The Heritage of Nalanda

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Item Code: IDK398
Publisher: Aryan Books International
Author: C. Mani
Language: English
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 9788173053306
Pages: 334 (Color Illus: 61, and B/W Figure Illustrations 26)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 11.9" X 8.9"
Weight 1.90 kg
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Book Description

From the Jacket

Nalanda as a monastic institution in the time of Buddha emerged into the greatest academic and spiritual centre of Asia in the early medieval times. This alludes to successive stages of development in Buddhism from naïve realism of the early monastic order to developed metaphysics of the Prajnaparamita and Yogacara philosophies which revolutionized the capacity of thinking of men.

The Tibetan and Chinese histories aver five sciences taught at the Mahavihara as had been prescribed by Asanga. These have been enumerated as (i) Sabda-vidya (grammar, lexicography); (ii) Silpasthana-vidya (arts); (iii) Cikitsa-vidya (medical science); (iv) Hetu-vidya (logic, meta-physics); and (v) Adhyatma-vidya (the cosmic sciences, philosophy). A mass of secret teaching and modes of worship are contained in Tantric texts.

Nalanda also ushered in a new school of art. It is acceded that Indian art in the earliest stage was based in six centres as Gandhara Mathura, Sanchi, Sarnath, Ajanta and Amaravati. If the Gandhara school has analogies with the antique-Etruscan intermixed with the Greco-Roman, from which the art of Italy flashed in Christian art and similarly other centres flourished with composite features, the Nalanda school like the other five schools, being purely Indian in conception, traces its roots into the sculptures of Sarnath and Mathura. It has its own ethos and historical development.

The book, an outcome of the research papers presented in the International Conference on 'The Heritage of Nalanda' held at Nalanda (February 12 to 14, 2006), a landmark in the field of scholarship, in its six parts with its critical delineation, has a veritable coverage as: (i) History, (ii) Art and Archaeology, (iii) Early Medieval Scholasticism: Logic, Philosophy and Esoterism, (iv) Literature, (v) Monastic Education: Ideals of Nalanda Mahavihara, and (vi) Nalanda Experience.

The strikingly illustrated book is a significant contribution to the field of Buddhist studies and is valuable for a general interest reader as well as an academician.

About the Author

Asoka Mission, founded in Delhi by the eminent Cambodian monk Samdach Prah Vira Bellong Dharmawara Mahathera in 1948 with support from distinguished Indians led by Mata Rameshwari Nehru, aims towards promoting friendly relations, under-standing and peace amongst men through education, health care, social and religious services and economic uplift. Its library contains complete sets of Tripitaka in Pali and Cambodian. Over the years it has been the centre of Buddhist activities and has been visited by dignitaries from across the globe. Asoka Mission, spread over 12.5 acres of land with some old structures was reorganized in 1980s by Ven. Lama Lobzang as President and sustained efforts were made to revitalize it.

Prof. C. Mani (born 1923), a Senior Fellow of the Indian Council of Historical Research, is a historian and art historian. He taught history for over twenty years at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath of which he is a founder member. Based in classical studies, he has written over a hundred innovative essays and tracts and translated the works of savants like N.N. Ghosh, C. Rajagopalachari, S.A. Dange and Rustam Masani. Prof. Mani has a number of books on the Buddhist philosophy and art to his credit, some of the titles being The Social Philosophy of Buddhism, Madhyamika Dialectic and the Philosophy of Nagarjuna, Arya Asanga and Vijnanavada, The Basic Rhythms of Buddhist Philosophy, A Biographical Memoir of Acarya Padmasambhava, A Comparative Study of the Iconography of Brahmanical Deities in Buddhist Pantheon, etc. Further, he has edited a new edition of the well-known book, A Manual of Indian Buddhism by H. Kern (New Delhi, 1992).


I am privileged to write a foreword to this illustrious volume on the 'Heritage of Nalanda', famous in the world's history of education and liberal arts and held on 12-14 February 2006, which was blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and to which I have been closely associated, I am glad to see the Conference material with few additional papers of substantive merit published in the form of a treatise.

The Buddhist literature, both in the northern and southern schools, speaks eulogisingly of the high academic standards and rigorous discipline of the great vihara which were transmitted to other countries as found in accentuated form in the Chinese classics, particularly the Chinese Buddhist Tripitaka, compiled by Samuel Beal and Bunjiu Nanjio.

Starting with the Mulasarvastivada and Sarvastivada Vinaya, a large number of works of the four orders, more generally belonging to the Madhyamika and Yogacara philosophies, the Prajna Paramita Sastra of Nagarjuna the Mahayana Sutralankara of Silabhadra with its Chinese translation and a new work on Satyasidhi Sastra by Silabhadra's Chinese disciple Xuanzang are some of the great works of the Nalanda school that were once preserved in its Library, in its three blocks of lofty pavilion and flying buttresses. Esoterism played a dominant part during the rule of the Pala kings, who encouraged the scholars, sculptors and painters to produce some of the best replicas of the Nalanda school.

Turning to the Tantric texts of a superior order we draw on the works of the Mahasiddhas, the Guhyasamaja, the Advayavajra-Sangraha, the Sadhanamala texts, the Tattva Sangraha, the Hevajra Tantras, the Kalacakra Tantra, et al. These works being essential accessories to realization of the deity by meditational practices are supportive of all sciences, which established religious and commercial links in the subcontinent.

Besides aforementioned works there are various recensions of Prajnaparamita, Karandavyuha, Bodhicaryavatara and Pancaraksa manuscripts illustrated with miniature paintings on them. They are most essential parts of iconographic studies. Severally studied are the Buddhist images, stucco figures, bronzes and other metallic icons. The Nalanda School of Art if reckoned to be among the best of the artistic creations coeval with the art of Gandhara, Mathura and Ajanta. Attempts are being made to bring the shadow of this school to art sequences in further India, as far east as Java in Indonesia and Cambodia.

