Ancient Education System of India

Chapter Summary

Many explorers and travellers came from various parts of the world to get a taste of Indian culture. This massive land is known to the world for being effective and benevolent with huge diversity in the cultures. One of the most important aspects of this trip was to understand the culture through the education system of India. Three main aspects of the education had given to the students who were a part of this system. The system looks after the physical and mental well-being of the human body. This system always helped the students to sharpen their intellect and shape them in a way to have esteemed moral values. The materials used to impart this knowledge were the Vedic scriptures and the Upanishads. These teachings also catered to the medical science of ancient times. Different types of physical education and other activities were given to make the students healthy. Several scholars from distant land travelled to the country to get these educations. The assessment of all the learning was done by arranging sessions of debates to share knowledge and exchange ideas. These debates were conducted on various topics that were very diverse from one another. These topics included politics, astronomy, medical science, fine arts, maths and more.

Travellers’ Attraction Towards India

The major reason that brought different travellers from all over the world to the country of India is vast. These travellers were intrigued by the presence of a vast and diverse culture that India has to offer. The features that were able to bring these travellers and explorers to this part of the globe were the things that made them wonder a lot. This is the reason that is able to show why the travellers considered the country of India to be the Land of Wonders. The visit to this wondrous country was full of cultural enrichment in terms of philosophy, art, literature, wealth, architecture and the very famous Indian culture that was found in part of this vast sub-continent. These are the reason why the travellers were attracted to the country of India.

Sources of the Indian Ancient Education System

There are a few sources of the education system that was followed by the people of ancient India. The factors that were used to derive the subjects taught in the education system are many. These sources were used to be knowledge, traditions, and lastly different types of practices. These are the sources that were used to derive the institutional features of the Indian education system that was found in the country of ancient India. The sources were from Upanishads, Vedas, Brahmasutras and Dharmasutras.

Features of Ancient Indian Education System

The features of this ancient education system followed in India were associated with the complete development of everyone in the educational institutes. The emphasis was implied on the well-being of the body and the mind. The attributes of life that form the base of moralism were used as a very important feature in the education system. These aspects included humility, having the ability to rely on oneself and ever-widening respect for all living beings. An immense focus was given to the balance that has to be maintained between nature and humanity. The other features looked after the moral upliftment of human beings by showing them the value of serving themselves, their family and society.

Role of gurus in pupils’ lives

There was a vast role of the guru in the daily life of a student who belonged to the ancient education system of India. The guru and the students used spent the entire day together under one roof. The main role of the teacher was to impart all the knowledge they had in their mind. Thus the teachers taught the students to lead a disciplined life to find out the potential of life.

Where did nuns and monks receive their education?

The place where nuns and monks used to live and obtain knowledge from this education system in India was monasteries. This was the place that was also known as Viharas that arranged for sessions of debate, a room for meditation. These monasteries had enough resources to support different types of institutes for the ones who wanted to study more.

What is Panini known for?

Panini was known for being an expert in grammar and language. The best-known work of this legendary grammarian from India was known as Asthadhyayi.

XuanZang and I-Qing’s Education

The university where the travellers from China XuanZang and I-Qing studied was Nalanda University. This was the university that was able to attract many travellers in pursuit of higher studies.

The traveller from China XuanZang got his higher studies from Nalanda University. The subject that he came to study was Yogashastra where he learned various aspects of yoga and other features that maintained the well-being of the body and the mind.

How did the society help in the education of students?

Society gave a fair share of contributions to the education system documented in ancient India. The best way of help given by society to the system was heavy donations. All the wealthy people of the society who had ties with trade and commerce made these donations. People who held other influential positions in society did the same thing.


Q1. When did XuanZang come to the country for further studies in the country of India?

Ans. The Chinese traveller XuanZang came to the country of India to study yoga at Nalanda University. The time when he arrived in the country was the 7th century CE.

Q2. Where is Nalanda University located in the country of India?

Ans. The most sought-after university in ancient India was Nalanda University which was established in the 5th century CE. The place where this university was established is the state of Bihar in the city of Rajgir.

Q3. What is the name of the place where gurus and students used to live and study?

Ans. The place where the students and teachers used to live and study the values of life was called gurukuls. These places were owned by the teachers and used to run on donations from society.