” One who protects the Dhamma, is protected by the same principles”.
Nalanda was one of the first residential universities, i.e. it had dorms. During its days it was a flourishing residential university with over 10,000 students and 1500 teachers. The university was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. The library was located in a nine storied building. The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of learning. The Tang Dynasty Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang left detailed accounts of the university in the 7th century.
A vast amount of what is considered to be Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) actually stems from the late (9th-12th century) Nalanda teachers and traditions. Other forms of Buddhism, like the Mahayana followed in Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan, found their genesis within the walls of the ancient university. Theravada, the other main school of Buddhism, followed in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and elsewhere, and later the mystic Theravada schools also developed here.
In 1193, the Nalanda University complex was sacked by Turkic Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khalji; this event is seen as a milestone in the decline of Buddhism in India. It is said that Khalji asked if there was a copy of the Koran at Nalanda before he sacked it. When the Tibetan translator Chag Lotsawa visited them in 1235, he found them damaged and looted, but still functioning with a small number of monks.
There are very few teachers, leaders and individuals who impart their knowledge free of charge without expecting anything in return. Late Venerable Kirinde Sri Dhammananda (popularly known as K. Sri Dhammananda) occupies a special place.
Being a Buddhist I used to read his books which gave an unbiased view while his books and sermons always acted as a panacea for the inquisitive mind. I would always recommend his book ‘How to live without Fear and Worry’ to anyone who is in a state of distress or looking for a self help book on Positive Thinking.
When I was a student in School I got the oppertunity of corresponding with him through mail to clear my doubts on Buddhist Dhamma, and he was always generous enough to reply me whenever I had doubts. Unfortunately I had the oppertunity of mailing him only on Three occasions and apparently he passed away. May he attain Nibbana for the valuable service he has rendered.
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The arrival of a new century is always a time of great ferment and great expectations, and when the new century also marks the dawn of a new millennium our expectations are likely to be especially intense. An inherent optimism makes us think that the new is always bound to be better than the old, that the arrival of the next year or century will inevitably bring our wildest dreams to fulfillment. Unfortunately, however, life is not so simple that the mere ticking of the clock and a change of calendars are enough to undo the knots with which we have tied ourselves up by our rash decisions and ill-considered actions through all the preceding months, years, and decades.