Buddhism and Jainism – Old UPSC Questions

  1. Many of the Greeks, Kushanas and Shakas embraced Buddhism rather than Hinduism because

(a) Buddhism was in the ascendant at that time

(b) they had renounced the policy of war and violence

(c) caste-ridden Hinduism did not attract them

(d) Buddhism provided easier access to Indian society

Answer: Correct answer in above question is D.

  1. The Allahabad Pillar inscription is associated with which one of the following?

(a) Mahapadma Nanda

(b) Chandragupta Mamya

(c) Ashoka

(d) Samudragupta

Answer: Correct answer is D

  1. Anekantavada is a core theory and philosophy of which one of the following?

(a) Buddhism

(b) Jainism

(c) Sikhism

(d) Vaishnavism

Answer: Correct Answer is B

  1. With reference to the history of ancient India, which of the following was/were common to both Buddhism and Jainism?
  2. Avoidance of extremities of penance and enjoyment
  3. Indifference to the authority of the Vedas
  4. 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 and 3

Answer: Correct answer is D

  1. Which one of the following describes best the concept of Nirvana in Buddhism?

(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

Answer: Correct answer is C

  1. Assertion (A): The emphasis of Jainism on non-violence (ahimsa) prevented agriculturalists from embracing Jainism.

Reason (R): Cultivation involved killing of insects and pests.

Answer: Both are true and R is correct explanation to A.

  1. Who among the following was not a contemporary of the other three?

(a) Bimbisara

(b) Gautama Buddha

(c) Milinda

(d) Prasenjit

Answer: Correct answer is C

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

(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

Answer: Correct answer is B

Among Buddhist symbols, Gautama Budhha used the Bhumisparsha gesture to summon the earth goddess, Sthavara , as witness to his attainment of Buddhahood. This gesture signifies the state of enlightment after meditating under the bodhi tree for four weeks and withstanding all the temptations put before him by Mara, the god of evil. Please note the language of the statements a and b given in this question. statement a says that Buddha calls Sthavara to prevent Mara from disturbing is meditation. This is incorrect.

  1. Which of the following Kingdoms were associated with the life of the Buddha?
  2. Avanti
  3. Gandhara
  4. Kosala
  5. Magadha

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(c) 3 and 4 only

(b) 2 and 4

(d) 1,3 and 4

Answer: Correct answer is C

Avanti was not directly related to life of Buddha, so this needs to be opted out. We have read that Pasenadi (Prasenajit), king of Kosala, was the Buddha’s contemporary and is frequently mentioned in Pali texts. Kosala and Magadha were linked through matrimonial ties. Buddha wandered through the towns and villages in the kingdoms of Kosala and Magadha teaching his philosophy. Gandhara is not directly associated with the life of Buddha. It was expansion of Maurya empire that Gandhara received much Buddhist influence, notably during the reign of Asoka.

  1. Which one of the following ports handled the north Indian trade during the Gupta period?

(a) Tamralipti

(b) Broach

(c) Kalyan

(d) Cambay

Correct answer is Tamralipti