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Praying For Life – Top 10 Ancient Fertility Goddesses

Praying For Life – Top 10 Ancient Fertility Goddesses


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Throughout the ancient history of the world, polytheism - commonly known as paganism or heathenism - was the defining aspect of all societies and civilizations. Our ancestors had complex and widespread beliefs that were closely related to their lives and the everyday occurrences around them. This was the belief in nature - in the yearly natural cycles, life and death, rain and sun, and above all fertility.

They personified these natural aspects and gave them names, imagined them as men and women - powerful deities that could be appeased to help with crops, childbirth, or victory in war. And today we are exploring perhaps the most common of these beliefs, a cult that was the central part of all pagan religions - fertility. And as nature intricately connects fertility with femininity, goddesses were revered. Today we are traveling to all corners of the world to seek out these loving mothers and lustful seductresses - from the European Germanic cults, to the distant and vicious South American deities, all the way to the natural and peaceful goddesses of Slavic myths.

The Ancient Origins of Fertility Goddesses

Fertility and the female form are deeply connected by nature itself, and the earliest forms of worship in the world were connected exactly to this. In the Paleolithic, early societies worshipped buxom, motherly figurines of fertility goddesses, known as Venus figurines – as early as 35,000 years ago. Some of these fertility figures date as far back as 300,000 years and more.

Goddesses of fertility were one of the main components of primitive belief and they evolved to have powerful cults in more developed pagan societies. Women, earth, and fertility were often combined, and complex deities evolved to ensure a bountiful harvest, safe childbirth, and the celebration of procreation. Fertility worship was a common aspect of many of the world’s heathen cultures, and our list is a good insight into some of the best known fertility goddesses.

Venus of Hohlefels, the earliest Venus figurine, Paleolithic period, mammoth ivory. (Ramessos / CC BY SA 3.0 )

While some goddesses held vicious and beastly forms, most of them embodied beauty and had feminine features. From the earliest ivory carvings of swollen breasts and pregnant bellies, these goddesses were unashamedly natural, presenting the female human form in its most blessed, life bringing states. Sexuality was not shunned, as it was the source of life, and these heavenly ladies were often involved in prayers for pregnancies and love.

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The figure of the mother is universal through all ages and all periods of our history, and poses a big step towards the further development of fertility cults. From the Stone Age depictions of fertile motherly matrons all the way to refined seductresses and sorceresses of Nordic mythology, one thing always remained the same – and that is the exemplification of feminine sexual qualities.

Ostara

Ēostre (Ostara) is one of the oldest and widely attested Germanic goddesses, associated with the coming spring and fertility. She is found in almost all Germanic nations, with the largely unchanged versions of her name found in Old German, Anglo Saxon, and other Germanic languages. She is most popularly mentioned in the work of an 8th century Benedictine monk, Bede, who tells us that in Anglo Saxon pagan belief, Ostara had her own month - seemingly April - known as Ēastermōnaþ, in which feasts were held in her honor signifying the fertility of the coming spring.

Ostara (1884) by Johannes Gehrts.

Ostara is related to the older, Proto Germanic goddess Austrō, and from this with the even older Proto Indo European goddess Hausōs, the goddess of dawn and fertility. This shows us that the belief in Ostara has old roots, providing important insights into the origins of the Germanic pantheon.

Most scholars agree that Ostara was personified in the form of rabbits, to whom meals were offered as sacrifice. This survives today in the traditional Easter customs of hares and eggs, besides the name of Easter itself - in which Ēostre lives on.

Hera

Hera was an important goddess of the Ancient Greek pantheon, one of the 12 major Olympian deities, and a sister-wife of Zeus. She is the mother figure, a goddess of fertile earth, marriages, women, childbirth, and family. Hera was one of the oldest deities in Greek mythology, with clear roots to an older, pre-Greek Indo-European origin.

Hera the ancient Greek goddess . ( Ruslan Gilmanshin /Adobe Stock)

Some of the earliest temples in Greece were dedicated to her on the island of Samos. But interestingly enough, Hera was an odd goddess, with many myths describing her constant jealousy and vengeful nature aimed at her husband Zeus who was known for adultery.

For example, Hera hated his illegitimate son Hercules, whom she often hindered and attempted to kill. Even so, her image was certainly feminine and associated with many fertile and female aspects.

Dodola

Dodola is a deity and being of the Slavic mythology, also known as Perperuna, and is associated with the major god Perun, earth fertility, and rain. Customs related to Dodola are numerous across the Slavic world, and have remained in use well into the 1950’s and after. Perun is the god of thunder and Dodola the goddess of rain, and the two were accordingly closely related.

Dodola. ( CC BY SA )

Rituals honoring Dodola are usually performed by children and young girls, who adorn themselves with leaves and sing songs of invocation. They are sprayed with water, in hopes of summoning the rain and ensuring fertility of the land. This cult is connected with the earliest forms of earth fertility and the personification of rain.

Peperuda in Bulgaria. 1950s

The songs of Dodola are some of the most well-preserved and offer an important insight into the staunch survival of Slavic paganism to this very day, which mostly survived among the South Slavs.

Inanna

One of the oldest deities on Earth, Inanna was the ancient Mesopotamian goddess of love, fertility, beauty, sex, justice, and war. Known as the Queen of Heaven, Inanna’s cult survived into the Babylonian, Akkadian, and Assyrian belief under the name of Ishtar.

Ishtar/Inanna as a warrior presenting captives to the king.

As this goddess was known and worshipped as early as 4000 years BC, she naturally influenced numerous fertility goddesses in the following civilizations. Her cult and worship were both associated with sexual rites and orgies. Ishtar influenced the goddess of the Phoenicians Astoreth, and from there - the Greek Aphrodite - both deities of love, passion, and procreation. The worship of Ishtar survived in parts of Upper Mesopotamia even into the 18th century, making it one of the oldest surviving cults on the planet.

Kaltes-Ekwa

Kaltes Ekwa is a motherly goddess of the Ugrians, Uralic peoples that today survive in the Khanty and Mansi peoples of West Siberia and the Urals, and distantly in the Hungarian nation. Kaltes-Ekwa is the goddess of dawn and fertility and the wife of the supreme god Num-Torum.

Kaltes Ekwa. ( Free Cultural Work )

She is the moon and dawn goddess and the patron of childbirth, personified as a hare. She was greatly revered by the Ob-Ugric tribes, considered as the keeper of destinies, and a gentle, motherly wise woman, capable of uncovering the mysteries of life.

Nerthus

Nerthus, or Nerþuz, was the major fertility goddess of the Germanic tribes, described in detail by Tacitus in his first century AD work Germania. Nerthus is common to all minor tribes of the Suebi Germanic group and other tribes as well. Tacitus tells us that the goddess is venerated on a cart pulled by two heifers; the cart is attended by priests, as the heifers seemingly roam willingly around the villages, which is personified as the will of the goddess herself.

Spectators watch as the processional wagon of the Germanic goddess Nerthus moves along, inspired by Tacitus' description of the Germanic custom in his first century AD work Germania.

