Test: Ancient History - 2 (2014 - 2011)


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QUESTION: 1

With reference to Buddhist history, tradition and culture in India, consider the following pairs :

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

[2014]

Solution:

Tabo monastery and temple complex is in Spiti Valley and Alchi temple complex is in Ladakh. Lhotsava Lhakhang, Nako is in Himachal Pradesh. Zanskar Valley is in Jammu and Kashmir.

QUESTION: 2

With reference to the Indian history of art and culture, consider the following pairs:

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

[2014]

Solution:

1 is correctly matched because Parinirvana of the Buddha in Cave 17 of Ajanta, with numerous celestial musicians above and the sorrowful figures of his followers below, is one of the grandest and yet most delicately expressive scenes ever made in stone. 2 is wrong because huge image of Varaha Avatar of Vishnu, as he rescues Goddess Earth from the deepand chaotic waters, sculpted on rock is found in Mamallapuram. 3 is right because Arjuna's Penance “Descent of Ganga” sculpted on the surface of huge boulders is found in Mamallapuram.

QUESTION: 3

Consider the following historical places:
1. Ajanta Caves
2. Lepakshi Temple
3. Sanchi Stupa
Which of the above places is/are also known for mural paintings?

[2013]

Solution:

Ajanta Caves have mural paintings in caves 1, 2, 16 and 17. Some of the paintings were commissioned by Harisena of Vakataka dynasty. The theme of the paintings was Jataka tales. Lepakshi Temple is renowned for being one of the best repositories of mural paintings of the Vijaynagar kings. Sanchi Stupa has many beautiful sculptures but not mural paintings.

QUESTION: 4

In the context of cultural history of India, a pose in dance and dramatics called ‘Tribhanga’ has been a favourite of Indian artists from ancient times till today. Which one of the following statements best describes this pose?

[2013]

Solution:

The pose ‘Tribhanga’ is the favourite posture of Lord Krishna. We have often seen Lord Krishna standing in tribhanga posture before his cow ‘Kamdhenu’ or whenever he is playing his flute. He is often called Tribhana Murari.

QUESTION: 5

The Chinese traveller Yuan Chwang (Hiuen Tsang) who visited India recorded the general conditions and culture of India at that time. In this context, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. The roads and river-routes were completely immune from robbery.
2. As regards punishment for offences, ordeals by fire, water and poison were the instruments for determining the innocence or guilt of a person.​
3. The tradesmen had to pay duties at ferries and barrier stations.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

 [2013]

Solution:

The tradesmen had to pay light duties at ferries and barriers. After paying the revenue they could go to and fro to barter their merchandise. The punishment for social offences according to the traveller’s account, were to cut off the nose, or an ear or a hand. Minor offences were dealt with fines. And to determine guilt or innocence, ordeals by fire, water and poison were the instruments which were used.

QUESTION: 6

With reference to the history of Indian rock-cut architecture, consider the following statements:
1. The caves at Badami are the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India.
2. The Barabar rock-cut caves were originally made for Ajivikas by Emperor Chandragupta Maurya.
3. At Ellora, caves were made for different faiths.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

[2013]

Solution:

The Barbara rock cut caves are the oldest rock cut caves. They were originally made for the Ajivikas during the Mauryan period (322-185 BCE). The Ellora caves were built between 5th century and 10th century. There were 34 caves out of which 12 were Buddhist caves, 17 were Hindu caves and 5 were Jain caves. The proximity of the caves clearly demonstrates the religious harmony prevalent at that period of time.

QUESTION: 7

Which of the following statements is/are applicable to Jain doctrine?
1. The surest way of annihilating Karma is to practice penance.
2. Every object, even the smallest particle has a soul.
3. Karma is the bane of the soul and must be ended.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

[2013]

Solution:

The surest way of annihilating Karma is to practice penance. Karma is the bane of the soul and must be ended. “Swadhyay Paramam Tap” According to Jain doctrines Penance washes away all the blemishes and purges the soul of all karmic matter.
Also, according to Jainism, Karma is the bane of the soul. Karma not only encompasses the causality of transmigration but it is also conceived as an extremely subtle matter which infiltrates the soul, obscuring its natural, transparent, pure qualities. Karma is thought of as a kind of pollution that taints the soul with various colors. Based on its karma, a soul undergoes transmigration and reincarnation in various states of existence like heavens or hells or as humans or animals.

QUESTION: 8

Which of the following characterizes/characterize the people of Indus Civilization?
1. They possessed great palaces and temples.
2. They worshipped both male and female deities.
3. They employed horse-drawn chariots in warfare.
Select the correct statement/statements using the codes given below.

[2013]

Solution:

Indus valley people did not possess great palaces and temples rather the civilization was noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system and multistoried houses.
Indus valley people were peace loving. They were never engaged in any war. However speculations have been rife that some tectonic forces destroyed the civilization. Some historians are of the view that invasion of Aryans, sea level changes, earthquakes might have brought the civilization to its end therefore people employing horse drawn chariots in warfare is not true. Moreover, Indus valley seals show swastika, animals which is suggestive of their religious beliefs. In view of large number of figurines found in Indus valley, some scholars believe they worshipped mother goddess symbolizing fertility. They worshipped a father God who might be a progenitor of the race and was a probably a prototype of Siva as the Lord of the Animals.

QUESTION: 9

Which one of the following describes best the concept of Nirvana in Buddhism?

[2013]

Solution:

The concept of Nirvana was originally explained by Lord Buddha (566-486 BC). The word ‘Nirvana’ comes from the root meaning ‘to blow out’ and refers to the extinguishing of the fires of greed, hatred, and delusion. When these emotional and psychological defilements are destroyed by wisdom, the mind becomes free, radiant, and joyful and he who has realized the Truth (Nirvana) is the happiest being in the world. He is free from all complexes and obsessions. He does not repent the past nor does he brood over the future. He lives fully in present. He appreciates and enjoys things in life in the purest sense without self projections. He is free from the thirst of becoming and the illusion of self. Buddism explain Nivrana as a state of bliss or peace.

