Essay on the growth of Education And Literature during Harshavardhana period in India

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Harshavardhana himself was a scholar and wrote three plays entitled “Nagananda”, “Ratnavali” and “Priyadarshika”. Like the Gupta age, “Sanskrit” was the popular and predominant language at that time, he wrote these plays in Sanskrit and each of them had received wide acclaim from Indian scholars.

It has been said that he spent one-fourth of his income on education and learning. He patronised the Chinese traveller Huein-Tsang while Banabhatta, the celebrated author of “Harshacharita” and “Kadambari” and scholars likeMayura, Divakara and Jayasena were at his court.

The university of Nalanda, Valabhi and one run by Divakara in Vindhya forest were centers of learning at that time. Among them the university of Nalanda was the most celebrated where students and the scholars from all parts of the country as well as from foreign countries gathered for education and learning.

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Nearly 5000 students received free education there. It was not only the centre of learning of Buddhist studies but also of Hindu texts and religion.

The university was patronised by the emperor Harshavardhana. According to K.M. Panikkar, “India was the most educated country at that time.” Indian culture continued to spread in foreign countries during this period. While the Hinduism increased its popularity in the countries of South- East Asia, the Buddhism spread in Tibet and China.

The Buddhist scholars like Kumarajiva, Parmartha, Dharamdeva, Shantaraksita, Sthirmati, Buddhakirti etc. translated Buddhist texts in the local languages of the people and thus formed a solid base for the propagation of Buddhism in those countries. Thus, both Buddhism and Hinduism made progress in different foreign countries

Last but not least but not last, Harshavardhana was an ideal ruler. He had strength in his arms to defend his subjects from the attacks of foreign invaders. He had high and lofty ideals of duty and service, “In the performance of good deeds he knew no rest and even forgot to eat and sleep.”

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There is no doubt that Harshavardhana was foresighted ruler, a brave army commander, a lover and patron of fine arts, learning, literature and a lion-hearted man with noble feeling and distinguished personality.

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