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BHIC 107

HISTORY OF INDIA-IV (c. 1206-1550)

IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment July 2023 & January 2024


Q. 1. Critically analyse the working of the iqta system during the Sultanate period.

Ans. Iqtas were provinces under the Delhi sultanate. The iqta system is discussed below:

Iqta System: The iqta system combined the two functions of revenue collection and distribution. The iqta, a territorial assignment, was held by the muqti or the wali.

The iqta assignees (known as muqti and wali) collected revenue from these areas, defrayed their own expenses, paid the troops maintained by them and sent the surplus to the centre.

The iqta-holders were transferred from one region to another every three or four years.

According to Nizamul Mulk Tusi, the iqta was a revenue assignment that the muqti held at the pleasure of the Sultan.

The muqti was entitled to collect in proper manner the land tax and other taxes due to the Sultan. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

The Iqta System in Operation: In the early years of the Delhi Sultanate, the revenue income of these Iqtas was not known and the size of the contingent of the assignee was not fixed.

Balban (1266-86) for the first time appointed a khwaja (accountant) with each muqti to find out the actual income of the iqta and muqti’s expenditure.

Alauddin Khalji made the real intervention. During his rule, the central finance department (diwan-i wizarat) prepared an estimated income from each iqta.

The audit was made stringent, punishments severe, transfers frequent and enhancements (taufir) were often made in the estimated revenue income of the iqta. Under Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (1320-25), some changes were introduced.

The muqtis were allowed to hold 1/10th to 1/20th in excess of their sanctioned salaries. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

During the Muhammad Tughlaq rule, fiscal responsibilities were withdrawn from the muqtis and placed under central officers.

Tughlaq also ordered that the salary of the soldiers maintained by iqta-holders be paid by the diwan-i wizarat. He took these measures to prevent fraud by the officers.

During Muhammad Tughlaq’s rule, the troops of the iqta holders were paid in cash by the state’s treasury. This made the commanders unhappy and they created political problems for the ruler.

Later Firuz Tughlaq made concessions and enhanced the cash salaries of the nobles and got new estimates of revenue (mahsul) prepared which was designated jama.

Under the Lodis (1451-1426), the administrative charges and revenue assignments were combined together and they called sarkars and parganas.

Iqta and the Dispersal of Resources among the Ruling Class: The main source of income of the Sultanate was the land revenue.

There were two types of land revenue – Khalisa was the term for the land whose revenue was exclusively for the Sultan and the revenue from the land, called iqta, was assigned by the state to the nobles.

The muqtis were providing military assistance to the Sultan, maintaining law and order and collecting the revenue from their iqta.

The position of muqti was non-hereditary and transferable. The Sultan was also able to control the nobles through the institution of iqta.

During Alauddin Khalji’s reign, regular reports from the barids kept him posted with the actions of the nobles. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

Muhammad Tughlaq made some changes and the nobles were given iqta in lieu of cash salary but their troops were paid in cash by the treasury in contrast to the earlier period.

In practice, Firuz started granting iqtas to the sons and heirs of iqta-holders. Firuz Tughlaq comparatively witnessed few rebellions but it also saw the beginning of the disintegration and decentralisation.

By the time of the Lodis (1451-1526), the iqtadars do not seem to have been subject to constant transfers.

Muqti/Wali: Muqtis and walis were the governors of provinces, known as vilayat and iqta. Walis seemed to be higher in rank than the muqtis. Walis were not posted in smaller provinces. Walis had some ‘extraordinary powers’.

Muhammad Tughluq separated fiscal power of wali and muqti. Muqtis/walis were appointed by the Sultan.

They were ‘transferred, removed or punished by him at his pleasure’. The office of the wali/muqti disappeared with the disintegration of the Sultanate.

Q. 2. Discuss the local administration of the Vijayanagara empire with special reference to nayankara and ayagar systems.

Ans. The two major political institutions – the nayankara and ayagar systems were the backbone of the Vijaynagara power.

Temples were not only the religious centres but also important centres of economic activity as they performed banking activities and used to undertake irrigational works. Trade and commerce was in a flourishing state.

The institutions of nadu (territorial assembly) and sabha and ur (village assemblies) existed even after the nayaka and ayagar systems came into prominence in the Vijayanagara empire. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

The Nayankara System: Under the nayankara system, military chiefs or warriors were called nayaka or amaranayaka.