Nerþuz is most likely the female counterpart of the Old Norse god Njörðr, who is associated with seafaring and crop fertility. The cart of Nerthus was highly venerated and kept secured on a remote sacred island grove. The slaves who washed the cart in the sacred lake were also drowned in it, seemingly to accentuate the mystery and create an illusion that they truly did witness the revered goddess.

Freyja

This Norse goddess is one of the best-known Germanic deities, connected with fertility, sex, beauty, love, and sorcery. Her name means “ the Lady,” and in numerous myths she has quite a promiscuous nature, where she offers her body freely . Freyja is connected to numerous legends and has several key attributes.

Freyja. (Archivist /Adobe Stock)

She rides a chariot which is pulled by two cats and has a boar by her side - Hildisvíni. This fertility goddess presides over Fólkvangr, a heavenly meadow in which she receives half of the warriors who fall in battle, while the other half is greeted by Odin in Valhalla. Through this, she is connected to the Valkyries as well. Her cult was extremely important in Germany and Scandinavia.

Taweret

The ancient Egyptian protective goddess of childbirth and fertility, Taweret, is certainly one of the most unique goddesses of the ancient world. She is displayed in the form of a large upright hippopotamus, with feline legs and a crocodile tail, with drooping female breasts. Her bestial and frightening form is a part of her protective role - her ugliness was thought to repel demons and protect the newborn children.

Statuette of the Goddess Taweret.

Taweret’s cult had a long history and popularity in ancient Egypt and she was a loved patron of women. Her worship dates as early as 2600 BC, making her one of the oldest goddesses. Her form shows us an important connection that the ancient Egyptians had with the nature around them. Hippos were viewed as dangerous - and thus revered.

Xōchiquetzal

Xochiquetzal, also known as Ichpōchtli ( “maiden”), was one of the major goddesses of the Aztec mythology and connected to fertility, beauty, childbirth, and female sexual power. She was a protector of women, prostitutes, young mothers, and pregnant women.

A depiction of Xochiquetzal from the Codex Rios. ( Public Domain)

Unlike human sacrifices that were a common part of Aztec worship, Ichpōchtli was venerated in a more natural way, with ceremonies involving flowers, butterflies, and animal masks. She was portrayed as a youthful and luscious woman. Xochiquetzal was the mother of Quetzalcoatl, a major Aztec deity. Her attributes were desire, pleasure, wealth and excess, and beauty. Some scholars believe she was the patron of adultery as well.

Živa

Živa, also known as Żiwia and Zizileya, was a major goddess of the Slavs and associated with life and fertility. Her name means “alive, living, being, existing.” Živa was a motherly, primeval figure, and a major goddess throughout the Slavic world, with main centers of worship among the Polabian and West Slavs.

Siwa. Westphalen's book print, 1740.

One of her attributes is a golden apple, a common Slavic feature that is a part of numerous myths. Her name and the myths related to her are largely cognate to the Norse goddess Sif, with some similarities in the name as well. This points to a common, much older Ind- European root, and a proto-form of a motherly fertility cult.

In Belarus she was also considered an earth goddess, while in Serbia she had a role as a protector of children and the bringer of life, and flower wreaths were offered to her. Her form was that of a beautiful woman.

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At the Whim of Conquering Nature

Life was harsh in ancient times. From the harsh survival conditions of the Paleolithic, to warlike Classical Antiquity – life was never a certainty. And in order to ensure offspring and to implore the earth provide a successful harvest, our ancestors needed a figure to look up to.

These figures were most often the fertility goddesses – motherly deities on whose whims life relied. Patrons of childbirth, protectors of the crops, and bringers of rain – these matrons fulfilled many roles. Yet behind them, responsible for both life and death, hardships and success, stood none other than the original goddess of fertility – mother nature.


End Times Prophecy Report

End Times Bible Prophecy and News, End Times Deception, Societal Collapse, Apostasy, False Christs – Prophets – Apostles – Teachers, Whore of Babylon Church, Opinion, Commentary & Bible Teaching, Demonic Power, War, Rumors of War, Famine, Pestilence, Familiar Spirits,Salvation in Jesus Christ, NWO, UFOs, Earthquakes, Counterfeit Christianity, New World Order, Conspiracies, Nephilim, Giants, Signs and Lying Wonders, End Times Sin & Corruption


“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”
—Matthew 24:4

NOTE: Continuing in the same manner of what we stated in 2016:

To commemorate this last day of 2019 and the first couple of the New Year, over the next few days, we’ll include some jokes of the last 7-8 years from the late night comics.

This seemed a better choice than to include all of the “Best of” and “Worst of” lists which the Corporate Media churns out the last day or two of each year. Such lists are usually compendia of narratives (stories).

At this point, all we’ll say about the coming year: 2020 should prove to be highly, HIGHLY interesting.]

“Kim Jong-il said that – if provoked – North Korea would not hesitate to use it’s nuclear weapons in a “merciless offensive.” I just hope no one is stupid enough to provoke that fat, little weirdo.”
–-Jimmy Fallon (June 2009)

“Most people want security in this world, not liberty.
–H. L. Mencken

The public will accept propaganda more easily if it believes it is getting the “inside scoop” instead of just another tired PR release from the government.

It is the secret behind the popularity of the tabloids.

“President Obama has put healthcare back in the news. President Obama says he wants to create a national healthcare plan that’s both affordable and easy to use. The insurance industry says they’ll fight the plan with Congressmen who are both affordable and easy to use.”
–-Conan (June 2009)

“Have you folks seen the blockbuster summer movie ‘Hangover?’ The movie is about what happens after a wild night of drinking. And, you know, I did that once, where you wake up and you realize you’d done something. That was a couple of months ago – I got married. ‘Hangover,’ by the way – now here’s a little confusion. Don’t confuse ‘Hangover’ with a film about Donald Trump – it’s called ‘Combover.’
–-David Letterman (June 2009)

“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
-—P.J. O’Rourke

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
—Winston Churchill

Others might insist that a five-minute conversation with one of the political puppets is the best argument against democracy.

“But actually, he thought as he readjusted the Ministry of Plenty’s figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of time you were expected to make them up out of your head.”
–On changing government statistics – George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Do you believe the media? Then why do you believe their lying polls?

“Political campaigns today are all side shows, all honors, all bombast, glitter, and speeches. These are for the most part unrelated to the main business of studying the party scientifically, of supplying the public with party, candidate, platform, and performance, and selling the public these ideas and products.”
—Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928)

“There is no public opinion. There is only published opinion.”
–Winston Churchill

“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
—John 20:31

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
-–Romans 1:16

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. ”
–1 Corinthians 15:1-8

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
-—1 Corinthians 1:18-19

===MISCELLANEOUS

“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”
–Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The White House and Senate Democrats are working on a new jobs bill. The White House says this new jobs bill could create twice as many non-existent fake new jobs as the last one.”
–-Jay Leno (November 2009)

At least 34% of Americans, or approximately 100 million people, are in the renting economy, which has plunged homeownership rates to lows not seen since the 1960s.


