Class 7 History Chapter 8 Devotional Paths to the Divine Important Questions and Answers

CBSE Class 7 History Chapter 8 Devotional Paths to the Divine Important Questions and answers cover all the major concepts of the chapter. Solving answers of these important questions help students to revise the Chapter most competently. We prepared these questions as per the latest NCERT book and CBSE syllabus. Practising class 7 important questions before the exam will ensure excellent marks in the exam.

Devotional Paths to the Divine Class 7 History Important Questions

Very Short Answer Type Question

1: What was the purpose of Langer started by Guru Nanak?
Answer: To try and preach universal toleration and do away with caste discriminations.

2: Who started Virashaiva movement?
Answer: The Virashaiva movement began in Karnataka in the mid-twelfth century. It was started by Basavanna and his companions like Allama Prabhu and Akkamahadevi.

3. What did the Puranic stories consist of? [V. Imp.]
Answer: The Puranic stories consisted of local myths and legends

4. Who were the Pulaiyar and the Panars?
Answer: They were considered untouchables

5. How many Alvars were there?
Answer: There were 12 Alvars.

6. Name the two sets of compilations of Nayanar’s songs.
Answer: Tevaram and Tiruvacakam.

7. Name the set of compilation of Alvars’ songs.
Answer: Divya Prabandham.

8. What did Ramanuja propound?
Answer:  He propounded the doctrine of Vishishtadvaita or qualified oneness in that the soul even when united with the Supreme God remained distinct.

9. What is abhang? 
Answer: It is a Marathi devotional hymn.

10. Name any two saints of Maharashtra.
Answer: Namdev and Tukaram

11. Who were Sufis?
Answer: Sufis were Muslim mystics.

12. Name any two great Sufis of Central Asia .
Answer: Ghazzali and Rumi.

13. What are namghars? [Imp.]             
Answer: They are houses of recitation and prayer, a practice that continues even today.

14. What was known as dharmsal?
Answer:  Baba Guru Nanak created sacred place which was known as dharmsal. It is now known as Gurudwara.

15. To whom did Baba Guru Nanak appoint as his successor?
Answer: Guru Nanak appointed Guru Angad, one of his followers, as his successor.

16. What is Guru Granth Sahib?
Answer: Guru Granth Sahib is the holy scripture of the Sikhs.

17. Why did the Mughal emperor Jahangir order the execution of Guru Aijan in 1606?
Answer: The Mughal emperor Jahangir looked upon the Sikh community as a potential threat and therefore he ordered the execution of Guru Aijan.

18. What did the terms ‘nam’, ‘dan’ and ‘isnan’ mean?  [V. Imp.]
Answer:  The terms nam, dan and isnan meant right worship, welfare of others and purity of conduct.

19. Who compiled the compositions of Baba Guru Nanak?
Answer: Guru Angad compiled the compositions of Baba Guru Nanak.

20: What is a dargah?
Answer: Dargah is a Sufi shrine built over the grave of a Sufi saint. Many Muslims believe that dargahs are portals by which they can call upon the deceased saint’s blessing.

21: Who started Virashaiva movement?
Answer: The Virashaiva movement began in Karnataka in the mid-twelfth century. It was started by Basavanna and his companions like Allama Prabhu and Akkamahadevi.

Short Answer Type Questions

1: What was the purpose of “Nayanar movement”?

Answer: Nayanar movement was started in order to check the development of Buddhism and Jainism in the southern peninsula. They wanted to protect their religion from the incursion of these new religions.

2: What is Hagiography?

Answer: Hagiographies are the biographies of the Alvars and Nayanars or can be considered as religious biographies. These are very helpful in writing histories of Bhakti tradition.

3: What were dharmsal?

Answer: The places where Sikh congregation and religious gatherings of the followers of Guru Nanak were held were called Dharamsalas. These were also the places for feeding the poor. Eventually, every Sikh home became a Dharamsala. Now it is known as Gurdwara.

4: State the main contribution of the Chola and Pandya kings for the growth of the Bhakti movement.

Answer: The Chola and the Pandyas built many temples around many shrines between the tenth and twelfth centuries. The saint- poets visited these shrines and sang songs of Bhakti. It strengthened the links between the Bhakti tradition and temple worship.

5: Write a short note on Shankara and his teachings.

Answer: Shankara was one of the most popular religious philosophers of India born in Kerala. He was the expounder of the concept of Advaita which is the doctrine of oneness of the individual soul and the supreme god. He was a fully developed Yogi, Jnani and Bhakta. He believed that Brahman alone is real, this world is unreal. He considered the world as Maya or an illusion. He preached renunciation of the world and adoption of the path of knowledge.

6: Why did people turn to Buddhism and Jainism during the medieval period?

Answer: Many people were not satisfied with the notion that noble and high caste of human beings come by birth. These two religions helped them overcome notion that high caste comes by birth. That was why most of the people started following Buddhism and Jainism.

7. Who were the followers of Baba Guru Nanak?

Answer: Baba Guru Nanak had a large number of followers. They belonged to a number of castes but traders, agriculturists, artisans and craftsmen predominated. Thus, the followers of Guru Nanak were all householders and adopted productive and useful occupations. They were expected to contribute to the general funds of the community of followers.

