Question: Write a short note on Mahavira’s teachings.
Answer: Mahavira said that those who wish to know the truth must leave their homes. People must follow ‘ahimsa’. The Jains had to leave very simple lives and be very honest throughout. The men had to give up clothes.
Question: Describe how Jainism spread in other parts of India.
Answer: Jainism was initially supported mainly by traders. Farmers found it difficult to follow the rules since they required to kill the insects affecting crops. Over centuries, Jainism spread to different parts of north India, and to Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Question: What does the Vinaya Pitaka teach about ‘sangha’? [V. Imp.]
Answer: From the Vinaya Pitaka, we know that there were separate branches for men and women in the Buddhist ‘sangha’. Children were supposed to take permission of their parents and slaves had to ask for permission from their masters to join it. Women had to ask their husbands. Those who lived in the ‘sangha’ had to lead very simple lives—meditating, travelling and begging. They taught others and helped each other.
Question: Describe Buddha’s life in brief.
Answer: The Buddha (original name—Siddhartha Gautama) belonged to a small ‘gana’ and was a kshatriya. At an early age, he left the comforts of home and went in search of knowledge. He wandered for several years, and met and discussed with other contemporary thinkers. He meditated for several days under a ‘peepaT tree at Bodh Gaya in Bihar. Here, after meditation, he attained enlightenment. This gave him the name ‘the Buddha’ (the Wise One). He went to Samath and taught people. He travelled and preached for the rest of his life. He spoke of ‘tanha’, ‘Karma’, etc. He died at Kusinara.