Showing posts from June, 2012

Unravel wealth hidden in Buddha's Pali Language !!

Stressing on the importance of saving the great repository of information that has been recorded in Pali language, Professor C. Upendra Rao of the Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University said that Pali is an oft neglected language.

“In academics field, there are only a few people taking it up, and fewer still recognising the scientific wealth that has been recorded in the language.” “Three languages have recorded India's past - Sanskrit (Hindu tradition), Prakrit (Jain) and Pali, the language of Buddha. After the decline of Buddhism in India, the language died too. Surprisingly, edicts of the language are still preserved in Sri Lanka, which has many scholars, as well as the great repository of translated works in Tibet, China and beyond, where Indian masters taught the religion,” said Prof. Rao.

Nagarjuna's edicts

Andhra Pradesh has given birth to great Buddhist scholars such as Nagarjuna who was a scholar of Pali. Nagarjuna taught at Nalanda and was still exalte…

All about Nalanda !!

Nalanda is one of the most ancient centres for higher learning, and is known as one of the first great universities in recorded history. The ruins of this great historical university, only half excavated are located at a distance of about 62km from the holy town of Bodhgaya and 90km south of the capital of Bihar, Patna. Rajgir, the ancient capital of the Magadh Empire is at a distance of 15km from Nalanda.

Buddha is known to have visited this university several times during his life, however, on the basis of historical studies it is believed that Nalanda flourished between the 5th and the 12th century under the rule of Gupta king, Sakraditya. Nalanda was the biggest residential centre for learning that history has ever known. The downfall of Nalanda occurred when Turkish Muslims under the rule of Bakhtiyar Khilji destroyed Nalanda in the 12th century A.D., which also saw a decline of Buddhism in India.

Nalanda covered the total area of 14 hectares, constructed with red bricks and garden…

In letter to Krishna, Kalam slams Amartya Sen !!

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam's letter, which he sent to Foreign Minister S M Krishna [ Images ] in July last year, has now come into public domain, slamming Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen [ Images ] for forcing him out of his brainchild project of the Nalanda University in Bihar as its first visitor.

He chose not to create a public controversy even while writing to Krishna, that he was upset the way the project was being handled and hence he couldn't remain associated with it any longer.

He wrote how sad he was at everything going wrong in his dream of reviving a great seat of learning in the Buddhist philosophy and statecraft, as perhaps the first residential international educational institution from 5th to 12th century off Patna, is besmirched with controversies even before it starts any academic courses.

The paragraph reads, "Having been involved in various academic and administrative proceedings of the Nalanda University since August 2007, I believe that the c…

Nalanda University governing body to meet to discuss varsity necessities !!

The Nalanda University governing body that would meet in Patna on July 19-20 will discuss the faculty recruitment process for the two schools — Historical Studies and Environmental and Ecological Studies.

The two schools will start functioning from 2013-14. Nalanda University vice-chancellor Gopa Sabharwal, who was in Patna today, said: “At the governing body meet, the members will discuss various issues such as recruitment of faculties, what should be the criteria for the appointment of the faculties and others.”

Sabharwal added that the strength of the faculty for the two schools would also be discussed. She said: “We have to start the process because we will also have international faculties.”

The VC said apart from recruitment of faculties, at the governing body meet the members would also discuss the syllabi of the two schools.

She said the syllabi would be designed in such a way that it has a local flavour.

Sabharwal explained: “For example, the syllabus of environmental and ecologic…

Nalanda University : An Avatar In Distress !!

Some nine centuries after the great seat of Buddhist learning was felled by the march of history, Parliament passed the Nalanda University Act in August 2010. Controversies continue to swirl around this ancient university being brought to life by an act of faith and law, mentored by a high-powered group of worthies led by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. Questions continue to be asked about this modern-day liberal university in the making. Will Nalanda University take shape in New Delhi or in Nalanda, near Patna? Will its vice-chancellor be permanent? But most importantly, can Bihar, not exactly known for the quality of higher education it imparts, play host to an international university which, in its heyday (possibly in the Gupta dynasty era from the 6th century BC to the 12th century AD) was the repository of world knowledge?

The search for answers confuses matters even further. A call to the Union human resources and development ministry is almost invariably deflected to the Union minis…

Row over Nalanda University’s international school !!

Parliamentary panel wants it to be set up on the main campus

The ambitious project to revive Nalanda University has been caught up in a row.
A parliamentary panel has strongly opposed the plan of the proposed varsity’s Governing Board to set up its School of International Relations and Peace Studies in Delhi and not on the main campus coming up near the ruins of the ancient seat of learning at Rajgir in Bihar.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs took exception to the plan to set up the School of International Relations and Peace Studies of the proposed Nalanda University in Delhi and recommended that the government should review the decision to ensure that it comes up on the main campus itself. The panel also opposed the plan to have a project office for the proposed varsity in the national capital.

In a report that was recently submitted to Parliament, the panel noted that setting up the school and having a project office in Delhi would go against the spirit of the p…

The Royal Road to nirvana -Nalanda University !!

The ruins of Nalanda, the ancient centre of learning transports us to another era where history, architecture and knowledge blend seamlessly

The ruins of Nalanda stretch out below us, a poem in red. The remains of this ancient monastic university, located on the way from Patna to Rajgir consist of classrooms, stupas, monk's cells and temples. The crimson of the bricks glows in the light of the midday sun, making up an evocative tapestry.

Some of the bricks look worn with age while others look bright and new; one admires their quality and endurance for the university is said to have flourished from the 5th to the 12th Century A.D. I have only to shut my eyes to think of the robed monks making their way across the impressive structures to attend classes in logic, grammar or medicine. And above all Buddhist studies. All the subjects Nalanda was famous for and that brought students here from many countries. All the more awesome to think of these seekers of knowledge making their way her…