Aug. 23, 2021

🔥 Historical Terminologies


          The territory situated to the south of the Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers is called the Tamilham or Dravida Desam. In the Periplus of erythrean sea, this region has been referred as  Damirika (Damilakam). Aitareya Brahmana consists the first  description of Andhra, Pundra, Shabar, Pulinda etc. as castes. This Andhra, Pundra (Bengal) etc. later came to be known as a states.


Probable Question

Q-      In ancient Indian history, the word 'Damirika' is related to?

          (a) Madhya Pradesh                          (b) Uttarapath

          (c) Pratichya                                      (d) Dravida desam

Ans:- (d)


Akam and Puram

          Akam and Puram are two poetic categories of Sangama literature. 'Puram' is known as Janakavya, the subject of which is war, while the subject of 'Akam' poetry is 'love'. There are a total of 2381 compositions of these poetry collections of 473 poets and 30 poetess. In akam poem, such metafors have been used for the expression of various feelings, which are associated with some geographical structure. These are called tinai. In this, each is named after a flower.


Probable Question

Q-      In ancient Indian history, 'Akam' and 'Puram' are related to ?

          (a) Two categories of poetry in Sangama literature 

          (b) Two cities of Sangama period

          (c) Methods of land measurement

          (d) Methods of land revenue collection

Ans:- (a)


Koshya Praveshya

          Coins prepared in mints under the Mauryan period have been called ‘Koshya Praveshya’. In fact, for the first time in the Mauryan period, the work of minting coins was accepted as an state's obligation. Kautilya first used the term 'tankshala' (mint). He mentioned the main tool, the bimbatank, which punched the symbol on the currency. Till the Mauryan period, molds were not used in the manufacture of coins. In Arthashasha 'Kootrupak' is found mentioned, who used to create fake currencies.

Probable Question

Q.:-    For which among the following the term 'Koshya Praveshya' been used during the Mauryan period in the ancient Indian history?

          (a)   For increase in land revenue

          (b)   For foreign traders

          (c)   For Officer of Revenue Department

          (d)   For coins prepared in mints

Ans:- (d)



          A seal obtained from Harappa has a figure ingraved of a statue of a woman standing on her head. Plants have been depicted to emerge from the womb of the same woman. It has been called by John Marshall the proto form of mother earth or Shakambhri. The Harappans considered the earth as the goddess of fertility. On the other side of this seal, a man is standing with arms and a woman standing with arms raised. From this it was inferred that sacrifices were performed in the worship of Matri Devi.

Probable Question

Q.:-    In the ancient history of India, the term 'Shakambhari' is has been used for which of the following?

          (a) God of agricultural land of the Rig Vedic period

          (b) Goddess of fertility in Harappan civilization

          (c) Vedic ritualistic worship procedure

          (d) A type of sacrificial altar

Ans:- (b)



          'Dharmaganja' was a huge library located in Nalanda. It was the oldest library in India. Ratnodadhi, Ratnasagar and Ratnarandaka were part of this library. In fact Nalanda University was founded by Kumaragupta (Shakraditya). It is located at modern Bargaon, Rajgriha. Harshvardhan had built a boundary wall around it and built a copper vihara here. The Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University was Silabhadra at the time of Hiuen Tsang. It was destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji in the 12th century.

Probable Question

Q.:     'Dharmaganja' in ancient Indian history was-

          (a) Nalanda's huge library

          (b) Land granted to Brahmins

          (c) Vedic ritualistic sacrifice

          (d) Priest of Indus civilization

Ans:- (a)

                                                                                   LOST WAX PROCESS

          Apart from stone, the craftsmen of the Indus valley civilization also made beautiful sculptures out of metal. They are made with lost wax process. Lost-wax process, also called cire-perdue, method of metal casting in which a molten metal is poured into a mold that has been created by means of a wax model. It is also called liquid wax process. The metal idols were mainly made of bronze. Bronze idols have been found from Mohenjodaro, Chanhudaro, Lothal, Kalibanga and Daimabad. Two copper figurines have been found from Mohenjodaro. First; with hands on the waist and the second; hands raised up.

Probable Question

Q-      In ancient Indian cultural history, lost wax process is related to?

          (a) Manufacturing of textile 

          (b) Production of honey

          (c) The construction of the metal idols 

          (d) Sacrificial – rituals

Ans:- (c)



          In the megalithic period, Dolmen was a type of cemeteries. Graves associated with this type of megaliths are built above the ground. The meaning of dolmen was a stone table . It is shaped like a rectangular table. Coffins are also found in it. Examples of these are found from Brahmagiri and Chinglepet. Dolmen graves with windows are found at Brahmagiri.

Probable Question

Q-      What was the 'dolmen' referred to in the ancient Indian history?

          (a)   Harappan port 

          (b)   Megalithic cemeteries

          (c)   The seal of the Indus valley civilization 

          (d)   A Greek ambassador

Ans:- (b)



          The sages of the ninth mandala of the Rigveda were called ‘Pavamanya’. This mandala is related to sage Angira . It has a total of 114 Suktas, which are dedicated to the Soma deity. Mostly, soma is identified from plants called Ephedra. The Soma is itself known as Pavaman. It is also known as Pavaman Mandala due to its dedication to Som Devata. Brahmina Considered 'Soma' as their deity . It used to grow on the Mujavant or Mujavana peak of the Himalayas. In the Atharvaveda, Mujavant is also mentioned as a caste.

