Chapter 3 – Ancient India: Nalanda՚s Emergence as a Great Centre of Learning and Christianity in India (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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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.
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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