1. What are the Upanishads? Why are they called Vedanta?
Upanishads are an integral part of the Vedic literature and these reflect wider spirit of enquiry. For Vedanta is considered to be the end of the Vedas and one of the six systems of Indian philosophy.
2. Who discovered the Mehrgarh civilization? When did civilization begin there?
J.F. Jarrige, the French archaeologist, with his team of archaeologists discovered Mehrgarh. At Mehrgarh civilization evolved in 7000-6000 BC.
3. What do you understand by Early-Harappan or Pre-Harappan? What is its timeframe?
The period between agriculture expansion and establishment of mature Harappan civilization is known as Early-Harappan or Pre- Harappan. The timeframe of the Early-Harappan is 3500-2600 BC.
4. Would you say that the extent of the Harappan civilization was very narrow? How many Harappan sites have been discovered so far?
The extent of the Harappan civilization is very great. It extends from Jammu in the north to Narmada in the south and from Baluchistan in the west to Meerat in the north-east. About 250 Harappan sites have been discovered so far.
5. What has been identified as ‘Dilmun’ or ‘Tilmun’ with whom the Harappans had trade relations? What has been identified as ‘Melhua’?
‘Dilmun’ or ‘Tilmun’ has been identified by the historians as Bahrain in West Asia. ‘Melhua’ has been identified as the lower-Indus.
6. What was the original home of the Aryans? Where did the Aryans settle first in India?
Krygzstan in Central Asia is regarded as the original home of the Aryans. In India the Aryans at first settled in Saptasindhava. That is to say the land of seven rivers.
7. Name two tribal assemblies of the Rigvedic period. When these became non-existent?
Sabha and Samities are the two tribal assemblies of the Rig-Vedic period. In the Later Vedic Period the tribal assemblies lost importance, and almost became non-existent.
8. Where did the Aryans move in the Later Vedic period? Where was their original settlement in India?
In the Later Vedic period the Aryans moved in the east towar the Ganga plain. In India the first settlement of the Aryans was at Saptasindhava. That is to say that land of seven rivers.
9. Mention one social and one political features of the Later Vedic period.
The important social feature of Later Vedic period was increased in the social influence of the brahmanas. The political feature was that the Rajan of the earlier Rig-Vedic period transformed into a real raja or king.
10. Who was the primary God of the Rig-Vedic Aryans? What change took place in the Later Vedic period?
The most important God of the Rig-Vedic people was Indra. In the Later Vedic period Brahma or Prajapati became most important pushing Indra to the background.
11. How many Mahajanapadas have been referred to in the Buddhist texts? Of these which was the most important?
In the Buddhist texts there is reference to Sixteen Mahajanapadas. Of the Sixteen Mahajanapadas the most important was Magadha.
12. How many new religions appeared in 6th Century BC? Which two are most important of these?
In the 6th Century BC as many as 63 new religious movements appeared in north India. Of these the most important were the Jainism and Buddhism.
13. Buddhism was born as a protest against what? Name another such protest movement.
Buddhism was born out of protest against the malpractices of the Brahmanical religion. Jainism like Buddhism was also a protest movement.
14. Who recommended ‘Madhyapantha’? When did the ‘Mahaparinirvana’ of Buddha take place?
Gautama Buddha recommended ‘Madhyapantha’. In 483 BC the ‘Mahaparinirvana’ of Buddha took place.
15. What is the Buddhist Council? What is the historical importance of the Fourth Buddhist Council?
In Buddhism, Council was important because people used to assemble to discuss issues concerning the religion. The historical importance of the Fourth Buddhist Council was that the followers of Buddhism came to be divided into two sects- Mahayana and Hinayana.
16. What is the religious text of the Buddhists? In which language was it written?
The sacred religious text of the Buddhist is Tripitaka. It is written in Pali language.
17. What is the sacred book of the Jainas? In which language was it written?
The sacred book of the Jaina Agam. It is written in Prakrit.