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KINSHIP, CASTE, AND

CLASS

Contents

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Satvahanas had a tradition of matrilineal lineage. Comment

Satvahanas add their mothers name before their own name and

therefore it has been assumed by some historians that they follow

matriliny system but there was patriliny at least among the rulers

it appeared so. Because all the rulers succeeded the throne were

from the paternal side rather than mothers side.

Why the historians lay emphasis on issue of kinship, family, and

marriage?

Historians lay emphasis on knowing the changes in relationship

between kinship, family, and marriage because the changes faced

by these institutions represent the undercurrents which were

witnessed by the society.

What is the difference between the Buddhist and Brahmanic

view about the division of society based on Varna?

Buddhism recognized that division of society is a universal fact

and is prevalent in each society, but did not regard these as natural
or inflexible. They also rejected the idea of claim for superior status

merely based on birth.

What do you understand by caste?

Caste refers to social hierarchy ordered laid down in

Dharmasutras and Dharmshastras according to the work

performed by the people. Later on, it became rigid. It was based on

the birth of a person in a caste.

What is the significance of varnas?

Varnas are four categories of people classified by Dharmasutras

and Dharmshastras namely Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and

Shudras. They are expected to carry out the occupation which is

ideal to their varnas as explained in the Dharmshastras and

Dharmasutras.

What do the variations of Mahabharata in different languages

indicate?

The variations of Mahabharata reflect the complex process that

shaped social histories through dialogues between dominant


traditions and resilient local ideas and practices characterized by

moments of conflict and consensus.


A divine order?

To justify their claims, Brahmanas often cited a verse from a

hymn in the Rigveda known as the Purusha sukta, describing

the sacrifice of

Purusha, the primeval man. All the elements of the universe,

including the four social categories, were supposed to have

emanated from his body: The Brahmana was his mouth, of his

arms was made the Kshatriya. His thighs became the Vaishya, of

his feet the Shudra was born.

Which historical text mentions about the division of Indian

society into four Varnas?

Purushsukta of Rigveda mentions about the division of society

into four varnas.

What does the Brahmin want to assert?

Brahmin through this wants to assert that the position of Brahmin

in the social order is divinely ordained.


Occupation of a person was decided right from womb of his

mother. Comment

In ancient India, society was divided into four varnas and the laws

prescribed the work to be performed by the person of each Varna.

Therefore, one can pursue only that occupation which is

prescribed to the Varna to which he belongs. If a person does not

follow his own occupation he can be outlawed from the society.

Describe the process of classification of contents of the present

text by the historians?

The text presented is classified into sections one that contains

stories, designated as narrative. Other section, containing

descriptions about social norms, known as didactic. Didactic

sections include stories and narratives containing social messages.

What does the Tamil Sangam anthologies illustrate?

The anthologies of Tamil Sangam illustrate the economic, social

relationships, suggesting that while there were differences

between rich and poor, those who controlled resources were

expected to share them.


How was the early Buddhist view of the Varnas different from

that proclaimed by the Brahmanas?

Buddhism recognized that there were differences in the society but

did not regard them as natural or inflexible. They also rejected the

idea of claims to status based on birth.

Describe the observations made by Fa Xian and Xuan Zang

regarding the untouchables?

Fa Xian came to India in Fifth century CE and noted that so called

untouchables sounded clappers when entering the streets in the

night to avoid another peoples sight. Xuan Zang who came in

Seventh century observed that executioners and scavengers were

forced to live outside the city.

How were jatis classified?

There were four Varnas but there was no restriction on the number

of jatis. Whenever, new groups that did not easily fit into the

fourfold Varna system were encountered by the Brahmanical

authorities, they were classified as a jati. Groups which shared a


common occupation for instance, people living in forests such as

the nishadas, barbers, carpenters, etc., were classified as a jati.

Who were Mlechchhas?

Rulers such as Shakas, who came from Central Asia were regarded

as barbarians or outsiders and known as Mlechchhas. Some

powerful Mlechchhas were familiar with Sanskritic traditions.

Who were regarded as Mlechchhas by the brahmanas?

The Shaka and Kushana rulers who came from Central Asia were

regarded as barbarians or outsiders and known as Mlechchhas.

What strategies were developed by the Brahmanas to enforce the

Varna system stated in the Dharmshastras and the

Dharmasutras?

