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Thinkers, Beliefs Buildings (Cultural Developments) NCERT Textbook With Solutions PDF Free Download
Chapter 4: Thinkers Beliefs Buildings Cultural Developments
Nineteenth-century Europeans were very interested in the stupa at Sanchi.
In fact, the French sought Shahjehan Begum’s permission to take away the eastern gateway, which was the best preserved, to be displayed in a museum in France.
For a while, some Englishmen also wanted to do the same, but fortunately both the French and the English were satisfied with carefully prepared plaster-cast copies and the original remained at the site, part of the Bhopal state.
The rulers of Bhopal, Shahjehan Begum, and her successor Sultan Jehan Begum provided money for the preservation of the ancient site.
No wonder then that John Marshall dedicated his important volumes on Sanchi to Sultan Jehan.
She founded the museum that was built there as well as the guesthouse where he lived and wrote the volumes. She also funded the publication of the volumes.
So if the stupa complex has survived, it is in no small measure due to wise decisions, and to good luck in escaping the eyes of railway contractors, builders, and those looking for finds to carry away to the museums of Europe.
One of the most important Buddhist centers, the discovery of Sanchi has vastly transformed our understanding of early Buddhism.
Today it stands as testimony to the successful restoration and preservation of a key archaeological site by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The mid-first millennium BCE is often regarded as a turning point in world history: it saw the emergence of thinkers such as Zarathustra in Iran, Kong Zi in China, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle in Greece, and Mahavira and Gautama Buddha, among many others, in India.
They tried to understand the mysteries of existence and the relationship between human beings and the cosmic order.
This was also the time when new kingdoms and cities were developing and social and economic life was changing in a variety of ways in the Ganga valley (Chapters 2 and Chapters 3). These thinkers attempted to understand these developments as well.
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NCERT Solutions Class 12 History Chapter 4 Thinkers Beliefs Buildings (Cultural Developments)
1. Were the ideas of the Upanishadic thinkers different from those of the fatalists and materialists? Give reasons for your answers.
Ans: The ideas of the Upanishadic thinkers are not much different from those of the fatalists and materialists. This is brought out by the following arguments.
(i) The essence of the philosophy of Jainism was already in existence in India, even before the birth of Lord Mahavir and Vardhaman.
(ii) Ahimsa or non-violence is the most important principle of Jainism. But this also forms the basic thought of the Hindu religion. Thus, there is a lot of similarity between both streams of religion.
(iii) Upanishada believes in and teaches Karma Theory. It means men and women should act and not worry about getting rewards.
Fatalists also believed in the idea of work without thinking of the consequences. Thus there is a lot of similarity between the two.
(iv) Both fatalists and materialists believe that human beings are made, of four elements, earth, water, sky, air, and fire.
Thus, we are inclined to agree that the idea of the Upanishad thinkers Eire is not much different from that of the fatalists and materialists.
3. Summarise the central teachings of Jainism.
Ans: The central teachings of Jainism are as follows :
- The entire world is animated – even stones, rocks, and water have life.
- They believe in non-injury to living beings, especially to humans, animals, plants, and insects.
- The cycle of birth and rebirth is shaped through karma.
- Asceticism and penance are required to free oneself from the cycle of karma.
- For Jainism monastic existence is a necessary condition of salvation.
- Jaina monks and nuns take five vows : to abstain from killing, stealing and lying; to observe celibacy, and to abstain from possessing property.
3. Discuss the role of the begums of Bhopal in preserving the stupa at Sanchi.
Ans: Begums of Bhopal made a great contribution to the preservation of the Stupa of Sanchi. Following are the major contribution made by them.
(a) Shahejahan Begum and her successor Sultan Jahan Begum of Bhopal were the rulers of Bhopal, who made generous grants to the preservation of the Stupa of Sanchi.
(b) A museum was built near the stupa and it was built mainly on the financial support of Begum Sultan Jahan Begum.
(c) The support to preserve the stupa came from the Europeans also.
(d) French and British both took the plaster cast copies of the pillars of the stupas to be displayed in the museums at France and Britain. They also contributed financially to preserve the stupa.
4. Read this short inscription and answer:
In the year 33 of the maharaja Huvishka, (a Kushana ruler), in the first month of the hot season on the eighth day, a Bodhisatta was set up at Madhuvanaka by the bhikkhuni Dhanavati, the sister’s daughter of the bhikkhuni Buddhamita, who knows the Tipitaka, the female pupil of the bhikkhu Bala, who knows the Tipitaka, together with her father and mother.
(a) How did Dhanavati date her inscription?
(b) Why do you think she installed an image of the Bodhisatta?
(c) Who were the relatives she mentioned?
(d) What Buddhist text did she know?
(e) From whom dicTshe learn this text?
Ans: (a) Dhanavati dated her inscription that she placed the inscription at Madhuvanaka in the first month of the hot season on the eighth day in the year 33 of the Maharaja named Havishka.
(b) I think that she (the Bhikkhuni Dhanvati installed an image of the Bodhisatta to show that the Mahayana sect of Buddhism was becoming popular day by day and Boddhisattas were considered great personalities in Buddhism during the reign of the Kushana rulers.
(c) She has mentioned her own mother’s sister’s name Buddhamita. The lady was a Bhikkuni. She had also mentioned Bhikkuni Bala and her parents.
(d) She knew the Tipitaka.
(e) She learnt the text from the Bhikkhuni Buddhamita who was the female pupil of the Bala.
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NCERT Class 12 History Textbook Chapter 4 With Answer PDF Free Download