Question: What are the main teachings of the Upanishads?
Answer: The Upanishads talk about two main concepts – the Brahman and Atman. The moksha can be achieved if one has the proper knowledge, good conduct and right belief. The practice of meditation and recitation of verses, the Upanishads also taught that a person should be compassionate, generous, honest, courageous and should have self-control. Through stories, commentaries, dialogues and questions and answers, the Upanishads reveal many basic truths of life.
Question: Why did the kshatriyas resent the domination of the brahmanas?
Answer: They were ranked next to the brahmanas. They were the rulers and belonged to the warrior caste. They had become powerful with the expansion of the mahajanapadas and the rise of kingdoms. The kshatriyas resented the supremacy of the brahmanas.
Question: Why was Mahavira called jina?
Answer: Mahavira wandered from place to place for 12 years in search of truth and led a life of penance and meditation. At the age of 42, he attained the highest spiritual knowledge. He was now called jina (conqueror of self) or Mahavira (Great Hero).
Question: What were the four rules sights that changed Siddharth’s life completely?
Answer: Four scenes – an old man, a sick man, a dead body and finally a holy man These four sights touched him deeply and changed his life completely. He was so moved by the sufferings of the people that at the age of 29, he gave up his life as a prince and went into the forest to practise deep meditation.
Question: What are stupas?
Answer: Stupas are semi-spherical dome-like structures which contain the sacred remains or relics of Buddha or some other monk such as a casket in a small central chamber. The most well-known stupas are the ones at Sanchi, Amravati, Bharhut and Bodh Gaya.