History Class 12 Chapter 6 question answer in english

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Bhakti Sufi Traditions questions answers: Ncert Solutions For Class 12 History Chapter 6 Bhakti Sufi Traditions

ClassClass 12
ChapterChapter 6
Chapter NameBhakti Sufi Traditions class 12 ncert solutions
CategoryNcert Solutions

Are you looking for History Class 12 Chapter 6 question answer in english? Now you can download Ncert Solutions For Class 12 History Chapter 6 Bhakti Sufi Traditions pdf from here.

note: All these questions and answers are based on the new syllabus. So the chapter numbers may seem different to you.

[ Answer in 100-150 words ] Class 12 History chapter 6 questions and answers in English

Question 1: Explain with examples what historians mean by the integration of cults.

Answer 1: During the period of the 10th Century to the 17th Century, an important trend noticed in the religious life in India is the worship of God in many forms. Many God and Goddesses appear in the scultures and texts but they are various forms of the original deities only. These original deities are Vishnu, Shiva, and Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Parvati.

  • Historians have noticed the two marked trends in the socio-religious life of those days.

Dissemination of Brahminical Ideas: Historians have observed the spread of Brahminical ideas beyond the traditional boundaries. The sacred texts of Brahminical Hinduism, previously accessible primarily to Brahmins, were now being reproduced in simpler Sanskrit. This made them available to a broader audience, including women and Shudras, who were historically excluded from accessing these texts.

Evolution of Beliefs and Practices: Brahmins actively worked on evolving traditional practices to incorporate popular local traditions. It was a process of evolution, wherein traditional classical traditions were getting new shapes continuously as they were being impacted by the traditions of common people throughout the land.

  • Now let us look at the two of the following examples.

Temple of Jagannatha at Puri: The Jagannatha temple in Puri, Orissa, serves as an excellent example of the integration of cults. Lord Jagannatha, worshipped in this temple, is considered a form of Vishnu. The name “Jagannatha” translates to “Lord of the Universe,” signifying the deity’s universal significance. The temple’s rituals and festivals have incorporated various local traditions, thus blending regional practices with the broader Vishnu worship.

Local Gods and Kul Devatas: There were many local gods; their statues were often created by wood and stones by tribals. Families began to have their own Kul Devatas (family deities), which were also seen as manifestations of major deities like Vishnu. Similarly, Examples of this type of coordination were also found in the goddess cults. The worship of the goddess was mostly done in the form of a stone smeared with vermilion. These local goddesses were recognized within the mythological tradition as the wives of the main deities. Sometimes they were considered the wife of Vishnu as Lakshmi, and sometimes as Parvati, the wife of Shiva.

Question 2: To what extent do you think the architecture of mosques in the subcontinent reflects a combination of universal ideals and local traditions?

Answer 2: With the arrival of Islam in the Medieval ages, the architecture of Islam also came to India. However, the Arab-cum-Islamic architecture got impacted by the local traditions and rites too. Hence, we see a fusion of the two. This can be further elaborated by the examples of architecture mainly the constructions of the mosques of those days.

Some features of the architecture of mosques are universal. All mosques have orientation towards Mecca. This is manifested in the placement of Mehrab and Minar within a mosque. But at the same time we have influences that can be described only as local influences. A 13th Century mosque in Kerala has a shikhar like roof unlike a normal mosque where it is dome. The Shah Hamdan Mosque in Kashmir is made of Kashmiri woods and its facade is like that of a temple. The Atia Mosque in Bangladesh is made of bricks, though its roof is round. Thus, we can see that the architecture of Mosques is that of fusion.

Question 3: What were the similarities and differences between the be-shari‘a and ba-shari‘a sufi traditions?

Answer 3: Shari’a is the Islamic law that is applied in a truly Islamic country. The Shari’a law owes its origin to the Holy book of Quran, Hadis (Law book of Islam) and teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

In the medieval ages the Islamic world witnessed a big social and religious movement called Sufi movement. Sufi movement was the people-centric and not God-centric. It believed serving people was the real form of worship. Sufi movement has had many branches too. One group of Sufi preachers took very radical path. They were mystics who renounced material world took to the life of asceticism. Further they also rejected the supremacy of the Shari’a laws. Such sufis were called be-shari‘a.

