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NEET 2023
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Given below are two statements: One is labelled as Assertion A and the other is labelled as Reason R.

Assertion (A): The Gupta period saw the ascendency of Hinduism, especially Bhagavatism or vaishnavism

Reason (R): Fahsien given the impression that Buddhism was flourishing during this period. It may be said first that four Buddha images were added at the four entrances of the great stupa of Sanchi. Nalanda also became a centre of Buddhist education during this period.

In the light of the above statements, choose the most appropriate answer from the options given below:

1. Both (A) and (R) are true and (R) is the correct explanation of (A)
2. Both (A) and (R) are true but (R) is NOT the correct explanation of (A)
3. (A) is true but (R) is false
4. (A) is false but (R) is true

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Correct Answer - Option 2 : Both (A) and (R) are true but (R) is NOT the correct explanation of (A)

First, we will consider the statement of Assertion (A), 

  • The Gupta Empire was one of the most prosperous during its time. 
  •  Hinduism was widely practised during the Gupta Empire. The ideas and features of Hinduism have aided the religion in surviving over time. . 
  • Those who practised Hinduism to a serious extent eventually broke into two sects came into existence--Vaishnavism and Shaivism.
  • Vaishnavism was mostly prevalent in Northern India while the Shaivism in southern India. At this time the tantric (liberation of consciousness) beliefs had left their mark on Hindu religion.
  • An important feature of Vaishnavism in the Gupta period is the conception of Lakshmi or Sri as Vishnu’s wife. A second wife of Vishnu was sup­posed to be the Earth, called Vaishnavi in some epigraphs.
  • Therefore, this was also the beginning of the worship of wives/consorts of Indian Gods such as Lakshmi, Parvati, Durga, Kali and other goddesses
  •  Hinduism also underwent some important changes during these times. The sacrifice was replaced by worship (pooja) and mediation of the Brahmins was somewhat replaced by Devotion and Bhakti. 
  • Hence, the statement is given in Assertion (A) is true.


In the next step, we will consider Reason (R).

  • Chinese pilgrims visiting India between 400 and 700 CE discerned a decline in the Buddhist community and the beginning of the absorption of Indian Buddhism by Hinduism. Among these pilgrims was Faxian, who left China in 399, crossed the Gobi, visited various holy places in India, and returned to China with numerous Buddhist scriptures and statues.
  • During this period Buddhist monastic centres proliferated, and there developed diverse schools of interpretation, distinctively Mahayana tendencies began to take shape.
  • One of the oldest surviving stone structures in India and a specimen of Buddhist architecture, the Great Stupa at Sanchi.
  • One of the best conserved Stupas, the Great Stupa at Sanchi with its four ornamental toranas or gateways lures visitors from all over the world to this day who spend hours at the site marvelling at this Buddhist architectural masterpiece and the richness of its sculptures.
  • The great Maurya ruler, Ashoka, who reigned over the entire subcontinent between 268 and 232 BCE, can be credited for laying the foundation of a typical Vihara (Buddhist monastery) architecture as evident in Sanchi.
  • Nalanda, ancient university and Buddhist monastic centre southwest of Bihar Sharif in central Bihar state, northeastern India. Nalanda’s traditional history dates to the time of the Buddha (6th–5th centuries BCE).
  • Here statement of the Reason (R) is also true.


Conclusion- We can say that both statements of Assertion and Reason are true but (R) is not the correct explanation of (A).

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