UPSC IAS Prelims Exam: Key Terms in Ancient India

Key terms in Indian history are important for UPSC IAS Prelims Examination. UPSC has asked 2-3 questions from this portion in UPSC IAS Prelims Examination. Consequently, UPSC has asked questions from this area. So, this year also UPSC may ask some questions.

Here we are giving a list of some important ancient terms in Indian history.

Terms

Meanings

Agnikula

  • Some group of Rajput clans who claim to have arisen from Yajna Havana-Kunda

Agrahara

  • Contribution of land or taxes from a village by the king to the Brahmins

Ajivika

  • A heterodox sect closer to Jainism
  • It prospered at the time of the Buddha

Amatya

  • Official title for a higher official used from the Mauryan Period.

Aranyakas

  • These are Vedic texts
  • Composed by hermits

Artha

  • Prosperity and well-being
  • One of the four aims of life of a Hindu

Arthashastra

  • Written by Kautilya
  • Ancient Indian treatise on economic policy, statecraft, and military strategy

Ashramas

  • The four stages of life
  • One facet of the Dharma concept in Hinduism

Ayukta

  • Title of an officer often used in the Mauryan period

Bhagavata

  • A sect dedicated to Lord Vishnu

Bhukti

  • Gupta period administrative unit of a kingdom

Bodhisattva

  • A individual who attains nirvana by working for the welfare of the world

Brahmacharya

  • The first of the four stages (Ashramas) of life.

Brahmanas

  • A collection of ancient Indian texts with annotations on the hymns of the four Vedas

Chaitya

  • A Buddhist place of worship.

Charvaka

  • It is known as Lokayata and Bṛhaspatya
  • An ancient school of Indian materialism

Devadana

  • Contributed revenue assigned to a temple

Dharma

  • Piety, Morality – a way of life

Digambara

  • A Jain sect
  • This sect believes that to attain Moksha, one must give up the luxury of clothes also.

Garbhagriha

  • The sanctum of the Hindu temple.

Gayatri mantra

  • The very important verse from the Rig Veda

Grama

  • A village

Hinayana

  • One of the two major Buddhist sects

Jati

  • Family or a group of people defined by their profession

Kaliyuga

  • The fourth and final era

Karma

  • Action

Kharoshthi

  • Ashokan inscription of Shahbazgari and Manashera are written in this script

Kula

  • The clan or extended family

Mandalam

  • An administrative unit, frequently used in south India.

Matha

  • A center of education attached to a religious establishment

Nagara

  • Temple architecture style developed in central and
  • Northern India

Nishaka

  • A term used for coin

Pana

  • A term used for coin

Rajuka

  • An official designation used in the Mauryan period

Rashtra

  • Country

Samiti

  • A larger assembly

Satamana

  • A silver coin which weighed about 180 grains.

Sati

  • A Practice one who has sacrifice herself on the funeral pyre of her husband.

Stupa

  • Domical structure containing relics of the Buddha.

Theravada

  • A Buddhist sect

Upanishads

  • The philosophical texts included in Vedic literature

Varna

  • Four-fold division of Hindu society

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