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New Questions and Ideas 

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NCERT Solutions for Class 6 History Chapter 6

The chapter New Questions and Ideas likely focuses on the emergence of new philosophical and religious ideas in ancient India around the 6th century BCE. Here’s a summary of the key points:

1. Dissatisfaction with Existing Traditions:

  • The chapter might introduce the idea that some people in ancient India started questioning the traditional rituals and practices of the Vedic religion.
  • They felt these rituals were not leading to true happiness or spiritual fulfillment.

2. The Rise of New Thinkers:

  • The emergence of philosophers and thinkers who challenged existing beliefs and proposed new ways of understanding the world is a central theme.
  • Some prominent figures might include the Buddha and Mahavira, founders of Buddhism and Jainism respectively.

3. Focus on Individual Search:

  • These new ideas emphasized the importance of individual seeking and self-realization.
  • They offered alternative paths to achieve spiritual liberation or enlightenment.

4. Importance of Non-Violence (ahimsa):

  • The concept of ahimsa (non-violence) is likely to be highlighted, particularly in the context of Jainism and potentially Buddhism.

5. The Upanishads:

  • The chapter might briefly mention the Upanishads, a collection of philosophical texts that emerged during this period.
  • These texts explored questions about the nature of reality, the soul (atman), and the ultimate reality (Brahman).

NCERT Solutions for Class 6 History Chapter 6

Let’s recall

1. Describe the ways in which the Buddha tried to spread his message to the people


  • Simple Language: The Buddha, unlike some scholars of his time, chose to teach in Prakrit, the language of the common people. This ensured everyone could understand his message without needing knowledge of complex religious languages.
  • Travel and Teaching: He spent his life traveling on foot, going from place to place and teaching people. This made his message accessible to a wider audience beyond those who could travel to him.
  • Encouraging Independent Thinking: The Buddha encouraged his followers to think for themselves rather than blindly accept his teachings. This approach resonated with those seeking new ideas and personal understanding.
  • Leading by Example: He lived a simple life, embodying the values he preached. This set a powerful example for his followers and helped spread his message through his actions.
  • Focus on Practical Solutions:  The Buddha’s teachings focused on practical ways to achieve liberation from suffering. This emphasis on practical benefits might have attracted people seeking solutions to their everyday struggles.

2. Write whether true or false:

(a) The Buddha encouraged animal sacrifices. 

(b) Sarnath is important because it was the place where the Buddha taught for the first time.

(c) The Buddha taught that karma has no effect on our lives.

(d) The Buddha attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya.

(e) Upanishadic thinkers believed that the atman and brahman were ultimately one.

Ans : (a) False:

(b) True

(c) False

(d) True

(e) True

3. What were the questions that Upanishadic thinkers wanted to answer?

Ans : Upanishadic thinkers grappled with profound questions about life, death, and the nature of reality. Here are some key questions they sought to answer:

  • The Meaning of Life: They pondered the ultimate purpose of human existence, what lies beyond our physical lives, and the path to true happiness.
  • The Nature of Reality: These thinkers questioned the nature of the universe, the fundamental principles that govern it, and the relationship between the individual and the cosmos.
  • The Soul and the Afterlife: They explored the concept of the atman (soul or self) and its fate after death. Is there an afterlife? What happens to the soul after the body dies?
  • The Ultimate Reality (Brahman): The Upanishads delve into the concept of Brahman, the ultimate reality or universal consciousness. Is there a single, unifying principle behind all existence?
  • Salvation and Liberation: Upanishadic thinkers sought ways to achieve liberation (moksha) from the cycle of birth and death (samsara). How can we attain a state of enlightenment or permanent peace?

4. What were the main teachings of the Mahavira

Ans : 

  • Non-Violence (Ahimsa):  Similar to the Buddha, Mahavira emphasized ahimsa (non-violence) as a core principle. This extended beyond humans to encompass all living beings, including insects.  This principle might be reflected in practices like wearing a mask to avoid inhaling small creatures.
  • Right Conduct (Jain Dharma): Mahavira advocated for Jain Dharma (righteous living). This involved following principles like truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy, and non-possession.
  • Multiple Paths to Liberation: Jainism offered multiple paths to liberation (moksha), catering to both householders and ascetics. Each path involved following specific rules and disciplines.
  • Importance of Asceticism:  Jainism placed a strong emphasis on asceticism (denial of physical pleasures) as a means to achieve spiritual liberation.  Monks and nuns practiced strict self-discipline and detachment from worldly possessions.
  • Respect for All Living Beings:  Jainism emphasizes the concept of ahimsa in all aspects of life, including diet. Jains often practice vegetarianism or veganism to minimize harm to living beings.
  • Karma and Rebirth:  Jainism, like Buddhism, acknowledges the concept of karma (actions have consequences) and rebirth.  Liberation is achieved by shedding karma and breaking the cycle of rebirth.

