Wednesday, August 16, 2017

CBSE Class 6 - Our Pasts 1 - KINGDOMS, KINGS AND AN EARLY REPUBLIC (Q and A) (#cbseNotes)


Ashwamedha Yagna - A 19th century Painting depicting Pandavas performing this horse sacrifice ritual.
(credits: wikipedia)

Q1: What is meant by Janpada?

Answer: Janapada means the land where the jana set its foot and settled down.

Q2: What was Ashwamedha yagna?

Answer: Ashwamedha yagna was a horse sacrifice ritual performed by the kings to prove their sovereignty. A horse was let loose to wander freely and was guarded by the king's men. If other kings stopped it, they had to fight with the king. Otherwise they accepted the king as their leader and let the horse pass.

Q3: What are Varnas?

Answer: The priests divided the people of the society into four groups, called varnas and according to them; each varna had a different set of functions.

The four varnas were the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras.

Q4: Who were untouchables?

Answer: Some people including crafts persons, hunters and gatherers, as well as people who helped perform burials and cremations were classified as untouchable by the priests and stated that contact with these groups was polluting.

Q5: Why did people oppose the system of varnas?

Answer: People were divided into four groups by the priests. These groups were called varnas . According to the priests , each varna had a different set of functions and these groups were decided on the basis of birth. Many people did not accept the system of varna laid down by the brahmins as the system was biased. Thus people opposed the system of varnas.

Q6: What do you understand by the term “Rajas of Janapadas”?

Answer: The rajas that performed big sacrifices were recognized as being rajas of Janapadas rather than Janas.

Q7: What were Mahajanapadas?

Answer: About 2500 years ago, some Janapadas became more important than others, and were known as Mahajanapadas.

Q8: What types of crops were grown in Janapadas?

Answer: Crops which were grown in janapadas were rice, wheat, barley, pulses, sugar cane, sesame and mustard.

Q9: What is meant by the term 'gana'?

Answer: The term gana means group that has many members or we can say association.

Q10: Name some of the Janapadas found by the archaeologist.

Answer: Purana Qila in Delhi, Hastinapur near Meerut, and Atranjikhera, near Etah (the last two are in Uttar Pradesh).

Q11: What was Bhaga?

Answer: The tax that was fixed at 1/6th of what was produced was known as bhaga or a share.

Q12: When did Magadha become an important Mahajanapada?

Answer: Magadha became the most important Mahajanapada in about 2500 years ago.

Q13: What was the specialty about painted grey ware?

Answer: Painted grey ware were the pottery that had painted designs, usually simple lines and geometric patterns on them.

Q14: Name the capital city of Magadha.

Answer: Rajagriha (present-day Rajgir) in Bihar was the capital of Magadha for several years, which was later, shifted to Pataliputra (present-day Patna).

Q15: What were the two major changes took place in agriculture during Mahajanapadas?

Answer: The two major changes in agriculture were the use of iron ploughshare and transplantion of paddy.

Q16: How were iron ploughs useful to the people?

Answer: With the help of iron plough the heavy, clayey soil could be turned over better than with a wooden ploughshare, so that more grain could be produced.

Q17: What was Sangha?

Answer: In a Gana or a Sangha there were not one, but many rulers. Sometimes, even when thousands of men ruled together, each one was known as a raja.

Q18: What was the government at Vajji called?

Answer: Gana or a Sangha

Q19: Why did the rajas of the Mahajanapada build forts?


1. Forts were  built by the rajas of the  Mahajanapada because people were afraid of attacks from other kings and needed protection.

2. It is also likely that some rulers wanted to show how rich and powerful.they were by building large, tall and impressive walls around their cities.

Q20: How was the army maintained by the rajas?

Answer: Soldiers were paid regular salaries and maintained by the king throughout the year. Some payments were probably made using punch marked coins.

Q21: Who all were not allowed to be part of assemblies in Sangha?

1. Women,
2. Dasas and
3. Kammakaras could not participate in the assemblies.

Q22: Name the two powerful rulers of Magadha.

Answer: Bimbisara and Ajatasattu were the powerful rulers of Magadha.

Q23: Explain the system of Taxation in Mahajanapadas?

1. Taxes on crops were the most important. This was because most people were farmers. Usually, the tax was fixed at 1/6th of what was produced. This was known as bhaga or a share.

2. There were taxes on crafts persons as well. These could have been in the form of labour. For example, a weaver or a smith may have had to work for a day every month for the king.

3. Herders were also expected to pay taxes in the form of animals and animal produce.

4. There were also taxes on goods that were bought and sold, through trade.

5. And hunters and gatherers also had to provide forest produce to the raja.

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