174. (b) 175. (a)
               PRE-MAURYA PERIOD
Between the 7th and the 5th centuries BC the intellectual life of India was in a
state of ferment. This period was a turning point in the intellectual and
spiritual development of the whole world, for it witnessed the emergence of
the early philosophers of Greece, the great Hebrew prophets, Confucius in
China, and Zoroaster in Persia. In India this crucial period in history was
marked on the one hand by the teaching of the Upanishadic sages, who
admitted the inspiration of the Vedas, and on the other hand by the
appearance of teachers who were less orthodox and rejected the Vedas
entirely. It was at this time that Jainism and Buddhism arose, the most
successful of a large number of heterodox systems, each based on a
distinctive set of doctrines and each laying down distinctive rules of conduct
for attaining salvation.
    The social background of this great development of heterodoxy cannot be
traced clearly from the traditions of Jainism and Buddhism, which have
partly been worked over by thinkers of later centuries. But it would appear
that heterodoxy flourished most strongly in Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Here the arrival of Aryan civilisation and Brahmanical religion seems to have
been comparatively recent at the time. The people were probably little
affected by the Aryan class system, and the influence of the Brahmin was by
no means complete. Quite as much attention was devoted to local gods such
as yaksas and nagas, worshipped at sacred mounds (chaityas) and groves, as
to the deities of the Aryan pantheon. Cities had arisen, where a class of well-
to-do merchants lived in comparative opulence, while the peasants enjoyed a
reasonable standard of living.
    The old tribal structure was disintegrating, and a number of monarchical
kingdoms had appeared, together with ganarajyas (republics), which
preserved more of the tribal structure.    Most of these republics were of little