According to two Portuguese Fernao Nuniz and Domingo Paes, who visited during the reigns of Krishnadeva Raya and Achyut Raya in the 16th century, the nayakas were agents of the central government.

The Vijaynagara inscriptions and the later Mackenzie manuscripts mentioned the nayakas as territorial magnates with political aspirations which often clashed with the aims of the rulers.

N. K. Shastri differentiated the nayakas before 1565 and those after 1565. Before 1565, they were dependent on the rulers, After 1565 they were semi-independent.

He also said the nayakas before 1565 were military leaders holding military fiefs.
Krishnaswami wrote the nayaka system as feudal. Venkataramanayya and D. C. Sircar refute the feudal theory. D. C.

Sircar, and T.V. Mahalingam consider the nayakas as warriors holding an office (kara) bestowed on them by the central government for rendering military service.

Amaranayankara was the title of a military officer or chief (nayaka) who had under his control a specified number of troops.

These nayakas had revenue rights over land or territory called amaram (amaramakara or amaramahali). IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

The obligations and activities of the nayakas included giving gifts to temples, repair and building of tanks, reclamation of wasteland and collection of dues from temples.

On the basis of Mackenzie manuscripts, Krishnaswami said that the commanders of Vijaynagara army later established independent nayaka kingdoms.

The Telugu nayaks were a source of strength for the Vijaynagara empire and they also became its rivals.

The Ayagar System: The ayagars were village servants or functionaries. They constituted of groups of families.

They included the headmen (reddi or gauda, maniyam), accountant (karnam senabhova) and watchmen (talaiyari).

A portion of or plot in a village was given to them. These plots were manya and no regular customary tax was imposed on their agricultural income.

Other village servants who performed essential services and skills for the village community were also paid by assigning plots of land.

The village servants who provided ordinary goods and services were leather workers, potter, blacksmith, carpenter and waterman.

Under the ayagar system, special allocation of income from land and specific cash payments were provided to village servants holding a particular office for the first time. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment


Q. 3. Write a brief note on the growth of literature in the regional languages of north India during the 13-15th centuries.

Ans. The literary works produced in the regional languages of North India discussed below:

The Development of Hindi Literature: Medieval period saw development of various dialects of Hindi such as Brajbhasha, Awadhi, Rajasthani, Maithili, Bhojpuri and Malwi.

Besides, a mixed form of Hindi, called Khari Boli, also First Phase
so developed.

The Hindi evolved out of Apabhramsa between 7th and 10th centuries. The period between 7th-8th centuries and 14th century is marked by ‘Veergatha Kala’ (Heroic Poetry). This period is also called Adi Kala (early period).

During this period, bards patronised by various Rajput rulers glorified the virtues of their patrons as chivalry and bravery in their verses. They also included romance in their poetical narratives. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

Second Phase: The Age of the Bhakti Poetry: The second phase in the growth of Hindi literature happened in the 14th- 15th centuries.

The bhakti saints wrote verse in Hindi. The Hindi literature of this phase, characterised as Bhakti Kala (Age of Devotion), continued till the Mughal period. This phase started with Kabir.

The bhakti poets are categorised into two groups: the saguna poets (who believed in god with human form and attributes) and nirguna poets (who believed in non-incarnate Absolute God).

Kabir led the nirguna group. Most of the poets of the this group belonged to lower castes.

They were poor and illiterate. Kabir’s mother-tongue was Bhojpuri but he composed in a mixed dialect.

Kabir’s short poetical utterances use ulatbasi or ‘upside-down language’ which consisted of paradoxes and enigmas.

Kabir inherited the ulatbasi tradition from the Nathpanthis and adapted it for an effective rhetorical and teaching device.

Sufi Contribution to Hindi Literature: Sufi saints contributed substantially to the growth of Hindi literature. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

The Chishti sufis used Hindi devotional songs of sama (ecstatic singing and dancing) sessions and used mystical and allegorical meanings for various Hindi terms like ‘Gopis’ and ‘Raslila’.

The sufi poets combined Islamic mysticism and imaginative use of Indian love tales, popular legends and stories. Mulla Daud’s Chandayan (1379) is one of the earliest of such poetical works.

Qutuban’s Mrigavati (1501) is an example of mystical romantic poetry in Hindi. Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s Padmavat (1540) in Awadhi Hindi is an allegorical narrative.

The literary compositions of the sufi poets also contributed to the incorporation of many Arabic and Persian words into Hindi literature and thus played an important role in literary and cultural synthesis.

