Gandhara Art And Culture Association

Gandhara Renaissance

This term we have chosen very carefully but it is true as it will effect Pakistan in different facets.
1) Academic : Revival of the oldest university in the world at Taxila, which we hope will become a world research center on Gandhara in the 21st century. Gandhara is here and instead of everybody going to different countries to study Gandhara art it is only logical that they should come here to study Gandhara art.
2) Economic :Influx of tourism will boost the economy of Pakistan because of inflow of foreign currency.
3) Image:Restoration of Gandhara Buddhist sites and development of the infrastructure for handling large number of religious pilgrimages and tourists will automatically beautify Pakistan changing it's image to a more friendly and harmonious country thus giving the true picture of Pakistan. Unfortunately in the past we have been unable to achieve this.

Proposal for development of an infrastructure to receive tourists from around the world to Gandhara in Pakistan

These days the entire world is focusing on tourism industry which is the most environmental friendly industry and is gaining grounds every where. How ever Pakistan with such a unique heritage is lagging far behind. First of all we want to focus on conserving, restoring and developing all the major Buddhist sites in Gandhara region especially Takht-i-bhai, If we can achieve this as a starter it will put Pakistan a head of most of the countries involved in religious and cultural tourism because this region is a Centre for Mahayana Buddhist. Our proposal we hope will bring

Revival of the oldest university in the world at Taxila

Taxila was the home to the first university in the world. Around 2500 years ago Taxila was the junction where people of different origins mingled with each other and exchanged knowledge of their countries. At that time many great people in different fields graduated from Taxila university. The most prominent among them were Chandra Gupta Maurya ( between 4th to 3rd B.C) the founder of Maurya Dynasty. He was the first person to unite the sub- continent. Another important person was Jivaka who was the Physician of Buddha. He also performed the first brain surgery in the world at Taxila.

Most of students after graduating from Taxila university when they went back to their countries become leaders in their respective fields. We hope that history will repeat itself and once again in this modern age of 21st century, this institute would gradually develop into a university that will again produce world leaders in different fields.

  • It will be the best center of research on Gandhara art in the world. Gandhara is here and instead of our students and scholars going abroad for study and research, we should provide then all the facilities here and rather attract scholars and students from all over the world to come here.

  • We should help our young students to develop into leading scholars in the world. in this subject.

Proposal for establishment of Gandhara institute for post graduate study

Aims and objectives
Gandhara Art is the result of intermingling of different races cultures and religions. Therefore a proper research of Gandhara art is extremely important. The study of ancient art (religious art) is actually the study of the history of evolution of human thought and culture and the search for the ultimate truth about the relationship of human being to the universal order and natural phenomenon. The current turmoil in the world among different religions and races is completely opposite of the situation that prevailed 2000 years ago. At that time all the different races and religions existed peacefully side by side and gave birth to this great art form which is now called Gandhara Art.

It meant they influenced each other understood and contributed between each other. Therefore it is very important to create an environment for the students that will give them proper education and provide them an opportunity to develop their talents in Gandhara art to their maximum potential , so that they can contribute to bring peace and harmony in this region. Thus reviving it’s past glory. Since Gandhara art is Buddhist art, and as the Buddhism core thought is ‘One is all All is one” which means everything is inter-related. Therefore it is our goal to produce scholars who excel not only in academics but who can also contribute towards peace and harmony in other fields.

Historical background
Taxila is considered to be the home of first university in the world which existed around the 7th century B.C. At that time students came here not only from Indian sub-continent but other neighboring countries also to acquire the highest form of education. Upon completing their education they went back to their respective countries and became leaders in different fields. With that in mind our goal is to create an institute in this subject which has no parallel in the world.

Present educational environment for the study of Gandhara art in Pakistan
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The research facilities, the program and the faculty of the new institute

Although Gandhara is situated in Pakistan almost all the research in this subject has been carried out in the west. Most of the professors in Pakistan have obtained their degrees from universities abroad. Although most Government universities in Pakistan have departments of archaeology for teaching Gandhara art the standard of education and the level of professors with the exception of few at Peshawar university, is not at par with a good university abroad.

Therefore we want to create an institute which will provide to the students a proper research and educational environment by hiring leading professors from all over the world and by providing most modern and scientific research laboratory and state of the art library.

When hiring professor we have to take into consideration that they possess knowledge and have high moral values and are spiritualy sound and healthy. Nowadays everything is done commercially including education, so we have to be very careful when hiring the faculty members. Because Gandhara art is religious art, it is important the person who teaches it has the proper understanding of the subject, who is sensitive and has spiritual nature.

This institute will be equipped with modern scientific facilities. At the moment none of the universities in Pakistan have basic minimum facilities such as C14 lab to test the age of the objects. Our institute will be equipped with remote lecture system and will be linked up with other top institution and students will have advantage of listening to the lectures by top professor in the world. We will also provide digital library and latest scientific laboratory.

Selection process for students
Archaeology and art history is the study of history of human thought and culture. So student have to be very intelligent and with strong emotional background having sensitive and spiritual nature. More over they should be from rich family background, because it involves not only theoretical work but also a lot of travel and practical work around different archaeological sites and museums all over the world.

Therefore our selection procedure would be very carefully designed. Even if we have an applicant from a poor family background but has a lot of talent in this field we will offer full scholarship to that student. We want to provide quality in our system even if initially we have a small number of students, our aim is to produce world class scholars who can contribute positively and give their share of bringing peace and harmony to this region and this world. Most of research on Gandhara art has been done by western scholars and that on Buddhist thought and Buddhist art has been done by oriental scholars. In order to have balanced program, we will employ professors from both regions.

Besides Pakistan we will try to recruit students from China, Korea and Japan including young Buddhist monks. During the vacation period we will offer field work to all foreign professors and students. With the start of this institute we are opening the door to all scholars in the world to come and actively pursue their work and research on Gandhara art at Gandhara region.
This kind of exchange program will greatly enhance the quality of our research with a hope to make our institute the world center of research on Gandhara.

Taxila University existed more than 2500 years back

-10,000 students studied in Taxila from all across the world came for high education. Admission into this university was purely based merit. Every single graduate who passed out of this university would become a well sought after scholar all across the sub continent.

-64 different fields of study like Vedas, grammar, philosophy, ayurveda, agriculture, surgery, politics, archery, warfare, astrology, commerce, music, art and decrypting encode message etc..

Historical legends produced by Taxila University

- Kautiliya : He was a mentor who founded the great Mauryan Empire and served as the prime minister of the Mauryan Empire. He authored the finest work till today on political duties, statecraft, economic policies, state intelligence systems, administrative skills and military strategy, called the 'Artha Shastra'

- Panini : He was the first grammarian who invented Sanskrit grammar , so far no other modern language can compete with the scientific structure of sanskrit language .

-Charaka : Ayurveda physician , he originally authored forms the root of modern ayurveda. Nowadays ( form of herbal treatment ) is very popular and being use for boosting tourism India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia )

-Jivaka : He was the personal physician of Buddha and the royal families. He had written 15,000 manuscripts of jivaka’s expertise passed on by generation to their children and are still preserved in India even today.

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