Q.1 . Who were Alvars and Nayanars? Mention the support they got from the Chola rulers.
Ans. Earliest Bhakti movements were led by Alvars and Nayanars. Alvars were devotees of Vishnu and Nayanars were devotees of Shiva. They travelled from one place to another singing in praise of their Gods. Chola kings supported them by giving them land and grants. The temple at Chidambaram, Thanjavar and Gangaikanda Cholapuram were constructed under their patronage. Shiva’s bronze sculptures were their creation.
Q.2. Name the major anthology compiled by the Alvars which is also described as the Tamil Veda. How did various chiefdoms in the Tamil region help them in the early first millennium?
Ans. The major anthology composed by the Alvars was the Nalayira Divyaprabandham and was described as the Tamil Veda, thus claiming that it was as important as the four Vedas in Sanskrit.
Q.3. How did Karaikkal Ammaiyar become the greatest figure of Nayanar tradition? Explain.
Ans. Karaikkal Ammaiyar was the greatest figure of Nayanar tradition.
(i) A devotee of Shiva adopted the path of extreme asceticism in order to attain her goal.
(ii) Her compositions were preserved within the Nayanar tradition.
(iii) Followed the path of devotion.
(iv) Protected orthodoxy and caste system.
(v) Promoted social and religious reform movements.
(vi) These women renounced their social obligations but did not join an alternative order to become nuns.
(vii) Challenge to patriarchal norms.
Q.4.Who led a new religious movement in Karnataka? What were his followers known as?
Ans. The 12th century saw the new movement in Karnataka led by a Brahmana named Basavanna (1006-68) who was initially a Jaina, and a Minister in the Court of a Chalukya king. His followers were known as Virashaivas (heroes of Shiva) or Lingayats (wearers of the Linga).
Q.5. Mention the two ideas of Brahmanical system challenged by the Lingayats.
Ans. Lingayats challenged the idea of caste and the ‘’Pollution’’ attributed to certain groups by Brahmanas. They questioned the theory of rebirth. They also challenged the funeral rules like cremation and they ceremonially buried their dead.
Q.6. The Lingayats disapproved certain practices of the Dharmashastras. Cite any two such practices.
Ans. Lingayats disapproved certain practices of the Dharmashastras. They challenged the ‘Idea of Pollution’. They encouraged the practices disapproved in Dharmashastras like poverty, marriage and remarriage of widows.
Q.7. Point out one similarity and one dissimilarity between Lingayats and Nayanars.
Ans. Similarity: Both of them worshipped Lord Shiva and both were against caste system.
Dissimilarity: Nayanars were not confined to any particular region while the Lingayats were majorly based in Karnataka. Lingayats communicated in Kannada and Nayanars in Tamil.
Q.8. Name the two women poet saints of Tamil Nadu. Whom did they worship?
Ans. Andal and Karaikkal Ammayas were the two women poet saints of Tamil Nadu. Andal was a devotee of Lord Vishnu (Alvar) and Karaikkal was a devotee of Lord Shiva (Nayanar).
Q.9. Mention the two earliest Bhakti movements of Tamil Nadu. Also mention the main difference between them.
Ans. The two earliest Bhakti movements of Tamil Nadu were started under Alvars and Nayanars. Alvars were disciples of Vishnu and Nayanars were disciples of Shiva. They travelled from place to place singing hymns in Tamil in praise of their Gods.
Q. 10. Explain the meaning of Silsila in Sufism.
Ans. Silsila means a chain which signifies a continuous link between master and disciple, stretching an uncut spiritual genealogy to the Prophet Muhammad. It was through this channel that spiritual power and blessings were transmitted to devotees. Sufism is an English word coined in 19th century.
Q.11. Explain the term Ziyarat. Give its purpose.
