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Short Summary of The Sermon at Benares
Sermon At Benares’ is the story of an unfortunate woman Kisa Gotami. She had lost her only one. In her grief, she carried the dead body of her son from one place to another. In the end, she came to Lord Buddha. She needed the medicine that could cure her son. The Buddha asked her to bring him a handful of mustard seed from a house where no one had lost a child, husband, parent or friend.
Kisa Goutami didn’t find a house where some beloved one had not died in it. She thought to herself that it was the fate of mankind. Death was inevitable. Nobody can avoid dying. The world is afflicted with death and decay. The wise don’t grieve. `He who has overcome all soon will become free from sorrow, and be blessed.
The Sermon at Benares Class 10 English Chapter 10 Question Answers
Short Type Question Answers of the Sermon at Benares Class 10 Extra Questions
1. What do you know about the early life of Buddha?
Ans. The early life of Buddha was filled with royal pleasure and happiness. Lord Buddha was born in a royal family as Siddhartha Gautama. At the age of twelve, he was sent away for schooling in Hindu sacred scriptures. Four years later, he got married to a princess and had a son.
2. What was the effect of observing the sufferings of the world on Buddha?
Ans. The sights of suffering sick man, old man, funeral process and a beggar had a deep impact on Buddha. He was so affected by the sufferings that he at once left his royal life in search of enlightenment and an understanding of the
world around him.
3. What did the Buddha do after he had attained
Ans. After the Buddha had attained enlightenment, he started teaching and sharing his new understandings. He spread his preachings far and wide so that people could come to know the truth. He wanted people to understand the world so that they could live peacefully.
4. When her son dies, Kisa Gotami goes from house to house. What does she ask for? Does she get it? Why not?
Ans. When Kisa Gotami’s son died, she went from house to house, and asked for some medicine that would cure her child. No,
she did not get it because her hild was dead and no medicine could have brought him back to life.
5. Kisa Gotami again goes from house to house after she speaks with the Buddha. What does she ask for,the second time around? Does she get it? Why not?
Ans. After talking to Lord Buddha, Kisa Gotami again went house to house to get mustard seed from a family wherein no one has died. No, Kisa Gotami could not get anything because there is no person or family in the world wherein there has been no death. Everyone has faced the loss of a beloved member.
6. What does Kisa Gotami understand the second time that she failed to understand the first time? Was this what the Buddha wanted her to understand?
Ans. Kisa Gotami understood the second time that death is common to all. She understood that she was being selfish in her grief. There was no house where some beloved had not died.
Yes, this was what the Buddha wanted her to understand
7. According to Kisa Gotami, what is the greatest grief of life?
Ans. According to Kisa Gotami, the greatest grief in life is the death of one’s loved ones. Therefore, instead of lamenting on it, the wise should accept the truth of death. Weeping will only increase the pain and disturb the peace of mind
of a person
8. How did Kisa Gotami realise that life and death is a process?
Ans. Kisa Gotami realised that life and death is a normal process when she went from house to house but was unable to find one house where nobody had died. It was when she sat down that she realised that death is common to everyone. Those who are born will die one day
9. According to Buddha, who are wise men?
Ans. According to Buddha, wise men are those people who never complain or lament over their loss. They accept the truth and move on such people are calm and composed. They lead a blessed and peaceful life.
10. How do you usually understand the idea of ‘selfishness’? Do you agree with Kisa Gotami that
she was being ‘selfish in her grief ’?
Ans. I usually understand the idea of selfishness as being concerned only about one’s own interests. I also understand it to mean showing complete disregard for others’ interests.
Yes, I agree with Kisa Gotami that she was being ‘selfish in her grief ’. In her son’s death, she was unable to see that death is something that strikes all living beings.
