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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 actually 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 mother’s 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 on the basis of 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 on the basis of 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 particular 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 wants 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 on the basis of 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 other people’s 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 their status was determined by birth.
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. A large number of 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 also 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 father’s wealth to the extent that after the death of the father, the eldest son is in charge of the father’s 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 pursue 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: • On the Basis of Gender. • On the basis of Varna Discuss the Buddhist attitude towards the difference in society. Buddhism though accepts difference in the society as natural but declared it as a result 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 also 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 were 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 csate 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 was 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 has to establish relations between different versions given in the historical text and evaluate it properly. Moreover, they have to 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 of them 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 in order 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 Kshatriya’s were supposed to be the kings but it is observed that any person who is able to 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 Kshatriya’s 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 particular 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 in particular 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. In order 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 a 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 people’s 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 in particular 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 the occasion of 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 husband’s 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 has to establish relations between different versions given in the historical text and evaluate it properly. Moreover, they have to 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 do not wish to become ruler then any of his son can succeed him • If the deceased ruler didn’t had 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 so as to establish Kinship between them. Gotra or Kin of a
person regulates his life and also 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 father’s 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 at this time, 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 into 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 into 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 father’s 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 we’ll find that many of them had names derived from their father’s gotras such as Gotami and Vasistha. It is clear that they retained these names instead of taking up the names derived from their husband’s 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 people’s 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 Indra’s 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 a large number of 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 husband’s love. Indra was one of the principal deities, a god of valour, warfare and rain. “Here” and “there” refer to the father’s and husband’s house respectively. Why the author has stressed on having fine sons? The author stressed on having fine sons because society is Patriarchal and in order 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 has to 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.
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