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Class VI - social: Great Thinkers and New Beliefs
One Word Answer Questions:
Q) Under which Jina, Jainism gained popularity?
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Q) Which language was common among the masses during the period of Mahavira?
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Q) Who was the founder of Buddhism?
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Q) Name the dome shaped structure where the relics of Buddha are preserved?
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Q) Name the order of monks which Mahavira and Buddha established?
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Q) Upanishadic thinkers believed that the Atman and Brahman were ultimately one. True or False?
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Q) Buddha attained enlightenment at which place?
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Q) Who are the followers of Mahavira?
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Q) How many ashramas were suggested by the Brahmins?
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Q) As per Buddha; what is the main cause of miseries in life?
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Q) Jainism was mainly embraced by people from which profession?
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Short Answer Questions:
Q) Explain the two groups of the Jainism?
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Q) Name four countries in Asia to which Buddhism has spread?
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Q) What is the law of karma taught by the Upanishads?
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Q) Explain the two groups of Buddhism?
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Q) How was the life of the people who live in a Sangha?
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Q) Describe the ways in which the Buddha tried to spread his message to the people.
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Q) What were the questions that Upanishadic thinkers wanted to answer?
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Q) Do you think it would have been easy for slaves to join the sangha? Give reasons for your answer.
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Q) What were the main teachings of the Mahavira?
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Q) Who was Mahavira?
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Q) What is a Sangha?
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Long Answer Questions:
Q) Why were the monasteries built for the Jains and Buddhist monks?
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Q) What were the teachings of Mahavira?
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Q) Explain the system of the Ashramas.
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Q) Describe the journey of Gautama Buddha.
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Q) What were the preachings of Buddha?
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Q) What were the rules to join the Buddhist Sangha?
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Q) Where did Jainism spread in India?
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Society in the 7th Century BC
  • By the 7th century BC, the Vedic religion had lost its simplicity. Its main focus on a variety of expensive rituals.
  • Elaborate sacrifices such as the Rajasuya and the Ashwamedha were performed by Brahmin priests on behalf of chiefs and kings.
  • The varna system was no longer flexible - a person's caste was largely decided by birth and not by occupation.
  • The original inhabitants of the land were considered 'outcastes' and treated very badly.
  • The power of the Brahmins increased. As people became more prosperous, many of them started questioning the religious power of the Brahmins.
  • They started resenting the caste system. Some people also felt the need to understand the purpose of life and the meaning of death.
  • In response to this widespread feeling of discontent, several new ideas and beliefs were born.
  • More than 60 different schools of thought were believed to have emerged in India around the 6th century BC.
New Ideas
New Ideas
The Upanishads
  • Upanishad means 'to sit down or near one'. It refers to the wisdom learnt at the feet of the guru.
  • The Upanishad are believed to have been composed between the 7th and the 4th centuries BC, through some may have been composed at a much later date.
  • According to the Upanishad, the human body has a soul, the atman, which survives even after the body dies.
  • According to the Upanishad, a person could reach god through bhakti.
  • The Upanishad also taught the law of Karma- the concept that what we experience in our present life is a result of our past actions.
  • The Upanishad laid stress on the practice of yoga and meditation for a healthy life.
New Ideas

  • The roots of the Jain faith can be traced to a succession of 24 jinas or tirthankaras.
  • A jina was one who had conquered anger, passion, greed and ego through meditation and self-awareness.
  • The followers of a jina are called Jains.
  • Jainism gained widespread popularity under Vardhamana Mahavira.
  • Vardhamana Mahavira was born around 599 BC near Vaishali in Bihar.
New Ideas
Vaishali in Bihar

Vardhamana Mahavira
  • Vardhamana was married and had a child. When he was 30 he renounced his family ties to search for truth.
  • He spent 12 long years in prayer, after which he attained enlightenment.
  • He came to known as Mahavira.
  • He spent the next 30 years of his life spreading his teaching to a large number of followers.
  • He preached in Prakrit, the language of the common people.
  • He died in Pava, in present-day south Bihar, around 527 BC.
  • The religion he established came to be known as Jainism.
New Ideas
Vardhamana Mahavira

