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NIOS Class 12 History Chapter 5 From Janapadas to Empire
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From Janapadas to Empire
TEXT BOOK QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
INTEXT QUESTIONS 5.1
Q.1. Name those places where the evidence of iron tools during 6ᵗʰ century BC has been found.
Ans: Jakhera, Rajghat, Kaushambi, Vaishali etc.
Q.2. Describe some important trade routes and trade centres of this period.
Ans: Pataliputra, Rajagriha, Sravasti, Varanasi, Vaishali, Champa, Kaushambi and Ujjaini became centres of craft production and trade. Textile, silk, jewellery, pottery etc., were produced. Varanasi was a major centre of trade connected with Sravasti and Kaushambi. Sravasti was also connected with Vaishali through Kapilvastu and Kusinara. Traders also travelled from Magadha and Kosala via Mathura to Taxila. Mathura was the transit point for travel to Ujjain and coastal areas of Gujarat also.
Q.3. Why were early coins called punch marked coins?
Ans: Various kinds of marks such as crescent, fish, trees, hill etc., are punched on these coins. So, they are called punch marked coins.
Q.4. Who was the founder of the Ajivika sect?
Ans: Makhali Goshal.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 5.2
Q.1. What are the three elements of the Jaina doctrine of triratna?
Ans: Right faith, right knowledge and right conduct.
Q.2. What are the two sects of Jainism called?
Ans: (i) Digambar.
Q.3. Where did Buddha deliver his first sermon?
Q.4. What are the four noble truths and eightfold path in Buddhism?
Ans: The first noble truths, Buddha said that suffering (dukkha) is the essence of the world and is like an ocean of miseries. Second noble truth is dukkha samudaya i.e. every suffering has a cause. Third noble truth is dukkha nirodha i.e. suffering could be extinguished. Fourth noble truth is dukkha nirodha gamini pratipada i.e. there is a path leading to the extinction of dukkha.
In Buddhism the eightfold path through which removal of desire can be achieved are right faith, right resolve, right speech, right action, right living, right effort, right thought and right self concentration.
Q.5. What did Buddha say about dukkha?
Ans: Buddha said that suffering (dukkha) is the essence of the world and is like an ocean of miseries. Every dukkha has a cause and it could be extinguished. There is a path leading to the extinction of dukkha. If one wants to get rid of suffering one has to conquer the desire through eight fold path.
Q.6. Buddha used which language to preach his words?
Q.7. How are Mahayana and Hinayana different?
Ans: Mahayana adopted Sanskrit as its language and started worshipping Buddha in the form of an idol, while Hinayana continued to follow Pali and treated Buddha as a guide.
Q.8. What are the contributions of Buddhism in field of literature and art?
Ans: Buddhist scholars created many literary texts like Tripitaka, Milindapanho, Buddhacharita etc. Buddhism became an inspiration for the promotion of art and architecture, in the form of stupas, rock cut caves and paintings. These can be noticed at Sanchi, Bharhut, Amravati, Ajanta etc. Buddhism inspired Gandhara and Mathura schools of art.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 5.3
Q.1. Name any four mahajanapadas of the sixth century BC.
Ans: (i) Anga.
Q.2. How Ganasangha different from monarchies?
Ans: Gana Sangha, had an oligarchical system of governance. In this system unlike monarchies, where a hereditary king rules, administration was run by an elected king with the help of a large council or assemblies comprising heads of all important clans and families. This system was certainly more democratic than monarchy, though the common man had no participation in the administration.
Q.3. Which was the most important gana sangha state in the 6ᵗʰ country BC?
Ans: Vajjis with their capital at Vaishali.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 5.4
Q.1. What policies were adopted by Bimbisara for the expansion of his kingdom?
Ans: Bimbisara pursued a three-pronged policy, namely, matrimonial alliances, friendship with strong rulers and conquest of weak neighbours to expand his kingdom.
Q.2. How did geographical factors play an important role in the rise of Magadha?
Ans: The strength of Magadha was based primarily on certain geographical factors. Its earlier capital Girivraja or Rajgir was surrounded by five hills, which helped it to provide natural fortification.
