All quiz questions for Religions of Asia

(except for quiz 7)

Fall 1998

As I said in class, keep in mind that the answers may not come in the same order as you see them here. Study for content!

I. Multiple Guess

Quiz 1

1. The Brahmanas are manuals for ritual and sacrifice which scholars believe were written between
a) 1200 and 900 BC.
b)  900 and 700 BC.
c) 700 and 300 BC.
d) 300 BC and 100 CE.

2. The Indo-European invasion of India took place between
a) 3000 BC and 2000 BC.
b) 2000 BC and 1500 BC.
c) 1500 BC and 500 BC.
d) 500 BC and 300 CE.

3. The inhabitants of India prior to the Indo-European invasion were called
a) Aryans.
b) Dravidians.
c) Farsi.
d) Mesopotamians.

4. Two large pre-Indo-European cities of the Indus valley have been excavated by archaeologists.   They are called (circle two)
a) Calcutta.
b) Dravidia.
c) Harappa.
d) Mohenjo-Daro.

5. Which of the following sentences best describes the civilization of these two cities?
a) They appear to have been well fortified centers of some sort of powerful militaristic empire.
b) They were a nomadic people, much like their Arabian neighbors across the Persian Gulf.
c) They were primitive and loosely organized.   There were no large buildings and those that did exist followed no established pattern.
d) They were well-to-do trading communities with communal baths and indoor plumbing.

6. The religion of these pre-Indo-European communities is represented by a large collection of statuettes and plaques.   Various gods and goddesses are represented, but one of the common and interesting is a plaque portraying
a) a dancing god, which may prefigure modern Hindu statues of the dancing Shiva.
b) a four-headed god sporting horns and an erect penis.
c) a priest offering food and milk to a deity.
d) a young girl, obviously intended to be a sacrificial victim.

7. The language of the Aryans in India comes down to us as
a) Farsi.
b) Latin.
c) Sanskrit.
d) Tamil.

8. It (the language of #7) is part of the same language group as
a) Arabic.
b) Chinese.
c) English.
d) Proto-Dravidian.

9. In a poll, most Japanese nationals identified themselves as which of the following:
a) Buddhist.
b) Practitioners of Shinto.
c) Religious.
d) a & b, but not c.
e) a & c, but not b.
f) b & c, but not a.

10. Two modern religions which originated in India are
a) Islam and Christianity.
b) Jainism and Sikhism.
c) Shinto and Buddhism.
d) Taoism and Confucianism.

11. Westerners are often hindered in their understanding of non-western religious traditions because
a) non-western religions tend to lack integrated concepts of morality and ethics.
b) their understanding of 'religion' is tied up in western concepts of 'belief vs. unbelief' and 'religious vs. secular'.
c) they cannot overcome the differences in language and culture.
d) a & b, but not c.
e) a & c, but not b.
f) b & c, but not a.

12. In the film, India and the Infinite, Huston Smith suggested that Indian religious stories are often told in which of the following ways (circle all that apply):
a) dance.
b) professional story-tellers.
c) public recitation of sacred texts.
d) temple art.

13. Among the most important deities of the Vedic period were
a) Indra and Agni.
b) Kali and Radha.
c) Rama and Krishna.
d) Vishnu and Shiva.

Quiz 2

1. The Mandukya Upanishad contains a couple of   interpretations of the mystical sound 'Om'.   One of these compares it to
a) the primal groan of both pleasure and suffering.
d) the true name of Brahma.
c) four states of consciousness: waking, dreaming, deep sleep and non-being.
b) the moan of the wind through the trees, symbolic of the connection between Brahma and atman (soul).

2. A member of the priest caste is called a
a) Brahma.
b) Brahman.
c) Brahmana.
d) Brahmin.

3. The system of belief that posits that there is a never ending cycle of birth/death/rebirth from which it is very difficult to escape is called
a) bhakti.
b) jina.
c) polytheism.
d) samsara.

4. By the elimination of desire and/or having an all consuming love of God, Hindus believe that one can escape the cycle of reincarnation and attain some sort of union with God. This goal is called
a) bhakti.
b) karma.
c) moksha.
d) yoga.

5. For Shankara, this (q.6) involved
a) attaining a state of perpetual harmony with Brahman.
b) ceasing to exist.
c) going to Heaven.
d) merging back into Brahman.