On the other hand , there were sufi saints who criticised the extravagant lifestyle of monarchs and Khaliphates but did not reject Shari’a laws. For them Shari’a laws were sacrosant. These Sufi saints have been called be-shari‘a.

Question 4: Discuss the ways in which the Alvars, Nayanars and Virashaivas expressed critiques of the caste system.

Answer 4: Earliest Bhakti movements around sixth century were led by the Alvars and Nayanars. Alvars were devotees of Vishnu and Nayanars were the devotees of Shiva. They sang hymns in Tamil in praise of their Gods and travelled from once place to another. According to some historians, the Alvars and the Nayanars started a movement of protest against the caste system and the Brahmanas and attempted to reform the system. The devotees came from the different social backgrounds such as artisans, cultivators and even from the caste that were considered “untouchable”.

This is corroborated by the fact that the movement was open to people from diverse background. The composition of the Alvars and the Nayanars were considered as important as the Vedas. For instance, one of the major anthologies of compositions by the Alvars, the Nalayira Divyaprabandham, was frequently described as the Tamil Veda, thus claiming that the text was as significant as the four Vedas in Sanskrit that were cherished by the Brahmanas.

Similarly, the Virashaivas rejected the very concept of caste. Virashaivas was a movement of the 12th Century that took place in Karnataka. The movement was led by a Brahmin named Basavanna (1106-68), who was a minister in the court of Chalukya king. The followers of Basavanna are called Virashaivas and they worshipped Shiv. They were also called and perhaps more often Lingayats, which literary means wearer of Lingas. They denied the doctrine of rebirth and accepted practices like adult and widow remarriage, which were prohibited by Brahminical scriptures.

This helped them grow support among marginalised sections of the society. Additionally, the Virashaivas embraced the Kannada language over Sanskrit, further distancing themselves from Brahminical traditions and making their teachings more accessible to the common people. These actions collectively undermined the caste hierarchy and promoted a more egalitarian spiritual framework.

Question 5: Describe the major teachings of either Kabir or Baba Guru Nanak, and the ways in which these have been transmitted.

Answer 5: Both Kabir and Guru Nanak were profound spiritual figures whose teachings transcended religious boundaries and emphasized universal truths. Let’s delve into their major teachings and the ways these have been transmitted.

Kabir is a great poet-cum-saint of Indian society. He has had appeal among Hindus and Muslims alike as it is believed that he was bom as Hindu but was brought up by a muslim couple. He wrote poems that exhorted both communities to take to social reforms.

The major teachings of Kabir were as follows :-

  • Concept of God: Kabir emphasized the formlessness of God (Nirankar), using terms from both Islamic (Allah, Khuda) and Vedic (Alakh, Nirakar) traditions. Thus, he freely took to both traditions viz. Islamic and Vedantic.
  • Rejection of Idol Worship: He strongly criticized idol worship and polytheism, advocating for a direct and personal connection with the divine.
  • Oneness of God: Kabir stressed that God is one, despite the various names and forms attributed to Him by different religions.
  • Critique of Rituals: He condemned religious rituals performed mechanically, emphasizing the importance of genuine devotion and inner spiritual practice over outward rituals.
  • Against Caste Discrimination: Kabir preached against caste discrimination, affirming the equality of all human beings before God.
  • Synthesis of Traditions: He combined elements of Sufi mysticism with the devotional aspects of Hinduism, promoting a path of love and devotion to God that transcended sectarian boundaries.
  • Dignity of Labor: Kabir emphasized the dignity of labor, highlighting the spiritual value of honest work and service to others.

Guru Nanak and his teachings :-

Guru Nanak was born in a Hindu family in 1469 at Nankana Saheb on the bank of the river Ravi. His birth place is now in Pakistan. He learnt Persian, Arabic , Hindi and Mathematics. He spent time in the company of Sufi saints and Bhaktas of various socio-religious movements.

The major teachings of Guru Nanak are as follows :-

Rejection of Religious Texts: Guru Nanak rejected the authority of both Hindu and Muslim scriptures, advocating for a direct experience of divine truth.

