Class 12 History Chapter 7 Bhakti – Sufi Traditions

Class 12 History Chapter 7 Bhakti – Sufi Traditions The answer to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse through different chapters Assam Board HS 2nd Year History Chapter 7 Bhakti – Sufi Traditions Question Answer.

Class 12 History Chapter 7 Bhakti – Sufi Traditions

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Also, you can read the SCERT book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per SCERT (CBSE) Book guidelines. These solutions are part of SCERT All Subject Solutions. Here we have given Assam Board Class 12 History Chapter 7 Bhakti – Sufi Traditions Solutions for All Subjects, You can practice these here.

Bhakti – Sufi Traditions

Chapter – 7


Very Short Answer Type Questions

Q.1. Briefly define the term Sufism. 

Ans : Sufism is an English word coined in the nineteenth century. It refers to mysticism in Islam. Some historians define it as including in its category anyone who believes it possible to have direct experience of reality and God. It embraces all aspects of Islam which deal with direct communion with reality. Others advocate it relates to ascites who advocated a life of purity and renunciation. 

Q.2. Give the names of the early bhakti movements and their place of origin. 

Ans The early bhakti movements around sixth century AD were led by Alvars and Nayanars. These devotional cults developed in South India among the Tamil saints. 

Q.3. Define the term Arabesque. 

Ans : The term Arabesque refers to form of Turkish architecture whereby geometrical and floral designs are combined with panels of inscriptions containing verses of the Quran. This form was extensively used by the Turks to decorate walls of small tombs and mosques. 

Q.4. Who was Ravidas? 

Ans : Ravidas was a contemporary of Kabir, and a propagator of devotion to a formless God. He believed in rebirth and regarded Bhakti as the surest method of salvation. 

Q.5. Give names of two Alvar devotional literature. 

Ans : a) Nalayira Divyaprabandham or four thousand sacred compositions. It is an anthology containing compositions of 12 Alvars. 

b) Tevaram, It is a collection that was compiled and classified in the 10th century on the basis of the music of the songs of Appar, Sambandar and Sundarar. 

Q.6. When and where Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born? Name his parents also. 

Ans : Guru Nanak Dev. Ji was born in the village Talwandi of Punjab in the year 1469. Now this place is in Pakistan. It is famous by the name of Nankana Sahib. Mehta Kalu Ram Ji was the father of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Tripta Devi Ji was the name of the mother of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. 

Q.7. What are Kabir’s Ulatbansi compositions? 

Ans : The Ulatbansi compositions of Kabir are intrinsically upside- down sayings. They are written in a form in which everyday meanings are inverted. They express difficulty in capturing the nature of the ultimate reality. They express Kabir’s mystical experiences. 

Q.8. Write two rituals of initiation into ‘Silsila’.

Ans: There were special rituals of initiation into Silsila and these were: 

a) One its to take on Oath of allegiance. 

b) He should ‘wear a patched garment and shave his hair.

Q.9. What was the social structure of Alvar and Nayanar Saints? 

Ans : The Alvar and Nayanar were saints of Southern India. Alvars believed in the worship of Lord Vishnu and Nayanars believed in the worship of Lord Shiva. 

Q.10. Write a short note on ‘Nimbarkacharya’. 

Ans : He was a devotee of Radha and Krishną and was the contemporary of Ramanuja. He popularised Dwitadait and in his opinion the way to attain Moksha was devotion to Lord Krishna. 

B. Textual Questions & Answers : 

Q.1. Explain with examples what historians mean by the integration of cults. 

Ans : Many historians have tried to understand the integration of cults. They found that there were at least two processes at work. First of all, there was a process of disseminating Brahmanical ideas. For example, all the puranic texts were composed, compiled and preserved in simple Sanskrit verse. It was done so that they may be accessible to all women and the Shudras who were generally excluded from vedic learning. Secondly, the Brahmans accepted and reworked the beliefs and practices of these and other social categories. 

They were engaged in a continuous dialogue between great sanskritic puranic traditions and little traditions throughout the land. For example, at Puri in Orissa, the principal deity of Vishnu was identified as Jagannatha which meant the lord of the world. The terms great and little traditions were coined by Robert Redfield, a sociologist of the 20th century. Such examples of integration can also be seen in the cults of Goddess. The Goddess was often worshipped in the form of a stone smeared with ochre. Thes local deities were usually incorporated within the puranic framework by providing them with an identify as a wife of the principal male deities. For example, Lakshmi is associated with Vishnu as his wife and Parvati with Shiva as his wife. 

Q.2. To what extent do you think the architecture of mosques in the subcontinent reflects a combination of universal ideals and local traditions ? 