Ans. Ziyarat means pilgrimage to tombs of Sufi saints. Their practice is an occasion for seeking the Sufi’s spiritual grace (barakat). When the Shaikh died, his tomb shrine (dargah) become a centre of pilgrimage or devotion for his followers. Thus, Ziyarat meant the pilgrimage to tomb on the death anniversary of the saint. Ziyarat is also known as Urs, which means marriage; signifying the union of his soul with God
Q. 12. Why did the kings need to demonstrate their association with sufis? Mention any two reasons.
Ans. Kings not only needed their association with the Sufi saints, they also required legitimation from them. Generally, it was believed that Auliya could interact with God in order to improve the material and spiritual condition of ordinary mass. That is why, kings often wanted their tombs to be in the vicinity of Sufi shrines and tombs.
Q.13. By the eleventh century, Sufism evolved into a well-developed movement. Give any two examples.
Ans. By the eleventh century, Sufism evolved into a welldeveloped movement with a body of literature on Quranic studies and Sufi practices. Institutionally, the sufis began to organise communities around the Khanqah, controlled by a teaching master known as Shaikh or Pir. He enrolled disciples and appointed successor. He also established rules for spiritual conduct.
Q. 14 . Why was Khwaja Muin-ud-din’s Dargah very popular? Give two reasons.
Ans. (1) Khawaja Muin-ud-din’s Dargah at Ajmer was very popular because of the austerity and purity of its Shaikh, the greatness of his spiritual successors and patronage of royal visitors.
(2) This shrine was located on the trade route linking Delhi and Gujarat, that’s why it attracted a number of travellers.
Q. 15 . Explain the features of Islamic religion which contributed to its spread through the subcontinent.
Islam and its principles permeated far and wide through the sub-continent. Explain the statement.
Ans. The features of Islam that contributed to its spread through the subcontinent:
(a) Believers of Islam accepted, in principle, the five ‘’pillars’’ of the faith.
(b) There is one God, Allah and Prophet Muhammad is his messenger (shahada).
(c) They offered prayers five times a day (namaz/ salat);
(d) Believed in giving alms (zakat);
(e) Fasting during the month of Ramzan (sawm);
(f) Performed the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj).
(g) Kings played an important role in spreading Islam.
(h) Sufi saints also played an important role.
(i) The Arab traders who had settled in the Malabar coast adopted local language, Malayalam and the local customs.
(j) The architectural features of mosques were influenced by regional (local) traditions.
(k) The Khojahs, a branch of the Ismailis (a Shia sect), developed new modes of communication, spreading ideas from the Quran through indigenous literary genres.
Q.16 . ‘‘Sufism evolved as a reaction to the growing materialism of the Caliphate as a religious and political institution.’’ Elucidate.
Ans. Sufism :
(i) Sufi turned to asceticism and mysticism to protest against materialism.
(ii) The Sufis laid emphasis on seeking salvation through intense devotion and love for God.
(iii) They sought an interpretation of the Quran on the basis of their personal experience.
(iv) They were critical on definitions and scholastic methods of interpreting the Quran adopted by theologians.
(v) By the eleventh century Sufism evolved into a well-developed movement with a body of literature on Quranic studies and Sufi practices.
(vi) The Sufis began to organise communities around the hospice or Khanqah controlled by a teaching master known as Sheikh, Pir or Murshid.
(vii) One of the groups of Sufis, the Chishtis who migrated to India in the late twelfth century were the most influential.
(viii)The prominent Sufi teachers were Sheikh Moin-ud-din Chisti, Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya etc.
(ix) The Sufi silsila was a kind of chain or link between master and disciple for seeking spiritual power and blessings.
(x) Special rituals of initiation were developed like wearing patched clothes, shaving their head, open kitchen running on charity.
(xi) The practice of Qawwali and Zikir.
(xii) Pilgrimage or Ziyarat, particularly on death anniversary of Shaikh or Urs to tomb-shrine became the actions of devotion for his followers.
(xiii)People sought their blessings to attain material and spiritual benefits. Thus evolved the cult of the Sheikh revered as Wali.
(xiv) Any other relevant point.