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Education in Ancient India

The history of education in India is interesting and is recorded to the long gone ancient days. The Indian sub continent has a complicated social structure and its fascinating achievements in the field of education appeared as the ultimate magnificence of the country. Education with its age old history was handed down from one generation to the next as a heritage of previous generations. Education is thus regarded as a nurturer of culture. Education in Ancient India began in the third century BC with elements of religious training and impart of traditional knowledge. In the ancient days, sages and scholars imparted education orally and after the development of letters the form of writing was introduced. Palm leaves and barks of trees were used for writing and thus helped the spread the written literature.

Education in Ancient India originated with the Gurukul system. This type ancient Hindu school in India was residential in nature with the shishyas or students and the guru or teacher living in proximity within the same house. The students resided together irrespective of their social standing. However, several temples and community centers regularly took the role of schools. In addition to that ancient Indian education achieved a noticeable position in the early Vedic period, beginning in the 1200 B.C.E. In the Vedic days, the teaching of the four Vedas, the hymns and ritual practices were seen. The Vedas included the Sanskrit language which in turn became the language of classical learning. Besides the pronunciation of the Vedas and their implication, phonology, metrics, elementary grammar, and etymology were also taught. Though, the Vedic education was not transmitted to people of low strata, yet the Vedic system inspired the modern day education system.

The spread of Buddhism and Jainism in India enriched the Education in Ancient India. In this period education became available to everyone and various celebrated educational institutions were established at that instant. The educational institutes, Nalanda, Vikramshila and Takshashila basically arose from the monasteries. Nalanda University, flourished from the fifth to thirteenth century AD and till to the present day it is known for its educational excellence. This university was preferred by students all over the world and other international scholars. Indian education in the ancient era contributed a lot for the growth of medieval education. Furthermore, the ancient education system popularised the elements of innovation, an appeal and incentive to improve traditional knowledge.

 

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Education in Ancient India
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Sanskrit Studies in South India

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