The Brahmanas developed three strategies to enforce the Varna

system.

Firstly, they asserted that the Varna order was of divine origin

Secondly, they advised the Kings to ensure that the Varna

system was followed within their kingdoms


Thirdly, they attempted to persuade the people that birth

determined their status.

What was the importance of the mothers to the Satavahana

rulers?

Although Satavahana rulers were identified through metronymics

which suggest that mothers were given importance but their

succession to the throne was generally patrilineal. Many

inscriptions of the Satavahana rulers mention the name of their

mothers rather than those of their fathers for

example, Gautamiputra Satakarni or Satakarni, son of Gautami.

So, we can conclude that mothers were of great importance to the

Satavahana rulers.

Define the significance of Varnas?

Varnas classified by Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras

categorises people in four categories - namely Brahmins,

Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. They are expected to carry the

occupation which is ideal to their Varnas which is explained in the

Dharmashastras and Dharmasutras.


Define caste?

Caste refers to a set of hierarchically ordered social categories. The

ideal order was laid down in Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras

by the Brahmins in which they place themselves on the top and

Shudras at the bottom. The Brahmanas claimed that this order was

divinely ordained.

What is Metronymics?

The system of deriving names from mother is known as

metronymics.

The Satavahana rulers were identified through metronymics. One

of the earliest Upanishads contains a list of successive generations

of teachers and students, many of whom were designated by

metronymics.

What is Manusmriti?

Manusmriti is an important collection

of Dharmasutras and Dharmshastras complied between c 200 BCE

and 200CE.
Manusmriti is considered as a foundational work of Hindu law

and ancient Hindu society. It was compiled and written in c. 200

CE. Manu Smriti is one of the 18 Smritis of the Dharmshastras. It is

important to note that unlike the Vedas which are considered to be

eternal or of divine origin, the Smritis are considered to be of

human origin and therefore susceptible to the flaws of humans.

Who wrote the original story of Mahabharata?

The original story of Mahabharata was probably composed by

charioteer-bards known as sutras who generally accompanied

Kshatriya warriors to the battlefield and composed poems

celebrating their victories and other achievements. These

compositions circulated orally. Then, from the fifth century BCE,

Brahmanas took over the story and began to commit it to writing.

What were the rules of casteism in India?

The Indian caste system was governed by the rules of:

Endogamy - It means marriage was only legitimate within the

caste.

Commensality - food was only to be received from and eaten in

the presence of members of same caste or higher caste.


Craft exclusiveness - each man was to live by the trade or

profession of his caste.

How foreigners were assimilated into the Indian society?

During the Gupta period, there was a proliferation of castes into

numerous sub-castes. This was due to many factors like social and

religious rules, inter-caste marriages, conversion of different

occupations and people into caste with people of their respective

profession, etc. Many foreigners had been assimilated into the

Indian society and each group of foreigners mainly came as

conquerors, hence they were given the status of Kshatriya in

society.

What do you mean by endogamy and Exogamy?

Endogamy refers to the marriage inside ones own group here

group stands for KIN. Exogamy refers to the marriage outside

ones own kin. Endogamous marriages were unpopular and faced

criticism of the society.

What do you mean by Polygyny and Polyandry?


Polygyny refers to the marriage in which a husband can have

several wives. Polyandary refers to the system in which a wife

could have more than one husband at a time.

Define Patriliny system?

Under Patriliny system children particularly sons have claims to

their fathers wealth to the extent that after the death of the father,

the eldest son oversees the fathers wealth & even succeeds the

father as the head of the household.

What was the case when the king did not have a successor?

In case the king did not have a son, he was succeeded by one of his

brothers. Many times, other kinsmen claimed the throne and it was

a very exceptional case, that women succeeded or exercised power.

What is the basic composition of a family?

Each & every society has different criterions for determining

family or Kinfolk. In some societies only, the immediate blood

relatives were regarded as family members. Whereas, some extend

the family ties to the cousins and beyond that periphery. Familial

ties are based on blood and regarded as natural.


What is Manusmriti?

Manusmriti is an important collection of Dharmasutras &

Dharmshastras complied between c 200 BCE and 200CE

What do you mean Patriliny and matriliny?

Patriliny is referred to the tracing of lineage from the paternal side

and when the lineage is traced from the maternal side it is referred

as matriliny.

Give any two reasons to explain why number of Varnas remains

four whereas number of caste went on increasing?