Ans : The complex blend of universal ideals and local traditions is best exemplified in the architecture of mosques. Some of the architectural features of mosques are universal- such as orientation towards Mecca, evident in the placement of the mihrab (prayer niche) and minbar (pulpit) arches and done. The style of decoration used on these arches is very interesting. No human or animal figures are used since it was considered un-Islamic to do so. Instead they used scrolls of flowers and verses of the Quran which were intertwined in a very artistic manner. Influence of local traditions was reflected in the use of building materials, construction, and even motifs as the new rulers used local craftsmen such as stone cutters and masons. The floral designs borrowed Hindu motifs such as bell motif, the swastika and lotus. Also influence was evident in the construction of roofs, in the use of beam and lintel architectural devices used by Indians. Among the many mosques reflecting influence of indigenous traditions are :- 

A mosque in Kerala dating the thirteenth century had a shikara like roof. The Atiya mosque in the Mymensingh district of Bangladesh was built with brick in 1609. The shah Hamadan mosque in Srinagar, on the banks of Jhelum is often regarded as jewel in the crown of all existing mosques of Kashmir. Built in 1395 it is one of the best examples of Kashmiri wooden architecture exemplified in the spire and beautifully carved eaves. Moreover, as per local traditions it is decorated with papier mache. In the early years to meet the requirements for places of worship, the rulers converted temples and other existing buildings into mosques. For example, Qawwal-ul-Islam mosque near Quttub Minar. It was a Jain temple, converted into temple dedicated to Vishnu. The only change the rulers undertook was construction of a facade of three elaborately carved arches in front of the deity room which was demolished. 

Q.3. What were the similarities and differences between the be- shari’a and ba-shari’a sufi traditions? 

Ans : Be-shari’a sufi traditions similarities were- They deliberately defined the sharia. They scorned the khanqah, took to mendicancy and observed celibacy. They ignored rituals and observed extreme forms of asceticism They were known by various names Qalandars, Malangs and Haidaris. The stressed on austerity and maintained a complete distance from worldly power. They had no association with the state.

Be-shari’a sufi traditions differences were- They followed the sharia faithfully. They were organised into 12 orders called silsilas. Each silsila was led by a pir who nominated a successor or wali to carry on his work. Practices like bowing before the shaikh, offering water to visitors, shaving the heads of initiates were followed which were also attempts to assimilate local traditions. They most well known sufis of this category belonged to the chishti and Suhrawardi silsilas. They were associated with the state and some such sufis even accepted courtly offices. Unsolicited grants and donations were also accepted from the political elites. 

Q.4. Discuss the ways in which the Alvars, Nayanars and Virashaivas expressed critiques of the caste system. 

Ans : The Alvars, Nayanars and Virashava were cults that developed in South India and each of them in their own way expressed critique of the caste system and Brahmanical d minance. Historians suggest Alvar and Nayanar movements were against caste forms as contrary to Brahmanical caste system and vedic religion. The bhaktas hailed from diverse social backgrounds, ranging from Brahmanas to artisans, cultivators and even from castes considered untouchables. Women who were regarded as equivalent to Shudras in caste hierarchy and denied access to vadic learning formed a substantial segment of followers. 

Some like Andal a woman Alvar, and Karaikkal Ammaiyar a devotee of Shiva composed verses to express their love for the deity which are preserved within the traditions and widely sung to date. Contrary to Brahmanical caste obligations these women adopted a path of extreme asceticism. renounced their social obligations but did not join an alternative order The very presence of these women and compositions posed a challenge to patriarchal norms. The Alvars and Nayanars emphasised the importance of traditions by claiming that their compositions were as important as the four vedas in Sanskrit, cherished by Brahmanas. For example, the Nalayira Divya Prabandham was frequently described as Tamil Veda. 

The Virashaiva movement led by Basavanna emerged in Karnataka in the 12th century. His followers were called Lingayats. Our understanding of the Virashaiva tradition is derived from Vachanas They challenged the idea of caste by :-

Questioning the idea of pollution attributed to certain groups by Brahmanas. By revering jangomas or wandering monks. Questioning the theory of rebirth. Lingayats/Virashaivas believed that on death the devotee will be united with Shiva and will not return to this world. They do not practise funerary rites such as cremation prescribed in the Dharmashastras. Instead ceremonially bury their dead. Among the followers they won the marginalised within the Brahmanical social order. They encouraged certain practices such as post puberty marriage and remarriage of widows disapproved in the Dharmashastras. 

Q.5. Describe the major teachings of either Kabir or Baba Guru Nanak, and the ways in which these have been transmitted. 

