Dharmapala The Buddhist King


Dharmapala was a great ancient king. He belongs to Pala Empire in Bengal. Gopala was his father who founded the Pala Empire. As soon as Dharmapala became the second ruler of Pala Empire, he faced the attacks from Gurjara Pratiharas of the West and the Rashtrakutas of the Deccan. At first, he struggled with Pratihara King Vatsaraja about 790 AD. During the battle, both armies lost their soldiers and became weak. Then the common enemy Rastrakuta king Dhruva Dharavarsa attack both and defeated them. However, the Deccan king received the news of about the need of protecting his own kingdom. Then the diplomatic dialogues with Gurjara Pratiharas and reinstalled his own kingdom. Then he extended his empire boundaries to the Punjab and administrated from there. Several kings attended his durbar and surrendered themselves to accept his suzerainty.

Reinstalled Kingdom

The Pratiharas again attacked the empire of Dharmapala. This time Nagabhata II, son of Vatsaraja lead the army against Pala Empire. Nagabhata II was a famous warrior he attacked Chakrayudha and deposed him from the throne of Kanauj and merged in Pratiharas. Nagabhata II attacked Dharmapala at Monghyr and defeated him. Again luck occurred Pala king Dharmapala that the Rashtrakuta king Govinda III defeated Nagabhatta II and left Kannauj open and went back to the Deccan. Then Dharmapala very easily holds his power on Kannauj and started his administration.

Patronage to Buddhism:

The King Dharmapala was a religious person and the great follower of Buddhism and played a patron role to expand Buddhism. During his administration, he brought many reforms in Nalanda University, the famous ancient university and attracted thousands of students from various countries. Later his interest in evolution the concept of Buddhism caused to found another university Vikramshila. This university was the place for the scholars to learn the concept of Buddhism. He established over 50 religious institutions and supported the Buddhist authors for sustain. He built many Buddhist Viharas,