Reading Comprehension Select Many Practice Test 2
Passage for Questions 1 to 5
Tantrik practices mainly aim at the illumination through the unification of polarities inherent in the world and one’s self. These opposites are symbolically subsumed as “Shiva” and “Shakti” or consciousness and energy, personified as male and female forces of nature. Shiva, the Destroyer, represents universal consciousness diffused throughout the galaxies, while Shakti, the Divine Mother, is the power swinging in a celestial dance, between energy and matter, giving birth to all creation, both tangible and transcendent. Long ago, tantrik masters discovered that to be successful externally or internally we must first awaken our latent power, for only those who are strong and blessed with great stamina reach the final destination. The key to success is the Shakti – the power of the soul, the power of divine force within. Although every individual possesses an infinite and indomitable Shakti (power), most of it remains dormant. Without this Shakti, we can neither find spiritual illumination nor enjoy worldly life. Unfortunately, a large number of tantrik enthusiasts, in both the West and the East, mistakenly identify tantra as the yoga of sex, black magic, witchcraft, seduction, and an amalgam of techniques for influencing the minds of others. This is due, at least in part, to the fact that tantra is both a spiritual path and a science. As a spiritual path, it emphasizes on the purification of mind and heart, cultivating a spiritually illuminating philosophy of life. As a science, it experiments with techniques whose efficacy depends on the precise application of “mantra” and “yantra”, ritual use of specific materials, and the performance of tantrik mudras and accompanying mental exercises. In the layman’s language, such practices can be thought of as tantrik formulae. They will yield a result if properly applied, regardless of the character, spiritual understanding or intention of the practitioner. When this scientific aspect of tantra falls into the hands of charlatans, it is inevitably misused giving tantra a bad name. Fortunately, however, there are still tantrik masters, authentic scriptures to undercut such false and distorted notions and make it possible for us to gain a better understanding of this sublime path.
Tantra earns a bad name when the aspects of tantra are misused by
- tantric enthusiasts in the West
- people who pretend to have more knowledge of tantra than they actually posses
- people who are masters of tantra
- people who are unable to find spiritual illumination
Correct Answer: B and E.
A The author clearly brings out that tantra earns a bad name when it is misused by charlatans. The word ‘charlatan’ is used to refer to someone who pretends to have more knowledge about something than he actually has; in other words, a quack. This implies that A, C and D are clearly incorrect. B and E refer to the correct meaning of charlatan and hence, B and E are the correct answers.
‘Shakti’ is the power that gives birth to creation that is
- conceptual and simple
- imperceptible and abstract
- discernible and magnificent
- corporeal and extraordinary
- concrete and conventional
Correct Answer: C and D.
A It has been brought out that the Shakti gives birth to creation that is both tangible and transcendent. The word ‘tangible’ is used to refer to something that is physically real or substantial and is discernible by touch. ‘Transcendent’ refers to something that is supreme or that surpasses ordinary. This implies that A, B and E are clearly incorrect. ‘Corporeal’ and ‘discernible’ mean the same as ‘tangible’ and hence, C and D are the correct answers.
Which of the following is NOT true in respect of ‘Shakti’?
- It is a power that resides within only those who practice tantra
- One cannot be spiritually contended unless one does not invoke the ‘Shakti’ within
- It is a power used for controlling one’s mind as well as the minds of others
- It is the female personification of the forces of nature
- Success in life can be achieved easily by awakening the ‘Shakti’ within
Correct Answer: A and C.
A It has been brought out in the passage that every individual possesses an infinite Shakti and hence, A is not true in respect of Shakti and therefore, A is a correct answer option. The content of the passage implies that B and E are both incorrect answer options. In the beginning of the passage the author has clearly defined Shakti as the female personification of the forces of nature and hence, D is an incorrect answer option. C refers to the misunderstanding that certain people have in respect of the tantra philosophy. C is not related to Shakti at all and therefore, A and C are the correct answer options.