The Origin and Growth of Urdu Language: The word Urdu is of Turkish origin and means an army or camp. Urdu emerged as an independent language by the end of the 14th century.

Until the 18th century, Urdu was called by various names such as ‘Hindavi’, ‘Dakhini’, ‘Hindustani’ or ‘Rekhta’. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

Various dialects such as Braj bhasha, Haryanvi and some other dialects spoken in the neighbourhood of Delhi as well as the Punjabi language have influenced the Urdu language in its formative stage.

Punjabi Literature: During the period between the start of the 13th century and the strat of the 16th century, the Punjabi literature saw the growth of sufi and bhakti poetry and heroic ballads and folk literature.

Sufi poetical compositions by Chisti sufi master Baba Farid (1173-1265) are the pioneering contribution to poetry in the Punjabi language.

The hymns composed by Guru Nanak in the 16th century imparted a proper literary form to the language.

The hymns composed by Guru Nanak were incorporated in the Adi Granth by the fifth Sikh Guru Arjan in 1604.

The verse by Guru Nanak are characterised by chastity of sentiment and by variety of styles and poetic dictions. The second Sikh Guru Angad gave the Punjabi language a new script called Gurumukhi.

Bengali Literature: The earliest specimens of Bengali language are the folk songs called Charyapads, composed between the 10th and 12th century.

The Turkish conquest of Bengal led to the decline of Sanskrit during the middle of 13th century and folk themes and forms gained importance.

The main trends which developed in the Bengali literature by the 15th century were: (i) Vaishnav bhakti poetry; (ii) Translations and free adaptations of the epics, and (iii) Mangala kavya. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

Chandidas (15th century), who patronised Bengali literature, was the first great Vaishnava bhakti poet in Bengal. Chaitanya gave further impetus to the
growth of the Vaishnava literature in Bengali.

The second trend began from the early fifteenth century. Kavindra and Srikaranand rendered the Mahabharata into Bengali verse during the reigns of Sultan Husain Shah (1493-1519) and his successor Nusra Shah (1519-32) who patronised Bengali literature.

Kritivasa Ojha produced a Bengali poetical adaptation of Valmiki’s Sanskr Ramayana in early 15th century.

Assamese Literature: Hema Sarasvati, considered as the first Assamese poet, composed Prahladacharita and Hard Gauri Samvada during the later part of the 13th century.

Harihara Vipra wrote poetry based on the episodes from the Ramayan and the Mahabharata. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

Madhava Kundali popularized the Ramayana story in Assamese in the 14th century. The growth o Vaishnava bhakti movement under Sankaradeva in the second part of the 15th century made considerable contribution to th Assamese literature.

Kirtana Ghosa is the most important Vaishnava religious text written in Assamese language. Sankaradev also wrote many dramas (Ankiya Nat) based on the Purana episodes.

He composed a new type of devotional poetry calle Bargit (Bragita). Sankaradeva’s disciple Madhavadeva (1489-1596) also composed many literary works and enriched th Bargit.

Odia Literature: The Odia language assumed literary character in the 13th-14th centuries. Saraladasa (14th century considered as the first great poet of Odisha, composed the Mahabharata in Odia.

Under the infleunce of Chaitanya, many of h disciples translated or adapted Sanskrit works on bhakti into the Odia language.

One of them was Jagannath Das, who becam the greatest Odia literary figure of his time. He translated Bhagavata Purana in Odia.

Marathi Literature: The later part of the 13th century saw the emergence of verse form in Marathi language. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

Saiv Nathpanthis dominated the early Marathi literature. Viveka Darpana and the Gorakhagita were the two earliest Marathi tex written in the Nathpanthi tradition.

Mukundaraj who belonged to the Nathpanthi tradition was the most important poet of th phase. He wrote Vivek Sindhu in chaste popular language.

The poets belonging to the Mahanubhava cult which emerged in th 13th century also dominated Marathi literature during its formative stage.

Gujarati Literature: Gujarati language emerged from old Western Rajasthani. In the first phase in the development of th Gujarati literature which lasted till the middle of the fifteenth century, the two main literary forms developed were the prabandh or the narrative poem and the muktaka or the short poem.

Prabandha included heroic romances, poetic romances and rasas long poems. The subject-matter of these poems included historical themes interspersed with fiction, popular legends and Jai mythology.