Let’s discuss

5. Why do you think Anagha’s mother wanted her to know the story of the Buddha?

Ans : Here are some possible reasons why Anagha’s mother might have wanted her to know the story of the Buddha:

  • School Trip Connection:  Anagha might be going on a school trip to a place connected to Buddhism, like Sarnath (where the Buddha gave his first sermon). Knowing the story would enhance her understanding and appreciation of the place.
  • Exposure to Different Beliefs:  Anagha’s mother might want to expose her to different religious and philosophical ideas, broadening her perspective on the world.
  • Universal Values:  The Buddha’s teachings emphasize compassion, non-violence, and self-improvement, which are valuable lessons for anyone regardless of their beliefs.
  • Inspiration and Guidance:  The story of the Buddha’s search for truth and his teachings can be a source of inspiration and guidance for young people navigating their own lives.
  • Family Tradition or Practice:  It’s possible that learning about different religions or philosophies is a tradition in Anagha’s family, and her mother is simply following that custom.

6. Do you think it would have been easy for slaves to join the sangha? Give reasons for your answer.

Ans : It would have been very difficult for slaves to join the Sangha, the Buddhist monastic order, for several reasons:

Permission Requirement:  Joining the Sangha often required permission from the master or head of the household. Slaves, by definition, had no control over their lives and couldn’t freely grant themselves permission to leave their duties.

Focus on Detachment:  The Sangha emphasized detachment from worldly possessions and desires. Slaves often owned nothing and couldn’t contribute materially to the community. However, their lack of possessions could be seen as a positive for joining the Sangha.

Labor and Self-sufficiency:  Monasteries often relied on the labor of their members for daily chores and upkeep. While slaves had experience with labor, integrating them into the monastic community might have raised logistical or social concerns.

Social Stigma:  Slavery was a social reality, and slaves might have faced prejudice or discrimination within the Sangha. Some members might have been hesitant to accept former slaves as equals.

Focus on Meditation and Learning:  The Sangha offered opportunities for meditation, learning Buddhist teachings, and spiritual development. Whether slaves, with limited education and time, could dedicate themselves fully to these pursuits could be a question.

Exceptions and Variations: There might have been some exceptions depending on the region, time period, and specific monastery practices.  Some particularly compassionate masters might have granted permission, or individual monasteries might have accepted slaves if they showed exceptional dedication.

7. Discuss the reasons why the Chinese pilgrims came to India.

Ans : The Chinese pilgrims, particularly the famous ones like Faxian, Xuanzang, and Yijing, undertook arduous journeys to India primarily for religious reasons. Here are the key motivations for their travels:

  • Seeking Buddhist Knowledge:  Buddhism had spread from India to China, but the available scriptures and teachings might have been incomplete or unclear. These pilgrims aimed to access the original Buddhist texts and teachings directly from the source in India.
  • Collecting Buddhist Texts:  They wanted to collect and translate Buddhist scriptures, commentaries, and other religious texts back into Chinese. This enriched the understanding and practice of Buddhism in China.
  • Visiting Sacred Sites:  India was considered the birthplace of Buddhism, and these pilgrims desired to visit holy places associated with the life of the Buddha, such as Lumbini (birthplace), Bodh Gaya (enlightenment), Sarnath (first sermon), and Kushinagar (parinirvana).
  • Monastic Exchange:  The journeys might have also served as a form of monastic exchange. The pilgrims could learn from Indian monks and scholars, observing their practices and deepening their understanding of Buddhist traditions.
  • Spreading Buddhism in China:  Upon returning, these pilgrims translated the collected texts and shared their experiences in India. This helped spread a more authentic and complete form of Buddhism within China, inspiring others.

NCERT Solutions for Class 6 History Chapter 6


What is covered in Class 6 History Chapter 6: “New Questions and Ideas”?

Class 6 History Chapter 6 delves into the emergence of new inquiries and ideas that reshaped ancient civilizations, exploring topics such as philosophical thoughts, scientific advancements, and societal changes.

How can NCERT solutions for Class 6 History Chapter 6 assist in understanding new questions and ideas?

NCERT solutions offer detailed explanations and analyses of the new questions and ideas presented in the chapter, helping students grasp the significance of philosophical, scientific, and societal advancements in ancient times.

Where can I find NCERT solutions for Class 6 History Chapter 6 New Questions and Ideas?

NCERT solutions for Class 6 History Chapter 6 can be found online or in study materials provided by educational platforms or institutes specializing in academic resources.

When should I refer to NCERT solutions for Class 6 History Chapter 6?

NCERT solutions are beneficial for reinforcing learning, clarifying doubts, and preparing for exams. They can be used alongside regular study or as a revision tool before assessments to enhance understanding of the emergence of new questions and ideas in ancient civilizations.

What specific topics are discussed regarding new questions and ideas in Class 6 History Chapter 6?

Class 6 History Chapter 6 covers a range of topics including philosophical inquiries, scientific advancements, and societal changes that emerged during ancient times, offering insights into the evolution of human thought and civilization.

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