Takshashila, aka: Takṣaśilā; 7 Definition(s)


Takshashila means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Takṣaśilā can be transliterated into English as Taksasila or Takshashila, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism


Takshashila in Purana glossary... « previous · [T] · next »

Takṣaśilā (तक्षशिला).—A place of Purāṇic celebrity situated in the north-west of Bhārata. Even from ancient times this was an educational and cultural centre. From the descriptions of the Chinese traveller Huen Tsang it is found that Nalandā and Takṣaśilā were two great universities before Christ. The famous Sarpasatra of Janamejaya was conducted at this place situated on the banks of the river Vitastā. The story of Mahābhārata was first told at this place and at the end of the narration Brahmins were given gifts. (Chapters 3 and 5, Ādi Parva).

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Takṣaśilā (तक्षशिला).—The capital of Takṣa, the son of Bharata.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 191; Vāyu-purāṇa 88. 190.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Takshashila in Dharmashastra glossary... « previous · [T] · next »

Takṣaśilā (तक्षशिला) or Taxila (c. 600 BCE–500 CE) near Rawalpindi in present-day Pakistan, was among the world’s first universities. Taxila University’s different Schools taught many subjects. Medicine was given special attention; there were also schools of painting, sculpture, image-making, handicrafts and astronomy. Tradition has it that the legendary Indian grammarian Pāṇini (7th-6th cent BCE) was a student there, as was Cāṇakya (c. 3rd cent BCE) the well-known exponent of statecraft. Jīvaka (5th BCE) one of the most renowned physicians in ancient India, is also said to have learnt medicine at Taxila.

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Education: Systems & Practices
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Katha (narrative stories)

Takshashila in Katha glossary... « previous · [T] · next »

Takṣaśilā (तक्षशिला) is the name of a city on the banks of the Vitastā according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 27. Accordingly, “there was once a city named Takṣaśilā on the banks of the Vitastā, the reflection of whose long line of palaces gleamed in the waters of the river, as if it were the capital of the lower regions come to gaze at its splendour. In it there dwelt a king named Kaliṅgadatta, a distinguished Buddhist, all whose subjects were devoted to the great Buddha, the bridegroom of Tārā. His city [Takṣaśilā] shone with splendid Buddhist temples densely crowded together, as if with the horns of pride elevated because it had no rival upon earth.”

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Takṣaśilā, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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India history and geogprahy

Takshashila in India history glossary... « previous · [T] · next »

Takṣaśilā (तक्षशिला) (the Greek Taxila, the actual Saraïkala, 26 miles northwest of Rawalpindi), was the capital of eastern Punjab. Its long history is mixed up with that of all of India.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra (history)

Takṣaśilā (तक्षशिला).—The city of Takṣaśilā is identical with Taxila, now in West Pakistan, twenty-two miles north-west of Rawalpindi. The remains of Takṣaśilā lie immediately to the east and north-east of the Saraikala Railway junction in the valley of their Haro. These remains having three successive, but ancient sites, Bhir mound, Sirkap and Sirsukh, represent the ancient, Greek and Kushana phases of political history of this city. Cunningham says that the site of Taxila is found near Shah-Dheri, just a mileto the north-east of Kala-ka-Sarai in the extensive ruins of a fortified city around which at least fifty-five stūpas, twenty-eight monasteries and nine temples were found.

The city of Takṣaśilā figures prominently in the story regarding the recitation of the Mahābhārata. It was at this city that Janamejaya heard from Vaiśampāyana the famous story of the Mahābhārata. We find remarkable coincidence between the strī-parva of the Mahābhārata and the second part of the Besnagar inscription. It seems that Heliodoros of Taxila actually heard and utilised the teaching of the great Epic.

The city of Takṣaśilā was the capital of the Gandhāra country.

Source: archive.org: Geography in Ancient Indian inscriptions

Takṣaśilā is an archaeologically important site dating to the Ganges civilization (1000 BCE).—Nearly a millennium after the Indus civilization had collapsed, the Ganges civilization arose in the first millennium BCE. But this urban development extended beyond the Ganges valley, as testified by, for example, Takṣaśilā (Taxila), today in northern Pakistan.

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Architecture (1): Early and Classical Architecture (h)
India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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