6. For Ramanuja, this (q.6) involved
a) attaining a state of perpetual harmony with Brahman.
b) ceasing to exist.
c) going to Heaven.
d) merging back into Brahman.

7. The Hindu deity who has as his/her symbol a combination of a vulva and an erect penis (yoni and lingam) is
a) Brahma.
b) Kali.
c) Shiva.
d) Vishnu.

8. Krishna and Rama are associated with
a) Brahma.
b) Kali.
c) Shiva.
d) Vishnu.

9. A kalpa is
a) a   cycle of the universe, from creation to destruction.
b) a member of the merchant caste.
c) a poem in the Rig Veda.
d) the law of reward/recompense.

10. In ancient Vedic worship, one of the most important rituals was the
a) confirmation ritual.
b) fire sacrifice.
c) marriage ceremony.
d) sacred thread.

11. The following quote comes from which text?
Krishna! As I behold, come here to shed
  their common blood, yon concourse of our kin,
My members fail, my tongue dries in my mouth.

It is not good, O Keshav! Naught of good
  can spring from mutual slaughter! Lo I hate
Triumph and dominion, wealth and ease,
  thus sadly won.
a) The Baghavad Gita.
b) The Chandogya Upanishad.
c) The Ramayana.
d) Shankara.

12. The son of Shiva with the form of an Elephant is
a) Durga.
b) Ganesha.
c) Krishna.
d) Ramanuja.

13. The Laws of Manu are known for
a) creating a type of affirmative action system in which shudras and untouchables obtain special treatment in education and hiring.
b) including the Baghavad Gita.
c) specifying specifically which sacrifices were appropriate for which situations.
d) supporting the caste system.

Quiz 3

1. Central to Mahavira's ideology was the principle of ahimsa or
a) asceticism.
b) non-dualism.
c) nonviolence.
d) submissive acceptance.

2. In the last of the traditional 'four stages of life' the Hindu becomes a
a) guru.
b) householder.
c) renunciant.
d) retiree.

3. Shiva-shakti images represent
a) the dominance of Shiva over the other major deities of India (Vishnu, Brahma, etc.).
b) the incarnation of Shiva as the hero Shakti.
c) the union of God with the devotee.
d) the union of the masculine and feminine aspects of deity.

4. How are widows viewed by the traditional Hindu community?
a) In a radical turn around since the days of sati, the burning of widows with the bodies of their deceased husbands, modern Indian widows are treated with the greatest respect both by their families and by the community at large.
b) They are believed to posses magic and are greatly feared, and even in death must be carefully appeased, because their ghosts can support or hinder the effectiveness of rituals.
c) They are excluded from most functions of society.  They must wear white and may not adorn themselves as a married woman would.
d) Younger widows, and even middle aged ones generally remarry since it is regarded as a great advantage for a man to marry a woman of experience.

5. Each of the eight steps of yoga fall into one of two rough categories:
a) control of breathing and control of sexual appetites.
b) control of the body and control of the mind.
c) renunciation of all worldly pleasures and disciplined control of the mental processes.
d) stretching exercises and strength building exercises.

6. The story of the sculpture told in class illustrates which view of the relationship between the statue of the god and the deity him/herself?
a) None at all. The attempt to represent the deity with an idol was shown to be futile, or even blasphemous.
b) The image is merely a symbol for inspirational or meditational purposes.
c) The statue becomes a point of connection between the sacred and profane realms.
d) The statue was portrayed as actually being the god/goddess it represented.

7. So called 'left-hand' shakti worship involves
a) absolute submission to a sadhu or enlightened guru.
b) devotion to Parvati as the benevolent mother goddess through offerings and prayers.
c) harnessing magical and spiritual energy through ritual violation of taboo.
d) renunciation of all worldly pleasures and disciplined control even of the mental processes.

8. So called 'right-hand' shakti worship involves
a) absolute submission to a sadhu or enlightened guru.
b) devotion to Parvati as the benevolent mother goddess through offerings and prayers.
c) harnessing magical and spiritual energy through ritual violation of taboo.
d) renunciation of all worldly pleasures and disciplined control even of the mental processes.