Secondly, its fertile river plain provided a vast amount of agricultural surplus, which was essential for raising a vast standing army. Forests in southern areas gave it timber and elephants.
Magadha had another advantage in its control over iron deposits found very near in south Bihar. Such access to iron made Magadhan weapons far superior and agriculture tools more productive. It was this material background which helped Magadha to become more powerful than other mahajanapadas.
Q.3. What was the name of the old capital of Magadha?
Ans: Girivraja or Rajgir.
Q.4. Name two rulers with whom Ajatsatru fought battles.
Ans: Prasenajit and Chetak.
Q.5. Who was the most important ruler of the Nanda dynasty?
Ans: Mahapadmanand .
Q.6. In whose rule was the second Buddhist council held?
INTEXT QUESTIONS 5.5
Q.1. What are the important sources for the writing of Mauryan history?
Ans: The 44 edicts issued by Ashoka which have been found inscribed on rocks and pillars.
Q.2. Most of Ashokan edicts are written in which language and script?
Ans: In Prakrit language and Brahmi script.
Q.3. Who is the author of Indica?
Q.4. Who was the last Mauryan kind?
Ans: Brihadratha was the last Mauryan kind.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 5.6
Q.1. What do Ashokan inscriptions tell us about Dhamma?
Ans: Dhamma was a code of conduct or ideal social behaviour common to all religions of the world, which he appealed to his subjects to follow. Ashokan inscriptions state that basic attributes of Dhamma included compassion (Daya), charity (dana), truthfulness, purity and gentleness.
Q.2. What was the attitude of Ashoka towards other religions?
Ans: Although Ashoka himself believed in Buddhism, he never discriminated against other faiths or religions.
Q.3. What was the function of the dhamma mahamatras?
Ans: The main function of the dhamma mahamatras was to over see and supervise the peaceful function of the principles of Dhamma. They were supposed to take care of Brahmanas and all other kinds of monks.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 5.7
Q.1. Highlight the important reasons for the decline of the Mauryan empire.
Ans: (i) One of the main reasons for decline of the Mauryan empire could be the succession of weak rulers, who could not keep under check those ministers and officials of far-flung regions, who had become oppressive and acted against the interest of the centre.
(ii) Perhaps, the Mauryan empire suffered some kinds of economic crisis.
(iii) The successors of Ashoka could maintain the balance between the centre and the various provincial governors of the empire, and at first possible opportunity, they made an effort to separate themselves from the centre.
Q.2. Who ruled two parts of empire after the death of Ashoka?
Ans: Dasaratha and Samprati.
Q.3. What was the impact of Mauryan rule on the subsequent history of India?
Ans: Mauryan empire had a positive effect of spreading agriculture and iron technology in the different parts of the subcontinent. It facilitated the rise of several regional kingdoms in the post-Mauryan period.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 5.8
Q.1. Which Mauryan officer was responsible for the assessment and collection of taxes?
Ans: Samaharta was responsible for the assessment and collection of texes.
Q.2. Which officer looked after the cultivation of land owned by the king?
Ans: Sitadhyaksha looked after the cultivation of the land owned by the king.
Q.3. What is the name of rock cut cave in the Barabar hills near Gaya?
Ans: Lomas Rishi cave.
Q.1. Why did Vaisyas patronise Buddhism and Jainism?
Ans: Vaisyas patronised Buddhism and Jainism because they wanted better social position than what brahmanas gave them.
Q.2. What are the main teachings of Jainism and Buddhism?
Ans: Teachings of Jainism:
(i) Jainism believed that purification of soul and attainment of nirvana can be achieved by pursuance of triratna and pancha mahavrata. Right conduct, Right faith and Right knowledge are the triratna, which can lead to liberation.
(ii) Right conduct means observance of five great vows : ahimsa, satya vachan, asteya, brahmacharya and aparigraha.
Teachings of Buddhism:
(i) The main teachings of Buddhism are encapsulated in the basic concept of four noble truths or arya satya and eightfold path or ashtangika marga.