Probable Question

Q - In the ancient Vedic history, the term 'Pavamanya' is used for?

          (a) Rigvedic Administrative Officer

          (b) Sage of the ninth mandala of the Rigveda

          (c) King's personal staff 

          (d) Dwelling place of cows

Ans:- (b)



          In the Aitareya Brahmana of the Rigveda, the king has been referred as Vishmatta (meaning the devourer Vaishya). Apart from this, the king was also called Dharmasyagopta. Similarly, in  Aitareya Brahmana the word 'Adya' is used for Vaishya and 'Yathakamavadhya' is used for Shudra. The girl is referred to kripan means provider of misery. Aitareya Brahmana also mension Chaturyuga (Satyuga,Treta, Dwapara and Kaliyuga).


Probable Question

Q.:     Match the following pairs in the context of ancient Indian history-

          List-I                         List-II

          A. Vishmatta                  1- Girl

          B. Adya                          2- Vaishya

          C. Yathakamavadhya     3- King

          D. Kripan                       4- Shudra


           A      B     C   D          

      (a)    4             1          3       2

            (b)    3             2          4       1

            (c)    1             2          3       4                             

            (d)    4             1          2       3

Ans:- (b)



          In the Rig Veda, the administrative body called 'Sabha' was known as Killawatspada or Kilvish Sprit that means allevator of sin. In the Atharvaveda, the Sabha has been called Narishta or Rishta (Ajeya) and Sapta Sansad. Narishta means whose decision is not postponed. In fact, the Sabha was a body of oligarchs or elders that did not allow the king to be autocratic and also performed some judicial work. Parskar grihasutra describes Sabha as  the nadi and tavisis ie. referred to as Shabdavati and Prakashvati respectively, which meant fire used for the determination of dharma and divine tests respectively. The president of the sabha was Sabhya and the member called Sujat.

Probable Question

Q.      In the Vedic period, for whom is the word 'Killawatspada' used?

          (a)   Sabha             (b)   Vidhata       (c)   Spy           (d)   Chariot

Ans:- (a)



Duron -     In early Vedic texts, the term 'Duron' is used for household. In fact, a household means members who live in the same house and perform various economic activities. In Rigvedic period, other terms like kshiti, dam, pastya, gaya and griha were also prevalent for household.

Shailush - In the Vajasneyi Samhita of Yajurveda, performer related to dance or acting is called 'Shailush'.

Nishka - The jewelery worn around neck by the people of the later Vedic period was called 'Nishka'. In addition, other ornaments and a variety of conch shells were used as amulets to ward off evil.

Probable Question

Q.      Which of the following pair is/are correctly matched in the context of history of Vedic period ?

          1.     Duron             - Household

          2.     Shailush         - Plow

          3.     Nishka            - Jewelry


          (a)   1 and 3           (b)   only 3         ( c)  1 and 2           (d)   2 and 3           

Ans:- (a)



Karambh :- In the later Vedic period, kheer made from grains, especially barley, sesame and other grains, was called 'Karambha'. Apart from this, halva or porridge made up of barley is called 'yavagu'.

Parvarikti-                      In the later Vedic period, the word 'Parvarikti' is used for an abandoned queen to remove any inauspicious.

Yatudhaan:- In the Rigvedic period, Yatudhaan used to refer to the Ojha associated with witchcraft. In addition, the Rigveda also tells about the existence of demons and vampires.

Probable Question

Q.      Which of the following are not correctly matched with reference to the history of vedic age?

          1- Karambh             - a plough made of wood.

          2- Parvarikti            - the prime servant of the king.

          3- Yatudhaan         - Tantrik related to witchcraft.


          (a) 2 only               (b) 1 and 2          (c) Only 3    (d) None of the above.

Ans:- (a)



Vishmatt:- In the later Vedic period, a tax called 'Bali' was made compulsory (used to be voluntary in the Rigvedic period) to strengthen the control over the powers of production in the later Vedic period. In this context, Rajan has been called Vishmatta, which means to consume the people.

Akshvap :- In the later Vedic period, the king's major gemstones included the Akshvap, was present among the main ratnis of the king, which was related to the Chausar or Pasa (axis). Apart from this, he also kept a record of income and expenditure.

Bhagdugh :- It was one of the prominent ratnies in the later Vedic period. Its function was to collect the king's share from the produce.


Probable Question

Q.:-    Which pair(s) is/are correctly matched in the context of  Vedic period history?

          1- Visamata            - Rajan or King

          2- Akshavap           - land measuring authority

          3- Bhagdugh          - Best priest to worship


          (a)   1 and 2           (b)   1 only         (c)   2 and 3          (d)   1 and 3

Ans:- (b)



Dwij - Under the Chaturvarna system (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) prevalent in the later Vedic period, the first three varnas were called Dwij, which means incarnation. Dwijs had the right to the Upanayana rites.

Agnayadhey - In the later Vedic period, Agnayadhey was the right granted after the Upanayana ritual, which conferred the right to perform yagyas. It was only through this right that rituals of household life could be solemnized.

