Test: Vedic Culture - 1

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

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Which of the following works was the earliest to deal with the origin of kingship in the form of a legend?


The earliest evidence of the origin of kingship in India is found in the Aitareya Brahmana, a later Vedic text thought to be from the 8th or 7th century B.C.E., which tells of a war between gods and demons.  The gods were losing badly and needed someone to lead them in order to change the tide of the war.  It is through this legend that the concept of kingship arose out of military necessity and the need to have a king or a leader that could lead their subjects into battle.  

This suggests that for early Hindus in India the need for a king arose out of the need to protect their people and settle disputes between communities.  


Which one of the following tribal assemblies is considered as the oldest of all?


The Earliest Tribal Assembly – Vidhata

Vidatha appears for 122 times in the Rig-Veda and seems to be the most important assembly in the Rig Vedic period. Vidatha was an assembly meant for secular, religious and military purpose. The Rig-Veda only once indicated the connection of woman with the Sabha whereas Vidatha is frequently associated with woman women actively participated in the deliberations with men. Vidatha was the earliest folk assembly of the Aryans, performing all kinds of functions- economic, military religious and social. The Vidatha also provided common ground to clans and tribes for the worship of their gods.


The division of India into five parts is to be found in which of the following Brahmana?


The Aitareya Brahmana divides the entire country into five parts, viz., Dhruva Madhyani or the middle country, corresponding to Madhyadesha, Prachidesha or the eastern quarter, Dakshinadesha or the southern quarter, Pratichyadesha, the western quarter and Udichidesha or the northern quarter. The extent and limits of such divisions are not defined. 


Match the following:


Which of the following are the Upa Vedas?


Upa Angas or Upa Vedas are the four auxiliary limbs of Vedas.They are the specialization or special degrees at that time period.They were categorised depending on student preference and interest.The four areas qualifying for being Upa Vedas were-
1) Smiritis (comprising Dharamshashtras)
2) Dhanurvedam
3) Ghandarava vedam
4) Shilpa vedam


Which Mandal of the Rig Veda Samhita is wholly devoted to the intoxicating drink of ‘Soma’ and the god who is named after the drink?


(It is the 9th Mandal of Rigveda which contains 114 hymns ) The fermented juice of the plant called Soma appears to have been the only intoxicating drink used in Vedic times. So much were the ancient Aryans addicted to this drink, that Soma was soon worshipped as a deity both in India and in Iran (under the name Haoma in the latter country), and we find one entire Mandala, or Book, of the Rig-Veda, dedicated to this deity.


The “Great Flood” is said to have occurred during the time of which Manu from whose son the two great Solar and Lunar dynasties took birth.


In various Hindu traditions, Manu, is a title accorded to the progenitor of mankind, and the very first king to rule this earth, who saved mankind from the great flood, after being warned of it by the Matsya avatar of Vishnu, who told him to build a giant boat and populate it with “his family animals, and 9 types of SEEDS!”
“The ten sons of Manu are known as Vena, Dhrishnu, Narishyan, Nabhaga, Ikshvaku, Karusha, Saryati, the eighth, a daughter named Ila, Prishadhru the ninth, and Nabhagarishta, the tenth. They all betook themselves to the practices of Kshatriyas. Besides these, Manu had fifty other sons on Earth. But we heard that they all perished, quarreling with one another.”


Which of the following mention the royal sacrifices of Rajasuya, Asvamedah and Vajapeya for the first time?


The period that followed the Rig Vedic Age is known as the Later Vedic Age. This age witnessed the composition of three later Veda Samhitas, namely the Samveda Samhita, the Yajurveda Samhita, the Atharvaveda Samhita; as well as the Brahmanas and the Upanishads of all the four Vedas and later on the two great epics—the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. All these later Vedic texts were compiled in the Upper Gangetic basin in 1000—600 BC.


Two of the most famous Rig Vedic clans were


The Purus were another very important tribe in the days of the Rig-Veda. They were closely connected with Tritsus and the Bharatas, and lived on either side of the Saraswati. The Anus, Druhyus, Yadus and Turvasas were the allies of the Purus against the Bharatas. These five are the five peoples (Panchjanah) fo the Rig-Veda. The Name Yadu and Turvasa normally occur together in the Rig-Veda.