Which of the following has been used to substantiate the claim that tantra is a science?
- It involves experiments in various forms
- It advocates a spiritual philosophy of life
- It is based on explicit application of various rituals and exercises
- It involves Shakti
- It can be misused by people
Correct Answer: A and C.
A It has been brought out that tantra is both a science and a spiritual path. A and C refer to the evidence that has been provided by the author in support of the claim that tantra is a science. B refers to the fact that tantra has a spiritual aspect too. D and E are not related to the scientific aspects of tantra. Therefore, B, D and E are incorrect and A and C are the correct answers.
Which of the following best describes the function of ‘tantra is both a spiritual path and a science’ in the passage?
- It substantiates a claim made in the preceding sentence
- It refutes the claim made in the preceding sentence
- It provides the evidence for a claim made in the preceding sentence
- It has not major purpose
- It provides the claim that is being discussed in the succeeding sentences.
Correct Answer: A, C and E.
A The sentence preceding the claim in question states that tantra is mistaken as a dark science by many people. The sentence in question clearly gives out the explanation as to why tantra has earned the reputation being discussed in the preceding sentence. Moreover, the succeeding sentences explain how tantra is both a science and a spiritual path. This implies that B and D are incorrect and A, C and E are the correct answers.
Passage for Questions 6 to 10
Tantra itself means “to weave, to expand, and to spread”, and according to tantrik masters, the fabric of life can provide true and ever- lasting fulfillment only when all the threads are woven according to the pattern designated by nature. When we are born, life naturally forms itself around that pattern. But as we grow, our ignorance, desire, attachment, fear, and false images of others and ourselves tangle and tear the threads, disfiguring the fabric. Tantra “sadhana” or practice reweaves the fabric, and restores the original pattern. This path is systematic and comprehensive. The profound science and practices pertaining to hatha yoga, pranayama, mudras rituals, kundalini yoga, nada yoga, mantra, mandala, visualization of deities, alchemy, ayruveda, astrology, and hundreds of esoteric practices for generating worldly and spiritual prosperity blend perfectly in the tantrik disciplines. Proper recitation of mantras helps invoke the natural forces to produce the desired effect. “Tantrasadhana” or tantrik meditation and worship helps one attain many supernatural powers. These powers may be used for good or for bad purposes. When this scientific aspect of tantra falls into the hands of charlatans, it is inevitably misused giving tantra a bad name. Fortunately, however, there are still tantrik masters, authentic scriptures to undercut such false and distorted notions and make it possible for us to gain a better understanding of this sublime path.
In the context in which it has been used, ‘esoteric practices’ is closest in meaning to
- ‘practices intended for and understandable by only those who practice Tantra’
- ‘practices commonly known to the public’
- ‘practices undertaken by tantriks only’
- ‘unlawful activities’
- ‘practices related to meditation’
Correct Answer: A and C.
A The word, ‘esoteric’ is used to refer to something that is understood by or is meant for only those people who have the interest or special knowledge pertaining to that thing. For other people that thing would be a thing of mystery or it would be obscure. This implies that ‘esoteric practices’ would mean practices that are intended for and understood only by those people who follow those practices or believe in them and this case it would be the people who follow the tantric philosophy. This makes it evident that options B, D and E are all incorrect and A and C are the correct answers.
The practice of “Sadhana”
- helps in overcoming one’s shortcomings that refrain one from attaining complete satisfaction from life
- assists in giving up all worldly pleasures
- is disjointed from tantrik practices
- helps one to live life as nature intended
- helps one to adapt to an artificial life
Correct Answer: A and D.
A Sadhana is a tantric practice that helps in ‘reweaving the fabric of life’ as nature had intended. It has been clearly brought out that tantric practices are an amalgamation of both worldly pleasures and spiritual beliefs. Moreover, tantric philosophy follows the path of nature as has been brought out in the passage. This implies that B, C and E are incorrect and A and D are the correct answers.