Varna was based on birth whereas in later period caste term used

for the occupational groups and tends to increase as people started

pursuing different kinds of occupation. For example, a person who

is goldsmith lies in vaishya order but as the caste became a

different group he belongs to Goldsmith caste. The other reason

was the practice of pratiloma form of marriage in the society.

Discuss the provisions given in Manusmriti for distribution of

Paternal property.
Provisions given by Manusmiriti for the distribution of paternal

property are as follows:

Paternal property would be divided equally among all brothers,

but eldest sons share will be higher than the rest.

Women could not claim her share in paternal property.

Women rights for inheritance was not only dependent upon the

social norms but also on their social status. Comment

Yes, the statement is true as we observe that as per Dharamsutras

women could not get any share in her paternal property but if the

women belong to influential family then all these laws are kept

aside as we have evidence of Prabhawati Gupta as a successor

among Vataka. this suggests that upper class women had access to

resources that were generally controlled by men.

Discuss the various ways of granting inheritance to property.

The bases on which property is granted is as follows:

Based on Gender.

Based on Varna
Discuss the Buddhist attitude towards the difference in society.

Buddhism though accepts difference in the society as natural but

declared it because of greed for authority, status and power as a

basic cause of this difference in the society.

What are the elements of consideration for historians while

analyzing any text?

The elements of consideration fro the historians are as follows:

Language of the historical text

Content or the subject matter of the text

Who has been the author of the text and date of composition of

the text

What are the two broad divisions of the content?

The two broad divisions of the content are didactic and narrative.

What does the mention of Polyandrous marriage in Mahabharata

suggest?

The polyandrous marriage in Mahabharata suggest many things it

may be because of the shortage of women due to ceaseless wars, or


due to the situational crisis and that narratives sometimes does not

reflect the social realities.

Why the number of jatis increased with the passing of time?

The varnas were fixed at four but there was no restriction on

number of jatis. Whenever new groups were encountered new

groups or wanted to assign a name to occupational categories,

which did not fit into the fourfold of the Varna system were

classified as jatis.

What are shernis or guilds?

People sharing same occupation were organised into a group

known as shreni or guild. As the occupation of a person was based

on the caste to which he belongs therefore members of these guilds

share the same caste as well.

What do you mean by Kin? Discuss the role of kinship in

marriage.

Kin means a group of people having a common lineage. In Indian

social traditions Kin plays a great role. In Hindu society kin plays

great role in determining marriage ties. Marriage between people


of one kin is banned as per Dharamshastras. People of one kin are

considered brother and sister and therefore marriage between

them is forbid.

How many forms of marriage did Dharamsutras sanction? Name

them. Why some forms of marriages were considered as

uncivilized?

Dharamshastras sanctioned only the four forms of marriage

though it lay out eight forms of marriage. The sanctioned forms of

marriages are Brahma, Daiva, Prajapatya and lastly Arsha. Some

marriages were considered uncivilized because they do not follow

the Brahmanic practices and were result of a compromise rather

than willingness from one of the party.

Discuss the problems faced by the team in its work of social

reconstruction.

The problem faced by the team was that it must establish relations

between different versions given in the historical text and evaluate

it properly. Moreover, they must note down the different versions

given which made the task more cumbersome and gigantic.


5 marks

What is the importance of Mandsor inscription?

The stone inscription found at Mandsor helps in the

understanding of social process and the working of the guilds.

This inscription gives us information about the guild of silk

weavers who originally lived in Lata, the present-day Gujarat and

shifted to Mandsor, present day Madhya Pradesh because of better

opportunity along with their kinfolks and children. The

membership of the guild was based on a shared craft

specialization; some members took up other occupations. This

inscription informs us that apart from the common profession

shared by the members they collectively decided to invest their

wealth, earned through the craft, to construct a splendid temple in

the honour of sun god.

What observations were made by Fa Xian and Xuan Zang?

Fa Xian came to India in c. Fifth century CE and Xuan Zang visited

India in seventh century. Both have described the pitiable

condition of shudras and untouchables in India. Fa Xian pointed

out that the untouchables sounded clappers when they


entered street so that the people could avoid the sight to save

themselves from the pollution. Xuang Zang who came in c.

Seventh century observed that executioners and scavengers were

forced to live outside the city.

