The Muslims commited a great crime against world culture when they destroyed the greatest university of India at its time,the Buddhist University of Nalanada in 1193.
The University of Nalanda
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 a 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,medecine,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 abroad,most of them in India.
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:
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 in by the Muslim historian from Iran called Minhaj-i-Siraj(1193-1259) in his historical book Tabaqat-i-Nasiri.
But Christians are no Better
That is the idea of those who do not know history.One charge is that the Spaniards were no better in Mexico,Central and South America.That they killed millions.The Spaniards kept records and we know that from 1492 till 1570 only 25,000 Spaniards went to the New World.We know 90% of all Amerindians died in 100 years after Colombus arrived,that is 80-90 million people.A group of 25,000 could not have killed 90 million,the vast majority died of diseases like smallpox,polio and measles.
I am not Catholic but I admire the positive work done by Catholic priests.One sometimes hears that the actions of Catholic priest Diego de Landa with the Mayas were the same as the destruction of Nalanda University by the Muslims.It is not true.Diego de Landa
The Case of Diego de Landa
Diego de Landa (1524–1579) was a Spanish Bishop in Yucatan,Mexico.He did good and bad things:
1.His writing contains much valuable information on pre-Columbian Maya civilization,
2.And his actions destroyed much of that civilization’s history, literature, and traditions.
The Book “Relation of the Things of Yucatan”
He is the author of the Relación de las cosas de Yucatán in which he catalogues the Maya religion, Maya language, culture and writing system. This manuscript was written around 1566 on his return to Spain.Few scholars debate the general accuracy of his recordings. Landa’s writings are our main contemporary source for Mayan history, without which our collective knowledge of Mayan ethnology would be devastatingly small.
Landa catalogues a partial explanation of written and spoken language that proved vital to modern attempts to decipher the Maya script as well as Maya religion and culture in general. It was written with the help of local Maya princes
Landa’s Relación de las cosas de Yucatán also created a valuable record of the Mayan writing system, which despite its inaccuracies was later to prove instrumental in the later decipherment of the writing system. Landa asked his informants (his primary sources were two Maya individuals descended from a ruling Maya dynasty, literate in the script) to write down the glyphic symbols corresponding to each of the letters of the Latin alphabet, in the belief that there ought to be a one-to-one correspondence between them. The results were faithfully reproduced by Landa in his account, although he recognised apparent inconsistencies and duplicates.
It was not till much later, in the mid-twentieth century, when it was confirmed that it was not a transcription of an alphabet, as Landa and others had supposed, but was a syllabary made up of 800 characters.
The Bad Aspect of Landa
Diego de Landa burned hundreds of Maya codices, books with mythological and astronomical information. Only four Maya codices are known to have survived.He burned them because he thought they were the work of the devil.
He is also known to have tortured many Mayas because they secretly practiced their religion.
A Catholic Priest as the Father of American Anthropology
Bernardino de Sahagún (1499 – 1590) was a Franciscan friar and pioneering ethnographer.He went to Mexico in 1529, and spent more than 50 years conducting interviews regarding Aztec beliefs, culture and history.His extraordinary work documenting the Aztec worldview and culture has earned him the title “the first anthropologist.”He also contributed to the description of the Aztec language Nahuatl, into which he translated the Psalms, the Gospels and a basic manual of religious education.
He is the author of Historia general de las cosas de la Nueva España ( General History of the Things of New Spain ).It consists of 2400 pages in twelve books with 2,000 illustrations drawn by native artists using European techniques. The text is in Spanish and Nahuatl and documents the culture, religious cosmology, ritual practices, society, economics, and history of the Aztecs. In the process of writing the book he pioneered new methods for gathering ethnographic information and validating its accuracy.It is one of the most remarkable accounts of a non-Western culture ever composed and Sahagun is the father of American ethnography.
His assistants spoke three languages (Nahuatl, Latin and Spanish), and actively participated in research and documentation, translation and interpretation, and they painted illustrations. Bernardino published their names, described their work, and gave them credit.
Salvation of the Popol Vuh,the Maya Bible,by a Spaniard
Popol Vuh which means ” “Book of Counsel,” or more literally “Book of the People” is the Maya Bible with a creation myth,a diluvian suggestion, epic tales of the Hero Twins Hunahpú and Xbalanqué,and genealogies. The myth begins with the exploits of anthropomorphic ancestors and concludes with a regnal genealogy Popol Vuh’s fortuitous survival is attributable to the 18th century Spanish priest called Francisco Ximénez(1666 – 1729).He learned the Maya language and wrote their the Popol Vuh for posterity.
The Amazing Work of the Jesuits in South America
From 1608 till 1767 ( the year their expulsion by the Spanish king )or for some 150 years the Jesuits had a mission system among the Guarani Indians and they:
A. Had under their control an area the size of France, which included parts of Paraguay, southeastern Brazil and northeast Argentina.
B. The Jesuit Republic was made up of 30 towns with 3,000 to 4,000 people each, or about 100,000 in all, under the direction of 2 Jesuits to each town.
C. It was a communistic system, where all belonged to the community except the clothes one wore: the land belonged to the community, the tools used, the warehouse, the school, the crops that grew in the field, the cattle and flocks.
D. Everyday everybody received free food from the warehouse, nobody paid rent. When 2 people got married they received a free house, which still belonged to the community, it was not theirs. old people did not have to work but were maintained by the community.
E. At age 7 it was obligatory for children to go to school, were they learned to read and write. That was very unusual, because in the Spanish Empire 90% of the population was illiterate.
F. Spaniards were not allowed to settle in the area and could only enter with the permission of the Jesuits.
G. The was no death penalty in the area governed by them, the worst punishments were whipping and imprisonment. When there was a whipping it was always public, so nobody could say that the person had received more than he should have.
H. People worked only 5 days of the weeks, having Thursday and Sunday off. And it was not for 8 hours a day, but 6 hours a day, from 9 am to 12, then 2 hours for eating and a nap or siesta, and then again from 2 pm till 5 pm.
I. The Jesuits never taught the Guaranies to speak Spanish, instead they learned Guarani themselves. That is why today in Paraguay 99% of the population is bilingual, Spanish-Guarani.
The Amazing Work of Bartolome de las Casas
Bartolomé de las Casas(1484-1566) was a Dominican friar. He did the following:
1.He wrote “A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies” and “Historia de Las Indias/History of the Indies”,which chronicle the first decades of colonization of the West Indies.
2.Due to his actions the king of Spain outlawed American Indian slavery in 1542,in the New Laws of the Indies.
3.He had earlier agreed to African slavery but later repented of it and condemns it and himself 3 times in his History of the Indies.
4.he is considered to be one of the first advocates for universal Human Rights
5.In 1550 he participated in the Valladolid debate, where he argued that the Indians were fully human and that forcefully subjugating them was unjustifiable, against Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, who argued that they were less than human and required Spanish masters in to acquire civilization.
6.In his book Apologetic History of the Indies he even has chapters with arguments that the Amerindians had more enlightenment and knowledge of God than the Greeks and Romans and also in another chapter that they equalled and surpassed the ancient peoples in good laws and customs.To read extracts from the book go to:
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.If it has been the English or the Portuguese Catholic priests who had done it they would say it.