Ans. Some men became recognized as rajas by performing very big sacrifices. The ashvamedha or horse sacrifice was one such ritual. In present day elections leaders or rulers are chosen by voting.
Ans. People began transplanting paddy. This meant that instead of scattering seed on the ground, from which plants would sprout, saplings were grown and then planted in the fields. This led to increased production, as many more plants survived.
Ans. As the rulers of the mahajanapadas were building huge forts and maintaining big armies, they needed more resources. So, instead of depending on occasional gifts brought by people, as in the case of the raja of the janapadas, they started collecting regular taxes.
Ans. More than 2300 years ago, a ruler named Alexander, who lived in Macedonia in Europe, wanted to become a world conqueror. He conquered parts of Egypt and West Asia, and came to the Indian subcontinent, reaching up to the banks of the Beas.
Ans. Archaeologists have excavated a number of settlements in these janapadas. They found that people lived in huts, and kept cattle as well as other animals. They also grew a variety of crops — rice, wheat, barley, pulses, sugarcane, sesame and mustard.
Ans. Plates and bowls are the most common vessels made out of Painted Grey Ware. These are extremely fine to touch, with a nice, smooth surface. Perhaps these were used on special occasions, for important people, and to serve special food.
Ans. In a gana or a sangha there were not one, but many rulers. Sometimes, even when thousands of men ruled together, each one was known as a raja. These rajas performed rituals together. They also met in assemblies, and decided what had to be done and how, through discussion and debate.
Ans. Forts were probably built because:-
i. People were afraid of attacks from other kings and needed protection.
ii. It is also likely that some rulers wanted to show how rich and powerful they were by building really large, tall and impressive walls around their cities.
iii. Also in this way, the land and the people living inside the fortified area could be controlled more easily by the king.
1. About 2500 years ago, some janapadas became more important than others, and were known as mahajanapadas.
1. The word janapada literally means the land where the jana set its foot, and settled down.
2. Example: Kosala, Anga, Magadha, Vajji, Panchala, Avanti, Gandhara, Kuru etc.
2. Example: Chedi, Aja, Bharata, Puru, Mahavrisha etc.
Ans. Many people did not accept the system of varna laid down by the Brahmins:-
i. Some kings thought they were superior to the priests.
ii. Others felt that birth could not be a basis for deciding which varna people belonged to.
iii. Besides, some people felt that there should be no differences amongst people based on occupation.
iv. Others felt that everybody should be able to perform rituals.
v. And others condemned the practice of untouchability.
Ans. Note on the governance system in ‘Ganas’ and ‘Sanghas’
i. In a gana or a sangha there were not one, but many rulers. Sometimes, even when thousands of men ruled together, each one was known as a raja.
ii. These rajas performed rituals together. They also met in assemblies, and decided what had to be done and how, through discussion and debate.
iii. For example, if they were attacked by an enemy, they met to discuss what should be done to meet the threat.
iv. However, women, dasas and kammakaras could not participate in these assemblies.
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