Test: Vedic Period - 1

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


Aitareya Brahmana gives us a clear picture of the five regional divisions based on directions (dis). The names of the five divisions of India as found in this Brahmana are:
(1) Pracya 
(2) Daksina 
(3) Pratlcya 
(4) Udlcya and
(5) Dhruva Madhyama Pratistha.


Match the following:


  • Pushan was responsible for marriages, journeys, roads, and the feeding of cattle. He was a psychopomp (soul guide), conducting souls to the other world. He protected travelers from bandits and wild beasts, and protected men from being exploited by other men.
  • In Hinduism, the Maruts or Marutas, also known as the Marutagana and sometimes identified with Rudras, are storm deities and sons of Rudra and Prisni. In the Vedic mythology, the Marutas, a troop of young warriors, are Indra's companions.
  • Aditi, is a Vedic goddess in Hinduism, the personification of the infinite. She is the goddess of the earth, sky, consciousness, the past, the future and fertility.
  • Ushas is the prominent goddess of dawn in the Vedas. She is depicted as the one who imbues life to all beings, as the "life of all life" and "breath of all breaths", according to Jones and Ryan.

Which of the following are the Upa Vedas?

(I) Gandharva

(II) Jyotisha

(III) Shilpa

(IV) Ayur

(V) Dhanur

(VI) Shiksha


The Vedas -- Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvanaveda -- are the first four of the pramanas (authoritative texts) of our religion and also the most important. Of the remaining ten, six are Angas of the Vedas and four are Upangas.

Man possesses a number of angas or limbs. In the same way the Vedas personified -- the Vedapurusa -- has six limbs. ( It must be noted that the Vedas are also spoken of as Vedamatha, Mother Veda. ) The four Upangas, though not integral to the Vedas, are supporting limbs of the Vedapurusa. The Angas, as already stated, are six in number -- Siksa, Vyakarana, Chandas, Nirukta, Jyotisa and Kalpa. The four Upangas are Mimamsa, Nyaya, Purana and Dharmasastra.


Which Mandal of the Rig Veda Samhita is wholly devoted to the intoxicating drink of ‘Soma’ ?


(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.


Correct Answer :- A (7th)

Explanation : In the cosmological speculations of later Hinduism, a day in the life of Brahma is divided into 14 periods called manvantara, each of which lasts for 306,720,000 years. In every secondary cycle the world is re-created, and a new Manu appears to become the father of the next human race. The present age is considered the seventh Manu cycle.


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


Of the four divisions of the Vedas, the knowledge of the rituals is found mainly in the Samhitas and Brahmanas, and to some extent in the Aranyakas. A few ancient Upanishads, especially the ones derived from the Brahmanas, also contain information about them to denote their spiritual significance. Apart from the Vedas, our knowledge of rituals also comes to us from other sources such as the Tantras, Agama Shastras, and several Vaishnava texts.


Two of the most famous Rig Vedic clans were

  • The Purus were a clan, or a confederation of clans, mentioned many times in the Rigveda. RV 7.96.2 locates them at the banks of the Sarasvati River. There were several factions of Purus, one being the Bharatas. Purus rallied many other groups against King Sudas of the Bharata, but were defeated in the Battle of the Ten Kings (RV 7.18, etc.). One of the major tribal confederations in the Rigveda.
  • The Tritsus are a sub-group of the Puru who are distinct from the Bharatas mentioned in Mandala 7 of the Rigveda (in hymns 18, 33 and 83). Under king Sudas they defeated the confederation of ten kings with the help of the Bharatas at the Battle of the Ten Kings.

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


Shiksha is a Sanskrit word, which means "instruction, lesson, learning, study of skill". It also refers to one of the six Vedangas, or limbs of Vedic studies, on phonetics and phonology in Sanskrit.
Shiksha as a supplemental branch of the Vedas, included teaching proper articulation and pronunciation of Vedic texts. It was one of six fields of supplemental studies, others being grammar (Vyakarana), prosody (Chandas), ritual (Kalpa), etymology (Nirukta) and astrology (Jyotisha, calculating favorable time for rituals).