Gavishti - Gavishti Vedic period, was referred to the 'cow' that has been considered as the most sacred animal. Important activities of the life of Vedic Aryans were expressed through 'Gau'. In this sequence, the Vedic Aryans used the word 'Gavishti' for the war.


Probable Question

Q.:-    Consider the following statements in the context of history of the Vedic period -

          1.     In the later Vedic period, the Brahmin and Kshatriya varna were also called 'Dwij'.

          2.     Agnayadhey was a title given to the king.

          3.     Gavishti was the officer appointed for the protection of cows.

          Which of the above statements is/are not true?

          (a)   1 and 2           (b)   3 only         (c)   2 and 3           (d)   1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (d)



Kuseed-    Kuseed was the only prevalent barter system for commerce and trade in the Post Vedic period and the practice of lending money on interest was in trend. In the Taittariya Samhita, the word 'Kuseed' is used for loan, and the word 'Kushidin' word is used for the lender in Shatapatha Brahmin.

Upkurvaan- The Brahmacharya ashram started after Upanayana rites in the Post Vedic period. In this sequence, there were two types of Brahmachari - 1- Upkurvaan - Brahmachari, who finished learning and entered the household ashram, 2- Nasthik, such Brahmachari used to stay with Guru in his whole life, he is also called Antevasi.

Samavartan - Samavartan is a type of rite (Sanskar) that was performed when entering the grihastha ashram from Brahmacharya ashram.


Probable Question

Q.:     Which is / are correctly matched with reference to the history of Vedic period?

          1.     Kusid              - Money given on interest

          2.     Upkurvaan      - Brahmachari studying near the Guru in whole life

          3.     Inclusion        - Measuring vessel for the grain


          (a)   Only 1            (b)   2 and 3        (c)   Only 3           (d)   1 and 2

Ans:- (a)



Hotri - The priest of the Rigveda were called the hotri or hota. Its task was to call the gods in the yajna and recite the hymns and praise the gods.

Adhvaryu - Adhvaryu or Yagnik were the priests related to Yajurveda. He used to recite them as well as do some handwork.

Udgata - The priest related to Samveda were known as Udgata. He used to recite the hymns of the Samaveda. It is noteworthy that Samaveda is the oldest book on Indian music.

Additionally, the fourth priest was Brahma who used to observe the yajna and kept a check if the mantras were being chanted in a pure way.

Probable Question

Q.:     With reference to the history of Vedic period, consider the following statements-

          1.     The reciter of the Rig Veda were called Hotri.

          2.     The priest of Yajurveda was called Udgata.

          3.     The priest who sang the Samaveda was called Adhvaryu.

          Which of the statements given above is / are not true?

          (a)   Only 1            (b)   2 and 3        (c)   1 only 3           (d)   1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (b)


Karshapan/ Vesavan

Karshapan:-  In the sixth century CE, a coin called Karshapan (Kahapan) was used for the sale and purchase of goods. It could be of silver and copper. It used to have the mark of merchant or artisan association.

Vesavan:- Evidence of Yaksha and tree worship is found in Vesavan Buddhist and Jain texts. The king of the Yakshas has been called Vesavan. The most generous and benevolent was Yaksha Manibhadra.

Probable Question

Q.:     With reference to the history of Mahajanapada's period, consider the following statements-

          1.     Curse was the gold currency used for the trade of goods.

          2.     In the Jain texts, 'Vesavan' is said to be the king of the Yakshas.

          Which of the statements given above is / are not correct?

  1. 1 only (b) 2 only (c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans:- (a)


Gahapati and Sethi

          Socio-economic changes in northern India from 600 BCE to 300 BCE resulted in the emergence of new social and economic classes. In fact, the term Grihapati used for the head of the family in Vedic texts began to be used in Pali texts (Mahajanapada period) as gihi, gahapati, gahtha and ajjhavasati. Now the word 'Gahpati' was used for the head of the household as well as for the rich landowners and agricultural property producers and their social and political importance also increased.

          Setthi is a Pali form of the Sanskrit word 'Shreshtin' and in the Pali texts it is said to be related to prosperous business and trade and business of interest. These words were never used interchangeably.

Probable Question

Q.:     With reference to the history of Mahajanpadas, consider the following statements-

          1.     During this period, Gahapati became a rich section of the urban community.

          2.     Setthi was a business class affiliated with trade and interest.

          3.     Gahapati and Setthi became complementary to each other in the Mahajanapada period.

          Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

          (a)   1 and 3           (b)   2 only         (c)   3 only          (d)   1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (b)



          During the Mahajanapada period, caravan traders had to pay fees and inter-state taxes during their journey. In this sequence, the officers of the custom were called ‘karmik’, who levied taxes on various products and confiscated the goods of those who evaded duty.

          Apart from this, merchants and monks were also looted during their coarse of travel. The royal officers who were given the responsibility of protecting the lives and livestocks of these passengers were called the 'Rajbhat'.


Probable Question

Q.:     With reference to the ancient history of India, consider the following statements-

          1.     In the Mahajanapada period, the officials who levied duties on the products were called Karmik.

          2.     Rajbhat was a title given to the king in the later Vedic period.

          Which of the statements given above is / are true?