A Princely Grave – The Artifacts of Brewer Cave Burial Chamber

The burial chamber was accessed through a 30 foot (9 meter) entrance. At its end were five steps that led to the doorway and into the chamber. According to Brewers own detailed sketches of the site, there was a trap at the entrance – a hole of unknown depth that was present after the fifth step of the stairs. The trap was traversed by a hidden side passage that went around it.

Once inside, the relatively small chamber was roughly squared shape with a protruding T-shape area which remained unexplored by Brewer. After initial surveys, Brewer discovered a number of artifacts and elements in the chamber. The basic discoveries were arrowheads and pottery objects.

This was followed by a number of quite odd items – a small “book”, measuring 2.25 x 3.25 x 4 inches (5.7 x 8.3 x 10.2 centimeters), which was a binding of several copper plates that resembled a book. This was bound in copper strips and encased in a mud cover, supposedly to preserve it. After the painstaking removal of mud, Brewer discovered that the copper pages were inscribed with numerous undecipherable writings – strange symbols and “letters” consisting of many little lines.

Copper plates purportedly discovered in the Brewer Cave. (Terry Carter / YouTube)

There were also stamped scorpion symbols and many other details, all of which were stamped. The tools with which these were stamped were also discovered. This was followed by a good deal of other small plates, this time not bound.

Some were copper and some were made of gold. All of them were covered in what looked like texts, although in an unknown writing system.

Another find was a small object that looked like a bell. It was roughly made out of lead and covered with more of the writings. It was followed by a number of lead plates, once more, covered with strange inscriptions and diagrams. Brewer also discovered several large stone tablets, incised with the odd symbols.

One of these he accidentally struck with his pick during his excavations. Photographs of all these items exist – and many were gifted to friends. Most of them seem genuine – i.e. seemingly of an ancient origin, possessing the patina, the wear and tear that is generally ascribed to ancient findings.

The next major discovery in the chamber was a set of stone boxes. These were overlooked at first by Brewer, since they were carefully covered in a layer of mud and thus camouflaged into the walls. When mud was removed, Brewer discovered several stone boxes which were carefully covered in juniper bark and resin – seemingly for preservation.

Beneath the bark were perfectly carved rectangular boxes with lids – inside were housed elongated copper tablets with inscriptions. The outside of the boxes were carved with intricate designs, displaying images that are oddly out of place for the North American continent – or are they?

One box, entirely covered with symbols, writings, and drawings, had a large engraving of a boat – with displayed oars, a swelled sail, and a (dragonhead ?) prow. Another box was adorned with a carving of a chariot with horses and a winged man, among other interesting drawings.

The tree bark in which the boxes were preserved in, was radiocarbon dated – Steven E. Jones, Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University stated: “With a radiocarbon age of 5 BC to 390 BC, the Brewer bark sample is thus scientifically demonstrated to be very old. […] The bark used to cover the stone box in question is indeed ancient.”

Carbon dating of the bark box found in the Brewer Cave. (The Brewer Cave / Facebook)

But the most controversial discovery lay hidden behind the wall itself. Sometime after the initial discovery of the chamber, John Brewer and his son stumbled upon a pair of sarcophagi – stacked one on top the other. The lower one held the preserved body of a woman, while the top one held the body of a man. Brewer, wishing to preserve them as much as possible and not cause excess disturbing of the remains, made careful examinations and his son drew detailed sketches, since photography was not at their disposal at the time.

The mummies were covered with woven “straw-like” blankets, and three more subsequent cover, all covered with resin which could have led to partial preservation of the bodies. According to the sketches and Brewer’s writings, the mummies were preserved to a good extent, and of very great size.

The male was around 9 feet 2 inches (2.80 meters) tall, and 4 feet (1.21 meters) across the shoulders and had red hair and beard. The female mummy was 8 feet 10 inches (2.46 meters) and had blonde hair. Both were elaborately decorated with golden items – crowns and breastplates and shoulder pads. The female had a much more elaborate crown of great size and golden coverings on her breasts.

Mr. Brewer’s drawings of the male and female mummies found in the Brewer Cave. (Terry Carter / YouTube)


The descent of inanna sparknotes

A freelance writer and former part-time Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, New York, Joshua J.

However interesting, and even enlightening, the modern `Jungian’ view of The text of the poem clearly states Inanna’s intention of journeying to the underworld to attend the funeral of her brother-in-In the Epic, after the great heroes Gilgamesh and Enkidu have killed the demon Humbaba in the Cedar Forest, their fame is great and Gilgamesh, after washing and dressing himself in royal robes, attracts the attention of Inanna (who, in the Epic, is known by her Akkadian/Babylonian name, Your lovers have found you like a brazier which smoulders in the cold, a backdoor which keeps out neither squall of wind nor storm, a castle which crushes the garrison, pitch that blackens the bearer, a water skin that chafes the carrier. Gugalanna, the Bull of Heaven, is the husband of Inanna's sister Ereshkigal.When Anu consents and gives her the Bull of Heaven she brings Gugalanna down to the If a reader is acquainted with the story of Gilgamesh then Once a reader understands that Inanna caused the death of Ereshkigal’s husband Gugalanna, the Queen of the Dead’s response upon hearing of her arrival is completely understandable, as is Inanna’s subsequent judgment by the Annuna and death at Ereshkigal’s hands. about Praying For Life – Top 10 Ancient Fertility Goddesses about Enheduanna: High Priestess of the Moon and the First Known Author about Enki: The Epic Mesopotamian Water God Who Saved Humanity about The Famous Burney Relief: Who Was the Mysterious Mesopotamian Goddess? By the time Inanna reaches the throne room of Ereshkigal, she had been stripped naked, and was powerless. Mars the masculine, Venus the feminine, sex needs both.

Nevertheless, he is captured in his attempt to escape, and is brought to the Underworld.

From above, they look like islands in the sky. This is a story of … She is regarded as one of the most important deities of the Mesopotamian pantheon, and is known primarily as a goddess of sexual love, though she is also has the reputation of being a goddess of war.


THE AMERICAN FOUNDING FATHERS ON CHRISTIANITY

Only those completely ignorant of history or the biographies, private letters and public quotes of the American founding fathers could argue that the United States was founded as a Christian country.

There is not a SINGLE reference to Jesus Christ in ANY US founding document.

In fact, the founders set up a legal wall to ensure that Christianity would ALWAYS be no better than a second-class citizen in this “Christian country.”

This is because the founding fathers harbored a deep-seated hatred of Jesus Christ, Christianity and Christians in general. Though American history books tried to whitewash the facts to future generations by calling the founders “deists.”

Did the founders talk a good game when it came to Christianity?

Of course! The founding fathers may have been an exclusive rich boys club, but they were ALL politicians at heart–who wanted earthly power along with their wealth.

The founders–when they were not outright atheists–DID believe in one god. It just was not a belief in the God of the Bible.

So, for all those readers who have wondered when the “country will get back to God“: the United States of America IS already right where its founders intended it to be.

With all of this in mind, we now present a few words of those (mostly wealthy) men who gathered together to form what would become the United States of 2020.

