Important MCQs on Buddhism
Baljit Dhaka
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Important MCQs on Buddhism

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Important MCQs on Buddhism

Buddhism and Jainism are two very important topics as far as the Ancient History of India is concerned. All the State PCS exams and other competitive exams ask questions based on these topics. As far as UPSC Civil Services Exam is concerned, Buddhism and Jainism are among its favourite topics. So, it becomes very important for the aspirants to have a command over these. Students must have in-depth knowledge about Buddhism and Jainism. Keeping in mind the importance of these topics, we have prepared a collection of MCQs based on various facts and aspects of Buddhism and Jainism. 

In the present article you will find some of the Important MCQs on Buddhism.


Q1. ‘Buddha’ means:

(a) The Enlightened one

(b) The Religious Preacher

(c) The Genius

(d) The Powerful

Ans. (a) The Enlightened one


Buddha’s original name was Siddhartha Gautama. His father’s name   was Shudhodhana and mother’s name was Mahamaya. Gautami was   his stepmother. Yashodhara was his wife and Rahul his son. Kanthak   was his horse. His first teacher was Alar Kalam.

Q2. Name the clan Buddha belonged to:

(a) Gnathrika  

(b) Maurya

(c) Sakya

(d) Kuru

Ans. (c) Sakya


Shakya was an ancient tribe (janapada) of the Indian Subcontinent in   the 1st millennium BCE. In Buddhist texts the Shakyas, the   inhabitants of Shakya janapada, are mentioned as a Kshatriya clan of   Gotama gotra.

Q3. ‘Bull’ in Buddhism is associated with which event of Buddha’s life?

(a) Birth

(b) Great departure

(c) Enlightenment

(d) Mahaparinirvana

Ans. (a) Birth


Birth - Lotus and Bull

The Great Departure (Mahabhinishkramana) – Horse

Enlightment (Nirvana) – Bodhi Tree

First Sermon (Dhammachakraparivartan) – Eight spoked Wheel

Death (Parinirvana) – Stupa

Q4. Vaishakha Poornima has a great significance because it was on this day:

(a) Buddha was born

(b) Buddha got enlightened

(c) Buddha died

(d) All of the above

Ans. (d) All of the above

Explanation: Self Explanatory

Q5. Buddha gave his first religious message at:

(a) Rajagriha

(b) Pataliputra

(c) Gaya

(d) Sarnath

Ans. (d) Sarnath


Buddha gave his first religious message at Deer Park in Sarnath.

Q6. Which one of the following is not a sect of Buddhism ?

(a) Mahayana

(b) Hinayana

(c) Digambar

(d) Theravada

Ans. (c) Digambar


Digambar and Shvetambar are sects of Jainism.

Q7. What is the first sermon of Buddha called as ?

(a) Brahmajalasutta


(c) Kachchayanagottasutta

(d) Mahaparinirvansutta

Ans. (b) Dhammachakkapabattanasutta


The Brahmajala Sutta is the first of 34 suttas in the Digha Nikaya (the   Long Discourses of the Buddha). The Kachchayanagottasutta is the first sermon of Buddha. The Mahāparinibbāṇa concerns the end of Gautama Buddha's life - his  parinibbana.

Q8. Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha together are known as-

(a) Triratna

(b) Trivarga

(c) Trisarga

(d) Trimurti

Ans. (a) Triratna


  1. Buddha
  2. Dhamma – The teachings of Budhha
  3. Sangha – Community of Buddhist monks and nuns

Q9. The concept of ‘The Four Noble Truths’ belongs to which of the   following religions?





Ans. (d)Buddhism


The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism are:

  1. The world is full of sorrow.
  2. The cause of sorrow is desire.
  3. If the desires are conquered, all sorrows can be removed.
  4. This can be achieved by following the eightfold path.

Q10. The Chaitya and Viharas were constructed for the monks of which  religion ?

(a) Judaism

(b) Christianity

(c) Buddhism

(d) Hinduism

Ans. (c)Buddhism


Chaityas were the place of worship in Buddhism, whereas Viharas were the dwelling place of monks. The salient features of Chaityas and Viharas   are discussed below: A square mandapa was constructed inside the   cave, which was surrounded by the dwelling places for the monks.


