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NCERT CLASS 12th HISTORY CHAPTER 4 THINKERS, BELIEFS AND BUILDINGS NOTES

1. A GLIMPSE OF SANCHI

  • In the 19th century, Europeans were very interested in the stupa at Sanchi

  • French and Englishmen were provided prepared plaster-case copies and the original remained in Bhopal State 

  • Shahjehan Begum and her Successor Sultan Jehan Begum provided money for the preservation of the ancient site

  • Stupa Complex has survived then due to the Wise decisions of  the rulers of Bhopal



2. THE BACKGROUND: SACRIFICES AND DEBATES

  • The first millennium BCE regarded as  a turning point.

(i) Emergence of thinkers such as Zarathustra in Iran, Kong zi in China, Socrates, Plate and Aristotle in Greece and Mahavira and Gautam Buddha from India

(ii) This was the time when Kingdoms and and new cities were developing social and economic life.


2.1 The Sacrificial tradition

  • Early Vedic traditions known from the Rigveda compiled between c1500 and. 1000 BCE Rigveda consists of hymns in praise of variety deities especially Agni,Indra and Soma.

  • Sacrifices such as the Ashvamedha and  rajasuya were performed by chief who depended on Brahman  priests to conduct the ritual.

2.2 New Questions

  • About the meaning of life

  • Possibility of life after death and rebirth. Was rebirth due to past actions ?

  •  People also began speculating on significance of  the sacrificial tradition.


2.3 Debates and Discussions

  • Debates took place in the kutagarashala (a hut with a pointed roof or in groves where travelling mendicants halted)

  • "Teachers, including Mahavira emphasised individual agency suggesting that men and women could strive to attain liberation from the trials  and tribulations of  worldy existence 

  • This was in marked constrast to the Brahmanical position.

  • How Buddhist texts were prepared 

  • The Buddha taught Orally  None of the speeches were written down during his lifetime After his death (C5-4th century BCE) his teachings were complied  by his disciples at a council at Vesali known as Tipitaka



  • Dipavamsa, the chronicle of Sri Lanka. and Mahavamsa,the great chronicle Were written containing regional histories of Buddhism.


Fatalists and materialists

  • Those who believe that everything is predetermined described as fatalists and persons  who Considers material And person possessions and physical comfort as more important than Spiritual values

3. BEYOND WORDLY PLEASURES 

  • The message of Mahavira

  • Vardhamana, who came to be known as Mahavira in the 6th century BCE. 

  • Mahavira was preceded by23other tirthankaras. (those who guide across the river of existence)

  • Idea in Jainism:

i)Entire world is animated: even Stones, rocks and water have life

ii) Non- injury to living being  is central to Jaina philosophy 

ii) Principle of ahimsa, emphasised within Jainism 

iv) Cycle of birth and rebirth is shaped through karma


Jaina Monks and Nuns took five vows

  • To abstain from killing 

  • To abstain from Stealing

  • To abstain from lying 

  • To observe Celibracy

  • To abstain from possessing property


3.1 The Spread of Jainism

  • Jaina scholars produced a wealth of literature in a variety of languages Prakrit, Sanskrit and Tamil.


4.THE BUDDHA AND THE QUEST FOR ENLIGHTENMENT

  • Message spread and beyond across the Subcontinent China to Central Asia, Korea and Japan and through Sri Lanka, across the seas to Myanmar Thailand and Indonesia

  • Siddhartha as the Buddha were named at birth was the  son of the chief of the Sakya clan 

  • His first journey into the world outside was traumatic 

  • soon, he left out the palace and let out in search  of his own truth. 

  • Siddhartha mediated for Several days and finally attainted  enlightment, and he Came to be known as Buddha or the Enlightened.

  • For the rest of his life, he taught dhamma Or the path of righteous living.


5. THE TEACHINGS OF THE BUDDHA

  • Buddha tried to convince people through reason and persuasion rather than through displays of Supernatural power.

  • According to Buddhist philosophy, the world It transient (anicca) constantly changing,also Souless (anatta) as there is is nothing permanent or eternal in it. Within this transient world (dukkha) Sorrow is intrinsic to human existence 

  • The path of moderation between Severe penance beings troubles. and Self-indulgence that humans can rise above the worldy troubles

  • Buddha last words to his followers were "Be lamps unto yourselves as you must Work out your  own liberation"


6. Followers Of The Buddha.

  • Body of disciples of the Buddha and he founded Sangha, an organisation of monks who too became teachers of dhamma

  • Monks lived simply possessing only the essential requisites for survival Such a bowl to receive food once a day from the laity. As lived on alms known as bhikkhus.

  • Initially, only men were  allowed into the  but later Women also came to be admitted.

  • The Buddha's foster mother, Mahapajapati Grotami was the first women to be Ordained as bhikkhuni 

  • many women who entered the sangha went on to  became teachers of dhamma and went  on to become theirs

  • The Buddha's followers came from many social groups.