9. In tantric or kama yoga, enlightenment/moksha is sought through sexual union. The principle underlying this is:
a) Post-coital bliss is about as close as you can get to the feeling of union with the Ultimate.   The more you experience it the closer you are to moksha.
b) Since sex is pleasurable, and God made our bodies, it must honor God to do it.
c) Since sexual desire is one of the most powerful desires around, if you can control it completely, you can control yourself completely, freeing you from slavery under maya.
d) The gods get sexually stimulated by sexual activity performed on their behalf, and so they respond by performing similarly on your behalf, resulting in more crops, cattle, children, etc.

10. A 'sadhu'
a) claims to have attained spiritual enlightenment.
b) is a close disciple of a guru.
c) is a member of the lowest, or worker, caste.
d) is a teacher of kundalini yoga.

11. Rajneesh has been widely criticized because he
a) allows his devotees to dress immodestly during "dynamic meditation" sessions.
b) accepts western disciples, and has even moved to the United States.
c) has grown excessively rich from his sannyasin's gifts.
d) teaches kama yoga.

12. In the video of the family shrine, the husband did all but which of the following?
a) Changed the garments of the statue.
b) Cleaned the old offerings out of the shrine.
c) Drew sacred symbols on the floor in front of the shrine.
d) Offered water to Krishna.

13. Images like this one (this one happens to be of the Kali/yoni variety) are often used as tools in Buddhist and Hindu meditation practices.  In Hindu tradition it is called a
a) dharma.
b) mandala.
c) mantra.
d) yantra.

Quiz 4

1. In the Jain worldview, the spiritual world is like a human body with the world as we know it located in the
a) head.
b) shoulders.
c) abdomen.
d) lower body.

2. The Jain view of the nature of the universe is closest to which Hindu system?
a) Advaita.
b) Dharma.
c) Kama Yoga.
d) Sankhya.

3. In that philosophy, the universe is said to be ultimately reducible to
a) Brahman.
b) Brahman essence and soul (atman) essence.
c) dharma and karma.
d) physicality and life essence.

4. In the Jain Sutra, 19th lecture, called "The Son of Mriga" in your book, we find an extensive description of
a) the eternal bliss of those who obtain release from samsara.
b) the sufferings of those condemned to Hell.
c) the ways in which the practice of ahimsa eliminates karma.
d) Mahavira's decision to leave his family and pursue a life of renunciation.

5. For Jains, the svastika (swastika) symbolizes
a) good luck.
b) political dominance.
c) ritual power.
d) the four stages of existence.

6. While the Jain principle of nonviolence is the most prominent feature of Jain religion, and perhaps the most important, Mahavira also laid emphasis on other principles?  Two of these are
a) avoiding 'pleasant foods' and constant prayer.
b) balancing yin and yang principles and practicing yogic exercises.
c) escaping bad karma through good actions and wearing only white garments.
d) non-attachment and renunciation of sexual pleasure.

7. One of the primary reasons why the 'Sky Clad' Jains do not encourage women to take monastic vows is that
a) it would be inappropriate for women to go around without clothes on.
b) none of Mahavira's close disciples were women.
c) their close contact with the male monks would tempt both to abandon their celibacy.
d) women are karmically inferior to men, so they cannot become siddhas in this life anyway.

8. The "Five Pillars of Islam" DO NOT include which of the following?
a) Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.
b) Jihad, or sacred effort.
c) Ramadan, or fasting.
d) Zakat, or daily prayer.

9. The "People of the Book" includes
a) ancient Arabian polytheists.
b) Christians.
c) Hindus.
d) all of the above.
e) none of the above.

10. Prior to the advent of Islam, Mecca was a shrine where people especially went to worship
a) Allah.
b) Ka'ba.
c) Mohammed.
d) the 4 daughters of Allah.

11. The prophecies of Mohammed are collected in
a) the Adi Granth.
b) the Pali Canon.
c) the Jihad.
d) the Quran.

12. In Nanak's call vision, God gives him
a) a cup of nectar.
b) a turban.
c) his True Name.
d) the Granth.

13. When a culture is influenced by surrounding cultures it is called
a) agnosticism.
b) deculturation.
c) relativism.
d) syncretism.

Quiz 5

1. Sikhism draws elements from both Islam and Hinduism.  One area in which it sides with Islam against traditional Hinduism is it's rejection of
a) absolute monotheism.
b) reverence for statues of God or gods.
c) the concept of reincarnation.
d) the importance of shrines and pilgrimages.

