History Optional Paper-1 Solution – 1997: Q.2
Q.2 “The continuity of the Indus Civilization into later ages was not confined to the religious and spiritual fields alone.” Analyse the statement.
The culture and traditions of the Indus valley Civilisation have been preserved without a breakdown to the present day and it includes all walks of life not just the religious and spiritual fields.
How continuity in the religious and spiritual fields
1) The Pashupati of the Harappans shows a remarkable resemblance to the Shiva of the later Hinduism traditions.
2) Worship of Pipal tree and humped bull still prevalent in the Indian society.
3) Worship of Shakambari, the Earth mother still continues in the countryside.
4) Worship of male and female creative energy in the form of stone icons of lingas and yonis continues to the present day.
5) Discovery of fire altars in Lothal and Kalibangan gives indication towards fire cult. Later fire came to occupy a very important position in Hindu way of worship.
How continuity in other fields
1) Pottery- Some of the forms and features of the pots used by the Harappans can be seen in traditional kitchens even today.
2) House Plans- People lived in houses of different sizes, mostly consisting of rooms arranged around a central courtyard, which can be seen in Indian villages even today.
3) Lost-wax method – It was used in the making of the famous ”dancing girl” of the Mohenjodaro. This technique is still used in certain parts of India.
4) Cotton – Mesopotamian texts mention cotton as one of the imports from Meluhha and traces of cotton cloth were also found at Mohenjodaro. India still continues to produce and export cotton.
5) The beginning of the system of binary and decimal and other measurements and weights which were used by the Harappans have continued into later India. For example- 1 rupee = 16 annas.
a) Use of dhoti like lower garment which still continues in the countryside, and
b) An upper garment consisting of a shawl or cloak worn over one shoulder and under the other was in vogue during the historical periods. for ex- this style is visible in the images of Buddha also.
7) Use of talisman and amulets still continues in the Indian society.
8) Some of the symbols like ”Swastik”, ”Circle” etc found on the Harappan seals remains important till this day.
9) Continuance of dice games, kajal for the eyes kept in jars with sticks, ivory combs, nose rings, bangles, rosary etc continues.
10) Cultivation of crops like wheat, barley, rice, etc continue even today.
11) Separate bathing areas and toilets have been found in many houses of the Harappan civilization. This can be seen in the countryside till now.
12)The Harappans made elaborate arrangements for water for drinking and bathing. The emphasis on providing water for bathing suggests that they were very particular about personal hygiene. This consciousness for personal hygiene can still be witnessed in the Indian society.
13)The practice of building ritual bathing tanks and taking holy bath and ablution can be traced back directly to the Harappan period.
Thus it would be appropriate to say that the continuity of the Indus Civilization into later ages covers all the walks of life not just the religious and spiritual fields.