The Ancient Nālandā Mahāvihāra: The Beginning of Institutional Education

By Pintu Kumar.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The quest to know the wonders of nature, the material world, and later the increasing desire for knowledge led humanity to build learning centres at each age in history. The specific qualities of each of the educational institution can largely be accounted in terms of the date of its establishment; the conditions under which it was found; the political situation of the location; and the cultural context in which it was installed, which was a chance or an intended design. The paramount aim of this paper is to analyse the mahāvihāra of Nālandā as an institution of learning. We will undertake a critical examination of its objectives, method of teaching, curriculum, teachers, students and administrative system. The Buddhist religion and philosophy was intimately connected with Nālandā Mahāvihāra from its origin to decline. It was the high profile centre for the research and study of Buddhist religion and philosophy to propagate Buddhism in and out of ancient India. This fact must be kept in mind while studying about this noteworthy educational institution.

Keywords: Guru-Śişya Paramparā, Pre-Nālandā Education System, Nālandā Education System, Mahāvihāra, Ācārya-Kula-S, Brāhmanical Learning, Buddhist Pedagogy, Gurukula, Mahāyāna, Upajjhāya, Antevāsikas, Saddhivihārikas, Nibbana

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.65-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.113MB).

Prof. Pintu Kumar

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Motilal Nehru College (Eve), Benito Juarez Road, New Delhi-110021, Delhi University, New Delhi, India

I have completed my M.A. from Jawaharlal Nehru University in ancient history stream in 2004. I have finished my M.Phil from Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies/JNU in 2006 with the submission of a dissertation entitled as “Early India Education: A Critical Study of the Ancient Nalanda University”. I am currently pursuing my Phd from ZHCES itself with topic titled as “Early Indian Education in Magadha: Gurukula to Mahāvihāra”. I have joined Motilal Nehru college as assistant professor in 2009. I am interested to involve myself in the study and research of different educational systems prevailed over the world in the different ages of history. It is my hobby to observe historical artifacts by visiting historical monumnts through a close examination of their architecture.


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