Which of the following describes the path being referred to in “This path is systematic and comprehensive”?
- Hath yoga
- Tantra sadhana
- The Tantrik approach to life
- Kundalini Yoga
- Esoteric practices
Correct Answer: B and C.
A The path in question is the entire path outlined by the tantra practices. This implies that B and C are both correct. Options A and D refer to practices that are complete by themselves and they form a very small part of the entire tantric philosophy. They cannot be termed as the entire path being discussed. Therefore, A and D are incorrect. E is ambiguous as it makes no reference to the esoteric practices that are being indicated. E could have been correct if it clearly indicated that the esoteric practices being referred to are related to tantric practices. In its present form, E could be referring to any of the exoteric practices being followed in the world and hence it is incorrect. In view of the above, it is evident that B and C are the correct answers.
In the context in which it has been used ‘sublime’ nearly means
Correct Answer: C and D.
A The word ‘sublime’ is used to refer to something that is great or divine. The word, ‘august’ carries the same meaning as grand. Contrived, futile and controversial do not carry the same meaning as great or divine. This implies that A, B and E are clearly incorrect and C and D are the correct answers.
Which of the following conclusions based on the contents of the passage are justified?
- Our life is woven around what nature has planned for us
- As we grow our life starts deviating from what nature had intended for us
- Tantra practices are misused by tantrik practitioners
- It is not possible to supersede the bad reputation earned by tantra
- Tantra can be termed as a form of science
Correct Answer: B and E
A The author brings out that as we grow, the fabric of life gets disfigured; in other words it is no longer what nature had intended for us. He emphasises that we need to practice ‘sadhana’ to make our lives closer to what nature had intended for us. Therefore, A is incorrect and B is correct. C is clearly incorrect as it has been brought out that the scientific aspect of tantra practices is misused when it falls in the hands of charlatans or pretenders who do not have a good knowledge of these practices. These practices are not misused by all tantriks. It is the tantrik masters who work towards undercutting all false notions and making people understand the tantrik practices and their scientific aspects. Therefore, C and D are incorrect and E is correct. Therefore, B and E are the correct answers.
Passage for Questions 11 to 15
Perhaps the primary difficulty with the antigen-antibody explanation is the informational problem of how an antigen is recognized and how a structure exactly complementary to it is then synthesized. When molecular biologists discovered, moreover, that such information cannot flow from protein to protein, but only from nucleic acid to protein, the theory that an antigen itself provided the mold that directed the synthesis of an antibody had to be seriously qualified. The attempts at qualification and the information provided by research in molecular biology led scientists to realize that a second immunological reaction is mediated through the lymphocytes that are hostile to and bring about the destruction of the antigen. This type of immunological response is called cell-mediated immunity. Recent research in cell-mediated immunity has been concerned not only with the development of new and better vaccines, but also with the problem of transplanting tissues and organs from one organism to another, for although circulating antibodies play part in the rejection of transplanted tissues, the primary role is played by cell-mediated reactions. During cell-mediated responses, receptor sites on specific lymphocytes and surface antigens on the foreign tissue cells form a complex that binds the lymphocytes to the tissue. Such lymphocytes do not give rise to antibody-producing plasma cells but themselves bring about the death of the foreign-tissue cells, probably by secreting a variety of substances, some of which are toxic to the tissue cells.
Which of the following explains the reason for transplanted organs being rejected by the host body?
- an immunological reaction triggered by the presence of antigens
- actions carried out by antibodies
- an immunological reaction brought about by lymphocytes
- actions carried out by anti-body producing plasma cells
- the binding of lymphocytes to foreign tissue cells
Correct Answer: A, B, C and E.
