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Nalanda Monastery

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Nalanda monastery

那爛陀寺 (Skt; Jpn Naranda-ji)

    Also, Nalanda Monastery. A Buddhist monastery that was located at the site of present-day Bargaon in Bihar, northeastern India. It prospered as a center of Buddhist learning from the fifth through the twelfth century. Founded in the fifth century by Kumaragupta (also known as Shakraditya), king of the Gupta dynasty, the monastery was enlarged by the kings of the late Gupta period. Nalanda Monastery was in reality a Buddhist university, where many learned monks came to further their study of Buddhism. Hsüan-tsang and Iching, Chinese priests who traveled to India in the seventh century, wrote in their records of the imposing structure and prosperity of this monastery. Many outstanding Mahayana Buddhist scholars, such as Dharmapala and Shilabhadra, studied there.

Nalanda Monastic University was a center of higher buddhist studies located in north-eastern India. It was founded around the second century by King Shakraditya of Magadha and quickly became a renowned university with a vast library. It is estimated that some ten thousand monks studied there at a time, not just Buddhist teachings of the Hinayana and Mahayana, but also medicine, math, logic and other religions as well. For centuries this was one of the best known places in the world for higher learning; among its notable abbots were Saraha, Nagarjuna, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Naropa, Dharmapala, Dignaga and others. The great middle way philosophy (Madhayamaka) was honed to its highest form here and close connections were developed between Nalanda and Tibet where a center of learning with the same name was started in 1351. Nalanda was said to have been destroyed, it's library sacked and burned by Muslim raiders, somewhere between the 12th and 13th century.


see also: Nalanda

Source

www.sgilibrary.org