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The Sermon at Benares Summary in English by Buddha

The Sermon at Benares by Buddha About the Author

Author Name Buddha
Born 8 April 563 BC, Lumbini, Nepal
Died Kushinagar
Full Name Siddhartha Gautama
Nationality Nepali
The Sermon at Benares Summary by Buddha
The Sermon at Benares Summary by Buddha

The Sermon at Benares Summary in English

The story is about a moral lesson that Gautama Buddha gave to a grief-stricken woman. Buddha was very sensitive towards the sufferings of man. At a very young age he gave up all the worldly pleasures to seek enlightenment.

Once a woman named Kisa Gotami came to him after the demise of her son. She wanted Buddha to give her some medicine for her son. Gautama Buddha advised her to go and collect a handful of mustard seeds from a house where no one had lost a child, husband, parent or friend. When Gotami could not get such a house, she understood the secret of life and death—the very meaning of Buddha’s words.

The Sermon at Benares Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Why was Gautama known as Buddha?
‘Buddha’ means ‘The Awakened’ or ‘The Enlightened’. After seven years of wandering Gautama attained wisdom. When he started sharing his new understandings with the suffering people, he was called ‘Buddha’.

Question 2.
Where did Gautama Buddha preach his first Sermon? What was it all about?
Gautama Buddha preached his first sermon at Benares, the holiest city. It was about the ways to overcome our sorrows. It reflects Buddha’s wisdom about one inscrutable kind of suffering.

Question 3.
Why was Kisa sad? What advice was given to her?
Kisa Gotami had lost her only son. He was dead. She loved him very much and wanted him to be alive. But she could not find any medicine so she was sad. She was advised to go to Buddha.

Question 4.
What did Kisa request her neighbours to give for her son? Did she get it?
Kisa Gotami asked her neighbours to give her a medicine that could bring life back to her son. No, she could not get any.

Question 5.
How did Kisa Gotami realise that life and death is a normal process?
Buddha asked Gotami to bring mustard seeds from a house which had never lost any member of the family. She was unable to get such a house only then she came to know that life and death is a normal process so as man is mortal and is bound to die.

Question 6.
When and where was Gautama Buddha born? Why did he decide to leave the palace?
Gautama Buddha was born in 563 B.C. in Northern India. Buddha was away from all the sorrows of life. Once he saw a sick man, a beggar, an aged man and a funeral procession. He realised that the world was full of sorrow. He wanted to attain knowledge. So he decided to leave the palace to get enlightened.

Question 7.
How did ‘Bodhi Tree’ get its name?
After seven years of wandering Gautama sat under a peepal tree. He attained knowledge under that tree and got enlightened. He renamed the tree as ‘Bodhi tree’ which means the tree of wisdom. ‘Bodhi’ means knowledge.

Question 8.
What kind of suffering is reflected in the Sermon?
Grief over the death of a loved one is the main theme of this sermon. People fail to understand that death is common to all. All mortals have to die. There is no use of lamentation. One does not get peace of mind unless one overcomes the sorrows.

Question 9.
What were the greatest sorrows that pained Buddha?
Poverty, illness and death were the greatest sorrows that pained Buddha. He saw a poor man begging, an old man and a funeral procession that changed his course of life. These sights moved him so much that he went out into the world to seek enlightment and truth.

Question 10.
Why did people think that Kisa had become mad?
Kisa Gotami’s only son had died. She was not ready to accept the fact that once a mortal dies, he/she cannot be brought back to life. She went to her neighbours with her dead son to get some medicines to bring him back to life. People thought that Kisa had gone mad.