“The Government of the United States of America is in no sense founded on the Christian religion”
—Treaty of Tripoli Article 11, endorsed by George Washington (first US president) before he left office, officially endorsed by John Adams (second US president) and sent to the US Senate where it was officially ratified unanimously without debate on June 7, 1797, taking effect on June 10, 1797.

“Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.”
—George Washington, 1st president of the United States (letter, Edward Newenham – 1792)

“I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.”
—Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of the United States

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
—Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of the United States

“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”
—Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US president of the United States

“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy ignorance and servility in the laity in both, superstition, bigotry.”
—James Madison, 4th president of the United States

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”
—Thomas Paine

“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.”
—Benjamin Franklin

Let us be perfectly clear: We are not now, nor have we ever been, a Christian nation. Our founding fathers explicitly and clearly excluded any reference to “God” or “the Almighty” or any euphemism for a higher power in the Constitution. Not one time is the word “god” mentioned in our founding document. Not one time.
[…]
The founding fathers could not be clearer on this point: God has no role in government Christianity has no role in government. They make this point explicitly, repeatedly, in multiple founding documents. We are not a Christian nation.
—Founding Fathers: We Are Not a Christian Nation

“A man of abilities and character, of any sect whatever, may be admitted to any office or public trust under the United States. I am a friend to a variety of sects, because they keep one another in order. How many different sects are we composed of throughout the United States? How many different sects will be in congress? We cannot enumerate the sects that may be in congress. And there are so many now in the United States that they will prevent the establishment of any one sect in prejudice to the rest, and will forever oppose all attempts to infringe religious liberty. If such an attempt be made, will not the alarm be sounded throughout America? If congress be as wicked as we are foretold they will, they would not run the risk of exciting the resentment of all, or most of the religious sects in America.”
—Edmund Randolph – (1788)

NY Gov Cuomo Calls Jewish Machete-Attack “An Act Of Domestic Terrorism” – At some point, anything which MIGHT become a weapon will be taken out of the hands of the public.

“California lawmakers are still trying to close the state’s massive budget deficit, so they’re now talking about saving money by consolidating state agencies. By far the most controversial proposal is for a “Department of Education, Firearms and Alcohol.”
–-Conan (July 2009)

1- How many parking spaces, giant posters and breathless media accounts have promoted big chain grocery delivery?

2- How many people have been observed making use of this vast network of constantly-hyped services?

===EARTHQUAKES/WEATHER/PESTILENCE

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas shot a coyote while he was jogging. Who carries a gun while jogging? I can barely manage my iPod. I like the idea of runners carrying guns. Think of how interesting the Boston Marathon will be.”
–-Jimmy Kimmel (April 2010)

Greta Thunberg’s father: ‘She is happy, but I worry’ – Some child actors go into theater. Some child actors go into the movies. Some child actors go into TV.

And some child actors go into politics.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
–H.L. Mencken

Bank of England chief Mark Carney issues climate change warning – At least they found someone outside the system to give the warning.

Climate change” is responsible for almost ANYTHING!

IF it is hot, scientists claim it to be “climate change.”

IF it is cold, scientists claim it to be “climate change.”

IF it is dry, scientists claim it to be “climate change.”

IF it is wet, scientists claim it to be “climate change.”

“Heads I win, tails you lose.”

“I’m old enough to remember when the air over American cities was a lot dirtier than it is now.”
–P. J. O’Rourke

…and now that it’s cleaner and more clear, the elite spin their fables, trying to create fear over “climate change.”

WEEK OF 12-29-2019

The true history of the conspiracy theories about the Knights Templar – Apparently, those who call the shots eventually become thin-skinned: ANYTHING which is not fawning PR becomes a “conspiracy theory.”

10 sapphic YA fantasy books coming out in 2020 to add to your TBR – Now is the perfect season for the world to use every opportunity to promote the open rebellion that is homosexuality.

One theme that we’ve seen a lot of in board gaming recently is that of small box games dealing with the occult, with previous reviews for Crazy Cultists, The Blessed Dark and Banishment.

MEDIA NARRATIVES ALERT

“How can the reader know when the Corporate Media is lying to him (never mind the fact that the media is Satan’s Mouthpiece and Satan is the father of lies)? One easy way to tell is the use of “Why” and “How” in the headlines of an article. When the reader sees “Why?” or “How?” in the headline–occasionally “What” is used–that which follows will be a fairy tale, a narrative, a bedtime story spun by the media for the benefit of the media’s master. “Why” usually denotes an on-going narrative “How” signifies a story line which explains past events. Not all narratives begin with “How” or “Why.” However, the most in-your-face, over-the-top ones usually do. ALL political “news” is narrative.

“American journalism (like the journalism of any other country) is predominantly paltry and worthless. Its pretensions are enormous, but its achievements are insignificant.”
― H.L. Mencken

“Things are never quite what they seem. Events are seldom close to how the media and history portray them.”

“It is a free press…There are laws to protect the freedom of the press’s speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.”
–Mark Twain, speech: License of the Press

“If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it.”
—Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda

Journalists” are story-tellers. Nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes, there is an element of truth in their stories, but truth is not a requirement of what they do.

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”
–Adolf Hitler, Propaganda, the Big Lie and Adolf Hitler: 20 Hitler Quotes on Propaganda


ADVICE FOR 2017

Advice is USUALLY ignored as fast as it is dispensed.

However infrequently, someone might actually ASK for advice.

The advice for 2017 is the same as the advice for 2015.

Someone recently asked “What do you think will happen in 2015?”

Who can answer that question?

Only the Lord. HOWEVER, here’s two bits of advice from God’s Word.

First, one that is most appropriate for New Year’s Day–when so many look back at 2014.

“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
—Luke 9:62

Don’t look back.

Secondly, a bit of advice all websites allegedly devoted to prophecy might do well to remember.

“worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy:”
—Revelation 19:10

And those are two good pieces of advice.

Whether the reader considers them or not is an entirely different matter.

“Dentists always tell you that X-rays are harmless, and then they throw this lead blanket on you and leave the room.”
–-Craig Ferguson (July 2010)

“Historic day for the auto industry. Today, Chrysler was taken over by Fiat. Today the new CEO said, “going forward we intend to build on Chrysler’s culture of innovation.” Then he laughed for 3 straight hours.”
–-Conan (June 2009)

“This week in 1861, the first federal income tax was instituted to pay for the Civil War. These days, we don’t worry about that kind of stuff. Our wars are paid for by our grandchildren.”
–-Jay Leno (August 2010)

TODAY’S “FEUDS”

Satan’s Mouthpiece (the Corporate Media) has always had a problem: what to do when too many of the rich and celebrated have NOTHING “newsworthy” to do. When the media gets tired of reporting what the rich and celebrated are wearing, they turn to the tried-and-true method of of fake “feuds” to generate cheap, plastic “news.” One popular singer’s entire marketing campaign over the years seems to have been based on engaging in one “feud” after another. But, as the “victims” appear to be primarily the singer’s “fans,” it’s hard to get too worked up over the ruse.

Sports, politics and celebrity culture, European royalty–wherever the rich and celebrated congregate: these are the arenas where readers can most often find stories of “feuds.