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Q11. Which one of the following is not included in the ‘Eight Fold Path’ of Buddhism ?

(a) Right Speech

(b)Right Contemplation

(c)Right Desire

(d)Right Conduct

Ans. (c)Right desire


The Noble Eightfold Path is one of the principal teachings of the   Buddha, who described it as the way leading to the cessation of   suffering (dukkha) and the achievement of self-awakening. The path   comprises the right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right   livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

Q12. The Buddhist monk who spread Buddhism in Tibet was:





Ans. (d)Padmasambhava


The most important event in the history of Tibetan Buddhism was   the arrival of sage Padmasambhava in the 8th century.   Padmasambhava translated numerous Buddhist texts into Tibetan   language and combined tantric Buddhism with the local Bon religion to   create what is today widely known as the Tibetan Buddhism.

Q13. The site of birth [nativity] of Gautam Buddha is marked by :

(a)a monastery

(b)a “Rummindei Pillar” of Ashok Maurya

(c)a statue

(d)a Peepal Tree

Ans. (b) a “Rummindei Pillar” of Ashok Maurya


Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, is marked by a   commemorative pillar erected by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka of India   during his pilgrimage to the holy site in 249 BC. Lumbini was known   as Rummindei in Asoka’s time.

Q14. Chinese travelers visited India primarily because

(a)they were interested in Buddhism

(b)they were invited by the Indian kings

(c)they were interested to study Indian culture

(d)they were interested to stay in India

Ans. (a)they were interested in Buddhism


After the spread of the Buddhist religion, Chinese travelers came to   India in large numbers to collect religious books and to visit holy places   of Buddhism. Notable among those travellers included I-tsing, Fa Hien   and Hiuen Tsang.

Q15. In which of the following mudra did Gautam Buddha deliver his first   sermon at Sarnath?

(a)Abhaya Mudra

(b)Dhyana Mudra

(c)Dharmachakra Mudra

(d)Bhumisparsa Mudra

Ans. (c) Dharmachakra Mudra


Dharmachakra in Sanskrit means ‘Wheel of Dharma’. This mudra   symbolizes one of the most important moments in the life of Buddha,   the occasion when he preached to his companions the first sermon   after his Enlightenment in the Deer Park at Sarnath. This event is often   referred to as the setting into motion of the Wheel of the teaching of the   Dharma.

Q16. The language in which Buddha preached?





Ans. (c)Pali


Buddha preached his messages in Pali, the vernacular language   spoken then in north India. The language of the ancient Buddhist   scriptures was Pali.

Q17. During whose reign did Gautama The Buddha die:

(a) Bimbisar

(b) Ashoka

(c) Chandragupt Maurya

(d) Ajatshatru

Ans. (d)


Gautama Buddha was contemporary of bimbisara but at the time of his   death the king of magadha was bimbisara's son ajatshatru.

Q18. Which of the following is not true about Gautama The Buddha:

(a)He left home at the age of 29

(b)He attained Nirvana at the age of 35

(c)He died at the age of 80

(d)He got married at the age of 18

Ans. (d)He got married at the age of 18


Gautama Buddha got married at the age of 16 to Yashodhara and   remained married for 13 years before renouncing his householder life.   With Yashodhara he had a son named Rahul.

Q19. On the banks of which river did Gautama Buddha attained Nirvana or   enlightenment:  





Ans. (d)Niranjan


Gautam Buddh attained Nirvana or enlightenment at the age of 35 at   Uruvela (Bodhgaya) under a peepal tree on the banks of Niranjan   (Lilajan River) on the 49th day of meditation.

Q20. Which of the following was not related to Buddha? 


(b)Alara kalama


(d)Goshala Maskariputra

Ans. (d)Goshala Maskariputra


Goshala Maskariputra was the founder of ajivika sect. He was the contemporary of Mahavira and Buddha. Kanthaka was the royal house of Prince Siddhartha (Gautam Buddha).