"All the kings in India should be of Kshatriya lineage". Examine

the statement.

Though according to the Varna system only Kshatriyas were

supposed to be the kings, but it is observed that any person

who can muster resources and support and need not to depend

on theory of birth, example Shungas and Kanavas were brahmans.

Similarly, the Satvahana king Gotami-putra-Satakani claimed to be

Brahman and destroyer of Kshatriyas pride. He also claimed to

have ensured that there was no intermarriage amongst of the four

varnas, but he himself did. They practiced endogamy instead of

exogamous system recommended by the brahamanical system to

which they belonged.

What were the various occupations that were considered ideal

for the four varnas?


The work assigned to a member of a varna is as follows:

Brahamanas were to study and teach Vedas, perform sacrifices,

and get sacrifices performed, give and receive

gifts. Kshatriyas were to engage in warfare, protect people and

administer justice, study the Vedas, get sacrifices performed and

make gifts. Vaishyas were expected to give gifts, get sacrificed

performed and study Vedas in addition to engaging in agriculture,

pastoralism, and trade. Shudras were assigned the job of serving

the three higher varnas.

What was the importance of the mother?

Mothers were reverred universally. We have example from

Mahabharata where, Gandhari mother of Duryodhana adviced

him to follow the path of peace and friendship with the Pandavas

in order to abstain him from the dire consequences of war. And, on

the other hand we have example of Satvahana rulers who added

mother's name prior to their own name to show respect to them.

What are Dharmasutras and Dharmshastras? Why they were

compiled?

These are collection of codes of social behaviour meant to be

followed by the Brahamanas and society in general. They are


written in Sanskrit. Early societies were segregated but with the

emergence of town people from near and far met to buy and sell

their produce and shared their views in the urban milieu which

might have led to the questioning of the earlier beliefs and

practices. It was to counter this challenge that Dharmasutras and

Dharmshastras were compiled. To restrict the changes or to arrest

the social changes resulted by intermixing of people of various

classes.

What do you mean by Shreni? Discuss its role in social

organization.

Shreni was the organization of the people who were engaged in

the same profession. Since these people followed a common

occupation they belonged to same caste which helped

in organizing them to come together on a common platform for

raising their voices. The members of Shreni together decided

where they should invest money earned through their craft.

Kings were considered as upholder of social order. Even then

we observe that rulers themselves sometimes ignored social

norms. Analyse the statement.


As per the Dharmasutras the rulers were given the responsibility

for keeping the social norms intact and to act as an upholder of

social system. But from history itself we find instances that these

rulers themselves have not followed the social norms. For

example, the Satvahana rulers had their marriage relationship

within their kin, not only this Kshatriya were considered fit to

become king, but this rule is also negated as people who were

declared Malechchhas (Kanishka belong to kushana dynasty

considered as outside Brahmanical society) also became king and

Brahmins too became rulers like Satvahanas were Brahmins.

Define the broad structure of a family or Kinfolk?

All the families are not identical; they vary in terms of numbers,

relationship with each other, and the daily activities that they

share together. Very often people belonging to the same family

share food and other resources, live, work and perform rituals.

Families constitute a larger part of the network of people known as

the 'relatives' or Kinfolk.

Familial ties are based on blood and considered as natural. They

are defined in many ways such as in some societies cousins are

regarded as relatives and in some societies, they are not.


As far as early societies are concerned, it is easy for the historians

to retrieve information about the families of the elite group. On the

other hand, it is difficult to reconstruct the familial relationship of

ordinary people. Another important factor is the attitude towards

the families and kinship. It is also investigated and analysed by the

historians. These factors are important as they give insight into

peoples thinking and helps in the understanding of structure of

family.

Define various occupations that were considered ideal for the

four Varnas?

The Varna system of the Hindu society is described in the

Manusmriti, Dharmashastras and Dharmasutras and According to

the classification, Brahmanas works was to teach Vedas, perform

sacrifices and get sacrifices performed, give, and receive gifts.

Person from this Varna was considered the highest and deserved

respect from everyone else. Kshatriyas were to engage in warfare,

protect people and administer justice, study the Vedas, get

sacrifices performed and make gifts. This Varna contained most of

the political leaders and kings. Similarly, Vaishyas were expected

to give gifts, get sacrificed performed and study Vedas in addition

to engaging in agriculture, pastoralism, and trade. Merchants,


Farmers, and traders belonged to this Varna. Shudras were

assigned the job of serving the three higher Varnas. This was the

lowest of the four Varnas.

