Test: Schools of philosophy


10 Questions MCQ Test Nitin Singhania: Indian Art & Culture (Summary & Tests) | Test: Schools of philosophy


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QUESTION: 1

Consider the following statements regarding orthodox schools of philosophy.

1. This school believed that Vedas were the supreme revealed scriptures that hold the secrets to salvation

2. They did not question the authenticity of the Vedas

3. They had six subschools that were called the Shada Darshana

Which of these statements are correct?

Solution: Orthodox Schools: This school believed that Vedas were the supreme revealed scriptures that hold the secrets to salvation. They did not question the authenticity of the Vedas. They had six subschools that were called the Shada Darshana. Heterodox Schools: They do not believe in the originality of the Vedas and questioned the existence of God, They are divided into three major sub schools.
QUESTION: 2

Consider the following statements regarding development of new sankhya view.

1. They propounded materialistic view of the creation of the universe

2. They propounded are rational and scientific view of creation of the universe

Which of these statements are correct?

Solution: Original Samkhya View: This view is considered to be the early Samkhya philosophy and dates around 1st century AD. They believed that the presence of any divine agency was not necessary for the creation of the universe. They propounded a rational and scientific view of creation of the universe. They also argued that the world owed its existence to nature or Prakriti. This view is considered to be a materialistic school of philosophy. New Samkhya View: This view emerged when newer elements merged with the older Samkhya view during the 4th century AD. They argued that along with the element of nature, Purusha or spirit was necessary for the creation of the universe. They propounded a spiritual view of the creation of the universe.

They argued that the coming together of nature and spiritual elements created the world. This view is considered to be belonging to the more spiritual school of philosophy.

QUESTION: 3

In context of yoga School, Which of the following are correctly matched?

1. Yama - practicing self-control

2. Pratayahara - fixing the mind

3. Samadhi - final dissolution of the self

Choose from the following options.

Solution: Yama - Practicing self-control Niyama - Observation of the rules governing one's life Pratyahara - Choosing an object Dharna - Fixing the mind (over the chosen object) Dhyana - Concentrating on the (abovementioned) chosen object Samadhi - It is the merging of the mind and the object that leads to the final dissolution of the self
QUESTION: 4

Consider the following statements about Nayaya School.

1. They believe in the technique of logical thinking.

2. There techniques help humans to control their mind, body and sensory organs

Which of these statements are correct?

Solution: Nyaya School: As the name of the school suggests, they believe in the technique of logical thinking to achieve salvation. They consider the life, death and salvation to be like mysteries that can be solved through logical and analytical thinking. Furthermore, they argue that acquiring 'real knowledge' can only accrue salvation. This school of thought was supposed to be founded by Gautama who is also identified as the author of the Nyaya Sutra.
QUESTION: 5

Consider the following statements regarding Vaiseshika School.

1. It believes in the physicality of the universe

2. It developed the atomic theory

Which of these statements are correct?

Solution: Vaisheshika School: The Vaisheshika school believes in the physicality of the Universe and is considered to be the realistic and objective philosophy that governs the universe. The Kanada who also wrote the basic text governing the Vaisheshika philosophy is often considered the founder of this school. They argue that everything in the universe was created by the five main elements: fire, air, water, earth and ether (sky).

These material elements are also called Dravya. They also argue that reality has many categories, for example, action, attribute, genus, inherence, substance and distinct quality. As this school has a very scientific approach, they also developed the atomic theory, i.e. all material objects are made of atoms. They explain the phenomenon of this universe by arguing that the atoms and molecules combined to make matter, which is the basis for everything that can be physically touched or seen.

QUESTION: 6

Consider the following statements regarding Mimansa School.

1. The main focus of this philosophy was on the ritualistic part of the Vedas

2. It legitimized the social distance between the various classes

Which of these statements are not correct?

Solution: Mimamsa School: The word 'Mimamsa literally means the art of reasoning, interpretation or application. This school focuses on the analysis of the texts of Samhita and Brahmana that are portions of the Vedas. They argue that the Vedas contain the eternal truth and then are the repositories of all knowledge. If one has to attain religious merit, acquire heaven and salvation, they would have to fulfill all the duties which are prescribed by the Vedas. The main focus of this philosophy was on the ritualistic part of the Vedas. It legitimized the social distance between the various classes. The texts that describe the Mimamsa philosophy in detail, are the Sutras of Jaimini, which were supposedly composed in the 3rd century BCE.