Alara kalama who was the first teacher of Buddha. Channa was the royal servant and head charioteer of Prince Siddhartha   (Gautam Buddha).

Q21. The earliest Buddhist literature which deals with the stories of various   births of Buddha are:

(a)Vinaya pitakas

(b)Sutta Pitakas

(c)Abhidhamma Pitakas


Ans. (d)Jatakas


Buddhist literature jatakas are the precursors to the various legendary   biographies of the Buddha. It contains stories of the previous birth of   Buddha. Vinaya pitaka contains rules of monastic discipline for monks. Sutta pitaka contains collections of Buddha's sermons. Abhidhamma pitaka contains philosophies of Buddhist teachings.

Q22. Which of the following is the oldest Buddhist University? 





Ans. (a)Nalanda


Nalanda is the oldest Buddhist University which was founded by   Kumargupta-1. Vikramshila and Somapuri were founded by Dharmpala. Jagadal was founded by Ramapala.

Q23. What do Buddhist texts Dipavasma and Mahavamsa chronicle about?

(a) Ashoka's role in spreading Buddhism in Sri Lanka 

(b) Socio-economic conditions of Mauryan period 

(c) Ashoka's expedition to Taxila 

(d) Chandragupta's conversion to Jainism 

Ans. (a) Ashoka's role in spreading Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Explanation: Self Explanatory

Q24. ______________is An Epic Poem In The Sanskrit Mahakavya Style On The Life And Nirvana Of Gautama Buddha By Aśvaghoṣa.

(A) Buddhacharita

(B)Shishupal Vadh


(D) Kirtarjuniya

Ans. (a) Buddhacharita


Buddhacharita (Acts of the Buddha) is an epic poem in the Sanskrit mahakavya style on the life of Gautama Buddha by Aśvaghoṣa, composed in the early second century CE.

Q25. How many great powers (Mahajanpadas) existed in the 7th and early 6th centuries BC, during the lifetime of Lord Gautam Buddha?

(a) 16

(b) 13

(c) 11

(d) 17

Ans. (a) 16


Ancient Buddhist texts like the Anguttara Nikaya make frequent reference to sixteen great kingdoms and republics which had evolved and flourished in a belt stretching from Gandhara in the northwest to Anga in the eastern part.

Q26. Who, according to the Buddhists, is believed to be the next incarnation of Gautam Buddha ?

(a) Atreya

(b) Maitreya

(c) Nagarjuna

(d) Kalki

Ans. (b) Maitreya


Maitreya is foretold as a future Buddha of this world in Buddhist   eschatology. Atreya was one of the great Hindu Sage Atreya and a renowned scholar   of Ayurveda. Nagarjuna is widely considered one of the most important Buddhist philosophers. Kalki is the tenth avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Q27. Where was the world’s largest monolithic statue of Buddha installed ?

(a) Bamiyan

(b) Hyderabad

(c) Kandy

(d) Lhasa

Ans. (a) Bamiyan


The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two 6th century monumental statues of   standing buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamiyan valley in   the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan. They were dynamited and   destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban.

Q28. Which among the following is the sacred book of the Buddhists ?

(a) Upanishad

(b) Vedas

(c) Tripitaka

(d) Jatakas

Ans. (c) Tripitaka


Vinaya Pitaka (rules of monastic discipline for monks)

Sutta Pitaka (collection of Buddha’s sermons)

Abidhamma Pitaka (philosophies   of Buddha’s teachings).

Q29. Who propounded the ‘Eight-Fold Path’ for the end of misery of mankind?

(a) Mahavir

(b) Gautam Buddha

(c) Adi Shankaracharya

(d) Kabir

Ans. (b) Gautama Buddha


It is also known as the Middle Path or Middle Way.

Q30. Buddhism made an important impact by allowing two sections of society into its fold. They were:

(a) Merchants and Priests

(b) Moneylenders and Slaves

(c) Warriors and Traders

(d) Women and Sudras

Ans. (d) Women and Sudras


Buddha was against caste. His religion was open to all, to shudras,   women and even repentant criminals (Like Angulimala). The Buddhist   scriptures were available to all men and women. Buddhism encouraged   abolition of distinctions in society and strengthened the principle of   social equality.

