Taxila ,in sanskrit Takshashilla,situated about 32 km. north-west direction of Islamabad in Pakistan and Rawlpindi district of Punjab.Takshashila means ”City of Cut’s Stone”.Takshashila flourished from 600 BC to 500 AD.Takshashila was considered to be one of the earliest universities in the world.It was an important Vedic/Hindu and Budhhist centre of learning.According to Vayu Purana,Takshashila gets its name from Taksha,son of Bharata.Takshashila was mentioned as the capital of kingdom of Gandhar in Jataka,Budhhist literature.
COURSES AND CURRICULUM
- More than 10,500 students came from within India and outside like Egypt,Syria,Greece,Turkey,China and Arabia at ancient Takshashila University.
- The curriculum consisted of 68 elective courses.
- Students were admitted to the University at the age of 16.
- In Takshashila ,if students were unable to pay then he could work for his teacher and his family.
- Students were taught by nearly 2000 master-teachers.
- Among 68 elective courses, there are importants are Philosophy, Law,State-craft,Grammer,the 18 arts(music,dance,fine arts etc.),Mathametics,Astronomy,Astrology,Plants,Herbs,Medicine,Defence etc.
- Medicine was taught for upto 7 years before graduation.
- Takshashila was specialised in medicine.
- Students from Magadha were came to join the schools and colleges of Takshashila.
- External authorities like king or local leaders have no right to control Takshashila’s scholastic activities.
- Paying students were taught during the day.
- Non-paying students were taught during night.
- After completion of study,Gurudakshina was expected.
TEACHERS AND STUDENTS Takshashila’s teacher and scholars are-
CHANAKYA/KAUTILYA-Chanakya was the great political master,also called Kautilya.Chanakya was graduated out of the takshashila,he was the author of ”Artha Shastra”,consists the knowledge of Economics.He also guided Chandragupta Maurya as a mentor.
VISHNU SHARMA- The author of the ‘Pancha Tantra’great book of simple beautiful stories that teaches the art of political science.
PANINI- Panini was a great expert in grammer and English language.He wrote ‘Ashtadhyayi’about grammer. CHARAKA- Charaka was famous physician of Ayurveda.Charak Samhita was his creation on modern ayurveda. JIVAK- Jivak was a doctor and personal physician pf Budhha.He studied Ayurveda in Takshashila.He was an expert in pulse reading. PRASENJIT-Ruler of Kosala. JOTIPALA-Son of Banaras’s Purohit.He was studied about defence in Takshashila.
The Archelogical site of Takshashila was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.Sir Alexander Cunningham rediscovered the ruins of Taxila.