Further inroads into the philosophy were made by two of their greatest proponents: Sabar Swami and Kumarila Bhatta. They argue that salvation is possible through performing rituals but it is also necessary to understand the justification and reasoning behind Vedic rituals. It was necessary to understand this reasoning if one wanted to perform the rituals perfectly, which will allow them to attain salvation. One's actions were responsible for their merits and demerits and a person would enjoy the bliss of heaven as long as their meritorious acts lasted. But they would not be free of the cycle of life and death. Once they achieve salvation, they would be able to break free from this unending cycle. The main focus of this philosophy was on the ritualistic part of the Vedas.

QUESTION: 7

Consider the following statements regarding Vedanata school.

1. The oldest text that formed the basis of this philosophy was Brahmasutra of Badrayana

2. They opposed the theory of Karma

Which of these statements are correct?

Solution: Vedanta School: Vedanta is made of two words- 'Veda' and 'ant', i.e. the end of the Vedas. This school upholds the philosophies of life as elaborated in the Upanishads. The oldest text that formed the basis of this philosophy was Brahmasutra of Badrayana that was written and compiled in 2nd century BCE. The philosophy propounds that Brahma is the reality of life and everything else is unreal or Maya. They supported the theory of Karma. Furthermore, the atma or the consciousness of self is similar to the brahma.

This argument equalizes atma and brahma and if a person attains the knowledge of the self, he would automatically understand brahma and would achieve salvation. This argument would make brahma and atma indestructible and eternal. There were social implications of this philosophy, i.e. that true spirituality was also implicit in the unchanging social and material situation in which a person is born and placed. But the philosophy evolved in the 9th century AD through the philosophical intervention of Shankaracharya who wrote commentaries on the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. His changes led to the development of Advaita Vedanta. Another major philosopher of this school was Ramanujan who wrote in the 12th century AD.

QUESTION: 8

Consider the following statements about Buddhist philosophy

1. According to it, Vedas might not be useful for humans to achieve salvation

2. Right speech is one of the eightfold path of Buddhist philosophy

Which of these statements are correct?

Solution: According to Buddhist philosophy, the traditional teachings imbibed in the Vedas might not be useful for humans to achieve salvation and one should not trust them blindly. Following his experiences in life, Buddha realised that the world is full of misery and every human being should try to seek liberation through realisation of four noble truths. First, there is suffering in human life, which is reflected in the form of sickness, pain and subsequent death. Even the circle of life and death is full of pain. Separation from one's beloved also brings pain to humans. Second, the fundamental cause of all the suffering is desire. Third, he advises man to destroy the passions, desires and love for materialistic things that govern his life. The destruction of these passions, attachments, jealousy, sorrow, doubt and ego would lead to the end of sorrow and pain from the life of human beings. This will lead to the state of complete peace and nirvana. Finally, from the constant suffering and pessimism that dominates the life of an individual, one has to move towards liberation and optimism. Buddhist philosophy argues that the way to liberation (nirvana) is through an eightfold path. Eightfold path: Right vision Right resolve Right speech Right conduct Right means of livelihood Right effort Right mindfulness Right concentration
QUESTION: 9

Consider the following statements about Jain philosophy.

1. They opposed the primacy of Vedas

2. According to it, if coupled by the right conduct, then man would be able to go on the path of Salvation

Which of these statements are correct?

Solution: Jain Philosophy: The Jain philosophy was first elaborated by the Jain tirthankar or wise person Rishaba Deva. He was one amongst the 24 tirthankars who govern the Jain religion. The first amongst them realised that the Adinath was the source of all Jain philosophy. Others who were important to develop and disseminate the Jain philosophy were Aristanemi and AjitNath. Like the Buddhist philosophy, the Jains also oppose the primacy of Vedas to achieve salvation. They also argue that man is surrounded by pain and controlling the mind and regulating one's conduct can stop the suffering faced by human beings. They argued that a man should control his mind by seeking right perception and knowledge. If coupled by the right conduct, he would be able to go on the path of salvation.
QUESTION: 10

Consider the following statements about Charvaka School.

1. Brihaspati laid the foundation stone of this school

2. It was the main propounder of the materialistic view to achieve salvation

Which of these statements are not correct?

Solution: Brihaspati laid the foundation stone of this school and it was supposed to be one of the earliest schools that developed a philosophical theory. The philosophy is old enough to find mention in the Vedas and Brihadarankya Upanishad. The Charvaka School was the main propounder of the materialistic view to achieve salvation. As it was geared towards the common people, the philosophy was soon dubbed as Lokayata or something derived from the common people. The word 'Lokayata' also meant a keen attachment to the physical and material world (loka). They argued for a complete disregard of any world beyond this world that was inhabited by a person. They denied the existence of any supernatural or divine agent who could regulate our conduct on earth. They argued against the need to achieve salvation and also denied the existence of brahma and God. They believed in anything that could be touched and be experienced by the human senses.
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