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History — Chapter 6

Mahavira and Buddha — Great Preachers

Class 6 - Effective History & Civics Solutions


Complete the chart

Question 1

Complete the chart to understand the similarities and dissimilarities between Jainism and Buddhism.

 JainismBuddhism
1. Founder  
2. Belief in God  
3. Languages used  
4. Important Books  
5. Two famous religious places  

Answer

 JainismBuddhism
1. FounderVardhamana MahaviraGautam Buddha
2. Belief in GodJainism did not believe in God or the vedas. It opposed all forms of rituals and religious practices.Buddhism was silent about the existence of God and didn't accept the vedas.
3. Languages usedPrakrit languagePali language
4. Important BooksPurvas, Angas and Upangas.Tripitakas and Jatakas.
5. Two famous religious placesThe Dilwara temples at Mount Abu and Palitana in Gujarat.Stupas at Sanchi and Viharas at Bodh Gaya.

Fill in the blanks

Question 1

Rishabhadev was the first Jain trithankara and Mahavira was the 24th trithankara.

Question 2

Mahavira attained spiritual knowledge at age of 42.

Question 3

Chandragupta Maurya ruler of Kalinga patronised Jainism.

Question 4

Gautam Buddha was born at Lumbini in Nepal.

Question 5

Sangha was the monastic order established to spread Buddhism.

Answer the following questions

Question 1

Give three reasons that led to the rise of Jainism and Buddhism.

Answer

The following reasons were responsible for the rise of Jainism and Buddhism.

  1. Vedic religious ceremonies had become too rigid and expensive. They were beyond the means of ordinary people.
  2. Corruption and evil practices crept into religious practices. This made the people look for alternative religious sects.
  3. Most of the vedic literature was composed in Sanskrit which the common man could not understand.

Question 2

Who was Mahavira? Why did he renounce the world?

Answer

Mahavira was born in the second half of the 6th century BCE at Kundagrama near vaishali in Bihar. He was the twenty-fourth and last of the tirthankaras. He is considered as the founder of Jainism because he made Jainism popular and systematic.
Mahavira renounced the world at the age of 30 in search of truth and became an ascetic. He practised severe penance and meditation for 12 long years. Finally, at the age of 42, he attained Spiritual Knowledge.

Question 3

Give the main teachings of Mahavira.

Answer

The main teachings of Mahavira are the following:

  1. Ahimsa — Mahavira gave utmost importance to Ahimsa or non-injury to living beings. Jains believed in the existence of soul even in inanimate objects. So one should not do harm to living beings by their speech, deed or action.
  2. Caste System — Mahavira preached universal brotherhood. He considered all men equal irrespective of their caste or creed.
  3. Belief in God and Rituals — Mahavira did not believe in Gods or the Vedas. He opposed all forms of rituals and religious practices.
  4. Karma and Rebirth — Mahavira believed in the Karma theory and preached that the ultimate goal of man is to attain freedom from worldly bonds or Moksha i.e., freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth. It can be obtained by following the Triratnas or Three jewels, i.e., right knowledge, right faith, and right actions.

Question 4

Mention the five great principles of Jainism.

Answer

In order to make the soul pure and free from evil, Jainism has laid down five great principles to be observed by all. These include:

  1. Ahimsa — Do not commit violence.
  2. Satya — Do not tell a lie.
  3. Asteya — Do not steal.
  4. Aparigraha — Do not acquire property.
  5. Chastity — Observe Brahmacharya.

Question 5

Give three causes for the decline of Jainism.

Answer

The main reasons of the decline of Jainism were the following:

  1. Jainism was not patronized by the contemporary rulers.
  2. Jainism had to compete with Buddhism which became more popular.
  3. Jainism advocated equality of men but it could not totally do away with the high and low position in society.

Question 6

Who founded Buddhism? Where did Buddha get enlightenment?

Answer

Gautam Buddha founded Buddhism. Buddha got enlightement under a peepal tree (Bodhi tree) at Bodh Gaya in Bihar.

Question 7

Name the four noble truths.

Answer

The four noble truths are the following:

  1. The world is full of suffering.
  2. Human desire is the cause of all suffering.
  3. Suffering can be ended only by giving up desires.
  4. Desires can be overcome by freeing oneself from the continuous cycle of birth, death and re-birth. This can be achieved by following the eight fold.

Question 8

What is the Ashtangika marg?

Answer

The way to Nirvana, in Buddhism, or the path that leads to removal of suffering, is known as the Ashtangika marg. It is also known as the Eightfold path or the Middle Path. The Ashtangika marg includes the following virtues:

  1. Right action
  2. Right belief
  3. Right effort
  4. Right means of livelihood
  5. Right meditation
  6. Right memory
  7. Right speech
  8. Right thought

Question 9

What is the difference between Hinayana and Mahayana sects of Buddhism?

Answer

Differences between Hinayana and Mahayana sects of Buddhism

Hinayana SectMahayana Sect
Hinayana Sect does not believe that Gautam Buddha was god. They deny the existence of god.Mahayana Sect believes that Gautam Buddha was an incarnation of God.
Hinayana Sect does not believe in idol worship.Mahayana Sect worships the images of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas.
Hinayana Sect believes in individual efforts of salvation by understanding the noble truths and following the Eight Fold Path.Mahayana Sect believes that everyone cannot get salvation by individual efforts. Only a few like the Buddha and Bodhisttavas can do it and they do it for all human beings.

Question 10

Give reasons for the decline of Buddhism.

Answer

Many factors contributed to the decline of Buddhism. Some of these are:

  1. With the passage of time, a number of evils crept into it.
  2. It lost royal patronage. The Gupta Kings patronised Hinduism.
  3. Hinduism purified and reformed itself.
  4. In the 7th and 8th century AD, the Turkish invaders plundered the Buddhist monasteries and forced the monks to flee.

Picture Study

Question 1

Study the picture and answer the following questions:

Study the picture and answer the questions. Identify the person in pictures (A) and (B) and name the religions found by them. Write two teachings of each religion found by them. Give two similarities and two dissimilarities between the two religion. Mahavira and Buddha — Great Preachers, Effective History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 6.

(a) Identify the person in pictures (A) and (B) and name the religions found by them.

(b) Write two teachings of each religion found by them.

(c) Give two similarities and two dissimilarities between the two religion.

Answer

(a) The persons in pictures are:

      A → Gautam Buddha
      B → Mahavira

Gautam Buddha founded Buddhism and Mahavira founded Jainism.

(b) Two teaching of each religion are:

Buddhism

  1. Ahimsa — Buddha preached ahimsa or non-violence. He asked his followers to practise non-violence and to lead an upright life.
  2. Nirvana — The ultimate goal of life is to attain Nirvana or salvation. It is a peaceful state of mind, which conquers all diseases and makes a person free from the cycle of birth and death.

Jainism

  1. Caste System — Mahavira preached universal brotherhood. He considered all men equal irrespective of their caste or creed.
  2. Belief in God and Rituals — Mahavira did not believe in God or the Vedas. He opposed all forms of rituals and religious practices.

(c) Similarities between Buddhism and Jainism are:

  1. Both did not accept the Vedas.
  2. Both preached Ahimsa or non-violence.

Dissimilarities between Buddhism and Jainism are:

BuddhismJainism
Buddhism was completely a new religion in 6th century BCE.Jainism had been found long before Mahavira. Mahavira was last of its Trihankaras.
Buddhism followed a middle path.Jainism believed in hard penance.
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