A note on the curriculum at takShashila

ST asked me whether takShashila was a bauddha or Hindu university — ekanetra who has a rather large bookish knowledge of history told her that takShashila was a buddhist vihAra. To drive home the point to our inquisitive lady we looked up the jAtaka-s that we periodically visit to acquaint ourselves with the musical vulgarity of pAli.
In the susIma jAtaka (#163) the venerable tathAgata was born as a brAhmaNa. It is said that he flew to takShashila in a day and learned the trayi-veda and gAjayurveda in another day. He even corrected his teacher for wrong readings of the veda. He then returned in a day to vArANasi and defeated other brahmins who challenged his knowledge.
In the asadisa jAtaka (#181) the buddha states that a kShatriya youth asadisa-kumAra went at the age of 16 to takShashila and studied the vedas under a renowned professor and also 18 subjects and dhanurveda.
In the anabhirati jAtaka (#182) a young brAhmaNa is supposed to have again gone to takShashila and studied the veda-s, shrauta rituals and mantra-shAstra under a renowned teacher. He then is said to have returned to vArANasi and taught the mantra-shAstra to many brAhmaNas and kShatriyas. However, upon his marriage, given to the ease of married life he forgot his mantras and he could repeat the veda-s correctly. The buddha admonished him asked to revive his clarity of mind to recite the veda-s appropriately.

So by the testimony of the tathAgata himself takShashila was a school of vedic learning and obviously also of other lore like hastyAyurveda, dhanurveda and other subjects (18 mentioned by him)

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