Questions and Ideas
Q38. What were the basic rules of Jainism?
Followers of Mahavira, who were known as Jainas, had to lead very simple lives,
begging for food. They had to be absolutely honest, and were especially asked not
to steal. Also, they had to observe celibacy. And men had to give up everything,
including their clothes.
Q39. What were the main teachings of Mahavira?
teachings of Mahavira
He taught a simple doctrine: men and women
who wished to know the truth must leave their homes.
They must follow very strictly the rules of
ahimsa, which means not hurting or killing living beings.
Q40. What are the similarities between the teachings of Buddha
Both Buddha and Mahavira taught in the
language of the ordinary people, Prakrit, so that everybody could understand
Buddhism and Jainism were against to the
vedic religion to large extent.
Q41. Describe the ways in which the Buddha tried to spread his
message to the people.
in which the Buddha tried to spread his message to the people:
The Buddha taught in the language of the
ordinary people, Prakrit, so that everybody could understand his message.
He also encouraged people to think for
themselves rather than to simply accept what he said.
Q42. What were the reasons for the less popularity of Jainism?
Reasons for the less popularity of Jainism were:
Men had to give up everything, including
It was very difficult for most men and
women to follow these strict rules.
Jainism was supported mainly by traders.
Farmers, who had to kill insects to protect their crops, found it more
difficult to follow the rules.
Q43. What type of people became Upanishadic thinkers?
Upanishadic thinkers were men, especially brahmins and rajas. There
were some exceptions, such as Gargi, who was famous for her learning, and
participated in debates held in royal courts. One famous exception
was Satyakama Jabala, who was named after his mother, the slave
woman Jabali. He was accepted as a student by a brahmin
teacher named Gautama.
Q44. Write about Sangha as described in Vinaya Pitaka.
The rules made for the Buddhist sangha were written down in a book called the
Vinaya Pitaka. All men could join the sangha. However, children had to take the
permission of their parents and slaves that of their masters. Those who worked
for the king had to take his permission and debtors that of creditors. Women
had to take their husbands’ permission. Men and women who joined the sangha led
Q45. Write in brief about the life of Vardhamana Mahavira.
About Vardhamana Mahavira
The most famous thinker of the Jainas was
the Vardhamana Mahavira.
He was a kshatriya prince of the Lichchhavis,
a group that was part of the Vajji sangha.
At the age of thirty, he left home and went
to live in a forest.
For twelve years he led a hard and lonely
life, at the end of which he attained enlightenment.
Q46. Write a short note on Gautama Buddha.
Siddhartha, also known as Gautama, the
founder of Buddhism, was born about 2500 years ago.
The Buddha belonged to a small gana known
as the Sakya gana, and was a kshatriya.
When he was a young man, he left the
comforts of his home in search of knowledge.
He meditated for days on end under a peepal
tree at Bodh Gaya in Bihar, where he attained enlightenment.
Q47. Differentiate between a monastery and an ashrama.
Difference between a monastery and an ashrama
It is a permanent shelter for monks and nuns. These were also known as viharas.
The earliest viharas were made of wood, and then of brick. Some were even in
caves that were dug out in hills, especially in western India.
The word ashrama does not mean a place where people live and meditate.
It is used instead for a stage of life. Four ashramas were recognised:
Q48. Write about the monasteries of Jainas and Buddhists.
of Jainas and Buddhists
Supporters of the monks and nuns built
temporary shelters for them in gardens, or they lived in natural caves in hilly
As time went on, many supporters of the
monks and nuns, and they themselves, felt the need for more permanent shelters
and so monasteries were built. These were known as viharas.
Very often, the land on which the vihara
was built was donated by a rich merchant or a landowner, or the king.
Q49. Write a short note on the ‘System of Ashramas’.
the time when Jainism and Buddhism were becoming popular, brahmins developed
the system of ashramas. Here, the word ashrama does not mean a place where
people live and meditate.It is used instead for a stage of life. Four ashramas
were recognised: brahmacharya, grihastha, vanaprastha and samnyasa.
Brahmacharya – During this stage of life, Brahmin,
kshatriya and vaishya men were expected to lead simple lives and study the
Vedas during the early years of their life.
Grihastha – During this stage, they had to marry and
live as householders.
Vanaprastha – During this stage, they had to live
in the forest and meditate.
Samnyasa - Finally, they had to give up everything
and become samnyasins.
system of ashramas allowed men to spend some part of their lives in meditation.
Generally, women were not allowed to study the Vedas, and they had to follow
the ashramas chosen by their husbands.