NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 7 - New Questions and Ideas

Chapter 7 - New Questions and Ideas

Question 1: Describe the ways in which the Buddha tried to spread his message to the people.
Answer:

• Buddha taught the people in Prakrit, which was the language of the ordinary people so that everybody could understand his message without any difficulty.
• He also encouraged people to think for themselves rather to simply accept what he said.
• Buddha, himself set an example to lead a simple life.
• Gautam Buddha moved from place to place to give his message to all people (ordinary as well as people from other classes of society).

Question 2: Write whether true or false:
a) The Buddha encouraged animal sacrifices.
b) Sarnath is important because it was the place where the Buddha taught for the first time.
c) The Buddha taught that ‘Karma’ has no effect on our lives.
d) The Buddha attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya.
e) Upanishadic thinkers believed that the ‘atman’ and ‘brahman’ were ultimately one.
Answer:

a) False
b) True
c) False
d) True
e) True

Question 3: What were the questions that Upanishadic thinkers wanted to answer?
Answer:
Upanishadic thinkers wanted to know about life after death. Some wanted to know why sacrifices should be performed. They felt there had to be something permanent in the universe that lasted even after death. Their ideas are recorded in the Upanishads.

Question 4: What were the main teachings of the Mahavira?
Answer:
The main teachings of the Mahavira are
• He taught a simple doctrine: men and women who wished to know the truth must leave their homes.
• They must follow very strictly the rules of ahimsa, which means not hurting or killing living beings. “All beings,” said Mahavira “long to live. To all things life is dear.”
• Ordinary people could understand the teachings of Mahavira and his followers, because they used Prakrit. There were several forms of Prakrit, used in different parts of the country, and named after the regions in which they were used. For example, the Prakrit spoken in Magadha was known as Magadhi.
• Followers of Mahavira, who were known as Jainas, had to lead very simple lives, begging for food.
• They had to be absolutely honest, and were especially asked not to steal.
• They had to observe celibacy.
• And men had to give up everything, including their clothes.

Question 5: Why do you think Anagha’s mother wanted her to know the story of the Buddha?
Answer:
Buddha was the founder of Buddhism and he was the wise one. His stories could be inspirational and motivational to students. So Anagha‘s mother wanted her to know his story.

Question 6: Do you think it would have been easy for slaves to join the ‘sangha’? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer:
Yes, it would have been easy for slaves to join the sangha. Because Buddha favoured and stressed equality of human beings. Moreover, some slaves were very good at their work and performed many useful services for the people of sanghas.

Question 7: Make a list of at least five ideas and questions mentioned in this lesson. Choose three from the list and discuss why you think they are important even today.
Answer:
Ideas and questions mentioned in the lesson and their relevance today
• Life is full of suffering and unhappiness. It is due to our unfulfilled desires. This is true today since most people are not satisfied with what they have. They resort to unfair means out of greed and end up in suffering and trouble.
• Our actions (‘Karma’) affect us in our current life as well as next life.
• We should not hurt or kill any living being, according to Mahavira. This is important because every living being has a desire to live.
• Thinkers wanted to know about life after death and they wanted to know why sacrifices should be performed. Sacrifices are not justified since living being should be killed.
• Upanishadic thinkers also felt that something was permanent in the universe and it lasted even after death.

Question 8: Find out more about men and women who renounce the world today. Where do they live, what kinds of clothes do they wear, what do they eat? Why do they renounce the world?
Answer:
Religious saints, monks, nuns, philosophers, men and women who have joined the Buddha-Sangha renounce the world even today. They live in ashrams, vihars, sanghas, dargahas or lonely places of meditation or worship. Some of them even live in remote forests or near some permanent rivers or on the peak of mountains. They meditate for the most of the time. They wear very simple clothes or clothes of particular colour and design. Generally they eat vegetarian food, simple rice or chapatis along with milk, fruit, vegetables and pulses. They renounce the world because they feel that only those who leave their homes can gain true knowledge.

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