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2D) Ancient History – Religion and Philosophy (Prelims PYQs)

1D Ancient History - Religion and Philosophy  (Prelims PYQs)

2023 Prelims PYQs

1] “Souls are not only the property of animal and plant life, but also of rocks, running water and many other natural objects not looked on as living by other religious sects.” [2023]

The above statement reflects one of the core beliefs of which one of the following religious sects of ancient India?
a) Buddhism
b) Jainism
c) Shaivism
d) Vaishnavism

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Ans: b) Jainism

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2] In which one of the following regions was Dhanyakataka, which flourished as a prominent Buddhist center under the Mahasanghikas, located? [2023]

a) Andhra
b) Gandhara
c) Kalinga
d) Magadha

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Ans: a) Andhra

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2022 Prelims PYQs

1] The world’s second tallest statue in sitting pose of Ramanuja was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India at Hyderabad recently. Which one of the following statements correctly represents the, teachings of Ramanuja?  [2022]

a) The best means of salvation was devotion
b) Vedas are eternal, self-existent and wholly authoritative
c) Logical arguments were essential means for the highest bliss
d) Salvation was to be obtained through meditation

Show Answer

Ans: a) The best means of salvation was devotion

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2]  With reference to Indian history, consider the following texts: [2022]

1. Nettipakarana
2. Parishishtaparvan
3. Avadanashataka
4. Trishashtilakshana Mahapurana

Which of the above are Jaina texts?|
a) 1, 2 and 3
b) 2 and 4 only
c) 1, 3 and 4
d) 2, 3 and 4

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Ans: b) 2 and 4 only

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3] With reference to Indian history, consider the following pairs: [2022]

Historical person Known as
Aryadeva Jaina Scholar
Dignaga Buddhist Scholar
Nathamuni Vaishnava scholar

How many pairs given above are correctly matched?
a) None of the pairs
b) Only one pair
c) Only two pairs
d) All three pairs

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Ans: c) Only two pairs

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2021 Prelims PYQs

1] With reference to the history of ancient India, which of the following statements is/are correct? [2021]

1. Mitakshara was the civil law for upper castes and Dayabhaga was the civil law for lower castes.
2. In the Mitakshara system, the sons can claim right to the property during the lifetime of the father, whereas in the Dayabhaga system, it is only after the death of the father that the sons can claim right to the property.
3. The Mitakshara system deals with the matters related to the property held by male members only of a family, whereas the Dayabhaga system deals with the matters related to the property held by both male and female members of a family.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) 1 and 2
b) 2 only
c) 1 and 3
d) 3 only

Show Answer

Ans: b) 2 only

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2020 Prelims PYQs

1] With reference to the cultural history of India, which one of the following is the correct description of the term ‘paramitas’? [2020]

a) The earliest Dharmashastra texts written in aphoristic (sutra) style
b) Philosophical schools that did not accept the authority of Vedas
c) Perfections whose attainment led to the Bodhisattva path
d) Powerful merchant guilds of early medieval South India

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Ans: c) Perfections whose attainment led to the Bodhisattva path

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2] With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements: [2020]

1. Sthaviravadins belong to Mahayana Buddhism
2. Lokottaravadin sect was an offshoot of Mahasanghika sect of Buddhism
3. The deification of Buddha by Mahasanghikas fostered Mahayana Buddhism

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

Show Answer

Ans: b) 2 and 3 only

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3]  With reference to the cultural history of India, consider the following pairs: [2020]

1. Parivrajaka — Renunciant and Wanderer
2. Shramana — Priest with a high status
3. Upasaka — Lay follower of Buddhism

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 1 and 3 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

Show Answer

Ans: b) 1 and 3 only

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2019 Prelims PYQs

1] Consider the following: [2019]

1) Deification of the Buddha
2) Treading the path of Bodhisattvas
3) Image worship and rituals

Which of the above is/are the feature/ features of Mahayana Buddhism?
a) 1 only
b) 1 and 2 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

Show Answer

Ans: d) 1, 2 and 3

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2018 Prelims PYQs

1]  With reference to the religious practices in India, the “Sthanakvasi” sect belongs to: [2018]

a) Buddhism
b) Jainism
c) Vaishnavism
d) Shaivism

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Ans: b) Jainism

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2]  With reference to the Indian History, who among the following is a future Buddha, yet to come to save the world? [2018]

a) Avalokiteshvara
b) Lokesvara
c) Maitreya
d) Padmapani

Show Answer

Ans: c) Maitreya

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2017 Prelims PYQs

1] With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements: [2017]

1. Sautrantika and Sammitiya were the sects of Jainism.
2. Sarvastivadin held that the constituents of phenomena were not wholly momentary, but existed forever in a latent form.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

Show Answer

Ans: b) 2 only

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2016 Prelims PYQs

1] With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements: [2016]