What are Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras? Define the

purpose of their compilation?

Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras were inspired by the Vedas.

These were meant for the Brahmanas and society in general. They

are written in Sanskrit text. These are the collection of codes of

social behaviour at different stages of life, or ashramas; dietary

regulations; offences and punishments; and the rights and duties

of kings. Purification rites, funerary ceremonies, forms of

hospitality, and daily oblations, and even juridical matters were

also discussed.

Early societies were segregated but with the emergence of towns

social life became more complex. People from far and near places

met to buy and sell their produce and shared their views in the

urban milieu. This may have lead to the questioning of the earlier

beliefs and practices. It was to counter this challenge that

Brahmanas laid down codes of social behaviour and compiled

Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras.


Describe the central story of the literary epic Mahabharata.

The Colossal epic Mahabharata running in its present form has

over 100,000 verses with depictions from a wide range of social

categories and situations. This work is traditionally attributed to

sage Veda Vyasa. The Mahabharata, like any major epic, contains

vivid descriptions of battles, forests, palaces, and settlements.

The central story of the Mahabharata is about two sets of warring

cousins. It describes a feud over land and power. These were the

Kauravas and the Pandavas who belonged to a single ruling family

of the Kurus- a lineage dominating over one of the janapadas. The

conflict ends in a battle in which the Pandavas emerge victorious.

After that patrilineal succession was proclaimed.

Define the importance of mahasammata in Buddhist myth

found in Sutta Pitaka?

The importance of mahasammata was that

The institution of kingship was supposed to be based upon the

human choice, with taxes as a form of payment for services

rendered by the king.


At the same time, it reveals recognition of human agency in

creating and institutionalising economic and social relations.

It also recognizes the fact that since humans are responsible for

creation of the system, they could also change it in future.

The myth prevailing at the time of the Buddha was that kingship

was of divine origin. It was believed that war necessitated a king to

give leadership. But the Buddhist concept as given in Digha

Nikaya is that kingship originated as a genuine political need of

the society as opposed to the Brahmin theory of divine origin.

According to Sutta Pitaka, at a certain stage of evolution, the need

of taking what Mother Nature offered, to stop stealing and other

vices, prompted a genuine social need for a great leader to judge

whenever such a situation arose.

Hence the king was elected and approved by the people

(Mahasammata). Taxes were paid by the subjects for the services

given by the king. This suggests that institution of kingship was a

logical outcome of a social need.


Did the access to resources sharpen the social difference between

men and women? Justify your answer.

Yes, the access to resources was the primary reason of the social

difference that prevailed in the status of men and women.

According to Manusmriti the women were not eligible to pick up a

share in the parental property which was divided amongst the

sons after the death of parents with a special share for the eldest.

However, the women could retain the gift they received on their

marriage as stridhan, this could be inherited by her children

without the husband having any claim to it. But the women were

not supposed to, according to Manusmriti, hoard family property

and other valuables including their own without their husbands

permission. Both epigraphic and textual evidences suggest that

while upper-class women may have had access to resources, land,

cattle, and money were generally controlled by men.

Define the strategies developed by Brahmanas to enforce the

system norms stated in Dharmashastras and Dharmasutras?

The Dharmashastras also contained rules about the ideal

occupations of the four Varnas. Brahmanas were assigned the

occupation to study and teach the Vedas and perform sacrifices.

Kshatriyas were to engage in warfare, protect people and


administer justice, study the Vedas, get sacrifices performed, and

make gifts. The primary occupations of the Vaishyas were to

engage in agriculture and trade. The last three occupations

assigned to the kshatriyas were also assigned to the Vaishyas.

Shudras were to serve the three higher Varnas. The Brahmanas

evolved three strategies for enforcing the rules about the right

occupation of the four Varnas.

They asserted that the varna order was of divine origin.

They advised the Kings to ensure that the norms of the varna

system were followed within their kingdoms,

They attempted to persuade the people that their status was

being determined by birth.

Who was V.S Suthankar? Evaluate the contribution of his team

in the social reconstruction of India

V.S Suthankar was an eminent Sanskrit scholar of India. He

undertook the work of analyzation of Mahabharata and appointed

a team of various Sanskrit scholars from various parts of India. The

team worked hard to reconstruct the social history of Indian

society by analyzing various ancient texts and their authenticity.