2. The ultimate goal of the Sikh is
a) absorption into the divine.
b) eternal bliss in Heaven.
c) reincarnation as a deity.
d) riches and power in this earthly life.

3. The Sikh sacred scriptures are called the
a) Adi Granth.
b) Govind Singh.
c) Nectar of the True Name.
d) Pali Canon.

4. The Sikh sacred scriptures were compiled by
a) guru Adi Granth.
b) Nanak.
c) guru Arjan.
d) guru Govind Singh.

5. Govind Singh's 5 'K's include all but which of the following
a) carry a comb.
b) carry a sword.
c) pilgrimage to the Golden Temple.
d) wear a steel bracelet.

6. Modern unrest among Sikhs in India was exacerbated by
a) the Indian military's attack on Sikh militants in and around the Golden Temple in Amristar.
b) the separation of Pakistan from India, leaving many Sikhs in a position to be persecuted by the Muslim government.
c) anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
d) All of the above.
e) None of the above.

7. The only place where Sikhs represent the majority of the population (although not by a large margin) is
a) Bangladesh.
b) Bengal.
c) Punjab.
d) Sri Lanka.

8. Which tradition of Buddhism is noted for its adherence to early scripture and its emphasis on the monastic life and on mindfulness?
a) Mahayana Buddhism.
b) Pure Land Buddhism.
c) Theravada Buddhism.
d) Vajrayana Buddhism.

9. Numerically, the most popular form of Buddhism is
a) Mahayana Buddhism.
b) Theravada Buddhism.
c) Vajrayana Buddhism.
d) California Buddhism.

10. The founder of Buddhism was named
a) Siddhartha Gautama.
b) Mahayana.
c) Nataputta Vardhamana.
d) Rama.

11. The ultimate goal of the Buddhist is to attain
a) a better rebirth.
b) godhood.
c) nirvana.
d) all of the above.
e) none of the above.

12. The eight-fold path includes all but which of the following
a) Right livelihood.
b) Right meditation.
c) Right motives.
d) Right sexuality.

13. The topic of the Buddha's famous Deer Park sermon was
a) the middle path.
b) the nature of suffering.
c) the rules of monastic life.
d) the tantric path to enlightenment.

14. Nirvana, for classical Buddhists, can be described as
a) a heavenly realm, where those in proper relation to the Buddha go to receive an eternal reward.
b) a state of eternal bliss, unconcerned with the workings of the physical universe.
c) absorption of the atman into Brahman.
d) cessation of self.

15. In Theravada Buddhist traditions, a bodhisattva is
a) a Buddhist monastery.
b) a monk who has attained buddhahood in this life.
c) someone who has attained enlightenment, but who chooses to continue being reincarnated to help others, vowing to remain until everyone has attained enlightenment.
d) the Buddha in an earlier incarnation.

Quiz 6

1. Maitreya is
a) the 4th Sikh guru.
b) the founder of Mahayana Buddhism.
c) the next Buddha.
d) the paradise which Sikhs hope to attain.

2. Of the Buddhist traditions we discussed, which most resembles Christianity in terms both of the ultimate goal and the role of the Bodhisatva?
a) Mahayana.
b) Pure Land.
c) Tibetan Vajrayana.
d) Zen.

3. Divination using eight trigrams is a feature of which tradition?
a) Philosophical Taoism.
b) Popular Chinese religion (including both Confucianism and Taoism).
c) The Japanese Kami way.
d) Zen Buddhism.

4. The book most commonly used with the trigrams is the
a) Tao Te Ching.
b) I Ching.
c) Ge Hong.
d) Bagua.

5. The great Buddhist king, Ashoka, flourished in the
a) 6th century, BC.
b) 3rd century, BC.
c) 2nd century, CE.
d) 16th century, CE.

6. "The way that can be spoken of is not the true way" is a famous quotation from
a) Confucius.
b) the Avesta.
c) the I-Ching.
d) the Tao-te Ching.

7. In some forms of Taoism, "Ch'i" is identified as
a) a life/energy force which can be tapped.
b) reverence for departed ancestors.
c) the cultivation of peaceful arts.
d) the way which cannot be spoken.

