Friday, September 15, 2023

Nalanda University Was Indeed Vandalised And Incinerated By The Marauding Turkish Invaders

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 15 September 2023 "Bakhtiyar Khilji died in 1206 AD .During that time, Nalanda was still serving as a renowned university for both national and international students. So, if Bakhtiyar Khilji was responsible for eradicating Nalanda, how was it possible for Nalanda’s academic activities to be pursued during 1206 AD? The existence of the university was witnessed by a Tibetan monk in that era." Nalanda University/ Getty Images ------ The venerable reader Mr Ghulam Mohiyuddin seems to have certain doubts and reservations about the universally confirmed fact that Nalanda University was vandalised and incinerated by the Turkish invaders, precisely, by Bakhtiyar Khilji. It's time to put an end to this controversy as to who gutted the famed Nalanda University and killed innumerable monks, residing and studying there. The Persian historian Minhaj-e-Siraj in his chronicle Tabaqat-e-Nasiri, reported that thousands of monks were burned alive and thousands beheaded as Bakhtiyar Khilji tried his best to uproot Buddhism and plant Islam by the sword; the burning of the library continued for several months and smoke from the burning manuscripts hung for days like a dark pall over the low hills. This ended in TOTAL DECLINE by 1197 Common Era. A site of note, of a Buddhism timeline, says, "11-13th Centuries India: Encounter with Islam, iconoclasm, decline of (mainly Mahayana) Buddhism in Northern India. Sacking of Nalanda University in 1197 and Vikram Shila University (both in Bihar) in 1203 by Muslims. There're some more sources that state the event in general terms, by saying, " At the beginning of the 12th Century, the Muslim invader Bakhtiyar Khilji completely destroyed the university. " It must be mentioned that Nalanda University was destroyed thrice: In the mid-5th (when it was only a few years old), early 7th, and late 12th centuries. The first two times, Nalanda was rebuilt by the rulers of the day. But by the time Turkish Muslim invaders destroyed it for the third time in 1197 CE, the enthusiasm for Buddhist learning had long declined and there was no ruler in the region with enough clout to restore the institution to its former glory. As a result, Nalanda has languished in its ruins ever since. There's no denying the fact that Hindus as well as Muslim invaders tried to ransack and destroy Nalanda, the epitome of Buddhist learning at that time. But the destruction of Nalanda was completed with its incineration by the Turkish invaders in 1197 CE. 'Great' Hindu sages and 'scholars' like Adi Shankara, Mandan Mishra (he was defeated by Adi Shankara in a religious discourse at Saharsa, present-day Bihar), Mandan's disciple Vachaspati Mishra and Kumaril Bhatt tried to thwart the juggernaut of Buddhism by hook or by crook. MARAUDING islam just expedited the elimination process. By the way, ancestors of most of the Talibani Muslims in Afghanistan were Buddhists. Buddhism flourished in that region before Islam converted Buddhists and made them Muslims. Buddhas of Bamiyan (two 6th-century monumental statues carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamiyan valley of Central Afghanistan) serve as proof of the presence of Buddhism before Islam desecrated that land. In 1221, with the advent of Genghis Khan, "a terrible disaster befell Bamiyan". Nevertheless, the statues were spared. The Mughal founder Babur wrote in September 1528 that he ordered both be destroyed. Later, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb tried to use heavy artillery to destroy the statues. The legs of the Buddhas were broken because of Aurangzeb's action. Another attempt to destroy the Bamiyan statues was made by the 18th century Persian king Nader Afshar, directing cannon fire at them. The Afghan king Abdur Rahman Khan in the 19th century destroyed the upper part of the face of the larger figure during a military campaign against a Hazara rebellion in the area. Talibanis destroyed the statues by using dynamite over several weeks, starting on 2 March 2001. This is the bloody saga of destruction, depredation and desecration. Whether Hindus or Muslims, all indulged in the mission of annihilation when they had power and clout. Lastly, to dispel the doubt of Mr Ghulam Mohiyuddin as to how some academic activities at Nalanda University were going on even after 1200 CE, he must know that a few monks and their teachers from Tibet and South East Asia would stealthily conduct classes and try to retrieve burnt and damaged manuscripts. This went on till 1210 CE. That's why I always say that all man-made religions are absolute anathemas to mankind. But terribly devolved humans cannot get rid of all these bogus faiths and their spurious gods. This is the biggest tragedy that has befallen humanity. Mr Anburaj, now you cannot call me a supporter or sympathizer of Islam and a detractor of Hinduism. To me, all faiths and their gods are equally despicable. My religion is Truth and Humanity. ------- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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