Muktaka adopted various forms such as phagu, baramasi and the chapo. The second phase in the Gujarati literatur started in the late 15th century with the spread of the Vaishnava bhakti poetry.

Narasimha Mehta (1414-1480) used his poetr to popularise Vaishnava bhakti in Gujarati. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

Q. 4. Briefly discuss the Deccan policy of the Delhi Sultans.

Ans. Alauddin sent next military campaign against Rai Ram Chandra Dev of Devagiri in 1306-7 in the Deccan, which h had already plundered in CE 1296 during his tenure as the governor of Kara.

The reason of the campaign was an unduly lon delay in sending the annual tribute to Delhi. Ram Chandra Dev surrendered to the imperial army under the assurance personal safety.

Ram Chandra Dev was restored to the throne of Devagiri in return for the assurance of regular and promp payment of an annual tribute to the Sultan.

The Rai also gave his daughter in marriage to the Sultan. Alauddin’s policy was ne to annex Devagiri but retain it as a protectorate and amass as much wealth as possible from it.

In October 1309, Alauddin sent the imperial army to further south. On the way, the attacked the fort at Sirpur (in Adilaba District).

The nobles of Sirpur fled to Rai Rudra Dev of Warangal. The Imperial army captured the fort. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

On 14 February, 1310 Kafur attacked the Warangal fort and Rai Rudra Dev surrendered and agreed to part with his treasures and pay an annual tribut to Sultan.

Warangal was a spectacular success as the booty included 20,000 horses, 100 elephants, and an enormous stock gold and precious stones laden on thousand camels.

The imperial army returned to Delhi in June 1310. Since the Sultanate was made secure of Mongol menace and almost th entire country to the north of the Vindhyas had come under the sway of Alauddin, he planned another military campaign in th far south.

He sent his army to capture Dwarasamudra, located further south of Warangal. They seiged the fort in February 1311.

Ballala Dev, the ruler of Dwarasamudra, surrendered and parted much of his wealth and promised an annual tribute. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

After the success in Dwarasamudra, the army marched towards Ma’bar and reached Madura, the capital of the Pandyas.

Sundar Pandya, the ruler, had already fled. The elephants and treasure were captured. There were 512 elephants, 5000 horses and 500 mans of precious stones.

In the Deccan and south campign, Alauddin had two objectives: (i) A recognition of the authority of Delhi Sultan over these regions, and (ii) The collecting maximum wealth at the minimal loss of life.

After the death of Ram Dev, the ruler of Devagiri, in 1312, his son Bhillama refused to accept the suzerain status of the Delhi Sultane and declared his independence.

Alauddin sent Malik Kafur to suppress the rebellion and take charge of the province. In January 1316, after Alauddin’s death, Mubarak Khalji, the successor of Alauddin, wanted to march to Devagiri, but was advised by his nobles to take some more time so as to consolidate his position in Delhi.

In April 1317, Mubarak started for the campaign and Devagiri offered no resistance, and the Maratha chiefs submitted before the Sultan.

Q. 5. Discuss various regional styles of paintings during the 15th century.

Ans. The regional states in India also saw the continuation of painting in the medieval period and documentary materials have survived.

These paintings can be understood in terms of the stylistic evolution they follow as they defy geographical classification. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

Western Indian Style

(a) Jain Painting: The Western Indian style of paintings, which originated in the 12th century, have been found in Jain bhandars (libraries) in Gujarat and Rajasthan. These paintings are fully religious.

They are designated Western Indian style as most of them have been discovered in Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan and Malwa. Some splendid illustrated manuscripts of the Jains have been found in Jaunpur and Idar.

The early specimens of the Western Indian style are palm-leaf manuscripts and follow the pothi format with two or three columns of text depending on the width of the leaf and the number of necessary stringholes to hold the leaves together.

In the 13th century, it changed to paper. The paper format was at first kept to the proportions of the palm-leaf and gradually it was increased to the height of the folio. However, the pothi format continued.

(b) Hindu Painting: Some Hindu manuscripts belonging to the 15th century and Buddhist manuscripts also use the style of a typically Jain manuscript with its projecting eye, bodily distortions, and flat colour planes.

Hindu manuscripts on palm-leaf from the early centuries of Muslim rule over Northern India have not been found. Some manuscripts have been found in Nepal. It seems they have been produced in India.

