Nava Nalanda Mahavira Header Image
Nalanda and the ruins of the ancient Nalanda Mahavihara are almost synonymous. The name Nalanda conjures up a picture of ancient Mahavihara, which was a great seat of Buddhist education for nearly 700 years between the 5th to 12th centuries CE.
The contribution of the Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda in the development of Buddhist education is widely recognized. Many great Acharyas of Nalanda had helped in dissemination of Knowledge and Buddhist culture throughout the world.
Following the proposal submitted by Bhikshu Jagdish Kashyap, His Excellency, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first president of the Republic of India had declared that the ancient seat of Buddhist learning at Nalanda would be revived and thus it had started the vision of establishing the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara. On November 20, 1951, the foundation stone of the first building was laid with the following engraving:
“Let the rays of the sun of Nalanda rise from the summit of this rock in order to brighten the vernacular (Lokabhasa in Pali) after the passing away of its nights of darkness (period of its obscurity).”
At the insistence of Ven. Bhikshu Jagdish Kashyap and with the goal (to brighten the vernacular (Lokabhasa in Pali)) in mind, the Government of Bihar established a research institute called “Magadh Institute of Post-Graduate Studies and Research in Pali and Allied Languages and Buddhist Learning” at Nalanda in 1951. It later came to be known as Nava Nalanda Mahavihara.
Bhikshu Jagdish Kashyap became the Founder-Director of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, and continued serving in that capacity until February 1955. One of his major accomplishments was the complete publication, in 41 volumes, of a critical edition of the entire Pali Tipitaka in Devanagari script. It was very popular and quickly went out of print.