The Educational Heritage of Ancient India: How an Ecosystem of Learning Was Laid to Waste by Sahana SinghJust a thousand years ago, India was dotted with universities across its length and breadth, where international students flocked to gain credentials in advanced education. This illustrated book describes how these multi-disciplinary centers of learning existed in several forms such as forest universities, brick-and-mortar universities and temple universities.
It examines the funding for these citadels of learning and their graduation ceremonies. The process by which Indias ancient systems of education helped to fuel a knowledge revolution around the world with its manuscripts, forming the basis for monographs and academic papers, is explained with references. The marauding incursions by Muslim invaders, which disrupted the idyllic world of university learning in India, followed by European colonization, which led to further erosion and degeneration of Indias traditional learning systems, have been taken up in some detail. Readers will get a snapshot view of Indias education system down the ages from ancient to modern times.
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What Did the Ancient Indian Education System Look Like?
In the olden days, there was no formal education in India. A father passed on knowledge, primarily related to his occupation, to his child. Much later, two systems of education emerged — Vedic and Buddhist. The Vedic system revolved around the Vedas , Vedangas and Upanishads, while the Buddhist system preached the thoughts of the major Buddhist schools. The language of education was Sanskrit for the Vedic system and Pali for the Buddhist system.
Schools, colleges, universities, dominate the education system today. Before we even realize, our lives are stacked with a variety of books, homework and countless assignments!!
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What was unique about ancient Indian education?
The history of education began with teaching of traditional elements such as Indian religions , Indian mathematics , Indian logic at early Hindu and Buddhist centres of learning such as ancient Takshashila in modern-day Pakistan and Nalanda in India before the common era. Islamic Education became ingrained with the establishment of the Islamic empires in the Indian subcontinent in the Middle Ages while the coming of the Europeans later brought western education to colonial India. Modern Universities were established during British rule in the 19th century. A series of measures continuing throughout the early half of the 20th century ultimately laid the foundation of education in the Republic of India , Pakistan and much of South Asia. Early education in India commenced under the supervision of a guru or prabhu.
Education in ancient India : Education was given utmost importance even in the ancient period. We do not have any evidence of education during the Indus valley civilisation but however on seeing the layout plan, drainage system it is understood that people were very intelligent. During the Vedic civilisation education was done through orally. All the Vedas were first transmitted orally from one person to another person. It was only in BC Rig Veda was written.