NCERT Solutions for Class 12th: Ch 4 Thinkers, Beliefs and Buildings History

NCERT Solutions for Class 12th: Ch 4 (Theme 4) Thinkers, Beliefs and Buildings (Cultural developments) History

Page No: 111

Answer in 100-150 Words

1. Were the ideas of the Upanishadic thinkers different from those of the fatalists and materialists? Give reasons for your answer.


The ideas of the upanishadic thinkers are not much different from those of the fatalists and materialists. This is brought out by the following argument.
(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 from the basis thought of Hindu religion. Thus, there is a lot of similarity between the both streams of religion.
(iii)Upanishad believes 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 similarity between the two.
(iv) Both fatalist and materialists believe that human beings are made of fur elements, earth, water, sky, air and fire.
Thus, we are inclined to agree that the idea of the Upanishad thinkers is not much different from that of the fatalists and materialists.

2. Summarise the central teachings of Jainism.


The main teaching of Jainism is as follows:
(i) The entire world is animated. Life exits even in rocks and stones normally considered non-living.
(ii) The principle of non-violence is practised in extreme from in Jainism. No harms should be caused to animals, plants and insects and other living beings that may include rocks and stones too. This is notable that Jains are forbidden to eat late night lest they kill insects by mistake.
(iii) The cycle of birth and rebirth is shaped through karma. If one is to escape this cycle of karma, one must practise ascetics and penance. It is possible when one renounces the world. So one has to live in monastery to attain salvation.
(iv) Jain monks have to take vows to observe the following:
      (a) Not to kill anyone
      (b) Not tell lies
      (c) Not to posses property
      (d) To observe celibacy.

3. Discuss the role of the begums of Bhopal in preserving the stupa at Sanchi.


Begums of Bhopal made a great a contribution to the preservation of stupa of Sanchi. Following Are the Major Contribution Made By them.
(i) Shahjahan 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.
(ii)A museum was built near the stupa and it was built mainly on the financial support of Begum Sultan Jahan Begum.
(iii) The support to preserve the stupa came from the Europeans also.
(iv) 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 dau ghter 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 did she learn this text?


(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 Bodhisattva to Show That Mahayana Sect of Budhhism was becoming popular day by day and Boddhisattas were considered great personalities in Buddhism during the reign of the Kushana rulars.
(c) She knew the Tipitaka.
(d) She has mentioned her own mothers sisters name Buddhamita. The Lady was a Bhikkuni. She had also Mentioned Bhikkuni Bala and her Parents.
(e) She learns the text from Bhikkuni Buddhamita who was the female pupil of the BALA.

5. Why do you think women and men joined the sangha?


The main reasons why men and women join Sanghas could be as follows:
(a) Many of them wanted you renounce the worldly pleasures.
(b) They could study the Buddhist literature and philosophy by staying in the company of others monks.
(c) Many people entered sanghas to become priests and teachers of Buddhism.
(d) All were considered equal and the previous social identity was to be renounced.
(e) The environment of sanghas was democratic. The decision making within sanghas was based on voting. This attracted many and they took to the life of sanghas.

Page No. 112

Write a short essay  (about 500 words) on the following:

6. To what extent does knowledge of Buddhist literature help in understanding the sculpture at Sanchi?


Bhuddhist literature help us up to some extent in understanding the sclupture at Sanchi. It is important that the sculpture at Sanchi depicts the teaching of Buddha only. The teachings of Bhudda are captured in the literature.
It is notable that Bhudda used to roam around among people, preaching them on his teachings. However, he did not claim supernatural power. He told us that the world is ever changing. It is full of sorrows. Sorrow flows out of desire. Buddha asked the followers to take the middle path, not too much of penance, nor too much of indulgence.
The literature of Buddhism is useful for the interpretation of the sculpture at Sanchi. People are shown in difference moods and that Buddhist literature throws valuable light on the sculptures of the Sanchi.

8. Discuss the development in sculpture and architecture associated with the rise of Vaishnavism and Shaivism.


• Vaishnavism and Shaivism are the two branches of Hinduism. In case of Vaishnavism, Lord Vishnu was regarded as the chief deity. In case of Shaivism Lord Shiva was regarded as the chief deity. Both traditions were part of the Bhakti movement. Bhakti movement emphasised on the love and devotion of the devotee to the God.
• This tradition of Vaishnavism and Shaivism also impacted the tradition of architecture and sculpture. The temples developed the house deities .The initial temples were small and simple. It was a small room called Garbhagriha. Later it explained, a tall structure was built on the gerbhagriha. It was called Shikhara. The walls of the temple were decorated with suitors. Soon temples were built that had huge entrance and big halls for tea comfort of visitors.
• Many of these were temples were carved out of the rocks. These artificial caves were turned into temples. The tradition of article caves is old who had renounced the world. The most important were the Ajivikas that developed as a sect during the reign of Asoka. Later a good example of the rock–cut temple is the Kailash Nath Temple of the 8th century. It was carved out of a single piece rock. There is a copper plate inscription at the temple of Elloa wherein the Sculptor exclaims, how did I make it.
Sculpture was yet another way of expression. Deities were given many shapes and forms in Sculpture.

9. Discuss how and why stupas were built.


• About 200 years after the time of Bhuddha King Ashoka erected a pillar At Lumbini. This was to announce the visit of Bhuddha to this place.
• Stupas were the moulds put on the bodily remains of the body of Lord buddha or of any object that was used by him. At the place of Stupas such objects were buried. These were places of great respect under the tradition of Bhuddhism, as they had the relics of Bhuddha. As gave Bhuddha relics to all major cities. Later on such places were put. The most important stupas are at Sanchi, Bharhut, Saranath.
• The structure of Stupa is like dome or hemisphere. On the top of it there would be a balcony called Hermick.  This balcony represent abode of god. The Harmik was covered with an umbrella. There used to be railings around the balcony.
• The construction of Stupas was made possible by the contribution of many. On the forefront were the Monarchs. The Satvahan Kings Offered huge amount for the construction of stupas. Apart from the monarchs, merchants, artisans and common men and women also contributed to the Construction of the stupas.

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