  • within the Sangha, all were regarded as equal 

  • Buddhism importance attached to conduct and values rather than claims of Superiority based on birth


7. "STUPAS" 

  • From earliest time, people tended to regard Certain places as sacred 

  • These included sites with special trees or unique rocks or sites of awe inspiring natural beauty

  • These Sites with were small Shrines attached to them were Sometimes described as chaitya

Buddha's life

i) Born in Lumbini

ii) Attained enlightment in Bodh Gaya

iii) gave  his first sermon  in Sarnath

iv) Attained nibbana in Kushinagara

7.1 "Why were stupas built"

  • Relics of the Buddha such as his bodily remains Or objects used by him buried under mounds known as stupas

  • The tradition of erecting Stupas Came to be associated  with buddhists 

  • According to a Buddhist  text known the Ashokavadana, Ashoka distributed portions of  buddhas relics to every important town and Ordered  construction of Stupas Over"


7.2 How Were Stupas Built

  • Donations made for building and decorating  Stupas by Kings (Satavahanas)  guilds(financed  part of one gateways at sanchi)

  • Men and Women, Bhikkhus and Bhikkhuni also contributed towards building these monument.


7.3 "The Structure of the Stupa"

  • The stupa originated as a simple semi circular mound of earth, later called anda.

  • Above the anda was the harmika 

  • Arising from the  harmika was the mast the yashti often surmounted by a Chhatri or umbrella

  • Around  the mound was the railing ,seperating  the Sacred space from the secular worlds

  • the only stupas at sanchi at bharut were plain except for the stone railings

  • Worshippers  entered through the eastern gateway and walked around the mound in a clockwise direction keeping the mound on the right imitating the Sun's course through the skу

  • The design of Stupas underwent many developments. Amaravati and Shah-ji- ki Dheri the mound Came to be elaborately carved with niches and Sculptures


8."Discovering Stupas" - The fate of Amravati and Sanchi

  • Raja mistook the mound of the stupa at Amravati to be a sight of buried treasure in 1796

  • Walter Elliot concluded, after the discovery. the remains of the western gateways that it was the largest and important Buddhist stula at Amravati 

  • New officials plundered the sculpture on the plea that other officials had done the same. 

  • Archaelogist H.H. Cole mentioned that it was Suicidal to allow the country to be  looted of its ancient artwork but he was failed  to Convince the authorities


9.Sculpture

  • Sculpture were removed from Stupas and transported all the way to Europe.


9.1 Stories in Stone

  • Historians Studied the sculpture of Sanchi Stupa and recognised the scene from Vessantara Jataka. It was a story  about a kind prince Who donated  everything to Brahmana  and went to forest with his wife and children


9.2 Symbols of Worship

  • Buddha got his enlightenment under a tree In ancient sculpture Buddha  was not shown in human form they showed his presence in Symbols

1. Empty seal - meditation of buddha 

2. Stupa- Mahapanibbana 

3. Wheel- the first sermon of buddha delivered at sarnath 


9.3" Popular Traditions"

  • Many sculptures of Sanchi were not influenced or inspired by the Buddhist text or The ideas. 

  • The image of beautiful women that Swinging from the edge of the gateway described as Shalabhanjika.

  • There are many images which have fine depicted Work of animals-elephants horses, monkeys and Cattle

  • The Jatakas contained many animal

  • stories which were depicted in Sanchi Stupe seemed lively scenes.

  •  Elephants power and wisdom, motif of woman surrounded by lotuses  or elephants abhishekha or conscration.

  • James Fergusson  considered Sanchi to be  centre of  tree and Serpent worship.

  • Those who adopted these beliefs described the older tradition as Hinaya or the "lesser vehicle"


10 "New Religious Traditions 


10.1 ,

  • The development of Mahayana Buddhism

  • By the first century CE there was evidence of changes in their Buddhist ideas and uses and 

  •  There was great important to self efforts 

  • to achieve the Nibbana

  •  The worship of images of buddha  and Bodhisattas became an important part of  the Same tradition

  • New Style of thinking was known as Mahayana (the great vehicle)


10.2 "The Growth of Puranic Hinduism“

  • Vaishavism was developed around the diffrent avatars or incarnations of the diety. 

  • Recognised each of these local dieties as form of vishnu as way of Creating a more unified  religious tradition.

  • Shiva was Symbolised by the linga. he Was Occasionally recognised in human form Through Symbols such as head dresses Ornaments and ayudhas are depicted in the diety

10.3 Building Temples 

  • The early temple was a small square room  known as garbhagriha 100  a very single small for way was there for the worshipper A tall Structure Came in existence gradually they were known as chikara

  • They were build Over the Central Shrine walls  of temple were decorated with Sculpture.

  • Temples became more elaborate with assembly halls huge walls,gateways etc. 


Can we see everything?

Grappling with the unfamiliar

  • European Scholars  noticed some Sculptures of gods and  Goddesses.

  • They could not understand their importance. They were under fear with the figure.

  • Ancient Greek scholars were familiar with Indian Sculpture They became more excited  as they found The idols of Bodhisattas and Buddha 

  • Taxila and Peshwar were the main cities

  • Indo Greek rulers established kingdoms in the 2nd century BCE 

“If text and image do not match”

  • The use of Indian images with greek status were not easy task ever

  • It Was an effective strategy than a comparison


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Guest
Mar 24
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

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Guest
Mar 23
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

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Guest
Jan 21
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

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Rishu Kushwaha
Rishu Kushwaha
Oct 08, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you mam

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Guest
Sep 12, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

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Guest
Sep 21, 2023
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