषां हेतुं तथागत आह !
तेषां यो निरोध एवं वादी महा श्रमण: !!
अज्ञानाच्चीयते कर्म जन्मन: कर्म कारणम् !
ज्ञानान्न चीयते कर्म कर्माभावान्न जायते !!
2. Paleography of the record, leads us to refer the years to the Gupta era. The Nalanda Monument in its
present form is the accumulation of seven successive occupations, each over the ruins of the earlier ones, the result that each time the size of the
stupa greatly increased both horizontally and
Vertically. The stupa of the 5th period, with its four corner towers and eastern facade decorated with rows of niches containing all-modelled stucco
figures of the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas was more
carefully constructed and is best preserved now
The votive stupa, from the core of which, the present record
has been found, belonged to this period, which can now be dated on the evidence provided by this inscription.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top