RBSE Class 11 History Notes Chapter 2 Major Religions of the World

Go through these RBSE Class 11 History Notes Chapter 2 Major Religions of the World contain important concepts so that students can score better marks in the exam.

Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 11 History Notes Chapter 2 Major Religions of the World

→ The main religions of world are Vedic Religion, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Zoroastrianism.

→ Spread of different religions in different parts of the world has contributed to make human life superior to other creatures.

Vedic Religion

  • The Vedas are considered the oldest texts of Indian philosophy. These are four: (i) Rig-Veda (ii) Yajur-Veda (iii) Samveda (iv) Athraweda.
  • Rig-Veda is considered to be the oldest and the first book of the world.
  • The Rig-Veda has predominantly religious Suktas. We get information about the social, political, religious and economic life of the Aryans from these.
  • Purpose of ritualistic religion in Yajurveda and Samveda has been showed. There is a compilation of the holy mantras of yajna in Samveda.
  • The principles of politics and social structure and conduct have been mentioned in Atharva Veda.
  • The part of Vedic literature are Veda, Brahman Samhita, Aranyakas, Upanishads and Vedanga. Their collective name is Vedic literature.
  • Aryans used to worship nature primarily and were polytheistic.
  • Fire had an important place in Rigveda.
  • Aryans performed prayer, praise and worship by yajna of god and goddess to seek their blessings in Vedic Dharma.
  • There are two types of yajna: (i) Nitya yajna, (ii) Neimittic yajna.
  • Every person used to do five ‘Mahayajanas’ daily: (i) Brahma yajna, (ii) Dev yajna, (iii) Bhoot yajna, (iv) Pitra yajna, (v) Nri yajna.
  • Due to yajna, the prestige of the Brahmins increased.
  • In later Vedic period three debts were conceived: (i) Dev Rina, (ii) Rishi Rina, (iii) Pitra Rina
  • In the Rig-Veda, it has been laid down for a person doing good deeds on earth to live happily in heaven after death.
  • Development of physical and mental attributes, character and personality of human was possible through rites. Therefore, the sacraments were given importance in the later Vedic period.
  • The society was divided in Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra in Vedic period according to virtues and deeds.
  • In the Vedas, Human life was divided into four parts which are known as four ashramas Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vaanprastha and Sanyas.
  • 16 rituals have been mentioned in the ‘Dharmashastra’ (Scriptures), which have to be obeyed from birth to death.
  • According to the Upanishads, the main purpose of human life is to attain ‘Moksha’. Moksha means to get rid of the cycle of birth and death.
  • Vedic people were optimistic. They believed that by leading pious lives, happiness and peace are attained in the heaven.

RBSE Class 11 History Notes Chapter 2 Major Religions of the World


  • Mahatmas (monks) who have contributed to the establishment and development of Jainism are known as ‘Tirthankar’.
  • It is believed that there were 23 Jain Tirthankars before Mahaveer. The first Tirthankar was Rishabhdev and 23rd Tirthankar was Parshvanath.
  • According to Jain literature, the 23rd Tirthankar, Parshvanath, was born in house of king Ashwasen of Kashi in the 8th Century B.C.
  • People who adopted the path which was described by Parshvanath, were known as ‘Nirgranth’. Walking on this path could lead to freedom from worldly bondage.
  • The 24th Tirthankar Mahaveer Swami was born in 599 BC in Kundgram near Vaishali.
  • After 12 years of hard ascetic practice Mahaveer Swami got the supreme knowledge on the banks of Rajupalika river under a Saal tree.
  • Mahaveer Swami died (Nirvana) at the age of 82 years in Pawapuri, now Rajgir.
  • Jain literature ‘Agam Sahitya’ gives information about the teachings of Jainism.
  • Mahaveer Swami rendered ‘Panch Maharat’ religion for the monks: (i) Ahinsa, (ii) Satya, (iii) Asteya, (iv) Aparigrah, (v) Brahmacharya.
  • ‘Five Anuvrat’ were arranged for (householder) grihastha Jain devotees : (i) Ashina Anuvrat, (ii) Satyagradh Anuvrat, (iii) Asteyo Anuvrat, (iv) Aprigrah Anuvrat, (v) Brahmacharya.
  • According to Jainism, the world (Shristi) is eternal and infinite. God has not created it.
  • Jainism believes in karma and rebirth. Man is the creator of his own destiny (luck). The cause of all the pleasure and sorrows of man is his own karma.
  • In Jainism, the only goal of life is to get Salvation by gaining victory over the senses.
  • There are two branches of Jainism, Shwetamber and Digambar.
  • Jainism has influenced world literature and culture. It has made a sense of cultural coordination and unity in the world.
  • The most important contribution of Jainism is artistic movements, sculptures, monasteries and caves etc. which still exist.
  • Jain lifestyle provided by Mahaveer Swami is only solution for environmental conservation and pollution control.
  • Triumph over illusion and senses and to seek salvation is the only aim in Jain Dharma.


