Chapter 3 – Ancient India: Nalanda's Emergence as a Great Centre of Learning and Christianity in India

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The transformation of the ancient Brahmanical faith into modern. Hinduism can be regarded as the most distinguishing feature from the Gupta period onwards.

  • Buddhism no longer received as much royal patronage as it did earlier. Brahmanism had come to the forefront.

  • The Gupta rulers especially provided filling to the Bhagavata Sect of Hinduism.

  • They called them selved Bhagavatas, worshipped Lord Vishnu performed Ashvamedha yajnas, gave large donations to brahmanas, and built many temples.

Nalanda’S Emergence as a Great Centre of Learning

  • Nalanda became a great centre of learning during Harsha’s reign. Students from different parts of the world came here to imbibe learning.

  • Although all the remains mounds of Nalanda have not yet been excavated, yet the evidence of a huge complex of buildings has been uncovered.

  • According to Hiuen Tsang, Nalanda housed as many as 10,000 students. It was supported by the revenues of 200 villages.

Image of Nalanda university

Image of Nalanda University

  • Students were encouraged to develop a spirit of enquiry and reasoning. Active discussions and debates were taking place here.

  • Thus university continued to be the centre if intellectual activity till the twelfth century.

Christianity in India

  • According to tradition, Christianity brought to India by Saint Thomas in the first century A.D.

  • A large community of Christians known as Syrian Christians continue to reside in Kerala even today.

  • The Christian church has two major divisions the Roman Catholic and the Protestant church. The holly book of the Christians is the Bible.

  • The Bible contains two parts:

    • The old Testament

    • The New Testament

  • The Bible today is available in all major languages spoken in our country.

  • Today, we have over one and a half crore Christians in India. Several charitable institutions under their patronage are flourishing in all parts of our country.

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