In so far as I know, there is no such other scholarly book on the subject which is capable of taking the Nalanda experience round the world. It is a classic, to be treasured and disseminated.

I congratulate my esteemed friend Venerable Lama Lobzang to have envisioned the work and publish it with the editorial expertise of Professor C. Mani. I have deep appreciation for the perceptive essays of the scholars.

With obeisance to the Three Gems and the Dalai Lama's blessing, I wish happiness to all living beings.




  Foreword v
  Preface vii
  Acknowledgements xv
  The Nalanda Tradition xxiii
  A Dialogue with Buddha xxvii
  Bridging the Past, Present and Future xxix
  List of Illustrations xxxi
  Contributors xxxv
1 Historical Background (Excerpts from ASI Guidebook on Nalanda) 3
  -A. Ghosh  
2 Excavations of Stupa Site No. 3 at Nalanda and Early Chronological Evidence 13
  -B.R. Mani  
3 The Mystery Goddesses of Nalanda: Visualisations and Empowerment 23
  -C. Mani  
4 The Buddhist Art at Mainamati: A Parallel to Nalanda 27
  -Enamul Haque  
5 A Portable Stupa in Magadha Style 38
  -Amarendra Nath  
6 Influence of Nalanda Bronzes on the Bronzes of Bangladesh, Orissa, Nepal and Java 42
  -G.C. Chauley  
7 Fusion of Nalanda School of Art in Indonesian Sculptures 45
  -G.K. Lama  
8 Nalanda Metal Icons Speak what Nalanda Mahavihara Was 48
  -S.K. Pathak  
9 Mandala Elements in Tantric Buddhist Architecture in India, Tibet, and Indonesia 52
  -Adelheid Herrmann-Pfandt  
10 The Nalanda Stone Inscription of Yasovarmadeva 68
  -Naina Pandey  
11 The Nalanda Copper-Plate of Devapaladeva 71
  -Archana Sharma  
12 Management of Nalanda Mahavihara from Epigraphical Material 74
  -Arpita Chatterjee  
13 Nalanda from the Chinese and Tibetan Sources 78
  -Anandamayee Ghosh  
14 The Doctrine of Apoha with Reference to Dharmakirti 85
  -Lobzang Tsewang  
15 Nalanda as a Centre of Esoteric Buddhism 93
  -Kimiaki Tanaka  
16 Santaraksita and Modern Philosophy 96
  -Marie-Louise Friquegnon  
17 Contribution of Acarya Dharmapala of Nalanda 103
  -Bimalendra Kumar  
18 Nalanda and Santaraksita: His Madhyamakalankara Sastra in Tibetan Version 106
  -Manotosh Mandal  
19 Nagardzhuna and Partition of Madhyamika Technology 111
  -Damba Ayasheev  
20 Nalanda and the Mulasarvastivadins: Yi'jing's Accounts with Further Consideration 114
  -Wang Bangwei  
21 Quotations from Mahayana Sutras in the Works of Thinkers of Nalanda 118
  Linnart Mall  
22 Nalanda: Stronghold of Ancient Scholarly Debates 120
  -Lozang Jamspal  
23 Debate between Acarya Candrakirti and Candragomi over Vijnanavada and Madhyamika Philosophy 128
  Tashi Paljor  
24 The Doctrine of the Pramanabhuta-Buddha 131
  Nawang Tsering  
25 Relics of the Budddha: Body, Essence, Text 136
26 Yogic Tradition of Naropa and Its Uninterrupted Continuity in Tibet, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh 143
  -Ramesh Chandra Tewari  
27 The Chinese Buddhacarita 155
  -Charles Willemen  
28 Beginnings of the Apabhramsa Poetry: The Contribution of Nalanda 158
  -Chandra Dhar Tripathi  
29 The Vihara in Buddhist Tradition and Nalanda 167
  -K. Sankarnarayan  
30 The Influence of Master Silabhadra on Master Xuanzang's Thought 173
31 Nalanda: Its Significance 183
  -B. B. Kumar  
32 Master Xuanzang Brings the Buddha's Wisdom to Tang China 187
  -Rev. Heng Sure  
33 The Educational System of Nalanda from Chinese Records 189
  -S-C Shiu and H-O Chien  
34 Genjo-sanzo E: The Biographical Story of Hsuan-chuang in Japan 199
  -Yayoi Tachibana  
35 The Ideal Educational System of Ancient Nalanda Mahavihara 202
  -Angraj Chaudhary  
36 Nalanda as an International Centre of Learning 206
  J. Sitaramamma  
37 Xuanzang Legacy as Inspiration to Higher Education 212
  -Cheng, Wei-Yi  
38 Nalanda as a Centre of World Learning 217
  -Satya Dev Kaushik  
39 The Spirit of Nalanda 223
  -Ven. Dhammadipa  
40 Revitalizing the Spirit of Nalanda 231
  -Ven. Fa Qing and Ven. Wei Wu  
41 Recovering the Nalanda Legacy 235
  -Joseph Loizzo  
42 Nalanda University: Its Influences on the Development of Buddhist Learning (Buddhist Studies in Taiwan and the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order) 246
  -Ven. Bhiksuni Chuehmen  
43 Dharma in Brazil: A Nalanda-Inspired Experience 267
  -Ricardo Sasaki  
44 Buddhist Interrelationship between Korea and India 272
  -Lee Ki Woon  
45 Buddhist in Asia 277
  -Sulak Sivaraksa  
  Bibliography 283
  Index 291

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