1) The concept of Bodhisattva is central to Hinayana sect of Buddhism
2) Bodhisattva is a compassionate one on his way to enlightenment
3) Bodhisattva delays achieving his own salvation to help all sentient beings on their path to it.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 2 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

Show Answer

Ans: b) 2 and 3 only

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2] With reference to the cultural history of India, the memorizing of chronicles, dynastic histories and Epictales was the profession of who of the following? [2016]

a) Shramana
b) Parivraajaka
c) Agrahaarika
d) Maagadha

Show Answer

Ans: d) Maagadha

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2014 Prelims PYQs

1] Consider the following statements: [2014]

1. ‘Bijak’ is a composition of the teachings of Saint Dadu Dayal
2. The Philosophy of Pushti Marg was propounded by Madhvacharya

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

Show Answer

Ans: d) Neither 1 nor 2

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2] Which one of the following pairs does not form part of the six systems of Indian Philosophy? [2014]

a) Mimamsa and Vedanta
b) Nyaya and Vaisheshika
c) Lokayata and Kapalika
d) Sankhya and Yoga

Show Answer

Ans: c) Lokayata and Kapalika

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2013 Prelims PYQs

1] With reference to the history of philosophical thought in India, consider the following statements regarding Sankhya school? [2013]

1. Sankhya does not accept the theory of rebirth or transmigration of soul.
2. Sankhya holds that it is the self-knowledge that leads to liberation and not any exterior influence or agent.

Which of the statements are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

Show Answer

Ans: b) 2 only

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2] Which one of the following describes best the concept of Nirvana in Buddhism? [2013]

a) The extinction of the flame of desire
b) The complete annihilation of self
c) A state of Bliss and rest
d) A mental stage beyond all comprehension

Show Answer

Ans: a) The extinction of the flame of desire

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3] Which of the following statements is/are applicable to Jain doctrine? [2013]

1. The surest way of annihilating Karma is to practice penance
2. Every object, even the smallest particle has a soul
3. Karma is the bane of the soul and must be ended

Select the correct answer using the codes given below
a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

Show Answer

Ans: d) 1, 2 and 3

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UPSC Prelims PYQ Book
  • Collection of more than 3200 Previous Year Questions (1995-2023)
  • All questions divided into 10 Subjects
  • Subject further sub-divided into more than 75 topics
  • All answers according to official answer key
  • BEST PYQ CLASSIFICATION EVER !

2012 Prelims PYQs

1] Lord Buddha’s image is sometimes shown with the hand gesture called ‘Bhumisparsha Mudra’. It symbolizes: [2012]

a) Buddha’s calling of the Earth to watch over Mara and to prevent Mara from disturbing his meditation
b) Buddha’s calling of the Earth to witness his purity and chastity despite the temptations of Mara
c) Buddha’s reminder to his followers that they all arise from the Earth and finally dissolve into the Earth, and thus this
life is transitory
d) Both the statements (a) and (b) are correct in this context

Show Answer

Ans: b) Buddha’s calling of the Earth to witness his purity and chastity despite the temptations of Mara

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2] With reference to the history of ancient India, which of the following was/were common to both Buddhism and Jainism? [2012]

1.Avoidance of extremities of penance and enjoyment
2.Indifference to the authority of the Vedas
3.Denial of efficacy of rituals

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
a) 1 only                                  b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only                      d) 1,2 & 3

Show Answer

Ans: b) 2 and 3 only

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2011 Prelims PYQs

1] The Jain philosophy holds that the world is created and maintained by? [2011]

a) Universal law             b) Universal truth
c) Universal faith           d) Universal soul

Show Answer

Ans: a) Universal law     

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2010-1995 Prelims PYQs

1] With reference to ancient Jainism, which one of the following statements is correct? [2004]

a) Jainism was spread in South India under the leadership of Sthalabahu.
b) The Jainas who remained under the leadership of Bhadrabahu were called Shvetambaras after the Council held at Pataliputra.
c) Jainism enjoyed the patronage of the Kalinga king Kharavela in the first century BC.
d) In the initial stage of Jainism, the Jainas worshipped images unlike Buddhists.

Show Answer

Ans: c) Jainism enjoyed the patronage of the Kalinga king Kharavela in the first century BC.

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2] Which one of the following sequences indicates the correct chronological order? [2004]

a)Shankaracharya-Ramanuja-Chaitanya
b)Ramanuja-Shankaracharya-Chaitanya
c) Ramanuja-Chaitanya-Shankaracharya
d)Shankaracharya-Chaitanya-Ramanuja

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Ans: a)Shankaracharya-Ramanuja-Chaitanya   

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3] Consider the following statements: [2003]

1. Vardhamana Mahavira’s mother was the daughter of Lichchhavi chief Chetaka.
2. Goutama Buddha’s mother was a princess from the Koshalan dynasty.
3. Parshvanatha, the 23rd Tirthankara, belonged to Banaras.

