It is not known whether this a part of a myth or fact but in the 4th century when any student wanted to enter the University gate, he had to answer 3 questions and had to give at least 2 correct answers or else he was not allowed to enter what was 'world's first residential university', by the guards. Out of every 10 students only 4 or 5 students could answer the questions of the guards. No wonder this university was able to produce eminent scholars such as Nagarjuna and Dinnaga. If guards were so intelligent as to test the intellect of the students then imagine how great the teachers must have been. Dharmapala was one such teacher who led an inspiring life and taught at Nalanda. Silabhadra who was a disciple of Dharmapala also taught and became the Abbot of the University.
As we all know, students all over the world came to seek education in the University that had a unique student- teacher relationship. Ruins indicate small rooms with two beds, where historians believe that each student used to stay with a teacher and used to get the required knowledge from him. Although unfathomable now yet many believe that this personal touch was one of the reasons that the students of the Nalanda University were scholars.
The Guptas founded the University and included subjects such as scriptures of Mahayana and Hinayana Schools of Buddhism, Brahminical vedic texts, Philosophy, logic theology, grammer, astronomy, mathematics and medicine and it remained one of the best universities till 12 century. The university was invaded three times but was restored only twice. The last and the final blow came when Bhaktiyar Khilji attacked the university in 1193. It took India 800 years to again realize the importance of the University and restore it to its former glory.
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