8. Apparently nonrational questions, or koans, in Zen Buddhism
a) are actually symbolic statements of Zen doctrine, understood by 'Masters' and initiates but intended to be indecipherable by those outside the tradition.
b) are intended to break the student free from her/his mental categories, hopefully leading to enlightenment.
c) are really veiled insults directed at Theravada Buddhists.
d) function to discourage inquirers who lack the seriousness to be true monks.

9. Which of the following is associated with Yin?
a) The north side of a hill.
b) The principle of maleness.
c) The 'shen,' or heavenly spirits.
d) The Sun.

10. Yang, on the other hand includes
a) the power of procreation.
b) the principle of femaleness.
c) the 'shen,' or heavenly spirits.
d) wetness.

11. Zen Buddhism draws heavily from
a) Confucianism.
b) Taoism.
c) Vaishnavite Hinduism.
d) the art of motorcycle maintenance.

12. Use of entrail reading and astrology falls into what category of intermediary activity?
a) divination.
b) out of body experiences.
c) mysticism.
d) necromancy.

13.  The intermediary who claims that her body is taken over by an outside spirit who speaks or performs actions through her with out her having any control over it, is experiencing what psychological state associated with prophecy?
a) Ecstasy.
b) Enthusiasm.
c) Parasensory experience.
d) Possession.

14.  If Lao Tsu ever existed at all, he probably lived?
a) in the 8th c. BC.
b) in the 6th c. BC.
c) in the 4th c. BC.
d) in the 2nd c. BC.

15. How many Zen masters does it take to screw in a light bulb?
a) A tree in a golden forest.
b) Don't bother. I prefer to meditate in the dark.
c) Three. One to hold the ladder and one to change the bulb.
d) What is a light bulb?
e) Supply your own:_______________________________________________________________________

II. Short Identification

Quiz 1

Shudra

Dasas

Statue of dancing girl

Quiz 2

"You are that, Shvetaketu"

Shakti

Madhva

Quiz 3

Hatha Yoga

Brahmo Samaj

bhakti

Quiz 4

Tirthankaras

Ka'ba

True Name

Quiz 5

Hinanyana

4 noble truths

Shiva in the Sikh tradition

Quiz 6

Arhat

Nu Gua

Tantric rites

III. Reading Checks

Some of these question may be redundant with the above, since I sometimes used reading check questions in subsequent quizzes.
1. In transliteration of Sanskrit 'c' (as used in the World Religions textbook) should be pronounced like the 'c' in
a) Bach (a German 'ch').
b) carriage (like 'k').
c) cello (like English 'ch').
d) cider (like 's').

2. The Brahmanas are manuals for ritual and sacrifice which scholars believe were written between
a) 1200 and 900 BC.
b)  900 and 700 BC.
c) 700 and 300 BC.
d) 300 BC and 100 CE.

3. The Mandukya Upanishad contains a couple of  interpretations of the mystical sound 'Om'.  One of these compares it to
a) the primal groan of both pleasure and suffering.
d) the true name of Brahma.
c) four states of consciousness: waking, dreaming, deep sleep and non-being.
b) the moan of the wind through the trees, symbolic of the connection between Brahma and atman (soul).

4. The designation "The Goddess" encompasses a number of mythologically (not necessarily theologically) distinct goddesses.  These include all but which of the following:
a) Durga.
b) Ganeša.
c)  Kali.
d) Parvati.

5. 'Mahavira' refers to
a)  Brahman.  It literally means 'beloved,' but was used by the devotional poets, the alvars, in reference to God.
b) the largest sect of Sikhism, dating from around the 17th c. CE.
c) the oldest and most important collection of Jain scriptures.
d) Vardhamana, the founder of modern Jainism.

6. For Jains, the svastika (swastika) symbolizes
a) good luck.
b) political dominance.
c) ritual power.
d) the four stages of existence.

7. In the Jain Sutra, 19th lecture, called "The Son of Mriga" in your book, we find an extensive description of
a) the eternal bliss of those who obtain release from samsara.
b) the sufferings of those condemned to Hell.
c) the ways in which the practice of ahimsa eliminates karma.
d) Mahavira's decision to leave his family and pursue a life of renunciation.

8. What was the Buddha's birth name  (given name)?

9. What is a stupa?