(Notes) Civil Services (Prelims) Examination :Indian History - Quick Revision Notes (II)

Civil Services (Prelims) Examination Special
Quick Revision Notes


Indian History

16. Developed city-life, use of potter’s wheel, kilnburnt bricks, and vessels made of copper and bronze are some common and distinctive features of all the civilizations of the pre-historic period.

17. The use of mud mortar was common during Indus Valley civilisation. Gypsum and mud were used for plaster. In case of drains, gypsum and lime mortar was used.

18. The most important feature of houses of Mohenjodaro is the presence in them of one or more bathrooms, the floors of which were fully laid and connected by means of drainage channels with the main street.

19. More than 500 seals have been discovered at various places inhabited by people of Indus Valley civilizations. These were made of terra-cota.

20. The seals and painted pottery of the Indus Valley show the figures of Pipal and Acacia trees. They were regarded as celestial plants and were supposed to be inhabited by divine spirits.

21. The people of Indus Valley also practiced the worship of Lings and Yoni symbols. The likelihood that both Shiva and Ling worship have been inherited by Hindus from the Indus Valley is reinforced by the prevalence of the bull (the vehicle of Shiva) or bull-like animals amongst the seal-symbols.

22. The pottery of Indus Valley was generally wheelmade and was painted red and black.

23. The Dravadians are thought to have come to India from eastern Mediterranean. At one time the Dravadian culture was spread throughout India.

24. Puja ceremonies along with flowers, leaves, fruits and water were performed by Dravadians. Aryans were accustomed to Homa rites or sacrificial fire.  Infact, the word puja has been derived from a Dravadian root called Puru, which means “to smear”.

25. The Dravadian language is still spoken by the Brahui people of Baluchistan.

26. As per the theorypropagated by late Bal Gangadhar Tilak the original home of Aryans was the Arctic region. However, the most widely accepted view is that the Aryans originated from Central Asia. The view which is accepted in West isthat original home of Aryans was in South-East Europe.

27. In the early vedic period river Ravi was known as Parushni, riverJhelum as Vitasta, Chenab  as Asikni, Beas as Vipas and Sutlej as Sutudri.

28. The word Veda comes from the root vid, to know. It means knowledge in general. It is specially applied to branch of literature which has been handed down by verbal transmission and is declared to be sacred knowledge or Sruti.

29. Hindus consider the Vedas to be revealed books and give them the titles of Apaurusheya (not made by man) and nitya (Eternal).

30. According to Kautilya,“The three Vedas, Sama, Rig and Yajus constitute the triple Vedas. These together with Atharvaveda and the Itihasa Veda are known as the Vedas.” The ordinary definition of the Veda does not include Itihasa.

31. The Veda consists offour different classes of literary compositions: (a) the Mantra constitutes the oldest division of Vedic literature and is distributed in four Samhitas or collections known as the Rik, Sama, Yajus and the Atharva; (b) Brahmanas are the secondclass of Vedic works. They are mainly prose texts containing observations on sacrifice; (c) Aranyakas or forest texts are books of instruction to be given in the forest or writings meant for wooddwelling hermits; (d) Lastly there are the Upnishads which are either imbedded in the Aranyakas or form their supplements. The above named literary works are classed as Sruti, or revelation, and constitute theVedic literature proper.

32. The Brahamanas are the first specimens of praise in the world. They mark the transition from the Vedic to later Brahmanical social order.

33. The Vedangas are class of compositions that are regarded less authoritative than Sruti and are styled Smriti. The Vedangas are six in number: Siksha (phonetics), Kalpa (ritual), Vyakaran (grammar), Nirukt (etymology), Chhand (metrics) and Jyotish (astronomy).

34. In Vyakarana, Nirukt and Chhand we have the great work of Panini, Yask and Pingal.

35. The Nyaya Darsana was written by Gautam. According to it, Tarka or logic is the basis of all studies. Knowledge can be acquired by four methods: Pratyaksha or intuition, Anumana or inference, Upma or comparison and sadba or verbal testimony.


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