One can depend on those who labor for the mystery of iniquity to act, in not only an EVIL manner, but also in a very repetitive one as well.

Case in point: when two followers of Satan are working together, one of the first things they do is establish that they 1-do not like each other 2- they hate each other or, 3- are fighting against one another.

Democrats and Republicans, Russia and the USA, members of the same family who toil together for evil ends, famous celebrities who are “feuding” with each other: it happens so often, one occasionally has to wonder,

“Does Satan have a university or school where he teaches his followers these tricks?”
—-University of Satan?


POLITE KILLERS

Don’t appear at White Supremacy events.

Again, this story exists to allow the justification of white supremacy (and later eugenics, because that’s where white supremacy leads) in “polite conversation.”

Why is it that many of those who engage in “polite conversation” usually want to kill you?

Why is it important that such people have scientific names for killing others?

Political correctness recently took a dangerous turn in the United Kingdom when the North Bristol National Health Service Trust announced that hospital patients who use offensive, racist, or sexist language will cease receiving medical care as soon as it is safe to end their treatment.

Not too difficult to see where this is headed. Those who pretend to be Christians–as well as those few who are authentic Christians–are often accused of saying things which offend others.

“Fox News announced today that Glenn Beck will leave his show later this year. It’s nothing personal. He just wants to spend more time with the voices in his head.”
–-Jimmy Fallon (April 2011)

It validates the idea that one can choose, legal or otherwise, gender.

“The top things people give up for the new year are junk food, alcohol, smoking, and gambling. So basically, people are giving up on 7-Eleven.”
–-Jay Leno (January 2011)

TODAY’S “FEUDS”

Satan’s Mouthpiece (the Corporate Media) has always had a problem: what to do when too many of the rich and celebrated have NOTHING “newsworthy” to do. When the media gets tired of reporting what the rich and celebrated are wearing, they turn to the tried-and-true method of of fake “feuds” to generate cheap, plastic “news.” One popular singer’s entire marketing campaign over the years seems to have been based on engaging in one “feud” after another. But, as the “victims” appear to be primarily the singer’s “fans,” it’s hard to get too worked up over the ruse.

Sports, politics and celebrity culture, European royalty–wherever the rich and celebrated congregate: these are the arenas where readers can most often find stories of “feuds.

One can depend on those who labor for the mystery of iniquity to act, in not only an EVIL manner, but also in a very repetitive one as well.

Case in point: when two followers of Satan are working together, one of the first things they do is establish that they 1-do not like each other 2- they hate each other or, 3- are fighting against one another.

Democrats and Republicans, Russia and the USA, members of the same family who toil together for evil ends, famous celebrities who are “feuding” with each other: it happens so often, one occasionally has to wonder,

“Does Satan have a university or school where he teaches his followers these tricks?”
—-University of Satan?


And OPINION

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”
—Matthew 24:4

“Most people want security in this world, not liberty.
–H. L. Mencken

“Yesterday Donald Trump tweeted at North Korea after they announced plans to test an intercontinental nuclear weapon. Trump tweeted, “It won’t happen.” I’d like to believe he’s right, but “It won’t happen” is exactly what everyone said about Trump becoming president.”
–James Corden (2017)

“Hey, I want to wish everyone a happy 2018! A lot of people are making New Year’s resolutions. Some people are losing weight — while the president’s losing his mind.”
–-Jimmy Fallon (2018)

“A new book claims that for Donald Trump, the four basic food groups are McDonald’s, KFC, pizza, and Diet Coke. When they heard, the American people were outraged and said, “DIET Coke?”
–-Conan (2017)

“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
-—P.J. O’Rourke

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
—Winston Churchill

Others might insist that a five-minute conversation with one of the political puppets is the best argument against democracy.

“But actually, he thought as he readjusted the Ministry of Plenty’s figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of time you were expected to make them up out of your head.”
–On changing government statistics – George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Do you believe the media? Then why do you believe their lying polls?

“Political campaigns today are all side shows, all honors, all bombast, glitter, and speeches. These are for the most part unrelated to the main business of studying the party scientifically, of supplying the public with party, candidate, platform, and performance, and selling the public these ideas and products.”
—Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928)

“There is no public opinion. There is only published opinion.”
–Winston Churchill

“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
—John 20:31

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
-–Romans 1:16

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. ”
–1 Corinthians 15:1-8

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
-—1 Corinthians 1:18-19

===MISCELLANEOUS

“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”
–Franklin D. Roosevelt

“A study found that moderate consumption of red wine leads to higher test scores. So apparently, I spent New Year’s Eve “cramming for a final.”
–Conan (2016)


Contents

A number of theories exist about the etymology of the name, Nālandā. According to the Tang Dynasty Chinese pilgrim, Xuanzang, it comes from Na al, lllam dā meaning no end in gifts or charity without intermission. Yijing, another Chinese traveller, however, derives it from Nāga Nanda referring to the name (Nanda) of a snake (naga) in the local tank. [9] Hiranand Sastri, an archaeologist who headed the excavation of the ruins, attributes the name to the abundance of nālas (lotus-stalks) in the area and believes that Nalanda would then represent the giver of lotus-stalks. [10]

Early History ( 1200 BCE-300 CE) Edit

Nalanda was initially a prosperous village by a major trade route that ran through the nearby city of Rajagriha (modern Rajgir) which was then the capital of Magadha. [11] It is said that the Jain thirthankara, Mahavira, spent 14 rainy seasons at Nalanda. Gautama Buddha too is said to have delivered lectures in a nearby mango grove named Pavarika and one of his two chief disciples, Shariputra, was born in the area and later attained nirvana there. [12] [13] This traditional association with Mahavira and Buddha tenuously dates the existence of the village to at least the 5th–6th century BCE. Recent archaeological discoveries have pushed back Nalanda's history to 1200 BCE. The earliest occurrences of Northern Black Polished Ware have been recorded and carbon dated from the site of Juafardih. A mud brick stupa has also been carbon dated to 6th-5th century BCE which bolsters the case for Nalanda as an important Buddhist site since its early period. [14]

Not much is known of Nalanda in the centuries hence. The 17th-century Tibetan Lama, states that the 3rd-century BCE Mauryan and Buddhist emperor, Ashoka, built a great temple at Nalanda at the site of Shariputra's chaitya. He also places 3rd-century CE Mahayana philosopher, Nagarjuna, and his disciple, Aryadeva, at Nalanda with the former also heading the institution. Taranatha also mentions a contemporary of Nagarjuna named Suvishnu building 108 temples at the location. When Faxian, an early Chinese Buddhist pilgrim to India, visited Nalo, the site of Shariputra's parinirvana, at the turn of the 5th century CE, all he found worth mentioning was a stupa. [15]

Under Gupta dynasty (300-550 CE) Edit

Nalanda's datable history begins under the Gupta Empire [16] [ page needed ] and a seal identifies a monarch named Shakraditya (Śakrāditya) as its founder. Both Xuanzang and a Korean pilgrim named Prajnyavarman (Prajñāvarman) attribute the foundation of a sangharama (monastery) at the site to him. Shakraditya is identified with the 5th-century CE Gupta emperor, Kumaragupta I ( r . c. 415 – c. 455 CE– ), whose coin has been discovered at Nalanda. [17] [18] His successors, Buddhagupta, Tathagatagupta, Baladitya, and Vajra, later extended and expanded the institution by building additional monasteries and temples. [19]