(ii) The first noble truth, Buddh a said that suffering (dukkha) is the essence of the world and is like an ocean of miseries. Second noble truth is dukkha samudaya i.e. every suffering has a cause. Third noble truth is dukkha nirodha i.e. suffering could be extinguished and fourth dukkha nirodha gamini pratipada i.e. there is a path leading to the extinction of dukkha.
(iii) He said that every thing is this world like birth, old age and death leads to suffering. If one wants to get rid of suffering one has to conquer the desire. This removal of desire can be achieved through eight fold path. These are : right faith, right resolve, right speech, right action, right living, right effort, right thought, right self concentration.
Q.3. What are the main attributes of Ashoka’s policy of Dhamma?
Ans: The main attributes of Ashoka’s policy of Dhamma:
(i) Dhamma was a code of conduct or ideal social behaviour common to all religions of the world, which Ashoka appealed to his subjects to follow.
(ii) The basic attributes of Ashoka’s police of Dhamma included compassion (daya), charity (dana), truthfulness, purity and gentleness.
(iii) Pillar Edict III asks subjects to control violence, cruelty, anger and envy. Rock Edict I call for a ban on animal sacrifice and social gatherings like samaj. The Rock Edict II declares measures to be taken for the construction of hospitals, roads, inns, wells and planting to shade giving trees. Third, Fourth and Twelfth rock edicts ask people to respect parents, relatives, brahmanas and shramanas (monks).
He also appointed a special type of officials called dhamma mahamatras. Their main function was to over see and supervise the peaceful function of the principles of Dhamma. Twelfth rock edict is specially important since it says ‘‘the king Piyadassi, the beloved of the gods, respected all sects whether ascetics or householders, and he honours them with gifts and honours of various kinds…let an alien sect also be respected on every occasion’’.
Q.4. Why did Ashoka adopt the policy of Dhamma?
Ans: Ashoka fought a major war with Kalinga around 261 BC in which large number of people were killed or imprisoned. Perhaps this bloodshed moved his heart and he decided to abandon the policy of military expansion and declared that he would in future favour dhammaghosha (drum of dhamma). Thereafter, he spent—the rest of his life in promoting and spreading the policy of Dhamma.
Q.5. What efforts were made the Mauryans to collect more taxes?
Ans: (i) The Mauryas maintained a huge standing army and employed a large number of state officials. These soldiers and officials were paid in cash.
(ii) As the normal taxes were not considered sufficient to meet all the needs of the state and hence the Mauryans undertook and regulated numerous economic activities to generate more and more resources.
(iii) The agriculture was the mainstay of economy in this period. The Mauryan state founded new agricultural settlements to bring virgin land under cultivation.
(iv) People from overpopulated areas and prisoners of war were brought to these new settlements to work on the fields. These villages belonged to kind and were looked after by government-official called sitadhyaksha or superintendent of agriculture.
(v) Besides state farms there were individual land holders who paid a variety of texes to the state .
(vi) Peasants also had to pay more tax on irrigated land.
(vii) The bali or land tex was the main item of revenue, levied at the rate of one sixth of the produce.
(viii) Peasants had to pay many other taxes like pindakara, hiranya, bhaga, bhoga etc.
Q.6. Describe the contribution of the Mauryan rule in the field of art.
Ans: The contribution of the Mauryan rule in the field of art:
(i) The Mauryan period provides the earliest examples of ancient Indian art and architecture.
(ii) The grandeur of the Maurya palace has been described by Megasthenes. Some remains of this palace have been found at Kumhrar near Patna.
(iii) Ashokan pillars at Rampurva, Lauriya, Nandangarh and Sarnath present excellent examples of stone sculptures which developed in this period.
(iv) All these pillars are circular and monolithic, and are made of sandstone.
(v) Some rock cut architecture like Lomasa Risi cave in the Barabara hills near Gaya belong to the Mauryan period.
(vi) Polished stone sculpture of a chauri—bearing female known as Didarganj Yakshini is one of the most famous examples of art of the Mauryan period.