Nitin Singhania Test: Buddhism And Jainism - 2


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QUESTION: 1

Consider the following statements about Jainism. 

1. Vardhamana, who came to be known as Mahavira, founded Jainism in the sixth century BC. 

2. According to Jain teachings, the cycle of birth and rebirth is shaped through karma.

3. Jain scholars produced a wealth of literature in a variety of languages including Tamil.

Which of the above is/are correct? 

Solution:

 

  • The basic philosophy of jains was already in existence in North India before the birth of Vardhamana, who came to be known as Mahavira, in the sixth century BC. 

  •  

    Jain scholars produced a wealth of literature in a variety of languages—Prakrit, Sanskrit and Tamil. 

 

According to Jain teachings, the cycle of birth and rebirth is shaped through karma. Asceticism and penance are required to free oneself from the cycle of karma.

 

 

QUESTION: 2

This council held near Srinagar prepared an authoritative commentary on the Buddhist Tripitakas and gave the Mahayana doctrine a final shape. The council was convened by

Solution:
  • He convened this fourth Buddhist council that discussed issues relating to Buddhist doctrine and theology.

  • Under the presidentship of Vasumitra, the fourth Buddhist council was held at the Kundalavana monastery near Srinagar in Kashmir. About 500 monks attended the council.

  • Asvagosha was a great poet, philosopher and dramatist, and was particularly close to Kanishka. He became his religious advisor in his later years and composed Buddhacharita.

  • Nagarjuna from South India was also in the court of Kanishka. He also patronized the famous physician of ancient India Charaka.

QUESTION: 3

What was important about Shravasti in Buddhist history?

1. It was ruled by Pasenadi, who was a disciple of Buddha.

2. The famous Jetavana Vihara is situated here.

3. It hosted the first sermon of Buddha.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:
  • About 2500 years ago, it was one of India's six largest cities and served as the Kosala Kingdom's capital, and its king was called Pasenadi, who was a disciple of Buddha.

  • Buddha spent the greater part of his monastic life in Shravasti.

  • It was also a prominent trading centre at that time, and centre of religious activity by Buddha.

  • According to Buddhism's history, Buddha first came to Shravasti at the urging of Sudatta, a rich merchant who met Buddha in Rajgir.

  • Sudatta invited Buddha to Shravasti and began to look for a suitable place to build a vihara.

QUESTION: 4

In the context of Buddhism, the term Bodhisattva can be used to refer to

1. Gautama Buddha in his former lives

2. Compassionate beings who accumulated merit through their efforts not to attain Nibbana but to help others

3. Jataka storytellers who were appointed by the Sangha

4. Bodhi masters who renounce their physical bodies for the benefit of sentient beings

Select the correct answer, using the codes below.

Solution:
  • Bodhisattva is the Sanskrit term for anyone who is motivated by great compassion, has generated Bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish, and a compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.

  • In early Indian Buddhism, Bodhisattva was primarily used to refer specifically to Gautama Buddha in his former life.

  • The Jataka tales, which are the stories of Buddha's past lives, depict the various attempts of the Bodhisattva to embrace qualities like self-sacrifice and morality.

  • According to the Jataka tales, the term 'bodhisattva' originally referred to the pre enlightened practitioner of austerities.

  • The worship of images of Buddha and Bodhisattvas became an important part of Mahayana tradition.

QUESTION: 5

Consider the following regarding Faxian's account of India.

1. During his visit, stupa veneration was not practised in India.

2. He frequently mentions the name of Chandragupta II in his works.

3. As per him, Buddhism was established mainly in the Gangetic valley.

4. He was looking for better copies of Buddhist books than were available in China at that time.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:
  • Between 399 and 414 CE, the Chinese monk Faxian undertook a trip via Central Asia to India seeking better copies of Buddhist books than were currently available in China.

  • Although Faxian's account is valuable in many respects, as far as the Gupta Empire is concerned, he did not mention Chandragupta II's name. Faxian was not interested in political affairs, and his interest was primarily on religion.

  • According to him, Buddhism was in a flourishing condition in northwestern India. In the Gangetic valley, it was in a state of neglect. He refers to the Gangetic valley as the 'land of Brahmanism'.

  • He indicates clearly the importance of the seven precious substances for Buddhist worship, the widespread practice of stupa veneration, and his acquaintance with several of the Jataka tales about the previous lives of Buddha Sakyamuni.

QUESTION: 6

Many Chinese Buddhist pilgrims visited the Indian subcontinent to visit places associated with Buddha's life. Who among the following is NOT one of them?