  • In sixth century BC Buddhism was established in eastern India by Mahatma Buddha.
  • Mahatma Buddha was born in 563 BC, in the Kshatriya family of Shakya dynasty (Kul) in Kapilvastu in northern Bihar in Lumbini
  • The childhood name of Gautam Buddha was Siddhartha. He was of highly reflective nature since childhood.
  • Gautam Buddha left home at the age of 29 and got out in search of truth.
  • After many years of continuous meditation at the age of 35, Gautam Buddha got knowledge under the peepal tree on the night of Vaisakh Purnima and thenceforth, he came to be known as the Buddha.
  • Mahatma Buddha left his body in Kushinagar, capital of the Republic Malla in 483 BC, at the age of 80.
  • Mahatma Buddha taught people in such a way that they could get relief from grief and worldly sorrow by his teachings and get everlasting peace.
  • Four eternal truths are the basis of Buddha’s philosophical thought (i) The world is full of grief (ii) Cause of grief (iii) Prevention of grief (iv) Path of preventing grief.
  • In order to get rid from sorrow, Mahatma Buddha presented the ‘Astangik Marg’ or the Eight fold path.
  • Gautama Buddha considered everything in the world as changeable, temporary and dynamic (moving).
  • Sheel, samathi and pragya – these are three cardinal traits.
  • Non-violence (Ahimsa), Satya, Asteya, Aparigraha and Brahmacharya are called panchsheel.
  • According to Buddhism, one has to suffer the consequences of what one does. Thus Buddhism believes in ‘Karmavaad’ (Empiricism).
  • Non-violence is also the basic mantra of Buddhism and that the ultimate goal of life is salvation.
  • Gautam Buddha propagated Buddhism in a planned manner. He established Buddhist association and Buddhist ministry (vihar) for the promotion of his teachings.
  • Buddhism first provided the whole world with a simple and realistic religion. This religion presented the ideal of non-violence, peace, fraternity (brotherhood) and co-existence.
  • Many Stupas, Viharas, Chaitya, Caves, and Sculptures were built in the world, not only in India but across Asia by the inspiration of Buddhism.
  • The Buddhist religion forged cultural relations of India with different countries of the world. The preachers of this religion spread Indian culture in countries like Sri Lanka, China, Burma, Japan, Tibet, Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea, Nepal, Indonesia and Mongolia, etc.

RBSE Class 11 History Notes Chapter 2 Major Religions of the World

Islam Religion

  • The founder of Islam was Hazrat Mohammad. He was born in 570 AD at Mecca in Arabian peninsula.
  • Hazrat Mohammed opposed idol worship and preached the religion of the concept of Allah, the one and only God.
  • Because of opposing idol worship. Mecca’s residents were annoyed with Hazrat Mohammed, due to which he had to leave Mecca in 622 AD and went to Medina.
  • Islam’s tenets are compiled in the holy book ‘The Quran’.
  • In the Quran, there are the principles of Islam that Hazrat Mohammad received from Allah
  • Abraham got constructed a small marble building as huge mosque in Mecca, which is called ‘Kaba’. Allah is worshipped here.
  • The person who believes in Islam is called Momin or Musalman.
  • The fundamental revered points of Islam are called ‘Usool-A.Din’.