The Guptas were traditionally a Brahmanical dynasty. They built a sangharama at Nalanda and also a 91 m (300 ft) high vihara with a Buddha statue within which, according to Xuanzang, resembled the "great Vihara built under the Bodhi tree". The Chinese monk also noted that Baladitya's son, Vajra, who commissioned a sangharama as well, "possessed a heart firm in faith". [20]

Post-Gupta dynasty (550 CE - 600 CE) Edit

The post-Gupta period saw a long succession of kings who continued building at Nalanda "using all the skill of the sculptor". At some point, a "king of central India" built a high wall along with a gate around the now numerous edifices in the complex. Another monarch (possibly of the Maukhari dynasty) named Purnavarman who is described as "the last of the race of Ashoka-raja", erected an 24 m (80 ft) high copper image of Buddha to cover which he also constructed a pavilion of six stages. [21]

However, after the decline of the Guptas, the most notable patron of the Mahavihara was Harsha, the 7th-century emperor of Kannauj. Harsha was a converted Buddhist and considered himself a servant of the monks of Nalanda. He built a monastery of brass within the Mahavihara and remitted to it the revenues of 100 villages. He also directed 200 households in these villages to supply the institution's monks with requisite amounts of rice, butter, and milk on a daily basis. Around a thousand monks from Nalanda were present at Harsha's royal congregation at Kannauj. [22] [19]

Much of what is known of Nalanda before the 8th century is based on the travelogues of the Chinese monks, Xuanzang (Si-Yu-Ki) and Yijing (A Record of the Buddhist Religion As Practised in India and the Malay Archipelago).

Xuanzang Visit (630 CE - 643 CE) Edit

Xuanzang (also known as Hiuen Tsang) travelled around India between the years of 630 and 643 CE, [23] and visited Nalanda first in 637 and then again in 642, spending a total of around two years at the monastery. [24] He was warmly welcomed in Nalanda where he received the Indian name of Mokshadeva [25] and studied under the guidance of Shilabhadra, the venerable head of the institution at the time. He believed that the aim of his arduous overland journey to India had been achieved as in Shilabhadra he had at last found an incomparable teacher to instruct him in Yogachara, a school of thought that had then only partially been transmitted to China. Besides Buddhist studies, the monk also attended courses in grammar, logic, and Sanskrit, and later also lectured at the Mahavihara. [26]

In the detailed account of his stay at Nalanda, the pilgrim describes the view out of the window of his quarters thus, [27]

Moreover, the whole establishment is surrounded by a brick wall, which encloses the entire convent from without. One gate opens into the great college, from which are separated eight other halls standing in the middle (of the Sangharama). The richly adorned towers, and the fairy-like turrets, like pointed hill-tops are congregated together. The observatories seem to be lost in the vapours (of the morning), and the upper rooms tower above the clouds.

Xuanzang was a contemporary and an esteemed guest of Harsha and catalogued the emperor's munificence in some detail. According to Xuanzang's biographer, Hwui-Li, Nalanda was held in contempt by some Sthaviras for its emphasis on Mahayana philosophy. They reportedly chided King Harsha for patronising Nalanda during one of his visits to Odisha, mocking the "sky-flower" [ clarification needed ] philosophy taught there and suggesting that he might as well patronise a Kapalika temple. [28] When this occurred, Harsha notified the chancellor of Nalanda, who sent the monks Sagaramati, Prajnyarashmi, Simharashmi, and Xuanzang to refute the views of the monks from Odisha. [29]

Xuanzang returned to China with 657 Buddhist texts (many of them Mahayanist) and 150 relics carried by 20 horses in 520 cases, and translated 74 of the texts himself. [23] [30] In the thirty years following his return, no fewer than eleven travellers from China and Korea are known to have visited famed Nalanda. [31]

Yijing Visit (673 CE - 700 CE) Edit

Inspired by the journeys of Faxian and Xuanzang, the pilgrim, Yijing (also known as I-tsing), after studying Sanskrit in Srivijaya, arrived in India in 673 CE. He stayed there for fourteen years, ten of which he spent at the Nalanda Mahavihara. [32] When he returned to China in 695, he had with him 400 Sanskrit texts which were subsequently translated. [33]

Unlike his predecessor, Xuanzang, who also describes the geography and culture of 7th-century India, Yijing's account primarily concentrates on the practice of Buddhism in the land of its origin and detailed descriptions of the customs, rules, and regulations of the monks at the monastery. In his chronicle, Yijing notes that revenues from 200 villages (as opposed to 100 in Xuanzang's time) had been assigned toward the maintenance of Nalanda. [22] He described there being eight vihara with as many as 300 cells. [34] According to him, daily life at Nalanda included a series of rites that were followed by all. Each morning, a bell was rung signalling the bathing hour which led to hundreds or thousands of monks proceeding from their viharas towards a number of great pools of water in and around the campus where all of them took their bath. This was followed by another gong which signalled the ritual ablution of the image of the Buddha. The chaityavandana was conducted in the evenings which included a "three-part service", the chanting of a prescribed set of hymns, shlokas, and selections from scriptures. While it was usually performed at a central location, Yijing states that the sheer number of residents at Nalanda made large daily assemblies difficult. This resulted in an adapted ritual which involved a priest, accompanied by lay servants and children carrying incense and flowers, travelling from one hall to the next chanting the service. The ritual was completed by twilight. [35]

Partial Decline (7 CE - 8 CE) Edit

The decline of Nalanda is concomitant with the disappearance of Buddhism in India. When Xuanzang travelled the length and breadth of India in the 7th century, he observed that his religion was in slow decay and even had ominous premonitions of Nalanda's forthcoming demise. [36] Buddhism had steadily lost popularity with the laity and thrived, thanks to royal patronage, only in the monasteries of Bihar and Bengal. By the time of the Palas, the traditional Mahayana and Hinayana forms of Buddhism were imbued with Tantric practices involving secret rituals and magic. The rise of Hindu philosophies in the subcontinent and the waning of the Buddhist Pala dynasty after the 11th century meant that Buddhism was hemmed in on multiple fronts, political, philosophical, and moral. The final blow was delivered when its still-flourishing monasteries, the last visible symbols of its existence in India, were overrun during the Muslim invasions that swept across Northern India at the turn of the 13th century. [37] [38] [39]

Under Pala Dynasty (800 CE - 1200 CE) Edit

The Palas established themselves in North-eastern India in the 8th century and reigned until the 12th century. Although they were a Buddhist dynasty, Buddhism in their time was a mixture of the Mahayana practised in Nalanda and Vajrayana, a Tantra-influenced version of Mahayanist philosophy. Nalanda was prized and cherished by the Palas, prolific builders whose rule oversaw the establishment of four other Mahaviharas modelled on the Nalanda Mahavihara at Jagaddala, Odantapura, Somapura, and Vikramashila respectively. Remarkably, Odantapura was founded by Gopala, the progenitor of the royal line, only 9.7 kilometres (6 mi) from Nalanda. [40]