Solution:
  • Three such Chinese Buddhist pilgrims are best-known.

  • Faxian, who came to the subcontinent about 1600 years ago, Xuanzang (who came around 1400 years ago) and I-Qing, who came about 50 years after Xuanzang, are the famous ones.

  • They have documented previous socioeconomic, political and religious details of Indian life then.

QUESTION: 7

Consider the following statements.

1. Kanishka sent missionaries to Central Asia and China for the propagation of Mahayana Buddhism.

2. Kanishka patronized Buddhist scholars like Vasumitra and patronized the famous physician of ancient India, Charaka.

Which of the above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • This is because Mahayana Buddhism came in vogue during Kanishka's rule. It was established in the Fourth Buddhist council convened by him where matters relating to Buddhist theology and doctrine were discussed.

  • In Mahayana Buddhism, Buddha was worshipped with flowers, perfumes, garments and lamps.

  • Asvagosha and Nagarjuna were other important scholars patronized by him.

QUESTION: 8

He was a staunch follower of Brahmanism. Buddhist sources often refer to him as a persecutor of Buddhism. He is?

Solution:
  • He belonged to the Sunga dynasty. The Sungas defended the Gangetic valley from foreign invasions.

  • In the cultural sphere, the Sungas revived Brahmanism and horse sacrifice. They also encouraged the growth of Vaishnavism and the Sanskrit language.

  • Therefore we can say that "The Sunga rule was a brilliant anticipation of the golden age of the Guptas".

QUESTION: 9

Who among the following is a pivotal figure in establishing Tibetan Buddhism and is often called the second Buddha?

Solution:
  • The practice of tantric Buddhism was introduced to the people of Tibet by Padmasambhava, a founder of the Nyingma tradition, one of the oldest schools of the four major Tibetan Buddhism schools.

  • The tradition covers several distinct lineages that trace all their origins to Padmasambhava. He is regarded as the founder of Samye Gompa, the country's first monastery.

  • Nyingma tradition was practised among a loose network of lay practitioners orally. Monasteries with celibate monks and nuns and the practice of the reincarnated spiritual leaders are later adoptions. Its lineage has been centred in Kham in eastern Tibet in modern times.

QUESTION: 10

In Tibetan Buddhism, the word 'Terma' means

Solution:
  • These hidden teachings are key to Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhist and Bon religious traditions. Termas are a part of tantric literature.

  • The belief is that these teachings were originally esoterically hidden by various adepts such as Padmasambhava during the eighth century, for future discovery at auspicious times by other adepts.

  • As such, Terma represents a tradition of continuous revelation in Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism.

  • Termas are not always made public right away. The conditions may not. Be right; people may not yet be ready for them, and further instructions may need to be revealed to clarify their meaning.

QUESTION: 11

Regarding Buddhist disciples, consider the following:

1. Sariputta was a chief female disciple of Gautama Buddha.

2. Khema, who joined the Buddhist Sangha, was one of the queens of king Bimbisara.

3. Moggallana, a disciple of Buddha, was known for his psychic powers.

4. King Ajatashatru of Magadha and king Prasenajit of Kosala became Buddha's disciples.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:
  • Sariputta was one of the two chief male disciples of Gautama Buddha and Moggallana, counterparts to the bhikkhunis Khema and Uppalavanna, his two chief female disciples. They were to maintain the order of monks and nuns.

  • The conversion of Khema was one of the rare cases where Buddha used his psychic powers to change another's heart.

  • Moggallana attained enlightenment shortly after joining the Sangha. As a teacher, he became known for his psychic powers, which he used extensively in his teaching methods.

  • Those who accepted the doctrines of Buddha and became his disciples were the kings like Prasenajit of Kosala and Bimbisara and Ajatashatru of Magadha.

QUESTION: 12

Vajrayana Buddhism

1. includes various Buddhist traditions of Tantra

2. developed parallelly with Mahayana Buddhism in India

3. according to Vajrayana scriptures, it is the only vehicle to enlightenment among the three schools of Buddhism

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:
  • Vajrayana, Mantrayana, Esoteric Buddhism and Tantric Buddhism refer to the various Buddhist traditions of Tantra and 'Secret Mantra', which are systems of beliefs and practices that developed in medieval India and spread to Tibet and East Asia under varying names and forms.

  • It subscribes to the literature known as the Buddhist Tantras. It includes practices that use mantras, dharanis, mudras, mandalas, and the visualization of deities and Buddhas.

  • According to its scriptures, Vajrayana refers to one of the three vehicles or routes to enlightenment, the other two being the Sravakayana (also known as the Hinayana) and Mahayana.

