- Many factors drove the rise of the Bhakti movement. Enumerating those factors, mention how it enriched Indian literature. (10 marks)
- Harappan cities were well known for efficient planning. In this context, shed light on its water management and conservation plan. (15 marks)
Q1. Many factors drove the rise of the Bhakti movement. Enumerating those factors, mention how it enriched Indian literature. 10 marks
- The Bhakti movement first started in South India by Adi Shankaracharya and his philosophy which is later seen in devotional poems written by Alvars (Vishnu devotees) and Nayanars (Shiva devotees).
- It was against irrelevant rituals and sacrifices of earlier religions and sought to rectify them. The factors behind this movement include-
- Difficult to follow Vedas and Upanishads for ordinary people, and simple forms of worship were needed in those times. Thus emerged proponents like Adi Shankaracharya, Kabir, Guru Nanak, Ramanuja, Mirabai etc. Sufi saints also influenced the movement.
- Political factors like Rajput-Brahman hegemony and Turkish conquest led to the rise of Islam, and the influx of ideas weakened the Brahmans' influence. Thus anti-caste and anti-Brahmanical ideologies grew in popularity.
- Social factors like caste rigidity, useless rituals, and social dogmas antagonized common men who were looking for a liberal type of religion. Monotheistic movements attracted these emerging urban artisan’s classes owing to their egalitarian beliefs.
- Islamic invasion made the local populace fearful, and they started looking for some respite to heal themselves.
- It is also seen that bhakti movements reflected feelings against feudalism and its oppression, as evident from the literature which supported the peasantry class.
- It enriched Indian literature by-
- Bringing cultural revolution and impacting languages like Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali etc.
- Some famous compositions include Ramcharitmanas and Hanuman Chalisa and saw a departure from traditional Sanskrit writing.
- Kabir wrote in the vernaculars like two-liner dohe made of metaphors and similes.
- Surdas composed over a lakh poems for Lord Krishna in Braj Bhasha, easily comprehended by the masses.
- Gita Govinda by Jayadeva is another exemplary devotional treatise.
- Bhakti literature was for the masses and was in contrast to prior literature written mainly in Sanskrit. It made spiritual philosophy famous among the masses and contributed to the growth of regional languages.
Q2. Harappan cities were well known for efficient planning. In this context, shed light on its water management and conservation plan. 15 marks
- Harappa is an archaeological site in present-day Pakistan near the Ravi river, known for its town planning and drainage system. Even though many perennial rivers flowed near the region, Harappans could not harness it.
- Water management and conservation practices by Harappans included-
- For drinking and bathing purposes, the water sources included wells, reservoirs or cisterns.
- Collection drains and pits for rainwater harvesting, which were separated from the sewage drains, where the latter were covered by bricks or stone slabs. Eg- dockyard of Lothal.
- Waterproofing was another feature seen in the Great bath at Mohenjo-Daro, which had watertight floors and walls of the tank using a good amount of bitumen.
- Small diameter wells were made, which enabled groundwater to rise by hydraulic pressure like in Allahdino, which was also used for irrigation.
- An important feature was sluice gates and a spill channel which kept the water level consistent for availability around the year.
- They controlled the pace of the water flow upstream, which was used to channelise water to the city area, by building a series of dams.
- Many bunds and embankments were built along the slope of the city to enable water storage in tanks instead of spreading over a large area.
- These management and conservation techniques are still relevant in present-day town and urban planning and suggest that Harappan were undoubtedly ahead of their time.