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Indian Literature

This Section deals with ‘Indian Literature’ part of the Indian Culture. Our effort is to help you in the preparation by breaking down the topic into various sub-sects. Further, we are trying to guide you with the relevant study materials to be read on the topic from  NCERTs and other Reference Books.

Also, we provide you with the questions that were asked on the particular topic [Literature] over the last 5 years in  the UPSC Preliminary examinations. It helps you to understand the importance of the topic and the level of study and analysis required.

From the analysis of the questions , it can be seen that at least one question was asked from this area for the last three years, and the focus  is on the sub-topic ‘Vedic Schools of Indian Philosophy’.


  1. Vedas , Upanishads, Aranyakas and Brahmanas
  2. 6 Schools of Indian Philosophy
  3. Buddhist and Jain Literature
  4. Literature during Gupta Period
  5. South Indian Literature including Sangam Literature.
  6. Regional languages and Literature
  7. Islamic Literature



  • Ancient India by Makkan Lal –Chapters 9,11,12,17,19 & 22
  • Class VI- NCERT – Our Past I- Chapter  5 ,9 ,11 & 12
  • Class VII-NCERT- Our pasts II- Chapter 4 & 9
  • Class XII- NCERT- Themes in Indian History Part II- Chapters 8 & 9
  • Spectrum’s Facets of Indian Culture- Chapter 8

[ 2013 Prelims]

1) With reference to the history of philosophical thought in India, consider the following statements regarding Sankhya school:

  1. Sankhya does not accept the theory of rebirth or transmigration       of the soul.
  2. Sankhya holds that it is the self-knowledge that leads to liberation and not any exterior influence or agent.

Which of the statements given above is /are correct?

(a) 1only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2    

[ 2014 Prelims]

1) Consider the following statements:

  1. ‘Bijak’ is a composition of the teachings of Saint Dadu Dayal.
  2. The Philosophy of Pushti Marg was propounded by Madhvacharya.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2    

2) Which one of the following pairs does not form part of the six systems of Indian Philosophy?

(a) Mimamsa and Vedanta

(b) Nyaya and Vaisheshika

(e) Lokayata and Kapalika

(d) Sankhya and Yoga      

3) The national motto of India, ‘Satyameva Jayate’ inscribed below the Emblem of India is taken from

(a) Katha Upanishad

(b) Chandogya Upanishad

(c) Aitareya Upanishad

(d) Mundaka Upanishad   

4) Chaitra 1 of the national calendar based on the Saka Era corresponds to which one of the following dates of the Gregorian calendar in a normal year of 365 days?

(a) 22 March (or 21st March)

(b) 15th May (or 16th May)

(c) 31st March (or 30th March)

(d) 21st April (or 20th April