QUESTION: 13

Which of the following Buddhist mudras signifies offering, welcome, charity, giving, compassion and sincerity?

Solution: Justification:
  • The Varadamudra' generosity gesture' signifies offering, welcome, charity, giving, compassion and sincerity.

  • It is nearly always shown made with the left hand by a revered figure devoted to human salvation from greed, anger and delusion.

  • It can be made with the arm crooked, and the palm offered slightly turned up or the arm facing down the palm presented with the fingers upright or slightly bent.

  • The Varadamudra is rarely seen without another mudra used by the right hand, typically Abhaya mudra. It is often confused with vitarka mudra, which it closely resembles.

  • In China and Japan during the Northern Wei and Asuka periods, respectively, the fingers are stiff and then gradually begin to loosen as it developed over time, eventually leading to the Tang dynasty standard where the fingers are naturally curved.

QUESTION: 14

Which of the following Buddhist movements is characterized by a grandiose cosmology, often complex ritualism, paradoxical metaphysics and universal ethics?

Solution:
  • Mahayana (Sanskrit: 'Greater Vehicle') Movement arose within Indian Buddhism around the Common Era. By the ninth century, it became the dominant influence on the Buddhist cultures of Central and East Asia, which it remains today.

  • It spread at one point also to Southeast Asia, including Myanmar (Burma) and Sri Lanka, but has not survived there.

  • The movement is characterized by a grandiose cosmology, often complex ritualism, paradoxical metaphysics and universal ethics.

QUESTION: 15

Which of the following contains Buddha's sermons?

Solution:
  • Despite these vicissitudes, Buddhism did not abandon its basic principles. Instead, they were reinterpreted, rethought, and reformulated in a process that led to creating a great body of literature.

  • This literature includes the Pali Tipitaka ('Three Baskets')-the Sutta Pitaka ('Basket of Discourse'), which contains Buddha's sermons; the Vinaya Pitaka ('Basket of Discipline'), which contains the rule governing the monastic order; and the Abhidhamma Pitaka ('Basket of Special [Further] Doctrine'), which contains doctrinal systematization and summaries.

QUESTION: 16

Consider the following statements.

1. From the first sermon of Buddha at Samath to the most recent derivations, there is an indisputable continuity in Buddhist basic principles.

2. Buddhist Tipitaka is written in the Pali language.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:
  • This literature includes the Pali Tipitaka ('Three Baskets')-the Sutta Pitaka ('Basket of Discourse'), which contains Buddha's sermons; the Vinaya Pitaka ('Basket of Discipline'), which contains the rule governing the monastic order; and the Abhidhamma Pitaka ('Basket of Doctrine'), which contains doctrinal systematization and summaries.

  • These Pali texts have served as the basis for a long and vibrant tradition of commentaries written and preserved by the Theravada community's adherents.

  • The Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions have accepted Buddhavachana ('the word of Buddha') many other Sutras and Tantras, along with extensive treatizes and commentaries based on these texts.

  • Consequently, from the first sermon of Buddha at Samath to the most recent derivations, there is an indisputable continuity-a development or metamorphosis around a central nucleus-by virtue. Buddhism is differentiated from other religions.

QUESTION: 17

The major form of Buddhism practised in Tibet, China, Korea and Japan is

Solution: Justification:
  • The Mahayana tradition is the largest major Buddhism tradition existing today, with 53.2% practitioners, compared to 35.8% for Theravada and 5.7% for Vajrayana in 2010.

  • Mahayana Buddhism spread from India to various South, East and Southeast Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Taiwan, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

  • Mahayana Buddhism also spread to other South and Southeast Asian countries, such as Afghanistan, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Iran and other Central Asian countries Theravada Buddhism or other religions.

QUESTION: 18

Consider the following statements.

1. Theravada Buddhism is strongest in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.

2. Theravada school of Buddhism believes that it has remained closest to the original teachings of Buddha.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Theravada Buddhism is strongest in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Burma (Myanmar). It is sometimes called 'Southern Buddhism'.

  • The name means 'the doctrine of the elders’-the elders being the senior Buddhist monks.

  • This school of Buddhism believes that it has remained closest to the original teachings of Buddha. However, it does not over-emphasize the status of these teachings in a fundamentalist way-these are seen as tools to help people understand the truth, not as having the merit of their own.

QUESTION: 19

Why did Buddhism start declining in India in early medieval times?

1. Vaishnavism, Shaivism and other Hindu traditions became increasingly popular, and Brahmins developed a new relationship with the state.