Caurapancasika Style
Kashmiri poet Bilhana wrote the Caurapancasika (Chaurapanchashika) manuscript. Bilhana who, awaiting execution for having been the lover of the king’s daughter, expresses his unrepentant passion in lyrical stanzas.

Paintings designated as Caurapancha-sika are only occasionally directly related to the text. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

Caurapancasika style is believed to have emerged in a group of 15th and 16th century paintings in a less purely decorative and anecdotic vein.

Manuscript Illumination
As an art of painting, the manuscript illumination developed in Iran in the 13th-15th centuries under the patronage of the state.

With Irani influence, the most important group of these manuscripts of suggested Indian provenance are dated 1420-50.

It seems to have originated in Bengal because Delhi was not a provenance and no evidence of the provincial Sultans patronizing artists until later in the century has been found.

A group of manuscripts dated c. 1490-1510, known from Mandu, has the direct influence of the Irani style. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

The Khalji Sultans of Malwa imported artists and possibly manuscripts from Iran, and had the style copied by their own artists. The basic features of illuminated manuscripts are:

. Text columns on either side, towards the bottom of the page,

A horizontal format or sometimes squares in shape, and
A lifting of the normal viewpoint, thus provides the painter a new world of landscape and new possibilities of spatial relationships between figures.

Deccani Paintings In the late 15th and early 16th centuries, a distinct style of painting emerged in Ahmadnagar, Bijapur and Golconda kingdoms.

It appeared before the Mughal painting and is beleived to have influenced its beginnings.

It uses daring colours – purple and yellow, pink and green, brown and blue. It also is marked by the sophistication and artistry in compositions.

The Deccani style, which drew on many sources including the Irani tradition, has the following features: IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

The faces are painted in three-quarters,
The grounds are sprigged, i.e. sprayed with flowers or similar motifs,

  • Buildings are reduced to totally flat screenlike panels,
    Some paintings have the golden sky, an Iranian influenced, and
    Some have pink and green flowering plants, lotus and chrysanthemum, suggestive of the Chinese influence.


Q. 6. Amir Khusrau.

Ans. Amir Khusrau (1253-1325) was a poet-historian. Khusrau’s five masnavis (poetical works) were important source of history. Khusrau’s Khazain-ul Futuh has crucial information on Alauddin Khalji’s reign.

Khusrau did not document the past totally and focused on events of social and political importance.

By inventing new genres, writing history both in prose and verse, he widened the scope of Indo-Persian historiography.

Khusrau shifted the focus of his history writings from battles, conquests and court intrigues to socio-cultural life’ of the period which was missing in early Persian writings. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

He is verbose with poetic imagination and full of rhetorics. He lacks in chronological sequences.

Khusrau was a prolific writer and had written plethora of poetic literature. Khamsa is one of his important works.

Q. 7. Kingdom of Kashmir.

Ans. Kashmir valley has Pir Panjal ranges in the south and southwest, Kishtwar valley in the southeast and the north, and northeast and the Himalayan ranges in the northwest region. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

The valley has alluvial plains of Jhelum and its tributaries as well as plateaus. The alluvial plains are fertile and extensively cultivated, but plateaus are less fertile.

The mountain terrain, passes (Zojila, Budil, Banihal, Pir Panjal and Toshamaidan) occupy great importance for the valley and they had great impact on the development of political and socio-economic processes.

However, the northern and western passes (Baramulla, Pakhli and Swat) were accessible, while the southern passes remain inaccessible till the time of the Lodis.

In the 13th century, Kashmir was a Hindu kingdom ruled by Jagadeva (1198-1212). During his reign, a turbulent feudal community the Damras rebelled but he suppressed it.

His successors Rajadeya (1212-35), Samgramdeva (1235-52) and Ramdeva (1252-56) could not assert their power.

After Ramdeva’s death, the Damra lord, Simhadeva (1286-1301), usurped the throne. But his dynasty also could not last long. Kashmir remained outside the Muslim rule for about two centuries. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

Mahmud of Ghazna tried to attack Kashmir in 1015 and 1021, but the mighty Himalaya and Hindukush wasted his designs.

In 1320, Mongol commander Dulacha ransacked Kashmir and amassed huge booty. The invasion paved the way for the establishment of Muslim rule in Kashmir.

Q. 8. Forts in the Sultanate Period: Forms and Structure.

Ans. Forts and fortifications have existed in India since ancient time. During and after the time of Gautam Buddha, there are sculptural representations of the fortifications in the Mahajanpadas, which included battlements, fortified walls and towers.