          (a)   1 only                                        (b)   2 only                 

          (c)   Both 1 and 2                              (d)   Neither 1 nor 2

Ans:- (a)


          In the sixth century BCE, under the Varna system, the difference of principle and practice between the Varnas and their associated professions began to be accepted, which was called the Apadharma doctrine. In fact, it is to be accepted that under adverse circumstances, or in a disaster like situation when a person is obliged to adopt other occupations except the occupation defined in his varna which are also prohibition for that varna, then it is called Aapaddharma.


Probable Question

Q.:     What does Aapaddharma refer to in the ancient period?

          (a)   Adoption of Varna in adverse circumstances and associated occupation under the subsequent occupation.

          (b)   To keep Brahmins and Kshatriyas in the upper castes.

          (c)   Dharma adopted by the lower castes.

          (d)   Dharma accused after inter-caste marriage.

Ans:- (a)



          In Jainism, household men were called Shravakas, as well as household women were called Shravikas. These were collectively called Travakachara. In Jainism, Kaal (time) is divided into a series of endless cycles of Utsarpini and Awasarpini. It is believed that 24 Tirthankaras arise in every Utsarpini and Awasarpini. The present time is an avasarpini, which means a period of deterioration or a cycle of returning bliss. The first Tirthankara was Rishabhdev. Five Mahavratas have been rendered in Jainism. These are the five Mahavratas- 1- Ahimsa, 2- Amrisha (speaking the truth), 3- Asteya (achaurya), 4- Brahmacharya, 5- Aparigraha (not collecting). Their purpose is the refinement of inner being. .

Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following pairs -

          1.     Shravakas - High ranked Priest

          2.     Avsharpini - Development Period

          3.     Amrisha - Speaking the truth.

          Which of the above pairs is / are correctly matched?

          (a)   1 and 2           (b)   2 only         (c)   3 only           (d)   1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (c)



          According to Buddhist creed, when a monk decides to live the life of a hermit (parivrajaka/sannys) by leaving his house and stays under the guidance of a Buddhist preacher, that rite is called pravrajya (pabazza). On this occasion, he used to cut his hair and wear ocher coloured clothes. He then vowed to live in the shelter of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. In this sequence, when the monks took permanent membership of the Buddhist association, this condition was called Upasampada. After this he was accepted as  an anointed. A Buddhist monk had eight personal items - three clothes, a beggar,  a razor, a needle, a belt to tie at the waist and a kamandal.

Probable Question

Q.:     Which of the following sects belonged to the 'Pravrajya' and 'Upasampada' stages in Indian religious history?

          (a)   Jain cult                                     (b)   Buddhist sect

          (c)   Shaivite sect                              (d)   Aajivika sect

Ans:- (b)


Uposath and Parajik

          Under the Buddhist religion, the tradition of Jyestha Purnima and new moon (amavashya) was prevalent to be included in the ritual called Uposath for all the members of the Sangha residing in the area in which the 'laws of Paatimokkh' were repeated. It is noteworthy that in Vinaypitaka, rules have been compiled against violating the conduct of the Union. In this sequence, four crimes of the most serious nature against the Sangh have been called 'Parajik', on whose basis any member could be expelled from the Sangh. These four crimes are as follows - sexual intercourse, accepting that, what has not been given, killing someone and falsely declaring spiritual achievement.

Probable Question

Q.:  With reference to ancient religious history, consider the following statements:

          1.     Priests of high post of Buddhist association were called Uposath.

          2.     In Jainism, the monks who are wandering are called the Parajiks. 

          Which of the above statements is / are not correct?

          (a) 1 only               (b)   2 only         (c)   Both 1 and 2 (d)          Neither 1 nor 2

Ans:- (c)


Upashak and Vavanniyanti

          Both options were available for the followers of Buddhism - first, they could live within the Sangha and second, they could live outside the Sangha as a normal householder. These normal Buddhist followers living as householders were called Upashak, as well as female followers were called Upashika. These members of the Buddhist religion used to take oath to follow Buddha, Dhamma and Sangh, they were only exempted from the oaths of the cult.

          According to the Anguttar Nikaya, when a person of any class, such as Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra, enters the cult, he becomes castless, for which the word 'Vavanniyanti' is used. 


Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statements in Indian religious history-

          1.     The common householder of Jainism was called Upashak.

2.     In Jainism, the sacrificer who gave up the clothings were called 

          Which of the above statements is / are not correct?

          (a) Only 1               (b) Only 2          (c) Both 1 and 2           (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans:- (c)


Patichu Sammupada

          Patichu Sammupada or Prati Samutpada is the essence of Buddhist philosophy, which is called the principle of dependent origin. It lies in the second and third Arya truths. According to this, every cause has a function and each work has a reason. Another deed is produced by the creation of one karma and the destruction of one karma leads to destruction of another. In this way, one could explain all the events on the one hand and sorrow along with it.

Probable Question

Q.:     In ancient religious history, the doctrine of 'Patichha Sammupada' was related to which religious sect?

          (a)   Jainism                                      (b)   Aajeevak sect

          (c)   Buddhism sect                          (d)   Shaivism sect

Ans:- (c)


Sarthawahas/Bhagadudha,  Rajjugrahaka

          The development of crafts and industries during the Mahajanapada period encouraged the import and export of merchandise. In the same order, the movement of the caravan of traders pravailed by carrying goods with 500-1000 trains. The merchants who used to walk in these business convoys were called Sarthawahas. They travelled far and wide under the leadership of a chief Sarthavahajethak.