2. The invading tribes from Central Asia till last Gupta king adopted Hinduism and persecuted Buddhists.

3. The kings of the Gupta dynasty were strongly opposed to Buddhism.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • With the Gupta dynasty (approximately fourth and sixth century), the growth in ritualistic Mahayana Buddhism, and Buddhist ideas into Hindu schools, Buddhism and Hinduism's differences blurred.

  • Vaishnavism, Shaivism and other Hindu traditions became increasingly popular, and Brahmins developed a new relationship with the state. As the system grew, Buddhist monasteries gradually lost control of land revenue.

  • In parallel, the Gupta kings built Buddhist temples such as the one at Kushinagar, and monastic universities such as those at Nalanda, as evidenced by records left by three Chinese visitors to India.

  • According to Hazra, Buddhism declined because of the Brahmins' rise and their influence in the socio-political process.

QUESTION: 20

The Vessantara Jataka is one of the most popular Apadanas of Theravada Buddhism. These Jatakas are carved on which of the following stupas?

Solution:

The Vessantara Jataka is carved on Sanchi Stupa.

QUESTION: 21

Which of the following can be attributed to Jainism and Buddhism's rise in the sixth century BC India?

1. Rig Vedic practices became impractical and inexpensive for common people.

2. Upanishads were not easily comprehensible.

3. Rise in the economic status of trading communities.

Select the right code

Solution:
  • The common people did not accept the complex rituals and sacrifices advocated in the later Vedic period. The sacrificial ceremonies were too expensive.

  • The people got confused with superstitious beliefs and mantras. By contrast, Rig Vedic practices were simple in the preceding period.

  • The Upanishads were highly philosophical in nature and were not easily understood by all.

  • Therefore, people wanted a simple, short and intelligible way to salvation.

  • The language of religious teachings should also be known to them. The teachings of Buddha and Mahavira fulfilled this need.

  • Certain privileges were enjoyed by higher classes, which were denied to the lower classes. The Kshatriyas had resented the domination of the priestly class.

  • It should be noted that both Buddha and Mahavira belonged to Kshatriya origin.

  • The economic conditions of the Vaishyas were improved due to trade growth.

  • As a result, the common people wanted to enhance their social status, but the orthodox Varna system did not allow this. Therefore, they supported Buddhism and Jainism.

QUESTION: 22

'Anicca' in Buddhist philosophy refers to?

Solution:
  • According to Buddhist philosophy, the world is transient (anicca) and constantly changing; it is also soulless (anatta), as there is nothing permanent or eternal.

  • Within this transient world, sorrow (dukkha) is intrinsic to human existence. Human beings can rise above these worldly troubles by following the moderation path between severe penance and self-indulgence.

  • In the earliest forms of Buddhism, whether or not God existed was irrelevant.

QUESTION: 23

The doctrine of Anatta in Buddhism means that

1. There is no permanent and independent essence in a human being

2. The sense of self as perceived by beings is illusory

Which of the above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Anatta, (Pali: "non-self" or "substanceless") Sanskrit anatman, in Buddhism, the doctrine that there is in humans no permanent, underlying substance that can be called the soul. Instead, the individual is compounded of five factors (Pali khandha; Sanskrit skandha) that are constantly changing.

  • Buddhism does not completely deny the existence of a personality in an empirical sense. Its non-existence, in a sense, is only attempted to be shown.

  • The concept of anatta, or anatman, is a departure from the Hindu belief in atman ("the self'). The absence of a self, anicca (the impermanence of all being), and dukkha ("suffering") are the three characteristics of all existence (ti-lakkhana). Recognition of these three doctrines—anatta, anicca, and dukkha—constitutes "right understanding."

QUESTION: 24

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. Yaksha worship was prevalent before the advent of Buddhism.

2. It was later assimilated into Buddhism and Jainism.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:
  • During the sixth century BCE, there was a beginning of new religious and social movements in the Gangetic valley in Buddhism and Jainism, parts of the Shramana tradition.

  • Both religions became popular as they opposed the varna and jati systems of the Hindu religion. Magadha emerged as a powerful kingdom and consolidated its control over the other regions.

  • By the fourth century BCE, the Mauryas established their power, and by the third century BCE, a large part of India was under Mauryan control.

  • Ashoka emerged as the most powerful king of the Mauryan dynasty who patronized the Shramana tradition in the third century BCE.

  • Religious practices had many dimensions and were not confined to just one particular mode of worship. Worship of Yakshas and mother-goddesses was prevalent during that time. So, multiple forms of worship existed.

