(Notes) Civil Services (Prelims) Examination : Facts About India - Quick Revision Notes (IV)

Civil Services (Prelims) Examination Special
Quick Revision Notes


Facts About India : (Indian History)

54. The site of nativity of Gautama Buddha is marked by the celebrated Rummindei Pillar of Ashoka.

55. Siddhartha was married to Yashodara at the age of 16. Yashodara was also known as Bhadda Kachchana, Subhadraka, Bimba or Gopa.

56. The Great Renunciation took place when Sidhartha reached the age of 29. For six years he lived as a homeless ascetic. At Uruvila he practiced the most rigid austerities only to find that they were of no help to him to achieve his goal.

57. Sidhartha finally sat under a pipal or Banyan tree at modern Bodh Gaya, after taking a bath in the stream of river Nairanjana, modern Lilajan. Here he attained the supreme knowledge and insight and became known as Buddha or the Enlightened One, Tathagata (“he who attained the truth”) and Sakya-muni or the sage of the Sakya clan.

58. The first sermon by Buddha was given in the Deer Park near Sarnath, in the neighbourhood of Benaras. This sermon was called the Turning of the Wheel of Law, and was the nucleus of the Buddhist teachings.

59. Among Buddha’s early converts was his cousin Devadatta who, subsequently broke away and founded a rival sect that survived in parts of Oudh and western Bengal till the Gupta period.

60. The Buddha is said to have died at the age of 80 at Kusinagar, modern Kasia in the Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

61. Buddha taught his followers the four “Noble Truths” (Arya Satya) concerning suffering, the cause of suffering, the destruction of suffering and the way that leads to the destruction of sorrow.

62. As per Buddhist teachings, salvation is possible through the Eightfold Path, which consisted of eight principles of action, leading to a balanced, moderate life (right views, resolves, speech conduct, livelihood, effort, recollection and meditation, the combination of which was described as Middle Way).

63. The doctrine of karma was essential to the Buddhist way of salvation. Unlike the brahmanical idea, karma was not used to explain away caste status, since Buddha rejected caste.

64. Buddhism was atheistic, in as much as God was not essential to the Universe, there being a natural cosmic rise and decline.

65. The acceptance of nuns in the Buddhist monasteries was a revolutionary step from the point of view of the status of women.

66. The earliest surviving form of Buddhism, called Theravada, is still predominant in Sri Lanka nd South-East Asian countries.

67. Shortly after the death of Buddha a great Council (Sangiti) was held at Rajagriha to compile the religious doctrine (Dharma) and the monastic code (Vinaya). A second council was convoked a century later at Vaishali which condemned the rules in respect of the ten points and revised the scriptures.

68. A fresh condemnation of heresy took place during the reign of Ashoka, under whose patronage a third council was summoned at Pataliputra by a learned monk, Tisaa Moggaliputta, 236 years after Buddha’s death.

69. The fourth council was held under Kanishka hich prepared elaborate commentaries (Upadesh Shastras and Vibhasha Shastras) on the sacred texts.

70. According to Sri Lankan tradition, the sacred texts and commentaries were written down in books in first century B.C. during the reign of King Vattagamani Abhaya. Later, the texts, as distinguished from the commentaries, came to be known as Pali.


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Courtesy : The Competition Master