11. Elucidate any one quality that Siddhartha demonstrated when he gave up his status and family.Explain your choice.
Ans. Siddhartha demonstrated compassion, kindness and his determination in his decision to leave behind his family and prince hood. He felt sympathetic towards others. He was disturbed to see people’s sufferings and wanted
to find out a solution to eradicate their sufferings and diseases
12. Do you think being enlightened placed a far greater responsibility on the Buddha than being king would have? Justify your stance
Ans. Yes, enlightenment placed far greater responsibilities than being a king would have on Buddha. As a king, he was more concerned with the physical well-being of only his countrymen but now he had an obligation to take
care of the whole of humanity.
As Buddha, he owed the responsibility of preaching and educating the people about the truth that he had realised.
Long Answer Type Questions of The Sermon at Benares class 10 extra Questions
1. Describe the journey of Siddhartha Gautama becoming the Buddha.
Ans. Gautama Buddha was born in 563 BC in a royal family. His name was Siddhartha Gautama. At the age of twelve, he was sent away for schooling. He studied all the sacred Hindu scriptures. At the age of sixteen, he married a princess and later they had a son. He lived a royal life for ten years and was shielded from the sufferings of the world.
However, when he was twenty five, he saw a sick man, then an aged man and a funeral procession. Finally, he came across a monk begging for alms. This was his first encounter with the harsh realities of life. These sights made him so sad that he decided to renounce the worldly pleasures. He left his family and became a monk.
He went out into the world to seek spiritual knowledge.
Siddhartha Gautama wandered for seven years in search of wisdom and truth. Finally, he sat down under a big peepal tree to mediate. He vowed to stay there until he got enlightenment. After seven days, Gautama got enlightenment. He became known as ‘The Buddha’ which means ‘enlightened’ or ‘the awakened’. He began to teach and spread his message of wisdom and truth.
2. Why did Gotami go to the Buddha? What lesson
did he teach her?
Ans. After the death of Kisa Gotami’s only child, she became very sad. She carried her dead child to her neighbours in order to get medicine to bring him to life. Her neighbours thought that she had gone insane as she was unable to accept the fact that her child is dead. It was then that someone suggested her to meet Gautama Buddha.
When she met Gautama Buddha, he gave her an exercise to do. She was asked to collect mustard seeds from a house where no one had ever died. She went from one house to another but was unable to find a single house in the town where no one had died. This way she realised that death is a part of life and anyone who is born is bound to die one day.
Thus, Buddha changed her understanding of death by this exercise. Buddha told her that only the wise do not grieve and they accept the reality. Mourning brings only pain and sufferings to the body. One, who is composed, obtains peace of mind and will be free from sorrow and be blessed. This gave her strength to overcome grief.
3. Through the story of Kisa Gotami what did the Buddha try to preach to the common man?
Ans. The lesson on death and suffering that Buddha taught Gotami was that, these are part and parcel of life. No one can avoid this truth. One has to meet one’s destined end one day. Whoever has come into this world will die one day. Thus, in the hour of grief for a loved one who has died, one must remain calm and composed. Then one doesn’t occupy himself with grief. Otherwise, they will feel the pain more.
However, those persons who are wise never complain or lament over their loss. They never try to bring back to life their loved ones who are dead, as Gotami wanted to do. They accept the truth and overcome their sorrow. Persons who overcome their sorrow will be blessed. So, wisdom is in the fact that people should not get distressed with pain, suffering or death.
4. What lesson did Kisa Gotami learn the second time that she had failed to learn the first time?
Ans. Kisa Gotami had lost her only son and in grief, she carried her dead son to all her neighbours to get him cured and restored back to life. Finally, she went to the Buddha asking him for medicine to cure her boy. The Buddha felt that she needed to be enlightened about the truth of life that death and sorrow are
inseperable. He could see that grief had blinded her, and it would be difficult for her to accept the truth.
So, the Buddha told her to procure mustard seeds from a house where none had died. Kisa Gotami went door to door. Then, she realised that there was no house where no one had died and that death is common to all. She came back to the Buddha where he told her that life in this world is troubled and filled with sorrows. He gave her examples of ripe fruits and earthen vessels whose
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