Q.3: Describe the beliefs and practices of Nathpanthis, Siddhas and Yogis.
Ans: The beliefs and practices of Nathpanthis, Siddhas and Yogis were:
- They advocated renunciation of the world.
- According to them, the path to salvation lay in meditation on the formless Ultimate Reality and the realisation of oneness with it.
- They advocated intense training of body and mind through practices like yogasanas, breathing exercises and meditation to achieve salvation.
- They criticised conventional religion.
Q.4: What were the major ideas expressed by Kabir ? How did he express these ?
Ans: Kabir’s ideas were based on a complete, indeed vehement, rejection of the major religious traditions. His teachings openly ridiculed all forms of external worship of both Brahmanical Hinduism and Islam.
He expressed his ideas through a vast collection of verses known as sakhis and pads.
Q.5: What were the major beliefs and practices of the Sufis ?
Ans: The major beliefs and practices of the Sufis were:
- They rejected outward religiosity and emphasised on love and devotion to God and compassion towards all human beings.
- They rejected elaborate rituals and codes of behaviour demanded by Muslim religious scholars.
- They developed elaborate methods of training using zikr, contemplation, sama, raqs, discussion of parables, breath control, etc. under the guidance of a pir.
Q.6: Why do you think many teachers rejected prevalent religious beliefs and practices ?
Ans: Prevalent religious beliefs and practices preached that social privileges came from birth in a “noble” family or a “high” caste. Many people were unhappy with these kind of ideas, so they rejected these beliefs and practices.
Q.7: What were the major teachings of Baba Guru Nanak ?
Ans: The major teachings of Baba Guru Nanak were:
- He emphasized the importance of worship of one God.
- He insisted that caste, creed or gender was irrelevant for attaining liberation.
- He used the terms nam (right worship), dan (welfare of others) and insan (purity of conduct) for the essence of his teaching.
- His idea of equality included social and political implications.
Q.8: For either the Virashaivas or the sants of Maharashtra, discuss their attitude towards caste.
Ans: Virashaivas rejected social differences based on birth. They believed that every one is equal.
Q.9: Why do you think ordinary people preserved the memory of Mirabai ?
Ans: Mirabai was devoted to Krishna and composed innumerable bhajans expressing her intense devotion. Her songs also openly challenged the norms of the “upper” castes and this made the ordinary people preserve the memory of Mirabai.