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General Knowledge for Competitive Exams

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Indo-Greeks, Shakas, Parthians and Kushans

Jul 16, 2015
The Indo- Greeks were forced to attack India after losing to the Scythian tribes. The Mauryan kings who succeeded Ashoka were too weak to stop this invasion. By the start of 2nd century BC, Indo-Greeks managed to acquire a large part of north-western India. Menander (Milinda) was a famous Indo-Greek ruler who ruled from 165 BC to 145 BC. The capital of his kingdom was at Sakala (modern Sialkot, Punjab). He adopted Buddhism by a Buddhist monk called Nagasena alias Nagarjuna.

Ashoka the Great

Jul 16, 2015
Ashoka was the son of Bindusara. He was governor of Taxila and Ujjain during his father’s reign. Ashoka sat on the throne around 268 B.C after successfully defeating his brothers. There was an interval of four years between Ashoka’s accession to the throne (273 B.C.) and his actual coronation (268 B.C.). Therefore, it appears from the available evidence that there was a struggle for the throne after Bindusara’s death.

The Mahajanapadas

Jul 15, 2015
In the sixth century BCE, there was a rise in the development of a few kingdoms that became prominent and earned the name Mahajanapada or great country. Aryans were the most influential tribes and were called as ‘janas’. This gave rise to the term janapada where jana means ‘people’ and pada means ‘foot. Janapada were the major kingdoms of Vedic India. A new kind of socio-political development was taking place in Mahajanapada. Mahajanapada were located in distinct geographical zones. There were sixteen such Mahajanapadas.

The origin of Buddhism and Jainism

Jul 14, 2014
During Later Vedic period, the society was divided into 4 Varnas namely, Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vaishyas and Shudras and it was decided on the basis on birth. Brahmins and Kshatriyas, who were the two dominated Varnas at that time, competed for supremacy. Kshatriyas were the rulers who disliked the domination of the Brhamin priests. Both Gautam Buddha and Mahavira Jain challenged the hegemony of Brahmins. Moreover, the importance of Vaishyas grew as the importance of trade increased.

Bodhisattvas

Jul 10, 2014
A Bodhisattva is an ordinary person who takes up a course in his or her life that moves in the direction of Buddha. You're a bodhisattva, I'm a bodhisattva; actually, anyone who directs their attention, their life, to practicing the way of life of a Buddha is a Bodhisattva.

Hinayana and Mahayana

Jul 10, 2014
After the death of Buddha, Buddhism was divided into two sects namely Mahayana and Hinayana. The terms Hinayana (Lesser Vehicle or Modest Vehicle) and Mahayana (Greater Vehicle or Vast Vehicle) originated in The Prajnaparamita Sutras (The Sutras on Far-Reaching Discriminating Awareness, The Perfection of Wisdom Sutras).

Buddhist Scholars

Jul 9, 2014
The objectives of the Buddhist teaching were to secure the salvation of individual or nirvana. Buddhism made an important impact on the society by keeping its doors open to women and Shudras. Buddhism taught people not to take things for granted but to argue and judge them on merits. Buddhism promoted rationalism among peoples. The Buddhists created a new language Hybrid Sanskrit by mixing Pali with Sanskrit.

Buddhist Councils

Jul 4, 2014
Six Buddhist Councils marked important turning points in the story of early Buddhism. This story spans the time from immediately after the death and Parinirvana of the historical Buddha in the 5th century BCE to sometime early in the first millennium CE. This is also the story of sectarian clashes and the eventual Great Schism that resulted in the two major schools, Theravada and Mahayana.

Buddhist Literature

Jul 3, 2014
During his lifetime the Buddha taught not in Vedic Sanskrit, which had become unintelligible to the people, but in his own Indian dialect; he also encouraged his monks to propagate his teachings in the vernacular. After his death, the Buddhist canon was formulated and transmitted by oral tradition, and it was written down in several versions in the 2d and 1st cent. B.C. Its main divisions, called Pitakas.

Buddha's Teachings

Jul 2, 2014
Forty-nine days after Buddha attained enlightenment he was requested to teach. As a result of this request, Buddha rose from meditation and taught the first Wheel of Dharma. These teachings which include the Sutra of the Four Noble Truths and other discourses are the principal source of the Hinayana and Mahayana.

The Buddha

Jul 2, 2014
Sidhartha was born (c. 563 BC; Kapilavastu, Nepal) into the Gautama family of the Shakaya clan. The Shakayas were members of the priestly-warrior caste. In fact, Sidhartha's father(shuddhodhana) was the head of the tribe. Her mother’s name was Mahamaya. He got married to Yashodhara and got a son named Rahul. He left his luxurious life at the age of 29. At the age of thirty-five, under a papal tree, Sidhartha reached enlightenment and became an "enlightened one"--a Buddha (c. 528 BC).

Jainism

Jun 11, 2014
A Jain is defined as a follower of Jina. Jina means victor or Conqueror. Jainism started centuries before Buddhism but later on was revived by Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankar of Jainism. According to Jain theology, Janism is one of the oldest religion which has neither beginning nor end.

List of foreign travellers who visited the Vijayanagara Empire

May 29, 2014
From Ancient to Modern Indian History, Indian subcontinent encounter by foreign travellers and some of them left valuable accounts of their travels. These foreign accounts gave us a valuable objective document that will help us to understand the social-political-economic condition of a particular era. These travellers account cannot be understood without knowing their perception of writing. Here, we are giving the list of famous travellers who visited India during reign of different rulers of Vijayanagar Empire.

Harappan Civilisation

Mar 20, 2014
Some several thousand years ago there once thrived a civilization in the Indus Valley. Located in what's now Pakistan and western India, it was the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. (1) The Indus Valley Civilization, as it is called, covered an area the size of Western Europe. It was the largest of the four ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. However, of all these civilizations the least is known about the Indus Valley people.

Harappan towns in Gujarat

Mar 19, 2014
There are two prominent sites which are found in Gujarat are Lothal (Ahmedabad) and Dholavira (kutch). Lothal Discovered in 1954 was excavated from 13 February 1955 to 19 May 1960 by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Dholavira was excavated by RS Bisht of ASI and his team in 1990. This city was located where there was fresh water and fertile soil in the Rann of Kutch.

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Jagran Play
रोमांचक गेम्स खेलें और जीतें एक लाख रुपए तक कैश
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