They carefully assimilitated and evaluated the various information

given in the texts.


Discuss the problems faced by the team in its work of social

reconstruction.

The problem faced by the team was that it must establish relations

between different versions given in the historical text and evaluate

it properly. Moreover, they must note down the different versions

given which made the task more cumbersome and gigantic.

What were the different provisions laid down for ensuring

patrilineal succession?

Hindu Dharmashashra has mentioned various provisions for

ensuring patrilineal succession they are as follows:

In case of fathers death eldest son would become king

In case if elder son does not wish to become ruler then any of

his son can succeed him

If the deceased ruler didnt have any son in that case his brother

can succeed him

If in case, there is no brother and son then any one from his kin

could become ruler.


What do you mean by Gotra? Discuss its role in Indian society.

Gotra refers to the name assigned to particular group of people on

the name of a Vedic seer as their fore father to establish Kinship

between them. Gotra or Kin of a person regulates his life and

marriage and gives a social identity to the person in Hindu

religion.

Why is gotra significant for the woman?

The system of gotra had special significance to the women.

Women were expected to take up the gotra of her husband upon

marriage and give up their fathers gotra. Members of same gotra

could not marry.


8 marks

Discuss the evolvement of the epic Mahabharata?

We have been considering the Sanskrit language Mahabharata

where in the language Sanskrit is simpler than in the Vedas or in

that of prahastis. This rendered the Mahabharata probably to be

better understood. But who wrote the original text? Originally it is

thought that Mahabharata was composed by the charioteer-bards

known as sutas who accompanied the Kshatriya warriors to the

battlefield and composed poems celebrating their victories and

other accomplishments, these circulated orally. By c fifth century

BCE the brahmans began committing this to writing. It is possible

that the upheaval occurring in social values being replaced by new

norms now, were reflected in Mahabharata. Another important

time is c. 200 BCE and 200 CE when worship of Vishnu was

growing, and Krishna was being identified with Vishnu. Between c

200 and 400 CE didactic sections resembling the Manusmriti were

added. All this made the epic, which started with less than 10000

verses to 100000 verses. It is this work that is traditionally

attributed to sage Vyasa.


Explain the term jati. Mention one document that keeps a

record of the histories of such groups?

The social categories are referred to as jati. The term is derived

from the Sanskrit word jata, born or brought into existence, and

indicates a form of existence determined by birth. However, while

the number of Varnas was fixed at four, there was no restriction on

the number of jatis. In fact, whenever Brahmanical authorities

encountered new groups that did not easily fit into the

fourfold Varna system they classified them as a jati. Groups which

shared a common occupation for instance, people living in forests

such as the nishadas were classified as a jati. Jatis which shared a

common occupation or profession were sometimes organised

into shrenis or guilds.

The stone inscription found on Mandasor helps in understanding

this social process and in the working of the guilds. This

inscription gives us the information about the guild of silk weavers

who originally lived in Lata, the present-day Gujarat and shifted to

Mandasor, present day Madhya Pradesh in search of better

opportunity along with their kinfolks and children. The

membership of the guild was based on a shared craft

specialization, some members took up different occupations. The

inscription informs us that apart from the common profession


shared by the members they also collectively decided to invest

their wealth, earned through craft, and constructed a splendid

temple in honour of the sun god.

Who were the kings in India of non-Kshatriya lineage? Explain.

Though, according to the Shastras, only Kshatriyas were

considered the kings, but it was seen in the prospective of history

that a person who can muster resources and support, did not

depend on the origin of birth theory, can become the king.

For example

There are different views regarding the lineage of the Mauryas.

Later Buddhist texts suggest that they were kshatriyas while the

Brahmanical texts describe them as the kings of low origin.

The immediate successors of Mauryas were Shungas and

Kanvas who were Brahmans.

Shakas, who came from central India, were regarded

as malechchha or barbarians by the Brahmanas.

Similarly, the Satavahana king Gotami-putra-Satakani claimed

both to be a Brahman and a destroyer of Kshatriyas pride. He


claimed to have ensured that there was no intermarriage among

the four Varnas, but he himself entered a marriage alliance with

the kin of Rudradaman, the Shaka ruler.

From the above mentioned example, we can infer that integration

within the framework of caste was often a complicated process.