A Information presented in the passage discusses the reasons behind the rejection of transplanted tissues by the body of the host. It has been clearly brought out that cell-mediated reactions and antibodies are responsible for the rejection of the implanted organs and tissues. Cell-mediated reactions and antibodies are an after effect of the presence of antigens. Lymphocytes play an active role in the destruction of antigens. Towards the end of the passage the author has clearly brought out how lymphocytes attach themselves to the foreign tissue and destroy it. Therefore, A, B, C and E are all valid reasons for the rejection of the transplanted organs by the host body and hence, they all are correct answer options to the question asked. Antibody producing plasma cells do not affect the transplanted tissue in any way whatsoever and hence, D is incorrect.
According to the author, scientists are trying to find an answer to which of the following questions?
- How is a structure complementary to an antigen synthesised?
- Does an antigen provide the mold for the synthesis of an antibody?
- Can cell-mediated responses be used for developing vaccines?
- How is the immunological reaction mediated by the lymphocytes carried out?
- How is an antigen recognised?
Correct Answer: A and E.
A The question whether an antigen provides the mold for the antibody has been addressed and the scientists have found that there is a second immunological reaction that is mediated through the lymphocytes. Therefore, B is incorrect. The author does not specify whether the usage of cell-mediated reactions for developing vaccines is still being explored or whether that potential has already been tapped. This does not mean that scientists are still looking for an answer to the question mentioned at C. Therefore, C is incorrect. The end of the passage clearly brings out the process by which the immunological reaction is mediated by the lymphocytes. Therefore, D is also incorrect. The passage begins with the note that it is still not clear how a structure complementary to the antigen is synthesised and the entire passage then deals with the results thrown up as an outcome of the research being carried out. This implies that A and E are the correct answers.
Which of the following is a valid conclusion based on the information provided in the passage?
- Immunological reactions have nothing to do with rejection of transplanted organs by the host body
- There are two types of lymphocytes
- Lymphocytes are responsible for the annihilation of antigens
- Antigens have nothing to do with the synthesis of antibodies
- The presence of antigens does not affect the acceptance of transplanted organs by the host body
Correct Answer: B and C.
A The author has clearly brought out that cell-mediated reactions and antibodies are responsible for the rejection of the transplanted organs and tissues. It has been indicated that cell-mediated reactions, immunological reactions and antibodies are a result of the presence of antigens. Therefore, A and E are incorrect. The contents of the passage indicate that there is a specific type of lymphocytes that bind themselves to the foreign tissue. This implies that there are two types of lymphocytes and hence, B is correct. C is correct as implied by the contents of the passage. D is clearly incorrect as it has been brought out in the beginning that the structure of antibodies is complementary to that of the antigens and they are synthesised as a result of the presence of antigens. Therefore, B and C are the correct answers.
Which of the following processes is being described by “During cell-mediated responses, receptor sites on specific lymphocytes and surface antigens on the foreign tissue cells form a complex that binds the lymphocytes to the tissue”?
- Rejection of an implanted organ by the host organism
- Antigen-antibody hypothesis
- Role of lymphocytes during cell-mediated responses
- Role of antigens
- Structure of foreign tissue cells
Correct Answer: A and C.
A The sentence in question does not discuss anything in reference to the antibody-antigen hypothesis; rather it is describing the role that is played by lymphocytes during cell-mediated responses that result in the rejection of a transplanted organ by the host tissue. In view of the above, it is evident that B, D and E are incorrect and A and C are the correct answers.
Which of the following have been used to describe cell-mediated immunity?
- “information provided by research in molecular biology”
- “lymphocytes that are hostile to and bring about the destruction of the antigen”
- “a second immunological reaction”
- “immunological response”
- “informational problem of how an antigen is recognized”
Correct Answer: B, C and D.
A Cell-mediated immunity has been described by the author by stating that a second immunological reaction is mediated through the lymphocytes that are hostile to and bring about the destruction of the antigen. It has also been brought out that this type of immunological response is referred to as cell-mediated immunity. In view of the above it is evident that A and E are clearly incorrect and B, C and D correctly describe cell-mediated immunity as intended by the author and therefore, B, C and D are the correct answers.