Background of the Ancient Mithila University
The University of Ancient Mithila was gradually started with the philosophical conferences organized by King Janak of Mithila at his court. These philosophical conferences led to the creation of a seat of education and this seat of education was transformed into Mithila University. It was the main center of Brahmanical education system. Mithila is the back of Maithil Brahmins. Since ancient times, Maithil Brahmins had given various dimensions to ancient Indian philosophy. Nyaya Shastra, Logic Shastra, Mimamsa and Shankhya Shastra originated mostly from Mithila.
Major Scholars at the Court of King Janaka
- Uddalaka Aruni is considered as the first ‘natural scientist’ in the intellectual history of the world. He discovered the theory of three elements of the life.
- Akshapada Gautama composed Nyaya Shastra. The university of Mithila was famous for the study of Nyaya Shastra.
- Ashtavakra taught King Janaka the metaphysical nature of existence and the meaning of individual freedom. The philosophical conversation between Ashtavakra and Janaka is recorded as ancient philosophical texts known as Ashtavakr Git or Ashtavakra Samhita.
- Yajnavalkya taught Brahman Vidya to the King Janaka. He is the author of Satapatha Brahman and he is also considered as the Father of Indian philosophy. He is the founder of Shukla Yajurveda.
- Gargi Vachaknavi was a Brahmavadini. She composed several hymns in the Rigaveda that questioned the origin of all existence. She was honoured as one of the Navaratnas in the court of King Janaka of Mithila. She took part in the Shastrarth with Yajnavalkya, in which she asked some questions related to the foundation of the existence of the nature. Yajnavalkya answered all her questions.
- Kapila is the author of the ancient Indian philosophy of Shankhya Shastra. His ashram was at Kapileshwar Sthan in the Mithila region of Madhubani district in Bihar. He wrote his Shankhya Shastra philosophy and taught his disciples there.
- Maharshi Panchashikha preached Samkhya Shastra to Dharmadhvaj Janaka, the King of Mithila. He wrote Shashti Tantra. This book is 60 chapters of the Samkhya Shastra. He wrote 60000 verses on the nature of Matters (Prakriti), the self, the faculties of perception and action and supra normal powers. He taught about the relation between the body and the soul in the earthly life and after death.