Inscriptions at Nalanda suggest that Gopala's son, Dharmapala, who founded the Mahavihara at Vikramshila, also appears to have been a benefactor of the ancient monastery in some form. It is, however, Dharmapala's son, the 9th century emperor and founder of the Mahavihara at Somapura, Devapala, who appears to have been Nalanda's most distinguished patron in this age. A number of metallic figures containing references to Devapala have been found in its ruins as well as two notable inscriptions. The first, a copper plate inscription unearthed at Nalanda, details an endowment by the Shailendra King, Balaputradeva of Suvarnadvipa (Sumatra in modern-day Indonesia). This Srivijayan king, "attracted by the manifold excellences of Nalanda" had built a monastery there and had requested Devapala to grant the revenue of five villages for its upkeep, a request which was granted. The Ghosrawan inscription is the other inscription from Devapala's time and it mentions that he received and patronised a learned Vedic scholar named Viradeva who was later elected the head of Nalanda. [41] [42]

The now five different seats of Buddhist learning in eastern India formed a state-supervised network and it was common for great scholars to move easily from position to position among them. Each establishment had its own official seal with a dharmachakra flanked by a deer on either side, a motif referring to Buddha's deer park sermon at Sarnath. Below this device was the name of the institution which in Nalanda's case read, "Śrī-Nālandā-Mahāvihārīya-Ārya-Bhikṣusaḿghasya" which translates to "of the Community of Venerable Monks of the Great Monastery at Nalanda". [43] [44]

While there is ample epigraphic and literary evidence to show that the Palas continued to patronise Nalanda liberally, the Mahavihara was less singularly outstanding during this period as the other Pala establishments must have drawn away a number of learned monks from Nalanda. The Vajrayana influence on Buddhism grew strong under the Palas and this appears to have also had an effect on Nalanda. What had once been a centre of liberal scholarship with a Mahayanist focus grew more fixated with Tantric doctrines and magic rites. Taranatha's 17th-century history claims that Nalanda might have even been under the control of the head of the Vikramshila Mahavihara at some point. [45] [46]

Destruction under Bakhtiyar Khalji (1200 CE) Edit

In around 1193 CE, Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, a Turkic chieftain out to make a name for himself, was in the service of a commander in Awadh. The Persian historian, Minhaj-i-Siraj in his Tabaqat-i Nasiri, recorded his deeds a few decades later. Khalji was assigned two villages on the border of Bihar which had become a political no-man's land. Sensing an opportunity, he began a series of plundering raids into Bihar and was recognised and rewarded for his efforts by his superiors. Emboldened, Khalji decided to attack a fort in Bihar and was able to successfully capture it, looting it of a great booty. [47] Minhaj-i-Siraj wrote of this attack: [48]

Muhammad-i-Bakht-yar, by the force of his intrepidity, threw himself into the postern of the gateway of the place, and they captured the fortress, and acquired great booty. The greater number of the inhabitants of that place were Brahmans, and the whole of those Brahmans had their heads shaven and they were all slain. There were a great number of books there and, when all these books came under the observation of the Musalmans, they summoned a number of Hindus that they might give them information respecting the import of those books but the whole of the Hindus had been killed. On becoming acquainted [with the contents of those books], it was found that the whole of that fortress and city was a college, and in the Hindui tongue, they call a college [مدرسه] Bihar.

This passage refers to an attack on a Buddhist monastery (the "Bihar" or Vihara) and its monks (the shaved Brahmans). The exact date of this event is not known with scholarly estimates ranging from 1197 to 1206. While many historians believe that this monastery which was mistaken for a fort was Odantapura, some are of the opinion that it was Nalanda itself. [47] However, considering that these two Mahaviharas were only a few kilometres apart, both very likely befell a similar fate. [50] The other great Mahaviharas of the age such as Vikramshila and later, Jagaddala, also met their ends at the hands of the Turks at around the same time. [51]

Another important account of the times is the biography of the Tibetan monk-pilgrim, Dharmasvamin, who journeyed to India between 1234 and 1236. When he visited Nalanda in 1235, he found it still surviving, but a ghost of its past existence. Most of the buildings had been damaged and had since fallen into disrepair. But two viharas, which he named Dhanaba and Ghunaba, were still in serviceable condition with a 90-year-old teacher named Rahula Shribhadra instructing a class of about 70 students on the premises. [52] Dharmasvamin believed that the Mahavihara had not been completely destroyed for superstitious reasons as one of the soldiers who had participated in the desecration of a Jnananatha temple in the complex had immediately fallen ill. [53]

While he stayed there for six months under the tutelage of Rahula Shribhadra, Dharmasvamin makes no mention of the legendary library of Nalanda which possibly did not survive the initial wave of Turkic attacks. He, however, provides an eyewitness account of an attack on the derelict Mahavihara by the Muslim soldiers stationed at nearby Odantapura (now Bihar Sharif) which had been turned into a military headquarters. Only the Tibetan and his nonagenarian instructor stayed behind and hid themselves while the rest of the monks fled Nalanda. [54] [53] Contemporary sources end at this point. But traditional Tibetan works which were written much later suggest that Nalanda's story might have managed to endure for a while longer even if the institution was only a pale shadow of its former glory. The Lama, Taranatha, states that the whole of Magadha fell to the Turks who destroyed many monasteries including Nalanda which suffered heavy damage. He however also notes that a king of Bengal named Chagalaraja and his queen later patronised Nalanda in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, although no major work was done there. [22]

An 18th-century work named Pag sam jon zang recounts another Tibetan legend which states that chaityas and viharas at Nalanda were repaired once again by a Buddhist sage named Mudita Bhadra and that Kukutasiddha, a minister of the reigning king, erected a temple there. A story goes that when the structure was being inaugurated, two indignant (Brahmanical) Tirthika mendicants who had appeared there were treated with disdain by some young novice monks who threw washing water at them. In retaliation, the mendicants performed a 12-year penance propitiating the sun, at the end of which they performed a fire-sacrifice and threw "living embers" from the sacrificial pit into the Buddhist temples. The resulting conflagration is said to have hit Nalanda's library. Fortunately, a miraculous stream of water gushed forth from holy manuscripts in the ninth storey of Ratnodadhi which enabled many manuscripts to be saved. The heretics perished in the very fire that they had kindled. [55] [56] While it is unknown when this event was supposed to have occurred, archaeological evidence (including a small heap of burnt rice) does suggest that a large fire did consume a number of structures in the complex on more than one occasion. [57] A stone inscription notes the destruction by fire and subsequent restoration at the Mahavihara during the reign of Mahipala ( r . 988–1038 ). [37]

