31. Reading Skills Comprehension: Jambheshwarji

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Jambheshwarji was born in 1461 (or 1452) at Pipasar in Nagaur Mandel of Jodhpur state. His father, Lohat, was a Panwar Rajput. His mother was Mansa Devi. He was the only son of his parents. As a child, he was known as a contemplative boy. People felt surprised to listen to his profound talks. When he was seven years old, he was made to graze the family cows. After the death of his parents, he left home. He spent most of his time in the company of saints. He adopted Goraksha Nath as his Guru. Through meditation and inner devotion to God, he attained Self-realisation.

He was fully aware of the problems prevalent in his age. He observed communal fanaticism as well as moral downfall all around him. He took it upon himself to rid the Hindu society of superstition and other evils. He preached the necessity of social amity. He also advocated a life of altruism and love for others.

Jambheshwarji founded the Vishnoi sect in 1485. He laid down twenty-nine religious commandments for his followers. The main commandments included worship of Vishnu, performing of Haven, fasting on a moonless night, refraining from cutting green trees,  making animal sacrifice and drinking. Like a great prophet, he realised the importance of vegetation. In those days there was hardly any consciousness about the environment. But Jambheshwarji Maharaj tried to bring this consciousness. He told his followers that environmental pollution posed a great danger to the health of the people. He asked them to keep the environment clean. It shows that he was much ahead of his times.

 He also told people not to fall into the trap of common social evils like theft, robbery, adultery and drinking. He laid stress on the value of inner as well as outer purity in life. Honesty and truth in the day to day life. were the main subjects of his preaching. He was also aware of the inferior status of women in Indian society. He asked his followers to show special consideration and regard to women. He firmly believed in the age-old saying “Where  women are worshipped; their gods live.”

 A.1.1 On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions as briefly as possible. Write your answers in the spaces provided.

(a) Give two reasons why Jambheshwarji took it upon himself to cleanse the Hindu society. Because of——————-and——————– 

(b) The commandment given by Jambheshwarji relating to Environment was —————– (c) What did Jambheshwarji do about the environment problem?

(d) What did Jambheshwarji do for purity in life?

(e) What was the place of women during Jambheshwarji’s time? 

 (f) Jambheshwarji is relevant to present-day India. How?

(g) How far can Jambheshwarji be called a social reformer?

(h) Find a word in lines 1 to 10 which means ‘thoughtful’.


(a) it suffered from (i) communal fanaticism and (ii) moral degradation

 (b) refraining from cutting green trees

(c) He asked his followers to keep the environment clean and not to destroy vegetation.

(d) He emphasised on truth and honesty.

 (e) Women were treated inferior in society.

(f) problems of his time eg, environmental degradation, religious fanaticism, moral degradation, etc are here even` now

(g) because he tried to rid the society of social evils, like theft, adultery, drinking, etc

 (h) Contemplative

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