Ans : Kabir : Saint Kabir was the great preacher of Hindu-Muslim unity in India. He was the most famous of all Bhakti reformers. Prominent teaching of Saint Kabir are as under:- 

God is one, he had not form. His statement is that one is the creator of Hindus and turks. God is everywhere. There is no sense in idol worship. Sanctity of heart is essential to attain him. For attaintment of God, Guru is very necessary. If God gets displeased. He can sought again with the help of the teacher. But if the tecaher is displeased, there is no support left. kabir did not accept the caste-distinction. He belived that none could be high or low on the score of caste. Kabir plainly refused to accept the superiority of brahmin caste. Kabir was opposed to customs and rituals. 

He has opposed worship, raja-namaj, Pilgrimage and haj etc. Opposing the namaz of the Muslims, he has written. “Mosque was created by collecting pebbles and stones. Head priest ascending it gave a call of daws, it means God has become deaf” Similarly, he has condemned idol- worship by the Hindus. “If God can be sought by worshiping stones, I may worship mountain. Corn grinding appliance is better than that stone, which enables one to grind corn and eat it”. Kabir believed in the theory of Karma. He believed that one had to bear the fruit of his good or bad actions. In Kabir’s words. Don’t bother if your hut is in the neighbourhood of butchers. Don’t be sad, everyone will get return for his actions. Kabir believed in the unity of all religions. According to him, there is no distinction between Hindu-Muslim. The destination of both is the same only the paths are different. 

kabir’s teaching were based on a complete, indeed vehement, rejection of the major religious traditions. His teachings openly ridiculed all forms of external worship of both Brahmanical Hindusim and Islam the pre-eminence of the priestly classes and the caste system. Kabir believed in a formless Supreme God and preached that the only to salvation was through bhakti or devotion. Kabir opposed caste- distinction, condemned had company, stressed upon meditation and love. He identified the teacher with God. He opposed the rituals of both the Hindus and the Muslims. Minimising animosity and opposition, the established unity. According to Dr. Tarachand, The aim of Kabir was to popularise the religion of love which would remove the differences in the name of religions and castes. 

Dr. Bannerjee has, the refore, written correctly, Kabir was the first guide of the path of reform in medieval times who made creative for Hindu-Muslim unity in the sphere ofreligion. Kabir expressed his ideas through por try and bhajans. The language of his poetry was a form of spoken Hindi widely understood by ordinary people. He also sometimes used cryptic language, which is difficult to follow- We get to know of his ideas from a vast collection of verse called Sakhis and pads said to have been composed by him and sung by wondering bhajan singers. Some of these were later collected and preserved in the Guru Granth Sahib, Panch Vani and Bijak. 

Guru Nanak : Baba Guru Nanak is also recognized a great tender by the Sikh and people of other religions also. His teachings were very simple, direct and effective. Guru Nanak said there is one god or Wai Guru. He is everywhere an any form. For baba Guru Nank the absolute or ‘rab’ no gender or form. Guru Nanak advocated a form of Nirgun Bhakti. He firmly repudiated the external practices of the religions he saw around him. Guru Nanak rejected sacrifice ritual baths, image worship, austerities and the scriptures of both Hindus and Muslims. 

Guru Nanak Dev proposed a simple way to connect to Divine by remembering and repeating the Dive Name, expressing his idea through hymns called “Shabad” in punjabi, the language of the region. It appears that Baba Guru Nank did not wish to establish a new religions, but after his death his followers consolidated their own practices and distinguished themselves from both Hindus and Muslims. The message of Baba Guru Nank is spelt out in his hymns and teachings. These suggest that he advocated a form of nirguna bhakti. Baba Guru Nanak would sing these compositions in various ragas while his attendant Mardana played the rabab. 

Baba Guru Nanak organised his followers into a community. He set up rules for congregational worship (sangat) involving collective recitation. He appointed one of his discipless Angad, to succeed him as the preceptor (guru), and this practice was followed for nearly 200 years. The fifth preceptor, guru Arjan, compiled Baba Guru Nanak’s hymns along with those of his four successors and other religious poets like Baba Farid Ravidas (also known as Raidas) and Kabir in the Adi Granth Sahib. These hymns, called “Gurbani”, are composed in various languages. 

In the later seventeenth century the tenth preceptor, Guru Gobind Singh, included the compositions of the ninth guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, and this scripture was called the Guru Granth sahib. Guru Gobind Singh also laid the foundation of the Khalsa Panth (army of the pure) and defined its five symbols: uncut hair, a dagger, a pair of shorts, a comb and a steel bangal. Under him the community got consolidated as a socio religious and military force.

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