Which of these statements is/are correct?
a) Only 1                       b) Only 2
c) 2 and 3                     d) 1, 2 and 3

Show Answer

Ans: c) 2 and 3         

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4] In ancient Indian Buddhist monasteries, a ceremony called Pavarana used to be held. It was the: [2003]

a) Occasion to elect the Sanghaparinayaka and two speakers one on Dhamma and the other on Vinaya
b) Confession by monks of their offences committed during their stay in the monasteries during the rainy season
c) Ceremony of initiation of new person into the Buddhist Sangha in which the head is shaved an when yellow robes
are offered
d) Gathering of Buddhist monks on the next day to the full moon day of Ashadha when they take up affixed abode for the next four months or rainy season

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Ans: b) Confession by monks of their offences committed during their stay in the monasteries during the rainy season   

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5] Who among the following presided over the Buddhist Council held during the reign of Kanishka at Kashmir? [2001]

a) Parsva                            b) Nagarjuna
c) Sudraka                         d) Vasumitra

Show Answer

Ans: d) Vasumitra     

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6] Match List I with List II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the Lists: [2001]

List I (Bhakti Saint)           List II (Profession)
I. Namdev                            A) Barber
II. Kabir                                 B) Weaver
III. Ravidas                           C) Tailor
IV. Sena                                 D) Cobbler

Codes:
a) I­-B, II­-C, III-­A, IV-­D 
b) I­-C, II­-B, III­-D, IV­-A
c) I­-C, II-­B, III­-A, IV­-D 
d) I­-B, II-­C, III­-D, IV­-A

Show Answer

Ans: b) I­-C, II­-B, III­-D, IV­-A    

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7] Assertion (A): The emphasis of Jainism on non­violence (ahimsa) prevented agriculturalists from embracing Jainism.

Reason (R): Cultivation involved killing of insects and pests. [2000]
a) Both A and R are true, and R is the correct explanation of A
b) Both A and R are true, but R is not a correct explanation of A
c) A is true, but R is false
d) A is false, but R is true

Show Answer

Ans: a) Both A and R are true, and R is the correct explanation of A

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8] The concept of Eight­fold path forms the theme of: [1998]

a) Dipavamsa
b) Divyavadana
c) Mahaparinibban Sutta
d) Dharma Chakara Pravartana Sutta

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Ans: d) Dharma Chakara Pravartana Sutta 

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9] In Mahayana Buddhism, the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara was also known as: [1997]

a) Vajrapani                       b) Manjusri
c) Padmapani                   d) Maitreya

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Ans: c) Padmapani      

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10] Which one of the following is not a part of early Jaina literature? [1996]

a) Therigatha                b) Acarangasutra
c) Sutrakritanga           d) Brihatkalpasutra

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Ans: a) Therigatha    

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11] Which of the following were common to both Buddhism and Jainism? [1996]

1.Avoidance of extremities of penance and enjoyment.
2.Indifference to the authority of the Vedas
3.Denial of efficacy of rituals
4.Non­injury to animal life

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
Codes:
a) 1, 2, 3 and 4                  b) 2, 3 and 4
c) 1, 3 and 4                       d) 1 and 2

Show Answer

Ans: b) 2, 3 and 4

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12] The Sufi saint who maintained that devotional music was one way of coming close to God was: [1996]

a) Muin­ud­din Chishti
b) Baba Farid
c) Saiyid Muhammad Gesudaraz
d) Shah Alam Bukhari

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Ans: a) Muin­ud­din Chishti   

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13] Which one of the following was a Saiva sect in ancient India? [1996]

a) Ajivika              
b) Mattamayura
c) Mayamata    
d) Isanasivagurudevapaddhati

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Ans: b) Mattamayura  

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14] According to ancient Indian cosmogonic ideas the sequential order of the cycle of four aeons (Yugas) is: [1996]

a) Dvapara, Krita, Treta and Kali
b) Krita, Dvapara, Treta and Kali
c) Krita, Treta, Dvapara and Kali
d) Treta, Dvapara, Kali and Krita

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Ans: c) Krita, Treta, Dvapara and Kali

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15] According to the Mimamsa system of philosophy, liberation is possible by means of: [1995]

a) Jnana                             b) Bhakti      
c) Yoga                                d) Karma

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Ans: d) Karma  

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16] The concept of Anuvrata was advocated by: [1995]
a) Mahayana Buddhism  
b) Hinayana Buddhism
c) Jainism
d) The Lokayata school

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Ans: c) Jainism

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17] The word ‘Hindu’ as a reference to the people of Hind (India) was first used by: [1995]

a) Greeks             b) Romans
c) Chinese           d) Arabs

Show Answer

Ans: d) Arabs 

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  • Collection of more than 3200 Previous Year Questions (1995-2023)
  • All questions divided into 10 Subjects
  • Subject further sub-divided into more than 75 topics
  • All answers according to official answer key
  • BEST PYQ CLASSIFICATION EVER !
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