The architecture is a combination of wood and masonry (stone and bricks).

Some of these fortified places had broad streets, multi-storey pavilions, ramparts, battlements, moats, and access control slopes.

Thus, it can be assumed that this tradition may have continued in the subsequent periods by incorporating necessary additions and adjustments in the structural compositions of buildings inside the fortifications.

During the Gupta period, there were cities and fortifications. The same tradition continued up to 10th-12th centuries.

In early thirteenth century, the ruling principalities and clans must have resisted from their fortified settlements of varying sizes.

These fortified settlements would have been some variant of the fortifications depicted on early sculptured panels. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

After conquering these settlements, the Turkish rulers established new capitals and their own fortifications and incorporated the existing structures within the bigger configuration.

Iltutmish laid the fortification walls of the erstwhile capital. The newly built Quwwat-ul Islam Mosque was the centre- piece of the new city and had occupied its south quarters.

During Alauddin Khalji’s rule, the new fortified city of Siri was raised as the new capital.

The city was later abandoned leaving only the traces of the moat and the rampart walls which appeared formidable and helped him thwart the threat of the advancing Mongols.

The successors of the Khalji dynasty set up a long fortification along their new capital.

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq built a huge new garrison city which included a royal quarter and accommodation for his retainers, the army, and the administration.

This garrison was called Tughlaqabad having tall cyclopean walls of rubble stone and originally plastered all over. It had the new city, the fort and a palace.

The complex had two parts a citadel and the city. The two other notable fortifications are the Jahanpanah and the fort of Adilabad built by Muhammad Tughlaq.

Both are in ruin today and do not reveal their inner layout with any degree of accuracy. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

Firuz Shah Tughlaq built the city of Firuzabad. Kotla, the fortress-palace, inside the city was completed in 1354. Firuzabad was originally surrounded by high battlemented walls with tall bastions at intervals.

It was rectangular in plan with the palaces and residences located in the east protected by the river Yamuna. The Kotla was a self-contained royal citadel.

Q. 9. Vedantic Tradition.

Ans. Vedantic means the end part of the Vedas. Also called Uttara Mimansa, Vedanta emphasises on the philosophic traditions based on Upanishadic philosophy, unlike Purva Mimansa which puts more emphasis on rituals.

In the 8th century, Adi Shankaracharya propounded the idea of advaita (monism). He was the chief propounder of the Vedantic philosophic tradition.

In South India, Vedantic philosophic tradition flourished under the aegis of Vaishnava acharyas who questioned Shankara’s philosophy of advait (monism).

Shankara’s Brahm was an ‘impersonal Being’ who ‘could not evoke any devotional emotions’ thus ‘prayers’ to Him were meaningless.

Vaishnava acharya’s reinterpreted Vedantic philosophy, attracted non- Vaishnavas as well. Non-Vaishnava Vedantists tried to identify their worshipping deity with the Vedantic Brahm.

Srikantha, a Saiva commentator of Vedanta-Sutras, tried to identify Shiva and the Vedantic Brahm as one and the ‘same’.

Q. 10. Causes of the Chishti Popularity.

Ans. The Chishti order emerged as the most popular in India. Its rituals, attitudes and practices made it an essentially Indian silsilah.

The causes of its popularity are as follows:

(i) The Chishtis was regarded as part of an established tradition in India as many practices of early Chishtis bore close resemblance to the attributes of some of the already existing non-conformist religious orders in India like asceticism, bowing before the master, shaving the head of a new entrant into the order and organizing spiritual musical recital. IGNOU BHIC 107 Solved Free Assignment

(ii) The Chishtis were tolerant towards the non-Muslims of India and adjusted themselves to the needs of a non-Muslim environment.

They uses popular imagery and idiom to convey their ideas to their followers and also adopted many of their customs and rituals. Chishti saints used Hindawi to spread their teachings.

(iii) The Chishti khanqahs attracted people from all sections including merchants, artisans, peasants and even sweepers. They did not believe in caste and racial divisions.

(iv) Their aloofness from the court, unwillingness to accept state patronage, rejection of the orthodoxy and externalist attitudes of the ulama, and the combining of the precepts of Islam with the sufi teachings contributed to it popularity.

(v) The miracle stories about the early Chishtis played an important role in enhancing the popularity of the Chishti shrines.

IGNOU BHIC 104 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24

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