Lecture 4. The Nalandan Mahavihara

This lecture combines two topics – a. the institutional transmission of Buddhist thought from centers of intellectual production in India, and b. the role of the Caitya in the transmission of Buddhism into East Asia, along the trade routes. The lecture begins by establishing the mahavihara, the Buddhist ‘university’ that was a systematic site for the production and teaching of advanced Buddhist knowledges. From here the lecture moves to the study of the practical institutions of transmission of Buddhist knowledges, the caityas and the viharas that housed the itinerant Buddhist communities along trade routes. The lecture shows how a symbiotic relationship between traders and Buddhist monks enabled trade to spread with it Buddhist knowledge and teachings.

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Lecture Notes