Which were the world famous universities of ancient India?
Education in India dates back to the 3rd century BC. It mainly consisted of religious training elements and imparting of traditional knowledge. The education was imparted orally by sages and scholars while palm leaves and the barks of trees were used as writing materials. Both formal education and informal education were imparted at the time and indigenous education was imparted at temples, tols, Gurukuls, and the like. The foundation of ancient Indian education was epistemological and philosophical traditions revolving around the idea of the ephemerality of life and world, concept of ultimate death, and the futility of mundane pleasures.
Sources of Education System in India
1. Vedas: The four Vedas – namely, Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Atharvaveda fall among the oldest literatures of the world. They are considered to be the original source of ancient Indian philosophy.
2. Gurukula: They were ancient Indian residential Hindu schools where the students lived in the same building with the Guru.
3. Sutra Literature: It dates back to 600 BC and it embodied the code of duties and principles of conduct for teachers and students. It mainly consists of six Vedangas.
4. Buddhist System: Their main goal was to achieve Nirvana or salvation and purity of character.
Higher education system institutions of higher learning and education in ancient India:
1. Takshashila: Located in modern-day Pakistan, it dates back to the 5th century BC. It focuses on both Hindu and Buddhist theologies. Few subjects taught here are political science, medicine, hunting, and law.
2. Nalanda: Existing in the Gupta period, it is the most renowned South Asian University. It taught all three Buddhist doctrines and subjects like fine arts, logic, medicine, Vedas, and more were taught here.
3. Valabhi: Located in Saurashtra, Gujarat, it mainly focused on Hinayana Buddhism. It had subjects such as law, philosophy, and the like.
4. Vikramshila: Located in Bihar, it was established by King Dharampala of Pala dynasty. Subjects like urban development, law, grammar, and the like were taught.
5. Mithila: Also named as Videha, it was a prominent Brahmanical system of education.
6. Odantapuri: It spread the tenets of Buddhism and also attracted students from Tibet.
7. Nadia: Formerly named Navadweep, it offered branches of learning such as Law, Politics, Vyakaran, and Logic. It is located at the confluence of Ganga and Jalangi rivers in Bengal.
Other Famous Institutions:
4. Sharada Perth
6. Pushpagiri Vihara
These were the main institutions of education in ancient India.