8: Write a short note on Nathpanthis, Siddhas and Yogis.

Answer: A number of religious groups criticized the rituals and other aspects of conventional religion and preached the social order using simple logical arguments. They advocated renunciation of the world. To achieve the salvation, they advocated intense training of the mind and body through practices like yogasanas. They became popular among low castes in North India.

9: Who were Sufis?

Answer: Sufis were Muslim mystics. They rejected outward religiosity and emphasized love and devotion to God and compassion towards all fellow human beings. They condemned the elaborate rituals and codes of behaviour demanded by Muslim religious scholars. They also composed poems expressing their feelings.

10: What were khanqahs?

Answer: Khanqahs were like hospices. It was a place where the Sufi masters held their assemblies. Devotees of all descriptions including members from the royal and noble groups, and ordinary people gathered there. They discussed spiritual matters and were blessed by the saints.

11: Whom did Guru Nanak appoint as his successor before his death?

Answer: Guru Nanak appointed one of his followers named Lehna as his successor before his death. Later Lehna came to be known as Guru Angad and projected himself as part of Guru Nanak.

12: Who ordered the execution of Guru Arjan and why?

Answer: The Mughal emperor Jahangir ordered the execution of Guru Arjan Dev. By the beginning of the seventeenth century, the town of Ramdaspur (Amritsar) developed around the central Gurdwara, also called Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple). It was like a state with self-governing. The Mughal emperor saw this development as a potential threat against his rule. So he ordered the execution.

13: Who was Martin Luther? How did he view the Roman Catholic Church?

Answer: Martin Luther was one of the most important leaders of the changes that took place within Christianity.Luther felt that several practices in the Roman Catholic Church went against the teachings of the Bible.

14: When did local myths become a part of the Puranic stories?

Answer: When gods and goddess were identified with Shiva, the local myths and legends became part of the Puranic stories and the methods of worship introduced in the Puranas were followed for the local gods and goddesses.

15: To whom were Alvars and Nayanars devoted?

Answer: During the seventh and ninth centuries new religious movements were led by the saints called the Nayanars who were devoted to Shiva and Alvars who were devoted to Vishnu.

16: How did Khalsa Panth emerged?

Answer: The Sikh movement began to get politicized in the seventeenth century. Development culminated in the institution of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699. Thus, the community of the Sikhs called the Khalsa Panth came into existence as a political entity.

17. What do you mean by Khanqahs? What purpose did it serve? [V. Imp.]

Answer: Khanqahs were houses of rest for travellers especially one kept by a religious order. Sufi masters usually held their assemblies here. Devotees of all descriptions including members of the royalty and nobility, and ordinary people flocked to these Khanqahs. Here, they discussed spiritual matters, sought the blessings of the saints in solving their worldly problems or simply attended the music and dance sessions.

18. “The songs are as much a creation of the saints as of generations of people who sang them.’ Explain. [V. Imp.]

Answer: The works of the saints were composed in regional languages and could be sung. They became very popular and were handed down orally from one generation to another. Usually, the most deprived communities and women transmitted these songs. They even added their own experiences to them. Thus, the songs as we have them today are as much a creation of the saints as of generations of people who sang them. They have become a part of our living culture.

19. Who was Kabir? How do we know about him?

Answer: Kabir probably lived in the fifteenth-sixteenth centuries. He was one of the most influential saints. He was brought up in a family of Muslim jalahas or weavers settled in or near the city of Benaras, now Varanasi. We have little reliably information about the life of Kabir. We come to know of his ideas from a vast collection of verses called sakhis and pads, which are said to have been composed by him and sung by wandering bhqjan singers.

Long Answer Type Questions

1: Who was Guru Nanak?

Answer: Guru Nanak was born in Talwandi. He preached against caste distinctions ritualism, idol worship and the pseudo-religious beliefs that had no spiritual content. He chose to mix with all. He dined and lived with men of the lowest castes and classes which was socially and religiously unheard of in those days of rigid Hindu caste system. His followers ate together in the common kitchen called langar which became a nucleus for religious gatherings of his society and of establishing the basic equality of all castes, classes and sexes.

2: What were the teachings of Ramanuja?

Answer: Ramanuja was born in Tamil Nadu in the eleventh century. He was deeply influenced by the Alvars. He was an exponent of the doctrine of Vishistadavita or qualified non-dualism. He advocated that the best means of attaining salvation was through intense devotion to Vishnu. According to Ramanuja’s teachings, Lord Narayana or Bhagavan is the Supreme Being. He believed that Vishnu helped devotees to attain the bliss of union with Him. Later his teachings inspired the Bhakti cult in North India.

3: What were the teachings of the Bhakti saint Kabir?

Answer: Kabir’s teachings were based on a complete, indeed vehement and rejection of the major religious traditions.

  • His teachings openly ridiculed all forms of external worship of both Brahmanical Hinduism and Islam, 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 also sometimes used cryptic language, which was difficult to follow.
  • Kabir believed in a formless Supreme God and preached that the only path to salvation was through bhakti or devotion.
  • He drew his followers from among both Hindus and Muslims.
  • His teachings reflect the secular values of life.