  • The founder of Christianity was Jesus Christ.
  • Jesus Christ was born in the mountainous part of Palestine in Bethlehem (Israel).
  • Jesus Christ visited different villages and preached to people that God sees everyone in a similar way. The Jews disliked this message of Jesus Christ.
  • Judas, a disciple of Jesus Christ betrayed him.
  • In the form of a punishment he was sentenced to death at the age of 30 years.
  • The teachings of Jesus Christ are complied in the Holy ‘Bible’ text.
  • Jesus Christ made some rules of life which are called Sacraments (rituals).

RBSE Class 11 History Notes Chapter 2 Major Religions of the World

Major Religions of the World Important dates and Events of the Chapter

  • 8th Century BC – 23rd Jain tirthankar Parshvanath was born in the house of king Ashwasen of Ikshwaku dynasty of Kashi.
  • 599 BC – 24th Jain Tirthankar Mahaveer Swami was born in Kundagrama near Vaishali in the Kshatriya dynasty.
  • 563 BC – Mahatma Buddha was born in Lumbini in Shakya Kshatriya dynasty. Some of the scholars believed that he was born in 566 B.C.
  • 527 BC – Mahaveer Swami passed away at Pawapuri near Rajgarh at the age of 72 years.
  • 483 BC – At the age of 80 years Mahatma Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana himself in Kushinagar, capital of the Republic of Malla.
  • 383 BC – Organizing 2nd Buddhist Council (Sangiti) in Vaishali.
  • 570 AD – Founder of Islam Religion Hazrat Mohammad was born at Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula.
  • 622 AD – Hazrat Mohammad left Mecca and went to Medina. The Hijri Samvat starts from this day.
  • 642 AD – Death of Hazrat Mohammad

Major Religions of the World Notes Important Terms

→ Veda: The word ‘Veda’ is made of the Sanskrit word (dhatu) ‘vid’. Which means knowledge. The Vedic sages who have acquired knowledge from creation have mentioned it in Vedas. Vedas are also known as ‘Shruti’. Vedas are four: Rig-Veda, Samveda, Atharvaveda, Yajurveda.

→ Rig-Veda: Rig-Veda is the oldest text. It has mainly religious ‘Suktas’.

→ Reet: Truth and indestructible power. Rig-Veda describes ‘Rit’. The meaning of ‘Rit’ is related to the global physical and moral system.

→ Upanishad: The texts that describe the spiritual knowledge, elemental (Tatva) contemplation and the extreme state of perceptions are ‘Upanishads’. Their number is considered to be 108.

→ Moksha: Getting rid of the cycle of birth and death.

→ Tirthankar: Mahatma, who contributed to the establishment and development of Jainism.

→ Jain: Origin from word ‘Jin’. Its literal meaning is ‘winner’ that is the conqueror of senses (The giver of victory over the senses)

→ Nirgrantha: People who adopted the path, projected by Parshvanath, 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism are called ‘Nirgrantha’. On this path, freedom from worldly bondage can be obtained.

→ Kayvalya: Mahaveer Swami got supreme knowledge under the saal tree on the bank of Riju palika river. This knowledge is known as ‘kayvalya’.

RBSE Class 11 History Notes Chapter 2 Major Religions of the World

→ Agam Literature: Jain religious texts, giving information about the teachings of Jainism.

→ Asteya: One of the Panch Mahavrahtas of Jainism, that means not stealing.

→ Aparigraha: One of the ‘Panch Mahavrathas’ of Jainism, means not collecting.

→ Dwadshangi: 12 Jain Aagm texts are called Dwad shangi in the classical language.

→ Anekantwad: Mahaveer Swami has taken the middle path except for the intermediate opinions of the selfish and atheist which is known as ‘Anekantwad’ (polytheisim) or ‘syadwad’ (Sadism).

→ Tridacna: Samyak gyan, Samyak darshan and Samyak charitra of Jainism are known as Tridacna.

→ Samyak Gyan: Complete and true knowledge.

→ Samyak Darshan: Have full faith in Jain Tirthankar and their teachings.