Johan Elverskog, a scholar of Central Asia, Islam and Buddhism, professor and chair of religious studies at SMU, looking at the wider reasons for Nalanda's decline as a cultural centre, and how it is used in certain anti-Islamic rhetorics, talks of local Buddhists making deals with Muslim rulers early on, which assured that Buddhic activities in Nalanda went on for centuries: he says that one Indian master "was trained and ordained at Nalanda before he traveled to the court of Khubilai Khan", Chinese monks were travelling there to get texts as late as the fourteenth century, and concludes that "the Dharma survived in India at least until the seventeenth century." He mainly blames British historiography, which used these "claims of Muslim barbarity and misrule in order to justify the introduction of their supposedly more humane and rational form of colonial rule" [58]

Impact of Destruction and influence on Tibetan Buddhism tradition Edit

The last throne-holder of Nalanda, Shakyashri Bhadra of Kashmir, [59] fled to Tibet in 1204 at the invitation of the Tibetan translator Tropu Lotsawa (Khro-phu Lo-tsa-ba Byams-pa dpal). [60] Some of the surviving Nalanda books were taken by fleeing monks to Tibet. [61] [62] He took with him several Indian masters: Sugataśrī, (an expert in Madhyamaka and Prajñāpāramitā) Jayadatta (Vinaya) Vibhūticandra (grammar and Abhidharma), Dānaśīla (logic), Saṅghaśrī (Candavyākaraṇa), Jīvagupta (books of Maitreya), Mahābodhi,(Bodhicaryāvatāra) and Kālacandra (Kālacakra). [63]

Tibetan Buddhist tradition is regarded to be a continuation of the Nalanda tradition. The Dalai Lama states: [64]

Tibetan Buddhism is not an invention of the Tibetans. Rather, it is quite clear that it derives from the pure lineage of the tradition of the Nalanda Monastery. The master Nagarjuna hailed from this institution, as did many other important philosophers and logicians.

The Dalai Lama refers to himself as a follower of the lineage of the seventeen Nalanda masters. [65]

An Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra manuscript preserved at the Tsethang monastery has superbly painted and well preserved wooden covers and 139 leaves. According to its colophon it was donated by the mother of the great pandita Sri Asoka in the second year of the reign of King Surapala, at the very end of the 11th century. [66]

Under Mughal Empire (14CE - 17CE ) Edit

Under East India Company and British Empire (1800 -1947) Edit

After its decline, Nalanda was largely forgotten until Francis Buchanan-Hamilton surveyed the site in 1811–1812 after locals in the vicinity drew his attention to a vast complex of ruins in the area. He, however, did not associate the mounds of earth and debris with famed Nalanda. That link was established by Major Markham Kittoe in 1847. Alexander Cunningham and the newly formed Archaeological Survey of India conducted an official survey in 1861–1862. Systematic excavation of the ruins by the ASI did not begin until 1915 and ended in 1937. [1]

Post India's Independence (Post -1947) Edit

Post independence The second round of excavation and restoration took place between 1974 and 1982. [1] In 1951, the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara (New Nalanda Mahavihara), a modern centre for Pali and Buddhism in the spirit of the ancient institution, was founded by the Government of Bihar near Nalanda's ruins at the suggestion of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, India's first president. [67] It was deemed to be a university in 2006. [68]

1 September 2014 saw the commencement of the first academic year of a modern Nalanda University, with 15 students, in nearby Rajgir. [69] Nalanda University (also known as Nalanda International University) is an international and research-intensive university located in the historical city of Rajgir in Bihar, India. It was established by an Act of Parliament to emulate the famous ancient university of Nalanda, which functioned between the 5th and 13th centuries. The idea to resurrect Nalanda University was endorsed in 2007 at the East Asia Summit, represented mostly by Asian countries including China, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam, apart from Australia and New Zealand, and as such, the university is seen as one of the flagship projects of the Government of India. It has been designated as an "Institution of National Importance" by the Parliament, and began its first academic session on 1 September 2014. Initially set up with temporary facilities in Rajgir, a modern campus spanning over 160 hectares (400 acres) is expected to be finished by 2020. This campus, upon completion, will be the largest of its kind in India, and one of the largest in Asia. [70]

While its excavated ruins today only occupy an area of around 488 metres (1,600 ft) by 244 metres (800 ft) or roughly 12 hectares, Nalanda Mahavihara occupied a far greater area in medieval times. The subjects taught at Nalanda covered every field of learning, and it attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. [71]

Xuanzang left detailed accounts of the school in the 7th century. He described how the regularly laid-out towers, forest of pavilions, harmikas and temples seemed to "soar above the mists in the sky" so that from their cells the monks "might witness the birth of the winds and clouds". [72] The pilgrim states: "An azure pool winds around the monasteries, adorned with the full-blown cups of the blue lotus the dazzling red flowers of the lovely kanaka hang here and there, and outside groves of mango trees offer the inhabitants their dense and protective shade." [73]

The University Edit

At its peak the school attracted scholars and students from near and far, with some travelling from Tibet, China, Korea, and Central Asia. [74] The highly formalised methods of Buddhist studies helped the establishment of large teaching institutions such as Taxila, Nalanda, and Vikramashila, [75] which are often characterised as India's early universities. [12] [76] [77] [78] Archaeological evidence also notes contact with the Shailendra dynasty of Indonesia, one of whose kings built a monastery in the complex. Nalanda flourished under the patronage of the Gupta Empire in the 5th and 6th centuries, and later under Harsha, the emperor of Kannauj. [18] The liberal cultural traditions inherited from the Gupta age resulted in a period of growth and prosperity until the ninth century CE. The subsequent centuries were a time of gradual decline, a period during which the tantric developments of Buddhism became most pronounced in eastern India under the Pala Empire. [79]

Much of our knowledge of Nalanda comes from the writings of pilgrim monks from Asia, such as Xuanzang and Yijing, who travelled to the Mahavihara in the 7th century CE. Vincent Smith remarked that "a detailed history of Nalanda would be a history of Mahayanist Buddhism." Many of the names listed by Xuanzang in his travelogue as alumni of Nalanda are the names of those who developed the overall philosophy of Mahayana. [28] All students at Nalanda studied Mahayana, as well as the texts of the eighteen (Hinayana) sects of Buddhism. Their curriculum also included other subjects, such as the Vedas, logic, Sanskrit grammar, medicine, and Samkhya. [75] [80] [33] [81]

Nalanda was destroyed three times but was rebuilt only twice. [82] It was ransacked and destroyed by an army of the Mamluk Dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate under Bakhtiyar Khalji in c. 1202 CE . [47] While some sources note that the Mahavihara continued to function in a makeshift fashion after this attack, it was eventually abandoned altogether and forgotten until the 19th century, when the site was surveyed and preliminary excavations were conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India. Systematic excavations commenced in 1915, which unearthed eleven monasteries and six brick temples neatly arranged on grounds 12 hectares (30 acres) in area. A trove of sculptures, coins, seals, and inscriptions have also been discovered in the ruins, many of which are on display in the Nalanda Archaeological Museum, situated nearby. Nalanda is now a notable tourist destination, and a part of the Buddhist tourism circuit.

On 25 November 2010, the Indian government, through an Act of Parliament, resurrected the ancient university through the Nalanda University Bill, and subsequently a new Nalanda University was established. It has been designated as an "International University of National Importance."



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