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 the Pala Empire, he faced 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 attacked and defeated them. However, the Deccan king received the news of the need to protect his kingdom. Then the diplomatic dialogues with Gurjara Pratiharas reinstalled his kingdom. Then he extended his empire boundaries to 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, led the army against the Pala Empire. Nagabhata II was a famous warrior. He attacked Chakrayudha, deposed him from the throne of Kanauj, and merged in Pratiharas. Nagabhata II attacked Dharmapala at Monghyr and defeated him. Again, luck occurred to Pala king Dharmapala that the Rashtrakuta king Govinda III defeated Nagabhatta II, left Kannauj open, and returned to the Deccan. Then Dharmapala very quickly held his power in Kannauj and started his administration.

Patronage to Buddhism:

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