The Satavahanas claimed to be Brahmanas, whereas according to

the Brahmanas, kings ought to have been Kshatriyas. They claimed

to sustain the fourfold Varna order, but entered marriage alliances

with people of other castes. Moreover, the Brahmanical texts

recommended exogamy, but the Satavahana kings practiced

endogamy.

Mention some important rules about gotra?

Two rules about gotra are particularly important:

The system of gotra had special significance to the women.

Women were expected to give up their fathers gotra and take up

the gotra of her husband on marriage. Marriages within the gotra

are not permitted under the rule of exogamy in the traditional

matrimonial system. This ran counter to the women married to the

Satavahana rulers. If we examine the names of the women married

to the Satavahana rulers, well find that many of them had names
derived from their fathers gotras such as Gotami and Vasistha.

They retained these names instead of taking up the names derived

from their husbands gotra as directed by the Brahmanical rules.

Members of same gotra could not marry. Some of the women

married to Satavahana kings belonged to the same gotra. As is

obvious, this ran counter to the ideal of exogamy recommended in

the Brahmanical texts. In fact, it exemplified an alternative

practice, that of endogamy or marriage within the kin group,

which was prevalent amongst several communities in south India.

Such marriages amongst kinfolk ensured a close-knit community.

Define the broad structure of a family or Kinfolk?

All the families are not identical. They vary in terms of

numbers, relationship with each other, & the daily activities that

they share together.

Very often people belonging to the same family share food and

other resources, live, work and perform rituals.

Families constitute a larger part of the network of people

known as the 'relatives' or Kinfolk.

Familial ties are based on blood and considered as natural.

They are defined in many ways such as in some societies cousins

are regarded as relatives and in some societies, they are not.


As far as early societies are concerned, it is easy for the

historians to retrieve information about the families of the elite

group.

On the other hand, it is difficult to reconstruct the familial

relationship of ordinary people.

Another important factor is the attitude towards the families

and kinship.

It is also investigated and analysed by the historians.

These factors are important as they give insight into peoples

thinking and helps in the understanding of structure of family.


This is how the city is described in the Adi Parvan of the

Mahabharata:

The city, bursting like the ocean, packed with hundreds of

mansions, displayed with its gateways, arches, and turrets like

massing clouds the splendour of Great Indras city. [2+4+2=8]

Which archaeologist is associated with the excavation of

Hastinapur?

Excavations at Hastinapur were carried in 1951-52 by B.B. Lal of

Archaeological Survey of India. He was the Director-General

of Archaeological Survey of India. He has many excavations to his

credit, which cover a wide range from the palaeolithic times to the

early history.

Why the discovery of Hastinapur is considered important by

historians?

The discovery of Hastinapur the famed capital city of the

Kauravas in the Mahabharata is considered important because:

It is the first substantial proof providing an archaeological link

between the epic and actual history.


It was the first well-directed step towards shedding light on the

Dark Age.

What were the main features of the houses built in Hastinapur

in the sixth-third centuries BCE?

Main features of the houses built in Hastinapur in the sixth-

third BCE were:

Houses of this period were built of mud-brick as well as burnt

bricks.

Soakage jars and brick drains were used for draining out refuse

water.

Terracotta ring-wells must have been used both as wells and

drainage pits.
Draupadi is supposed to have asked Yudhisthira whether he

had lost himself before staking her. Two contrary opinions were

expressed in response to this question. One, that even if

Yudhisthira had lost himself earlier, his wife remained under his

control, so he could stake her. Two that an unfree man (as

Yudhisthira was when he had lost himself) could not stake

another person. The matter remained unresolved; ultimately,

Dhritarashtra restored to the Pandavas and Draupadi their

personal freedom. [2+4+2=8]

Who was Yudhisthira? Why did he stake Draupadi?

Yudhisthira was the eldest son of king Pandu and Queen Kunti.

He was the king of both Indraprastha and later of Hastinapur. He

lost everything in the game of gambling to the Kauravas. Last

thing left was Draupadi, his wife. So, he put her on stake so as to

recover whatever he had lost.

Did Yudhisthira have the right to stake his wife?

Draupadi repeatedly questioned the legality of the right of

Yudhisthira to place her at stake when he himself had lost his


freedom first. There were two contrary opinion in response to this

question:

Even if Yudhisthira had lost himself in the game of gambling,

his wife, Draupadi remained under his control. So, he had all the

rights to stake her.

