Kingdoms, Kings and an Early Republic

Q1. How did men become rulers in the past?
Ans: Some men now became recognised as rajas  by performing very big sacrifices. Around 3000 years ago many people were selected their rajas who performed big sacrifices. The ashvamedha  or horse sacrifice was one such ritual.
Q2. Write a short note on Ashvamedha.
Ans:  Ashvamedha was one kind of sacrifice to become rajas. A horse was let loose to wander freely and it was guarded by the  raja’s  men. All the areas comes under that rajas where his horse wandered. Generally these functions were organised by Brahmanas.
Q3. Discuss about the varnas system during the Rigvedas period.
Ans: The priests divided people into four groups, called varnas with different set of functions.
I) Brahmins: Brahmins were expected to study the Vedas, perform sacrifices and receive gifts.
II) Kshatriyas: They were expected to fight battles and protect people.
III) Vaishyas: They were expected to be farmers,herders, and traders.
IV) Shudras: These groups of people had to serve the other three groups and could not perform any rituals.
Q4. What do you mean by Mahajanapadas?
Ans: The rajas who performed these big sacrifices were  recognised as rajas of janapadas rather than janas. About 2500 years ago, some  janapadas  became more important than others, and were known as mahajanapadas.
Q6. Which kinds of taxes were collected in Mahajanapadas?
Several kinds of taxes were collected in mahajanapadas.
I) The tax was fixed at 1/6th  of what was produced. This was known as  bhaga  or a share.
II) There were taxes on crafts persons as well.
III) Herders were also expected to pay taxes in the form of animals and animal produce.
IV) There were also taxes on goods that were bought and sold, through trade.
V) And hunters and gatherers also had to provide forest produce to the  raja.
Q7. Why did Magadha became more powerful than other janapadas?
Ans: Magadha became the most important  mahajanapada  in about two hundred years. This was important for
(a) transport,
(b) water supplies
(c) making the land fertile.
(d) Parts of Magadha were forested.
(e) Magadha had two very powerful rulers, Bimbisara and Ajatasattu, who used all possible means to conquer other  janapadas.

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