Concept of God: Similar to Kabir, Guru Nanak preached the formlessness of God (Nirakar) and emphasized the importance of meditation and remembrance of God (Naam Simran).

Critique of Rituals: He criticized rituals like ceremonial bathing, sacrifices, and idol worship, promoting a spiritual path based on ethical living and devotion.

Guru Nanak expressed his teachings through Shabad, lyrical compositions in Punjabi, which were set to various musical ragas to evoke spiritual and emotional states.

[ Write a short essay (about 250-300 words) on the following: ] Class 12 history chapter 6 ncert solutions in English

Question 6: Discuss the major beliefs and practices that characterised Sufism.

Answer 6: The Sufi movement emerged as a mystical branch within Islam, emphasizing personal experience and spiritual closeness to the Divine. Here are the major beliefs and practices that characterized Sufism:

Personal Experience over Theological Rigidity: Sufi saints rejected rigid theological interpretations of Islamic scriptures, advocating instead for interpretations based on personal experience and spiritual insight. This approach allowed for greater flexibility in religious understanding and weakened the control of orthodox religious leaders.

Simplicity and Rejection of Ritualism: They opposed elaborate rituals and ceremonies, advocating for simplicity in religious traditions and rites. Sufism emphasized a direct, personal connection with God over formalistic practices.

Devotion and Ecstasy in Worship: Sufi saints prescribed intense devotion to the Almighty as a path to salvation. They often engaged in practices such as chanting, singing hymns (Qawwali), and even ecstatic dancing (Sama) as acts of spiritual devotion. These practices aimed to achieve a state of ecstasy (hal) and closeness to the Divine. It is notable that classical Islam has forbidden singing, dancing and any music.

Service to Humanity: Central to Sufi philosophy was the belief that serving humanity is a fundamental aspect of true religion. Many Sufi orders (tariqas) established charitable institutions and community kitchens (Langars) to feed the poor and needy, emphasizing practical compassion as a form of worship.

Emphasis on Unity and Equality: Sufi saints promoted the idea of spiritual equality among all human beings, transcending social and economic differences. They believed in the essential unity of all creation and sought to cultivate a sense of brotherhood and harmony among people.

The Sufi movement’s emphasis on love, compassion, and direct experiential knowledge of God played a significant role in the spread of Islam, particularly in regions like the Indian subcontinent, where it had a profound and enduring impact on religious and cultural practices.

Question 7: Examine how and why rulers tried to establish connections with the traditions of the Nayanars and the sufis.

Answer 7: Nayanars were the worshippers of Lord Shiva. It gained a shape of powerful Bhakti movement in South India in 6th Century onwards. Apart from being popular with the people, the movement got support and patronage of the rulers of the time. This is manifested by the following facts:

  1. A major part of South India was ruled by Chola Kings during the period 9th to 13th Century. They gave great patronage to the Bhakti movement saints including Nayanars. Thus, they did by making grants of land and constructing temples of Shiva and Vishnu for the saints of Bhakti movement.
  2. The most beautiful temples of Shiva of South India, namely, at Chidambaram, Tanjavur and Gangaikondacholpuram were constructed under the patronage of Chola rulers.
  3. During the same period some of the most spectacular representation of Shiva in bronze sculpture were produced. All this was possible because the rulers patronised the Nayanars.
  4. Nayanars had considerable following among farmers.

The rulers tried to establish connections with the Nayanars and this is explained by the aforesaid description. The reason why they did is not far to seek. One reason could be to bring sanctity to the their rule. By giving alms to the temple and the preachers of Nayanar sect the rulers also announced their wealth and might. Next such acts might have endeared the rulers to the masses.

Sufi Tradition and the rulers of Delhi Sultnate and Mughals:-

In the 12th Century, Delhi and a considerable part of India fell to the rule of Muslim rulers. This rule is known as the period of Delhi Sultanate. The rulers of Delhi Sultanate claimed themselves under Khalifate of Kabul and tried to legitimize their rule. The next step could have been establishing the rule of Shari‘a laws. However, the rulers realised for the very beginning that it was impractical. Under the Delhi Sultanate most of the people were not Muslim.