The manuals of which of the following deal with the correct pronounciation and accentuation of Vedic hymns?


The manuals of Siksha deal with the correct pronunciation and accentuation of the Vedic hymns. The productions of the Siksha school include the “connected text” of the Rig-Veda as well as the “word-text” which gives the text of the verses in a complete ,grammatical analysis. But the most remarkable compositions of the Siksha class are the Pratisakhya Sutras which contain the rules by the aid of which the Samhita-patha (connected text) can be formed from the Pada-Patha (word-text).


In the Age of 16 Mahajanapadas, there were four great kingdoms. One was Magadha. The other three were


The Budhist traditions these kingdoms came to be known as 'Mahajanapadas'.
There were sixteen of such Mahajanapadas: Kasi, Kosala, Anga, Magadha, Vajji, Malla, Chedi, Vatsa, Kuru, Panchala, Machcha, Surasena, Assaka, Avanti, Gandhara and Kamboja.


Which God occupied the supreme position in the later Vedic pantheon?


The two outstanding Rig Vedic gods, Indra and Agni, lost their former importance. On the other hand Prajapati, the creator, came to occupy the supreme position in later Vedic pantheon. Rudra, the god of animals, became important in later Vedic times and Vishnu came to be conceived as the preserver and protector of the people. In addition, some symbolic objects began to be worshipped, and we notice signs of idolatry. 


Which type of pottery was most popular with the Later Vedic people?


The later Vedic people were acquainted with four types of pottery—black-and-red ware, black- slipped ware, Painted Grey Ware, and red-ware. The last type of pottery was the most popular, and is found almost all over western UP. However, the most distinctive pottery of the period is known as Painted Grey Ware.


Match the following:


Match the following rivers according to their ancient names:


It is the river par excellence and mother of rivers and is noted as flowing into ocean. In the nadistuti this river is mentioned between the Yamuna and the Sutudri. Identify it.


The Nadistuti hymn in the Rigveda mentions the Saraswati river as flowing between the Yamuna in the east and the Sutlej in the west (two rivers still flowing in north-western India). The Brahamanas and the Mahabharata also mention the Saraswati river.


The earliest Aryan kingdoms were founded by four kings. Which of the following is not one of them?


Rig Vedic Period

  • The earliest Aryan kingdoms were founded by four kings, Iksaku, Pramsu, Sudyunma and Saryata, all stated to be the sons of Manu Vaivasvata.
  • The word rajan or raja in the Rigveda denoted a tribal chief and not a monarchical king.
  • Kingship was generally hereditary but elected monarchies were not unknown.
  • The chiefs received from the people voluntary offerings called bali.
  • The king did not maintain any regular or standing army. But during the period of war different tribal groups called vrata, gana, grama, sardha formed a militia.

On what ground does B.G. Tailk propounded the theory that the original home of the Aryans was the Arctic region?


The Arctic Home in the Vedas is a book on the origin of Aryanic People by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, a mathematician turned astronomer, historian, journalist, philosopher and political leader of India. It propounded the idea that the North Pole was the original home of Aryans during the pre-glacial period which they had to leave due to the ice deluge around 8000 B.C. and had to migrate to the Northern parts of Europe and Asia in search of lands for new settlements.
At the North Pole, one sees the heavenly dome above seems to revolve around one like a potter's wheel. The stars will not rise and set but move round and round in horizontal planes during the long night of six months. The Sun, when it is above the horizon for six months; would also appear to revolve in the same way but with some difference. The Northern celestial hemisphere will alone be visible spinning round and round and the Southern half remain invisible. The Sun going into the Northern hemisphere in his annual course will appear as coming up from the South. Living in the temperate and tropical zones, however, one sees all heavenly objects rise in the East and set in the West, some passing over the head, others traveling obliquely.


What are the grounds for the belief that the ancient Iranians and the Vedic Aryans belong to the same race?


Where is Boghazkoi situated and what is the importance of it?


Harappan Civilization and Rigveda

  • A careful consideration of the evidence of the Rig Veda will lead to the conclusion that references it contains about people and their civilization may be taken to refer to the Harappan civilization.

