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Valabhī


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An important centre of Buddhism located on the Kāthiāwar Peninsula in present-day Gujarat, India. Although inroads had been made earlier, Buddhism became predominant in the region around the 5th century ce and was renowned as a centre of learning throughout India with royal patronage. It was the site of many important monasteries associated with the Saṃmitīya school in addition to those connected with other Hīnayāna andMahāyāna groups. In the 7th century, the Chinese pilgrim Hsüan-tsang noted the existence of over 100 monasteries which housed some 6,000 monks. A religious university existed in Valabhī which rivalled Nālandā in fame and authority; it was there that Vasubandhu's disciples Sthiramati and Guṇamati taught, while Paramārtha also studied there. Valabhī was an important centre for Yogācāra studies—it is believed that Valabhī favoured a more epistemological approach in contrast to the idealist interpretation then current at Nālandā under the aegis of Dharmapāla. Valabhī declined in importance through the disruptions caused by the Arab invasions of the 8th century ce.

Subjects: Buddhism.


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