4: Explain the teachings of Guru Nanak.

Answer: The ideas of Guru Nanak had a huge impact on people from the very beginning. He emphasized the importance of worship of one God. He insisted that caste, creed or gender was irrelevant for attaining liberation. He himself used the terms nam, dan and isnan for the essence of his teaching, which actually meant right worship, welfare of others and purity of conduct. His teachings are now remembered as nam-japna, kirt-karna and vand-chhakna, which also underline the importance of right belief and worship, honest living, and helping others.

5: What were the teachings of the saints of Maharashtra?

Answer: The saints of Maharashtra were strong and outspoken drawn from all social classes. They focused on the Vitthala (a form of Vishnu) in temple in Pandharpur whom they identified with Lord Krishna. They stressed on the notion that personal god is residing in the hearts of all people, the efficacy of gods name, professed love and brotherhood. They condemned the idea of all forms of ritualism and social differences based on birth. They even rejected the idea of renunciation and preferred to live with their families like other persons and serve human beings.

6. Who were the Nayanars and Alvars? Write about them in brief. [V. Imp.]

Answer:  The Nayanars and Alvars led religious movements in south India during seventh to ninth centuries. The Nayanars were devotees of Shiva while the Alvars were the devotees of Vishnu. They came from all castes including those considered ‘untouchable’ like the Pulaiyar and the Panars. They preaohe^gjgdent love of Shiva or Vishnu as the path to salvation. They went from place to place composing beautiful poems in praise of the deities enshrined in the villages they visited and set them to music. There were 63 Nayanars who belonged to different caste backgrounds. There were 12 Alvars who came from equally divergent backgrounds.

7.  Who was Ramanuja? What are the main points of his preachings?

Answer: Ramanuja was a Bhakti saint. He was bom in Tamil Nadu in the 11th century. He was deeply influenced by the Alvars. The main points of his preachings are :

  • Ramanuja taught people that the best means of attaining salvation was through intense devotion to Vishnu. Vishnu in His grace helps the devotee to attain the bliss of union with Him.
  • He propounded the doctrine of Vishishtadvaita or qualified oneness in that the soul even when united with the Supreme God remained distinct.

8. Why was the Mughal emperor Jahangir hostile to the Sikh community? How did the Sikh movement gain momentum?  [V. Imp.]

Answer: By the beginning of the 17th century the town of Ramdaspur, Amritsar had developed around the central Gurudwara known as Harmandar Sahib, the Golden Temple. It was virtually self-governing body and the modem historians refer to the early 17th century Sikh community as ‘a state within state’. This made the Mughal emperor Jahangir hostile to the Sikh community. He looked upon them as a potential threat and he ordered the execution of Guru Aijan in 1606.
It is from this time the Sikh movement began to gain momentum. It was a development which culminated, in the institution of the Khalsa by Guru Govind Singh in 1699.

9. Write in brief about the ideas of Shankara and Ramanuja.

Answer:  Shankara. He was one of the most Influential philosophers of India. He was bom in Kerala in the eighth century. He was an advocate of Advaita or the doctrine of the oneness of the individual soul and the Supreme God, the Ultimate Reality. He taught that Brahman, the only or Ultimate Reality, was formless and without any attributes. He considered the world around us to be an illusion or maya, and preached renunciation of the world and adoption of the path of knowledge to understand the true nature of Brahman and attain salvation. Ramanuja. He was born in Tamil Nadu in the eleventh century and was deeply influenced by the Alvars. He preached that the best means of attaining salvation was through intense devotion to Vishnu. Vishnu in His grace helps the devotee to attain the bliss of union with Him. He propounded the doctrine of Vishishtadvaita of qualified oneness in that the soul even when united with the Supreme God remained distinct

10. Write a brief note on new religious developments in north India. [V. Imp.]

Answer:  During the thirteenth century a new wave of the Bhakti movement began in north India. This was an age when Islam, Brahmanical Hinduism, Sufism, various strands of Bhakti, and the Nathpanths, Siddhas and Yogis influenced one another. Ordinary people such as craftspersons, peasants, traders, etc. showed their interest in listening to these new saints. Kabir and Baba Gum Nanak did not approve orthodox religious. Tulsidas and Surdas accepted existing beliefs and practices but wanted to make these accessible to all. Tulsidas conceived of God in the form of Rama. His Ramacharitmanas is a unique creation, Surdas was an ardent devotee of Krishna. His compositions compiled in the Sursagara, Sursaravali and Sahitga Lahari, express his devotion. Shankaradeva of Assam emphasised devotion to Vishnu and composed poems and plays in Assamese. He began the practice of setting up namghars or houses of recitation and prayer. Saints like Dadu Dayal, Ravidas and Mirabai are worth-mentioning here. Mirabai was a Rajput princess and was married into the royal family of Mewar in the 16th century. She became a disciple of Ravidas, an untouchable saint. She devoted her life to Lord Krishna. She composed a number of bhqjans expressing her intense devotion. A unique feature of most of the saints is that their works were composed in regional languages and could be sung. Therefore, they became very popular among the common mass.

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