          Apart from this, the taxation system also became regular in this period and taxes for sacrifices, fees and portions were fully established. Officers like Bhagadudha, Shaulikik and Bhandarik were appointed to deposit the tax in the treasury and maintain and look after the treasury. At the same time, the officer measuring the land was called Rajjugrahaka. 

Probable Question

Q.:     Which of the following pairs is/are correctly matched?

          1.     Sarthawahas - Feudal lords of the Satavahanas

          2.     Bhagadudha - Head of Gaushala

          3.     Rajjugrahaka - land measuring officer


          (a)   Only 3            (b)   1 and 2        (c)   Only 2          (d)   1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (a)


Anekantavada and Syadvada

          Among various philosophies of Jainism vital philosophy are known as Anekantavada and Syadvada. According to the principle of Anekantavada, a truth or reality can be seen in various dimensions, i.e., the reality has a complex and multidimensional structure. It believes that there are many stages of truth. Syadvada is associated with Anekantavada and is the principle of relativity of knowledge. According to this, all our decisions regarding the worldly things are relative and limited. Neither we accept someone completely nor reject. Therefore, we should put (maybe) before each and every decision. It is called Saptabhangi Nyaya, in which truth have seven attributes which may be the combination of true and untrue, both true, both untrue or either of it.

Probable Question

Q.:     Which of the following cult demonstrate the 'Anekantvada'?

          (a)   Buddhism              (b)               Jainism

          (c)   Aajivikas                (d)               Shaivism

Ans:- (b)


          Jainism has emphasized on the principle of karma. According to this, deportation of the living beings happened to be on the basis of one's deeds. Karma is understood as physical element that floats independently in the sky. Through some of these illusory deeds, all three gets disturbed the consciousness, happiness and energy of the organism. The attraction of karma towards the creature comes by coming in contact with lust, craving, hatred etc. That state, when karma attracts and flows towards the organism, is called Ashrava. With the right knowledge and efforts, the flow of deeds towards the organism can be stopped, which is called Samvar. When the karma already in existence ends, then that state is called 'Nirjara'. After going through the conditions thereafter, the living being gets liberated from the bondage of deeds and attains salvation. 

Probable Question

Q.:     In the ancient Indian religious history the concept of 'Ashrava', 'Sanvar' and 'Nirjra' is referred to which of the following religion/cult?

          (a) Buddhism         (b) Jainism         (c) Aajivika          (d) Brahmin Cult

Ans:- (b)



          According to Jainism, the Triratna is considered essential for the attainment of salvation. The triratnas are - Samyak Gyana (Right knowledge), Samyak charitra (Right Conduct) and Samyak Darshan (Right Faith). Knowledge of Jainism and its principles only is the Samyak Gyana (right knowledge), which is of five types - Mati (sensory knowledge), Shruti (knowledge derived from hearing), Awadhi (divine knowledge), Manah meaning (knowing the mind of another) and Kaivalya Gyan (Supreme Knowledge). Samyak Charitra (Right Conduct) means to transform into action that has been known and believed to be true. It includes the five great Mahavrata of the monks - Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Aparigraha and Brahmacharya and for householders, it has been said that it is necessary to follow the five Vows. 

          It is the Samyak Darshan (Right Faith) to have strong faith and reverence on Jain Tirthankaras and their teachings. Its eight parts are stated, following the above Triratnas, the living being attains the Samvar. 

Probable Question

Q.:     Which is / are not included in the Triratnas of Jain cult?

          (a)   Samyak Gyan                            (b)   Samyak Sankalp

          (c)   Samyak Charitra                       (d)   Samyak Darshan

Ans:- (b)


Tiryancha and Nigod

          The Non-Violence principle in Jainism is related to different forms of life. In this sequence the Jaina doctrine recognizes four main forms of existence — Gods (Deva), Humans (Manushya), Hell beings (Naraki), and Animals and Plants (Tiryancha). The animal and plant category is further sub-divided into smaller sub-categories on the basis of their sense faculties. The lowest category comprises of the single-sense bodies (ekendriya). The lowest of these are known as the Nigodas, which comprises of the tiny organisms that only have one sense, that is of touch.

Probable Question

Q.:     In the religious history of ancient period, the words 'Tiryancha' and 'Nigoda' are used for which religion/cult?

          (a)   Shaivism                                   (b)   Shaktism

          (c)   Buddhism                                  (d)   Jainism

Ans:- (d)



          Jainism was divided into two parts during 300 BCE. In fact, during this period, there was a severe famine in Magadha due to which some Jain monks, headed by Acharya Bhadrabahu, went towards south. Later his disciples were called Digambaras. The monks who remained in Magadha under the leadership of Sthulbhadra even in the times of famine and later started wearing white clothes, were called Shvetambaras.

The differences in the principles of these two sects were as follows:

Shwetambara did not consider it necessary to sacrifice clothes for attaining salvation, while Digambara thought it was necessary to give up clothes.

According to Shvetambara, even after the attainment of Kaivalya knowledge, people still needed food, but according to Digambara, the ideal monks do not feed on food.

Shwetambara in this life itself, considered women as the authority of Nirvana, while Digambara opposed it.

Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statements in the context of Shvetambara and Digambara Jain sects -

          1.     Shwetambara, did not consider women as the right to attain salvation in this life itself.

          2.     The monks going south under the leadership of Acharya Bhadrabahu were called Digambaras.

          3.     Digambara considered it necessary for nirvana, to give up the clothes.

          Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

          (a)   1 only             (b)   2 and 3 

          (c)   3 only             (d)   1 and 3

Ans:- (b)


Madhyamika and Yogachara

          Madhyamika and Yogachara are the major sects of Mahayana Buddhist tradition. Madhyamika or Sunyavada (void) was started by Nagarjuna. He composed the texts named 'Madhyamakarika' and 'Prajnaparamithashastra'. In this opinion, more emphasis has been laid on the Golden Mean of Mahatma Buddha (Avasakamad Damand). This community accepts zero (void) as the ultimate final truth. It is also called 'Relativism' (Sapekshavaad). According to this, every object originated for some reason and is dependent on it.

          The father of Yogachara or Scientificism was Maitri (Maitrinath). He wrote an epic called 'Abhisamayalankar'. Later, Asanga and Vasubandhu developed this. In this opinion, special emphasis was laid on Yoga and Ethics. The development of this sect reached to the peak in the Gupta period. 'Lankavatar' and 'Sandhinirmachan' are the major texts of this sect. The Panchasheel Siddhanta, a philosophy of Buddhist class is mentioned in Lankavatara.


Probable Question

Q.:     The Madhyamika and Yogachara in ancient Indian history are associated with which cult/sect.?

          (a)   Hinayana        (b)   Lokayat      (c)   Mahayana           (d)   Digambar

Ans:- (c)


Vajrayana and Sahajayana

          The Vajrayana and Sahajayana sects developed under the Buddhist religion. The Vajrayana tradition was originated in between the 5th-6th centuries. It emphasizes on Tantra-Mantra, flesh etc., rather than knowledge and ethics. It is also called 'Hirakayan'. Mahatma Buddha is called Adi Buddha in Vajrayana.

          The Sahajayana sect was originated in the period of the Pala dynasty, in contrast to Vajrayana's Tantra-mantra (black magic) and rituals (Karmakand). It was also a Tantric sect, but its main emphasis was on practice of yoga. In this, special importance was given to Gurukripa, Charyapad and Dohas. Its proponent was 'sarah'.

Probable Question

Q.:     In ancient religious history, 'Vajrayana' and 'Sahajayana' were the sects of which faith?

          (a)    Jainism          (b)   Kapalika     (c)   Buddhism           (d)   Lingayat

Ans:- (c)


Sankhya Darshan

          The Sankhya Darshan was propounded by Kapil Muni. This is the oldest Shaddarshan which was greatly impacted by the Jain cult. According to this, the world was not created by God, but by the combination of man and nature. This is also called its principle of hospitality (Satkaaryavaad). Also, it considers the Triguna Siddhant of - Satta, Rajas and Tamas. This philosophy was originated from the Avaidik Shraman school of thought (Non-vedic working philosophy). 25 elements are described in it. That is why it is called the philosophy of numbers. The Sankhyakarika is its oldest book.

Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statements in context of Samakhya Philosophy-

          1.      It is the oldest among the Shaddarshan.

          2.     It does not accept the origin of creation from God.

          3.     Its promoter was Kanaad Muni.

          Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

          (a)   Only 1            (b)   2 and 3        (c)   1 and 2          (d)   1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (c)


Yoga Darshan

          The Yoga Darshan (Philosophy of Yoga) was propounded by Maharishi Patanjali. He composed 'Yogasutra' in which the interpretation of the Ashtanga-Marg (Eightfold path) has been mentioned. According to him, God (Salvation) can be attained through Aasan and Pranayama. This philosophy acknowledges the existence of God along with the 25 elements propounded by the Samakhya Philosophy. Hence it is also called Ishvara-Samakhya.


Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statements in context of the Yoga Darshan (Philosophy of Yoga):

          1.     Its promoter was Maharishi Panini.

          2.     It has accepted the existence of God.

          3.     It is called Ishvara-Samakhya.

          Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

          (a)   1 and 2           (b)   2 and 3        (c)   Only 2           (d)   1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (b)


Nyaya Darshan

          The Nyaya Darshan (Philosophy of Justice) was propounded by Maharishi Gautama (Akshpada). This philosophy is known as Anvikshki. Nyaya Sutra was composed by Gautama, which is the oldest book of Indian logic. In this, the existence of 16 elements and the power of God has been accepted and promoted. According to this, one should accept something only on the basis of logic (evidences). In this, evidence has four methods - Pratyaksha (Perception), Anumana (Inference), Upamana (Comparison and analogy), Shabda (Testimony and reliable sources) are mentioned. Udyotkar, Vachaspati, Udayan, Jayant, Pakehillaswamy Vatsyayan are the other philosophers of this philosophy.


Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statements in context of the philosophy of justice-

          1.     It was propounded by Maharishi Jaimini.

          2.     It does not accept the existence of God.

          3.     Pakshillaswamy Vatsyayan was associated with the Naya Darshan (philosophy of justice).

          Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

          (a) 1 and 2              (b) 3 only           (c) 1 and 2           (d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (b)

                                                                               Vaisheshika philosophy

          Kanad Muni was the propounder of Vaisheshika philosophy. He composed Vaisheshika Sutras. He was the founder of atomism in India. He believed that only five special elements or Panchmahabhut - earth (prithvi), sky (Aakash), water (jal), wind (Pawan), and fire (agni), combine to create new things. Vaisheshika philosophy is associated with the philosophy of justice (Nyaya Darshan). Due to the excessive emphasis on the element called 'special (vishesh)', it was called Vaisheshika philosophy. The quantity of elements are originally six in number-matter( dravya), quality (guna), deeds (karma), special (vishesh), general (samanya) and equitable (samavaay), which later became seven and- lack (aabhav) was added to it.

Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statements in the context of Vaisheshika philosophy.

          1.     It was propounded by Maharishi Gautam.

          2.     The nuclear concept was presented through it.

          3.     There are four methods of evidences - direct(pratyaksha), inference (anumaana), similarity (upmaana) and words (shabd).

          Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

          (a)   1 only             (b)   2 and 3        (c)   1, 2 and 3           (d)   2 only

Ans:- (d)


Pre-Mimamsa Philosophy

          The philosophy of Mimamsa (epistemology) or pre-Mimamsa (pre-epistemology) was propounded by Maharishi Jaimini. In this philosophy, Vedic rituals were given more recognition. According to this, karma referred to, by the Vedas, are only dharma. Hence Yagnism (Yagna) was supported by this. It considers the Vedas to be Eternal and unconquerable and believes that the Vedic gods have no existence apart from the mantras. Kumaril Bhatt and Prabhakar Bhatt were associated with this philosophy. Kumaril disclaimed the Buddhists and restored the authenticity of the Vedas.


Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statements in context of the pre-mimamsa (pre-epistemology) philosophy-

          1.     Its promoter was Maharishi Jaimini.

          2.     Vedic rituals have been criticized in this.

          3.     Kumaril Bhatt was associated with this philosophy.

          Which of the statements given above is / are not correct?

          (a) 3 only               (b) 1 and 2          (c) 1 Only           (d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (c)


Post-Mimamsa Philosophy

          Post-Mimamsa (post-epistemology) or Vedanta philosophy was propounded by Badrayana. He composed an epic called 'Brahmasutra'. The basis of this philosophy is Vedanta i.e. the Upanishads and the knowledge described in it. According to this, Brahma is the reality and everything else is illusion (Maya). Later Shankaracharya and Ramanujacharya wrote two annotations on Brahmasutra. Shankaracharya was the follower of Nirguna Brahma and believed in knowledge as the basis of attaining salvation, while Ramanujacharya was the follower of Saguna Brahma and believed in devotion as the basis of attaining salvation.

Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statements in the context of post -mimamsa (post-epistemology).

          1.     Post-epistemology philosophy was propounded by Maharishi Badarayana.

          2.     The main basis of this philosophy Upanishada.

          3.     Brahmagupta, the author of Brahmasutra, was associated with this philosophy itself.

          Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

          (a) Only 1               (b) Only 3          (c) 1 and 2           (d) 2 and 3

Ans:- (c)


Lakul Cult

          Lakul or Pashupat is the oldest cult of Shaivism. It was established by Lakulish in the second century BCE. He is considered the 18th incarnation of Shiva. He was the contemporary of Krishna-Dvaipayana. He composed a book called Panchaarthavidya. The followers of this cult believed in the power of 5 things - work (kaarya), reason(kaaran), yoga, law(vidhi) and end of misery (Dukhant). Pashupatsutra and Vayupurana are the sources principles of this cult.

Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statements in context of the Lakul cult:

          1.     It is the oldest cult of Vaishnavism.

          2.     Its founder was Lakulish.

          Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

          (a) 1 only               (b) 2 only           (c) Both 1 and 2           (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans:- (b)


Kapalika Shaivism

          Kapalika is the sect of Shaivism. The Ishtadeva (worshipped deity) of this community is Bhairava, the incarnation of Lord Shiva. The followers of this community used to eat food in the human skull, applying the ash of the dead body on themselves, eat incineration and consume alcohol etc. They did not believe in caste difference, as well as women were also included in it. In the Sangam literature Manimekhalai the Kapalikas are described as staunch Shaivas.

Probable Question

Q.      The Kapalika was a sub-sect of which of the following cult or religion?

          (a)   Vaishnavism  (b)   Shaktism    (c)   Shaivism           (d)   Jainism

Ans:- (c)

                                                                                               Lingayat Sect

          Lingayat is a sect of Shaivism, founded in the 12th century by Basava in Karnataka. This sect was influenced by Islam. Channavasava and Ekantandramayya were associated with this sect. The Lingayat sect is anti-Brahmanism. It rejects idol worship, reincarnation, Vedas and Yagna, animal sacrifice etc. and emphasizes on non-violence and vegetarianism. In this, the widow remarriage has been recognized and cremation has been opposed. The Lingayats consider 63 Nayanars as their oldest guru.

Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statement in context of the Lingayat Sect:

          1.     It was founded in the 12th century by Basava.

          2.     It emphasizes on idol worship and Vedic rituals.

          3.     It denies the widow re-marriage.

          Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

          (a) 1 and 3              (b) 2 only           (c) 1 only           (d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (c)



          Shilpadaikaram is the first poetic epic in the Tamil language written in the Sangam period. It was composed by Ilangoadigal who was a disciple of Jain cult. It is considered a gem of Tamil literature. It mentions the story of Kovalan, his wife Kannagi, and Madhavi- a courtesan from Kaveripatnam. Kovalan was hanged by the Pandyan ruler Nendujelian, in return angry desperate Kannagi burned the entire Madurai and went to the Kingdom of Chera. Kannagi came to be worshiped as the goddess of Satitva in the Chera kingdom. Magadha, Vajji and Avanti states have also been mentioned in it.

Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statements in context of the Shilpadikaram-

          1.     It is the first poetic epic in Tamil language.

          2.     Its author was Thiruvalluvar.

          3.     Kannagi Puja is mentioned in it.

          Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

          (a)   Only 1            (b)   2 and 3        (c)   1 and 3           (d)   1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (c)


          Manimekhalai is one of the 5 epics of Sangam literature. Its author was Sitalasattanar (Sattanar). It has 30 cantos and a preface. Along with the explanation of rationality, it also describes the Mahayana Buddhist sect. Actually, this is the sequel of Shilpadikaram Its actress is Manimekhalai, the daughter of Kovalan and Madhavi who had the knowledge of Vedas, Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Lokayat, Aajeevak, Sankhya etc. and eventually she turned to a Buddhist nun. It is a Buddhist book in which only the Buddhism is praised.

Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statements in context of the Manimekhalai-

          1.     It was composed by Mamloonar.

          2.     This is the sequel of Shilpadikaram.

          3.     Only Buddhist religion has been praised in this.

          Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

          (a) 1 only              (b) 2 and 3          (c) 1 and 2           (d) 2 only

Ans:- (b)



          In the Sangam period, hereditary monarchy was prevalent. The titles of Carwen, Ko, Iravan and Adhiraj were held by the king. Both the deity and the king were called 'Ko'.

          In this period the court of the king was called 'Nalavai' and the biggest festival of Nalavai was the birthday of the king which was called Perunal.

Probable Question

Q.:     Which of the following pairs is / are not correctly matched in  in the context of Sangam Period?

          1.     Carwen           - Commander

          2.      Nalavai          - Irrigation Tax

          3.     Perunal           - King's Birthday


          (a)   3 only             (b)   1 and 2        (c)   1, 2 and 3           (d)   2 only

Ans:- (b)



          In the Sangam era, the word 'Ilaego' was used for the sons of the king. But the son to be the crowned prince was called 'Komhan'.

          To assist the king in administrative work, there was a council of five people called 'Panchavaram'. The members of this institution were the Amaechchar or ministers, priests, commander-in-chief, envoy and Orrar or Vai. The spy was called Orrar.

Probable Question

Q.:     Which of the following pair(s) is/are correctly matched, in context of the Sangam Era?

          1.     Komhan          -      Chief Priest

          2.     Panchavaram  -      Land measurement methods

          3.     Orrar               -      Spy


          (a) 3 only               (b) 1 and 2          (c) 1, 2 and 3           (d) 2 only

Ans:- (a)



          Under the administrative structure of the Sangam period, the official concerned with the pearl trade was called 'Kaltik'. Its discussion is found in the Mangulam inscriptions.  Also the supreme accountant was known as Kanatikan.

          The court of the king was called 'Manram'. which used to be the Supreme Court. In addition, village panchayats were also formed at the village level. In this period the word 'Padai' was used for the army which consisted of infantry, cavalry, elephant and chariot.

Probable Question

Q.:     Which of the following pair(s) is/are correctly matched in context of the Sangam Period?

          1- Kalatik               - Pearl Commercial Officer

          2- Kanatikan          - Land Revenue Officer

          3- Manram             - King's Court

          4- Padai                  - Cavalry


          (a) 1 and 3              (b) 2 and 4          (c) 3 only           (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans:- (a)


          Under the military administration of the Sangam period, the commander was called Eenadi. The soldier who displayed valor and bravery in the battlefield was given the title of 'Maryaa'. Along with this, a stone pillar was erected in the honor of the martyred soldiers were called Nadukal or Veergal. It was worshiped like a god.

Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following statements in context of the Sangam Period:

          1.     In this period the commander was called Eenadi.

          2.     The soldier who displayed bravery in the battlefield was given the title of 'Vedalier'.

          3.     The stone pillar built in honor of the martyr soldiers was called Kurinji.

          Which of the above statements is/are correct?

          (a) 1 and 3              (b) 1 only           (c) 2 and 3           (d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (b)



          Due to the lack of development of caste system in the society of Sangam Period, the social division was based on 'kuti'. In fact, kuti was a community based on joint family and hereditary relationships in early Tamil agricultural societies.

          In the society of Sangam Period, the word 'Arsar' was used for the ruling class.

          During the Sangam period, military and civil officers, rich farmers were called Vallal. They were called 'Vel' and 'Arshu' in the Chola kingdom and Kabidi in the Pandya kingdom.

Probable Question

Q.:     Consider the following pairs in context of the society of Sangam Period.

          1.      Kuti               -      Joint Family

          2.     Arsar              -      Landless farmer

          3.     Kabidi            -      The rich farmer

          Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

          (a) 1 and 3              (b) 2 and 3          (c) 1 only           (d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans:- (a)