Secondly, an unfree man could not stake another person. So, it

was unfair of Yudhisthira to stake Draupadi.

Who intervenes and restore freedom to Pandavas and Draupadi?

Dhritarashtra intervened in order to amend for the shameful

treatment of Draupadi at the hands of his clan. He asked Draupadi

to wish for whatever she desired. Draupadi asked the Pandavas, to

be freed from bondage. Dhritarashtra granted her wish and also

restored to Pandavas all they lost in the game of dice.


This story, based on a Buddhist text in Pali known as

the Majjhima Nikaya is part of a dialogue between a king named

Avantiputta and a disciple of the Buddha named Kachchana.

While it may not be literally true, it reveals Buddhist attitudes

towards Varna.

Avantiputta asked Kachchana what he thought about Brahmanas

who held that they were heirs to Brahma.

Kachchana replied: What if a Shudra were wealthy would

another Shudra or a Kshatriya or a Brahmana or a Vaishya

speak politely to him?

Avantiputta replied that if a Shudra had wealth he could even

have a Kshatriya or a Brahmana or a Vaishya as his obedient

servant. Kachchana asked: This being so, are not these

four varnas exactly the same? Avantiputta conceded that there

was no difference amongst thevarnas on this count. [2+4+2=8]

This story is extracted from which Buddhist text?

This story is extracted from a Buddhist text known as the Majjhima

Nikaya. It was written in Pali language. It contains a full-length

dialogue between the King Avantiputta and the disciple of Buddha

named Kachchana.
How did the Brahmins try to establish their own hegemony over

the entire Indian social system?

The Brahmanas tried to justify this drive for power by appealing to

their divinely ordained status. They considered themselves as:

The best caste and that all other castes were low.

A fair caste and other castes as dark.

Pure and non-Brahmanas as impure.

Sons of Brahma, born of his mouth, born of Brahma, formed by

Brahma, heirs to Brahma.

What according to this text explains social difference?

According to this text, one of any social class who gains wealth can

command the labour of those in the other castes. If a Shudra has

wealth, he can enroll a Kshatriya or a Brahmana or a Vaishya in his

service. On this count, there is no difference amongst the varnas.


Producing Fine Sons

I free her from here, but not from there. I have bound her firmly

there, so

that through the grace of Indra she will have fine sons and be

fortunate in

her husbands love.

Indra was one of the principal deities, a god of valour, warfare

and rain.

Here and there refer to the fathers and husbands house

respectively.

Why the author has stressed on having fine sons?

The author stressed on having fine sons because society is

Patriarchal and to fulfill religious duties sons was required.

Write the name of the text from which this passage has been

taken.

This text is taken from Mahabharata.

What are the implication of this passage on bride and groom?


For women it is referred that she must support her husband in

fulfilling religious duties by procuring son.


Why the Kinfolk quarrelled

The Kauravas were the sons of Dhritarashtra, and the Pandavas

were their cousins. Since Dhritarashtra was blind, his younger

brother Pandu ascended the throne of Hastinapura However,

after the premature death of Pandu, Dhritarashtra became king, as

the royal princes were still very young. As the princes grew up

together, the citizens of Hastinapura began to express their

preference for the Pandavas, for they were more capable and

virtuous than the Kauravas. This made Duryodhana, the eldest of

the Kauravas, jealous. He approached his father and said, You

yourself did not receive the throne, although it fell to you, because

of your defect. If the Pandava receives the patrimony from Pandu,

his son will surely inherit it in turn, and so will his son, and his.

We ourselves with our sons shall be excluded from the royal

succession and become of slight regard in the eyes of the world,

lord of the earth!

Name the text from which this excerpt has been taken.

The name of the text is Mahabharata.


What are the reasons for the anxiety of Duryodhana?

Duryodhana was anxious because as Yuddhisthira was elder to

him and throne was belonging to Pandu therefore as per rules of

succession Yuddhisthira will become the king.

According to the text what are the different requisites for

becoming an emperor?

The prerequisites required for becoming king were as follows:

King should be physically fit.

He should be virtuous and capable.

According to you, which criteria in the above mentioned

paragraph is justified and why?

In my opinion a person who is Virtuous and capable should

become king because

only than he will be able to do justice to the citizens.