The destruction of Nalanda


The Muslim invaders commited a great crime against world culture when they destroyed the greatest university of India at its time,the Buddhist University of Nalanda in 1193.

The University of Nalanda

Nalanda foto: Jampa 2011

It dates from around 450 AD and:

1.At its height has 10,000 students from all over the world:India,China,Japan,Tibet,Burma.Korea,Indonesia. At other times it had 4,000 students.

2.There was an enormous library with hundreds of thousands of books stored in 3 buildings of several stories,one had 9 stories.

3.Education was 100% free but they only accepted the most intelligent.

4.To be a student one had to pass several exams and at least 66% of applicants were rejected.

5.They taught Buddhism,Hinduism,physics,mathematics,medicine,surgery,astronomy and it had an observatory.

For a good description we have the travel narrative of the famous Buddhist monk from China Xuangzan (602-664) who spent 17 years travelling in Central Asia and India gathering Buddhist scripture.

Muslims in India

In the 8th century the Muslims had conquered what is now Pakistan where even in 1947 25% of the population was Hindu, now it is less than 1%. But what is now India itself was to wait for centuries. Mahmud of Ghazni (971-1030)was the sultan of a vast region with its capital in Samarkand, led 17 pillaging raids on India destroying many Hindu temples and according to Abu Nasr Muhammad Utbi, the secretary and chronicler of Mahmud, took 500,000 Hindus as slaves,men and women, back with him.Mahmud is chiefly remembered as the plunderer of India. Between 1000 and 1026 he mounted at least 17 raids against India with the aim of extirpating idol-worshiping Hindu infidels and destroying Hindu temples, which were great repositories of wealth. His most important expedition was against the temple of Shiva in Somanth(one of the most holy temples in Hinduism) in 1025. It is estimated that Mahmud took from India jewels, gold, and silver in excess of 3 billion dinars, in addition to hundreds of thousands of slaves.We know that Muslims in India destroyed literally thousands of Hindu temples.

The Sultanate of Delhi

Later northern India was ruled from Delhi by several Muslim dynasties,in the kingdom of the Sultan(Arabic for ruler) of Delhi, for more than 300 years.They were:

1.Muizzi dynasty(1206-1290)
2.Khaldji dynasty(1290-1320)
3.Tughluq dynasty(1320-1413)
4.Sayyid dynasty(1413-1511)
5.Lodi dynasty(1511-1526)

Nalanda foto : Jampa 2011

The Destruction of the University of Nalanda

Notice the name of the second dynasty,the Khaldji dynasty.It comes from a Turkic general called Bakhtiyar Khaldji.He was the one who in 1193 ordered the burning to death or executed by sword of the thousands of Buddhist students and professors in the university.He destroyed the hundreds of thousands books, which took, so it is written, 3 months to burn all of them. He also destroyed all the buildings, only ruins remained. All this is written by the Muslim historian from Iran called Minhaj-i-Siraj(1193-1259) in his historical book Tabaqat-i-Nasiri. Buddhist pilgrims visit Nalanda again to bring homage to the great Masters of Nalanda , like Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu , Chandrakirti and many others. Tibetan buddhist are urged by HH the Dalai Lama to “follow the Masters of Nalanda” and His Holiness calls himself a Nalanda Master.

Watch the video about Nalanda University

It is an Indian documentary but notice the woman never says why it disappeared.It is obvious the maker had fear of Muslim vengeance.

Buddhists should never hate anyone because all evil deeds are done in ignorance. Buddhists respect all religions and should not judge other convictions. But historical facts must be recognized as such. Religious hatred and” jihad ” against other religions has nothing to do with true religion.


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