→ Samyak Charitra: It means that a person can gain the knowledge of truth only by controlling his senses.

→ Samvar: Following the triratnas, the activities of the creatures (Jiva).

→ Nirjara: The state of destruction of the accumulated Karmas with meditation.

→ Shwetamber: Jain monk wearing white clothes.

→ Digamber: Staying completely naked, Jain monk, who performs penance.

→ Mahabhinishk Raman: When Mahatma Buddha left his son, wife, father and the whole kingdom, and went out in search of knowledge this dual incident of life has been called Mahabhinishk in Buddhist literature.

→ Mahaparinirvan: The event of relinquishment of Mahatma Buddha’s body is called Mahaparinirvan in Buddhist literature.

→ Dharmachakra Pravartan: Gautam Buddha initiated his five Brahmin colleagues an Samath as the religion of his knowledge, which is known as ‘Dharma Chakra Pravartan’, in the literature of Buddhism.

→ Grief prevention Gamini Percept: The path shown by Mahatma Buddha on which the person can overcome the miseries.

→ Madhyam Pratipada: The Astangik Marg, as told by Mahatma Buddha to get relief from sorrows.

→ Anityavad: According to Mahatma Buddha, everything in the whole world is variable, temporary and dynamic. It has been called the therory of altruism or transcendentalism in Buddhism.

→ Pratity a Samutapod (Antimatter): The theory of causation (cause and effect) in Buddhism.

→ Dwadash nidan or Bhavchakra: 12 orders of the causal chain of Buddhism.

→ Bhava: According to Buddhism, the desire to hold the body is called ‘Bhava’.

→ Upadan: According to Buddhism. The desire to live in worldly matters in known as ‘Upadan’.

→ Nirvan: The ultimate goal of life or salvation. Its literal meaning is to be extinguished or attain sublime state.

→ Buddha Sangiti: To organize the teachings of Mahatma Buddha, remove the differences between the Buddhist monks and organize the propagation of Buddhism.

→ Isthavir: A sect that believes in the traditional rules of Buddhism. It is also called ‘Therwadi’.

→ Mahashanghik: A branch or sect of Buddhism that accepts modesty with change. It is also called ‘Sarvastivadi’.

→ Heengan: The ancient branch of Buddhism whose followers neither believe in the gods nor believed the Buddha as deity. They considered Buddha as human being who received knowledge and Nirvana with personal efforts.

RBSE Class 11 History Notes Chapter 2 Major Religions of the World

→ Mahayan: The new tradition of Buddhism that followers believed Buddha as deity and worshipped his idols. This branch has a similarity to the principles of Hinduism.

→ Stupa: Holy mounds associated with Buddhism. These included some remains of Buddha’s Body such as his bones or objects used by him that were buried. Stupa’s meaning in Sanskrit is ‘Teela’ (Mound)

→ Vihar: Residences of Buddhist monks (Matha)

→ Hijrat: Hazrat Mohammad left Mecca and went to Medina, this incident is called as ‘Hijrat’.

→ Quran: Holy text of Islam religion. This book is a compilation of the principles of Islam.

→ Mazhab: An Urdu word. It is means religion.

→ Ibadat: Worship/prayer.

→ Kaaba: A small marble building built in the mosque of Mecca.

→ Religion: The English word meaning tenets of faith.

→ Non-Violence: Not harming any organism with mind, action and word.

→ Resurrection: The appearance of Jesus Christ after his death is called Resurrection in Christianity.

→ Sacrament: The rites of Christianity in various stages of human life are called the ‘Sacrament’ in the Bible.

→ Baptism: According to Christian religion, when the child becomes 3 years old, the Priest sprinkles holy water on it and names it. This is called Baptism or Naming Sacrament (Namkaran sanskara). The child is considered to be initiated into Christianity through this sacrament.

→ Confirmation: According to Christianity when a child becomes 12 years old, then a public declaration of his name is made, which is called confirmation or certification.

→ Ordination: According to Christianity if a person is more than 18 years of age and wants to become a priest, then the initiation given to him will be called ‘ordination’.

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