Test: Religious Movement - 1

30 Questions MCQ Test History for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims | Test: Religious Movement - 1

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Who among the following was the first to become a Buddhist nun?


In Buddhism, women are as capable of reaching nirvana as men. According to Buddhist scriptures, the order of bhikkhunis was first created by the Buddha at the specific request of his aunt and foster-mother Mahapajapati Gotami, who became the first ordained bhikkhuni.


Which of the following works of Mahayanism is a flowery account of the life of Buddha?


The Play in Full (Lalitavistara) is without a doubt one of the most important sūtras within Buddhist Mahāyāna literature. With parts of the text dating from the earliest days of the Buddhist tradition, this story of the Buddha’s awakening has captivated the minds of devotees, both ordained and lay, as far back as the beginning of the common era.


Mahayana Buddhists are credited, rather discredited, with starting the practice of idolworship for the first time in India. When did they began this practice?


Mahayana Buddhists built great statues with shiny metals, which perhaps were required to spread the ideas of someone from history, from a far off land, about whom not many would have heard. Importantly, in a non-violent way. This all started around the Ist century A.D.


At which of the following councils was the “Abhidhamma Pitaka” written for the first time?


The Abhidhamma Piṭaka is the last of the three pitakas, the three divisions that comprise the Pali Canon, the scriptures of Theravāda Buddhism. The other two parts of the Tipiṭaka are the Vinaya Piṭaka and the Sutra Piṭaka. It was written for the first time in Pataliputra council in the third Buddhist council. The Third Buddhist council was convened in about 250 BCE at Asokarama in Pataliputra, supposedly under the patronage of Emperor Ashoka. This is however disputed, as mention of the council never appears in the Edicts of Ashoka.


Which is the CORRECT historical sequence for the rise of the following Buddhist sects?

I. Sthaviravadin
II. Sarvastivadin
III. Mahayanists
IV. Vajrayanists.


Arrange the following chronologically:

I. Nalanda University
II. Vikramsila University
III. Taxila University
IV. Valabhi University
V. Nagarjuna University


Arrange the following important personalities of Buddhism in the CORRECT sequence:

I. Nagasena
II. Vasumitra
III. Ananda
IV. Moggaliputta Tissa


Arrange the following places connected with Jainism in the chronological order:

I. Pavapuri
II. Valabhi
III. Pataliputra
IV. Kundagrama.


Kundagrama (the place of Mahavira's birth) is traditionally believed to be near Vaishali, an ancient town on the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Its location in present-day Bihar is unclear, partly because of migrations from ancient Bihar for economic and political reasons.

The first council was held at Pataliputra (now Patna, Bihar, India). The Avashyaka-churni (dated between Samvat 650 and 750=593–693 CE) describes: There was twelve years long famine which resulted in the monks moving to the coast. When the famine ended, they gathered at Pataliputra.

Pawapuri or Pawa is a holy site for Jains located in the Nalanda district in the Bihar state of Eastern India. It is located about nineteen kilometers from Rajgir and 101 kilometers from Patna, the capital of Bihar. Pawapuri is the place of Mahavira's nirvana and a pilgrimage site for Jains.


Which of the following factors were responsible for the origin of the Buddhist tradition?


According to Buddhist practice, following the Noble Eightfold Path will ultimately result in being liberated from samsara, the cycle of rebirth and suffering. Many followers of this path to enlightenment participated in an emerging Buddhist monastic tradition. Partly in response, Mahayana Buddhism arose.


Which of the following statements regarding Buddha is WRONG?


The Buddha (also known as Siddhattha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama) was a philosopher, mendicant, meditator, spiritual teacher, and religious leader who lived in Ancient India (c. 5th to 4th century BCE). He is revered as the founder of the world religion of Buddhism.


Who were the first teachers of the Buddha, after his great renunciation?


At this time in India there were many religious teachers. One of the best and most well known was Alara Kalama. Ascetic Gotama went to study under him. He stayed and was taught many things, including meditation. He worked hard and eventually equalled his teacher in learning. Finally Alara Kalama could not teach Gotama any more and he said, "You are the same as I am now. There is no difference between us. Stay here and take my place and teach my students with me."

But Gotama was not interested in staying. Despite what he had learnt he could see that he was still subject to old age, sickness, and death and that his quest was not over.

Thus, Gotama left Alara Kalama and went in search of a new teacher. At last he found another great teacher, Uddaka, who was famous for his cleverness. Again, Gotama learnt very quickly and soon knew as much as his teacher. He found that Uddaka could not teach him how to stop suffering, old age and death either, and he had never heard of anyone who could solve these problems. Once again the Ascetic Gotama was disappointed and left Uddaka, making up his mind to struggle by himself until he found the cause of all the suffering of life.