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.

The country of the Avantis was an important kingdom of western India and was one of the four great monarchies in India in the post era of Mahavira and Buddha, the other three being Kosala, Vatsa and Magadha. Avanti was divided into north and south by the river Narmada.


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?


Correct Answer :- D

Explanation : 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:


B is the correct option.

  • Max Muellar He acknowledged that religion had developed differently in different linguistic spheres and that his training limited him to a consideration of Aryan peoples—that is, speakers of Indo-European languages. Nevertheless, he was convinced that the Rigveda provided unparalleled access to the process by which religion arose.
  • Penka - He popularised the theory that the Aryan race had emerged in Scandinavia and could be identified by the Nordic characteristics of blue eyes and blond hair. In his Origines Ariacae ('Origins of the Aryans') of 1883, he proposed that the Indo-European homeland was in the far north, the Hyperborea of antiquity.
  • There is a consensus opinion among many historians that the Aryans were a heterogeneous group of people who lived in ... Brandenstein, Kirghiz steppe

Match the following rivers according to their ancient names:


1. The city of Kabul is thought to have been established between 2000 BCE and 1500 BCE. In the Rig Veda (composed between 1700–1100 BCE) the word "Kubhā" is mentioned, which appears to refer to the Kabul River.
2. Suvastu of the Aryan and the present day river Swat commences at Kalam with the confluence of Ushu and Utror Rivers and flows for about 160 kilometer across the valley up to Chakdara. The total length of the River is 250 kilometers from Kalam to River Kabul near Charsadda.
3. Sveti, Susartu, Rasa and Anitabha - The names of these rivers appear in the Nadi-gtuti: they seem to be the tributaries of the Indus. It is believed that earlier the Aryans settled on the region remaining on the southern side of the Hindukush mountain range in the valley of Ghorband (Susartu) river and the Panjshir (Rasa) river and subsequently one branch came to India like other branches going other regions.


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?


The Rig Vedic and Avestan languages are essentially the same, with very minor differences in grammar. They share a common vocabulary in the fields of mythology, ritual, culture, and religious practices.


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. Spanish
D. Sanskrit
E. Hindi
F. English


Old Indo-Aryan includes different dialects and linguistic states that are referred to in common as Sanskrit. The most archaic Old Indo-Aryan is found in Hindu sacred texts called the Vedas, which date to approximately 1500 bce.


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:


The correct option is Option A.

During the vedic civilization, Aryans developed Rigveda, which describes about the ” Sapta Sindhu ” the seven rivers of NW India , traced from east to west as Sarasvati, Satadru (Sutlej), Vipasa (Beas), Parosni (Ravi) , Asikni (Chenab) Vitasta (Jhelum) and Sindhu (Indus).


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 checks 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.

*Multiple options can be correct

Which point regarding Rig Vedic woman is NOT correct?



Solution: The early Vedic period was therefore characterized by women's glorious role in education. In early Vedic family affairs, women who enjoyed both their autonomy and their role as wives were considered to be ardhangini (better half) and sahadharmini (equal partner). There was no sati system or early marriage. But from enjoying free and esteemed positions in the Rig-Vedic society, women started being discriminated against since the Later-Vedic period in education and other rights and facilities. Self-immolation refers to the ascetic practice in Buddhism of voluntarily ter- minating one's own life or offering parts of one's own body usually by setting oneself ablaze.


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 Satapatha 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.

Brahmanas of Yajurveda include the following:

  • Kathaka Brahmana
  • Krishna: the Brahmanas are integrated into the samhitas:
  • Maitrayani
  • Carakakatha
  • Kapisthalakatha
  • Taittiriya Brahmana
  • Shatapatha Brahmana

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