QUESTION: 10

With reference to the history of philosophical thought in India, consider the following statements regarding Sankhya school:
1. Sankhya does not accept the theory of rebirth or transmigration of soul.
2. Sankhya holds that it is the self-knowledge that leads to liberation and not any exterior influence or agent.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

 [2013]

Solution:

Sankhya yoga believes that self –knowledge leads to liberation. Almost all the rest of philosophies of India adopted Sankhya as its main base. Sankhya yoga also believes in rebirth. According to Sankhya darshan each purusha experiences bhoga, apavarga and takes birth repeatedly until kaivalya.(moksa).

QUESTION: 11

Some Buddhist rock-cut caves are called Chaityas, while the others are called Viharas. What is the difference between the two?

[2013]

Solution:

Chaityas refer to the halls enclosing the stupas. Chaityas were probably constructed to hold large numbers of devotees for prayer. Viharas on the other hand are constructions built in ancient India in order to provide resting places for the wandering Buddhist monks.

QUESTION: 12

With reference to the guilds (Shreni) of ancient India that played a very important role in the country's economy, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. Every guild was registered with the central authority of the State and the king was the chief administrative authority on them.
2. The wages, rules of work, standards and prices were fixed by the guild.
3. The guild had judicial powers over its own members.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

[2012]

Solution:

The wages, rules of work, standards and prices were fixed by the guild.
The guild had judicial powers over its own members.

QUESTION: 13

The religion of early Vedic Aryans was primarily of

[2012]

Solution:

The early Vedic Aryans indulged in Image Worship and Yajnas.

QUESTION: 14

Lord Buddha’s image is sometimes shown with the hand gesture called ‘Bhumisparsha Mudra’. It symbolizes

[2012]

Solution:

The earth witness Buddha is one of the most common iconic images of Buddhism. It depicts the Buddha sitting in meditation with his left hand, palm upright, in his lap; and his right hand touching the earth. This represents the moment of the Buddha's enlightenment.

QUESTION: 15

The Nagara, the Dravida and the Vesara are the

[2012]

Solution:

Nagara, Dravida and Vesara are three main styles of Indian temple architecture.

QUESTION: 16

With reference to the history of ancient India, which of the following was/were common to both Buddhism and Jainism?
1. Avoidance of extremities of penance and enjoyment
2. Indifference to the authority of the Vedas
3. Denial of efficacy of rituals
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

[2012]

Solution:

Both Buddhism and Jainism denied the authority of the Vedas and the efficacy of Rituals.

QUESTION: 17

With reference to the scientific progress of ancient India, which of the statements given below are correct?
1. Different kinds of specialized surgical instruments were in common use by 1st century AD.
2. Transplant of internal organs in the human body had begun by the beginning of 3rd century AD.
3. The concept of sine of an angle was known in 5th century AD.
4. The concept of cyclic quadrilaterals was known in 7th century AD.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

[2012]

Solution:

Lets analyze these statements:
1. Different kinds of specialized surgical instruments were in common use by 1st century AD.
This is an correct statement. We have been told that in ancient India, it was Sushrut who is known to be the first surgeon. He not only used the S type and U type surgical instruments but also has documented plastic surgery. However, historians have not been able to assign a definite period to Sushruta. The era of Sushrut is most probably BC and definitely it was prior to 1st century AD.
2. Transplant of internal organs in the human body had begun by the beginning of 3rd century AD.
Sushruta mentioned the plastic surgery in which the flaps of nose skins were used to replace at other parts. We don’t have (most probably) the sources that write about internal transplant
3. The concept of sine of an angle was known in 5th century AD.
This is a correct statement and hints towards Aryabhatta’s Surya Siddhanta. Aryabhata has given the sine and versed sine tables familiar to the students of mathematics.
4. The concept of cyclic quadrilaterals was known in 7th century AD.
Again this is a correct statement and hints towards Brahamgupta , who gave the formula for the area of the cyclic quadrilateral.
Correct answer of this question should be 1, 3 and 4 only.

QUESTION: 18

The “Dharma” and “Rita” depict a central Idea of ancient Vedic civilization of India. In this context, consider the following statements:
1. Dharma was a conception of obligations and of the discharge of one’s duties to oneself and to others.
2. Rita was the fundamental moral law governing the functioning of the universe and all it contained.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

[2011]

Solution:

‘Rita’ refers to regulation order by nature and was related to the conduct of the Vedic Gods and Humans, somewhere related to the moral and physical law. Statement 2 is correct. ‘Rita’ was later replaced by ‘Dharma’ and was a more sophisticated form of principles of law. As per Chanakya, ‘Dharma’ was the promotion of one’s own security, happiness as well as the social order.

QUESTION: 19

Regarding the Indus Valley Civilization, consider the following statements:
1. It was predominantly a secular civilization and the religious element, though present, did not dominate the scene
2. During this period, cotton was used for manufacturing textiles in India
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

[2011]

Solution:

We have read about the Mehrgarh cotton which is the earliest example of Cotton cultivation in the old world, older than the Peruvians. The cloth was made, and even dyed, so statement 2 is correct. The first statement is also correct and has been “lifted” from a famous history book.

QUESTION: 20

The Jain philosophy holds that the world is created and maintained by

[2011]

Solution:

Jainism does not support belief in a creator deity. According to the Jain doctrine, the universe and its constituents (soul, matter, space, time, and motion) have always existed. All the constituents and actions are governed by universal natural laws.

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