Which one of the following is NOT considered to be a great event in Buddha’s life?


The great events in the life of Buddha are Buddha’s birth (lotus and bull); the great departure (horse); enlightenment (Bodhi tree); First Sermon (Wheel); Death (Stupa).


On the basis of which of the following traditional records the dates of Buddha’s birth and death have been fixed?


Which of the following statements is/are CORRECT?


-In Buddhismnon-violence is asserted from the perspective of the view of compassion, love and kindness towards all living beings.

-A firm Buddhist tradition has maintained that the Buddha avoided talking about the soul or even denied its existence.


Match the Buddhist Councils and the places where they were held:


Match the names of Presidents of the Buddhist Councils:


Milinda of the well-known Pali text ‘Milinda Panho’ had dialogues with one Buddhist priest.Name the priest.


What were the important causes of the spread of Buddhism in India?
A. Simple teachings in the language of the people.
B. Royal patronage.
C. Support of the trading community.
D. Role of Buddhist monks and monasteries.


Buddhism gained wide acceptance and its popularity spread like wild fire throughout India. Various causes were response accounted for the rise and spread of Buddhism. In recorded time, every nook and corner of the country reverberated with the prayers of the monks (bhikshus) and the lay-worshippers (Upasikas). Some of the important reasons were:
Simple Doctrines: As compared with Jainism, Buddhism was essentially simple. It did not confuse the people.
Royal patronage: Royal patronage of Buddhism also accounted for its rapid rise. The Buddha himself was a Kshatriya prince. Kings like Prasenjit, Bimbisara, Ajatasatru, Asoka, Kanishka and Harshavardhan patronised Buddhism and helped its spread throughout India.
Buddhist Monks and Sangha: The Buddhist monks and the Buddhist ‘Order’ (Sangha) did incomparable service for the spread of Buddhism.
Trading communities: Apart from this, one of the important reasons for spread of Buddhism was the support of the trading community.


Which statement on the history of Buddhism is NOT correct?


Which of the following is INCORRECT?


Which of the following is INCORRECT?


Who was the founder of the Theraveda sect of Buddhism?


Who was the founder of the Ajivika sect?


Ajivika is one of the nāstika or "heterodox" schools of Indian philosophy. Purportedly founded in the 5th century BCE by Makkhali Gosala, it was a śramaṇa movement and a major rival of vedic religion, early Buddhism and Jainism. Ājīvikas were organised renunciates who formed discrete communities.


Who was the founder of the Mahasanghika sect of Buddhism?


Mahasanghika is the name of an early Buddhist school in India, which emerged about a century after the death of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha, during the Second Buddhist council held at Vaishali. Its founder was Mahakassapa.


Which of the following is NOT a feature of Mahayana Buddhism?


Mahayana Buddhism says that there are three aspects of Buddhahood, which it describes by regarding Buddha as having three bodies (trikaya): Dharmakaya: Buddha is transcendent - he is the same thing as the ultimate truth. Sambhogakaya: Buddha's body of bliss, or enjoyment body.


Which of the following events of Buddha’s life is known as Mahabhinishkramana?


He left his home at the age of 29 years to live a life of an ascetic which is known as Mahabhinishkramana (the great departure). 


What was Uruvela?


After leaving his kingdom of Kapilavastu, Prince Siddhartha Gautama wandered around present day Bihar for four years seeking answers to his spiritual quest. Finally he arrived at a place called Uruvela near the town of Gaya in present day Bihar. He was thirty three years old when he began his final striving for enlightenment. Today Uruvela is called Bodh Gaya and it is the most sacred of all the pilgrimage destinations of the Buddhists on a pilgrimage to worship the sacred memory of Gautama Buddha.


The third Buddhist Council was held at Patliputra, during the reign of Ashoka, 236 years after the death of Buddha to revise the scriptures. Which of the following Pitakas was added to the existing two in this Council?


Abhidhamma Pitaka, the third—and historically the latest—of the three “baskets,” or collections of texts, that together compose the Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism, the form predominant in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). The other two collections are Sutta and Vinaya (“Discipline”) Pitakas. Unlike Sutta and Vinaya, the seven Abhidhamma works are generally claimed to represent not the words of the Buddha himself but those of disciples and great scholars. Nevertheless, they are highly venerated, particularly in Myanmar (Burma).


According to the Buddhist traditions the four great signs transformed the life of Gautama.Which one of the following is known as the ‘Four Great Signs’?


During his late twenties, Siddhartha is said to have encountered "four signs" which altered his life forever. These signs were: an old man, a sick man, a corpse, and a monk or a yogin (i.e. yoga or yogin refer to a man who pursues and/or teaches various religious practices).


Which of the following is NOT one of the ‘Four Noble Sentiments’ that a person aspiring for nirvana should cultivate?


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