Q31. Mention the place where Buddha attained enlighten-ment.

(a) Sarnath

(b) Bodh Gaya

(c) Kapilavastu

(d) Rajgriha

Ans. (b) Bodh Gaya


The famous Mahabodhi temple and the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha has attained enlightenment are in Bodh Gaya.

Q32. Which one of the following was the last Buddhist text produced In India:

(a) Divya Vandana 

(b) Dohakosa

(c) Vajracchedika

(d) Vamsathapakasini

Ans. (d) Vamsathapakasini

Explanation: Vamsathapakasini is among the last Buddhist texts produced in India.   It gives us information about the origin of the Mauryas.

Q33. The early Buddhist scriptures were composed in :

(a) Prakrit texts

(b) Pali texts

(c) Sanskrit texts

(d) Pictographical texts

Ans. (b) Pali texts


The early Buddhist scriptures including the Tripitakas were composed in Pali. Buddha preached his messages in Pali, the vernacular language   spoken then in north India. The language of the ancient Buddhist   scriptures was Pali.

Q34. Gautama Buddha expired at:

(a) Kushinagar

(b) Sarnath

(c) Bodh Gaya

(d) Lumbini

Ans. (a) Kushinagar


He lived from 563 BCE – 483 BCE.

Q35. The Third Buddhist Council was patronised by:

(a) Kanishka

(b) Ashoka

(c) Mahakashyapa Upali

(d) Sabakarni

Ans. (b) Ashoka


First – Rajgriha – Ajatshatru (Haryanka dynasty)

Second – Vaishali – Kalasoka (Shishunaga dynasty)

Third – Patliputra – Ashoka (Mauryan dynasty)

Fourth – Kundalva (Kashmir) – Kanishka (Kushan dynasty)

Q36. Buddhism in Nepal was introduced during the reign of:

(a) Samudragupta

(b) Ashoka

(c) Chandragupta

(d) Harshavardhana

Ans. (b) Ashoka


As a Buddhist emperor, Ashoka sent many prominent Buddhist monks   Sthaviras like Madhyamik Sthavira to modern Kashmir and   Afghanistan; Maharaskshit Sthavira to Syria, Persia / Iran, Egypt,   Greece, Italy and Turkey; and Massim Sthavira to Nepal.

The Sthavira nikāya was one of the early Buddhist schools.

Q37. Coins made of metal first appeared in:

(a) Harappan Civilisation

(b) Later Vedic Age

(c) Age of the Buddha

(d) Age of the Mauryas

Ans. (c) Age of the Buddha


Coins made of metal first appeared in age of the Buddha.

Q38. What is ‘Milindapanho’ ? 

(a) A Buddhist place

(b) One of the names of Buddha

(c) A Buddhist Specimen of Art

(d) A Buddhist text

Ans. (d) A Buddhist text


The Milinda Pañha ("Questions of Milinda") is a Buddhist text which   dates from sometime between 100 BCE and 200 CE. It purports to   record a dialogue between the Buddhist sage Nāgasena, and the Indo-  Greek king Menander I.

Q39. During which of the following periods of Indian History did the Kshatriyas have a distinct identity ?

(a)Age of the Buddha

(b)Maurya period

(c)Post-Mauryan age

(d)Gupta period

Ans. (a)Age of the Buddha


The Kshatriyas or the ‘khattiyas’ of Buddhist literature had a   distinct identity at the time of the Buddha, but later their actual identity became vague. The same is also true of the Vaishyas.

Q40. Buddha gave his first sermon at the Deer Park in





Ans. (b)Sarnath


After attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, Gautam Buddha went to Sarnath (ancient Isipatana) near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. It was at   the deer park in Sarnath that he preached his first discourse on the Four Noble Truths to a group of five monks and set in motion the   Wheel of Dharma. Sarnath is mentioned by the Buddha as one of the four places of pilgrimage.


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