  • The Discovery of Boghaz-Koi inscription (of 14th century B.C.) mentioned Rig Vedic deities that the Rig Veda existed earlier and the culture migrated from India to Asia Minor in that early age.

  • The time period of the Rig Veda in its final form should be placed not later than about 3,000 B.C.


Which one of the following is now most widely regarded as the original home-land of the Indo-European or Aryans?


Original Home of the Aryans It is generally believed that they were not the original inhabitants of India. Many theories have been put forward in favor and against the argument. Some historians say that the original home of Aryans was Central Asia. Others are of the opinion that their original home was in southern Russia (near the Caspian sea) or in the south-east Europe (in Austria and Hungary). 


Which of the following is considered as an Indo-Aryan language?

A. Persian
B. Germanic
C. Slav
D. Sanskrit
E. Latin and Greek
F. English


Immediately before coming to India, the Indo-Aryans formed part of which one of the following Indo-European Tribes?


Indo-Aryan peoples are a diverse Indo-European-speaking ethnolinguistic group of speakers of Indo-Aryan languages. There are over one billion native speakers of Indo-Aryan languages, most of them native to the Indian subcontinent and presently found all across South Asia, where they form the majority.


The rivers mentioned in the Rig Veda are:


Most of the Rig-Veda civilization was centred on the River Saraswati which is now lost in the Deserts of Rajasthan. The Rig-Veda mentions rivers Kabul, Swat, Kurram, Gumal, Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, beas, Sutlej etc. which proves that the settlements were in Afghanistan and Punjab as well. The cradle of Rig-Vedic civilization is called Sapt Saidhav Region.


What was the main cause of the tribal wars among the early Aryan settlers, the most famous of which is referred to as the Battle of Ten Kings in the Rig Veda?


There is an interesting reference to the inter-tribal conflicts in Rig-Veda. The most famous being the Battle of the Ten Kings. Sudas, we are told, was the king of the Bharat tribe settled in western Punjab, and Vishwamitra was his chief priest, who had conducted successful campaigns for the king. But Sudas wished to dismiss Vishwamitra and appoint another chief priest in his place, Vasishtha, since the latter was supposed to have greater priestly knowledge. This infuriated Vishwamitra, who formed a confederacy of ten tribes and attacked Sudas, but Sudas was victorious. Cattle-stealing and land disputes were probably a frequent cause of inter-tribal wars.


Which of the following was not one of the distinguished tribes of the later Vedic Period?


Rise of Big States:

With the progress of Aryan settlements in the eastern and southern part of India, the small tribal states of Rig Vedic period replaced by powerful states. Many famous tribes of Rig Vedic period like Bharatas, Parus, Tritsus and Turvasas passed into oblivion and new tribes like the Kurus and Panchalas rose into prominence. The land of the Yamuna and Ganga in the east which became the new home of the Aryans rose into prominence.


Which of the following statements about the Vedic king is correct?


Certain other checks also existed on the powers of the king. For example all the textbooks on statecraft recommended that the king should listen to the counsel of his ministers. The public opinion was another effective check on the authority of the king.


Which point regarding Rig Vedic woman is not correct?


The women of Epic India enjoyed an honorable position at home. Both Ramayana and Mahabharata Epics had given a respectable place for women; women had been called the root of Dharma, prosperity and enjoyment in both the epics. We find vast references of the expression of courage, strong willpower and valour of women like Kaikeye, Sita, Rukmani, Satyabhama, Sabitri, Draupadi and others.


Which of the following are known as Brahmanas?


The Brahmanas, it is well known, form our chief, if not our only, source of information regarding one of the most important periods in the social and mental development of India. They represent the intellectual activity of a sacerdotal caste which, by turning to account the religious instincts of a gifted and naturally devout race, had succeeded in transforming a primitive worship of the powers of nature into a highly artificial system of sacrificial ceremonies, and was ever intent on deepening and extending its hold on the minds of the people, by surrounding its own vocation with the halo of sanctity and divine inspiration. 


Which of the following Brahmanas belongs to the Yajurveda?


The Shatapatha Brahmana  is a prose text describing Vedic rituals, history and mythology associated with the Śukla Yajurveda.

The text describes in great detail the preparation of altars, ceremonial objects, ritual recitations, and the Soma libation, along with the symbolic attributes of every aspect of the rituals.

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