  • Nevertheless, Buddhism became the most popular social and religious movement. Yaksha worship was prevalent before and after Buddhism and was assimilated in Buddhism and Jainism.

QUESTION: 25

Consider the following statements about Buddha.

1. The Stupa at Bodh Gaya was built to mark the place where Buddha first taught his message.

2. Buddha taught that life is full of suffering and unhappiness.

Which of the above statement is/are correct?

Solution: The Stupa at Saranath was built to mark the place where Buddha first taught his message.

QUESTION: 26

During the early phase of Buddhism, Buddha is depicted symbolically through footprints, stupas, lotus throne, chakra, etc. This was because

The Mauryan rulers patronized

Solution:
  • Buddha is depicted symbolically during the early phase of Buddhism through footprints, stupas, lotus throne, chakra, etc.

  • This indicates either simple worship, or paying respect, or at times depicts historicization of life events. This was because Buddha said Digha Nikaya, i.e., discouraged his representation in human forms after his death.

  • Gradually narrative became a part of the Buddhist tradition. Thus, events from Buddha's life, the Jataka tales, were depicted on the stupas' railings and torans.

  • Mainly synoptic narrative, continuous narrative and episodic narrative are used in the pictorial tradition.

  • While Buddha's life became an important theme in all the Buddhist monuments, the Jataka stories also became equally important for sculptural decorations.

  • The main events associated with Buddha's life which were frequently depicted were related to the birth, renunciation, enlightenment, dharmachakrapravartana and mahaparinibbana (death).

  • Among the Jataka stories frequently depicted are Chhadanta Jataka, Vidurpundita Jataka, Ruru Jataka, Sibi Jataka, and Vessantara and Shama Jataka.

QUESTION: 27

Bodhisattva images were added as a part of the personified representations of certain virtues or qualities, as propagated by the Buddhist religious principles for the welfare of the masses with the rise of

Solution:
  • Along with Buddha's images, other Buddhist images of Bodhisattvas like Avalokiteshvara, Padmapani, Vajrapani, Amitabha, and Maitreya Buddha started getting sculpted.

  • However, with Vajrayana Buddhism's rise, many Bodhisattva images were added as a part of the personified representations of certain virtues or qualities, as propagated by the Buddhist religious principles for the masses' welfare.

QUESTION: 28

Consider the following statements about the followers of Buddha.

1. The Sangha was a body of disciples of Buddha to which women were never allowed as members.

2. Chaityas were the shrines regarded as sacred by the Bhikkus where the prayers were made.

Which of the above is/are correct?

Solution: Justification:
  • Initially, only men were allowed into the Sangha, but later women were also admitted. According to Buddhist texts, this was made possible through the mediation of Ananda, one of Buddha's dearest disciples, who persuaded him to allow women into the Sangha.

  • Buddha's foster mother, Mahapajapati Gotami, was the first woman to be ordained as a bhikkhuni.

QUESTION: 29

Mahayana refers to one of three routes to enlightenment. The other two routes are

Solution:
  • Vajrayana subscribes to Buddhist tantric literature.

  • Vajrayana can also be seen as the third of the three turnings of the wheel of dharma.

  • In the first turning, Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths at Varanasi.

  • The Mahayana tradition claims a second turning in which the Perfection of Wisdom sutras was taught at Vulture Peak, which led to the Mahayana schools.

  • According to the Vajrayana tradition, there was a third turning which took place. Dhanyakataka 16 years after the Buddha's enlightenment.

  • However, some scholars assert that the first tantric (Vajrayana Buddhist) texts appeared only in the third century CE, and they continued to appear until the 12th century.

  • In the Vajrayana, the practitioner takes his or her innate Buddha-nature as the means of practise towards enlightenment. The premise is that since we innately have an enlightened mind, practising seeing the world in terms of ultimate truth can help us to attain our full Buddha-nature

QUESTION: 30

Which of the following pairs are correctly matched?

1. DhyanaMudra: supreme enlightenment

2. Vitarka Mudra: fearlessness

3. Dharmachakra Mudra: Turning the Wheel of the Dharma

Select the correct answer code:

Solution:
  • Abhaya Mudra: It indicates fearlessness.

  • Dharmachakra Mudra: It means 'Turning the Wheel of the Dharma or Law', i.e., setting into motion the wheel of Dharma.

  • Uttarabodhi Mudra: It means supreme enlightenment.

  • Dhyana Mudra: Indicates Meditation and is also called 'Samadhi' or 'Yoga' Mudra.

Vitarka Mudra: It indicates teaching and discussion or intellectual debate

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