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

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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