The Sermon at Benares Question Answer
The chapter The Sermon at Benares is the tenth chapter of English textbook First Flight for Class X. The Sermon at Benares is written by Betty Renstaw. In this story you will know about Mahatma Buddha, his early life and his first sermon, given at Benares. Here you can find out possible question answer. Please write below your opinion if this is helpful.
Question: When her son dies, Kisa Gotami goes from house to house. What does she ask for? Does she get it? Why not?
Answer: When Kisa gotami’s son dies, she went from house to house, asking if she could get some medicine that would cure her child. No, She did not get it because her child was dead and no medicine could have brought him back to life.
Question: 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?
Answer: When she met the Buddha, he asked for to get a handful of mustard seeds from a house where no one had lost a child, husband, parent, or friend. She went from house to house, but could not get the mustard seeds because there was not a single house where no one had died in the family.
Question: 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?
Answer: Kisa Gotami understood the second time that death is common to all and 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.
Question: Why do you think Kisa Gotami understood this only the second time? In what way did the Buddha change her understanding?
Answer: Kisa Gotami understood that death is common to all and that she was being selfish in her grief. She understood this only the second time because it was then that she found that there was not a single house where some beloved had not dies.
First time round, she was only thinking about her grief and was therefore asking for a medicine that would cure her son. When she met the Buddha, he asked her to get a handful of mustard seeds from a house where no one had dies. He did this purposely to make her realize that there was not a single house where no beloved had died, and that death is natural./ When she went to all the houses the second time, she felt dejected that she could not gather the mustard seeds. Then, when she sat and thought about it, she realized that the fate of men is such that they live and die. Death is common to all. This was what the Buddha had intended her to understand.
Question: How do you usually understand the idea of ‘selfishness’? Do you agree with Kisa Gotami that she was being ‘selfish in her grief’?
Answer: ‘Selfishness’ means being concerned only about one’s own interest and showing complete disregard for others welfare. Yes, it can be said that Kisa Gotami was being ‘selfish in her grief’. In the light of her tragedy, she was unable to see that death is something that strikes all things living. In this sense, she was selfish. However, for every person, his/her tragedy is something personal and it prevents him/ her from looking at the tragedy from a universal or general point of view. If we take the usual sense of the word ’selfish’, then calling Kisa Gotami selfish would be inappropriate, because every person becomes selfish in his/her grief.