Summary: NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 6
NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 6 “Devotional Paths to the Divine” explores various ways people connect with the divine. First, we learn about ‘Bhakti’, a path of devotion where devotees express their love and faith towards a chosen deity. We also learn about ‘Sufism’, a path of love and devotion in Islam. Sufis believe in experiencing God’s love through music, dance, and poetry. They emphasize inner purity and love for humanity. We then study ‘Guru Nanak and Sikhism’, where Guru Nanak preached the oneness of God and equality among all. Sikhs follow the teachings of ten Gurus and their holy book, Guru Granth Sahib Ji. This chapter helps us understand that different religions have unique ways of connecting with the divine, emphasizing love, devotion, and unity.
Important Questions and Answers in NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 6
1. Match the following:
|Shankaradeva||Worship of Vishnu|
|Nizamuddin Auliya||Questioned social differences|
|Alvars||Worship of Shiva|
|The Buddha||Questioned social differences|
|Nizamuddin Auliya||Sufi saint|
|Nayanars||Worship of Shiva|
|Alvars||Worship of Vishnu|
2. Fill in the blanks:
(a) Shankara was an advocate of Advaita.
(b) Ramanuja was influenced by the Alvars.
(c) Basavanna, Allama Prabhu, and Akkamahadevi were advocates of Virashaivism.
(d) Vitthala temple was an important centre of the Bhakti tradition in Maharashtra.
3. Describe the beliefs and practices of the Nathpanthis, Siddhas, and Yogis.
Ans. Nathpanthis, Siddhas, and Yogis believed that the path to salvation lies in meditation. Therefore, they advocated intense training of the mind and body through practices like Yogasanas, breathing exercises, and meditation. The Nathpanthis, Siddhas, and Yogis became popular among “low” castes and their criticism of conventional religion created the ground for devotional religion to become a popular force in Northern India.
4. What were the major ideas expressed by Kabir? How did he express these?
Ans. Kabir believed in a formless Supreme God and believed that the only path to salvation was through bhakti or devotion and drew his followers from among both Hindus and Muslims. His teachings openly ridiculed all forms of external worship in both Brahmanical Hinduism and Islam. He also ridiculed the pre-eminence of the priestly classes and the caste system. The language of his poetry was a form of spoken Hindi widely understood by ordinary people. He sometimes used cryptic language, which was difficult to follow. He expressed his ideas through verses called ‘sakhis and pads’, composed by him and sung by wandering bhajan singers. Some of these were later compiled and preserved in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Panch Vani, and Bijak.
5. What were the major beliefs and practices of the Sufis?
Ans. The Sufis often rejected the elaborate rituals and codes of behavior demanded by Muslim religious scholars. They sought union with God much as a lover seeks his beloved with a disregard for the world. Like the saint-poets, the Sufis too composed poems expressing their feelings, and a rich literature in prose, including anecdotes and fables, developed around them. Among the great Sufis of Central Asia were Ghazzali, Rumi, and Sadi. Like the Nathpanthis, Siddhas, and Yogis, the Sufis too believed that the heart can be trained to look at the world in a different way. They developed elaborate methods of training using zikr (chanting of a name or sacred formula), contemplation, sama (singing), raqs (dancing), discussion of parables, breath control, etc., under the guidance of a master or pir. Thus emerged the silsilas, a spiritual genealogy of Sufi teachers, each following a slightly different method (tariqa) of instruction and ritual practice.
6. Why do you think many teachers rejected prevalent religious beliefs and practices?
Ans. Many teachers rejected prevalent religious beliefs and practices because such beliefs supported social differences, where the lower castes were oppressed by the upper castes. They believed in the power of personal devotion felt attracted by the idea of a Supreme God, and believed that the only path to salvation was through bhakti or devotion.
7. What were the major teachings of Baba Guru Nanak?
Ans. Baba Guru Nanak had a huge impact on this development from the very beginning. He emphasized the importance of the worship of one God. He insisted that caste, creed, or gender was irrelevant to attaining liberation. His idea of liberation was not that of a state of inert bliss but rather the pursuit of an active life with a strong sense of social commitment. He himself used the terms nam, dan, and isnan for the essence of his teaching, which actually meant right worship, the welfare of others, and purity of conduct. His teachings are now remembered as nam-japna, kirt-karna, and vandchhakna, which also underline the importance of right belief and worship, honest living, and helping others.
8. For either the Virashaivas or the sants of Maharashtra, discuss their attitude towards caste.
Ans: The Virashaivas argued strongly for the equality of all human beings and against Brahmanical ideas about caste and the treatment of women. They were also against all forms of ritual and idol worship. During the thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries, Maharashtra saw a great number of saint poets who rejected all forms of ritualism, outward displays of piety, and social differences based on birth. They even rejected the idea of renunciation and preferred to live with their families, earning their livelihood like any other person while humbly serving fellow human beings in need, and believed that bhakti lies in sharing others’ pain.
Check out Class 6 History Notes:
Ans: Vitthala temple was an important centre of the Bhakti tradition in Maharashtra.
Ans: Basavanna, Allama Prabhu, and Akkamahadevi were advocates of Virashaivism.
Ans: Shankara was one of the most influential philosophers of India, born in Kerala in the eighth century. He was an advocate of Advaita.
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