Shari’a laws were not feasible also because lacked flexibity which a ruler needed to govern. The rulers of Delhi Sultanate wanted to take a practical path of governance without renouncing Islam. Sufi tradition gave them this opportunity. The same idea prevailed during the rule of the great Mughals too. Hence the rulers of Delhi Sultanate and the mughal empire adopted the tradition of sufism.

Question 8: Analyse, with illustrations, why bhakti and sufi thinkers adopted a variety of languages in which to express their opinions.

Answer 8: In medieval India, though Sanskrit and Persian may be the language of the educated people or at the court, the vast number of people living in villages conversed in the local languages. It was, therefore, needed that the Bhakti and Sufi saints preached in the languages of the common people. This was in fact essential in order to make these movement truly popular.

This is manifested in the following examples:-

1. The traditional Bhakti saints composed the hymns in Sanskrit. Such hymns were sung on special occasions often within temples.

2. The Nayanars and the Alvars were wandering saints. They travelled far and wide, often walking on foot. They met people in different villages. These saints would sing the verses in praise of God all in the language of the local people only. The language was Tamil only. These travelling saints established temples where prayers took place in Tamil and the devotional songs were composed by the Bhakti Saints.

3. In North India the language was different. Here too the saints took to the language of the common people. Guru Nanak created Shabad all in Punjabi. Baba Farid and Swami Raidas (Ravidas) all composed in Punjabi and Hindustani.

4. Kabirdas who lived in Benaras, wrote in local language which was closer to Hindustani. He used words there part of local dialect.

5. The Sufi tradition of singing on tombs carried on in the language of the local people only. The shrines were the place of Sama sung in Hindustani or Hindavi. Another Sufi Saint Baba Farid composed in Punjabi too that even became part of Guru Granth Sahib.

6. Some other saints wrote in Kannada, Tamil and other languages too.

Thus, we are inclined to agree with the view that the Saints of Bhakti and Sufi Movement composed in many languages and the languages of the common people to connect with them.

Question 9: Read any five of the sources included in this chapter and discuss the social and religious ideas that are expressed in them.

Answer 9: The period of the Bhakti Movement and Sufi Movement also has many sources that contribute to the history of those days. Some of the major social and religious ideas expressed in the various sources of history are as follows:

Architecture: The architecture of stupas, temples, and monasteries reflects the diverse religious beliefs and practices of the time. These structures served not only as places of worship but also as symbols of spiritual devotion and community identity. For instance, temples dedicated to different deities were centers of religious life and cultural expression, showcasing intricate carvings and sculptures that conveyed religious stories and philosophical teachings.

Saints’ Compositions: The compositions of Bhakti and Sufi saints provide valuable insights into the lives of ordinary people and village communities. Unlike formal religious texts, these compositions were accessible to the masses, emphasizing personal devotion, love for humanity, and spiritual equality. They also influenced the development of regional music and art forms, promoting cultural diversity and communal harmony.

Biographies of Saints: Another very important source of the history of those days is the biographies of the Saints. The biographies include the description of the society and prevalent beliefs and practices. These narratives often depict the struggles and triumphs of saints who transcended religious boundaries, fostering interfaith dialogue and mutual respect. Stories like that of Kabir, revered by both Hindus and Muslims, illustrate attempts to bridge communal divides through shared spiritual experiences.

Rise of Religious Leaders: The emergence of new religious leaders, beyond traditional Brahmin roles, marked a significant shift in spiritual authority. Bhakti and Sufi movements democratized religious practice, advocating for direct personal connection with the divine and challenging hierarchical structures. This democratization promoted ideals of equality and fraternity among diverse social groups.

Folklore and Art: Folklore expressed through various art forms such as dance, paintings, and sculpture emphasized universal brotherhood and love for all humanity. These artistic expressions served as mediums for conveying spiritual teachings and moral values, promoting social cohesion and collective identity beyond religious differences.

Overall, the Bhakti and Sufi movements during this period promoted inclusive social values, spiritual pluralism, and cultural diversity, leaving a profound impact on both religious practices and societal norms.

Question 10: On an outline map of India, plot three major sufi shrines, and three places associated with temples (one each of a form of Vishnu, Shiva and the goddess).

Answer 10:

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