The Teachings of Mahavira
    Mahavira taught his followers to believe in, and practise:
  • Nonviolence (Ahimsa) - not to cause harm to any living beings
  • Truthfulness (Satya) - to speak the harmless truth only
  • Non-stealing (Asetya) - not to take anything not properly given
  • Chastity (Brahmacharya) -not to indulge in sensual pleasure
  • Non-possession/Non-attachment (Aparigraha)- complete detachment from people, places, and material things
The Spread of Jainism
  • Jainism soon attracted many followers. One of the main reasons for this was that Mahavira taught in Prakrit, which was the language of the common people.
  • The Jains were broke up into two groups, the svetambaras and the digambaras.
  • The digambaras did not wear clothes. The svetambaras wore white garments.
  • Svetambaras Jainism is more widespread these days.
  • The Jain monks spread Mahavira's teaching from Orissa to Rajasthan and from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu.
New Ideas
Jain svetambaras and Digambaras

  • Siddhartha, also known as Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was born about 2500 years ago. This was a time of rapid change in the lives of people.
  • Many miracles and legends are connected with the birth of Siddhartha.
New Ideas
Gautama Buddha

Early Life and the journey to become the Buddha
  • Siddhartha was born in Lumbini, in present-day Nepal, around 563 BC.
  • His father was Suddhodana and mother was Mayadevi.
  • The Buddha belonged to a small gana known as the Sakyagana, and was a kshatriya.
  • When he was a young man, he left the comforts of his home in search of knowledge. He wandered for several years, meeting and holding discussions with other thinkers.
  • He finally decided to find his own path to realisation, and meditated for days on end under a peepal tree at Bodh Gaya in Bihar, where he attained enlightenment.
  • After that, he was known as the Buddha or the Wise One. He then went to Sarnath, near Varanasi, where he taught for the first time.
  • New Ideas

  • He spent the rest of his life travelling on foot, going from place to place, teaching people, till he passed away at Kusinara.
New Ideas
The birth place of Buddha(Lumbini)

The Buddha's doctrine

Buddha gave his first sermon in a deer park at Sarnath, near Varanasi. He expounded the doctrine of the four noble truths, which constitute the essence of his teachings.

    They are:
  • Life is full of suffering.
  • This suffering has a cause.
  • The cause of this sorrow is desire.
  • Getting rid of desires and wants will lead to peace.

For 40 years after his enlightenment, Buddha wandered around the country, preaching to people about how to rid their lives of suffering and pain, and about desires and freedom. He died around 483 BC at Kushinagar in Bihar.

New Ideas
Deer Park at Sarnath

Life of Moderation
  • Buddha declared that a life of moderation is the way to attain peace and happiness. That is the noble eight -fold path or the Middle path.
New Ideas
Life moderation

The noble eight-fold path:

    1. Right understanding
    2. Right thought
    3. Right speech
    4. Right action
    5. Right livelihood
    6. Right mindfulness
    7. Right effort
    8. Right concentration

  • People who followed this middle path would find peace and enlightenment.
  • Buddha preached ahimsa or non-violence, and spoke against the caste system.
The spread of Buddhism
  • The followers of the Buddhism divided into two groups - Hinayana and Mahayana.
  • The Mahayana Buddhists made images of Buddha and worshipped them.
  • The Hinayana Buddhist believed this to be against the teachings of Buddha.
New Ideas
Hinayana and Mahayana

The Sangha
  • One of the most important features of both Jainism and Buddhism was the sangha.
  • The sangha was an order of monks who travelled around the country spreading the teachings of Mahavira or Buddha.
  • The monks had to lead a life of poverty, simplicity and chastity.
  • To join the sangha permission had to be sought from the family.
  • Buddhism spread across India. From India, over the years, the religion spread to Sri Lanka and South-east Asia.
  • In the North, Buddhism spread along the trade routes, west into Afghanistan and east into Tibet, China, Japan and Korea.
New Ideas

Monasteries, Stupas and Chaityas
  • The followers of Buddha built several monasteries, stupas and chaityas adorned with beautiful sculptures depicting the life of Buddha.
  • Monasteries were places where the monks of the sangha lived and prayed.
  • Some of the Buddhist monasteries became great centres of learning, like Nalanda, Takshashila and Sarnath.
  • Stupas are dome-shaped structures where the relics of Buddha are preserved. The Stupa of Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh is one of the few surviving stupas.
  • A Chaitya is a Buddhist shrine or hall of worship.
New Ideas
Darjeeling Ghoom Monastery
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SanchiStupa, Madhya Pradesh
New Ideas
New Ideas
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